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First Mover: Bitcoin Steady as Trump Tweets and Neo Takes on Ethereum

Chinese tech companies were once seen as copycats of their Western peers: Alibaba was a knockoff of eBay and Baidu imitated Google. More recently, Chinese firms like TikTok and Huawei have established such dominant international positions that U.S. authorities have tried to hold them back.

Now, the technological arms race is playing out in the cryptocurrency industry, where one Chinese company is taking on Ethereum, the world’s second-largest blockchain, which U.S.-based developers have used to build semi-automated trading and lending networks under the rubric of decentralized finance, or DeFi.

Neo took aim at DeFi in late September with its launch of a new platform called Flamingo. Da Hongfei, a Neo co-founder, told CoinDesk in an interview the protocol will eventually provide users with features found on popular Ethereum-based projects like Uniswap, Curve Finance, and Synthetix.

Related: BlueWallet Adds Privacy Feature 'PayJoin' for Bitcoin Transactions

Flamingo is not simply a product of “copy and paste,” the co-founder said in an interview. “It’s like rebuilding a parallel universe.”

– Muyao Shen

Read More: Amid US-China Tech War, Can Neo’s DeFi Stack Rival Ethereum’s?

Bitcoin Watch

Bitcoin defended the psychological support of $10,500 early Wednesday as Asian stocks shrugged off overnight weakness on Wall Street, reducing haven demand for the U.S. dollar.

Related: Market Wrap: Bitcoin Regains $10.6K; High-Balance Ether Addresses Decline

European stocks, too, are trading higher at press time alongside gains in the S&P 500 futures.

Risk sentiment, which weakened Tuesday following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to abort the fiscal stimulus negotiations, was restored earlier today after he reversed course and urged Congress to approve a series of coronavirus relief measures, including a new round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

That said, a large-scale stimulus is unlikely to come through any time soon. As such, both bitcoin and stocks may have a tough time scoring significant gains.

Indeed, minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, due at 18:00 GMT, are expected to reiterate tolerance for high inflation. That dovish message, however, has already been priced in by markets.

For now, the cryptocurrency remains trapped in a narrowing price range. Contracting triangles usually end with violent moves on either side.

Growth in the new bitcoin addresses has recently picked up. According to blockchain analyst Cole Garner, that has bullish implications for price. However, according to Alex Melikhov, CEO and founder of Equilibrium & EOSDT stablecoin, the address growth has been fueled, at least in part, by the recent mass exodus of bitcoins from controversial crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX to other major exchanges like Kraken, Binance, and Gemini.

– Omkar Godbole

Read More: Analysts Can’t Agree What Prompted Big Spike in New Bitcoin Addresses

Token Watch

XRP (XRP): With Ripple executives threatening relocation from the U.S., volatility could be expected for the world’s fourth-largest crypto by market cap.

Uniswap (UNI): Uniswap’s big correction from Oct. 1 heights of $4.46 has some investors worried, but that hasn’t fazed users of the Ethereum-based wallet MetaMask as it registered 1 million active users per month hinting at continual growth in the DeFi sector.

What’s Hot

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin restarts deposits, withdrawals for bitcoin, ether following $281M hack (CoinDesk)

BitMEX case highlights balance between “being a disruptive financial services innovator” and regulatory compliance (CoinDesk Opinion)

OCC Comptroller Brooks says “criminals will take advantage of whatever system is at their disposal,” noting that the percentage of fraud or criminal activity involving cryptocurrency remains low compared with traditional banking system (WSJ) 

Third quarter “felt in many ways like a watershed in crypto asset markets” (CoinDesk Research)

Silvergate Bank says SEN network getting added traffic from DeFi and surge in stablecoin usage (CoinDesk)

Survey reveals “scams, excessive hype and market manipulation” are seen as main obstacles to DeFi growth (Finder)

Survey by crypto insurance provider Evertas says 90% of institutional investors plan to invest more in cryptoassets like bitcoin over the next five years (Evertas)

Chicago-based bitcoin derivatives market Bitnomial raises $11.6M (CoinDesk)

New feature on browser-extension wallet MetaMask lets users swap tokens using DeFi exchanges like Uniswap, Kyber, Paraswap, and (CoinDesk)

MIT wins ranking as top blockchain university for 2020, followed by Cornell, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon (CoinDesk):   


The latest on the economy and traditional finance

A report by Swiss bank UBS found billionaires increased wealth by more than a quarter from April to July, as central-bank stimulus helped buoy markets (The Guardian)

U.S. President Donald Trump rejects possibility of further COVID-19 stimulus until after the elections (CNBC)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell calls for Congress to do more by continuing aggressive economic and fiscal policy (CNBC)

U.S. trade deficit for August increases to $67B, highest in 14 years (CNN Business)

Australian shares rise as federal government discloses plan to run record budget deficit for 2021 fiscal year (Reuters)

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