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Synctera, a fintech that provides Business as a Service (BaaS) tools to connect community banks with fintech companies, announced today that they raised $33 million in Series A funding. Fin VC led the new round of funding and was joined by new investors Mastercard and Gaingels. In addition, investors from previous rounds of funding returned, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Diagram Ventures, SciFi Ventures and Scribble Ventures. To date, the company has raised over $45 million in just under a year. In this news release, Synctera also announced that they are joining other fast growing technology companies in the Cap Table Coalition, which pledges to meet a goal of having 10% of investors in each funding round being from traditionally marginalized investors. 

Connecting community banks and fintechs 

CEO Peter Hazlehurst, along with co-founders CTO Kris Hansen and head of product Dominik Weisserth, started Synctera as a way to address a major need in the community banking sector. Smaller banks often do not have the ability or technical skills to form partnerships with fintechs due to the associated operational complexities. To meet this need, Syncera has created a “partnership banking marketplace” to match up community banks with fintechs. By doing a lot of the time-consuming work, Syncera allows partnerships to form that meet the needs of both parties. By working with the community banks to discuss topics like their business goals and geographic area of operations, a personalized relationship between the two sides is created. For fintechs, the benefit lies in the platform’s ability to reach a large number of banks. For newly established fintechs, having a network of potential clients for your product can be extremely beneficial for growth. In addition, their platform also offers the ability for the community banks to easily manage relationships with multiple fintechs through a single window approach. Hazlehurst, who has previously held roles as head of Uber Money and Google Wallet, has stated that the company’s goal is to reduce the average amount of time it takes for a community bank to get set up with a fintech company from 10 months down to 20 days.

Future Plans

Despite being just over a year old, Syncera has already seen massive amounts of interest and success. The company originally set a goal to have 15 banks set up using their service in 2021. So far, over 40 banks have already demonstrated interest, with 3 signing on as partners and another 3 anticipated by the end of this month. In addition to this, 60 fintechs have already partnered with Syncera and showed interest in using their service to connect with community banks. With this new round of funding, Syncera is going to focus on onboarding a new cohort of fintechs that offer card processing services so that banks have access to products such as  debit cards, lines of credit, overdraft, back-end automated billing and remittances. The company currently employs around 50 people, and plans to scale up to 150 employees by year’s end. 

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Naabiae Nenu-B is a Medical Health Student and an SEO Specialist dedicated to flushing the web off fake news and scam scandals. He aims at being "Africa's Best Leak and Review Blogger" and that's the unwavering stand of Xycinews Media.

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Fx Analysis

Overview of ‘Crypto Adoption Reports’ from the FCA, Gemini, and Finder



Interest is increasing in digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.  This is most obvious when looking at the run-up in prices over the past few years.  While this can be a good indicator for demand, it is a narrow perspective; To broaden this, it is important to know – how many people actually hold such assets?  Multiple new reports have taken a closer look at the metrics surrounding this question.  Here are a few highlights from each.

State of U.S. Crypto Report – Gemini

In this report, generated by Gemini, data was obtained from 3000 adults residing in the United States.  By its estimates, Gemini predicts upwards of 40 million individuals within the nation may soon own cryptocurrencies.  Of those that indicated they currently own digital assets, 74% were men.

Interestingly, of the 3,000 individuals surveyed, 2,200 (74%) fell between the ages of 25-44.  What makes this intriguing is that past studies have determined these are the years during which one’s net worth increases the greatest amount.
If a genuine interest and belief in digital assets is imbued among this demographic, it would stand to reason that rapidly increasing net worth’s would only aid the continued run-up of prices in the sector, as interested parties have more money to spare.

Crypto Adoption Report – Finder

Moving north of the border, Finder’s Crypto Report indicates that Canada boasts nearly 14% ownership among its populace.  While its’ adoption may appear slightly higher than the United States, the composition remains much the same – Men between 18-44yrs of age.

This report dove deeper than just North America however, with 42,000 individuals from over 25+ countries surveyed.  The following chart highlights the top and bottom three countries represented by % ownership within its populace.

Highest % Ownership Lowest % Ownership
Vietnam – 41% United Kingdom – 8%
Indonesia – 30% United States – 9%
India – 30% Germany – 11%

Interesting to note is that this survey finds highest level of ownership typically occurs in smaller nations such as Vietnam, and Indonesia.  While it would stand to reason that wealthy nations such as the United States would see higher levels of ownership among its populace due to expendable income, the numbers prove otherwise.  The reason perhaps is that the citizens of such nations are not simply enthusiasts of cryptocurrencies, but rather use/rely on it for actual use (eg. remittance).

Cryptoasset Consumer Research – Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA – an important regulatory body within the United Kingdom – has also just released the 4th iteration of its ‘Cryptoasset Consumer Research’ for 2021.  In this report a few key points were found, which focuses solely on the United Kingdom.

  • Interest in, and awareness of crypto has increased
  • Crypto is shifting from being viewed as a ‘gamble’ to an alternative investment
  • 50% of existing holders plan to buy more moving forward

To learn that interest and perception of crypto is increasing is unsurprising.  This was reflected in each of the previously mentioned studies, along with on-going signs of mainstream adoption (eg. El Salvador).
What stands out is that 50% of investors that already hold cryptocurrencies intend to continue purchasing more.  This is a positive sign, as it indicates that cryptocurrencies have a lasting appeal.  Investors are not just buying a small amount out of curiosity and moving on – they plan on increasing their exposure.  If this holds true, growth within the sector will continue unabated, as the influx of new investors will far outweigh what little attrition there is among the ranks.


While seeing Canada boast 14% ownership, and a tech-savvy population in the U.S. coming into their fastest wealth accumulating years is a good thing, there is still massive room to grow in North America.  Meanwhile, Asia has already started down this path, with the top 5 countries by ownership each coming from within the continent.  As far as the United Kingdom’s FCA is concerned, interest in the sector is growing while managing to not dissipate among existing investors.
Simply put – despite the massive strides made over only a few years, there is massive room to grow in every corner of the globe.

For those wondering which asset is most popular in every nation?  Bitcoin.

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Fx Analysis

Investing In Mina Protocol (MINA) – Everything You Need to Know



The Mina Protocol (MINA) operates as a smart contract compatible proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain and cryptocurrency. The protocol is unique in that it limits block capacity to only 22 kilobytes in size. This ingenuitive approach helped the platform earn the title of “the world’s lightest blockchain” by developers.

What Problems Does Mina Protocol (MINA) Solve?

The Mina Protocol (MINA) integrates various cutting-edge cryptocurrency technologies to alleviate multiple problems in the market. Primarily, the platform helps to combat centralization. Mining Centralization has long been an issue for early blockchain. In the future, these issues will affect nearly every network. The very nature of blockchain technology is to blame for this centralization. As blockchains grow, miners need to keep a copy of the valid transaction history.

The Mina Protocol (MINA) - Homepage

The Mina Protocol (MINA) – Homepage

Early blockchains like Bitcoin already have an extensive history that can take a day just to download during your node setup. Sadly, this situation could eventually lead to scenarios where only a select few miners possess the technical resources to securely store such large amounts of data. The Mina Protocol (MINA) eliminates these concerns by placing an on-chain data restriction on the network.

Financial Restrictions

Another problem that the Mina Protocol (MINA) helps to eliminate is financial barriers. The platform has no minimum stake to become a block producer and no lock-up period. This strategy enables anyone to participate in the network regardless of their wallet balance.

The Use of Oracles

Oracles are off-chain sensors that communicate data to and from the blockchain. These sensors can be set to monitor anything from the weather to stock prices. As such, they enable blockchains to better integrate into traditional markets in a powerful way. However, since they are off-chain and usually centralized, they create a weak point in the network.

Notably, the Mina Protocol doesn’t require the use of centralized data oracle like other cryptocurrency blockchains. Instead, it relies on snapshots of data relevant to the decentralized application from multiple websites. This approach provides a more decentralized alternative to oracles.

Benefits of Mina Protocol (MINA)

There are a lot of benefits gained when you utilize the Mina Protocol. For one, the platform provides developers with a streamlined way to execute Dapp functionality. The Mina Protocol was built from the ground up with the goal to curtail computational requirements in order to run Dapps more efficiently.

How Does Mina Protocol (MINA) Work

The Mina Protocol leverages a set of hybrid Zero-Knowledge proofs, a unique node structure, and technical architecture to accomplish its goals of keeping the blockchain open and accessible to the masses. Zero-Knowledge proofs are a technology that enables a user to prove they have certain information or are a particular person without revealing any of the actual data to the other party.

Zero-Knowledge (zk)

For example, imagine that you have the location of a secret island, but to get to this paradise you need the assistance of a helicopter pilot. You seek out someone with the skills and you ask for their assistance. You notify them that you will compensate them when you arrive at the location. Now, the problem arises of how to get the pilot to agree to the trip without knowing the exact location.

You could show the pilot the location of the island, but that would be enough information for the pilot to go there without you and claim it for themselves. Instead, you show certain parts of the map to let him know that you have a map that is accurate. After he verifies that you are in the know, the pilot agrees to your terms.

Now apply that same concept to cryptocurrencies. Instead of an island, you have a wallet and instead of a map, you have the blockchain. By verifying enough random data on the network, the other users can ascertain with great accuracy that you are capable of accessing a particular wallet.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs in the Mina Protocol

Zero-Knowledge (zk) proofs were introduced by MIT professor and Algorand founder Silvio Micali. The concept works by providing a snapshot of a timeframe on the blockchain. The Mina Protocol introduces a mechanism called Recursive Zero-Knowledge Proof to the equation. Recursive Zero-Knowledge Proofs streamline data transmission even further. Instead of turning every transaction and block into a 22-kilobyte snapshot, the network makes an overview snapshot of multiple transactions. Since all of these snapshots are now in one 22-kilobyte snapshot, the blockchain remains light.


The technical architecture of the Mina Protocol is somewhat similar in function to Bitcoin. When a user makes a transaction, it goes into a pool of pending transactions. This pool allows block producers to decide on what transactions to include based on how high their transaction fee is.

This structure keeps the blockchain light, but it also has some technical downsides. Mainly, the network has similar performance to Bitcoin in terms of speed with MINA capable of only 22 transactions per second (tps). Notably, it takes 15-confirmations for transaction finality to be achieved on the network.

There are three key participants on the Mina blockchain that work in tandem. Specifically, the network employs verifiers, block producers, and snarkers. Each of these users plays a vital role in keeping the network safe, valid, and light.


Anyone can become a verifier on the Mina Protocol. The primary purpose of these nodes is to hold the 22-kilobyte zero-knowledge proofs. As such, they play a crucial role in keeping the network secure and valid.

Block Producers

The second node operating on the Mina Protocol is called block producers. These users are responsible for storing the current state of the blockchain. They also send snapshots of the blockchain state to verifiers. Block Producers’ main responsibility is to create blocks containing transactions. For their efforts, they earn Mina tokens from transaction fees and block rewards.

Block Producer rewards are based on how much Mina they stake relative to other block producers. Regular MINA holders may also delegate their tokens to block producers to gain access to rewards. Uniquely, there are no minimum staking requirements or lock-up periods to become a block producer. In this way, Mina provides a more democratic strategy to the market.

Mina Protocol - zk-snarks

Mina Protocol – zk-snarks


The goal of Snarkers is to take snapshots of all the transactions. They capture the state of the entire blockchain as a lightweight snapshot and send that around versus the chain itself. In the Mina Protocol, Snarkers earn rewards paid by block producers using a cut of their block rewards. Snarkers are able to provide snapshots of transactions in parallel which improves the network efficiency greatly.

Archive Node

The final piece of the puzzle is Archive Nodes. This node is tasked with storing the entirety of the Mina Protocol’s blockchain history. They are a vital component of the network’s security features because they enable developers to reference archival node data seamlessly. Interestingly, this node data is stored on the Google Cloud.

Mina Foundation

The Mina Foundation is a non-profit organization tasked with expanding the Mina Protocol’s ecosystem and user base. This organization is based in the Cayman Islands and was incorporated in February 2021.


The Mina Protocol integrates an advanced proof of stake (PoS) mechanism. According to company documentation, this system is a modification of Cardano’s Ouroboros mechanism. The main benefit of this style of consensus is that it enables the network to host unlimited block producers.


MINA is the main utility and governance token for the network. Users can send value globally utilizing this token. You can stake MINA and secure passive rewards on the network. Notably, the token was launched with an initial supply of 1 billion tokens and no maximum supply. The system is designed to allow an annual inflation rate of 12%. Keenly, this will drop to 7% after two years.

History of Protocol Mina (MINA)

The Mina Protocol entered the market in 2017 and was launched from San Francisco, California. O(1) Labs is the development team behind the project. Originally, the network was called the Coda Protocol. The concept is the creation of two lifelong friends and computer scientists, Evan Shapiro and Izaac Meckler.

The Mina Protocol has had an excellent launch. The network was able to secure venture capital from Multicoin Capital, Polychain Capital, and Coinbase Ventures. In September 2020, the company was hit with a lawsuit regarding the similarity of its name to the Coda Blockchain. After the suit, the project was rebranded to the Mina Protocol.

In February 2021, the Mina Foundation and the Ethereum Foundation formed a strategic partnership. The goal of the project is to integrate Mina’s technology into Ethereum. Interestingly, Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder, is a long-time fan of the use of Zero-Knowledge Proofs (zk). Notably, the Mina mainnet went live this year after three years of Beta testing.

How to Buy Mina Protocol (MINA)

Kraken – This is the best option for all countries.

The Mina Protocol (MINA) – A Well Planned Solution for Tomorrows Blockchain Woes

You have to hand it to the developers behind the Mina Protocol. They are thinking farther ahead than most projects in the market. The concept of a super light blockchain that provides a truly decentralized experience for users will always be welcomed in the market. For this reason, the Mina Protocol is positioned excellently.

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Fx Analysis

Do Kwon, Founder & CEO of Terraform Labs – Interview Series



Do Kwon cofounded Terraform Labs to use blockchain technology to develop a more efficient payment system. Its eponymous price-stable cryptocurrency, or stablecoin, attracted 40 million users to work with the company at launch in January 2018. With the aim of building a blockchain-based payment system, Terra has raised $32 million from crypto-giants such as Binance, Arrington XRP and Polychain Capital, as well as assembling an alliance of commerce partners including Korean ticketing giant Ticketmonster and travel service Yanolja.

Why did you choose to focus on stablecoins when launching a blockchain company?

Stablecoins fulfill the currency mandate of cryptocurrencies and are one of the most compelling innovations in the entire industry. They offer significant advantages over fiat currencies derived from their shared infrastructure on blockchains, and are much easier to understand and serve as the basis for building user-friendly, outward-looking applications sourced from DeFi.

The demand for stablecoins on networks like Ethereum is aptly demonstrated by more than $100 billion in circulating stablecoins, as well as the idea that stablecoins are cannibalizing public blockchains as the preferred settlement medium (as opposed to volatile native tokens).

Terra stablecoins (e.g., UST), are fiat-pegged algorithmic stablecoins designed to be censorship-resistant, maintain robust peg assurances, and have a low cost of issuance. This makes Terra stablecoins an ideal inter-chain medium of exchange and value transfer that retains the primary advantages of the underlying blockchain. 

Could you discuss how fiat-pegged stablecoins are collateralized by the network’s native token LUNA?

The Terra Protocol functions somewhat similar to a central bank. However, the policy is replaced by code and community-governed. At a high level, Terra relies on the supply elasticity of LUNA to absorb the price dislocation of stablecoins like UST.

The Terra Protocol is quite simple:

  • When the supply of Terra stablecoins (like UST) goes up, the LUNA supply goes down.
  • When the supply of Terra stablecoins goes down, the LUNA supply goes up.

The Terra protocol acts as a market maker with the on-chain swap mechanism using LUNA to make the market. Like central banks, Terra defends its peg with actions in the open market. But it does so indirectly via arbitrage incentives.

For example, the Terra Protocol always enables on-chain swaps at the target exchange rate baked into the protocol, which is 1 UST for $1 worth of LUNA. Anyone can go to the market (i.e., the on-chain swap mechanism) and swap 1 UST for $1 worth of LUNA and vice versa. The on-chain exchange rate is fixed.

This means that sizeable waves of minting/burning UST (expanding or contracting the outstanding liabilities), induces one of two scenarios:

  • Seigniorage — Minting 1 UST requires burning $1 worth of LUNA — contracting the LUNA supply + expanding the UST supply.
  • Contraction — Redeeming 1 LUNA requires burning 1 UST — contracting the UST supply + expanding the LUNA supply.

Arbitragers take advantage of price dislocations of Terra stablecoin on-chain vs. off-chain venues (like exchanges). For example, if TerraUSD (UST) is trading at a premium on KuCoin, then a trader can mint 1 UST for $1 worth of LUNA on-chain and sell the 1 UST for a profit on Kucoin, concurrently applying downward pressure on the peg to restore its $1 parity when replicated many times and at size by market participants.

Notably, LUNA does not explicitly collateralize the outstanding liabilities (e.g., UST) of the network. Instead, it functions as the “mining power” of the network that absorbs the short-term peg volatility of the stablecoins — meaning that LUNA can “collateralize” the outstanding liabilities of UST on a fractional reserve basis when necessary. The system simply finances Terra stablecoin price-making via LUNA, which is making the price for Terra at a fixed exchange rate based on the oracle price — the on-chain swap mechanism.

You can read more granular details about the protocol here

What is Anchor Protocol precisely and how does it enable Terra stablecoin deposits to earn stable yield?

Anchor Protocol is a decentralized savings protocol and money market built on top of the Terra blockchain. Anchor offers UST depositors a stable 20% APY, which is sourced from the cash flows generated from yield-bearing staking derivatives used as collateral for UST-denominated loans on the borrower side.

Basically, borrowers deposit staking derivatives (or later, other yield-bearing assets) as collateral for loans denominated in UST. The yield from their collateral is passed onto borrowers based on the utilization ratio, where excess yield is drawn into the yield reserve to backstop the 20% APY deposit rate in case borrowing demand falls relative to deposit demand.

Anchor unlocks the potential of bonded staking capital of macro-entangled PoS blockchains, providing the benchmark, cross-chain reference rate for the formation of a DeFi-native interest rate curve.

The Anchor SDK enables projects and applications to easily integrate Anchor’s high-yield savings into their product in only a few lines of code, becoming the “Stripe for Savings” sourced from DeFi. With ETHAnchor, Anchor serves as a cross-chain locus of liquidity for high-yield savings where deposits in multiple stablecoins can capture yields better than the variable rates of most DeFi and centralized incumbents.

More information is available in the Anchor Docs

In 2019, Terra announced a partnership with a payments company called Chai. Could you share the use cases for Chai, its current market adoption rate, and how this partnership works?

CHAI was incubated by Terraform Labs and is now a separate company that relies on Terra stablecoins for its settlement infrastructure. Currently, CHAI has over 2 million+ active users and processes more than $2 billion in yearly transaction volume. With CHAI top-up, users in South Korea don’t even need a bank account anymore.

CHAI recently raised $60 million in a Series B.

In 2020, Terra launched Mirror Protocol, a DeFi protocol that allows for the creation and trading of synthetic assets. Could you elaborate on what Mirror Protocol is specifically and how it enables users to capitalize on the price movement of real world assets?

Mirror Protocol is a synthetic assets protocol built on Terra that enables on-chain exposure to any asset. Users can mint, trade, and provide liquidity for US tech equities, commodities, crypto assets, ETFs, and more all within a single interface.

Mirror is controlled by the community of MIR holders, meaning that the mirrored assets (mAssets) are voted in by the community and parameters registered for trading. mAssets track the price of real-world assets, with incentives designed to help them maintain parity with their underlying asset.

Notably, although mAssets do not provide direct ownership of an asset like a US tech stock, they allow people in financially disenfranchised regions to participate in the wealth creation of global markets by offering them price exposure. Additionally, with Mirror V2 set to launch next week, mAsset composability means that using Anchor UST (aUST) as collateral for minting mAssets enables users to gain price exposure to real world assets while accruing 20% APY from Anchor on top of their position. Composability enables other creative features too, such as minting mAssets with MIR as collateral, building auto-rebalancing ETFs of mAssets, and on-chain asset management platforms built on top of Mirror (e.g., Spar Finance).

Mirror, as opposed to most TradFi exchanges, taps into a global pool of potential users rather than one restricted by geographic barriers due to political issues, onerous fee structures, or other impediments to investing. 

How does Mirror differentiate itself from competing synthetic asset platforms?

Mirror deploys a different collateralization model than its primary competitor on Ethereum — Synthetix. For example, Mirror’s CDP positions for minting mAssets are siloed, meaning that the collateralization ratio can be lower (~150%) for UST deposits to mint mAssets. Additionally, Mirror is inter-chain, with mAssets exported beyond Terra to Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and soon to be several other chains. 

What’s next on the agenda for Terraform Labs?

On the near-term horizon, we’re launching our next major mainnet upgrade, Columbus-5, as well as Pylon and Nebula Protocol.

Pylon is a yield-bearing investment gateway, savings, and payments platform built on Anchor Protocol that deploys an innovative “payments-in-cashflow” value exchange model.

Nebula Protocol is an auto-rebalancing ETF protocol for launching and issuing creative ETFs that can contain community-determined allocations to synthetics, crypto assets, and more based on dynamic market conditions.

Beyond that, there are currently dozens of projects building on the Terra network that we’re helping support in any way necessary.

Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Terraform Labs.

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