OKEx integrates Lightning, $1,7 billion of Bitcoin darknet transactions and US pension fund exposed to BTC

3 min readFeb 3, 2021
Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

OKEx to integrate Bitcoin Lightning Network

Yesterday, OKEx announced the integration of the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling solution based on the Bitcoin blockchain, in the coming quarter.

With this solution the exchange will be able to dramatically decrease transaction fees and times, improving user experience on the exchange.

As OKEx becomes a participant node in the Lightning Network, users will be able to select the Lightning Network option when depositing and withdrawing BTC. Lightning is a web of payment channels in which satoshi’s are locked, and thus can be moved off-chain.

They follow OKCoin and Kraken which are also planning to integrate ‘LN’ in H1 of 2021. At the moment of writing, Bitfinex is the only top-tier exchange which has already finished the integration.

Source: PRnewswire

Research about Bitcoin used for darknet payments

Chainalysis recently published a small part of their Crypto Crime Report, specifically talking about darknets and the use of cryptocurrencies.

Darknet markets set a new revenue record in 2020, bringing in a total of $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency. Interestingly, this record comes as individual purchases from darknet markets declined, falling from 12.2 million in 2019 to fewer than 10 million in 2020.

Standard exchanges, peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges, high-risk exchanges, and other darknet markets account for nearly all of the cryptocurrency sent to darknet markets. Interestingly, 2020 has seen standard exchanges send a larger share of total darknet market revenue — about 46% in 2020 versus 30% in 2019 — while P2P exchanges’ share has declined significantly

Source: Chainalysis

California pension fund bought shares in Bitcoin mining company in Q4

The largest public pension in the U.S. bought more RIOT shares for the first time since 2017.

California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) held 113,034 shares in RIOT worth over $1.9 million at the end of 2020, according to Tuesday filings. That’s up from Q3 2020, when CalPERS’ 16,907 RIOT shares were worth a comparatively minuscule $49,000.

The largest public pension fund in the U.S. had been holding firm on its nearly 17 thousand RIOT shares since acquiring them during the bull run in late 2017. That position seldom varied until now.

Source: CoinDesk

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