Wednesday, March 31, 2021

This is how to make — and lose — a fortune with NFTs

Title: This is how to make — and lose — a fortune with NFTs
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Published Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 17:48:08 +0100

The Pelicans Will Keep Lonzo Round As Well As Business JJ Redick To Dallas

The New Orleans Pelicans had two players, Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick, who were viewed as extremely available ahead of the 2021 NBA trade deadline. According to reports, half of that pair will stay in the Bayou while the other is on his way out of town in a trade that came in just under the wire.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Redick is on his way to Dallas. While details are still trickling out, Charania reports that the Spurs are involved and Trey Lyles was — at first — heading to the Mavericks. Tim Cato of The Athletic likewise added some pieces on the move in this deal, including Wes Iwundu and James Johnson heading to New Orleans. But those tweets were later deleted, as the deal continues to take shape.

Redick has not been a consistent member of the Pelicans’ rotation, and this year, he’s connecting on a career-worst 36.4 percent of his threes. His hope will assuredly be that going to Dallas, which has needed floor spacing after moving on from Seth Curry in the summer, will lead to a more consistent role and help him get back into the rhythm that has turned him into one of the best marksmen in league history.

As for Ball, he’s not going anywhere, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

No Lonzo Ball trade, sources tell ESPN. He's staying in New Orleans.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021

Ball has played fantastic basketball this year — 14.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 31.7 minutes per game — and is slated to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this year. While there was believed to be plenty of interest in the ability to acquire him and have the right to match any offer he signs this offseason, that power will stay with the Pelicans.

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"Hey there, close friends": Jim Nantz accepts remain along with CBS Athletics

Check out this piece by Joe Reedy from The Denver Post talking about several important happenings this week. Joe Reedy recently posted this and I thought it was a great post for publishing on this website.

Jim Nantz’s familiar introduction of “Hello friends” will continue to be heard on CBS for years to come.

Nantz and CBS Sports reached agreement on a new deal Thursday. The deal was first reported by the “Sports Business Journal”

CBS spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle confirmed the agreement but did not comment on the terms.

The 61-year old Nantz has been with CBS since 1985. He has been the lead announcer for the NCAA Tournament since 1991 and has worked the Masters since 1986. He has also been the lead voice for the network’s coverage of the NFL since 2002 and called his seventh Super Bowl last month.

Nantz’s contract, which was worth $6.5 million a year, was going to expire this spring. Some wondered if he would choose to leave CBS after his NFL partner Tony Romo signed a new contract worth $17.5 million a year, but that wasn’t the case.

A big reason for that is Nantz’s love of calling the Masters. He said last year that he would like to be calling the tournament until 2035 and possibly beyond. Nantz would turn 75 that year, and that would also be 50 Masters calls for him.

“I used to joke around in speaking engagements: I know my retirement date already. God willing, my health stays well, and CBS willing, that April 8, 2035, would be the way I would love to close out my career,” he said. “But here we are all of a sudden and that’s now well within sight. I’m feeling really young. Got a couple of young kids who are 4- and 6-years old. That date is way too close for me to be talking about retirement. So, I would like to push it out for another, who knows, several years at least.”

CU Buffs using player-friendly anticipate self defense

Take a look at this post by Brian Howell from The Denver Post discussing several important events this week. Brian Howell recently posted the article and I thought it was a great post for posting here.

For the past few years, the Colorado football team has had a “base” 3-4 defense.

New defensive coordinator Chris Wilson employed a 4-3 scheme when he was in the same role at Mississippi State several years ago.

So, will the 2021 Buffaloes’ base defense be a 3-4 or a 4-3?

“I would say we’re probably both,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said.

In reality, the Buffs’ defense will cater more to the skills of the players rather than to a particular scheme.

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“We have a plan, and it’s built around our players, the things that they can do well,” said Wilson, who was promoted to coordinator this winter and is beginning his second year coaching the Buffs’ defensive line. “Then, being complimentary enough where it’s difficult for offenses, but simple for us.”

Under the direction of previous defensive coordinator Tyson Summers, the Buffs showed improvement from the 2019 season to 2020. According to multiple people within the program, however, it was a complicated system to learn.

Dorrell and Wilson have both used the term “player friendly” to describe the new defensive plan.

“Here’s what I know: schemes are predicated off of players,” Wilson said. “If all the systems were great, everybody would call the same plays all the time. It comes down to doing what our guys can do. My biggest deal is to make sure I do a great job of identifying and evaluating our best players, and that’s the ultimate goal.

“Secondly is doing a great job of knowing our opponent, and being able to find their deficiencies, as well as the things that we may be deficient on. Those subtleties can steal downs for you, and if you steal a couple of downs within a game, you win a game.”

Knowing the opponent is part of why the Buffs aren’t going to be tied to a particular base defense. Although the Buffs have had a 3-4 base in recent years, they have often used two, three or four down linemen at various times in games. The Buffs seek even more versatility this year.

“We have to be multiple on defense,” Dorrell said. “You can’t really say you can play an odd front for the whole football game. We’re going to be able to play 3-4 systems, four-down systems. We’ve obviously got sub packages, things like that – just depending on what the offense presents to our defense.”

Regardless of the alignment on a given play or series, Wilson’s goal is to help the players easily understand the plan so they can let their talent take over.

“When a guy knows what to do, and he knows how to do it, he plays fast,” Wilson said. “That’s why your systems have to be complimentary enough where they can analyze quickly and play fast.”

Last season, the Buffs ranked among the best teams in the country on third downs (13th, 31.76% conversion rate) and in tackles for loss (seventh, 8.17 per game).

On the other hand, CU allowed 42 plays of 20-plus yards and forced just eight turnovers during the six-game season – with half of those coming in the opener against UCLA. Playing fast can help to improve those numbers and the overall production of the defense.

“We’re going to be whatever we need to be every week to get our best players on the field, and to take away the things, hopefully, that these offenses do pretty well,” Wilson said.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement for us to become a dominating defense. If we can take the ball from people, not wait for a mistake, but we can take the ball from people, now we’re a dominant football team.”

To get there, the Buffs will lean on the talent of the roster. Wilson, in a coordinator role for the first time since 2010-12 at Mississippi State, is excited for the challenge of helping the Buffs become dominant.

“This is my second opportunity to do this, so I have a lot of experience there,” he said. “I had a chance to do it at Mississippi State, in an elite conference just like the Pac-12. The thing is doing the things that your guys can do, and number two is being able to identify and develop your systems, and that’s the most important thing.

“This is great opportunity. Obviously it’s not something that you take lightly but I’m very fortunate that I’m around a really, really good group of men, really good teachers and mentors.”

Bitcoin flash crashes by $2K in 5 minutes, liquidating $600M in longs

Bitcoin (BTC) fell over $2,000 in five minutes on March 31 as a wave of volatility disrupted an otherwise calm market.

BTC/USD 1-minute candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

BTC sees sudden volatility

Cointelegraph Markets Pro and Tradingview showed a nightmare for long traders unfold on Wednesday, with BTC/USD suddenly dropping from $59,350 to $57,000.

At the time of writing, the losses were still mounting after the pair hit lows of $56,713 on Bitstamp. 

"Exactly Bitcoin," trader Michaël van de Poppe reacted to what has become a familiar event on short timeframes for Bitcoin.

Previously, upside had been the focus for day traders as news from PayPal spawned a run-up to just below $60,000.

Those betting on a continuation of the bull run lost big on Wednesday, however, as the downturn liquidated long positions worth $600 million amid a 24-hour total wipeout of $1 billion.

For quant analyst PlanB, their demise was nonetheless beneficial, helping to rid the market of unwanted leverage and ensure more organic future rises. As Cointelegraph reported, similar events have occurred with both long and short positions in recent months.

"Beautiful stop loss hunting .. again," he commented on Twitter.

"Now that all leveraged longs are liquidated, we finally have room for breaking $60K in April."

Funding rates creep up

Meanwhile, indicators showed reason to believe that further price increases for Bitcoin would need some work.

Funding rates across derivatives platforms were higher on the day, reaching as high as 0.375% on Huobi, a classic sign that downward pressure is incoming.

Bitcoin funding rates vs. BTC/USD chart. Source: Bybt

The longer-term picture remains more than positive, with analysts pointing to $68,000 and $73,000 as the next hurdles to watch.

Title: Bitcoin flash crashes by $2K in 5 minutes, liquidating $600M in longs
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Published Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 09:34:44 +0100

Pac-12's rousing NCAA tourney run a fight of emotional states for CU Buffs

Check out this article by Pat Rooney from The Denver Post discussing several important events for the week. Pat Rooney recently published this and I thought it was a great post for posting here.

Even the picturesque view that greets Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle upon arrival at his office every day failed to soothe Boyle’s recent bout with March sadness.

It has been a few busy days around the office, as Boyle recently concluded his year-end, one-on-one interviews with the Buffaloes following a season that ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. With two scholarships at CU’s disposal and the transfer portal bursting with possibilities, there hasn’t been any downtime in the basketball offices.

Still, as Boyle and his staff dived into the critical offseason business like recruiting, it has been difficult to fend off a few pangs of regret. While it has been a remarkable run for the Pac-12 Conference in the tournament, and one much-needed for a league that has trended the wrong direction nationally for years, the Buffs probably can’t watch the games without thinking how easily it could have been them playing in the Big Dance’s final acts.

Against the four Pac-12 teams that reached the Sweet 16, the Buffs posted a 7-3 record this season, including regular-season sweeps of USC and Oregon State. One the one hand, it shows a CU program still loaded with young talent isn’t that far away from college basketball’s elite. On the other, such opportunities don’t arrive every year.

“I parked my car (Monday) morning and saw the Flatirons and the beautiful sunshine, and I just had a pit in my stomach like, ‘Aw, we should be playing still,’” Boyle said. “We were 6-2 against Elite 8 teams, 7-3 against Sweet 16 teams. We’re good enough to be playing this weekend. But we’re not. That’s the irony of the NCAA basketball tournament.

“Creighton loses to Georgetown by (25) in the Big East tournament and we turn around and beat Georgetown by whatever the number was (23) in the first round. And there Creighton is in the Sweet 16. That’s the beauty and the agony of the NCAA Tournament. As I walked from my car to the office, it was agony. We should be playing right now. And we could be playing right now. But we’re not. But you know what? There’s a lot of teams that aren’t playing. That’s the fine line between winning and losing. The same is true of the NCAA Tournament. It’s a fine line between getting in the tournament and not getting in the tournament. A fine line between Sweet 16 and final 32.”

The Pac-12 went a perfect 5-0 in the First Four games plus the first round (not including Oregon advancing after VCU was unable to play due to coronavirus issues) and the Buffs’ loss against Florida State proved to be the league’s only misstep in the second round. Oregon State’s stirring run ended in the Elite Eight on Monday night, and on Tuesday both UCLA and USC were set to play for spots in the Final Four.

It isn’t lost on Boyle, or his team, that the Trojans have made a historic run while having not beaten the Buffs since 2018.

“The Pac-12 has had an unbelievable showing and I’m really proud of our league and happy for everyone who advances,” Boyle said. “You beat up on each other during the season, so I’m glad the league is doing well and gaining some respect nationally. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t (tough).”

Bitcoin nears all-time highs — Here's why $73K is the next key level to watch

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) saw a correction in the run-up to the record options expiry last Friday. However, nothing happened despite some expecting a massive move on the same day. The actual correction occurred before the event. On the day itself, Bitcoin’s price has bottomed out and began to rally.

The ongoing rally above $59,000 is being fueled by bullish news from Visa and PayPal as both are getting into Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments. Put differently, the market is very much in the middle of the bull cycle and any correction is a blessing to traders and investors.

Critical support zone holds for more upside

BTC/USDT 3-day chart. Source: TradingView

As the chart above shows, the critical support area between $49,500 and $51,000 was just tested last week. Since the support held, another higher low was made, resulting in renewed upward momentum, which is playing out this wee.

The entire structure since September is massively bullish when the market broke above $12,000 and started to accelerate. The previous higher low was made at $42,000, which then became the critical support area to hold. As Bitcoin’s price didn’t even need such a heavy correction this time around, the recent low at $49,500-$51,000 can be classified as the new higher low.

Therefore, the next points of interest can be made through the Fibonacci extension, where $73,000 and $92,000 become the next points of interest if Bitcoin’s price breaks above the current all-time high at around $61,000.

The total market cap looks bullish

Total market capitalization cryptocurrency 3-day chart. Source: TradingView

The total market capitalization shows a similar support test as the $1.5 trillion levels were critical to hold.

Since the total market cap of crypto survived that correction, more upside is very likely as the all-time high regions will be tested.

If further strength is being demonstrated, the next points of interest for the total market cap can be found at $2.2 trillion, which is also confirmed by the Fibonacci extension.

Bitcoin dominance chart approaches a critical zone

BTC Dominance 3-day chart. Source: TradingView

The dominance chart of Bitcoin shows a critical breaker for more downside. If the dominance drops below 60%, an assumption can be made that a sharp drop will occur toward 50%.

That’s not unlikely to happen since the summer period is often very favorable for altcoins. 2020 saw big rallies during this period, and investors remember the summer of 2017.

History may certainly repeat once more as many altcoin charts are looking bullish for breakouts against Bitcoin. Therefore, for alt season to happen, the price of Bitcoin must be relatively stable or slowly grind upward, which is currently the case.

possible scenario for Bitcoin

BTC 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour chart of Bitcoin shows a clear uptrend since its recent bottom at $50,000.

However, several critical support levels are being established during this rebound. Right now, the important area to hold is $56,000. As long as that region maintains support, more upside is likely for the market. This puts new all-time highs and potentially $73,000 on the table.

On the upside, the critical area to break is shown by the red box, specifically $59,000-$60,000. Until then, altcoins will probably continue to gain momentum, and even if Bitcoin makes new all-time highs, altcoins will most likely follow suit.

author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Title: Bitcoin nears all-time highs — Here's why $73K is the next key level to watch
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Published Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 16:00:00 +0100

Oops! A 100% Bitcoin hodl outperformed CNBC's 2017 altcoin basket by 170%

Bitcoin (BTC) has produced phenomenal returns most years, but when it comes to maximizing them, it's best just to buy and hodl.

That was the conclusion from new data circulating on social media this week, which casts serious doubt on the merits of following investment advice from mainstream media.

Don't believe the hype?

Under the microscope was CNBC, which in 2017 offered viewers an investment portfolio made up of 30% Bitcoin and 70% altcoins.

Four years later, those who invested $10,000 at the time now have around $52,300. Had they just bought and hodled Bitcoin, however, they would have over $140,000.

"The 30% #BTC allocation is responsible for 75% of the return," Twitter account StatsBTC, which uploaded the numbers, noted in comments.

CNBC's portfolio came courtesy of well-known pundit Brian Kelly, months before it hit then all-time highs of $20,000. Altcoins also saw peaks, months later in early 2018, with most only to crash and never recover.

Subsequently, the network gained an unenviable reputation for acting as a buy signal for investors — ironically by telling them not to invest in Bitcoin. The same fate has since befallen the likes of gold bug Peter Schiff.

As Cointelegraph reported, fellow host Jim Cramer, on the other hand, has embraced Bitcoin thanks to persuasion from Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano. His investment, thought to be around $500,000, has made Cramer "a ton of money," he said earlier this month.

ll hail the king

Meanwhile, even a longer-term HODL strategy will have suffered from exposure to altcoins at the expense of its Bitcoin presence.

According to Bob Simon, owner of the StatsBTC account, $100 divided equally between Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP, Dogecoin and Peercoin in March 2014 would now be worth $6,000. A Bitcoin-only punt, by contrast, would sell for $12,130.

"An equally weighted basket of the top 5 cryptocurrencies has underperformed Bitcoin by over 50% over the past 7 years," he summarized.

Bitcoin vs. mixed investment returns. Source: Bob Simon/ Twitter

Analysts still believe that this coming summer will produce huge gains for altcoins, with one arguing that a peak price "Alt Season 2.0" has already begun.

Title: Oops! A 100% Bitcoin hodl outperformed CNBC's 2017 altcoin basket by 170%
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Published Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 17:00:00 +0100

Bullish traders cast low-risk Ethereum options bets with this clever strategy

Ether (ETH) has been making higher lows throughout 2021, and the current trend indicates that $1,800 might be the bottom for April. Even traders and investors who do not rely on technicals have become optimists after Visa initiated a pilot to settle transactions in USD Coin (USDC) through the Ethereum network.

Ether price in USD at Coinbase. Source: TradingView

Given that Ether's price is looking like it's ready to pursue new yearly highs, there's a few investment options on the table. Buying and holding is an excellent strategy, as well as a leveraged long position up to 2x. The problem lies on the downside, as a 20% move would result in a 40% loss using futures contracts. Not to mention there is not much room for additional leverage as it requires a considerable upfront.

On the other hand, options strategies provide excellent opportunities for traders who have a fixed-range target. For example, for those expecting a moderate 15% price increase in thirty days, the 'Iron Condor' strategy provides 12% gains with minimal upfront funds required. This strategy also limits the downside to 10%, regardless of how the asset performs.

This bullish strategy consists of buying 10 Ether worth of $1,600 put options while simultaneously selling the same amount of $2,240 calls. To finalize the trade, the buyer will sell 7.5 Ether worth of $2,080 put options and balance it by buying 8 Ether contracts of $2,880 call.

Unlike perpetual futures (inverse swaps), options have a set expiry date, so the expected outcome must happen during the defined period.

The Ether (ETH) calendar option below refers to the April 30 expiry, but this strategy can also be used on Bitcoin (BTC) or applied on a different time frame.

Derivatives exchanges price these contracts in Ether, meaning the displayed profits and losses are calculated by Ether fractions at the expiry date.

Profit / Loss estimate. Source: Deribit Position Builder

Considering that Ether is currently trading at $1,810, any outcome between $1,790 and $2,545 (up 40.6%) yields a net gain. For example, a 15% price increase to $2,080 results in a 1.2 ETH net gain, or $2,500.

Meanwhile, this strategy's maximum loss is 1.04 ETH, which will happen if the price on April 30 is below $1,600 (down 12%) or above $2,545.

The Iron Condor strategy allure is the potential 1.2 ETH gain while losses are limited below $1,600 at expiry.

Overall this conservative strategy yields a much better risk-reward compared to leveraged futures trading because of the limited downside. The upfront cost (deposit) is 1.04 ETH, and this also reflects the maximum potential loss.

author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Title: Bullish traders cast low-risk Ethereum options bets with this clever strategy
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Published Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 19:30:45 +0100

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Chambers: Avalanche rich along with NHL potential customers in NCAA Competition

This is an interesting piece by Mike Chambers from The Denver Post talking about some important points this week. Mike Chambers recently published this and I decided it was a great post for syndicating on this website.

Before COVID protocol reared its ugly head, there were 106 NHL draft picks scheduled to participate in the NCAA Tournament. And, the Avalanche originally had an NHL-most eight prospects in the 16-team field — including 2019 first-round draft pick Alex Newhook of Boston College.

COVID protocol trimmed that list to five Avs prospects after Notre Dame was forced to withdraw from its regional opener on Saturday against BC in Albany, N.Y. Fighting Irish junior defensemen Nate Clurman and Nick Leivermann and freshman forward Ryder Rolston were late-round draft picks by the Avs in 2016, 2017 and 2020, respectively. Clurman, from Boulder, is Notre Dame’s co-captain.

Newhook and the Eagles — who feature two other Avs draftees in defenseman Drew Helleson and forward Colby Ambrosio — get a free pass to the regional final on Sunday and will play the St. Cloud State-Boston University winner.

Michigan also withdrew from the tournament on Friday because of COVID, sending Minnesota-Duluth to the regional final in Fargo, N.D.

Back to Newhook, the elite 19-year-old forward who could conceivably sign his NHL entry-level contract with the Avs the day after the Eagles are eliminated or win the national title. Colorado is rich with top-six scoring forwards and doesn’t need its top prospect to help it win games this season.

But the Avs might want Newhook to come in next month, play a limited number of games to prevent him from burning the first year of his ELC, and replace pending unrestricted free agent Brandon Saad next season. The Avs are paying the 28-year-old Saad $5 million this season, and if Newhook steps in his cap hit will be around $900,000.

That savings could help Colorado re-sign left wing Gabe Landeskog and goalie Philipp Grubauer, both pending UFAs, and defenseman Cale Makar, a restricted free agent.

Newhook was originally among 12 first-round draft picks in the NCAA Tournament, and among the three playing for BC. Eagles forward Matt Boldy and goalie Spencer Knight are top prospects for the Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers, respectively.

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The Avalanche’s main scouting interest this weekend is probably in Loveland at the Budweiser Events Center, where the top-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers open against Nebraska-Omaha. Minnesota’s leading scorer Sampo Ranta, a 20-year-old junior forward, was selected by the Avs in the third round (78th overall) in 2018. And Colorado chose Mavericks junior forward Tyler Weiss in the fourth round (109th overall) in the same draft.

Ranta’s 18 goals are tied for second nationally behind Wisconsin sophomore Cole Caufield, the likely Hobey Baker Award winner. Ranta, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, will undoubtedly make a joint decision with the Avs on where he should play next season — the Gophers or the AHL’s Colorado Eagles in Loveland.

Avs coach Jared Bednar said Friday that general manager Joe Sakic and assistant GM Chris MacFarland plan on attending the Minnesota-Omaha game.

“Certainly wishing our guys luck,” Bednar said of all the Avs’ prospects. “I know Newhook is having a real good season and I’ve seen quite a few highlights on Sampo Ranta.”

Broncos Expert: Theoretically, Denver currently possesses one of the NFL's finest secondaries

Take a look at this article by Kyle Newman from The Denver Post talking about some important news items this week. Kyle Newman recently published the article and I thought it was a great post for publishing here.

This offseason, the Broncos’ secondary has gone from a relative weakness to an obvious strength.

Thanks to four moves by GM George Paton, Denver’s secondary sets up to be one of the NFL’s best in 2021 after the unit ranked tied for 16th in net passing yards allowed in 2020 (237.9) and tied-23rd with just 10 interceptions.

At safety, Paton held on to the Broncos’ two pillars, Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson. Already one of the league’s top safety tandems, Simmons and Jackson will have a third season to grow together after Simmons signed a four-year, $61 million deal (making him the NFL’s highest-paid at the position) and Jackson came back on a one-year, $5 million contract.

Simmons, who led the team with five picks last year, is coming off consecutive elite seasons in which he earned second-team All-Pro in 2019 and a Pro Bowl nod in ’20. An underrated run defender, Simmons has been solid in coverage, hasn’t missed a defensive snap since 2017 and believes he still has his best football ahead of him.

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Jackson, meanwhile, has also been an ironman over the last two seasons by starting all but three games. The hard-hitter who plays much bigger than his 5-foot-10, 183-pound frame has three interceptions during that time and, for the most part, has been reliable in coverage.

But where the Broncos made the most improvement over the past couple of weeks is at cornerback, a position that’s been marked by instability during coach Vic Fangio’s tenure. Paton signed two of the top corners on the market, free agent Ronald Darby for three-years, $30 million and Kyle Fuller for one-year, $9.5 million after he was cut by Chicago in a cap-saving move.

With Simmons, Jackson, Darby and Fuller as the defensive backs in the base scheme, Bryce Callahan will move to nickel back in sub-packages. Callahan played well across 10 games last year before his season was ended by a foot injury, and a different foot injury cost him all of 2019. Second-year pro Michael Ojemudia (who went through baptism-by-fire as a rookie) will provide quality depth, as will Essang Bassey once he’s rehabbed from his ACL injury.

Now, it’s up to the unit to turn its potential on paper into an elite performance in 2021.

— Kyle Newman, The Denver Post

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The Patriots Have Opened Their Free Agent Checkbooks. But Will It Assist Them Succeed?

Take a look at this post by Josh Hermsmeyer from talking about several important news items this week. Josh Hermsmeyer recently posted this and I thought it was well worth syndicating here.

In what has been perhaps the biggest surprise of NFL free agency this offseason, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots became buyers. One year removed from Tom Brady’s departure, and his subsequent Super Bowl championship in Tampa Bay, New England engaged in the NFL equivalent of retail therapy and embarked on an historic shopping spree. But will it be enough?

The Patriots’ list of new contracts numbers 15 so far, second in the league behind the Houston Texans. Heading up the list is edge rusher and former Baltimore Ravens fifth-round pick Matt Judon, who scored a deal worth $13.6 million per year over four seasons. Belichick also added the two most versatile and highly sought after tight ends in this year’s free agent class — Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry — giving each $12.5 million per year. Cam Newton was brought back at $5.1 million for just one season, and Kyle Van Noy was reunited with the Patriots after a year in Miami.8

What Jonnu about Judon?
Free agents signed in the 2021 offseason to the New England Patriots by average contract value per year

PlayerPositionYearsAvg Per YearMatt JudonEDGE4$13,625,000Jonnu SmithTE4$12,500,000Hunter HenryTE3$12,500,000Nelson AgholorWR2$11,000,000Davon GodchauxDT2$7,500,000Jalen MillsS4$6,000,000Kyle Van NoyOLB2$6,000,000Deatrich WiseDE4$5,500,000Cam NewtonQB1$5,100,000Kendrick BourneWR3$5,000,000David AndrewsC4$4,750,000Henry AndersonDT2$3,500,000Cody DavisS2$2,150,000Nick FolkPK1$1,225,000Carl DavisDT1$1,077,500Source: overthecap

Even though the signing season isn’t over yet, the Patriots have spent more in free agency than any team since at least 2014, according to data provided by Jason Fitgerald at Over the Cap. The Patriots of old — teams that had the benefit of the best quarterback in NFL history on the roster — were typically frugal spenders in free agency. From 2014 through 2020, the Patriots spent less than the average NFL team9 in free agency in six of those seven years.10

The last time New England was relatively profligate was back in 2014, when they added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to their defensive backfield. But they blew well past that mark this season, more than doubling their free agency spending in annual contract value.

But the big question that looms over One Patriot Place after a disappointing 7-9 season is: Will it matter? Does spending big in free agency lead to actual on-field wins?

To try and get an idea, we looked at Over the Cap data from 2015 through 2020 and found a moderate correlation between cap-adjusted spending and win improvement compared to the previous season.11 Where things get interesting is if we look at the teams that spent 50 million or more in free agency — which represents roughly the top 10 percent of team spending since 2015 in annual contract value12 — and calculate the average change in wins from one season to the next, we again find that those 21 teams saw an improvement of 3.2 wins.

Does big spending lead to more wins?
The top 10 percent of NFL teams in cap-adjusted* free agency spending, sorted by total spending, 2015-20

teamseasonWinsWin diff.pythag difffree agencyDolphins20201055.8$73.5mBills20191044.867.2Bears2017521.467.0Browns2018773.965.4Panthers2020501.662.3Chiefs20191200.762.2Jets20184-1-0.361.9Jets20151065.060.1Raiders2015743.859.3Raiders2019731.458.8Jaguars20163-2-0.558.8Jets2019730.256.7Raiders2020811.855.3Jaguars20171075.955.1Giants20161151.354.9Bills20201330.852.9Texans201690-2.352.2Packers20191372.351.649ers2017642.451.4Lions202052-0.951.2Bears20181275.350.0*In 2020 salary cap-adjusted dollars.

Source: overthecap

If we adjust for some of the luck by using Pythagorean win expectation, the increase drops to 2.1 wins on average, which is less exciting, to be sure. But at least it’s still positive. 

And while this is a classic case of cherry-picking the data, desperate times may call for desperate measures in New England. Watching Brady win it all while his former team had its first losing season since 2000 can’t feel great for a competitor like Belichick. So perhaps it helps in a small way to explain why the Patriots felt emboldened to open their wallet this year. Besides, a spending spree is fun — especially on the company credit card.

Bitcoin falls to two-week lows as $6 billion in options set to expire — What’s next?

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price has been in retreat, down 20% since the recent all-time high at $62,000 in mid-March. As crypto markets are frequently volatile, this may very well be another normal pullback within the current bull cycle. 

Corrections are needed to generate strength for further upward momentum as markets can’t go up in a straight line. Additionally, a record $6 billion expiration of options is expected on March 26, which often brings some volatility. 

It is also quite common for the market's momentum to shift momentum once the options expiration date comes and goes.

$53K level has to become support to gain bullish momentum

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows an apparent downtrend since the recent all-time high at $62,000 with bearish support/resistance flips. 

Regardless, Bitcoin’s price has rejected the critical resistance zone at $56,500 in the latest rally after Tesla announced it has started accepting (and holding) BTC in the United States for its vehicles. As that price level couldn’t break for more upside, renewed tests of the $53,000 support zone were inevitable.

Given that the $53,000 support zone has been tested multiple times in recent weeks, it became likely that this level may not hold this time around. Therefore, the price collapsed on March 25 and dropped to as low as $51,500. 

Hence, Bitcoin’s price must now regain the $53,200-$53,800 area to revive any bullish momentum in the near term. If that doesn’t happen, it’s likely to see more downside to the next support zone between $49,500 and $51,500.

Overall structure still heavily bullish

BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The daily chart for BTC/USD still paints a bullish outlook showing consistent higher lows and higher highs. In that perspective, a correction to as low as $44,000 would still mean that the bullish construction remains valid.

In that regard, Bitcoin’s price currently has massive support between $49,500 and $51,500 and is unlikely to fall further.

Additionally, the bearish divergence isn’t confirmed until the market starts to make lower lows and lower highs below $44,000, as previously stated.

Dollar showing strength

U.S. Dollar Currency Index 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The U.S. Dollar is showing strength once again as the yields are also running up substantially. So it's not surprising to see risk assets falling, namely commodities and cryptocurrencies as well.

A rebounding USD is typically bearish for crypto markets, particularly in the short term. But this latest uptick in the dollar is likely temporary because it's entering strong resistance. Moreover, the structure still shows lower lows and lower highs, meaning that a trend reversal should be expected relatively soon.

Thus, if the dollar's momentum is halted, more upside for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market becomes likely.

possible scenario for Bitcoin

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart for Bitcoin shows a downtrend, in which a retest of the $53,200-53,800 will likely be rejected. Therefore, more downside is the most likely scenario in this current price construction in the near term.

The green zone shown in the chart above is the area to watch for a potential bullish divergence or immediate bounce. If such a move occurs, the ideal scenario for the bulls would then be to establish a higher low.

Once such a higher low is established, Bitcoin’s price will be primed to continue climbing with the next points of interest at $68,000 and $82,000.

author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Title: Bitcoin falls to two-week lows as $6 billion in options set to expire — What’s next?
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Published Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 11:26:00 +0000

Bitcoin jumps past $59K as PayPal launches crypto payments at 29M merchants

Bitcoin (BTC) neared $60,000 on March 30 after PayPal confirmed that it had formally launched  cryptocurrency payments.

BTC/USD 1-minute candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

PayPal: Crypto is now "legitimate funding source"

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and Tradingview showed BTC/USD hitting a ten-day high on Tuesday as details appeared in the mainstream press.

According an exclusive report from Reuters, PayPal is set to release a formal announcement later on the day in which it will unveil its long-awaited cryptocurrency payment feature for U.S. customers.

The company caused a stir last year when it confirmed its venture into crypto, with the rollout ultimately set to extend to all users and 29 million merchants.

“This is the first time you can seamlessly use cryptocurrencies in the same way as a credit card or a debit card inside your PayPal wallet,” President and CEO Dan Schulman told Reuters.

While PayPal will not focus solely on Bitcoin, BTC price action reacted favorably to the reports, passing February's prior all-time high of $58,300 to manage $59,200 at the time of writing.

A look at orderbook data from Binance showed sellers still lined up between current spot price and historic highs of $61,700.

Continuing, PayPal referenced a watershed moment for cryptocurrencies in general, with Schulman describing them as a "legitimate funding source."

“We think it is a transitional point where cryptocurrencies move from being predominantly an asset class that you buy, hold and or sell to now becoming a legitimate funding source to make transactions in the real world at millions of merchants,” he added.

Woo: Bitcoin heading to "millions of dollars"

Long a skeptic, PayPal's official line now chimes with some of Bitcoin's most forward proponents. Among the most bullish long-term forecasts this week was that from statistician Willy Woo, who in an interview said that a single Bitcoin would ultimately become worth "millions of dollars."

"There's no way that Bitcoin's going to stop at the market cap of gold, which is $10 trillion; it's going to go a lot higher, which means that we're going to be going into the millions of dollars per coin," he told Real Vision's Laura Shin.

Also featuring was veteran trader Peter Brandt, who in a now widely-circulated comment said that he had completely changed his perspective on Bitcoin. 

"My mindset has changed... from bitcoin as a trade to bitcoin as a measure of wealth," he said.

Title: Bitcoin jumps past $59K as PayPal launches crypto payments at 29M merchants
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Published Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 11:05:41 +0100

Draymond Green And Also Tony Allen Went At It On Twitter Over Who's The Much better Guardian

Getty Image

The Golden State Warriors wouldn’t have won three championships without Draymond Green doing what he does best. His impact as a defender, facilitator, and motivator is not something that’s easily quantified, which is partly what leaves him open to the type of criticism he’s received from Charles Barkley and others who would minimize his contributions based solely on stat lines.

A big part of his impact comes from his enormous versatility as a defender. His feel, his awareness, and his ability to anticipate what the opposing team is going to do and react accordingly allows him to wreak havoc on the court. He truly belongs up there with the greats when you start mentioning the best defenders of all-time.

But the very best? Not so fast, says one of his contemporaries. Tony Allen, the Grindfather himself, took exception to Green’s recent comments that he believes himself to be the best defender in NBA history.

BIG !!! Who stamped you? Who you clamp!?

In the words of Jay Z! “We don’t believe u, u need more people!” @money23green

— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) March 23, 2021

And Allen brings up a salient point when asked about who’s given Green their stamp of approval, a reference to the fact that none other than Kobe Bryant once pegged Allen as the best defender he’s ever faced. It’s hard to argue with that kind of endorsement. But Green, of course, wasn’t going to take that lying down.

I was waiting on you to stamp me Big homie, but your stamp book started running low in 2015 when we used you against your team on the way to my 1ST championship.

— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) March 23, 2021

Ouch. Allen walked right into that one. What was shaping up to be a competitive series between the Grizzlies and Warriors in 2015 did indeed quickly turn south when Golden State simply stopped guarding Allen when he had the ball, effectively neutralizing his impact. However, Allen made sure to fire back one more time about Green’s own shooting struggles, saying the Warriors are playing “4-on-5” now.

Like yo stamp book now? Because it’s 4 on 5 out there right now my boy! #CallKlay

— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) March 23, 2021

None of this exactly settles the dispute over who is the better defender, but it’s quite entertaining. In the end, it’s largely subjective, and players from other eras, like Scottie Pippen or Hakeem Olajuwon, would probably have something to say about it as well. Both Green and Allen are great in their own respect, regardless of GOAT status.

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South Korea's 'Kimchi premium' is back: Is the Bitcoin rally starting to heat up?

The "Kimchi premium" is back. Bitcoin (BTC) is trading more than 6% higher across major South Korean crypto exchanges as of March 29.

Data from CryptoQuant shows that the premium in the South Korean market was nonexistent for many months and, in fact, dropped to around -6% in early February when BTC dipped below $30,000.

The so-called Kimchi premium forms when the price of Bitcoin trades higher on South Korean exchanges than other markets.

The return of this premium is a bullish sign suggesting that demand for Bitcoin in South Korea is likely outpacing supply.

Bitcoin premium on Korean exchanges. Source: CryptoQuant

Why the Kimchi premium could be significant to Bitcoin

Although South Korea does not account for a majority share of the global Bitcoin market, it remains one of the major exchange markets by daily volume.

On CoinMarketCap, as an example, Bithumb is listed as the seventh-largest exchange in the world by daily trading volume, registering $1.3 billion in Bitcoin traded over the past 24 hours. 

The premium was especially high during past bull cycles, particularly in 2017 when BTC was trading well over 20% higher on South Korean exchanges compared with Coinbase and other large exchanges.

The Kimchi premium shows two major trends. First, it shows that the overall market sentiment in South Korea remains healthy. Second, it indicates that more buyers are entering the market.

Market sentiment in Korea is not bad. $BTC sellers are not Koreans obviously.

— Ki Young Ju 주기영 (@ki_young_ju) March 25, 2021

The premium was already rebounding during the past several weeks before Visa announced that it will process transactions using USD Coin (USDC) on the Ethereum blockchain.

When the news was announced, both Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) rose by around 5% within three hours, leading to a strong recovery in the cryptocurrency market. The announcement may add more momentum to the rapid pace of institutional adoption so far this year and the possibility of a broader Bitcoin rally. 

"I smell crypto mass adoption here,"Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, reacted to the news. 

What traders think will happen next

According to the pseudonymous trader known as "Rekt Capital," if Bitcoin breaks above $59,000, a new all-time high becomes highly probable.

Bitcoin weekly price chart. Source: Rekt Capital/TradingView

The trader noted:

"BTC is recovering this week after the down-side wicks of the previous 2 weeks showed slowing in the sell-side momentum $BTC will attempt to crack the confluent black diagonal & red horizontal resistance area (~$59,000) Break this area and #Bitcoin will reach new All-Time Highs."

Fellow trader "CryptoCapo," meanwhile, said that this momentum can potentially take Bitcoin to new highs and above, possibly to even $80,000. He said:

"The panic didn't make any sense. Some people just want to see the world burn... Send it to $80k+"Title: South Korea's 'Kimchi premium' is back: Is the Bitcoin rally starting to heat up?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 14:36:22 +0100

When 'alt season?' Now, says analyst as Bitcoin dominance hits 6-month low

Bitcoin (BTC) now accounts for less than 60% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, heralding the arrival of "alt season 2.0."

In a tweet on March 29, analyst Filbfilb, co-founder of trading suite Decentrader, announced that conditions were finally right for a fresh altcoin surge as their total market capitalization is hitting new highs of nearly $750 billion.

Altcoin market capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin dominance at its lowest since October 2020

Highlighting the current BTC/USD spot price, the combined altcoin market cap in U.S. dollars and Bitcoin's market cap dominance, Filbfilb summarized the market in what will be music to the ears of altcoin traders everywhere.

"Alt szn," he commented, conjuring a common nickname for the phenomenon of altcoins rising when Bitcoin cools or consolidates after a price surge of its own.

"Alt season" has been a full three years in the making. As Cointelegraph reported, expectations of a broad altcoin resurgence have long been high but ultimately left unfulfilled.  

Now, however, with Bitcoin consolidating after hitting all-time highs of $61,700, circumstances appear to have played into traders' hands.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin's market cap dominance was 59.4%, its lowest since late October 2020.

Cryptocurrency market cap dominance chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The latest catalyst is arguably Visa, which on Monday announced that it would support stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) for settlement, thus leveraging the Ethereum blockchain. ETH/USD saw a modest 4.8% uptick in response, with the market cap share of Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin, still in decline versus January.

Zooming out, the foundations are nonetheless being laid for what Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe expects will be a "very bullish" summer for altcoins, particularly as the market capitalization has been breaking new highs, nearing $750 billion.

"Ethereum is going to surprise everyone massively," he wrote about the Visa decision.

Previous price forecasts for ETH/USD have included $5,000 and even $10,000 as a mid-term estimate.

Altcoins look great," fellow analyst Scott Melker added.

"Bottom in" for BTC?

For Bitcoin, meanwhile, signs of a bullish comeback remained muted Monday after markets hit the buffers at February's all-time highs of $58,300.

Intraday activity was nonetheless strong, with the pair up by over 4% in the past 24 hours.

Among market participants, talk thus turned to whether last week's bounce off $50,000 represented a definitive price floor in the ongoing consolidation period.

"It could very well be that the BTC bottom is in," popular Twitter account Rekt Capital estimated on Monday.

"If this is indeed the case, then this means that $BTC bottomed after a two-week retrace for the second time this year. Average Bitcoin retrace in 2017 was ~16 days."

BTC/USD retracement chart. Source: Rekt Capital/Twitter

As of publication time, BTC/USD circled $58,000, showing resilience in what is the start of its final resistance block before entering uncharted price territory once again.

Title: When 'alt season?' Now, says analyst as Bitcoin dominance hits 6-month low
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Published Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 16:30:00 +0100

Do $100K–$300K Bitcoin call options signal a bullish BTC price path?

The open interest on Bitcoin (BTC) Dec. 31 call options between $100,000 and $300,000 reached an impressive 6,700 contracts, which is currently worth $385 million. These derivatives give the buyer the right to acquire Bitcoin for a fixed price, while the seller is obliged to honor the price.

One might think that this is a great way to leverage a long position, but it comes at a cost and is usually quite high. For this right, the buyer pays an upfront fee (premium) to the call option seller. For example, the $100,000 call option is currently trading at 0.164 BTC, equivalent to $9,480.

For this reason, option traders seldomly buy these options by themselves. Therefore, longer-expiry derivatives usually involve multiple strike prices or calendar months.

Bitcoin options block trades. Source: Paradigm Telegram Channel

Shown above is an actual trade arranged by Paradigm, an institutional investor-focused over-the-counter trading desk. In this trade, a total of 37 BTC December $100,000 and $140,000 calls have been traded between two of their clients.

Unfortunately, there's no way to know which side the market maker was, but considering the risks involved, one can assume the client was looking for a bullish position.

BTC calendar spread simulation. Source: Deribit Position Builder

By selling the $140,000 call option and simultaneously buying the more expensive $100,000 call, this client paid a $138,000 upfront premium. This amount represents their max loss, which takes place at $100,000 price on Dec. 31.

The red line on the above simulation shows the net outcome at expiry, measured in BTC. Meanwhile, the green line displays the theoretical net return on June 30.

Thus, this client needs Bitcoin to trade at $65,600 or higher on June 30 to recoup their investment. This number is significantly lower than the $107,150 required for the break-even if this "call spread" strategy buyer holds until the December expiry.

This phenomenon is caused by the $100,000 call option price appreciation being larger than the $140,000. While a Bitcoin price increase to $65,600 is quite relevant for a $100,000 option with six months left, it is not so much for the $140,000 one.

Countless strategies can be achieved by trading ultra-bullish call options, although the buyer doesn't need to wait for the expiry date to lock in profits. Thus, if Bitcoin happens to increase by 30% in a couple of months, it makes sense for this call spread holder to unwind their position.

As shown in the example above, if Bitcoin reaches $75,000 in June, the buyer can lock in a $23,000 net profit by closing the position.

While it's exciting to see exchanges offering massive $100,000–$300,000 expiries, these figures should not be taken as precise analysis-backed price estimates.

Professional traders use these instruments to conduct bullish but controlled investment strategies.

author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Title: Do $100K–$300K Bitcoin call options signal a bullish BTC price path?
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Published Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 19:14:31 +0100

Monday, March 29, 2021

Study: Additional insanity likely in NCAA Event's Sugary food 16

Take a look at this post by John Marshall from The Denver Post talking about some important happenings this week. John Marshall recently published the article and I decided it was a great post for posting on this website.

INDIANAPOLIS — Your bracket is shot. We know it. Ours is, too.

A year after the NCAA Tournament was canceled, the madness returned with an opening weekend full of upsets.

No. 1 seed Illinois, gone. So is Ohio State. High seeds Texas and Virginia also are out, replaced by upstarts and mid-major noisemakers.

And we have Sister Jean, the 101-year-old nun who serves as team chaplain for Chicago Loyola. So good to have her back.

It was a wild opening ride to be sure and the tournament is all but guaranteed to have a few more unexpected twists and turns.

Here’s what to look for:


Gonzaga — The Zags are the only team to reach the Sweet 16 in six consecutive seasons. They’re also four wins from completing perfection, trying to become the first undefeated champion since Indiana 45 years ago.

Baylor — The big, bad ball-hawking Bears appear to have found the form they had before a second COVID-19 pause, so watch out.

Michigan — The Wolverines have looked like a No. 1 seed, even without Isaiah Livers.

Alabama — The Tide’s mauling of Maryland in the second round shows just how potent this team can be.

Houston — The Cougars sport some of that same swagger as the Phi Slama Jama teams back in the ’80s.


Chicago Loyola — Sister Jean and the lovable Ramblers are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since that 2018 Final Four run. Seeing her on the sideline warms the heart. The Ramblers have some heart of their own.

Oral Roberts — The Golden Eagles aren’t Dunk City, but they are the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 since Florida Gulf Coast became the first eight years ago.

Oregon State — The Beavers were picked to finish 12th in a conference with 12 teams. After two wins as a No. 12 seed, you’d be wise not to pick against these underdogs.

UCLA — Hard to call the all-time leader in national championships an upstart, but the Bruins barely got into the bracket. With three wins and a trip to the Sweet 16, they quickly proved they belong.

Arkansas — The Muss Bus has the Razorbacks chugging into their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1996. Quite a job by coach Eric Musselman in two short years.


Corey Kispert, Gonzaga — All-American playing like one to put the Zags four games from the first perfect season since 1976.

Evan Mobley, USC — The freshman has the length of a big man, the skills of a guard and the ability to dominate both ends of the floor.

Jared Butler, Baylor — The junior All-American stands out, even on a team oozing with talent.

Jahvon Quinerly, Alabama — There’s almost nothing he can’t do and nothing opponents can do when he gets it going.

Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton — Forgot some of the shooting woes he had at times during the regular season. This is the junior sharpshooter’s time to shine, and he’s leaning into it.


Max Abmas, Oral Roberts — High-volume scoring from this biomedical chemistry major has the Golden Eagles soaring into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974.

Cameron Krutwig, Chicago Loyola — Remember that beefy, agile-footed, deft-passing big man during the 2018 Final Four run? Well, he’s back and he’s rockin’ a wispy mustache. The Krustache plays the harmonica, too.

Quentin Grimes, Houston — Leaving Kansas worked out out well for the high-scoring guard. It wasn’t a bad deal for coach Kelvin Sampson and his Cougars, either.

Chris Duarte, Oregon — Playing on the West Coast has limited his national visibility, but believe us, he was one of college basketball’s best guards long before this Ducks’ run.

Ethan Thompson, Oregon State — He scores, dishes and rebounds. He’s a big reason the underdog Beavers have gotten this far.


Michigan vs. Florida State, East Region, Sunday — Has the makings of being the best game in the entire bracket. Definitely in must-watch territory.

Gonzaga vs. Creighton, West Region, Sunday — The Zags’ bid for perfection goes through the Bluejays and sweet-shooting Zegarowski.

Alabama vs. UCLA, East Region, Sunday — Alabama likes to play fast. UCLA likes to slow things down. Something’s got to give.

Oregon State vs. Loyola Chicago, Midwest Region, Saturday — The underdog branch of the bracket features two scrappy teams and one lovable 101-year-old nun.

Villanova vs. Baylor, South Region, Saturday — Two powerhouse programs expected to put on a show.

PancakeSwap (CAKE) aims to take a slice out of Uniswap’s DeFi dominance

Decentralized finance has taken a back seat to nonfungible tokens over the past month but this hasn’t stopped the top DeFi projects from developing and strategizing how to grow their ecosystems and market share. 

One project that has outperformed the field as of late is PancakeSwap (CAKE), the Binance Smart Chain-based automated market maker (AMM) that allows users to exchange tokens and earn a portion of fees through yield farming.

Monthly trading volume on PancakeSwap. Source: Delphi Digital

According to a recent report from Delphi Digital, several factors have played a significant role in helping the PancakeSwap ecosystem grow in recent months and analysts predict that the protocol will continue to be a serious competitor to Uniswap.

Users flee high Ethereum fees

Anyone who has tried to transact on the Ethereum (ETH) network in 2021 will have noticed the astronomical rise in gas fees which has been compounded by the rising price of Ether. 

Average Ethereum gas fee. Source: Etherscan

If you compare this chart of the average gas fees on Etherum with the chart above detailing the monthly trading volume on PancakeSwap, a correlation can be seen between higher fees and more activity on the DeFi platform.

While Ethereum fees were ballooning, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) emerged as a viable option thanks to numerous cross-chain bridges and low transaction costs. PancakeSwap is the largest, most established DEX on the BSC thus it benefits from the influx of users and Binance's large user base.

Delphi Digital analysts identified Binance's immense ecosystem as another major factor providing a boost for CAKE as its “vast network effect” comes from being the “biggest crypto exchange that’s typically the first choice for retail traders.”

Prospective users can gain access to the BSC by simply withdrawing their tokens from Binance to a BSC-supported wallet.

PancakeSwap could be a 'perpetual vampire'

Delphi Digital also highlighted CAKE’s token economics as a significant factor for its future growth.

Unlike UNI and SushiSwap (SUSHI), there is not a hard cap on the supply of CAKE tokens which gives the platform the “ability to perpetually conduct targeted vampire attacks in order to attract liquidity and incentivize projects to launch on PancakeSwap’s AMM.”

The current weekly inflation rate for CAKE is 3.78%, which is significantly higher than UNI's 2% yearly inflation rate.

Even with various deflationary measures implemented by CAKE developers, the “net emission is approximately 1,000,000 CAKE per week – which translates to 37% real inflation annually (or 0.7% weekly).”

According to Delphi Digital, PancakeSwap is aware of how the current inflation numbers look and the team announced a governance vote to change the emission schedule with the options to leave it the same, decrease it to 23.5 or 22 CAKE per block.

The option to reduce emissions to 22 CAKE, a 20% decrease, is currently favored to win and this would reduce CAKE emissions by 1,050,000. This would help to neutralize inflation while also allowing the project to keep its vampire attack capabilities in the long-run.

CAKE attempts to break above resistance

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that since reaching a low of $8.30 on Feb. 28, the price of CAKE has made several attempts to break out to a new all-time high and at the time of writing the altcoin trades for $15.63.

CAKE/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for CAKE have been favorable for some time.

The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity. A recent test of the system resulted in investment returns as high as 1,497% using specific strategies outlined in the report.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. CAKE price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for CAKE turned green and registered a 65 on March 21, roughly six hours before the price began to rally over the next four days.

After the initial precise rise on March 22, the VORTECS™ Score continued to climb and reached a high of 81 on March 25, three hours before the price began to rally 36%.

Strong backing from Binance and low fees on BSC have PancakeSwap in an enviable position to attract additional liquidity from the Ethereum-based DeFi protocols as a practical solution to high gas fees remains elusive. Despite inflation-related concerns, analysts have suggested keeping an eye on this Uniswap competitor as the battle for DeFi dominance continues to unfold.

com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Title: PancakeSwap (CAKE) aims to take a slice out of Uniswap’s DeFi dominance
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Published Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2021 22:05:00 +0100

NBA Profession Target Date Primer

Interesting article by from discussing several important happenings this week. recently published the article and I thought it was well worth syndicating here.

Bitcoin price bounces at $50K amid 4-month highs for DXY

Bitcoin (BTC) fell to its lowest level since March 8 on Thursday as U.S. dollar strength added to selling pressure near $60,000.

BTC/USD 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

BTC price saved from $40,000 zone

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and Tradingview showed BTC/USD testing $50,000 for the first time since sealing the level as support earlier this month.

After seeing rejection at $60,000, Bitcoin had struggled to maintain higher levels through the week, and an overnight sell-off finally saw mid-$50,000 support evaporate. 

The largest cryptocurrency shed almost 10% on the day, with buyers nonetheless keeping it out of the $40,000-$50,000 corridor at the time of writing. 

The weakness came in tandem with news from the United States Federal Reserve, which focused on a potential pullback of monetary intervention. The economy, Chair Jerome Powell said, had rebounded better than expected.

"As we make substantial further progress toward our goals, we’ll gradually roll back the amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities we’ve bought,” he told NPR quoted by CNBC.

“We will very gradually over time and with great transparency, when the economy has all but fully recovered, we will be pulling back the support that we provided during emergency times.”

The dollar took its cue for an uptick, with the U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) hitting its highest score since Nov. 23 on the day.

As Cointelegraph reported, despite somewhat breaking down this year, DXY and BTC/USD performance tends to be inversely correlated.

U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: Tradingview

Oversold territory

On spot markets, traders were broadly unfazed by the pullback. Significant support remained at $46,000 and higher, which some had previously said would save Bitcoin from deeper losses in the event of a bearish pullback.

Their advice, therefore, was to use the current climate as a buying opportunity. 

BTC/USD buy and sell support on Binance. Source: Material Indicators

"While people are shouting at the markets for this correction, you could also derive potential entry zones," Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michaël van de Poppe told Twitter followers.

Fellow trader Scott Melker suggested that the market was "pushing into" oversold territory, which could signal a more permanent reversal incoming.

Institutional sentiment meanwhile remained solidly bullish after Real Vision CEO Raoul Pal revealed that one Singapore sovereign wealth fund had been buying BTC from miners since 2018.

In an interview with Pal, NYDIG, which provides access to Bitcoin through various funds, also confirmed that it had been in discussions with multiple unnamed sovereign wealth entities.

Title: Bitcoin price bounces at $50K amid 4-month highs for DXY
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Published Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 14:10:51 +0000