“Spec v0.10.0 is a stable target for multi-client testnets and security reviews. [It also] integrates the new IETF BLS standards. A post-audit v0.11.0 release will drop near the start of March.After sufficient time at a stable v0.11.x, a final v1.0.0 will be cut for mainnet release.
Over the holidays, Vitalik posted a new proposal on how we might expedite the eth1+eth2 merger and begin reaping the benefits of the new eth2 infrastructure much sooner. This proposal suggests migrating eth1 into a shard of eth2 after the Phase 1 infrastruture (shard data chains) is added but before a full Phase 2 – thus Phase 1.5!
A phase 1.5 has many potential benefits to the ethereum protocol:
Eth1 living inside of eth2 allows for native access to the scalable sharded data layer.
Eth1 migrating to a shard of eth2 eliminates PoW from the protocol, greatly reducing issuance and halting energy intensive mining on ethereum once and for all.
Finally, integrating eth1 into eth2 on an earlier schedule reduces the amount of moving parts – unifying the system, the community, and the development of the core protocol.
Phase 1.5 as it currently stands largely relies upon the success of two independent components – Phase 1 of eth2 and Stateless Ethereum on eth1.”
“If you’ve been following the program you know the concept of economic bandwidth—but have you ever run the numbers? If DAI became a major currency what are the implications for the price of ETH? How much demand will protocols like Synthetix drive to ETH?
Yes the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt—collateral ratios will be different, of course the assumptions can’t be extrapolated as simply as presented here. Don’t let that distract you from the core point of this exercise which is this: A trustless economy requires trillions in economic bandwidth.
In short: Ether is trustless value supplying economic bandwidth for Ethereum’s permissionless money protocols.“
“The CRC rates assets on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 denoting cryptocurrencies that do not appear to have the characteristics of a security under U.S. law. Five new assets were rated Thursday: cosmos (ATOM) and livepeer (LPT) have both received a 3.75 score, while dash (DASH) and horizen (ZEN) received 1s and ethereum classic (ETC) received a 2.
As part of its 2020 roadmap, the CRC plans to share details of the actual framework it uses to arrive at its evaluations. The end goal, according to Suarez, is to help crypto startups more easily comply with existing securities law.
The group is not affiliated with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which to date has only stated that bitcoin and ethereum are not securities.”
“The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation has called on the country to prioritize the development of the digital economy. Mishustin said that the country should implement modern information technologies, including the development of a national digital economy program.
The state should become a digital platform that is created for people.
Major Russian firms, including some in which the state holds a significant stake, are beginning to test and apply blockchain tech to various aspects of their operations.”
“In June when Block.one, the company behind the largest initial coin offering (ICO) in history, announced its Facebook-challenging social network, Voice, it promised the blockchain would run on the EOS mainnet. Plans have changed.
The new application would run on a private deployment of EOSIO software. In fact, it’s non-committal about ever running on EOS.
If Block.one didn’t need to use the EOS mainnet for its apps it would raise serious questions as to why and who else should use it.
EOS has had performance issues that have become acute since last summer.”
“The new owner of the Chrysler Building is selling a property worth $135 million to a blockchain real-estate company, taking a fifth of the purchase price in tokenized securities.
It is the largest-ever real estate deal involving digital tokens.
BrickMark’s ethereum-based tokens are hybrid digital securities – tokenized perpetual bonds that will be backed by property in the BrickMark portfolio. Although restricted for the time being to qualified investors, there are plans under evaluation that would allow BrickMark to offer BMT tokens to retail investors through a European-regulated security token offering (STO).
We think digital securities and tokens are able to unlock these tremendous values and also give people, on a worldwide basis, access to properties that have [to now] been privileged.”
“The three are forming the Digital Dollar Foundation, working with Accenture to design and push for a potential U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC). Accenture will act as the chief architect and technology partner on the project.
The new not-for-profit organization has a multi-part plan to first create potential designs and proposals; convene economists, lawyers, academics, technologists and others to evaluate these designs; and create a framework for testing the new system, all with the goal of making dollar transactions as seamless as a text message.
An analog reserve currency does not serve modern users. […] As an example, the ability to directly exchange a CBDC for a tokenized security will have profound effects on global capital markets.”
“The newly announced group will oversee the project’s technical roadmap, guide codebase development and try to build a developer community around the Libra project.
The Libra technical steering committee plans to publish a governance framework before the end of March 2020, according to the announcement, that ‘will include the process by which the open source community can propose technical changes to the network and a transparent process for evaluating those proposals.'”
“The exchange revealed it would restrict access to residents of Japan at an unspecified later date.
It is possible that Binance encountered similar regulatory difficulties despite not legally residing in the country. Crypto exchange Kraken ceased to provide services to Japanese residents in April 2018.”
“Canada’s top financial watchdog has told crypto exchanges they will be subject to securities law if they act as custodians to users’ digital assets. The CSA said transactions without immediate delivery constitute derivatives sales.
Although it will depend on the specifics of each platform’s structure and operations, it seems likely that regulators will consider many custodial trading platforms to be subject to securities legislation.
Compelling users to custody their own assets could protect them from hacks like Quadriga or Einstein. But there are downsides. It could make trading less accessible to everyday users by forcing everyone to set up their own wallet.”
“Gemini has created its own insurance company to protect clients against the potential loss of coins from its offline vaults – with a possibly record-breaking $200 million coverage limit. Gemini managed to acquire coverage for its hot wallets back in 2018.
The captive insurer will provide coverage for customers of Gemini Custody, the crypto cold storage service of Gemini Trust Company. Captives create a more formalized way of providing cover than self-insuring.”
“According to the New York-based firm, Binance and Huobi, two of the world’s largest crypto exchanges to date, have received 27.6% and 24.7% of total transfers from criminals in 2019. As such, the two major crypto trading platforms are allegedly responsible for acquiring over a half of all illicit Bitcoin in 2019.
OTC brokers are likely to be the main source of illicit Bitcoin transfers.”
“Ethereum Classic’s sudden bullish break appears to be a direct consequence of it being listed on the Binance Futures trading platform. Now, Binance users have the ability to both short and go long on Ethereum Classic with up to 75x leverage.”
“The goal of TRONZ is to introduce the privacy protocol to Tron smart contracts, allowing developers to introduce private data within them.
A look at the Tron GitHub page shows a variety of repositories directly “forked,” i.e. copied, from Zcash source code. Code for the MPC was also directly taken from Zcash. It appears that all of the changes made by the Tron team were on the readme file.“
“With the Synthetic Content Network, Alethea is attempting to introduce a mechanism for clearly disclosing AI-generated content and only allowing it with the consent of the person being shown.
All videos created with Alethea will be labeled as satirical and will include watermarks to clearly distinguish them from true content. The project’s stated goal is to democratize access to AI, allowing creative expression through the technology in a manner that would not violate the rights of the people involved.”
“The EEA TestNet will operate as a pre-certification sandbox, where forks of ethereum can be standardized according to certain specifications set out previously by the EEA, which will make them interoperable with each other.
There are now hundreds of companies working on enterprise versions of ethereum, plus an entirely new cohort of industry players joining the fold via Hyperledger’s ethereum-based member Besu, making standardization a priority.
We are providing a place where clients can start to get their feet wet in a testing environment and then, towards the end of the year, will provide the actual ability to certify against those specifications. Then we can actually stamp things as being EEA certified and branded and have that guarantee of interoperability.”
“More than 100 organizations from over 60 governmental and non-governmental entities that already use blockchain participated in the study.
By integrating blockchain into their operations, the UAE government can also drastically reduce paperwork, eliminating 398 million printed documents and 77 million work hours per year.
With reported 80% of public and private sector entities already using blockchain, the UAE has apparently dove headlong into the sector. The UAE, along with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is leading the charge when it comes to positive crypto and blockchain legislation.”
“Working with ethereum project incubator ConsenSys, the Kings said Wednesday it would be live-auctioning team memorabilia using an ethereum-based platform operated by Treum. The platform will be used to verify the provenance of athletic collectibles, with auctions running during and after NBA games.
This is the jersey, [is it] real, was it game-worn, how do I know? [They] understand that what they are about to get is real.”
“Decentraland, the first ever blockchain-based virtual world, is going live to the public.
The launch includes the establishment of the Decentraland DAO, full decentralization of the world’s infrastructure (communications between users and the serving of content), and, most importantly, public access to the very best the Metaverse has to offer.
From now on, no single agent will have the power to modify the rules of the software, curate LAND content, modify the economics of MANA, upgrade the LAND smart contract unilaterally, or prevent others from accessing the world, among other decentralization features.”
“While the news may disappoint those in the investment community keen to see the first ever bitcoin ETF in the U.S., the news is not surprising.
This is the next step towards our long-term goal of bringing a bitcoin ETF to market, and we plan to refile our application at an appropriate time. We are currently working hard on answering the questions that the SEC raised in its 112-page response to our initial filing.
With the action, Bitwise leaves just one bitcoin ETF proposal before the SEC. The bitcoin and U.S. Treasury bond ETF planned by Wilshire Phoenix is still under review and is expected to be ruled on by the SEC by Feb. 26.”
“The company claims the product is the first sharded Proof-of-Work Layer 1 network to make it to market. The fully functional hybrid blockchain enables the connection of a public chain with a private network. Kadena’s hybrid blockchain supports interoperability using Pact, the firm’s open-source smart contract programing language.
The blockchain can process 750 transactions per second [and has] 10 chains, noting that upgrading to 100 chains is likely.”
“According to a court filing, a third party has ‘provided the necessary information and key slice to unlock the encrypted file,’ seemingly referencing the “mysterious,” unnamed intermediary with the private keys necessary to unlock the $9.6 billion bitcoin trove.
In another filing Tuesday night, attorneys for Ira Kleiman wrote that Wright only provided a list of 16,404 addresses but no information about the courier.
Plaintiffs are having their experts review and analyze the list. Plaintiffs expect that they will be ready to depose Craig after this discovery occurs, in early March.”
“DeFi Pulse showed the DeFi market as having roughly $706 million in ETH locked into its applications on Monday. As of this writing, that value has risen to $782 million. It’s very likely that money is moving into DeFi because traders are looking for liquidity in order to play the market.
Compound, which provides an easy way for ETH holders to borrow, saw a surge in usage Tuesday with collateral rising about 10 percent. MakerDAO has also seen a large jump, nearing $50 million, likely because traders are locking up ETH to create DAI they can trade with.
‘Ether is the primary form of collateral used to do other stuff.‘ The first step in that process is to turn to DeFi applications to provide liquidity, for example, by borrowing against an asset whose value is rising.
Commerce moved online slowly, then all at once; finance will move on-chain slowly – then all at once.”
“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has published its first warning against initial exchange offerings (IEOs).
According to the notice, the regulator considers IEOs to be similar to initial coin offerings (ICOs), many of which the agency has been investigating as unregistered securities offerings for the past several years.
“For the first time, investors can trade gold-backed futures contracts on a leading crypto derivatives exchange. By offering more sophisticated trading vehicles for digital assets, FTX hopes to pave the way for eventual options and leverage trading for PAX Gold.
PAX Gold futures on FTX shows how the market is maturing and that it is ready for more complex financial instruments.”
“Golberg linked a surprising number of those Saudi accounts to the XRP Army, a swarm of over 40,000 Twitter accounts devoted to spreading the gospel of XRP. Twitter said it had traced ‘the source of the [Saudi] coordinated activity to Smaat, a social media marketing and management company based in Saudi Arabia.‘
‘It’s not to say that there’s somebody in Saudi Arabia that’s behind the XRP army,‘ he said. But then again, Golberg said he has absolutely no idea who’s pulling the strings.“
“CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert has reiterated the regulator’s stance on both Bitcoin and Ether. At the same time, the chairman has apparently for the first time expressed his thoughts about XRP. According to Tarbert, the regulatory status of XRP is still unclear.
[Additionally], according to Tarbert, the CFTC is gradually helping to legitimize the market as well as add liquidity to the digital currency market by providing it with the features of the futures market like price discovery, hedging, risk management and others.”
“CME Group has announced its highly anticipated bitcoin options are now open for trading.
Each contract, quoted in U.S. dollars, represents five bitcoin and is cleared centrally to avoid counterparty risk. CME relies on trade flow data from several of the large bitcoin exchanges to accurately track bitcoin’s price.“
“Being able to write smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain using Solidity remains one of the most sought after skills by companies going into 2020. In its report, LinkedIn disclosed a growing need for developers who can use Solidity.”
“Non-cooperative channel closures are more easily tracked and recognized, and they have to be confirmed in blocks on the blockchain. Since the network started its activity — about 60,000 such transactions took place.
The fact that non-cooperative closures are more common than many thought, means the privacy and scalability benefits of lightning are lower than many expected too. However, […] as users learn more about how to use the lightning network and lightning wallets improve, the prevalence of non-cooperative closures could fall.
The report also explains that in some instances, non-cooperative channel closures see a party attempt to steal the funds. The Lightning Network, while promising according to many, is still largely experimental.“
“Wright was granted a request to extend a period of discovery so that a “mysterious” bonded courier can unlock the encrypted Tulip Trust. Wright claims the trust is currently inaccessible because several keys are held by an unnamed intermediary. Wright has until Feb. 3 to file a notice with the court that the courier “has appeared from the shadows.”
Wright previously testified it would be “impossible” to comply with the court order to identify his bitcoin before the bonded courier returned 100 percent of the assets to his control on Jan. 1, 2020.
Wright has not confirmed publicly whether the courier arrived and has not moved bitcoin said to be held in the trust.“
“One of the largest U.S. television providers has filed a patent application for a new “anti-piracy management system” that uses blockchain to enable owners to track how their content is being used.
Dish Network’s application outlines a system that allows owners to embed an identification mark into the content’s code that can be stored and regularly updated using a distributed ledger. Should the uploader not have the appropriate access rights, the system can automatically notify both them and the owner that content is being used without permission.”
Great overview of the current Eth2 development status & rollout – Highly recommended read.
“A successful launch will validate Ethereum 2’s ability to provide a trustless and high-transaction base for the future of decentralized finance, computation, and trust.
The design work is approaching completion: in the main, there will be no further rewrites for additional features, with any future changes relating to issues found during large-scale testing. The BLS encryption scheme, which is the basis for Ethereum’s keys, has reached a suitable level of standardization to be considered final, and this was the last outstanding piece upon which the design relies. [see v0.1 spec release below]
Given the testing time required above and beyond the initial implementation, along with the requirement to fix bugs as they appear, expect to see the beacon chain start to produce blocks somewhere in the second or third quarter of the year.
The design of phase 2 is far less complex than that of phases 0 and 1: it simply defines the idea of an execution environment. However, phase 2 by itself does not define any particular execution environment and so, in conjunction with phase 2 being released, there are expected to be a number of execution environments built by the Ethereum teams as well as third parties. These fall into two categories: general-purpose execution environments and function-specific.”
“Friday marks the deadline for the European Union’s 28 member nation-states to adopt the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive or AMLD5. The new rules require crypto exchanges and custodial service providers to register with their local regulator and demonstrate compliance with thorough know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering AML procedures.
These regulations represent a double-edged sword for the industry. On the one hand, the added costs of compliance may burden smaller firms in the field. Already, Deribit, a Netherlands-based crypto derivatives exchange, is planning to relocate to Panama.
On the plus side, the long-term effect should be greater trust in crypto from financial institutions in Europe.”
“The team identified several of its achievements, including creating Plasma Cashflow implementations, releasing a generalized Plasma specification and coining Optimistic Rollup.
These served primarily to make Plasma sidechains into fully-fledged blockchains supporting smart contracts, as opposed to just limited money transfer capabilities.
After one year of operation, Plasma Group reached the conclusion that research efforts into Plasma scalability are unneeded, as the theoretical base is mature.
It is amazing to see the multitude of competent teams pushing production plasma into reality now. This shift from research to implementation means that our mission as a research organization must shift as well.
Identifying funding of public goods as the next key challenge, it pledged to donate its remaining funds to Gitcoin.”
“The bank said the ‘processes of top-level design, setting industry standards, developing potential functions and integration testing,’ were ‘almost complete.’
The bank said it has been working on the expected two-tiered system that would offer “controllable” anonymity and the functionality to replace paper cash. The bank statement did not say when the work on the digital yuan was expected to be completed.“
“Spencer Dinwiddie of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets will launch his tokenized security offering on Jan. 13, in collaboration with digital securities company Securitize, after reportedly settling terms with the NBA.
At @securitize we are extremely excited and proud to be the digital transfer agent and technology partner for @SDinwiddie_25 and @DreamFanShares world’s first Professional Athlete Investment Security Token.
Dinwiddie is going to sell his securities-backed SD8 tokens, which can’t be traded for a year, for $150,000 apiece to verified accredited investors under SEC Regulation D.”
“A lot has changed since we last checked in on the DemNom market. Elizabeth Warren completed her plunge from pole sentiment position in the Fall to well behind the two current frontrunners, Sanders and Biden. Buttigieg, likewise, saw a reversal in the momentum he was establishing.”
“Unveiling a vision for 2030, the Facebook CEO unveiled a laundry list of decade’s-end aims for his social media Goliath, including an extensive “opportunity” for Facebook to “decentralize” finance and business.
Over the next decade, we hope to build the commerce and payments tools so that every small business has easy access to the same technology that previously only big companies have had.
That vision includes Instagram storefronts, Messenger-based customer support, remittances via WhatsApp. One project he does not mention: Libra.”
“The newly appointed senator, Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.), will serve on the Senate Agricultural Committee, which is responsible for defining the CFTC’s remit and approving nominations for commissioners and chairmen.
Loeffler is also married to Jeffrey Sprecher, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of ICE. Amid concerns her appointment would create a conflict of interest, Loeffler told the Wall Street Journal she had ‘worked hard to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the Senate’s ethics rules and will continue to do so every day.'”
“It’s about opening doors to companies that otherwise we’d have to put a lot of effort into accessing. Obviously, everybody is here. For us the value is in the intersection of the blockchain world with the analog world.
The company is showing off its integration with Pundi X, which makes a special card and point-of-sale system that allows users to pay merchants directly in DAI, without any conversion to fiat.”
“Through confidential assets – a privacy tool which blinds asset values on public ledgers via a protocol called “confidential transactions” – these tether may never see public light again. In fact, it may be the first instance of private digital asset trading at scale.
By hiding tether transfers between off-exchange accounts on Liquid and exchanges themselves, traders can move assets around ‘without worrying about frontrunning.‘ However, the number of tether tokens issued on Liquid remains public via the Blockstream block explorer.
Services like Whale Alert, that track movements of assets, would not work for confidential assets in Liquid.”
“There is a school of thought that believes the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain happens when robots begin paying robots. Cryptocurrency becomes the value transfer medium in this scenario and all of the sensors, computers and systems associated with washing our floors or getting us around connect to the worldwide internet of value and, in the end, supplant most payment methods.
Eventually, this car and many like it will be communicating with each other wirelessly and negotiating traffic automatically. Your wallet will take a hit if you want to get somewhere faster — your car will pay another car to get ahead of them — and you’ll spend or even earn if you can spare a few more minutes on the road. Roads themselves will request tolls for maintenance.”
“With the new year Illinois became the latest state to recognize smart contracts and other blockchain-based records as legal instruments. These contracts are now admissible as evidence in court, recognized as a viable alternative to paper-based records and statutorily exempt from local taxation.
Illinois joins other U.S. states in recognizing smart contracts in legal settings. Vermont led the charge with its 2016 move to make blockchain records admissible in court. One year later, Arizona passed similar legislation recognizing blockchain signatures.”
“Considering the total number of bitcoins in circulation is 18.14 million, this also means nearly 60 percent of the coins remained dormant and only 40 percent participated in the price action seen in 2019.
The fact these investors have not sold indicates they are likely betting on long-term growth prospects.“
“The convergence of these technologies is enabling organizations to accelerate environmental governance.
Accounting standards powered by blockchain-based protocols are being applied to enable climate management to ensure carbon offset. Blockchain platforms offering smart contracts will soon control IoT networks to ensure that operations run smoothly.”
“Tokenized financial products could be to ETFs what the internet was to newspapers in terms of disruptive force. During the mid-2000s, WisdomTree took a forward position on the initiation of ETFs over typical mutual funds and is looking to do the same with blockchain-wrapped financial products.
Securrency’s “Compliance Aware Token” platform offers a blockchain-agnostic program for exchanging real and financial assets, particularly global digital securities.”
“The Monero Research Lab (MRL) has released Triptych in a Jan. 6 paper proposing trustless logarithmic-size ring signatures. The research aimed at decreasing their size could improve the coin’s privacy significantly.
Triptych’s primary innovation is making the byte size of ring signatures scale logarithmically with the number of decoys, instead of linearly. This would allow a dramatic increase in ring size without major performance issues.
I can’t reasonably speculate on the likelihood of projects implementing Triptych, since it’s still early work that has not undergone any formal review.”
“Griffith is charged by a grand jury with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Griffith was released on bail on Jan. 9.
The defendant and others had conspired to breach the prohibitions of the act when Griffith provided services to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea without obtaining approval from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control, according to the indictment.”