24 July

Upside momentum is improving, which could keep crypto buyers active into the weekend. Some analysts expect a short-squeeze to push bitcoin above the 50-day moving average around $34,000 given oversold conditions on the charts.

For the first time in many weeks we are seeing bullish signs here and expect Bitcoin to head towards the upper end of the $30,000-$40,000 range. On the options front we have seen a good amount of covering between the $35,000-$40000 strikes for the weekly maturity.

Overall, risk sentiment is improving in traditional and crypto markets as concerns about tighter monetary stimulus wane. On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) pledged to keep interest rates lower for longer and adjusted its policy stance to allow for a slight overshoot of the 2% inflation target. The ECB announcement along with a broad decline in global government bond yields contributed to higher stock prices over the past week.”

“Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce has voiced concerns over the United States lagging behind global jurisdictions in adopting cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The SEC commissioner also mentioned her concern that U.S. regulators could be overstepping their remit by forcing the local crypto industry to play by a separate set of rules than everyone else.

We’re not a merit regulator, so we shouldn’t be in the business of deciding whether something is good or bad.”

See Also: Goldman Sachs Settling Crypto ETPs in Europe: Sources

The CEO expressed confidence that Binance is set to face heavy regulations in the future, noting that the company ‘is in the mindset of shifting from a tech startup to a financial service.’

Despite seeing a meager success in communicating with global regulators so far, Binance doesn’t preclude a possibility that Binance US would go public one day as the exchange is seeking ways to go for an initial public offering (IPO), CZ declared.

Binance US is looking at the IPO route. Most regulators are familiar with a certain pattern, or having headquarters, having corporate structure. But we are setting up those structures to make it easier for an IPO to happen.

Launched in 2019, Binance US operates a separate entity from Binance, licensing technology and receiving branding support from the global exchange. Brian Brooks, the former acting comptroller of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, became the CEO of Binance US earlier this year to help the exchange compete with Coinbase exchange and expand across the United States.”

See Also: Coinbase and top execs face securities class action over Nasdaq listing

“The study conducted by global analytics and advice firm Gallup revealed that the number of investors in the U.S. holding BTC has jumped from 2% in 2018, to 6% as of June 2021. The research defines “investors” as adults with $10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

It also reported that Bitcoin ownership among investors surveyed aged under 50 has more than trebled over the past three years to 13% from 3% in 2018. Unsurprisingly, it revealed ownership was much lower at just 3% for the over 50s group of investors, though this has also increased three-fold from 1% in 2018.

A similar survey that polled institutional investors in May and June revealed that more than 80% of hedge fund executives and wealth managers surveyed that are already holding crypto assets intend to increase their holdings.”

“ChainMaker, an enterprise blockchain developed with support from the Beijing city government, said it is preparing to be interoperable with the distributed file storage protocol InterPlanetary File System.

ChainMaker is poised to become Beijing’s government blockchain, uniting data currently siloed across ministries and government departments. A 27-member group that includes state-owned enterprises, banks and universities has pledged to integrate the blockchain across their operations.”

23 July

“Arbitrum has been upvoted by Reddit. The rollup technology was selected by the social media site to make Reddit’s Ethereum-based Community Points system ready for prime time. Arbitrum beat out 21 other entrants to become the winner of its “Scaling Bake-Off.”

Community Points, which are ERC-20 tokens that can be earned by Reddit users for quality comments or other contributions, can be spent on things such as exclusive badges, custom emojis and GIFs.

Community Points are being experimented with in two communities. One is r/CryptoCurrency, where the Points come in the form of “Moons;” the other is r/FortNiteBR, where the Points are known as “Bricks.” Together, these two communities contain around 4.8 million members.

Reddit launched its own layer 2 rollup using Arbitrum tech on the Rinkeby testnet today, before migrating to the Ethereum mainnet. In addition, Reddit is looking for developers to build a more decentralized web at ‘Reddit-level scale.’

The second quarter saw a record $4 billion in venture capital raised by cryptocurrency firms, amid a bumper crop of $30.8 billion in fintech deals generally, a 29% increase from the year before.

The report mentioned sizable funding rounds, such as those from stablecoin company Circle, which snagged a then-record $440 million in May. (The new largest funding round by a crypto firm came earlier this week when crypto derivatives exchange FTX announced it raised $900 million.) Also noted by CB Insights was hardware wallet maker Ledger’s $380 million funding in June, and a $300 million round in April for custody firm Paxos (which, like Circle, also acts as the steward of stablecoins).

Crypto has brought about a new age in banking compliance, the report said. Blockchain analytics companies, which track transactions and aid regulators and law enforcement, are another hot area in terms of funding. CB Insights also singled out crypto custody and infrastructure as sub-segments that were notable for their ability to raise money.”

See Also: FTX CEO Says US Is Next Big Target Market
See Also: Magic Numbers: Ethereum-Based Authentication Platform Raises $27M

“JPMorgan will let wealth management clients invest in Grayscale and Osprey crypto trusts.

The move gives a wide array of JPMorgan clients – including those plugged into the commission-free Chase trading app – easy access to indirect crypto investing. Trust products from Grayscale and Osprey are “price exposure” vehicles that sidestep custody headaches.”

See Also: Almost Half of Family Offices With Goldman Ties Want to Add Crypto Exposure: Report
See Also: BankProv Launches Payments Network for Crypto Customers

Vitalik Buterin : Things that Matter Outside of DeFi (Recommended Watch)

“The eastern European country, which is a global leader in cryptocurrency adoption according to Chainalysis, is trying to become the jurisdiction of choice for crypto startups, and is one of the few nations in the world to present a strategy for developing its digital asset industry.

Tokenized assets, it says, should become part of the existing financial system, and there should be an official way to buy virtual assets for fiat money.

Education also features in the plan, with the development of programs dedicated to blockchain and virtual assets starting at school-aged children. There should be a special program for members of parliament and a Master’s course on decentralized finance.

The report predicts that if its recommendations are followed, by May 2024 Ukraine should become of of the top-10 crypto nations, with 47% of the population using digital assets and 10% of businesses having their assets tokenized.”

See Also: Colombia Central Bank Launches Blockchain Bond Project

ConsenSys researcher Mikhail Kalinin has created a pull request for EIP-3675, which would upgrade the blockchain’s consensus mechanism to proof of stake. The proposal, which sets the stage for “the merge” to Ethereum 2.0, will be discussed at Friday’s core developers meeting.

We are ensuring that core specs are in place so that post London and Altair, the engineering process can move swiftly.”

The crypto ATM company plans to install kiosks at “thousands” of Circle K locations with over 700 already live in 30 states. CEO Brandon Mintz is aiming for 6,000 kiosks across North America before 2021 is done.

We feel that the Circle K brand has a wide and diverse customer base with people from all walks of life visiting these stores.

The tie-up comes as the crypto ATM industry continues to grow. Bitcoin Depot’s own statistics indicate the industry is up 155% year-over-year.”

BlockFi aims to go public in 12 to 18 months, according to documents circulated to investors Wednesday. BlockFi is [also] set to close its Series E on July 27, the documents show. The round amounts to $500 million. BlockFi is expected to command a $4.75 billion post-money valuation.

BlockFi’s road to Wall Street grew complicated this week as state securities regulators in the U.S. began questioning the legality of the firm’s marqueé BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) offering.

Regulators in Texas, Alabama and New Jersey each alleged BIA is an unregistered security in violation of state laws. New Jersey is giving BlockFi until July 29 to explain itself. If the pair fail to come to a resolution, the state could halt BIA account onboarding.

We have active dialogues with regulators worldwide. We firmly believe that the BIA is lawful.”

See Also: BlockFi Faces Crackdown by a Third US State, Texas
See Also: Dfinity Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Claiming ICP Token Is Unregistered Security

22 July

“According to the report, about 61% of its tokens are backed by “cash and cash equivalents,” meaning cash and money market funds. Yankee Certificates of Deposit – meaning CDs issued by foreign (non-U.S.) banks – comprise a further 13%, U.S. Treasuries account for 12%, commercial paper accounts for 9%, and the remaining tokens are backed by municipal and corporate bonds.

According to footnotes in Tuesday’s attestation, the commercial paper has a “minimum S&P rating of S/T A1,” meaning S&P Global Ratings regards the issuer’s ability to meet its financial obligations as being strong.

Circle intends to go public later this year in a merger with a special purpose acquisition company that would value Circle at $4.5 billion.”

See Also: Paxos Reveals Assets Backing Stablecoins PAX, BUSD
See Also: US Patent Granted to Stablecoin Concept Backed by Government Debt

Stock tokens and stablecoins backed by securities might be treated as securities under U.S. law, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a stock token, a stable value token backed by securities, or any other virtual product that provides synthetic exposure to underlying securities. These platforms – whether in the decentralized or centralized finance space – are implicated by the securities laws and must work within our securities regime.

Gensler warned that his agency may bring future enforcement actions as well, noting that “we’ve brought some cases involving retail offering of securities-based swaps,” seemingly referring to a case the SEC brought against financial app Abra, which paid $300,000 in penalties. Crypto exchange Binance also recently announced it was closing its stock token business.”

See Also: Stablecoin Rules Are Coming

“In a series of shocking statements early yesterday, European Commission regulators declared that they were “banning anonymous cryptocurrency wallets” as part of a money laundering crackdown.

Rather than a ban on crypto wallets, the E.U. rules would impose tighter but defensible rules on money service providers, such as exchanges or custody services. The new rules would be very similar to the “travel rule” guidelines from the multinational Financial Action Task Force. The rules prohibit providing anonymous services, such as crypto custody or exchange accounts provided by a third party, not the provision of software for self-custody.

Either McGuinness and her communications team misspoke out of genuine ignorance when describing the new rules to the public, or they knowingly obfuscated as a way to misdirect public perception. Unsurprisingly, many news outlets reported McGuinness’s statements without examining them.”

SpaceX holds BTC, Musk said. SpaceX’s bitcoin holdings had not been previously disclosed. Tesla still holds the asset in its treasury, the CEO said.

On Tesla accepting bitcoin for car payments again, Musk said the network’s energy usage is improving and Tesla is doing some more due diligence on this, but that Tesla would “most likely” resume accepting BTC for payments.

The entrepreneur and provocateur said he personally owns bitcoin, ether and, naturally, dogecoin.”

See Also: Elon Musk says Bitcoin may have already hit his benchmark on renewable energy

Bank of America’s prime brokerage unit has started the clearing and settlement of cryptocurrency exchange-traded products (ETPs) for hedge funds in Europe. This is the second recent move on the part of the traditionally conservative bank in the volatile cryptocurrency arena. Bank of America has also approved the trading of bitcoin futures for some clients and is clearing cash-settled contracts.

Bank officials may have felt they could not ignore an asset class that has seen numerous companies dive in. The demand for products such as ETPs has been increasing.”

See Also: Rothschild Investment Corp More Than Tripled Bitcoin Exposure in Q2
See Also: Crypto Exchange FTX Raises $900 Million, Valued at $18 Billion
See Also: NFT Marketplace OpenSea Valued at $1.5B in $100M Funding Round Led by A16z

Mastercard has named the first stablecoin and a handful of partner companies that will help cryptocurrency holders spend their digital assets at merchants that accept the payment giant’s cards. In the pilot announced Tuesday, Circle’s USDC will serve as a bridge between the cryptocurrency in consumers’ digital wallets and the fiat currency paid to merchants.

While it might sound like adding an extra step, swapping a cryptocurrency for a stablecoin and then exchanging the stablecoin for dollars can be quicker or simpler than going directly from crypto to fiat.

Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier.

The company is also in talks with long-running crypto startups Uphold and BitPay to provide digital wallet technology and with three firms from the traditional card business to handle back-end functions.”

“The Bank of Canada paper argues that CBDCs endowed with programmability through smart contracts will engender vibrant innovation and competition in digital services. A CBDC would give consumers a non-bank option to store their money risk-free, increasing competition in the market for retail deposits.

A digital currency would also allow users to bypass payment services providers such as credit cards, which antitrust watchdogs globally have said exhibit anticompetitive practices, the central bank said. The digital currency might be a “measured path” to combat big tech monopolies and negative externalities “at least” in payments, the authors argue.”

The Maker Foundation has announced it is turning over operations entirely to its decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), MakerDAO, as founder Rune Christensen has long promised.

The Maker Foundation is the formal organization that was created to steward the protocol through its early days until holders of the MKR token were ready to take on all aspects of stewarding the project, managing all its teams, making necessary upgrades and promoting its use around the world. The intent was always to gradually decentralize the home office out of existence.

From the earliest days of Maker, everyone involved worked tirelessly to devise a framework for scientific governance and create an infrastructure for a new generation of open financial services that can be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

The Foundation will formally dissolve within the next few months.”

281 different crypto projects have announced integrations during 2021 so far. With all time third-party Chainlink integrations currently totaling 650, that means 43% of the project’s partners were onboarded this year. By contrast, roughly 250 partners integrated with Chainlink during all of 2020.

An increasing number of projects are also utilizing Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF), which offers decentralized applications a secure and automated solution for generating randomization.

Chainlink VRF provides the Infinity Skies’ smart-contract responsible for chest opening with direct access to a tamper-proof and auditable random number to determine outcomes when opening chests.”

“An insurance collaboration between decentralized protocol Etherisc and microinsurance issuer ACRE Africa has allowed thousands of farmers in Kenya to receive coverage for weather-related risks. As part of the initiative, smallholder farmers are reportedly able to pay as little as $0.50 in premiums to receive coverage for crops adversely affected by climate change.

Some of those already receiving coverage have been paid using an end-to-end solution on the blockchain. Etherisc reported it had dispersed payments to farmers in need using the cash and mobile payment system M-Pesa, with roughly 6,000 expected to be compensated for lost or affected crops before the end of the season.

The solution that we built with our valued partners at ACRE Africa overcomes a number of challenges associated with traditional crop insurance — delayed payments, high premium costs, and lack of transparency.”

Brady’s platform has also signed exclusive, multiyear NFT deals with fellow iconic sports stars Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka and Tony Hawk, who will join Autograph’s advisory board. Lionsgate digital collectible content will be launched on Autograph, featuring NFTs focused on such film franchises as “John Wick,” “The Twilight Saga” and “Dirty Dancing,” as well as acclaimed TV series “Mad Men.”

Autograph’s NFT content will be sold on the DraftKings’ digital marketplace. Autograph is slated to launch this summer.”

The AMMs, collectively named “Trident,” will function as a new base layer for SushiSwap, allowing users to build their own liquidity pools with unique characteristics. SushiSwap has already built four of these, which were unveiled Tuesday.

The first, ConstantProductPool, is a basic “50/50” pool consisting of half one set of tokens and half another. HybridPool enables the exchange of similar assets like stablecoins. ConcentratedLiquidityPool allows liquidity providers to specify a range in price in which to provide liquidity, and WeightedPool allows providers to manually adjust the balance of pooled tokens.

Each of these products already exists in different DeFi protocols too. Uniswap, for instance, was the first 50/50 crypto pool and its latest v3 iteration was the first to introduce a concentrated liquidity function. Curve Finance is the original stablecoin and like-assets AMM, while Balancer allows users to change the weightings of their holdings within a pool.”

The acting AG’s order requests BlockFi to stop accepting new BIA clients residing in New Jersey beginning July 22, 2021. The order is the latest headache for the embattled lender that, in May, incorrectly deposited and then tried to reverse excessive amounts of bitcoin to users’ accounts.

We will continue to engage with all relevant authorities to protect our clients’ interests and ensure that our products remain available.”

20 July

“Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO of DeFi lending protocol Aave, said that users will be able to monetize the content they post and govern the rules of the network. With his new project, Kulechov hopes to solve problems he considers endemic to social media: a vulnerability to censorship and an exploitative pay structure that benefits platform creators rather than users.

We believe that content creators should own their audiences in a permissionless fashion, where anyone can build new user experiences by using the same on-chain social graph and data.”

We’ve onboarded over 300 projects onto Arbitrum One including many of the largest dApps deployed on Ethereum, and at this point we’ve offered access to every project that’s applied for deployment.

We remain committed to our goal of having an L2 ecosystem that is fairly launched and open to all. While many teams have already completed their deployments, there are a few commonly used infrastructure components and projects that are core dependencies for many dApps which are quite close but not yet live on Arbitrum One. We’re working closely coordinating with these projects, all of which are actively working and quite close.

It takes great coordination to stand up an entire ecosystem. We’re well underway in this process and are committed to a fair launch, and also a full and usable ecosystem launch, and critical to this is making sure core infrastructure dependencies are in place and popular tokens are bridged.”

“The President’s Working Group for Financial Markets, a presidential advisory group, plans to issue recommendations about stablecoin regulations within the next few months. The highly anticipated meeting examined stablecoin growth, use cases and possible threats.

The Secretary underscored the need to act quickly to ensure there is an appropriate U.S. regulatory framework in place.

The meeting came just days after Federal Reserve attorney Jeffery Zhang (writing in a personal capacity and not for the Fed) and Yale University economist Gary Gorton published a paper saying stablecoins could pose a systemic risk to the financial system. The paper likened stablecoins to the wildcat banks of the 1800s, pointing to a lack of insurance, the risk of bank runs and the chances of a stablecoin losing its peg when a user tries to redeem or spend it.”

See Also: Fed and Yale researchers lay out 2 regulatory frameworks for stablecoins
See Also: El Salvador May Issue Its Own Stablecoin: Report

Grayscale, the largest cryptocurrency investment manager, said Monday it has started a fund focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens, based on a new DeFi-specific index produced by CoinDesk’s TradeBlock division. The idea is that investors can allocate money toward DeFi without having to buy the tokens directly.

The Grayscale DeFi Fund provides exposure to a selection of industry-leading DeFi protocols through a market-capitalization weighted portfolio.”

“The South China Morning Post (SCMP) has launched a non-fungible token (NFT) standard for recording historical records on the blockchain. The newspaper introduced “ARTIFACT,” a standardized model for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain as NFTs. The venture will harness “a few selected blockchains” the SCMP has yet to identify. The plan is for ARTIFACT to eventually be chain-agnostic.

The Post believes that factual accounts of history and authentic historical assets should be immutable, and that ownership of these digitised and tokenised assets, which are part of our collective human experience, should be decentralised.”

See Also: OpenSea Stores NFTs with IPFS and Filecoin

“On Sunday, difficulty fell by 4.8% at block 691,488, having declined by a record 28% on July 3. The difficulty rate now stands at an 18-month low of 13.67 trillion. That’s down 45% from the mid-May peak of 25.05 trillion. The network last recorded four consecutive declines in difficulty in 2011.

The dramatic decline in both the hashrate and difficulty could be a short-term phenomenon, as there is evidence that China-based miners shifting to the U.S. and Kazakhstan could soon become operational.

The last four adjustments have been downward, and it now looks like the blockchain is back to normal.”

Tianjin released China’s first blockchain-based carbon offset certificate, days after the world’s second-largest economy launched its national carbon market.

The offset is built using AntChain, fintech giant Ant Group’s enterprise blockchain platform. Blockchain can make the issuance, trading, and audit of carbon offsets transparent and traceable, according to the report.

China aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, according to its latest Five-Year Plan. It is ramping up the use of green finance with green bonds and a national carbon market announced Friday.”

17 July

“The “Bitcoin price prediction report,” published yesterday, canvassed 42 panelists from finance, technology and academia. Some respondents (15%) see that point, labeled “hyperbitcoinisation” in the study, occurring as early as 2035. The panel predicted bitcoin’s price will have climbed to $318,417 by December 2025.

Adoption by the developing world is seen as the key driver, with 33% of respondents saying bitcoin will become the currency of choice in developing nations within 10 years.

The momentum will only pick up. The beauty is also that these broken nations will transform faster than major nations as bitcoin undermines the nation state model.”

See Also: Bank of America Approves Bitcoin Futures Trading for Some Clients: Sources

As government officials continue to raise the alarm about stablecoins, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with regulators next week to “discuss interagency work” around the crypto niche, which is increasingly drawing attention in Washington. Government officials have been expressing concern about stablecoins, and Tether, in particular.

The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets will convene on Monday, July 19th. It comprises Yellen, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and the Acting Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Rostin Behnam.”

See Also: Tether Hasn’t Printed New USDT in Weeks: 3 Possible Explanations

“Binance announced Friday that stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on its website effective immediately, and support for such tokens will end on Oct. 14, with all positions closed the following day. The embattled crypto exchange said the decision had been made to allow it to focus on other products.

Binance introduced its stock token service in April, allowing customers to buy fractions of shares in companies, starting with Tesla and followed quickly by Coinbase. MicroStrategy, Microsoft and Apple were added shortly after.

It did not take long for regulators to raise their eyebrows. The backlash against Binance has come to a head in recent weeks, with regulatory bodies around the world issuing warnings that the crypto exchange is not licensed to be offering regulated services in their markets, including the U.K. and Japan.”

16 July

“Lawyers and developers working in decentralized finance (DeFi) are asking for a new limited liability legal entity in Australia that would represent decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Such a move would give legal standing to the blockchain-based organizations, enabling DAOs to contract with other legal persons.

For the purposes of corporate governance, boards of directors would be replaced with internet communities. Having a limited liability structure would prevent every member from ‘being potentially liable for losses incurred by decisions made by a member of the community.’

See Also: Voorhees Applauds Crypto’s Hyper-Capitalism as ShapeShift Goes ‘Gray’
See Also: 1inch Foundation launches $3M grants program for DeFi developers

PayPal has raised cryptocurrency limits for its U.S. customers to $100,000 per week without an annual purchase limit.

The change will enable our customers to have more choice and flexibility in purchasing cryptocurrency on our platform.”

“The Lightning Network recorded its quickest 100 bitcoin capacity growth ever at only five days. This month alone, the network capacity has increased 20% to 1,821.29 BTC locked in across more than 56,000 channels.

This growth can be attributed, in part, to the recent news of bitcoin’s adoption in El Salvador as legal tender.With onchain fees going up with bitcoin appreciation cycle, it’s becoming an imperative to use Lightning as a low cost alternative to transfer smaller amounts of bitcoin.’ This use case is now being put to the test in areas like Bitcoin Beach and across El Salvador.

Another factor that could be motivating some users is the ability to earn yield from contributing liquidity to the network. Lightning Lab’s liquidity marketplace, Lightning Pool, launched in 2020, allows users to lease liquidity on payment channels.”

See Also: Las Vegas Strip Club Now Accepts Bitcoin Payments Over the Lightning Network

“Payments services company Square will create a new business focused on creating an “open developer platform” to make it easier to provide non-custodial, decentralized financial services.

Dorsey tweeted that the still-be-named division’s “primary focus” would be Bitcoin.”

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is launching an £11 million (US$15 million) marketing campaign to warn young people of the risks in investing in crypto.

Citing recent research that found almost 2.5 million Britons hold cryptoassets, Rathi highlighted the FCA’s concern that crypto holders are more likely to be younger and behave ‘less rationally and more emotionally, egged on by anonymous and unaccountable social media influencers.'”

See Also: US Establishes Ransomware Task Force, Considers $10 Million Bounties
See Also: Bipartisan US Bill Would Define Digital Assets, Emerging Technologies

15 July

“QETH11 won approval from Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission and will use institutional custody provided by crypto exchange Gemini. It is Latin America’s first ethereum ETF.

Last month, QR Capital’s bitcoin ETF began trading on B3, itself the first bitcoin ETF to be approved in Latin America.”

See Also: Vitalik Buterin Is Involved in a New Documentary About Ethereum

Optimistic Ethereum – How To Use Uniswap V3 Tutorial

See Also: DeFi Startup Optimism Launches Alpha of Its Uniswap Layer-Two Solution

ShapeShift announced today it will begin winding down its operations as a formal company. Currently employing 65 people, ShapeShift will have no employees, no bank accounts and no CEO in somewhere between four and 12 months’ time.

Crypto trading pioneer ShapeShift is closing its doors, handing over its legacy to a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) controlled by holders of its FOX token. As it begins a months-long process of closing up shop, it will begin by airdropping $98 million in crypto to decentralized finance (DeFi) investors.

Many companies in crypto build a decentralized protocol but leave a business standing that takes part in creating profit atop their blockchain creation (case in point, Compound Labs just launched Treasury to do precisely that). Calling the move “true decentralization,” Voorhees said ShapeShift is going a step further.

A year ago I would have thought this was sort of fanciful, but at this point I’ve seen how this tool is getting built and I’ve seen how these communities get built around a token instead of an equity structure.”

See Also: FOX Token Up 77% on ShapeShift DAO, Airdrop News

“Visa has approved local Australian startup CryptoSpend to begin issuing debit cards for the startup’s users. Those using the CryptoSpend app can then pay using their bitcoin and other supported crypto at retail stores and hospitality venues.

CryptoSpend’s card will give Australians another “flexible way” to spend their crypto on everyday items. Instead of needing to convert from crypto to fiat, like some other offerings on the market, users of CryptoSpend’s app can make direct purchases.”

See Also: Global payments brand Skrill expands crypto wallet services

The ECB decided to start the investigation phase of a eurozone central bank digital currency (CBDC), which will last 24 months, an announcement Wednesday said. The move from discussion to exploration of a CBDC is one that numerous other central banks including those of the U.K. and Japan have made in the past year, while South Korea and Sweden both appear to have moved from exploration to testing in recent months.

We will commit the resources necessary to design a marketable product.”

See Also: Jerome Powell: CBDC Report Coming in Early September

Crypto in China might be under unprecedented government pressure, but the opposite is true of blockchain technology. The newest issue of China’s most important economic-planning document, the Five-Year Plan, named blockchain a nationally strategic technology for the first time, calling on local governments to spur innovation in the field.

Fourteen governments are offering financial rewards to companies that excel in blockchain innovation. Out of China’s 34 provinces and province-level cities, 33 have enacted policies to accelerate blockchain innovation. Shanghai is offering permanent residency to highly skilled workers who move there to work on blockchain, the report said. Permanent residency in Shanghai is a lifetime aspiration for many Chinese citizens.”

“Mallers said the product Barkley will be using to be paid in bitcoin will be rolled out to all users in the U.S. in the next 30 to 60 days.

You see how high [inflation] is and you learn you can’t save yourself through wealth.”

14 July

See Also: Uniswap on Optimism (Alpha launch)!

“Hop Protocol, a team working on interoperability within Ethereum’s layer-two ecosystem, has launched its Hop bridge for the first time. The bridge has been launched with limited functionality, currently supporting “instant” USD Coin (USDC) transfers between the Ethereum mainnet, Polygon and xDai Chain.

Hop plans to expand the number and assets it supports over “the next couple of weeks,” including crypto assets Ether (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), and Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), as well as stablecoins Dai (DAI) and Tether (USDT), and forthcoming layer-two networks Optimism and Arbitrum.”

See Also: Interoperability Project Connext Raises $12M From 1kx, ConsenSys

“The U.S. Consumer Price Index jumped by 5.4% in the 12 months through June, exceeding the 4.9% increase expected by economists. On a month-to-month basis, consumer prices rose 0.9%, higher than the expected 0.5%, and accelerating from May’s 0.6% pace. This was the fastest one-month increase since June 2008.

Many of the same indexes continued to increase, including used cars and trucks, new vehicles, airline fares and apparel.”

See Also: Fed’s Bullard Says Time Is Right to Scale Back Stimulus; Bitcoin Unmoved

The firm is looking to add around 100 staff in Dublin, Salt Lake City and Boston. The staff will be used to develop new products and expand beyond bitcoin into other cryptocurrencies.

We’ve seen more interest in ether, so we want to be ahead of that demand.”

See Also: BNY Mellon to Provide Grayscale With ETF Services After ‘Anticipated’ GBTC Conversion
See Also: Fourth-Largest South Korean Bank to Roll Out Crypto Custody Services

“It’s the first major expansion of S&P’s crypto benchmarking tools since entering the market in May. Headlining the tranche is a “broad digital market,” or BDM, index that includes over 240 coins.

The new subindices also provide different slices and dices of the BDM by market cap so that investors can track different segments of the market. The index is meant to reflect a broad investable universe.”

“Despite “spillovers to broader financial markets” from crypto being limited, the BOE said the growing interest in cryptoassets by institutional investors, banks and payments operators is a concern.

These developments could increase the interlinkages between cryptoassets and other systemic financial markets and institutions.”

See Also: Crypto crackdown targeting USD access points has begun: Caitlin Long

“The debut of Nifty’s social NFT platform came with much fanfare on Monday after the company announced a major partnership with Warner Bros. and $10 million in seed investments from some of blockchain’s biggest venture firms. The Space Jam NFTs were developed with the technology of Palm NFT Studio, which was developed by Ethereum software company ConsenSys.

Nifty’s first announced its NFT-focused social media platform in March of this year, touting big names like Mark Cuban and Joseph Lubin as investors. The project’s ultimate vision is to create a social media community for digital collectibles that supports the new art scene while boosting personal interactions.”

See Also: Damien Hirst’s NFT Experiment Explores Burning Question

The Disrupt Weekend

The Ethereum blockchain is often conceptualized as a shared world computer. This computer is agnostic about what happens on it. Ethereum says we are just the infrastructure and how you organize yourselves is up to you.

But to be the neutral infrastructure is deeply political because it expands Ethereum from an economics experiment, like Bitcoin, into an experiment in public goods provisioning. Providing and maintaining infrastructure is central to the Ethereum mind-set, to the Ethereum cryptoculture.

Ethereum is not in the business of confronting the state, but I do believe it proposes a version of latent minarchism where it provides better infrastructure than the state can. These services would slowly replace their centralized analogues in the traditional world. They cover the broad areas of community well: organizational (decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs), financial (decentralized finance, or DeFi), cultural (non-fungible tokens/social tokens).”

“At the moment, cryptocurrency markets are a long way from supporting anything close to the $6 trillion-plus a day that changes hands every day in traditional foreign exchange.

But glimpses of recent growth in euro-backed stablecoins have some token issuers thinking of a future where digital versions of national currencies easily flow on blockchain-based markets between cryptocurrency exchanges and the fast-developing trading and lending platforms of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Forex is by far the largest financial market in the world, according to Investopedia, where trades take place on an over-the-counter (OTC) marketplace. It is also considered more opaque than other traditional financial markets, and large institutions tend to play a significant role in determining prices.

One of my biggest hopes for the crypto market is to disintermediate this forex market going forward because it’s one of the most untransparent and shady markets left in the whole financial market space.

I think once the EUR-denominated DeFi springs up, there’ll be a lot of people looking towards automation to take advantage of the forex opportunities.”

See Also: BIS, IMF, World Bank Say Central Banks Must Consider Cross-Border Implications of CBDCs
See Also: UN commission serves new warning against BTC adoption in El Salvador

“After many months of hard work and collaboration between Chainlink, Optimism and Synthetix we are extremely excited to announce exchanges on OΞ will be enabled the week of July 26th, with a final deployment date pending Spartan Council approval.

The initial Synths supported will be sETH, sBTC and sLINK. Once the initial group of Synths are deployed the path to expanding the number of Synths and functionality will open, this includes a MUCH wider range of assets, with natural shorts on all Synths and soon Synthetic Futures.”

Osprey is part of a crop of new bitcoin funds aimed squarely at the market-leading GBTC before a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is approved by the SEC. This includes offerings from Bitwise Asset Management, BlockFi and CrossTower that look to give traditional investors exposure to bitcoin without having to touch the asset itself.

The Osprey registration would increase transparency and liquidity for the trust, requiring it to file audited financial statements with the SEC. It would also reduce the holding period for OBTC shares from 12 months to six months, putting it on par with GBTC.

OBTC boasts a 0.49% management fee compared to GBTC’s 2% annual fee, but the Osprey fund also has 0.3% in other expenses from services such as crypto custody.”

See Also: Capital International purchased $600M in MicroStrategy stock

“The game blew up toward the end of June, and now boasts more than 250,000 daily active players. The most expensive Axie ever sold came to 300 ETH, or about $633,000 in today’s prices.

The game rewards players with governance rights for their in-game questing and AXS HODLing. Axie Infinity’s AXS token rose by 45% overnight, hitting an all-time high price of $18.34.”

The new guidelines on the social video posting site will specifically inhibit users from posting promotional content about financial products, regardless of the poster’s geographic location. TikTok was a hotbed for Dogecoin (DOGE) hype in 2020, when users shared related videos in an effort to get more folks to jump on the bandwagon.

My interpretation of this is [TikTok] are clamping down on directly or indirectly sponsored content which leads to an affiliate link, for example to sign up to a trading platform and get free stocks.”

9 July

“Circle will go public by way of Concord Acquisition Corp (NYSE: CND), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC).

Circle going public puts both members of USDC’s Centre Consortium on the public markets. USDC, the stablecoin jointly administered with Coinbase, has surged in popularity in the stablecoin sector with a circulating supply of nearly $26 billion. A company presentation on the SPAC deal listed an expected USDC circulation of $190 billion by 2023 – sevenfold growth from its current $26 billion.

As we look at what we’re building we just see an incredible opportunity to grow, to grow rapidly and to grow around the world. We’re investing heavily in product development and engineering as blockchain finance becomes the backbone of the global financial system.”

See Also: Circle CEO Says USDC to Take High Road, But It’s a Long Road
See Also: First Midwest Bank Trust Division Holding 29.5K Shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust

“The senator, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy, said in a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler that she needs answers by July 28.

A lack of common-sense regulations has left ordinary investors at the mercy of manipulators and fraudsters. The SEC must use its full authority to address these risks, and Congress must also step up to close these regulatory gaps.

Warren has long been critical of bitcoin, describing the crypto as “speculative in nature and going to end badly” during a CNBC interview in March.”

See Also: EU to Propose New Agency for Crypto Crackdown

Ethereum Upgrades Incoming

“The Banque de France (BdF) has tested a cross-border central bank digital currency (CBDC) transaction with Singapore, marking the first use of a smart contract-based, automated liquidity pool for the digital EUR/SGD currency pair. It was executed using a permissioned version of Ethereum called Quorum, developed by JPMorgan.

The CBDC automated liquidity pool and market-making service for EUR/SGD currency pairs could be scaled up to support the participation of multiple central banks and commercial banks in different jurisdictions, BdF said. The use of smart contracts automatically managed the EUR/SGD exchange rate in line with real-time market transactions and demands, it said.”

See Also: Crypto usage in Turkey increased elevenfold in a year, new survey shows

“The Graph, a decentralized indexing protocol for querying networks like Ethereum, has launched The Graph Explorer decentralized application (dapp) along with Subgraph Studio. The launch, announced earlier today, fully publicizes curation and finalizes decentralization for The Graph Network.

Hundreds of dapps use The Graph. The Graph surpassed 30 billion queries, or bits of information gathered, in June alone.

The launch of The Graph Explorer dapp and Subgraph Studio allows anyone to deploy and curate subgraphs on Ethereum and earn migration rewards paid in its native GRT token. With subgraphs, users of dapps can be sure the data being provided is decentralized rather than being provided by a third-party indexer.

We believe that permissionless, open curation beats extractive algorithms and centralized decision making every time.”

See Also: Balancer launches stable pools for like-kind swaps

“In recent months we have seen a large increase in U.K. customers becoming the victims of cryptocurrency fraud. Keeping our customers safe is a top priority, so we have decided to prevent payments to Binance following the FCA’s warning to consumers.”

See Also: Fiat-to-crypto onramp Simplex integrates SEPA Instant for European partners

“Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has joined a new blockchain-based marketplace for carbon offsets to help clients balance their emissions with investments in green projects. CIBC has partnered Brazil’s Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank, and British banking and insurance company NatWest Group on the new marketplace, which is set to be launched as a pilot next month.

Buying carbon offsets has surged in popularity as a growing number of companies set net-zero targets in response to investor demand for greener assets. However, the strategy has faced criticism over its real-world effectiveness and the transparency of transactions.

CIBC says Project Carbon is built on the private ethereum platform to provide a digital ledger that will record all transactions, record ownership and avoid double counting. The bank expects it will increase investment in green projects by demonstrating demand and communicating the trade sizes and prices of offsets.”

“On Wednesday, platform reviewer DeFi Safety published a report on ShibaSwap, scoring the protocol at just 3%, far below the 70% level the site considers a pass. Describing the score as “a devastating fail,” DeFi Safety failed ShibaSwap on all but two of its 22 review criteria.

The review highlighted ShibaSwap’s anonymous team, lack of transparency and documentation and pointed to the fact there is no public software repository, development history, or way to test the code. Schiarizzi emphasized the risks associated with the staking contract’s migrate function being under the control of a single entity.

Within 24 hours of launching, the protocol had amassed a total value locked (TVL) of more than $1 billion.”