October 31

“The Universal Login beta version is now on mainnet. This means we are that much closer to your dapp having a vastly improved on-boarding process for users.

Universal Login solves many user on-boarding problems all at once. With Universal Login, there is no download needed, you get a seamless fiat-to-cryptocurrency on-ramp, there’s built-in recoverability, and simplified transaction fees.”

See Also: Devcon5 Presentation (video)
See Also: Eth2 Update #2

In the list of the most used methods of online payment systems in Italy, Bitcoin comes in a strong, third place, just behind PayPal and the Italian reloadable prepaid card service PostePay.

Bitcoin is used more than 215,800 times per month for online purchases in Italy, while American Express is used just 189,000 per month. Visa, Mastercard, and other credit cards lag with only 33,950 online transactions per month.”

See Also: Bitcoin Needs ‘Real Use Cases’ to Become Digital Gold, Says ICE Chief
See Also: Financial System Blind to Crypto’s Deflationary Impact, Says Analyst
See Also: Regulators Hostile to Bitcoin Will Fall Out of Favor, Warns Samson Mow

“Multi-Collateral Dai (MCD) will be released on November 18, and along with its new features will come a very important change in terminology: “Collateralized Debt Position (CDP)” will be replaced with “Vault.”

Additionally, to help users and others distinguish between Dai generated via SCD and Dai generated via MCD, we will begin referring to SCD-generated Dai as Sai, and MCD-generated Dai as Dai.”

Crypto futures trading volume now reportedly amounts to nearly 50% of the value of spot trading on crypto markets. Citing volume data from 13 major global crypto exchanges, Bloomberg reported on a massive growth of cryptocurrency futures markets Oct. 31.”

“The trustee in charge of refunding users who lost money in the implosion of Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox has again extended the submission deadline for claims. Kobayashi confirmed the plan just one day before the current deadline arrived.

In a statement released on Oct. 28, Nobuaki Kobayashi said that the high volume of problematic requests for money meant that a five-month extension was inevitable.”

“The joint initiative being launched is called ReclaimCrypto, and combines the latest blockchain forensic techniques with the more established world of legal investigation and asset recovery.

So far, there is no one place where victims can go and get help.

Coinfirm’s bread and butter is anti-money laundering (AML) within crypto networks, done by analyzing the history of transactions using various smarts and big-data analytics.

Coinfirm’s partner, Kroll, takes a more “traditional” approach, which might involve producing court orders to get an internet service provider to reveal details about an IP address, or using former FBI and CIA operatives to scour the dark web for activity involving stolen funds.”

“While some see it as helpful validation, others worry that crypto is diverging further from its anti-authoritarian roots.

Given China’s mass detention centers currently being used to “re-educate” over a million Chinese Muslims, this bitcoiner feared local minorities will face even harsher conditions under a fully integrated financial system controlled by the government.”

“Knabu will run know-your-customer (KYC), know-your-business (KYB) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks on customers, encrypt the data, and send it to Factom to be recorded on the ethereum and bitcoin blockchains.

The average cost of regulatory compliance for a bank is about 30 percent of its budget. … We’re a blockchain-first company and felt that it was necessary to demonstrate the features that can remodel that.

In the future, Knabu aims to also test reporting capital reserves on Factom’s blockchain.”

“The new outpost will join Binance’s current mainland China office in Shanghai. It’s not clear what exactly the office will do or when it will open.

This comes just one year after China’s censorship firewall blocked access to the Binance website.”

See Also: Binance Quietly Launches Ruble Trading for ‘Top-10 Market’ Russia

October 30

“Following a series of private meetings in October, France is reportedly leading the anti-Libra effort with Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Politico states that the countries’ deputy finance ministers have presented their unified position against Libra to other EU ministers.

According to the report, the group intends to prevent Libra from launching in Europe as well as increase pressure on Facebook and other members of the Libra Foundation to give up on the project.  Officials confirmed the coalition is encouraging EU governments to consider banning Libra altogether.

Officials are working on a statement that will come out in December.”

“3iQ received initial approval on its long road to launch a closed-end bitcoin fund on the Ontario Stock Exchange later this quarter. New York-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Trust Company LLC will provide custody services to manage the bitcoin in the fund.

3iQ claims its entrant is ‘the first regulated, major exchange-listed‘ bitcoin fund in the world.”

“Decentralized video-streaming startup Livepeer debuted its Streamflow testnet on Tuesday, and miners and developers are working with the company to test video transcoding using idle chips already built into graphics processing units (GPUs).

The millions of GPUs out there that are mining cryptocurrency, ethereum, zcash, grin, monero, they have video encoding on those chips that can’t hash cryptocurrency. They are sitting there doing absolutely nothing.

In other words, if a mining farm is mining monero, it can keep doing that. Once Streamflow goes live on the ethereum mainnet, however, the GPUs in that farm will be able to also earn both ETH in fees and Livepeer’s LPT token in block rewards for using the currently untapped video transcoders.

For miners, it’s additional revenue that comes at almost no opportunity cost.”

“This article explains how someone will be able to become a validator in Ethereum 2.0.

ChainGuardian is a Windows/Linux/Mac app that will be a one stop shop for validators. As a user, you will be able to fully onboard as a validator which includes: making an ETH deposit, generating or importing your required key pairs (which only you own!), running a validator client and a Beacon node.

Most importantly, you will be able to observe the performance of your node, return of investment and get notified if your node is down so you don’t lose your earnings!”

“This milestone is a really cool milestone just because it shows how much people value block space.

Over the long run, the transaction fees will eventually have to replace the block [subsidy]. The understanding all along is that this subsidy via inflation will have to be replaced by the people who are paying to use the network via transaction fees.”

“The app uses a cryptographic technique called Shamir’s Secret Sharing. Customers select a group of individuals, referred to as “guardians,” who each possess parts of users’ seed phrases. If app-users lose access to their crypto assets, they can combine portions of their guardians’ keys to recover their funds. Users can pay guardians ether to protect their key portions.

Vault12 has no access to users’ seed phrases and assets. The app is ‘decentralized'”

“The digital securities will automatically have the same regulation guarantee as Deutsche Börse’s regular offerings.

With this new offering from our partner, we are able to simplify the process of raising capital for startups on our network, and all within an existing regulatory framework.”

See Also: US Congressman to Introduce Bill Clarifying Digital Asset Issuance

“Kim Dotcom has revealed his new company K.im is directly supporting WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. Dotcom said 10% of K.im’s transaction fees were going towards helping Assange’s ongoing legal battle. 

This may provide sufficient Bitcoin for his defense and enable Wikileaks to increase its truth-telling capabilities. Stay strong!

“The Tezos protocol will serve as the base infrastructure to ‘deploy, transfer and store the digital assets and smart contracts,’ which will then be offered for secondary trading on the PRO Securities alternative trading system, an SEC-registered subsidiary of tZERO.

Raising funds through an STO is more efficient, cost-effective, autonomous and democratic than traditional financing. We believe that we are at the forefront of a technological change that can disrupt the current funding paradigm.”

“A Russian aluminum plant is pivoting to bitcoin mining after U.S. sanctions forced the plant to shut down in 2018. The company plans to capture 20 percent of the current bitcoin mining market.”

“The new DAO will allow participants to vote on where to best earn rewards as validators in a given network. At the beginning of each year, STKR token holders will elect five council members to make governance decisions on what projects and DeFi applications to build.

StakerDAO will live on the Tezos blockchain. STKR tokens will be offered as a security, Lamis stressed, wholly-compliant with U.S. securities law.

When you start dealing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, you have to be very conservative in your vision

The lead investor in the project is crypto hedge fund Polychain Capital. Other participants were not disclosed, nor was the amount invested.”

CoinGecko has added a new service tracking the growing number of crypto derivatives products.

The firm’s derivatives tracker currently lists some 100 products such as perpetual swaps and futures from over 20 derivatives exchanges, and covers data points such as price, interest, basis, funding rates, expiry dates and trading volume.”

October 29

“A dedicated mobile DApp browser is kicking down the mobile door for developers, allowing web-based blockchain applications to work on mobile with a simple SDK integration. Users will no longer need access to a desktop or laptop to make cryptocurrency payments since they will be able to use the applications right from their phones.

Support for legacy applications means developers can easily incorporate blockchain into any existing app. This ultimately allows users to make payments in cryptocurrency in their favorite applications – whether it’s buying a coffee, purchasing in-game items, or subscribing to app services.

With the integration of Ledger, users now have even more options for storing their private keys.”

“Ledn users will soon be able to lock up their bitcoin and spend DAI at 750 merchants across Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, connecting bitcoin users with ethereum’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

This new partnership was driven by customer demand. More than half of Ledn’s users are in Latin America, Di Bartolomeo said, where ethereum-backed DAI is increasingly seen as an alternative to strictly regulated dollar transfers.

Separate from the loan startup, MakerDAO is [also] partnering with product-provider Pundi X, and planning to install point-of-sale devices across Latin America so that DAI users can spend crypto directly on goods and services.”

See Also: Stablecoin Adoption: DAI in a Visa Card, Tether Sees Use in E-Commerce

“The SEC granted Paxos Trust Company no-action relief Monday to settle equity securities trades on a blockchain platform for broker-dealers. Paxos announced that Credit Suisse and Société Générale would be the first two companies to utilize the new Paxos Settlement Service, which would operate on a private and permissioned network.

The service will let two parties bilaterally settle securities trades directly with each other. Monday’s announcement marks the first regulated platform for such trades.

The no-action relief will allow Paxos to operate its service within strict limitations. The company will begin by settling U.S.-listed equities.”

“China’s central bank will certify 11 types of financial technology hardware and software that are widely used for digital payment and blockchain services with its new verification system called the Certification of Fintech Products.

The certification system covers all the products that could be involved in digital payment technologies, including point-of-sale mobile terminals, embedded application software, user front-end software, and security carriers and chips. One of the very specific items included on the list of 11 products is trusted execution environment (TEE).

See Also: FTX Launches Futures on Index of 8 China Cryptos Amid Xi Blockchain Pump
See Also: Tencent to Lead Drafting of International Blockchain-Based Invoice Standards

“I want to say that the efficacy of sanction enforcing can be much higher on Libra than other payments networks.

The CEO of Calibra — Libra’s corresponding wallet — added that any wallet could participate in the network, so long as it was compliant with AML and know-your-customer standards.”

Baldwin Backs Crypto

“Professional services giant Deloitte has added zero-knowledge proof privacy tech to its enterprise blockchain offering. Deloitte’s Eduscrypt platform allows organizations to track, share and validate qualifications, using a private, permissioned version of ethereum.

Integrating QEDIT’s Zero-Knowledge Proof privacy solution ensures that organizations can trust in the authenticity of qualifications, while preserving the full privacy of the underlying data, and upholding regulatory compliance.”

Notably, three of the top five regions reporting the most searches for the keyword in question are located in Africa. The top five regions are Nigeria, South Africa, Austria, Ghana and Brazil.

As reported earlier today, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platform Paxful said its volumes grew 2,800% over the past year in South Africa. 

Google searches for “blockchain,” on the other hand, have not seen any major leap in interest despite receiving praise from China’s president who urged the country to accelerate blockchain development.”

See Also: P2P Crypto Trading Volume Increased 2800% in South Africa, Says Paxful

“Binance’s latest research report has argued that with Ethereum’s pending switch to proof-of-stake (PoS), staking is set to have a major impact on the industry. Binance outlines the potential risk-return profile of staking as a passive investment strategy vs. active trading.

As reported yesterday, a senior ConsenSys executive has revealed that Ethereum 2.0 validators can expect to earn from 4.6% to 10.3% as rewards for staking on an annual basis.”

“The contract will have daily settlement and offers supported pairs with Bitcoin (BTC), EOS, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin SV (BSV) and Tron (TRX).

OKEx argues that offering stablecoin-based derivatives contracts will offer a simpler and more efficient means for traders to navigate the market and calculate risks.

“Canaan Creative, the Avalon bitcoin miner maker and one of the world’s largest mining equipment manufacturers, has just formally filed another attempt to go public – this time in the U.S.

The filing marks the third attempt of Canaan in its efforts to go public, after its first and second trial in mainland China and Hong Kong, respectively, both fell through due to market uncertainties.

Chinese media this month pegged Canaan’s valuation at between $2 billion and $3 billion, with 126 million shares to be issued.”

See Also: Bitmain Turmoil: Co-Founder and Executive Director Micree Zhan Ousted

Good read.

“Token issuers that were hoping their digital asset would escape securities requirements through “decentralization” are almost certainly in for a disappointment, as the Telegram action and recent statements show that _intent_ is more of a barometer.

In a direct listing, existing shareholders of a private company release all or some of their holdings for public sale on a designated exchange, at considerably less expense than a traditional IPO.

Imagine that Telegram had registered its Gram tokens as securities and distributed them to initial investors, employees and developers. In a direct listing, existing token holders could sell them on a designated exchange without restriction. While not cheap, it would most likely cost less in time and money than extensive litigation.

It is clear that the legacy IPO market is ripe for innovation, as its stubbornly high costs in spite of waning demand shows. Finance overall would benefit from the emergence of new token-based business models, less reliance on private equity and debt, and more fluid capital markets.”

October 28

The company was working on developing an app to let consumers use digital assets when purchasing goods from merchants.

We’ll be launching a consumer app to make it easy for consumers to discover and unlock the value of digital assets, as well as ways in which they can transact or track them.

Monday’s announcement said Starbucks will be Bakkt’s first launch partner when the app goes live sometime in the first half of 2020. He hinted that the app might support more than just bitcoin.

A key feature of the model we’ve designed is to support a superset of digital assets. Our vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio.”

“As President Xi Jinping called on his countrymen to seize opportunities in distributed ledger technology, China’s industry heavyweights were already leading hundreds of enterprise blockchain projects.

The filings reveal some of the largest Chinese banks and tech companies working with the technology. In total, [such] enterprise blockchain projects could change the landscape of the Chinese technology industry.

Chinese media reported the start of a test phase of a Union Pay project, partnered with five other institutions, including China Mobile and the State Information Center, to launch the Blockchain Services Network (BSN), a nationwide blockchain infrastructure project envisioned to be the ‘Android or Apple’s IOS system‘ for the blockchain. BSN is already being tested at 55 cities in China, plus Singapore.

There were also many examples that the government is directly using blockchain to provide services, from legal arbitration, tax collection to daily management of a compensation tracking platform for relocated farmers.”

See Also: Chinese Central Bank Official Calls for Commercial Bank Blockchain Adoption
See Also: China Has 700+ Blockchain Companies

“China’s Communist Party (CPC) is taking its leader’s support for blockchain to heart. The CPC released a decentralized app (dapp) for members to attest their loyalty on a blockchain.

[Interestingly], the technology behind the dapp was developed by a Beijing-based company called Lingzhu Technology. In fact, this company issued a little-known cryptocurrency dubbed OFCoin and got it listed on exchanges like OKEx and CoinMex early in 2018. OFCoin’s price jumped by as much as 90 percent to $0.000326 on Saturday just hours after the CPC released the dapp and said that Lingzhu Technology is behind it.

[Similarly], several major Chinese-born cryptos, including  Qtum, Vechain, Ontology, NEO, Tron and Bytom, were enjoying strong gains on Monday.”

Sun called upon emerging market governments to consider curbing Libra’s advance, especially if the stablecoin project would threaten a state’s capital controls or enable illegal transfers.

Libra must abide by international foreign exchange regulations or ‘it should be banned.'”

See Also: Ex-Official Trolls Libra, Says China Likely to Issue Digital Currency First

“There’s a seismic shift taking place in the enterprise blockchain space. It’s called Besu.

A software client designed from scratch to connect businesses with the public ethereum network, Besu enjoys the support of Hyperledger. As such, Besu has the clout to potentially eclipse all the other enterprise versions of ethereum, including megabank JPMorgan’s Quorum.

Besu has very serious enterprise-grade support agreement which is easy to access. The Quorum team is very focused on JPMorgan projects, so we are not finding the same level of response from them.

Besu’s overarching selling point, said Khan, is its compatibility with the public ethereum chain. ‘Our Holy Grail is finding secure, scalable ways for enterprises to connect to mainnet.'”

The country’s central bank has opted to reduce the amount of dollars a saver can purchase each month from $10,000 to just $200. In a statement, the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) said the reduced dollar access would last for two months. 

A drop of 98%, the stringent new rules appeared on Sunday, the day voters elected a new president. The previous $10,000 limit itself came into being as a result of capital controls in September. 

It’s not your money if you need permission to use it.”

“Yosef, aka Oz Joseph, has been indicted on conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. As a result of the indictment, Yosef will forfeit listed assets.

On Thursday, Crypto Capital president Ivan Manuel Molina Lee was extradited to Poland by Polish authorities on charges of money laundering.”

“Topco Associates, the largest American retail food group purchasing organization, will pilot Mastercard’s blockchain tech in its operations. Topco will use the platform to trace the provenance of produce, meat and seafood. 

Walmart began using blockchain tech to track Indian shrimp supply chains earlier this month. In August, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain and retailer Migros announced that it would use TE-Food’s blockchain-based food traceability system for its products.”

“The IADB is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. Next month, the global organization will embark on a two-year project to put land registration and lending in three Latin American countries on a blockchain.

The organization is working with blockchain startup ChromaWay and Bolivian IT services company Jalasoft to pilot the technology in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.

“The exchange’s users will be able to deposit, withdraw and trade both assets starting Oct. 29. Kraken will roll out trading pairs between OMG and PAXG and Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), as well as with fiat currencies such as the euro and the U.S. dollar.”

How Lebanon’s Economic Crisis Highlights Bitcoin’s Limitations

“It [bitcoin] could help them, perhaps, if they were sitting at home with 24 hours worth of electricity and internet, and they could work online to get paid for their online work. That’s a utopian scenario.

Another problem is access. Most bitcoin exchanges don’t serve Lebanese users.

People and communities suffer [from sanctions] while the elite find alternatives.”

Bounties Network in Action

“As more sensitive data gets put on blockchains, different organizations and industry players are developing methods to verify the provenance and reliability of recorded data. 

The project, based on code from Dell Technologies, aims to build on the concept of a Data Confidence Fabric, which establishes measurable trust and confidence in data coming from multiple sources. The system would score data based on its trustworthiness and reliability.

October 26

“With the era of negative interest rates well and truly here, return-hungry investors may increasingly borrow in low-interest fiat currencies and invest in higher-yielding cryptocurrency accounts. A carry trade is a strategy where a trader uses a low-yielding currency to fund a high-yielding investment.

The fiat-BTC carry trade is the next step in bitcoin growth.”

How to Use DAI

See Also: How to Assess the Risk of Lending to a Protocol
See Also: How to Enter PoolTogether’s No-Loss Lottery (Video)

Davidson concluded that Libra is ultimately classified as a security. ‘It has nothing to do with stablecoins. It has to do with whether there’s a central authority that can alter it.’ 

The congressman was unconvinced that the planned basket of currencies would be fixed and stable, opening Libra up to the Libra Association’s tampering. He ceded that SEC Chairman Clayton is correct in his assessment as to how this makes Libra a security, rather than a true currency.

When you’re placing all your faith in the value of that token on the actions of a central authority, that’s where I tend to agree with Jay Clayton. That looks a lot like a security.”

“MolochDAO shows that Ethereum has moved past the stage of early experimentation and is ready to bring to prime time DAOs that can compete on the global stage with traditional corporations.”

Good read on the hypothetical situation of MKR delegation and the politicization crytpo governance.

What if the passive holders could delegate their votes to representatives? Will we see new politics emerge as prospective delegates campaign for voters? And maybe someone like me will create a platform to Keep DAI bankless!

Let’s shore up our governance systems and enter these next chapters with eyes wide open. The protocol politicians are coming.”

See Also: RSA’s Hypothetical Delegate Platform

“China’s national congress said the new law will encourage research and development on commercial cryptography technologies, while building up an inclusive standardized regulatory system for the market.

Clear guidelines and regulations are needed to evaluate commercial cryptography technologies used in the major fields related to the national interest as the current ‘loose’ system is not suitable for the industry anymore.”

“An unknown Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miner was apparently in control of more than 50% of the token’s hash rate for 24 hours.

The miner seemed to mine 73 blocks from 10 am Oct. 24 to 10 am Oct. 25, to which Twitter user Notgrubles responded that this is the reason why ‘BCH is a security risk and a liability,’ while asking to de-list the coin.”

“The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) is planning to release its own fiat digital currency in order to ensure the economies’ resilience in the event of a natural disaster. The currency is expected to be accompanied by an associated digital wallet and a card.

Meanwhile, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is also developing its national digital currency as a way to eliminate the country’s dependence on the United States dollar.”

October 25

“The Chinese president’s statements on blockchain are believed to be his first in-depth remarks on the technology. Xi said blockchain technology has a wide array of applications within China, listing topics ranging from financing businesses to mass transit and poverty alleviation.

We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies. [We must] clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on a number of key core technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.

Xi further said it would be ‘necessary to implement the rule of law network‘ into existing and future blockchain systems. To this end, Xi argued for a top-down approach concerning implementation, calling for guidance and regulation.

His speech also called for the creation of “Blockchain+,” a platform alluding to personal development such as education, employment and food and medicinal safety, among other basic needs.”

See Also: Bitcoin Jumps 12% as China’s Xi Embraces Blockchain, Boosting Crypto Sentiment
See Also: WeChat Pay Using Blockchain to Track Payments, Says Binance CEO

“Authorities wrote that Molina Lee’s crimes included ‘laundering dirty money for Columbian drug cartels using a cryptocurrency exchange.’

Polish prosecutors claim that Crypto Capital held accounts in Bank Spółdzielczy in the town of Skierniewice and that Molina Lee and Bitfinex laundered illegal proceeds through the country.

Officers closely cooperated with Europol, Interpol and US services, including the DEA.”

See Also: Bitfinex Denies Laundering, Says It’s a Victim of ‘Fraud’ by Crypto Capital

Ethereum’s next system-wide upgrade, Istanbul, is scheduled to arrive on mainnet the week of Dec. 4. Istanbul is expected to introduce six backwards-incompatible code changes.

The code changes introduce more pricing adjustments to the ethereum platform, as well as new code operations that application developers can leverage to verify and authenticate blockchain data more quickly.”

“At present, the minimum amount of ether required to become a validator is 32 ETH, which is equivalent to roughly $5,200. Validators with 32 ETH can expect to earn between 4.6 and 10.3 percent in annualized returns at the launch of the Ethereum 2.0 network. 

One real innovative and impactful thing [about Ethereum 2.0] is its dynamic pricing.

Even in the ideal scenario of all validators staking 32 ETH in a 1,024 shard universe, the overall network issuance of ether is designed to never exceed 1 percent supply growth annually. This is meant to guard against inflation, and devaluation of purchasing power for the coin over time.  Currently, inflation on ethereum is approximately 4.5 percent.

See Also: Vitalik Buterin: ETH 2.0 Driven by Simplified Sharding, Optimistic Rollups and Native Cross Shard Communications (Great Podcast on Eth2)
See Also: Devcon5 Video Presentations

“The World Economic Forum (WEF) and seven major mining and metals firms are partnering to develop responsible sourcing and sustainability practices using blockchain. Key areas of collaboration and development will include carbon emissions tracking and supply chain transparency.”

“The number of Americans who own cryptocurrencies has almost doubled in 2019, from 7.95% in 2018 to 14.4%. According to the survey, the average amount out of the totally owned crypto by Americans accounts for $5,447.

More than half of American crypto holders are considered as “crypto polygamists” as 55.4% of Bitcoin (BTC) owners surveyed claimed that they also own another form of cryptocurrency.

Following civil unrest, banks everywhere closed their doors. Six working days later, a senior banking executive said the status quo would continue until conditions improved.

The most potent case for cryptocurrencies: banks are never there when you need them. And they are trying to bully the public so they avoid accountability. Bankers are legal crooks.”

See Also: Stanford Prof: Crypto Will Rain on Banks’ Low-Interest Rate Parade

“Bettors on decentralized prediction market Augur are staking $10,000 on Brexit not happening by the end of the month. And the platform rarely lies. Only five percent of those bettors expect Brexit to happen by Boris Johnson’s October 31 deadline.

Augur depends for its accuracy on the theory of the “wisdom of crowds” and—the theory goes—can tap into collective pools of understanding that lone analysts can’t.”

See Also: Will The UK Leave The European Union Before November 1st 2019?

October 24

Bakkt announced Thursday that it would ‘launch the first regulated options contract for bitcoin futures,’ adding a new product to its current slate of physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts. 

Notably, customers will have the choice of options contracts settled with cash, meaning customers receive the fiat equivalent to the contract’s value at expiration, or physically, meaning they receive the actual bitcoin.”

“Following the hearing, the committee’s chair, Maxine Waters, told Cointelegraph, ‘I don’t support Libra at all at this point.’

I don’t think that he [Zuckerberg] should be moving forward with this huge project — this big idea, with all these other concerns that have not really been resolved.”

Investors in Telegram’s blockchain project have opted to stick with the firm despite the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s recent injunction against the messaging platform’s token offering.

We are happy to share with you that we have successfully obtained the consent of a significant majority of investors in both the Pre-Sale and Stage A to extend the deadline for the Network Launch to 30 April 2020.”

Galaxy is offering the funds to give accredited investors low-fee, institutionally managed bitcoin exposure. Both funds will offer professional oversight of bitcoin storage, tax documentation, and client service support.

The Galaxy Bitcoin Fund will require a $25,000 minimum investment with optional quarterly redemptions. The Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund will allow weekly withdrawals and require minimums higher than $25,000.”

“Four U.S. regulators [the SEC, CFTC, OCC and FDIC] joined the Global Financial Innovation Network, an international alliance of government regulators led by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority seeking to bolster the future of fintech.”

“Publicly traded software firm Splunk is using Ethereum sidechain xDai Chain to power the payments at its Las Vegas SplunkConf 2019. McKervey noted that users did not need to download an app or manage private keys to interact with the system.

Most users won’t even know they are interacting with blockchain based digital tokens.

According to the xDAI block explorer, there are already over 22 thousand addresses involved with the tokens and over 48 thousand BCB transactions have already taken place.”

The system uses Contagion[a gossip protocol], a probabilistic algorithm that mimics the spreading of a contagious disease in a population. It consists of three sub-protocols—Murmur, Sieve, and Threshold. The three protocols are responsible for ensuring validity, totality, and consistency of a transaction.

The energy [used to propagate and validate a transaction] is that of sending messages on the Internet.

The team behind the paper plans to open source the protocol with the help of E.U. funding.”

“Facilitated by payments network Flutterwave, the addition starts a new phase of Binance adding sub-Saharan fiat pairs. In “the near future” the high-volume global exchange will also introduce gateways for South Africa’s Rand (ZAR) and Kenya’s Shilling (KES).”

“ConsenSys has unveiled Trusat, a satellite tracking application based on the Ethereum (ETH) network. Trusat aims to tackle the problem of space debris that could damage Earth’s space infrastructure.

The initiative hopes that its app’s users will track satellites in the night sky and record their positions in order to help create a record.”

October 23

Many of the CEO’s answers to lawmakers’ questions underscored Facebook’s official position that it no longer controls the project.

You said that you won’t launch without U.S. regulator approval. What happens if the association decides to launch despite that?

I believe we would be forced to leave the association.

Zuckerberg committed to preventing anonymous use of the Calibra wallet – but stopped short of promising lawmakers that the Libra cryptocurrency would never be used without identification.

Will you commit to not supporting anonymous wallets for Libra?

I can’t speak for the whole association, you have my commitment from Facebook.”

See Also: Updating Live: Zuckerberg Hearings Before Congress on Libra
See Also: Watch Hearing

“The U.S. Department of the Treasury has committed to monitoring the Facebook-led cryptocurrency project Libra.

It is unclear whether U.S. and foreign regulators will have the ability to monitor the Libra market and require corrective action, if necessary. This concern must be addressed if the Libra is to launch.”

“Although the deposit contract has been written, tested, and formally verified, we are working to allow the BLS standardization to stablize prior to launch. Fortunately, the deposit contract does not need to be put into production until we near Phase 0 launch, so this focus on standardization is not expected to have any effect on the Phase 0 launch date.

We have altered the sharding proposal in such a way to greatly improve developer and user experience. We expect multi-client public testnets to launch soon after this simplifying change is completed.

We will be publishing more info on participation (staking your eth) in both testnets and mainnet shortly. Casper is indeed coming.

See Also: Ethereum 2.0 Dev Says “Will Attempt Cross Client Testnet this Week”
See Also: Microsoft integrates OpenZeppelin Contracts into Microsoft Azure

“The Litecoin Foundation has published two new draft Litecoin Improvement Proposals that work toward establishing privacy features for the network.

The Foundation is working on the integration of the scalability- and privacy-focused Mimblewimble protocol, which allows for transactions to be obfuscated yet verifiable.

The authors envision implementing MimbleWimble as an opt-in new transaction format through “extension blocks” (EBs). These EBs run alongside main chain canonical blocks, at the same interval of 2.5 minutes.”

“The task force will investigate digital asset labels for cryptocurrencies, tokens, and blockchain technology as it intersects with financial markets.

While most crypto exchanges use a standardized set of ticker symbols, there are some discrepancies that will need to be overcome if traditional financial exchanges are to eventually deal with digital assets.

With digital assets emerging as a new investment class, the availability of quality, standardised reference data will serve as the foundation for a trusted token market.”

“TrustVault looks like a straightforward crypto wallet phone app, but behind the scenes, the user’s private keys are held within clusters of hardware security modules (HSMs) operated by Trustology with verification processes distributed among secure data centers.

To entice institutions to begin using decentralized exchanges, minting stablecoins via MakerDAO or lending and borrowing crypto through Compound Finance, TrustVault now bridges the browser with various decentralized apps on ethereum.

I don’t believe there is anything else on the market that is custodial and DeFi-capable.”

The DeFi Revolution has Begun

“Twitter account Bakkt Volume Bot, which carries out live tracking on the platform, indicated that the amount of BTC futures contracts is forecasted to reach 1,089 BTC by the end of the day.”

See Also: Former World Gold Council Exec Develops New Bitcoin ETF

“PoS is a type of consensus algorithm where block creators are randomly chosen.

A sampling-based quantum supremacy experiment could almost immediately be repurposed to generate bits that can be proven to be random.”

“The first application that CBSG intends to launch is the Cross-Carrier Payment System (CCPS), which aims to enable mobile service users to use their phones for payments with local merchants abroad. 

CCPS reportedly allows for interoperability across different telecom carriers, which should in turn establish a network of merchants accessible to mobile service customers. Softbank is the first carrier to adopt CCPS and aims to launch the payment system in Tokyo in 2020.”

October 22

“Mark Zuckerberg will tell Congress [tomorrow] that Libra can bring financial services to the world’s 1.7 billion unbanked. And if Libra doesn’t do it, he said, China’s new central-bank crypto will.

He added that Facebook will not be part of launching Libra “anywhere in the world” until “all U.S. regulators” approve of the project.

The CEO also emphasized that Facebook does not “expect to be leading” any efforts to further Libra’s development given that the project’s governing council, the Libra Association, has now been formally signed into existence.

Zuckerberg claimed that Libra has no intention of competing with sovereign currencies or with participating in monetary policy.

[The Libra Association] will work with the Federal Reserve and other central banks responsible for monetary policy to make sure that is the case.”

See Also: Facebook’s Marcus Says China Wins With Digital Renminbi if US Nixes Libra
See Also: Banks May Cut Ties With Facebook if Libra Is Launched: ING CEO

“The proposed legislation appears to be a response to the Facebook-led Libra cryptocurrency.

The market value of such digital asset is determined, in whole or in significant part, directly or indirectly, by reference to the value of a pool or basket of assets, including digital assets, held, designated, or managed by one or more persons.

If signed into law, the rule would give the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jurisdictional authority over all stablecoins and their issuers. It is unclear what sort of support the bill has at present.”

“Tarbert told moderator Chris Brummer that he “absolutely” believes ether futures could trade in the next six to 12 months.

I’d say it is likely that you would see a futures contract in the next six months to a year.

Tarbert first declared ether a commodity earlier this month, announcing that his agency would be willing to approve futures contracts on the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.”

The Trump administration acted to deflate the bitcoin bubble of 2017 by allowing the introduction of futures products, a former official said Monday.

One of the untold stories of the past few years is that the CFTC, the Treasury, the SEC and the [National Economic Council] director at the time, Gary Cohn, believed that the launch of bitcoin futures would have the impact of popping the bitcoin bubble. And it worked.

Bitcoin’s dramatic price run-up in December 2017 was the first major bubble following the 2008 financial crisis. That’s why the Trump administration acted in concert to address it in a pro-markets manner, he said.

Without shorts, a market has no pessimists. ‘If you don’t have that derivative, then all you’ve got are believers [and] it’s a believers’ market.’

I believe it shows the power of markets to bring discipline to prices.”

“Morgan Creek revealed that the same institutions from the first fund, including two public pension funds, have increased their investments in the second by more than twofold.

Together, Fairfax County’s Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System and Employees’ Retirement System are investing a combined $50 million in the second fund, up from $21 million in its first fund that closed in February.

We hear folks saying institutions aren’t interested, but this initial close along with the conversations we’re having with tens of other institutions, shows that there is no lack of interest.”

See Also: Bitcoin Futures: Institutional Long Positions Value Doubled in October

“You can now pay for things using Bitcoin and Tron in-browser, following last year’s integration of Ethereum into Opera.

This makes Opera one of the only major browsers to have native crypto support. On Chrome and Safari browsers, users have to use third-party crypto extensions to access decentralised services. Opera’s main competitor in the crypto space is the privacy browser, Brave.”

The report marks a distinction between pseudo-anonymous and anonymous tokens, noting that pseudonymity allows the analysis of transactions in public blockchains and the evaluation of suspicious movements, while fully anonymous tokens like Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC) enable transactions to remain untraceable and are thus vulnerable to involvement in illegal activities.

In this regard, the Ministry urges oversight of anonymous cryptocurrencies in the future. Although the market capitalization of such coins is still relatively low, the report notes, they are gaining popularity and acceptance in the darknet and eventually may become a real alternative to Bitcoin (BTC).”

See Also: FATF’s Regulations to Push Criminals to Privacy Coins: CipherTrace CEO

“The license, considered the toughest such state regulation in the country, has long been unpopular with blockchain startups, who complain of onerous paperwork and long approval times. 

This is a good time to take a look, a responsible look and see how our regime is fitting the current market and … what if any adjustments should we think about making to continue to adapt.

NYDFS wants to hear from industry participants to see what improvements, if any, the agency could implement.”

“The Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s central Internet regulator, censor, oversight and control agency, has published its second list of registered blockchain service providers.

Chinese blockchain service providers must verify their users’ real names via a national ID or phone number, as well as store and provide their clients’ data to authorities for inspection.

The new batch comprises 309 companies that are representatives of various industries, including cultural tourism, education, e-commerce, law, healthcare and supply chains.”

“Back explained that sidechains could bring the features of altcoins to Bitcoin, but that economic incentives decrease the motivation to develop such systems. 

It is worth mentioning that Back’s Blockstream is the company that launched the Liquid Bitcoin sidechain. Nevertheless, he admits that current sidechain solutions are still not trustless or secure enough.”

“Gelernter and Rosenthal are planning to ensure user privacy with blockchain technology, also providing maximum security and enabling decentralization. The new social media platform will return control of personal data to individuals who could share it or sell to others.

It is a way to quit that ownership that those two companies have over people’s lives.

Gelernter and Rosenthal also plan to conduct an initial coin offering [and] hope that the project will be completed in early 2020.”

October 21

“Marcus said that the firm could consider dropping the currently planned “synthetic” stablecoin – which is to be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies and government bonds – and instead issue a number of individual coins pegged to national fiat currencies such as the dollar, pound and euro.

We could definitely approach this with having a multitude of stablecoins that represent national currencies in a tokenized digital form. That is one of the options that should be considered.

Why Libra would shift away from its currently planned structure for the token wasn’t stated. Among possible issues, it has been suggested previously that the reserve backing the basket could be classed as a security and hence come under the remit of regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”

“The paper describes a denial-of-service (DoS) attack that could be used to slow down or even stop a huge percentage of payments on the network and, although the behavior hasn’t been seen in the wild and lightning’s technology is still in-progress, it’s considered a major flaw in the network as it stands today. 

It is extremely easy to execute. It takes opening a few lightning channels to key points, promising zero fees, and then not relaying any payments. You’d need around 20 or so new channels to attack some 80% of all transactions, so the total cost would be around $2000.

Lightning developers agree this is a serious attack vector but they are optimistic that future changes will make the attack much harder. ‘As the network grows, lightning network implementations will deploy more aggressive heuristics to ban misbehaving peers … and such attacks will become more an more short-lived.'”

See Also: As Lightning’s Economy Takes Shape, Devs Are Split on Proposed Fee Hike
See Also: Fortnite Meets Bitcoin Lightning Network in New ‘Lightnite’ Video Game

Since mid-September, the Fed has injected $210 billion into the economy. Part of its newly-revitalized quantitative easing (QE) strategy, the move dwarfs the total market cap of Bitcoin, which stands at $148 billion. 

QE refers to the buying up of government bonds in order to provide economic stimulus. For holders of assets that cannot have their supply inflated, such as gold and Bitcoin, money printing has regularly sparked calls to decrease reliance on fiat currency.”

“We’re adding support for fiat trading. In about two weeks or so, we should have support for Russian ruble trading, direct.

Binance had said in September that fiat payments were coming for over-the-counter OTC trading – effectively, bulk deals – this month. However, his comments today appear to indicate that general trading on the exchange will also support the new options.”

Bitfinex’s filing comes as part of the on-going proceedings where it seeks to recover $880 million of its funds held at its payment processor Crypto Capital that was said to be frozen by multiple government agencies.

Meanwhile, Bitfinex is also under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office for allegedly using a loan from its sister company Tether to cover up the frozen funds without disclosing to customers.”

“Bitcoin (BTC) may not benefit from an influx of institutional traders, a senior executive at one of the industry’s best-known businesses has warned.

If we take 50% of the world’s Bitcoin and we put it in custody with a custodian that’s regulated… and we take these Bitcoins, and we put them in a vault somewhere… and then we issue Bitcoin depository receipts — pieces of paper that allow us to trade the underlying Bitcoins sitting in a vault somewhere — but we never actually exchange Bitcoin on the Bitcoin network, is that still Bitcoin?

The facility’s launch is ‘significant to Bitmain’s global expansion plans‘ and the state’s stable and efficient energy resources will be fundamental to supporting what he believes is set to be the inevitable scale of growth of the mining industry.”

“With the MoU, Maybank Malaysia, Maybank Cambodia and NBC will explore the possibility of transferring funds between Cambodia and Malaysia through NBC’s blockchain-based Bakong payment system.

More than 66% of all mobile banking transactions in Malaysia were conducted through the Maybank app in 2018.”

“Bitcoin IRA’s technology supports self-directed retirement accounts that allow investors to create a digital asset IRA account, transfer funds from an existing IRA custodian and trade their crypto holdings in real-time via an OTC liquidity provider. 

Borrowing and lending using cryptocurrencies and cash are providing new and safe opportunities for our clients to maximize the growth of their retirement accounts. Interest earned by a client can offset trading fees or custodial holding fees, essentially creating a free account making these fees a thing of the past.

“Bunkertrace, a blockchain and DNA-based fuel tracking solution, is using DNA markers to trace bunker fuel oil throughout the supply chain.

The new solution combines synthetic DNA markers and blockchain technology to trace the fuel and make it possible to track any changes made to it. The company then records each transaction in a blockchain-based system to manage risk for marine fuels by creating a transparent chain of custody.”