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.”


A new ‘Resources’ tab has been added to The Disrupt, which attempts to capture the current state of the ecosystem and direct users to reputable resources.

This will be consistently updated as the ecosystem evolves, and currently includes: Centralized & Decentralized Exchanges, DeFi, Web3, Gaming, and various valuable analytics and monitoring sites.

October 20

Image result for ethereum research

Various Eth2.0 research updates and clarifications were put out during Devcon:

“In a world that is increasingly connected, and where our information is increasingly cataloged, duplicated, shared, and sold, maintaining our expected levels of privacy can be a challenge.

These technologies, and many others being developed in the space, are great indicators that privacy on the Ethereum network has been gaining increasing attention and advances that may soon receive a massive boost.”

“As Dem Debate IV passes, legitimate challengers to the Warren-Biden duopoly have begun to take shape. The two names which fit this bill are Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.

Meanwhile, odds for the 2020 Presidential election nearly became even on Sunday, with Warren pulling within .04 of incumbent Donald Trump (.35 vs .39).”

October 19

Good read.

“Bitcoin eventually becomes almost entirely reliant on blockspace demand—by 2032 BTC-denominated block rewards will be only 6% of today’s rewards.

Others assume transaction fee revenue in Bitcoin will pick up the slack. I’m far less convinced. It’s not clear that blockspace demand is Bitcoin’s core strength. Even today, Ethereum is neck-in-neck with Bitcoin on transaction fee revenue. This is because Ethereum serves as a settlement network for a multitude of digital assets and money protocols—due to this broader use, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ethereum exceeds Bitcoin in transaction fee revenue in the years to come.”

See Also: The Final Puzzle Piece to ETH’s Monetary Policy (Good read!)

Borrowing with the Celsius Network

“In order for an individual to be able to directly own real estate, it must be priced at a level comparable to company shares in the stock market. Between $50 and $250 is ideal. 

Equally important is enabling world-wide participation. With a blockchain, you can fractionalize the asset into affordable units, and then disperse these units across the globe, so that everyone can gain access to real estate investments.

Once rental payments are made accessible to the average individual, these people can enjoy the same financial security and freedom previously only available to the land-owning elite.”

“The company claimed the new product is the first smartphone to be able to run a full bitcoin node, allowing it to propagate transactions and blocks anywhere. The new smartphone comes to the market at a price of €219 ($244), which is about a third of the cost of its predecessor, the Exodus 1.

Full nodes are the most important ingredient in the resilience of the Bitcoin network and we have lowered the barrier to entry for any person to run a node.

The device allows users to install a 400+GB SD card to expand its memory, allowing it to cope with the increasing data capacity required to store the full bitcoin ledger. The company recommended users to connect to WiFi and plug into a power source while running the full node.”

The hearing on the case has been postponed until Feb. 18–19, 2020, pushed forward from an Oct. 24. slot.

The judge hearing the case, P. Kevin Castel, ruled that Telegram should not distribute its tokens before that date, and not until the court makes its decision on the case.”

“The Malta-based international trading platform of Bittrex has informed its entire user base in Venezuela that it will stop its services for users in the country without citing a clear reason for the action.

It is also halting the service for a total of 31 countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Yemen.”

“TRON founder Justin Sun is heavily involved in the “Asian investment group” that is backing Poloniex as it spins out from Circle, several Circle employees told The Block under the condition of anonymity.”

See Also: ‘I’m not buying anything,’ says Tron CEO Amid Reports of Poloniex Acquisition

“Small-scale tests run so far have identified problems and vulnerabilities in the digital systems and government administrative procedures that must be solved before adopting the technology. 

Such systems need to verify voters’ identities — often by analyzing a portrait photo or video with facial recognition software. Experts fear that devices used to vote could be compromised or that facial recognition systems might make mistakes or get tricked by hackers.”

October 18

Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS) is ‘now engaged in a full rollout‘ of its custody and trading services, expanding from the limited trial users in the platform’s final test stage. A Fidelity spokesperson was unable to clarify when the platform was officially launched.

Fidelity started adding clients in the first quarter and is now engaged in a full rollout of its custody and trading services for digital assets — a boon to what is a fragmented and complicated industry.

The $2.8 trillion asset manager is one of the first established traditional financial institutions to offer digital asset custody services.”

“Some 800 representatives from 205 jurisdictions met from Oct. 16 to Oct. 18 to discuss various issues under the jurisdiction of FATF.

There are two concerns: mass-market adoption of virtual assets and person-to-person transfers, without the need for a regulated intermediary. Together these changes could have serious consequences for our ability to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

A second document, titled “Money laundering risks from ‘stablecoins’ and other emerging assets,” said the FATF will continue to examine the characteristics and perceived risks of stablecoins and may even clarify or update its virtual currency guidance to better address this class of cryptocurrency.

See Also: Bitcoin Has Failed But Global Stablecoins a Threat, Say BIS and G7
See Also: Bitcoin Privacy Is the Only ‘Big Question’ for Devs

“Binance.US announced that the exchange holds its U.S. dollar deposits in pooled custodial accounts at different banks that are insured by the FDIC.

The pooled custodial accounts are maintained in a manner that provides access to pass-through FDIC insurance coverage up to the depositor coverage limit, which is currently $250,000. FDIC insurance coverage protects depositors against the risk of loss in the event that an FDIC-insured bank fails.”

See Also: Binance Hikes Leverage to 125x for Launch of Bitcoin-Tether Futures

“Poloniex will now become Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., an ‘independent international company‘ backed by an unnamed Asian investment firm. The trading platform will not serve U.S. customers after this year.

U.S. residents have until Dec. 15, 2019 to withdraw their assets, with all trades being suspended on Nov. 1, 2019.

Poloniex said the company has ‘a multiyear plan to spend more than $100 [million] to develop and expand‘ its platform.”

“Global crypto exchange Huobi plans to roll out a fiat gateway in Turkey that could increase access to more than 250 cryptocurrencies for local investors.

The move comes as Turkey puts forward a clearer legal framework for the crypto market in a country where many people already hold cryptocurrencies.”

“This is the first global token trial on the R3 Corda platform, hosted on Microsoft Azure. This represents the first global-scale trial on R3’s Corda platform.

The participating organizations create $18 billion of Trial Tokens. This was a live demonstration of how mobile collateral tokens can be used for instant settlement, collateral management and effective cash transfer.”

“The pilot offers eligible voters to cast their votes using their smartphones, which are secured through blockchain and facial recognition technology [using the Voatz platform].

Ultimately, giving everyone the opportunity to use mobile voting means we can dramatically expand turnout and loosen the grip on power by special interests and extreme ideologues on both sides.”

“The Kik messaging platform has been bought by MediaLab, a holding company which operates Whisper and a number of other apps.

We are excited to further partner with Ted and his team on expanding the Kin integration and have plans to further support the project.”

“Cointelegraph’s website has become widely inaccessible in Russia as authorities added the domain to a registry of blacklisted sites.

Head of the Eastern Europe & Central Asia Desk at Reporters Without Borders, told Cointelegraph: ‘The blocking of your website is one more sign that Russia’s online censorship system is becoming more powerful.’

Since their largely failed Telegram blocking last year, the Russian authorities have been actively working to enhance their online censorship system. A major turning point was the ‘Sovereign Internet’ law signed by President Putin on 1 May, which is taking Russia much closer to the Chinese model. This law will be implemented gradually from 1 November onwards.”

“Two particular properties of the blockchain make imposing the ordinary rules of private law onto the blockchain particularly tricky, he claims: first, the irreversibility of the ledger and second, the anationality of the technology.

Neither does it provide a mechanism to reverse faulty transfers, nor does it allow for a transfer of title outside the blockchain.

This March, former IBM chairman and current chairman of United States nonprofit The Center for Global Enterprise claimed that no solution had yet been found to make public blockchain networks compatible with European data privacy laws.”