December 11

“Nike patented shoes that are tokenized as a non-fungible token (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain, dubbed CryptoKicks. The system apparently aims to provide a way to ensure the authenticity of the goods.

The patent also borrows ideas from popular blockchain collectible cats game CryptoKitties. More precisely, it suggests that the shoes can be bred:

Using the digital asset, the buyer is enabled to “breed” the digital shoe with another digital shoe to create “shoe offspring,” and, based on rules of acceptable shoe manufacturability, have the newly bred shoe offspring custom made as a new, tangible pair of shoes.

“With the move, head of Digital Investment Banking at Santander and chairman of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, hailed the technology as a real-world solution for securities issuance.

We just performed an early redemption of our blockchain-based bond that we issued on September 10th, 2019. This unequivocally proves that a debt security can be managed through its full lifecycle on a blockchain (public in this case).

It’s an evolutionary step. There are no secondary markets yet, but we are on that path.”

“Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has announced the latest version of its Ledger Live application, adding support for Tezos (XTZ) and Tezos staking.  

This feature is typically available to users through major cryptocurrency exchanges, like Binance and Coinbase. Yet this has been problematic due to the questionable level of security on these exchanges.  Storing XTZ on a Ledger hardware wallet and then providing users with a platform to stake Tezos creates a much more secure solution.

Major exchanges that provide Tezos staking also typically charge commission fees on all rewards received. Unlike those exchanges, Ledger Live lets users choose who to delegate their tokens to without applying additional fees.

See Also: Ledger Staking
See Also: How To: Staking on Ledger Live (video)

“Kraken Security Labs has found a way to extract seeds from a KeepKey cryptocurrency hardware wallet. All that is required is physical access to the wallet for about 15 minutes. 

The attack takes advantage of inherent flaws within the microcontroller that is used in the KeepKey and relies on voltage glitching to extract your encrypted seed. This unfortunately means that it is difficult for the KeepKey team to do anything about this vulnerability without a hardware redesign.”

“Based on JPMorgan’s in-house blockchain platform Quorum, the Interbank Information Network (IIN) intends to accelerate payment transactions as well as address major challenges of sharing data between banks.

Bloomberg reports that more than 80 Japanese banks have expressed their intent to join the platform. The INN is currently operating at 70 banks in Europe, Asia and the United States.

“What initially seemed like a textbook technical correction due to overbought conditions turned into a full-blown sell-off with prices falling more than 67 percent (from 465 to 153 satoshis)  in just 120 minutes.

The exact reason for the selloff is not known. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that the MATIC team had nothing to do with the price drop. Some investors, however, believe the selloff was caused by manipulative dumping [and] accusing the MATIC team of engineering a pump and dump scheme.

See Also: How Margin Trading On Altcoins Affects The Market (MATIC -73%)
See Also: FinCEN Sees Jump in Crypto-Related Suspicious Activity Reports

“The Shenzhen-based company will provide the Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN) with its patented open consortium chain FISCO BCOS. Rather than a single blockchain, the consortium chain is a set of blockchain applications to serve the general public.

The announcement is the latest effort by the Chinese government to build a nationwide blockchain network to serve a range of state-controlled public services across the country, including telecommunications and energy management.”

December 10

“Bakkt is using its physically settled bitcoin contracts as a benchmark to support the new products.

By starting with the physically delivered Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Futures, we have a benchmark contract which provides the foundation for us to develop complementary products based on the needs of our customers.

Bakkt’s options contract comes just a month before CME, which already offers cash-settled bitcoin futures in the U.S., launches its own similar product. However, while Bakkt’s pricing will be based around its existing physical product, CME’s is dependent on its bitcoin index.

See Also: Cryptocurrency Exchange OKEx to Launch Options Trading This Month

“The company said in a notice that it would shut down trading services on Dec. 15, 2019. Customers have until Jan. 31, 2020 to withdraw all of their assets.

The company said Monday the move is specifically ‘so that it can return in a more integrated and impactful fashion as part of its ongoing strategic layout,‘ though no further details were provided.”

Full nodes can take hours to download, but they’re the most secure way of using bitcoin as the user doesn’t have to trust anyone to ensure they have the correct transaction data. They use a fork of the project ABCore, which makes it easier to run a full node on Android devices.

For day-to-day, it is definitely more convenient and practical to use the wallet without the full node. However it is important to have the full node available in case the network were attacked in a similar fashion to Segwit2x with miners producing invalid blocks.”

“Further, the bull cross happened three months ahead of the reward halving (supply cut by miners), which took place in August 2016. By June 20, bitcoin had rallied by more than 120 percent to highs above $775.

The latest bull cross (above right) comes five months ahead of the next reward halving, due in May 2020.

BTSE Exchange Plans $50M Token Raise on Blockstream’s Liquid

“BTSE, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange, is looking to raise $50 million in one of the first token offerings on the Liquid Network, the parallel system to bitcoin created by startup Blockstream.

The minimum investment size is $150,000 USD.

With sidechains like Liquid and RSK, an asset can be locked up on the main bitcoin chain and then traded on the parallel network, and vice versa. The idea was in vogue mid-decade until the emergence of ethereum, which was designed specifically for such use cases, and became the go-to launching pad for initial coin offerings, security tokens, non-fungible collectibles and the like.”

December 9

“The People’s Bank of China is said to be preparing to launch pilots for its digital currency in at least two major cities. The tests are likely to include the participation of state-owned partners.

The first of two pilot phases will be smaller scale and start at the end of 2019. The second, later in 2020, will be a larger-scale effort in Shenzhen, according to the report. If all goes well, a full launch of DCEP is expected soon after the pilots.”

Ethereum has successfully completed the Istanbul hard fork. The lowered gas costs enabled by Istanbul’s EIPs are meant to increase bandwidth on the blockchain and foster zero-knowledge privacy technologies such as zk-SNARKs.”

“One of the most interesting recent developments in cryptocurrency is the emergence of decentralized liquidity pools. Any financial system is, in a sense, only as decentralized as the sources of its liquidity.

Therefore the health of DeFi is largely identical to the health of decentralized liquidity venues. We are excited to see so many great teams attacking this key problem and striving to unlock a new phase of maturity and innovation in the space.”

An Internet of Blockchains

December 7

“The Istanbul Network Upgrade is scheduled to take place at Block #9069000.”

See Also: T-Minus 1,000 Blocks Until Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork
See Also: Ethereum’s Istanbul Fork — Technical Explanation

“Follow the timeline of blockchain’s growth from Satoshi Nakamoto and the Genesis Block to Ethereum and decentralized finance.”

See Also: 2019 Was The Year of DeFi (and Why 2020 Will be Too)

“One of the guidelines focuses on individual crypto transactions worth less than 30,000 hriven ($1,300), from which the government will only collect the public key of the sender for the purpose of financial monitoring. 

However, once the transaction exceeds that amount, the government will apply verification to both sender and receiver. The process will include identity verification, as well as the verification of the nature of the business relationship.”

“Announced that it will launch in beta on Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — in 2020.

The firm also admits that the initiative is still plagued by regulatory uncertainty and that it is still working with regulators to ensure compliance.”

December 6

“Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the U.S. Treasury, has no issue with the launch of the Facebook-led Libra project – as long as financial rules are followed.

I’m fine if Facebook wants to create a digital currency, but they need to be fully compliant. In no way can this be used for terrorist financing.

At the hearing, Mnuchin also said the U.S. is unlikely to develop a digital currency in the near term.

[Federal Reserve Chair Jerome] Powell and I have discussed this – we both agree that in the near future, in the next five years, we see no need for the Fed to issue a digital currency.”

See Also: Steven Mnuchin Does Not Expect US to Issue Digital Dollar in Next 5 Years
See Also: Bank for International Settlements Exec Shows New Fondness for CBDCs

“Parity’s eth2 client, Shasper, successfully joined Prysmatic’s Sapphire Testnet marking the first public multi-client eth2 testnet. This is the exciting start of many multi-client testnets to come in the next month.

Not one but two (!) eth2 block explorers recently launched.

The BLS standards also remove one of the final blockers for launching the eth2 deposit contract. Runtime Verification is currently finishing up their report on the formal verification and analysis of the deposit contract bytecode. This report is expected to be published by the end of the month for public review, after which we can finally launch this thing.”

“Launched in April 2019, Coinbase Card is a Visa debit card that allows users to spend cryptocurrencies to pay for goods as well as to withdraw cash from ATMs. As 1 DAI is equivalent to $1, the addition of the stablecoin to the Coinbase Card aims to allow customers to spend crypto with less volatility.

It represents a small step on our big journey to make crypto accessible to all.”

Good Interview on Enterprise’s Migration to the Public Blockchain

Intro to Synthetix

See Also: Evaluating the Explosive Growth in Synthetix

“Sherman was elected to take up the position of Chair at the subcommittee that oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the New York Stock Exchange and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Sherman has expressed opposition to any money that challenges the U.S. dollar’s role as global reserve currency. He continues to argue for an outright ban on cryptocurrency.

In my view, [Sherman’s] goal is essentially to try to ban the internet.”

“New details have been revealed on China’s upcoming digital currency, which appear to confirm speculation that it will be fully centralized. 

The research arm of crypto exchange Binance analyzed a prototype of the digital renminbi, finding that the currency collects innumerable pieces of financial data on each of its users. 

A centralized digital currency in China is a worrying proposition. Given that its social credit rating system—estimated to go fully live in 2020—cracks down on its citizens for violations as small as playing music too loudly on a train, combining this with full control over their wealth makes citizens powerless.

“People’s heightened demand for dematerialized means of payment and anonymity could drive more individuals to digital currencies.

In order to gain wider acceptance, digital assets need to overcome three major hurdles. These include perceived legitimacy in the eyes of governments and regulators, which entails price stability and allows for global reach in the payment market. According to Reid, the establishment of alliances with key stakeholders like mobile apps and card providers will enable this development.”

“As part of the CRS-19 commercial resupply service mission, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is delivering SpaceChain’s hardware wallet technology to the ISS. The initiative is set to demonstrate the receipt, authorization and retransmission of blockchain-based transactions, creating multi-signature transactions. 

By adding space-based payloads to established networks, businesses will be able to enhance the security of the transmission of digital assets that can be vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking when hosted exclusively in centralized terrestrial servers.”

How to Host a Censor-resistant Website on IPFS+ENS

Börse Stuttgart Stock Exchange (BSDEX) has now opened to all interested users with residence in Germany. Users will have to limit themselves to trading bitcoins against euros. In the future, BSDEX will also list other cryptocurrencies and digital assets like security tokens.”

A distributed ledger can be used to look at the provenance of data before AI parses it. Underpinning this is a new tool called Azure Blockchain Data Manager.

From manufacturing to energy to public sector to retail, AI is digitally transforming businesses in every vertical. Blockchain can ensure that everything from the algorithms to the data going in and out of them is trustworthy.”

“We have used our own blockchain-based bond issuance system in the process.

The bond issuance is part of the country’s effort to support entrepreneurs with more efficient access to capital. Financing for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has been one of the major blockchain use cases for banks and financial services companies in China.”

December 5

EY’s Nightfall now offers private transactions for just $0.24 per transaction.

At $0.24 per transaction, we can scale and enable nearly every major business to business process.

Nightfall has been released free of charge into the public domain—there are no licensing fees or other fees associated with using the technology. By doing this, EY hopes to ensure better uptake of Nightfall, with the hopes of enabling businesses to transfer ether (ETH) and Ethereum-based tokens privately on the blockchain.”

The latest ethereum hard fork, Istanbul, is bringing Layer 2 solutions to the network – this time in the form of a payment channel.

Matter Labs released Thursday the testnet of ZK-Sync, in what the firm claims is a step toward making blockchains compete with centralized systems for handling millions of transactions a day.

Other Layer 2 ethereum solutions have stalled at the same point, facing costs too high to justify using the system. As Gluchowski said, Istanbul proved to be the answer for Matter Labs and other Layer 2 payment systems.”

“Azure Heroes rewards Azure community members for positive actions, such as coaching, making demos, providing sample code, making posts about Azure or completing challenges​.

Issuance and transactions of the badger collectibles will be carried out on the ethereum blockchain, allowing winners to hold them as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Microsoft and Enjin have collaborated in a local pilot to create a blockchain based recognition programme. The Azure Heroes badgers were created in a number of original and unique designs which have been tokenised into a digital asset on the Ethereum public blockchain.”

See Also: Official Press Release: Introducing Azure Heroes

“The Council and the Commission state that no global “stablecoin” arrangement should begin operation in the European Union until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been adequately identified and addressed.

All options should be on the table, including any measures to prevent the creation of unmanageable risks by certain global ‘stablecoins.'”

See Also: Top US Financial Regulators Urge Monitoring of Digital Assets, Stablecoins

Etherscan launches Eth2 Beacon Chain explorer.

“Under the hood, Ramp Instant is non-custodial and peer-to-peer. Every transaction is matched with a peer in the background, so your payment goes directly to your counter-party’s bank account, not to Ramp. Connecting banking databases with blockchains was impossible until very recently. 

Ramp Instant is currently only available with UK bank accounts and several other banks across the EU, but we’re planning a full EU launch by the end of 2019.”

IDEX, the top decentralized exchange (DEX) for ERC-20 tokens in 2019, is launching a new DEX on top of Rollup technology, a Layer 2 scalability protocol only made possible through Ethereum’s latest “Istanbul” hard fork.

By reducing gas fees, Rollup-based smart contracts, which bundle on-chain transactions off-chain, have become an expedient scalability tool.

The design for off-chain exchange functionality with on-chain custody and settlement is much more efficient, much more cost-effective.”

See Also: Loopring 3.0 Deployed on Ethereum

“Starting Thursday, users can buy or sell using their balances.

There will be no trading fees, as the service will have a different profit model: the money will be coming from selling data on the users’ trades to big institutional crypto firms that, in turn, will act as market makers at BlockFi, providing liquidity.

BlockFi is planning to open fiat-to-crypto trading. The fiat gateway is expected to go live sometime during the first quarter of 2020.”

It’s the highest hourly USD transaction volume in Bitcoin’s history.

Glassnode claims that the spike was caused by cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex moving a large amount of Bitcoin multiple times. The transactions took place ahead of the exchange’s maintenance scheduled for today.”

“We review every crypto wallet so you don’t have to.”

The DAO that will be proposed to ANT holders to proclaim as the official Aragon Network DAO is now live. With the release of the Aragon client with support for Proposal Agreements, ANT holders will take over control over the Aragon Network, making it a truly sovereign DAO.

Also, ANJ, the native token of Aragon Court, was deployed. ANJ is a staking token that Aragon Court jurors need to be selected to resolve disputes. At the moment, ANJ is controlled by the Aragon Network DAO.”