March 30

Over recent months, various reports have started to emerge that don’t appear to show the Lightning Network in the most favorable light. In February of this year, a multinational team of academics published a yet-to-be-reviewed paper indicating that the network was becoming increasingly centralized. A coefficient of 0.88 in node distribution corresponded to 10% of nodes controlling 80% of the Lightning Network.

‘A Cryptoeconomic Traffic Analysis of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network,’ uncovered that the transaction fees earned were so low that it was “economically irrational” to operate a node on the Lightning Network.

Another worrying development for the Lightning Network is that other Bitcoin-related developments are starting to become more prevalent. WBTC now has a comparable value locked in its smart contracts to the Lightning Network. 

Elsewhere, second layer Ethereum platform Matic Network announced that it was collaborating with interoperability protocol RenVM to support BTC directly on Matic sidechains. StarkPay, launched by Starkware, is another payment solution to rival the Lightning Network.

Lightning payment channels create a capital inefficiency, as they require both parties that form a channel to lock up funds rather than just the payer. Another issue is the liveness requirement, which forces parties to constantly monitor the chain as long as a channel is open. I think these two drawbacks explain the lack of usage of such systems.”


Good explanation of the inner-workings of the corporate bailouts.

Gold-backed assets have to be able to prove that the gold reserves exist and are stored somewhere safe. The storage of collateral comes at an additional and mandatory cost, and the stablecoin itself is impossible to audit. Moreover, as gold can be easily replaced with Tungsten, only more auditing issues arise.

[Further], a gold-backed stablecoin is a derivative for an action that changes in price and, therefore, can be classified as a security; gold has a potentially unlimited supply; [and] we don’t know the exact (or even close to exact) numbers of gold assets held by governments. [Governments also] control the majority of this precious metal and are able to influence the market for gold through sales and lending.

Thus, we can conclude that by using gold as the underlying layer to a stablecoin, its creators increase the chances of project failure.”


“According to the data, Blockstream and Lightning Labs both employ 8 developers to work on Bitcon, followed by Square Crypto which employs 7. 11 out of the top 33 most active Bitcoin developers are independent. Bitcoin research firm, Chaincode Labs, is the largest financial supporter of Bitcoin Core software development.

We conclude that the situation is more healthy than it has been in the past, with respect to the availability of finance, transparency, and the degree of distribution among financial backers.”


“For Ubisoft, blockchain represents an opportunity to further empower players. We see it as a way to allow players to become stakeholders of the games they love.’

Some of the most exciting opportunities will come from the bridge blockchain creates between virtual and real-world economies.

There’s still too much friction for new users in understanding blockchain technology and how to interact with it,’ says Immutable’s Perkins. ‘Simply acquiring crypto proves to be a complicated process for beginners.‘”


The new additions bring the Liquid Federation’s membership up to 45. New members include hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, peer-to-peer exchange Hodl Hodl, crypto trade firm MerklePro, cryptocurrency manager Point95, Wiz, Blockchain tool developer Wyre, blockchain marketplace STOKR, and crypto fund manager ListedReserve.

Unlike the Lightning sidechain which is designed to quickly clear a large volume of smaller transactions, Liquid caters to larger transactions and can hide the sums involved in a transfer [and is also centrally controlled by the federation].”


“The Ethereum-based social media app, Pepo, has integrated with video conferencing platform, Zoom, to facilitate live streaming.

Only Pepo community admins are able to stream live, however, anyone can participate in the live events.”

March 29

The task of re-liquefying the world will fall to the IMF because the IMF will have the only clean balance sheet left among official institutions. The IMF will rise to the occasion with a towering issuance of special drawing rights (SDRs), and this monetary operation will effectively end the dollar’s role as the leading reserve currency.

Since 2009, the IMF has proceeded in slow steps to create a platform for massive new issuances of SDRs and the creation of a deep liquid pool of SDR-denominated assets.

The international monetary elite has been awaiting the global liquidity crisis that we’re facing right now. In the not-too-distant future, there will be massive issuances of SDRs to return liquidity to the world. The result will be the end of the dollar as the leading global reserve currency. You’ll still have dollars, but its global dominance will end.”


“Aztec is building a high-speed privacy network on Ethereum. Aztec will soon allow you to send private payments at 100 tps on mainnet, with both balance privacy and user privacy baked in.

Aztec is pleased to confirm the team is working on ZK-ZK Rollup for PLONK proofs, to collapse the gas costs of private transactions on mainnet.”


RenVm is only a few weeks away from going live, and once it does, it will strengthen DeFi by adding different types of collateral and boosting liquidity. It will also open up a new investment option, as anyone will be able to run a node on the network and collect fees.

When the Bitcoin arrives on Ethereum, it arrives as an ERC20. Almost every Dapp or DeFi protocol supports ERC20s. They don’t typically have to do anything to support having Bitcoin on Ethereum because it is just an ERC20.

There’s no middlemen in that process whatsoever, which embodies this idea of the user being able to interact with any chain, with any application.”


“GridPlus Energy currently offers some of the lowest price 12 and 24 month fixed rate energy plans in the Oncor and Centerpoint regions of Texas, but redeeming GRID tokens can give you direct access to wholesale pricing.

When you are logged into your account you can deposit as much GRID as you like and have it automatically applied to your bill as your household consumes energy. You can also now pay your bill using GRID.”


Chico Crytpo: Corporate Bailouts

March 28

Recommended read.

“With officials starting to envision what it might take to rebuild damaged economies and restore society to a semblance of normal, speculation is mounting that seismic shifts might be in the offing for the global monetary system — a phenomenon that historically has occurred in the wake of world wars. 

Think Bretton Woods, the historic gathering in 1944 at a mountaintop resort in New Hampshire, which set the template for the current system and entrenched the dollar’s near-century-long reign as the world’s dominant currency. 

Bank of England President Mark Carney floated the idea of a “synthetic hegemonic currency,” possibly based on new digital-asset technologies, to reduce the dollar’s “domineering influence” on global trade. China, the world’s second-largest economy, has been pressing forward with a digital version of its yuan that might be used more widely in global trade. Facebook, the social network, proposed last year to create its own payment token, libra. Bitcoin, launched in the throes of the 2008-09 financial meltdown, offers another alternative.

See Also: How a Flurry of ‘Digital Dollar’ Proposals Made It to Congress


“The bank is using blockchain as opposed to a traditional database because it plans to tokenize the private placements after it digitizes them. Private placements are sales of stock shares or bonds that don’t occur on the open market. 

Clients can access the Corda platform, which the bank has dubbed “Digital Vault,” through their HSBC online accounts. The bank is trying to anticipate a world in which financial entities turn to tokens as a better way of issuing assets.

It’s more of a case of us trying to future-proof ourselves as blockchain becomes more mainstream.”

See Also: South Korea’s Largest Bank Launches a Crypto Custodial Service


“Virus or not, people are still paying for goods in bitcoin (BTC). That comes from a massive network: 8,000 integrated retailers now accept cryptocurrencies alongside their other payment streams.

Coinbase is seeing a surge in the use of stablecoins for payment, particularly its own dollar-pegged USD Coin (USDC). USDC leads the growth pack.”


“A nominee for a CME director role believes the Chicago-based exchange, one of the few regulated providers for crypto derivatives, should issue its own tokens and mine bitcoin with renewable energy.

Dante Federighi said that if elected, he would turn CME B-shares into “New_CME_Tokens” to improve governance. Federighi also proposed that CME should build its own renewable energy plants to power operations and ‘divert the excess energy to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,’ which could be “immediately converted” into fiat.”


“The database does include users’ personal information, as well as account balances and transaction data. 

Members of the creditor’s committee had differing views on the potential privacy concerns of turning this information over to the CRA.

The CRA’s request is an unprecedented affront to individual privacy. I’m concerned this smells like a [fishing] expedition.”


Voice users must provide their home address, government identification, and images of themselves in order to be verified [and use the platform].

None of the posts or user data is stored on the Voice Chain. U.K.-based firm, HooYu, will store all of the actual data for Voice. The firm reserves the right to share all user data collected with its employees and contracted third parties.

HooYu offers a debt recovery service, through which user data can be used to trace debtors by ‘revealing all connections to an individual or business; this allows them to discover hidden addresses, associates, telephone numbers and email addresses.'”


“EOS New York proposed the simplified EOS User Agreement (EUA) which, among other things, omitted a clause that prohibited BPs from buying votes from the community [in April 2019].

Accusations of poor governance abounded: Former EOS backer Brock Pierce said in August that network governance had become a “Chinese oligarchy.” EOS Tribe, another original BP, said in September it was leaving EOS altogether, complaining corruption and back-room vote-buying deals had led to a “mediocre performance” and failed transactions.

In November, EOS New York said it had discovered that six current BPs were actually controlled by a single entity. Still, vote-buying on EOS continues to grow unabated.


Great interview with Synthetix founder.

“Hive tokens are trading at $0.321 versus steem at $0.168. The upstart is almost twice as valuable as the original blockchain. Meanwhile, a lot of the major pillars of the community are moving over to Hive, and major holders of steem tokens have begun making moves to exit their positions.

This is a true show of how a community can’t be bought.”


“MiPasa, built on Hyperledger Fabric, is expected to evolve as a range of data analytics tools are added, followed by testing data and other information to assist with the precise detection of COVID-19 infection hotspots.

Analytics tools can provide powerful insights, provided everyone can be sure and agree all the data on the platform (which is entirely open and free to use) is correct and consistently versioned.”


“The collaboration will involve creating 3D voxel versions of popular Atari game properties. These include Asteroids, Centipede, Pong and RollerCoaster Tycoon. Under the terms of the collaboration, Atari will receive large digital “estates” within The Sandbox gaming metaverse.

In its blockchain iteration, based on Ethereum, The Sandbox will offer users three new features shaped by the technology: a tool for building non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and in-game voxel assets, a marketplace for trading these assets, and a game maker tool for users to construct, share and monetize interactive games.”


🤔

“Their paperwork details a method of crypto mining which exploits data associated with a user’s body activity to exercise a new form of proof-of-work. Ultimately, the system awards cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.

For example, a brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

March 27

Our team found the specifications well thought out and comprehensive. It is clear that security was strongly considered by the Ethereum 2.0 team during the design phase.

In our report, we highlight two particular areas of further consideration due to increased potential vulnerability for attack, including the block proposer election system and the P2P networking layer, [along with proposals for mitigation].”


“The sudden interest in a digital dollar is music to the ears of those working on a new project administered by blockchain consortium Hyperledger. Dubbed eThaler, it uses the Ethereum blockchain to create a digital currency designed for governments, known as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Those working on the project include consulting firms Accenture and InfoSys and the Itau Bank in Brazil. In the weeks to come, the project structure is expected to be made open source, meaning that anyone will be able to build on it.

See Also: Chris Giancarlo’s Digital Dollar Project Names Ex-Treasury, CFTC Officials to New Board
See Also: Chico Crypto: US Digital Dollar (Video)


“Demand for Paxos Gold (PAXG) and Tether Gold (XAUT), two of the most liquid gold-backed token projects, has surged this week. The uptick in demand comes as traditional gold suppliers face shortages and difficulties in bringing physical bullion to the market.

Purchases of new PAXG – which represent one ounce of London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) institutional-grade gold – have nearly doubled day-over-day since Monday.

On the other hand, demand for Tether’s offering led to the XAUT market cap hitting $50 million on Wednesday, yet supply-chain issues in sourcing the gold itself could hinder further issuance of the token.”


“The drop in so-called mining difficulty signals some miners have bowed out as a decline in the cryptocurrency’s price has made this activity less profitable.

The recent price plunge, coupled with record mining competition at the time, had made more than two dozen old bitcoin mining models unable to generate daily profits in the past two weeks.

That said, the drop could work in favor for those who have chosen to stay in the game as less competition means individual miners would gain a bigger cut in Bitcoin’s daily mining output.”


Coinbase Wallet will now allow users to earn interest on cryptocurrencies through the DeFi apps, Compound, and dYdX. With the integrations, Coinbase Wallet will support lending for Ethereum (ETH) in addition to a range of Ethereum-based tokens.

The new feature will roll out for iOS this week, with Android support slated to follow in the near future.”


The Maker Foundation has handed governance over the smart contract that underpins the MakerDAO (MKR) protocol to MKR token holders, describing the move as the project’s “most significant step” toward decentralized governance.

Today’s news is momentous. By completing its commitment to transfer the MKR token contract to MKR holders, the Maker Foundation continues to move toward a completely self-sustaining MakerDAO.

The foundation urged the Maker community to ‘remain deeply engaged and continue to vote smartly and often.'”


“The report found that 17% of traditional trading firms have already adopted crypto assets [and] that 45% of the firms that do not currently support crypto assets are planning on revisiting the idea within the next 6 months.

The study notes much higher rates of adoption from trading firms based in the Asia-Pacific regions — where adoption rates are 57%. In all markets surveyed, client demand for digital assets was found to far outstrip the willingness of trading firms to list cryptocurrencies.


“The sweeping charges against Maduro and 14 other Venezuelan officials are primarily targeted at stopping an alleged multibillion-dollar cocaine trafficking ring the DOJ claimed wreaked havoc on American communities for over 20 years.

The release does not name what cryptocurrency is involved. However, Venezuela notably maintains an oil-backed cryptocurrency called the petro.”

March 26

“CBDCs are rising up the mainstream agenda. In a few short days, CBDCs have gone from being fringe to getting support from U.S. senators. Many in the crypto community see this as validation of both an asset class and a set of ideas about the future of the financial system.  

‘[CBDCs] aren’t a question of if, but when.’ A dollar stimulus airdrop is the perfect test application.

But not everyone takes such a rosy view of this solution.

There are huge security concerns. The Fourth Amendment is at stake here. Digital Dollar Fed Accounts for consumers [are] worse than the Bank Secrecy Act. Why? Because now the Fed will have direct access to all of your financial transactions AND direct control over the ledger.”


“The report did not mention any specific stablecoins by name (though the example looks a lot like the Facebook-led Libra project).

The 31-page examination stressed that jurisdiction and regulation ultimately depend on project specifics. IOSCO argues in the report, though, that ‘the more decentralised the arrangements are, the higher the challenges may be.

If the coin project were to grow to become a financial market infrastructure (FMI), ‘it would be expected to comply with’ the principles for FMIs (PFMIs) from the Bank for International Settlements.”


“A U.S. judge ordered messaging platform Telegram to refrain from issuing its gram cryptocurrency next month as planned.

In a preliminary injunction the US District Judge said the SEC had demonstrated a plausible case that Telegram had sold unregistered securities.

Considering the economic realities under the Howey test, the Court finds that, in the context of that scheme, the resale of Grams into the secondary public market would be an integral part of the sale of securities without a required registration statement.”

See Also: Telegram Appeals Court Ruling Barring Gram Token Distribution


A U.S. court order may have barred Telegram from launching its blockchain, but that doesn’t mean others can’t.

In order to get recognized, we will need to come to an agreement with investors.

According to one of the investors who asked to stay anonymous, approximately half of the investors at the moment want their money back, on any terms, while the other half would like to see Telegram come up with some way to still issue tokens.

The foundation’s response underscores the limits of government powers to regulate open-source technology. As with 3D-printed firearms, the state can stop specific individuals or groups from running code, but if it’s in the public domain others can take up the mantle.”


Chico Crypto talks Bailouts

“Vitalik Buterin posted a tweet on March 24 claiming that the continuing lack of easy movement between the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks was embarrassing.

As a solution, he proposed putting resources into building a decentralized exchange (DEX), to act as a trustless bridge between the two.


“Crypto-lending platform Nexo has today opened up the option of using PAX Gold (PAXG) as collateral against its loans to retail investors.

Nexo’s announcement means that collateralized borrowing against high-grade gold is now no longer the preserve of the ultra-rich.”

March 25

“A draft bill defines a “digital dollar” and details how it might be maintained. The bill echoes language from a pair of draft U.S. House bills aimed at stimulating the economy during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The bill is not proposing a crypto dollar but a digitized version of the existing dollar, a process advocates have called for to maintain U.S. financial hegemony.

The House draft bills mentioned a digital dollar as one potential method for distributing relief funds to U.S. residents. However, the Senate version appears to exist independently of any such relief.”

See Also: ‘Digital Dollar’ Stripped From Latest [House] US Coronavirus Relief Bill


Accounts suspected of illegal activity can be restricted. Restrictions that can be applied include blocking one or more account operating authorities, prohibiting currency flows into and/or out of the target account, and freezing all funds held in the account.

Wallet functionality will depend on behavior and personal data. Behavioral data is specified as the frequency of use, amount and venue of transactions. It is currently unclear whether “social score” will also feed into the user’s wallet type.”


China’s central bank is accelerating its central bank digital currency (CBDC) plan. The Bank of China has completed development of the basic functions of the official digital currency and is now drafting laws that will help its implementation. 

A number of Shenzhen-based private companies including Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and China Merchants Bank have participated in the development of the digital currency. 

If there is a chance China is considering lowering its interest rate into negative territory as an final option and directing such policy to commercial loans and lending, a circulated digital currency rather than M0 will be able to achieve that.


Good chat with Mike Maloney: Deflation then Hyperinflation

“The new platform will feature flash swaps. The swap allows users to withdraw an unlimited amount of ERC-20 tokens from a liquidity pool, provided that in the same block, either the tokens or their ETH equivalent are returned.

Uniswap V2 will [also] allow direct token-to-token swaps. While this can be done right now by routing through ETH, a direct exchange reduces losses from fees and slippage.

[Finally], Uniswap V2 is creating a time-averaged price feed. This design is said to prevent attacks based on flash loans as the flash-lent funds can only exist for one block. The update’s release is scheduled for Q2 2020.”

See Also: Uniswap V2 (Official)


“Brave has partnered with Binance to bring in-browser crypto trading to its 13 million users. The Binance Widget allows Brave users to make crypto trades without leaving the browser.

Users will be able to sign into the widget with their preexisting Binance account. The Binance Widget will become available on the main version of the browser sometime in April.

The Binance widget is built into Brave and is not a loaded iframe (remotely embedded document), which preserves the user’s privacy. API calls will only be made into Binance if the user authenticates via OAuth and interacts with the widget.”


The CFTC published its final guidance on “actual delivery for digital assets”. “Actual delivery” occurs when a customer has complete control over the asset and the offeror no longer has any control over the asset by the end of 28 days after the transaction.

However, the Commission notes that it does not intend to create a bright line definition given the evolving nature of the commodity.”


“The new bill will allow the creation of sandboxes in which real businesses will be working with real customers.

Such regimes can be established to live-test the new technologies in medicine, transporation, distant learning, financial markets, online commerce and other sectors. The Bank of Russia, the central bank, will be supervising the sandboxes related to fintech.”


“Open interest, or outstanding positions, in XBT/USD (bitcoin) perpetual contracts fell to 55,000 BTC. That’s the lowest figure in at least 18 months.

While open interest has declined from $1.2 billion to $500 million on BitMEX since the big long squeeze, it has skyrocketed for their rivals. On FTX, open interest has increased from $68 million to $128 million in the past 12 days. Similarly, for Bybit it has risen from $35 million on March 14 to $100 million on March 22.”

See Also: Bybit Enables Two-Way Margin Trading With Perpetual Contracts Quoted in Tether


“Creditors will be able to choose if they want to receive fiat money or a mixture of fiat money and Bitcoin, including Bitcoin Cash. The money will be distributed to three priority groups in stages.

First to receive restitution will be those who lost large amounts of Bitcoin. The second wave of repayments will be given to those who lost amounts up to $2,000. Third will be pro rata payments.”

March 24

Proposed legislation meant to shore up the U.S. economy during the coronavirus pandemic includes a recommendation to create a digital dollar.

Under the draft bills shared last week, the Federal Reserve could use a “digital dollar” and digital wallets to send payments to “qualified individuals,” consisting of $1,000 for minors and $2,000 to legal adults. The Fed would likewise be in charge of the digital wallets, maintaining them for recipients.

The term ‘digital dollar’ shall mean a balance expressed as a dollar value consisting of digital ledger entries that are recorded as liabilities in the accounts of any Federal Reserve bank.

Neither bill indicates that the program would use a decentralized ledger or any sort of cryptocurrency project. However, digitizing the dollar in general is seen by many influential figures as a necessity for the U.S.

In the long term, the card infrastructure should be converted into a permanent, Treasury-administered digital public currency wallet system, to serve as a privacy-respecting ‘eCash’ complement to universal Fed Accounts and/or Postal Bank Accounts for All.”

See Also: IMF Weighs the Pros and Cons of a Central Bank Digital Currency


The Federal Reserve pledged Monday to buy bonds in an unlimited quantity while allocating at least $300 billion to new emergency-lending programs.

The expanded liquidity injections signaled the Fed’s willingness to go beyond even the already-dramatic steps taken in recent weeks to keep traditional Wall Street stock and bond markets from convulsing.

Yet, even with the latest pledge of support from the Fed, the S&P 500 was down about 2.8 percent in early trading on Monday. Bitcoin (BTC), viewed by some cryptocurrency investors as a hedge against the inflationary pressures from central bank money-printing, climbed 7.3 percent to a price of $6,272 as of 13:31 UTC.

See Also: Bitcoin, Gold Spike as Fed Unveils Unlimited Coronavirus Stimulus Package
See Also: Cardano Chief Compares US Dollar to OneCoin Scam as Fed Keeps Printing


A new political action committee (PAC) is hoping to push crypto-friendly public policy by providing financial support to Congressional candidates. The PAC’s founding donors include a who’s who of crypto notables.

HODLpac seeks to advocate for blockchain legislation by directing funds to different congressional candidates – but with a decentralized twist. Donors may ultimately use Ethereum-based tokens to vote for which candidates should get their support. The group will [also] use quadratic voting in the actual implementation.

Getting the public policy right for crypto is critical to the success of the industry and the technology going forward.”


“On March 19, the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published a memo emphasizing the special responsibility of workers within a critical infrastructure industry to maintain normal working schedules amid the intensifying coronavirus lockdown.

The document names blockchain managers alongside healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and food supply as critical infrastructure industries.

The inclusion of blockchain managers on CISA’s list may indicate the DHS’s recognition of the potential for distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to be employed in coronavirus relief efforts.”


“The community largely remains optimistic about Maker’s handling of the situation, as many took the opportunity to scrutinize and fix other potential issues.

The Maker team has been working flat-out since Black Thursday. I was doing 16-18 hour days for over a week. We all love what we do and are committed to Maker’s success. I think that we’ve weathered this storm and have come out stronger on the other side.”


“Komgo was launched in 2018 in partnership with ConsenSys, and seeks to streamline trade financing in the commodities markets. Komgo’s platform allows equities traders, financial institutions, and trade service providers to communicate across blockchain technology.

In addition to increasing its equity stake in Komgo, Citi has begun integrating its trade engine with the startup’s blockchain.


“The Eth 2.0 research team is now leaning into a new concept called “polynomial commitments” to reduce the data used per computation on the network.

We suggest replacing Merkle trees by magic math called “polynomial commitments” to accumulate blockchain state. Benefits include reducing the size of stateless client witnesses to near zero.

The current Merkle tree setup takes about 0.5 MB per transaction. Ryan estimates polynomial commitment schemes would reduce the weight of state proofs to between 0.001 and 0.01 MB.”


“Google search results for BTC in the United States had a 30-day high on March 13. Baidu has seen a considerable jump in searches for “Bitcoin” (BTC). The number of search results regarding buying the cryptocurrency are markedly higher than those seeking to sell it.

The interest may be related to the theory that a global economic meltdown may lead to a growing value for the cryptocurrency as a hedge against the banks.”


“In January 2018, several plaintiffs accusing Tezos of issuing unlicensed securities moved to consolidate their cases against Tezos. By settling, Tezos avoids the risk of having a court rule that its ICO was a securities offering.

It was decided that the one-time financial cost of a settlement was preferable to the distractions and legal costs associated with continuing to fight in the courts.”


“Ethereum-based virtual-reality (VR) platform Somnium Space has moved from scalability solution Loom Network to Matic to enhance scaling.

Due to the fact that Loom has decided to shut down their customer facing solution we were forced to search for a new reliable partner for a second layer scalability.

See Also: Ethereum-Based SkyWeaver Game Launches Season 0