March 3

Recommended read.

Justin Sun has seized control of the Steem blockchain – with the apparent help of several prominent crypto exchanges.

On the Steemit Blog (which is newly owned by Sun), a post announced the new regime:

For the next 4-6 weeks, the Steemit team will be using the voting rights to resume the order of the community.

In a delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) system such as Steem, this Orwellian update is only made possible by enough of the network’s native currency, STEEM, being thrown behind a new set of blockchain validators.

In short, exchanges have staked STEEM they controlled (seemingly from user accounts) to  “vote” for new leadership.

The implications reach much further than just Steem or Tron, underlining the fundamental message of the “not your keys, not your crypto” mantra. When users hold large amounts of their assets on exchanges, it gives those firms potentially decisive power over ostensibly decentralized networks, particularly when governance authority is tied to currency holdings.

Steem was created in part by Dan Larimer who also co-created EOS, which has a very similar structure. Notably, EOS’s creator, Block.One, also holds a potentially controlling portion of EOS tokens.

“In times of fear investors exit riskier assets [‘risk-off’]. They also exit liquid assets, and bitcoin is probably easier to offload than other high-risk holdings.

Moving beyond markets, the disruptions will have a deeper and longer-lasting impact on global supply chains. This threat, combined with building tensions elsewhere, could eventually consolidate crypto’s risk-off status, and endow it with the use case the market has been waiting for.

The mix of rising inflation, more printing of money and growing populism should heighten global interest in an alternative asset that is immune to inflation, monetary depreciation and political manipulation.

As its use case becomes even more obvious, given macro developments that highlight the vulnerability of fiat-based finance, it could finally rise to become the “safe haven” or “necessary hedge” that we have been talking about. This is the kind of scenario that bitcoin was created for.

See Also: Bitcoin’s Option Market Sees Low Chance of Post-Halving Rally

“Algorand specified that the SOV will be circulating alongside the United States dollar, which is used as the official currency in the country. The SOV supply will be algorithmically fixed to grow at 4% each year.

In contrast to projects like the Bahamian central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as Project Sand Dollar, the Marshallese SOV will not be just a representation of the local fiat currency, but rather an independent coin.

“A key question informing the BIS Innovation Hub’s work is whether money itself needs to be reinvented for a changing environment, or whether the emphasis should be on improving the way it is provided and used.

The most transformative option for improving payments is a peer-to-peer arrangement that links payers and payees directly and minimises the number of intermediaries.

Tokenizing securities on a distributed ledger may streamline the settlement cycle – making it more efficient than some investors are willing to bear, the report said. 

In looking forward, the Basel-based institution’s team found plenty of short-term problems that need resolution before any meaningful DLT securities system is implemented, like ongoing legal questions over security tokens.

The ability of tokenised systems to interoperate with account-based systems will be key to their success.”

See Also: Bank of England Warns Crypto Adoption May Impact Credit Creation

Google’s Play Store for Android smartphone apps seems to have taken an issue with reporting on cryptocurrencies and blockchain news, taking down several notable apps.

We have reached out to the company but received no response as of press time.”

“Insurance giant Lloyd’s of London is backing a new policy protecting cryptocurrency held in online wallets against theft from hacks. The liability policy is said to be a new type of insurance with a dynamic limit that increases or decreases in line with the price changes of covered crypto assets.

With this innovative new policy, we can remove these barriers and broaden the appeal of crypto.”

“The company behind an ambitious attempt to build a “Blockchain City” in the Nevada desert has laid off a tenth of its employees. Two years in, the company, Blockchains, LLC, has yet to break ground on the city and is focusing its attention on the development of a ‘suite of Web3 products and tools.’

Many of the former employees’ duties have since passed on to engineers at, a blockchain advisory firm Blockchains LLC acquired in June 2019. The company currently has 67 employees in Nevada, and 52 across various European subsidiaries.”

“Huobi Chain, had been successfully deployed on its testnet. Developed in collaboration with layer-1 protocol provider Nervos, Huobi said its new blockchain will allow businesses and regulators to determine the rules of the road for the emerging DeFi space.

Entities in the financial services sector, including banks, will be able to use Huobi Chain to develop DeFi applications that have anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance baked into the chain itself.

The technology would allow regulators to maintain oversight of the distributed ledger through Huobi Chain’s delegated proof-of-consensus (DPOS) algorithm.

See Also: LINE Targets US Residents With New Crypto Exchange

“Relaunching it as is would allow the hacker to continue undisturbed. For this reason, the Iota team had to develop a seed migration tool that would immediately transfer the tokens away from the affected wallets.

After starting on Feb. 29, the team is giving users seven days to undergo the transfer procedure. The Coordinator will be reenabled between March 7 and March 10 — just shy of one month of network inactivity.

Many commentators criticized Iota for its apparent centralization, claiming the network is ‘dead.’

“According to an update to OFAC’s “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDN) list, Jiadong Li and Yinyin Tian are accused of being linked to the Lazarus Group, a cybercrime group possibly affiliated with the North Korean government.

The group has been accused of stealing more than half a billion dollars in crypto as far back as 2018. A separate in rem forfeiture document unsealed Monday shows the U.S. government is trying to seize the crypto held in 113 different addresses.”