21 April

“The approval, granted Monday, brings a new player to the still-small world of bitcoin futures in the U.S. The company will start with quarterly futures, micro futures and options. Contracts trade on 37 percent margin and will settle on-chain rather than book entry.

Unlike CME, Bitnomial appears to be focusing strictly on physically-settled contracts, meaning customers receive the actual bitcoin when the contract expires, rather than the fiat equivalent.

Bitnomial is now setting up user acceptance testing, expected to begin on April 27, and has opened user signups.”

“Of all the wild, unprecedented swings in financial markets since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, none has been more jaw-dropping than Monday’s collapse in a key segment of U.S. oil trading.

The price on the futures contract for West Texas crude that is due to expire Tuesday fell into negative territory — minus $37.63 a barrel.

The reason: with the pandemic bringing the economy to a standstill, there is so much unused oil sloshing around that American energy companies have run out of room to store it. And if there’s no place to put the oil, no one wants a crude contract that is about to come due.

There is little to prevent the physical market from the further acute downside path over the near term.”

See Also: Crude Oil Gutted to Sub-Zero Prices as Bitcoin’s Purchasing Power Soars

“An influential government authority responsible for planning China’s economy has said blockchain will form an integral part of the country’s data and technology infrastructure.

An NDRC subsidiary has been working on a new Blockchain Service Network (BSN) that would provide companies with access to the tools they need to develop blockchain-based applications. Having already launched for domestic commercial use, it will open for global companies later this week.

As support for the technology now goes all the way to the top, blockchain firms may well soon find themselves treated more favorably.

See Also: Just a Test: China Central Bank Confirms Digital Yuan Mobile App Trials

“Tencent’s digital bank WeBank is exploring the integration of the DAML smart contract language for its consortium blockchain FISCO BCOS. BCOS is an open-source and coinless blockchain platform built by the Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium (FISCO).

Developed back in 2016, DAML is an expressive language designed for financial institutions to model and execute agreements using distributed ledger technology (DLT). Digital Asset has ostensibly designed the language for optimal use in private execution environments.

“The annual percentage rate a user would earn by lending dai on the platform rose above 14 percent as of 19:00 UTC Monday – the highest level since March 16.

Over the past few days, many Compound users have begun withdrawing dai, and in some cases selling it above $1 in anticipation of dai returning to its peg.

The rate hike is the result of those withdrawals and the resulting shortage of funds to lend. Data from Ethereum blockchain explorer Etherescan shows a total of 6.9 million dai were withdrawn from the Compound protocol on Saturday and Sunday.”

See Also: Why MakerDAO Should Consider Negative Interest Rates for Dai

“The social media giant is looking to hire 50 people for its payments subsidiary Calibra – charged with creating a wallet for storing and sending libra – to start work at its offices in Dublin by the end of 2020.

Many of the new Dublin openings are for a new compliance team to liaise with regulators, as well as for specialists who can work on the wallet’s fraud protection program. There will also be a new customer service team to handle complaints – a sign the project is readying its launch.

“The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based firm known for incubating Ethereum projects is cutting “just over 90” people, a spokesperson confirmed. That’s about 14 percent of the firm’s headcount.

ConsenSys has carefully analyzed its business in relation to what is occurring globally. Like most of its peers, the company is seeing extraordinary uncertainty in the market, with businesses rebalancing priorities and reevaluating timelines.

All key operational aspects of the business are preserved to ensure the development and service of key products and solutions.”

“One trillion rubles ($13.6 billion) were issued from ATMs and banks through March – more than for all of 2019.

A large surge in withdrawals was seen after Putin announced a tax on bank deposits of over one million rubles, with further cash hoarding apparent after the president extended self-isolation measures.

In the United States, too, cash withdrawals have seen a major spike amid the crisis. As reported in late March, U.S. currency in circulation saw its largest percentage increase since the panic around the ‘Y2K bug.'”