17 April

“Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) introduced a new proposal to have the federal government issue $2,000 per month to residents.

Under the ABC Act, Congress would authorize the Federal Reserve to create “FedAccounts,” meaning “Digital Dollar Account Wallets,” which would allow U.S. residents, citizens and businesses located in the country to access financial services.

No later than January 1, 2021, the Secretary shall offer all recipients of BOOST payments the option to receive their payments in digital dollar wallets.

The bill was introduced in the wake of ongoing issues with issuing $1,200 stimulus payments authorized under the CARES Act.”

See Also: Digital Dollar Project: Don’t Rush Digital Dollar During COVID-19 Crisis

Libra bows down, pivots to fully regulated and permissioned corporatecoin.

“The Libra Association is pulling back from its original vision of a global digital currency backed by a basket of national currencies.

The consortium set up last year by Facebook now plans to develop a handful of stablecoins each representing a different fiat currency. One libra coin could be tied to the U.S. dollar, for example, another to the euro and so on.

Every stablecoin would be backed by a reserve of high-quality assets and short-term government securities such that their value is preserved.

Libra still intends to issue a multi-currency stablecoin, but it would be backed by the new stablecoins, rather than directly by fiat currencies held in a bank.

In a further concession, the association’s new white paper removes any mention of ever introducing permissionless participation in the Libra network. All counterparties operating nodes in the Libra network will remain known to all others. 

The cover letter to the revised white paper also hints at limiting what individuals and unregulated entities can do on the network. “Unhosted Wallets” will be subject to balance and transaction limits, and initially, the network “will only be accessible to” virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

Of course, limiting the ability of unregulated parties to interact with the network may hamper Libra’s stated goal of fostering financial inclusion. Without permissionlessness, many in the industry would argue a classic centralized system would work as well or better.

I don’t think it means much for crypto because it’s not really (sovereign-resistant) crypto.”

“The use of the Ethereum network to move value around has shot to record levels. Messari, revealed data showing the total value transferred on the Ethereum network, including ether and ERC-20 stablecoins, now matches that of the Bitcoin network.

Value transfer refers to the U.S. dollar value of the total units on a blockchain that are transferred on a given day.

Ethereum is becoming the dominant value transfer layer in crypto.”

“Open interest in bitcoin futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has recovered significantly from the March lows, indicating a resurgence in institutions that want to buy the cryptocurrency.

An increase in open interest along with an increase in price is said to confirm an upward trend. Put simply, bitcoin’s recent rally has legs.”

See Also: DeFi Market Cap Back Above $1 Billion After March Market Crash

“PayJoin (also called P2EP) is a relatively new way to send private transactions in bitcoin and may offer better privacy than current popular alternatives such as CoinJoin.

The main benefit of PayJoin’s ConJoin implementation, on the other hand, is that once done, the transactions look the same as other transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. So instead of many senders mixing their transactions, only the sender and receiver mix a transaction.

It breaks blockchain analysis heuristics.”

See Also: Bitcoin Startup Purse to Shut Down After 6-Year Run

“This month, agencies and enterprises in the Xiangcheng District of Suzhou will reportedly be paying 50% of local workers’ transport subsidies in the new digital currency (also referred to as DC/EP, for “digital currency/electronic payment”).

Enterprises, institutions and various management committees in the district are being requested to sign a digital currency distribution agreement with a relevant wage distribution bank and to install a digital wallet for everyone in their workforce.

While users themselves are not likely to feel much difference using the system if compared to popular payments channels such as Alipay and WeChat, the report notes that the currency’s blockchain structure will ensure ‘traceability, encryption and supervisability.'”

“Bent revealed that since last year he had been mining Bitcoin with the Great American Mining (GAM) company, using excess gas formed as a byproduct of mining oil to power the rigs. 

If designed correctly, containers filled with Bitcoin miners have far superior uptime and are 5x more profitable (on average) than sending the gas to a pipeline to sell.

The concept is becoming more popular. The Winklevoss Twins have invested in Crusoe Energy Systems, a Texas company that converts the waste from surplus natural gas to mine cryptocurrencies. Up in Canada oil mining company Black Pearl Resources are mining Bitcoin to help offset operational costs.”

See Also: $12M Wheat Trade Between U.S. and Indonesia Settled on Blockchain

“Coinbase Custody is making it easier for its clients to vote their tokens on more decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, starting with Compound. Coinbase Custody clients have been able to vote their MKR tokens without moving them out of storage since last October.

The move is meant to get more voter involvement from Coinbase Custody clients, since DeFi ecosystems have seen notoriously low participation rates to date.”

“[T]he Court is puzzled by Defendant’s apparent argument that Judge Reinhart must blindly accept items produced by Defendant such that Judge Reinhart cannot rely on his past experiences with Defendant in this litigation (including his history of providing forged materials and giving perjured testimony) in evaluating whether Defendant has carried his burden as to privilege.

Wright now has until April 17 to produce the requested documents.

“This seems very worrisome, and that they may implement something that has not been publicly reviewed. A centralized approach has more privacy risks, as well as the potential for the re-appropriation of data for other purposes, like state surveillance.

This opens the gates to privacy hell: It could give governments the ability to build the ‘social graph’ for everyone who downloads the app.”

16 April

“The Blockchain Service Network (BSN) is poised to launch for domestic commercial use Wednesday and globally on April 25. If it works as envisioned, companies and software developers will be able to plug into the BSN and build blockchain-based applications as easily as assembling Lego sets.

But the ultimate goal may go well beyond technical support for coders. Part of the network’s mission, once it is proven to be efficient and scalable in China, is to go abroad. Hong Kong and Singapore are among the 56 cities where the alliance is testing the network first.  

The move is very much like the ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ in which China provides other countries with infrastructure and gains some first-mover advantage.

The BSN itself is not a blockchain protocol. Rather, it’s a centralized platform that has done the heavy lifting for developers so they can plug in and code, choosing from several enterprise blockchain protocols or public chains.

So far, the BSN has configured and added several permissioned blockchain protocols to its pool including Hyperledger Fabric. The BSN will incorporate two public protocols: Ethereum and EOS.

As China aims to expand its network of its city nodes worldwide to create a global infrastructure, it’s unclear how well it will be received if the state controls the access points.

BSN’s global partners, such as overseas developers or data center providers, may balk since holding the BSN’s root key would allow the State Information Center to view transactions made on the platform.

There is nothing decentralized about BSN.”

See Also: A DeFi “Super-network” in China attracts Western Investment
See Also: China’s Internet Finance Association Says Blockchain Is Maturing

The Topaz test network represents the full Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 mainnet configuration.

“In an announcement on Monday, the project revealed the wallet for its Enjin coin (ENJ) cryptocurrency is now “certified and compliant in China.” The startup said approval for the wallet had come from the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The infrastructure running our services and products, including the Enjin Wallet, has been certified/licensed by [the] Chinese state agency.

The wallet also now supports the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) that simplifies wallet addresses, from long, hard-to-remember phrases into human-readable names.”

“A new decentralized exchange, Gnosis Protocol, launched today, allowing users to trade any token with limited slippage. ‘The upcoming Gnosis Protocol is fully decentralized. There is no admin key or overwrite whatsoever.’

Specifically, a user first places an order on the exchange for any token pair and defines a limit price according to which the order can be executed. Each batched auction lasts five minutes, and orders that are not settled in the previous batch are passed to the next one.

This means that traders need to wait for at least five minutes for their trades to settle and do not have any guarantee of when the settlement will occur. As such, Gnosis does not plan on winning the market by providing faster settlement experience: rather, it aims to appeal to larger traders and compete with other DEXs on price.

Because of the batched execution design, Gnosis can also implement so-called ring trades. While traditionally exchanges match one buyer with one seller for a successful trade, in a ring trade, more than two people with more than two assets can be matched together and their trades can be settled simultaneously.”

See Also: Gnosis Protocol DEX

“TradeStation and ErisX believe the tie-up will take market infrastructure up to the same sort of standards as already exist in traditional markets.

TradeStation – which only opened its crypto brokerage last May – offers brokerage and tech solutions for active traders. It generally focuses on professional clients, which include hedge funds, family offices and money managers.”

The U.S. needs robust 3D printing production capabilities nationwide so we can seamlessly increase the availability of needed supplies.

Lack of adoption can hardly be blamed on technical issues anymore. The main challenge to enabling large scale 3D printing manufacturing – particularly with remote production – is protecting the property rights of those creating product designs. Blockchain shows promise as a technology that can manage property rights without an intermediary.

Digital property rights need to be addressed to support increased usage of 3D printing production. With enforceable property rights, together with well designed contracts and proper two-sided marketplace design, buyers can trust sellers and sellers can be properly incentivized to participate in the digital marketplace.

“Waves Enterprise was added to the list and described as a ‘cloud-based distributed ledger service and service for virtualization and storage of data.’ The list is meant to ensure high information security standards for authorities by suggesting information technology products for use in Russian government bodies.

Waves Enterprise is a separate entity from Waves, and it has a different token, the Waves Enterprise System Token (WEST).  As such, he expects this addition to have no effect on the price of the WAVES token.

“Medici Land Governance (MLG) – a subsidiary of Overstock’s venture arm, Medici Ventures – has inked a deal to build a blockchain-based land registry for a second Wyoming county.

Under the arrangement, MLG’s record-keeping platform will allow for the storage of mortgages, warranty deeds and titles, as well as providing provenance on land ownership in the small county of less than 15,000 people.

The company continues to run property registry projects in cuntries such as Zambia, Rwanda and Mexico, while Teton County marked the its first initiative on U.S. soil.”

15 April

“For the first time since the Great Depression both advanced economies and emerging market and developing economies are in recession. The Great Lockdown is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis [of 2008].

The United States is expected to decline to roughly -6 percent growth, as are other nations in the advanced economy group. The IMF said more than 90 of its 189 member states have requested financial support.

We’re projecting for economic activity to still be below pre-virus levels in 2021. This is a deep recession that involves insolvency issues and unemployment rates going up dramatically.”

See Also: Goldman Sachs Says Economies Will Shrink 35% as Gold Hits 7-Year High

The World Bank listed distributed ledger technology (DLT), stablecoins, CBDCs and payment tokenization systems, placing them in line with other fintechs like big data analytics and cloud computing.

Specifically, the report says that DLT ‘may further spur business model innovation in cross-border payments,’ noting that the technology has a potential to streamline such payments in a permissioned, i.e. private, environment.”

See Also: G20 Watchdog Warns Nations to Mitigate Risks Posed by Libra-Like Stablecoins

“China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published a list Sunday of the 71 companies and public entities that have joined its committee. The group was formed to discuss and set industry standards for distributed ledger technology.

Inviting a wide range of industries onto the committee may be a nod to a speech Premier Xi Jinping made in October in which he said China must “seize the opportunity” and drive technological innovation across all sectors using blockchain technology.

It’s possible the standards agreed by the blockchain committee could influence regulators and industry bodies from other countries.

“The Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), one of the nation’s four state-owned banking giants, is trialing a test interface for the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Screenshots show the banking giant has already developed a front-end interface of how users could potentially interact with China’s CBDC. The move hints at the acceleration of the development and deployment work of rolling out the DE/CP.”

“A borrower must lock up his BTC collateral in a special multi-signature contract on the Bitcoin blockchain. Smart contracts on Ethereum then read that data and provide the loan through stablecoins. The minimum collateralization requirement is set at 140%.

Like many cross-chain solutions working on Bitcoin, there is an element of trust involved.

There’s two main points of trust within the system. One is oracles and the other is an arbiter on the Bitcoin side. […] Essentially [the arbiters] sign along with the lender in order to move Bitcoin from its current location to the atomic swap contract.

“The integration allows DOT holders to keep their tokens in offline Coinbase Custody vaults and stake them through Bison Trails validators.

Bison Trails and Coinbase Custody plan to add staking service for other blockchains over time. Polkadot’s mainnet has not yet launched.”

“London-based crypto payment processor Wirex has revealed that it now has over 3 million active users, highlighting the popularity of its crypto-supporting visa card among customers. MakerDAO’s Dai stablecoin, which Wirex has supported since February 2019, has been increasingly popular with users, Matveev noted.

Wirex allows crypto users to spend their crypto and fiat currencies using a dedicated Visa card and mobile app. The service has been rolled out in 130 countries, with the card accepted at over 46 million locations.”

“A new class-action lawsuit against DeFi giant the Maker Foundation alleges that the company misrepresented the risks investors in the ecosystem faced, leading to catastrophic losses of collateral.

The complaint, which was filed in the Northern District Court of California on April 14, accuses three entities affiliated with Maker of negligence and intentional misrepresentation. The complaint asks for a minimum of $8.325 million in compensation and $20 million in punitive damages.”

“Dapper’s Flow blockchain will adopt Libra’s Move as it’s virtual machine (VM), while Libra will utilize Dapper’s smart contract programming language Cadence in a technology-sharing partnership.

Move was the first resource-oriented programming language, but it is designed for performance rather than readability and ease-of-use. Cadence, on the other hand, was designed for usability first, with syntax inspired by Swift and Rust.

“John McAfee has announced that he is working on a privacy coin called Ghost. McAfee tweeted that Ghost will be underpinned by a Proof-of-Stake algorithm, and will be tradable against leading cryptocurrencies via atomic swaps on the McAfeeDex decentralized exchange.

With a DEX/privacy coin combo we now have full control of our finances!”

14 April

Technologists building blockchain-based self-sovereign identity (SSI) tools are collaborating on an “immunity passport” to help stop the spread of COVID-19 without compromising the privacy of users.

The COVID-19 Credentials Initiative (CCI) is working on a digital certificate, using the recently approved World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Verifiable Credentials standard. The certificate lets individuals prove (and request proof from others) they’ve recovered from the novel coronavirus, have tested positive for antibodies or have received a vaccination.

These digital certificates would be issued by health care institutions but controlled by the user and shared in a peer-to-peer manner. The blockchain acts as a decentralized directory of public keys rather than relying on a centralized service, which helps return control back to the user.

It’s really the polar opposite of surveillance-focused solutions we have seen in places like China.”

“The basic idea involves storing bitcoin (BTC) on-chain in a particularly secure manner that allows for recovery from security mistakes.

The stored bitcoin would be divided into a series of what Bishop is calling “shards.” These shards could only release their bitcoin to a hot wallet one at a time at some pre-set interval. The proposal also calls for something called a watchtower which would monitor vaults. It’s not yet clear whether users would run their own watchtowers or if that will need to be something that’s shared by users.

This kind of wallet is terribly complex, having at least three distinct wallets: an ‘active’ wallet (used to send & receive), a ‘vault’ (timelocked storage), and a ‘recovery’ wallet (destination for funds in case of attack).”

“Binance has officially launched Bitcoin (BTC) options on its futures trading platform. It is, for now, limited to the exchange’s mobile app.

Binance is offering the American, as opposed to the European, version of the derivative, in which traders can exercise their rights — i.e. settle the contract at the chosen strike price — at any time before or on the expiry date itself.”

See Also: Gemini Adds Support for Dai, Chainlink and Orchid Trading This Month

“Huobi Group has launched an in-house transaction intelligence tool to snuff out illicit activity across its crypto exchanges. The new program, called “Star Atlas,” will automatically freeze accounts deemed to be engaging in “suspicious” transactions until a compliance officer follows up on the case.

Chainalysis claimed Huobi was the off-ramp for nearly 25 percent of the $2.8 billion in illicit bitcoin (BTC) transactions Chainalysis traced in 2019. Only Binance had a higher share.”

“Wright has dropped a libel lawsuit against Adam Back over the Blockstream chief executive’s assertion that Wright was fraudulent in claiming to be the creator of Bitcoin (BTC).

Wright filed the complaint alongside similar suits targeting Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver, podcaster Peter McCormack, and Twitter user ‘Hodlnaut’ one year ago.”

“The Nanshan government and Huawei will work together to establish the Kunpeng industrial demonstration zone, to accelerate the application of blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and 5G.

In April 2018, Huawei launched its Hyperledger-based blockchain-as-a-service platform. Also, the PBoC announced in September that it had started testing its digital currency in Shenzhen, in conjunction with Huawei and some of the biggest commercial banks in China.”

“In surprising twist to its normal day-to-day duties advancing the litecoin (LTC) cryptocurrency, the Litecoin Foundation has acted as executive producer for a new horror flick.

Called “We Summon the Darkness,” the movie was also produced by Litecoin community member @CommonEnemyInc. Johnny Knoxville stars as the “fire-and-brimstone” preacher father to one of the characters.”

“On April 9, the United States Small Business Administration released its application form for nonbanks to sign on as lenders under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

A host of fintechs have already ostensibly signed on [including Square and Paypal] after just a few days, while reports state that some banks are stalling with loan approvals, leaving small firms in limbo.

One of the biggest advantages that fintechs have over traditional lenders is their ability to be more agile. Fintech lenders are digital-first and can process loans quickly.”

See Also: US Treasury Approves Square as Coronavirus Stimulus Lender

12 April

“With the mainnet launch of the first phase of eth2.0 (called the “beacon chain”) expected later this year, we can imagine a number of exciting use cases leveraging interoperability between the two networks (ahead of merging eth1 into eth2).

Validators in eth2 (analogous to eth1’s miners) use the BLS signature scheme working over a different elliptic curve known as BLS12-381. Work has been underway for these BLS precompiles [to be incorporated in eth1] seen in the current draft EIP-2537.

The EIP-2537 precompiles will immediately help with the eth2 launch by enhancing the deposit contract user experience and lays the ground work for the construction of an eth2 light client inside eth1. The BLS12-381 curve itself can be used to construct zk-SNARKs and the use of BLS in other blockchains paves the way to interoperability with those networks.” [See article for full details.]

See Also: EIP-2537 Accepted for ‘Berlin’ Upgrade
See Also: The 1.x Files: The Updated Stateless Tech Tree

Recommended read.

“tBTC will launch on Ethereum mainnet on April 27th, 2020. The launch will provide users with the ability to deposit BTC, mint and redeem tBTC, and use it in Ethereum DeFi apps.

tBTC will not overtake Ether as trustless economic bandwidth on Ethereum, it will consume it. The design behind tBTC relies on over-collateralizing Ether to secure every tBTC on the network (150%).

Looking at BTC’s liquid market cap (or total economic bandwidth) of $134B, tokenizing 1% of the outstanding supply would net $1.34B in tBTC. In turn, this would require at least $2.01B in Ether as trustless collateral to support the asset, consuming roughly 10% of current trustless economic bandwidth on Ethereum. At 5% of the liquid supply? tBTC requires $10.5B of collateralized Ether or 56% of available economic bandwidth.

The key takeaway here is that if tBTC does succeed on DeFi, the it’s likely to drive value to Ether given it requires over-collateralized ETH to mint tBTC. 

And importantly, the future implementation of mechanisms like EIP 1559 further entrench ETH as an essential asset to the network. From this vantage point, tokenized BTC is symbiotic to ETH value accrual, not parasitic.

See Also: Chico Crypto Breaks Down Projects Bringing BTC to ETH (Video)

“If you’re a virus and you want to spread, one of your biggest assets is not being taken seriously, fast enough. Decentralized prediction markets will soon make this harder by helping surface, signal, and hedge pandemic risk…fast.

Prediction markets shine in cases where you have disparate information spread among many actors and malincentives to suppress or distort this information.

It’s early days for open prediction markets, but I expect that in the next year, we will start to see glimmers of the potential of these markets to forecast and hedge risk around everything from the economy to elections to the spread of infectious disease. When the next Coronavirus strikes, it may face a fresh and formidable foe: open prediction markets.”

Quick overview of some of the top DeFi projects. Recommended read.

“To summon a DAO is an expensive operation as far ETH contracts go, costing 6.5m gas, which is about $4 at standard gas rates of 3.5 gwei. But consider you just summoned a globally accessible digital company complete with legal documents, bank accounts, and capital coordination tools!

OpenLaw markup language can also quickly spin legal wrappers to Moloch DAO functions, and pretty much any DAO or Ethereum actions for that matter.”

“One of the use cases of VDFs is generating public and unbiasable randomness without a trusted third party. This randomness can be used to enable more secure and scalable consensus protocols [will be used in Eth2].

This project, as part of the VDF Alliance, began in early 2019 to evaluate the feasibility of developing fast, open, hardware for computing verifiable delay functions.”

“The Lien protocol allows anyone to create an ETH derivative in a simple, elegant way.

The innovative features of this protocol include providing a secure derivatives market with no liquidation involved and enabling a fully decentralized stable coin designed to function without over-collateralization and a cumbersome governance mechanism.”

See Also: Lien Protocol
See Also: ENS Roadmap Update
See Also: RocketPool Development Update
See Also: What are Reddit’s blockchain-based community points?

“The HTC executive claimed that the crypto world is “under threat” from hashrate dominance by giant mining pools, so he believes democratizing access via mobile phones is one way to eliminate the problem.

Mining on mobile is an important research topic in understanding the development of secure crypto networks. The number of mobile phones in 2020 is approaching 3.5 Billion, which would further decentralize and distribute the hash rate and mining power of such crypto networks.

11 April

“Reddit is experimenting with “Community Points” – a new system for subreddits (communities) that gives power users extra benefits. These Community Points are apparently stored using Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard.

Reddit controls all karma, while the community points are ERC-20 tokens and therefore exist outside of Reddit’s control. Points can also be used to buy “Special Memberships” granting the right to use emojis and GIFs in comments or weight polls.

Reddit users can access their Community Points through the Reddit mobile app.”

Good interview with Pomp

“On Thursday, Hayes wrote a company blog post predicting that governments are set to ‘embark on the greatest fiscal stimulus binge the world has ever seen. Because unemployment will be so high, tax revenue won’t be sufficient to cover the budget outlays.

It will not be paid for by tax receipts,’ he wrote. ‘It will be paid for by the printing press,’ and at that point, inflation becomes a forgone conclusion.

There are only two things to own during the transition to whatever the new system is, and that is gold and bitcoin.”

Investors are paying a 515% premium to buy Ether through the Grayscale Ethereum Trust. That means it’s five times more expensive to buy Ether via the trust than on the open market.

The ETHE trust is targeted at investors willing to pay more for regulatory oversight and to avoid risk. Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust currently has $195.1 million in assets under management.”

“During January, tokens representing fractionalized ownership in three properties in Detroit, Michigan produced $19,950 in monthly volume. The tokens represent fractionalized ownership in rental incomes generated by the property.

February saw the three properties’ pooled volume increase 25% to $24,393. In March, the addition of three active REST [real estate security token] markets on RealT saw monthly security token trade almost double to $47,584.

RESTs now represent nearly half of active security token markets, and 15% of total volume.”

See Also: RealT

This guy is such a joke 😂

“Wright’s dissertation for his LLM in International Commercial Law for Northumbria University was written in 2008, titled The Impact of Internet Intermediary Liability.

Yet the following screenshot suggests much of Wright’s paper was lifted wholesale from Hillary E. Pearson’s 1996 paper, Liability of Internet Service Providers. As noted in the expository Medium article, the vast majority of Pearson’s paper was either copied verbatim or paraphrased by Wright – all without attribution.

Pearson’s Liability of Internet Service Providers contains 58 paragraphs. Wright appropriated 45 of them; 25 in full and 20 in large part. This plagiarism is extensive and methodical, and cannot be explained away as an oversight in neglecting to cite the author.”

See Also: Full Medium Post

“The recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) block reward halving has wreaked havoc on the cryptocurrency’s hash rate — with an apparent miner exodus plummeting hash power more than 80% over two days.

As a result, launching a 51% attack on BCH currently costs less than $10,000 per hour, raising concerns regarding the security of the network.

See Also: Bitcoin SV’s First Halving Crimps Profits for BSV Miners

Chico Crypto: Digital Dollar is Coming

The company isn’t going into receivership as its lead investor, FastForward Innovations, claimed last week.

Currently, Factom, Inc. makes most of its money from contracting its services with the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other entities. For DHS, Factom’s technology secures data from Border Patrol cameras and sensors. Factom is also part of a project securing data from the national power grid for the U.S. Energy Department.

After the news of Factom’s alleged receivership broke, DHS called a meeting with the blockchain company to ensure that its project would continue, according to Smith. Factom expects to receive three more contracts with DHS for around $600,000 each.

Looking forward, Factom plans to focus on data integrity and data organization, which Snow said will be critical for supply chain and internet-of-things security.”

10 April

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced another $2.3 trillion in lending programs on Thursday to stabilize America’s coronavirus-stricken economy. The Bank of England announced it would likely extend billions of pounds to directly finance the government’s crisis response. Deng said he expects the People’s Bank of China to use a digital currency to distribute a stimulus package.

All this inspires inflation concerns around the globe, which appear to be driving demand for bitcoin (BTC) in some corners. While central banks continue printing money, there will only ever be 21 million bitcoin. The halving of bitcoin miners’ block rewards is scheduled for May in what some are calling an act of quantitative tightening.

Broadly speaking, dozens of nations are reevaluating which currencies and industries they depend on. Bitcoin fits into this broader spectrum as some nations with strong central governments, like China, shore up hard assets and digital infrastructure. Meanwhile, there has been a surge in retail crypto investors from nations with unstable currencies, such as Argentina and Russia.

We see that interest in cryptocurrencies has grown significantly in Russia … due to the economic situation in the country. Authorities are introducing a new tax on income from bank deposits from next year, which encourages people to withdraw funds from banks.”

See Also: The Bank of England Goes Into Hyperinflationary Mode (Video)
See Also: Crypto Trading Volumes Rise in India After Banking Crisis, COVID-19 Lockdown

“Fidelity Digital Asset (FDA) is signing on as a member of ErisX’s clearinghouse, taking advantage of its central limit order book to provide better liquidity. It makes ErisX’s spot market available to FDA’s customers.

The signing is ‘a great validation of what we’ve been working on for so long, which is to get these sorts of household institutional intermediary names into our market.’ Chippas expects institutions to slowly onboard crypto.

“Canadian investment manager 3iQ said The Bitcoin Fund began trading on the TSX on Thursday. As with other ETPs, the key attraction is investors who either can’t or won’t buy the underlying asset can still add bitcoin to their portfolios.

The fund works along the same lines as an exchange-traded product (ETP): investors purchase shares in the fund and receive exposure to changes in the underlying assets price over time.”

“The number of dapp transactions that occurred in Q1 of 2020 increased tenfold over the same period in 2019. It’s Ethereum-based DeFi projects that really stand out from the pack. Transaction volume across these dapps has increased by nearly 800% over the last year.

[However], transaction volume across TRON has slipped by about 73%—from $1.57 billion to $411 million—between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020. The same is true of EOS. The transaction volume of EOS dapps between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020 fell 11%. Like TRON, EOS sees most of its dapps devoted to casino activity, though transaction volume in this area fell nearly 75%.”

“The latest Global Times report suggests that 35 multinationals including Microsoft, Walmart, Mastercard, Sony and Intel, had applied for a total of 212 blockchain patents by the end of March 2020.

Of all the foreign companies with blockchain patents in China, Mastercard tops the list with 46 such patents to its name. Although these companies are filing for blockchain patents in China, all of them are yet to start a blockchain-related business within the country.”

Key crypto infrastructure providers will help Chainalysis and the wider industry to ‘broaden cryptocurrency transaction monitoring via simpler integrations.’ The firm will seek to partner with firms specializing in compliance.

Chainalysis will [also] look to broaden its own intelligence capabilities by partnering with data providers. These could include specialists in ransomware, bolstering Chainalysis’ labeling of suspect addresses.”

US Energy Sector – How Junk Bonds Could Trigger A Market Collapse

“The recent price crash in March has prepared miners early for the halving, which will reduce the sudden impact it could have had on their profitability, [as] those with outdated equipment have already been forced to drop out or upgrade.

What that means is that miners are likely to not have to sell as high of a proportion of their mined coins as before the halving and the actual halving.

If correlations continue to drop, and Bitcoin continues its recovery, it delivers a case study for institutions for how it performs in a global crisis, which is a very key benefit needed to attract that institutional demand.”

“Block.one plans to start actively voting for EOS block producers sometime next month.

As of press time, the most widely supported EOS block producers have support from 2.67 percent of the voting EOS tokens. Block.one’s control of 9.5 percent of the supply means that its support could be potentially decisive for any block producer.

“Following major accusations of insider stock trading during the coronavirus-induced market crash, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), the former CEO of Bakkt, is liquidating her holdings along with her husband.

My husband and I are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts and moving into exchange-traded funds and mutual funds.”

9 April

“Some of the most experienced trading firms in Chicago are joining forces to promote decentralized finance (DeFi). TD Ameritrade, Cumberland, CMT Digital, DV Trading and Jump Capital, plus venture capital firm Volt Capital and the DeFi startup Compound, all joined forces in the Chicago DeFi Alliance (CDA).

The CDA will help entrepreneurs get their startups ‘up and running during the crisis.’ She hopes the CDA will offer a pool of talent that crypto startups like dYdX and Yield can draw from so they can focus on their long-term visions.

There’s a real opportunity here to leverage financial and trading expertise from Chicago to support DeFi products around the world.

All of the DeFi products being built are going to be catering to these large trading firms.”

See Also: Banking API Platform Sila Raises $7.7M on Promise of Programmable Money

“Bitcoin Cash – the blockchain that forked off Bitcoin in 2017 – has just reduced its block rewards by half, causing many miners to see gross margins drop to near zero.

Based on data from F2Pool, at BCH’s current price and the network’s latest hash rate, a wide range of the mining equipment that was launched in 2018 and early 2019 are now generating negative daily profits.

That said, as more unprofitable miners unplug from the Bitcoin Cash network as is expected, mining difficulty will further decrease, dynamically increasing the mining revenue for those who can afford to stick to the game.”

“Utilizing a new blockchain-powered project known as Vision and leveraging Power Ledger’s own Ethereum-based ERC-20 POWR tokens, users will be able to track and certify where the energy that powers their homes is coming from.

This marks a world-first in energy trading, with customers able to select their energy mix, knowing it’s certified via an immutable blockchain platform.

Whether consumers want to source energy from their neighbor’s solar rooftop panels or a wind farm in Bordeaux, our platform gives consumers choice and control over their energy source.

Also planned for a second stage of the project is the ability for users to buy and sell excess renewable energy through peer-to-peer trading.

See Also: Dutch Brokerage Platform Launches Crypto Trading Across Europe

“There was something different in March’s crypto sell off. Seems many people positioned themselves for Covid by de-risking out of crypto and into dollars but they kept those dollars on crypto rails as stablecoins.

Why? Their dollars were more useful in crypto bank accounts and Ethereum addresses than inside legacy banks accounts.

  • Higher interest rates. Coinbase 1.25% on USDC vs. 0.01% in WellsFargo
  • Different lending options. BlockFi 8.6% on USDC vs. (nothing comparable)
  • Native to crypto. Pay, lend, borrow, trade—w/o a bank in the crypto system
  • Quickly convert. Can hold USDC on sidelines & convert back to crypto money

Crypto bank accounts flippen traditional bank accounts—that’s the first stablecoin flippening. Flippening 2: Last year Bitcoin was the largest stablecoin settlement network; today Ethereum settles over 75% of the entire crypto stablecoin market.

Chico Crypto: Pandemic = Self-sovereign ID?

“Bitcoin futures do not unfairly impact the price of Bitcoin (BTC), according to the creator of one of the cryptocurrency’s most accurate price models.

CME launched BTC futures Dec 2017. Many point to Dec 2017 ATH as proof futures have suppressed prices. But BTC prices stayed perfectly within S2F bands. I would have expected this to happen with or without futures. Nothing unusual.

“The upgrade is intended to make it easier for users to send and receive crypto to each other with just “a few taps.”

The company integrated Decentralized Finance Apps (DeFi) directly into the wallet app last month, allowing users to access smart contracts to lend and borrow crypto without needing to leave the app.”

See Also: Status Launches Private Peer-to-Peer Messaging Protocol v1.2

“Each tzBTC represents one bitcoin on the Bitcoin blockchain and is minted under the new FA1.2 Tezos token standard.

tzBTC will be overseen by numerous organizations. Bitcoin Association Switzerland will regulate “keyholders” who mint and burn tzBTC. Keyholders include Swiss crypto firms Inacta, Lexr, Swiss Crypto Tokens and Taurus.

This is kind of the first [wrapped] product that we see and there’s not much you can trade against at the moment, but there is a roadmap.”

See Also: Are the Breitmans letting go of Tezos?

“The idea is for diners to invest $75 now with the promise of receiving a $100 gift card if and when their neighborhood haunt reopens. That 25 percent customer bonus is effectively the price Executive Chef Suzanne Cupps is willing to pay for sharing the risk her restaurant never reopens. 

The process is straightforward: Using Mintbase, an Ethereum-based app for creating NFTs, a restauranteur can “print” discounted gift cards for their clientele. Once created, it’s a matter of posting a link anywhere online which will allow people to purchase them.”

See Also: Canada-Based Blockchain Company To Deploy a COVID-19 Electronic Screening

Andreas Antonopoulos: Do not split your seed phrase.

8 April

“BoE analysts working on the U.K.’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative said there was a distinct possibility that private companies could play a much larger part in the issuance and distribution of money.

Although they might introduce new risks into the monetary system, Dyson said private currencies could work alongside any future CBDC initiative if they offered real utility.

[Notably], the BoE’s views about private currencies are distinct from those from other central banks.”

“Bitfinex will offer staking rewards up to 10% per annum on crypto assets underpinned by a Proof-of-Stake algorithm. Products that generate passive income is allowing crypto to ‘compete with banks for users.’

Bitfinex will launch staking with support for three cryptocurrencies: EOS, V-Systems (VSYS), and Cosmos (ATOM) – with Tezos (XTZ) staking currently slated to launch in May.

Bitfinex will also be launching new products “related to P2P margin trading and lending” and derivatives in the near future.”

“It’s the right thing to do these improvements but they won’t suddenly make bitcoin a private currency.

There will be some clear improvements. First, more complex types of transactions will be easier to use [eg. multi-sig transactions]. The multi-sig dependent lightning network could [then] potentially speed up and scale payments. MASTs make it much easier and cheaper to lock up bitcoin with more complicated rulesets.

Right now, developers are battle testing this bundle of new technologies before they try to add it to bitcoin with a soft fork.”

“One of Bitcoin’s most controversial forks, Bitcoin Cash, will halve in approximately 16 hours as of press time, cutting its block reward from 12.5 BCH down to 6.25.

BCH rose from $213 on April 1, to a press time price of $257, while BSV went from $160 to $188 in the same time frame.”

“Tesla is working with the Shanghai Port Group to test if blockchain can make the process of importing goods into China any easier. The announcement doesn’t say much about the type of blockchain used.

The pilot showcased significant efficiency gains not only in the cargo release process but also for downstream supply chain planning by presenting a single source of truth for documentation for all involved parties.”

“Experts agree the country’s $1.5 billion cryptocurrency war chest is used to fund an illicit web of trade networks and supply chains. It’s logical to assume North Korea’s ill-gotten crypto is being moved in trade-based money-laundering networks.

Given the increased anonymity of cryptocurrencies, newly mined cryptocurrency can be used to facilitate sanctions-evasion activity.”

“It aims to leverage blockchain and other technologies to facilitate data access for researchers and healthcare professionals seeking to curb the outbreak coronavirus and prevent future pandemics.

The virtual hackathon also hopes to advance cohesion between life sciences and next-generation experts to develop solutions that strengthen public health without sacrificing user privacy.

This interdisciplinary group will rapidly create highly-relevant solutions with the potential to have both immediate- and long-term positive impact.

7 April

“The South Korean central bank said Monday it had reevaluated the CBDC proposal after observing that other developed nations, including neighboring Japan and its close ally the U.S., were moving forward with their own digital currency plans faster than anticipated.

Abandoning their wait-and-see approach, BOK officials have now pushed the central bank into a 22-month pilot program – which started this month – to assess the technical and legal ramifications of replacing physical cash with a digital equivalent.”

See Also: China Will ‘Undoubtedly’ Pursue Digital Yuan, Central Bank Says
See Also: Coronavirus Encourages CBDC Developments: Deutsche Bank Strategist

“The bank had been struggling with ‘longstanding capital and asset quality issues’ since 2015, said the FDIC in its press release. MVB Bank bought up most of the bank’s assets, but the closure will still cost the FDIC $46.8 million.

Last week, the FDIC put out an infomercial advising people to not withdraw all their cash from banks amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

The post lists three criteria for accounts that have been temporarily frozen, all relating to the March 20 hard fork. It should be noted that when the new Hive blockchain was launched, all steem accounts were carried over to the new chain.

Seems like it’s par for the course for Justin Sun; I’m not really surprised. This is why we don’t hold TRON in the BlockTrades portfolio. I often wonder why anyone invests in it.

This is just another chapter in the Kindergarten Play book. I can not imagine exchanges not considering delisting Steem.

It’s important to note that Steem’s software does not provide for permissionless participation in consensus. It uses DPoS, which allows a small subset of nodes to govern a blockchain.”

See Also: Poloniex’s New Tron-Powered IEO Platform Moves Exchange Closer to Justin Sun’s Orbit

“Most of the fundraising in the cryptocurrency space shifted from the Americas to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia Pacific regions (APAC), according to a recent report by Big Four auditing firm PwC.

During 2019, fundraising efforts in the crypto space obtained 18% less funding, while funds in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the space decreased by 40%. Overall, PwC states that the cryptocurrency industry continued to mature in 2019 as funds started moving to later-stage companies.

2019 saw APAC and EMEA play a bigger role in the global crypto M&A and fundraising space. We expect to see this trend to continue in 2020.

“Collapsed supply and demand, transport frictions, labor shortages and, in some cases, early signs of protectionism, are making it increasingly tough for suppliers to keep goods and services flowing across global value chains.

Authors of an April 6 report for the World Economic Forum argue that blockchain technology is key to mitigating the impact of such disruptions. [Researchers] claim the technology can provide the supply chain visibility that is critical, both during times of normal production and of crisis.

Suppliers can audit their data-sharing permissions directly on their own blockchain node. At the same time, their data can be securely distributed to others in the blockchain network.”

“It’s possible digital assets are the only asset class not actually affected by a recession. 

Just as your Delta SkyMiles and Target gift cards don’t go away or lose value during an economic crisis, neither do the intrinsic value of digital assets. These tokens are claims on future services, not claims on revenue, profit or assets. As a result, most of these digital projects and companies appear to be immune to demand shocks and supply shocks. 

One day we may even say ‘digital assets are recession-proof.

“The United States Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) is the supreme audit institution of the U.S. government and provides evaluation and investigative services for Congress.

The agency hopes to ‘determine the most promising solutions and approaches which, if successful, could profoundly change the business of audit, investigations, and program evaluation for the future GAO.'”

“The Barbados-based firm announced its intentions to build out a Polkadot parachain based on Parity Technologies’ Substrate network. The move is part of Shyft’s larger effort to create a universal standard for cryptocurrency regulatory compliance.

Once fully deployed, the Shyft chain will enable Polkadot users to bridge identities from other networks, and from DApps built on other networks, to all Polkadot parachains.”

“A group of researchers has devised a blockchain-based mechanism to perform legal functions in a so-called “digital court.” The project aims to settle legal disputes without the need for a “costly legal process.”

The court algorithmically aggregates the parties’ opinions and judges who violated their agreement. If the digital court judges that a party violated the agreement, the party is fined by withholding a deposit made during the initial agreement.”

See Also: Revised Crypto Laws in Japan to be Enforced Starting May 1