5 April

Great article — Highly recommended to READ IN FULL.

“Let’s explore specifically how the latest fiscal and monetary outlay – equivalent to 25 percent of one year’s worth of America’s entire productive capacity – is being unevenly distributed. In short:

  • The U.S. government is selectively distributing funds to entities most adept at positioning themselves for handouts
  • The U.S. government is directly rewarding corporate failure and discouraging the standard process of capitalism

If corporations fail, equity holders should bear the necessary cost of their poor governance decisions, creditors should take over, and boardrooms should learn the meaning of risk once again. It will be a lesson they never forget.

Standing in the way of the standard insolvency, restructuring or liquidation processes that undergird effective capitalism is a violation of nature: Individual mortality is what guarantees the thriving of the collective; conversely, prohibiting failure guarantees the stagnation of the whole.

After the government rewarded the directors of insolvent financial institutions during the crisis of 2008-2009, the best we could muster as a response was a ragtag bunch of protestors in New York City’s Zuccotti Park on the left, and the Tea Party and Ron Paul on the right. Today, these movements have been utterly defanged: There is no party that endorses fiscal responsibility or monetary restraint.

The truth is, both parties are profoundly beholden to the managerial class and this zombie-capitalist system they have incubated. The progressive movement tried valiantly to rid the Democratic Party of its corporate influence; the movement was brutally quashed not once but twice. And the Republicans have scarcely ever resisted the capital-political complex.

Ultimately, policymakers will make their choice. But unlike in 2009, the population is more prepared now. Even though we have been temporarily cowed by the virus, the outrage will be no less fierce. The solution lies not within politics, but outside of it altogether: No vote can arrest this slide. The only genuine choice is dissociation altogether.

Good read.

“Now that Ethereum has been released into the wild for almost 5 years, the phenomenal growth it has gone through has helped the industry notice what its bottlenecks are and what can be improved.

This post will go over what are the major changes being made with Eth2 that people might not know about.

Combined with an extremely low issuance rate (<1.0%), fee burning might cause Ethereum 2.0 to have a net negative issuance, meaning more supply would be burned than what is being created!

See Also: Prysmatic Labs: Eth2 Update
See Also: Welcome to ETHPlanet

“Each investor gets their own ethereum address with ERC-20 tokens that represent their allocation of the specific investment. They can go to Etherscan and view those tokens. The term sheet of the deal points to the particular contract on Ethereum representing all owners (pseudonymously) and their allocations.  

Securities. On. Ethereum. Today.  And virtually nobody is talking about it. Gradually, people will see that having a global ledger that is transparent and open will give them a strategic advantage over their competitors.

I believe this is how we will see the traditional financial infrastructure move to Ethereum. It will be in pockets, those pockets will connect and work seamlessly together. Building and reinforcing liquidity on each other and making it easier and easier to transact, audit, trade, and invest.”

See Also: How Citi and ConsenSys Are Using Blockchain Technology to Help Modernize the Commodity Trading Market (Good Read)

“GM has filed a patent application for a continuously updating navigation map system. The system would use blockchain to integrate data from vehicle sensors and build a reliable map for autonomous vehicles.

Any difference is transmitted to a blockchain network that holds all the map data. The “candidate transaction” is then validated if other vehicles report a similar change.”

4 April

“MakerDAO is arguably the most important app on Ethereum and for it to become a full DAO [decentralized autonomous organization] successfully would be a major step. On Thursday, Christensen detailed a three-plank plan that would get community governance to the point where MakerDAO users wouldn’t even notice when the foundation shuts its doors.

Maker is already the most transparent and inclusive credit facility the world has, and decentralizing its operations will be key to hardening the system against adversarial actors and scaling it into a global utility.

The crux of the idea is to fully decentralize the MakerDAO Foundation so that different parts of its work will be done by different organizations. Those workers would be employed, ultimately, by MKR holders. 

Calls to open-source the Fed may someday stem from MakerDAO’s success.”

“COVID-19 is changing the public’s relationship with cash, they said, despite the scientific community’s consensus that coronavirus transmission via banknote is relatively unlikely. 

The pandemic may hence put calls for CBDCs into sharper focus, highlighting the value of having access to diverse means of payments, and the need for any means of payments to be resilient against a broad range of threats.”

See Also: How Central Banks Could Use Digital Cash to Deliver Universal Basic Income

“ShapeShift has enabled its United States-based customers to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with a debit card. The new platform doesn’t require account verification to purchase cryptocurrencies.

This is due to the fact that the platform does not actually hold custody of customer funds. Since transfers occur P2P between wallets owned and controlled by individual users, KYC measures are not strictly necessary.”

See Also: Revolut Fast-Tracks User-Wide Crypto Support Due to Global Economic Upset

Interesting read.

“This software program will associate people’s government ID numbers with unique blockchain records they can use for telemedicine and permits to leave the house on specific errands.

The health center validates the permit that proves they were assigned to this health clinic.

The mobile app’s blockchain records serve multiple functions in a region accused by critics of having a particularly corrupt public health care system. The Civitas record cannot be easily altered nor denied. Most importantly, this data isn’t shared with agencies beyond the healthcare system.”

“The so-called #ForkGoogle memorandum accuses the tech giant of waging ‘campaigns of suppression against Bitcoin and blockchain industry for years.’ In recent years, Google-owned video-sharing platform YouTube deleted and banned an array of cryptocurrency-related channels.

Among the most popular decentralized video sharing platforms, the author noted LBRY, Bitchute, BitTube, PeerTube and Dtube.”

“Status raised a reported $107 million in a 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) in order to build a crypto-powered answer to WhatsApp with a built-in Ethereum wallet.

Around March 17 (just over one month after the initial release of v1.0) we noticed a ~50 percent increase in daily installs from the previous day.

War Riders is a sort of Mad Max adventure that uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs). ‘We’ve been seeing about 70 percent jump in new users and average time spent in the game increased drastically.'”

See Also: CryptoKitties Devs Secure Brazilian Patent for NBA Digital Tokens

“The ‘Doctors of the Homeland’ initiative will see each Venezuelan doctor air-dropped one of the administration’s oil-backed Petro cryptocurrency tokens.

While the Maduro administration claims that the Petro is worth roughly $60, popular trading platforms used by Venezuelans currently list the token for roughly between $20 and $26.

However, with Venezuelan monthly minimum wages equating to $3.61 plus $2.89 in food stamps, and doctors estimated to earn little more, one Petro could equate to several months of work.”

3 April

Thesis will shortly debut TBTC, a trustless platform for making bitcoin-backed tBTC tokens on Ethereum. TBTC is an application built to allow trustless storage of the bitcoin backing tBTC tokens.

Decentralized financial applications on Ethereum have seen clear demand. Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Building a bridge that allows Bitcoin to interact with DeFi makes a lot of sense.

I think the whole Bitcoin-Ethereum cultural split has outlived its usefulness.”

Augur’s v2 contracts will be deployed to the Ethereum network and go live during the first weeks of June.

When v2 is deployed, all current token balances must be migrated to a new REP token contract. We will soon be sharing details for exchanges and individuals to manage the migration process.”

“Brave tallied more than one million new users in March alone.”

To securely manage the flow and exchange of energy from renewable distributed sources within existing electric power systems, blockchain can serve as a critical piece of infrastructure.

It can connect and aggregate prosumer DERs, enterprise microgrids, and electric vehicles to the grid. Thus, the energy supply from renewables is managed optimally: it can be stored and redistributed when and where it is needed. This can stabilize grids, reduce peak demand, and make utilities future-ready without having to rebuild their infrastructure.”

“Brazil’s financial regulators launched an information-sharing blockchain platform called PIER.

PIER will unite Brazil’s entire financial oversight ecosystem in what CVM called “a vast integrated database” that accelerates the speed with which each can administer its slice of Brazil’s $1.9 trillion economy – Latin America’s largest by far.

Building PIER, using blockchain, allows the use of decentralized, tested technology whose native functionalities mean that there is no need to build the system from scratch.”

See Also: Dow Jones Has a Blockchain-Based Product for Fighting Fraud and Staying Compliant

““Priceless” contracts are designed with mechanisms to incentivize counterparties to properly collateralize their positions without requiring any on-chain price feed. Oracles are only used when a liquidation is disputed — which is designed to be rare.

Right now, on testnet, you can deploy your own token to track anything.

See Also: Clay Golem rises!
See Also: Announcing Embeddable NFTs
See Also: Ethereum March Update (Video)

“Ceramic is a new permissionless protocol for creating and accessing unstoppable documents that serve as the foundation for a connected, interoperable web.

Here’s what’s possible on Ceramic:

  • Portable self-sovereign identity
  • Shared data schemas and definitions
  • Interoperable user and application data storage
  • Open web services, without new accounts or logins

“One of the first companies to host a token sale, Factom, has notified creditors it has entered receivership. Factom started in 2014 as a trustless data-provenance layer on the Bitcoin blockchain.

In its near-six-year history, Factom raised more than $18 million from investors. FastForward director Ed McDermott admitted the company was not altogether certain how Factom ended in such dire financial straits.”

How Markets Are Coping With The Global Shutdown

2 April

“The next weapons upgrade for central bankers is the ability to go negative on interest rates. It costs you to keep money in the bank. This is the ultimate spending stimulant to some central bankers. Liquidity is forced. So what prevents central bankers from doing this today? Physical cash does.

Each economic power will want a separate money network—their own separate version of FedWire. Because none will trust the other to control the settlement network for something as important as their sovereign currency.

But what happens when they want to trade? What happens when they want to settle transactions in a neutral network? To interoperate? To do global finance? For that they need a network that isn’t controlled by nation state, that cannot be censored. A credibly neutral settlement layer.

Ethereum is the only poly-asset settlement network that doesn’t require the trust of a competing nation-state. It’s the only network they can all use without giving up their sovereignty. Central bank digital currencies will end up as sidechains for the public asset blockchain—sidechains to Ethereum.”

“LSAT leverages the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) status code 402, meant to warn the user’s web browser that payment is required to access the service. The implementation of such a system could create a seamless way to pay for and immediately access web services without needing accounts.

In this new web, email addresses and passwords are a thing of the past. Instead cryptographic bearer credentials are purchased and presented by users to access services and resources.”

See Also: Blockstack Wins Patent for Its Dapp Single Sign-on Product

“The latest move by Coinbase is a vote of confidence in DeFi. Coinbase is putting $1 million into the liquidity pool for USDC/ETH on Uniswap [and] has contributed $100,000 to the sponsored pool backing PoolTogether’s USDC daily prize. 

With USDC, we hope to provide critical infrastructure that will enable DeFi to grow and increasingly compete with existing financial products.”

Telegram’s claim it could issue its tokens to investors but ensure these tokens did not end up in U.S. investors’ hands was unconvincing. Telegram did not actually explain how it could prevent secondary sales or how it could lawfully modify the Gram Purchase Agreements to to create this restriction.

[F]undamentally, the TON Blockchain was designed and is intended to grant anonymity to those who purchase or sell Grams.”

Global pandemic = ID2020?

“More than a third (37 percent) of rural Americans don’t have broadband internet at home.

Cryptocurrency project Althea is powering internet connections in a novel way. It uses cryptocurrency as a payment method for internet connections brought about by community-powered mesh networks. The network devices accept payment in ether (ETH) or DAI.

They’re starting to spread, with networks of various sizes up and running in Tacoma, Washington; Denver, Colorado; and Abuja, Nigeria. And they’re planning to expand to Haiti, Ghana, North Carolina and Philadelphia.

I am happy to be a relay because I can make money and I feel at home with the Althea network.”

“Backed by global agribusiness giants like Cargill and Bunge, Covantis has been officially established as a legal entity in Geneva after receiving all necessary regulatory approval.

The upcoming platform is going to be based on the Ethereum blockchain and will initially focus on automating grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes.

The platform is currently in development. We will start users testing in May and will be planning to launch the 1st release in the second part of 2020.”

“The key motivation for exchanges to get into the bitcoin mining game is liquidity: Mining is the cheapest way to add liquidity to exchanges. The exchange is following the lead of its peers, OKex and Huobi.

The company has already hired some professionals for this purpose, some of them former Bitmain employees. The launch is planned for the Q2 2020.”

“While Bitcoin Core is featured, most cryptocurrency projects stored on GitHub will also be included, including bitcoin’s forward-looking Lightning Network, and the code behind other cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum and dogecoin.

As a part of an archiving program for safeguarding an important part of technological history, a “snapshot” of all this code will be copied onto film reels and stored in a steel container, all done in an effort to keep the data alive and unscathed for 1,000 years.

Organizations like the non-profit digital library Internet Archive and the future-looking cultural non-profit Long Now Foundation are backing the effort, and historians, anthropologists and other scientists are advising it.”

1 April

Institutions will now be able to trade on every single crypto market simultaneously thanks to GlobalX, an API platform launched on March 31 by San Francisco-based firm Apifiny.

The firm opens business accounts with as many exchanges as possible across the entire world, while presenting a unified interface to its clients. [This] allows institutional traders to make large orders without depressing the price on one specific exchange. 

We’re not directly competing with exchanges, we see them as strategic partners. I think our role is that of a prime broker.

GlobalX could be considered as a sign that the crypto industry is maturing as an asset class. Its team stressed that connecting global liquidity could finally bring large institutional investors on board.

See Also: Crypto Derivatives Platform Gets Nod From London Stock Exchange’s Software Tester

This is the first hot-wallet insurance offering to date that offers $1 million in protection. The insurance is assigned automatically when a user registers for a Civic wallet.

The policy provides the same sort of comprehensive guarantee found with credit cards and bank accounts. It also offers better cover than many existing custodial solutions, such as BitGo or Gemini.

This is the first [example] where essentially an entire platform is guaranteeing the funds of their customers.”

“France’s central bank wants to experiment with integrating digital currencies. These projects will help France’s central bank understand the risks and mechanisms of CBDCs and also contribute to the eurozone’s digital cash conversation.

We as central banks must and want to take up this call for innovation at a time when private initiatives – especially payments between financial players – and technologies are accelerating, and public and political demand is increasing.”

“The data is the first strong signal, beyond scattered anecdotes, that U.S. citizens are now withdrawing more cash than usual from banks and ATMs amid concerns over the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The surge is the biggest since late 1999, when fear of a global digital systems crash caused by a rumored glitch in numerical dates – the so-called “Y2K bug” – sparked a frenzy of withdrawals and panic buying.”

“Binance is in the final stages of talks to acquire CoinMarketCap. The crypto exchange is looking to pay as much as $400 million, [according to] people familiar with the deal.

CoinMarketCap’s ability to drive a significant amount of traffic is one of the major reasons for the acquisition. CoinMarketCap’s traffic is 80% more than that of Binance’s.

The cash-and-stock deal is expected to be announced this week. When completed, that would make it one of the largest acquisitions in the crypto space.

“That means they can access Unstoppable’s Ethereum smart contract-registered, InterPlanetary File System-stored (IPFS) websites without leaving the browser address bar.

IPFS’ reliance on distributed computers instead of a single corporate entity’s servers make .crypto websites censorship resistant. 

When I view a website, the browser is looking up the Ethereum blockchain itself in order to find my website content, instead of looking it up on the DNS servers.”

“BMW Group plans to roll out its blockchain supply chain solution to 10 suppliers this year. PartChain is designed to ensure traceability and immediate data transparency for automobile components across complex supply chains that engage multiple international parties. 

The project has led to the creation of the MOBI Vehicle Identity Standard, which aims to establish a blockchain-based database for Vehicle Identity Numbers.”

See Also: German Startup Pitches Decentralized ID for Prescription Pickup During COVID-19
See Also: China’s 2nd-Largest Courier Using Blockchain to Deliver Key Supplies Amid Pandemic

“Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, says that the country’s crypto law — the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” — is now finalized but won’t be adopted before the end of the spring 2020.

Aksakov added that Russia’s upcoming crypto law will provide a definition of cryptocurrencies and prohibit the use of crypto as payment. Additionally, the law will include the issuance and circulation of digital assets. Aksakov also emphasized that the new law won’t hinder operation of crypto exchanges.

  • “Least Authority Phase 0 audit complete
  • Phase 0 Pre-Launch Bounty Program launched
  • Unification of eth1+eth2 communications”

See Also: Bounty Program
See Also: Eth2 Phase 0 multiclient testnets will likely go live in April, predicts Buterin
See Also: Eth Berlin: Stateless Ethereum Overview (Video)

“Tokyo-based Hitachi announced it would work in collaboration with U.S.-based ConsenSys to provide PegaSys Plus to the Japanese market.

The global IT firm intends to use the platform built on Hyperledger Besu to streamline operations related to digital asset trading, electronic coupons, supply chain management, and certification.

We think Japan has the potential to be one of the fastest growing blockchain markets in the world over the coming years.”

“The BGA — a coalition of 90 game and blockchain companies advocating for blockchain technology within the gaming industry — will seek to strengthen blockchain adoption to expand player capabilities without any barriers. 

I’m a strong believer in aligning the interests of players, creators, and game developers and will continue to encourage true ownership for game players and creators through the inclusion of the blockchain industry.”