2 July

“Beijing has unveiled a 20-point plan to accelerate the development and deployment of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and turn Beijing into both a global and national hub for blockchain tech.

Fostering a good business climate for blockchain innovation is cited as a top objective of Beijing, with “cultivating a group of unicorn enterprises” listed among the plan’s goals.

In addition to fostering private innovation, the plan outlines numerous public applications for DLT, including developing a blockchain-based directory system, digital identity platform, government data-sharing platform, and unified social credit applications.”

See Also: Swiss Government Makes Moves to Encourage Crypto Businesses
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“SKALE is rolling out the first phase of its mainnet release, providing a new way to efficiently scale decentralized applications on Ethereum. SKALE provides an elastic validator network developers can tap to generate unique decentralized blockchains that are fully compatible with the Ethereum chain.

The first phase of the SKALE mainnet launch will enable users and developers to get a taste of the functionality of the protocol, including more than 2,000 transactions per second, sub-second block times, and smart-contract compatibility.

SKALE pricing supports Ethereum by giving dapps their own blockchain with a charge for the amount of server space over a period of time, rather than by transaction.

On SKALE it will be thousands of times less expensive to run transactions while not losing sync with Ethereum.”

“The American Bankers Association, a private consortium of American banks, said in a testimony at a US FinTech task force hearing earlier this month that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) puts an uncomfortable amount of power in the hands of the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve would quickly become politicized as the central control point for monitoring and potentially denying transactions.

The right of people to transact outside the view of the central bank is a cherished civil liberty that is preserved and protected by the due process of a competitive private banking sector.”

See Also: Senate Banking Committee Remains Open to Idea of Digital Dollar in Tuesday’s Hearing

“Big names in digital assets are getting ready for the launch of Ethereum 2.0.

Blockchain infrastructure-as-a-service company Bison Trails announced today early support for features of Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2), including ETH staking and automatically managed validator nodes.

Bison Trails is a natural fit for users with more than a single node’s worth of ETH to stake, providing the remote hardware and service to set up as many nodes as is required.”

“Deutsche Boerse has listed an exchange-traded product (ETP) that tracks the value of bitcoin.

Bitcoin ETPs provide exposure to bitcoin in a regulated asset class. In contrast to the U.S., where regulators have been loathe to sign off on bitcoin ETF applications, there are already three to four entities offering crypto-backed products across Europe.

“The “mini-ETF” allows holders to earn interest on decentralized lender Compound and gain exposure to “yield farming.” The portfolio will “yield farm” – borrow against itself to release free COMP tokens on users’ behalf – sometime later this year.

Alongside the Compound vehicle, Techemy also launched bitcoin- and ether-based investment portfolios. All three portfolios are built on Ethereum and are self-custodial, only available to accredited investors.”

See Also: BZx about to jump on the DeFi yield farming bandwagon

“Pavillion Hub, powered by Phantasma blockchain, acts as a kind of blockchain-enhanced front end for Steam.

Gamers can simply link their Steam accounts to the downloaded app, and play all of their existing Steam content. However, the app will also create a Phantasma wallet for the player, allowing them to seamlessly utilize tradable non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, along with their Steam inventory.

With Pavillion Hub’s NFT marketplace, any item represented as an NFT can be bought and sold. It also enables the modding community to monetize their skill, as game mods and extensions can also be freely traded.”

“Cryptocurrency can now be used to pay for legal services as long as the fee agreement is fair and is only permissible if the lawyer is able to safely store the payment.

Bar associations in other jurisdictions, such as North Carolina, Nebraska and New York City, have previously approved accepting cryptocurrency as payment.

[Attorneys] cannot hold back the tides of change even if they would like to, and cryptocurrency is increasingly accepted as a payment method by vendors and service providers, including lawyers.”

“Bolt Labs has launched a private payment solution, zkChannels, on Tezos. Akinyele said the team built on top of Tezos to act as a testing ground of sorts for other blockchains.

A current problem with Lightning – a payment solution built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain – is that in certain settings, you can see other people’s de facto bank accounts, called funding channels. zkChannel hides that information from merchants.

zkChannels is a chain-agnostic anonymous off-chain protocol that enables cheap and private value transfer between a customer and merchant.”

“Many crypto experts have noticed that Bitcoin’s choice of secp256k1 elliptic curve was unusual for its time, as it was not yet well researched.

According to Okamoto, there are two alternative explanations for this choice: Either Satoshi picked because it offers greater efficiency or because it may have offered a secret backdoor.

There could still exist some suspicion that some backdoor might be secretly set up in the curve parameters.”

“The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected defendant Richard Gratkowski’s claims his blockchain and Coinbase-held bitcoin transaction records could not be used as evidence against him.

Gratkowski based his motion to suppress that evidence on the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure.

The court effectively found that agents did not need a warrant to search those records. The court said the public nature of bitcoin’s permissionless blockchain undercuts any user’s claims to a reasonable expectation of privacy.

See Also: US Senators Float Bill Requiring Congressional Watchdog Study Crypto’s Role in Trafficking

“The market cap of leading stablecoin Tether (USDT) has surpassed $10 billion for the first time. Alongside Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), Tether is now one of three crypto assets with an eleven-figure capitalization.

Tether’s reported $10 billion market cap comes after year-to-date growth of 144% — with Tether representing $4.1 billion at the start of 2020.”

“We’ve just taken another step forward by decentralizing the hosting of the Uniswap Interface using IPFS. The Uniswap Interface is now deployed at least once per day to IPFS.

The domain uniswap.exchange is now redirected to app.uniswap.org, which is an alias to the Cloudflare IPFS gateway that serves the Uniswap Interface from IPFS.”