19 August

True DeFi projects present a different legal issue for lawmakers compared to ICOs, with the latter’s centralized operators and issuance of security-like tokens largely absent in the DeFi space. The absence of an operator makes DeFi difficult to pursue.

Belton said the so-termed “decentralization flirts,” or projects that maintain critical infrastructure off-chain and whose founding team control the majority of tokens, are similar to ICOs.

Permissioned stablecoins are also much easier for regulators to attack, especially where many custody funds in banks.”

“In the last three days, the price of YFI climbed to $12,800, a nearly 330% rally since the price bottomed at $3,005 on Aug. 13.

On Aug. 17, the development team behind yEarn Finance announced the release of a tokenized insurance platform called yInsure Finance. Through insured vaults and claim governance, it creates an insurance service on top of the DeFi protocol.

Crypto-native insurance — on-chain insurance covering protocols and DAOs — has the potential to be the next big financial primitive in DeFi. The market size could be enormous.”

See Also: Curve assets soar over $1B after one of crypto’s strangest token launches

“Blockchange Inc and Gemini Trust Co. LLC are providing a platform for registered investment advisors (RIAs) to securely manage digital assets as part of their client portfolios.

The solution will combine Blockchange’s BITRIA™ Digital Turnkey Asset Management Platform, alongside Gemini’s exchange and custody solution. This solution claims to offer superior tax benefits, as well as ownership of the underlying assets.

Building solutions with the needs of wealth advisors and other institutional professionals in mind paves the way for more investors to get involved in the powerful network of digital assets.

Will investment advisors now heed the words of Wall St. legend Paul Tudor Jones?

See Also: Bequant, Now in Crowded Prime Brokerage Race, Adds Signature Bank Integration

WBTC Farming Yields on Ethereum

“HOPR uses a token-incentivized mixnet solution, essentially doing the same for blockchain as Tor (the onion router) or a virtual private network (VPN) do on the internet. The mixnet node combines running an Ethereum node with next-level data privacy.

HOPR’s plug-and-play, blockchain-ready node is being sold at $400 with an 8GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. The company is only making 100 HOPR Hardware Nodes available for the initial release.”

See Also: Researchers Detect Crypto-Mining Worm to Steal AWS Credentials

“SpaceChain’s International Space Station-hosted (ISS) hardware authorized a 0.0099 BTC (about $92 at the time) transfer initiated by Chief Technology Officer Jeff Garzik on June 26, the decentralization company disclosed Tuesday.

Installed on the ISS on June 25, that hardware holds a private key needed to verify blockchain transactions via the “multi-signature” technique. Data can only reach the ISS via the craft’s encrypted ground station links.”

18 August

The upgrade will put in effect a “privacy protocol” known as Mimblewimble, which is supposed to help shield the identities of holders of senders and recipients of litecoin tokens while also improving the network’s ability to scale to handle more transactions.

A testnet of Mimblewimble, in the works for almost a year, is targeted for the end of September.

One concern with the added privacy features is that it’s not yet clear how they’ll sit with regulators. Coinbase UK delisted zcash last year, likely due to pressure from financial watchdogs. South Korean exchange Upbit delisted privacy coins monero, dash and zcash in 2019.”

“Following his recent educational foray into the world of Blockchain, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy now appears to be promoting crypto pump and dump schemes by shilling low-cap altcoins.

Portnoy expressed an interest in crypto pump and dumps, noting that “it’s encouraged” and can be done “all day long.”

Satoshi Flipper, a crypto influencer known for his analysis, warned people to be “very careful” with Portnoy’s words because he ‘doesn’t know anything about crypto.‘”

“On Friday, Cloudflare roughtime—a public measure of time developed by Google—was off by about four hours. Cloudflare is a third-party web infrastructure provider that Prysm relies on and uses to adjust users’ clocks if they are skewed.

The bug caused havoc with the network’s internal time clocks. Different parts of the network were showing time lags of up to four hours.

The Prysm team developed Alpha.22, which is the main bug fix for the Medalla testnet.”

Cryptograph allows famous personalities to auction their digital artworks—also called cryptographs—in the form of unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) stored on the Ethereum blockchain. And they contribute to charities in the process.

The first cryptograph was created and sold by Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, for 77.35 ETH ($33,300 today) on July 11.

The profits from Hilton’s auction will benefit three charities focused on feeding and housing the vulnerable.”

“Starting August 28, CRV holders can “vote lock” their tokens to increase the rate at which they earn rewards from the CRV pool by up to 2.5x.

Tokens locked into the “CRV voting escrow” will gradually accrue voting power (in the form of veCRV, or voting escrow CRV). veCRV voting tokens can be used to vote on proposals submitted to Curve’s governance protocol, the Curve DAO.

Lock 1,000 CRV for a year and you’ll get a voting power of 250 veCRV. Lock it up for four years, and you’ll get 1,000 veCRV.”

“Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Cash Trust (BCHG) and Litecoin Trust (LTCN) crypto products are set to begin trading publicly on over-the-counter markets after receiving DTC eligibility Monday.

Grayscale has fashioned its growing family of crypto trusts as a gateway for investors who lack the technical know-how or risk tolerance to hold coins themselves.”

See Also: Winklevoss’ Gemini Adds Support for Hong Kong, Australian and Canadian Dollars

“In July the DG Lab conglomerate, which like Ethereum powerhouse ConsenSys includes both an investment arm and an adjacent software company, open sourced its proposal for self-sovereign derivatives trading on the Bitcoin blockchain, using the Lightning Network.

The hottest trend among Bitcoin veterans these days is imagining DeFi functionality applied to the bitcoin currency through such layers. There are many opinions on how to approach this opportunity, from DLC to soft forks.

Not everyone agrees on how to use Lightning for smart contracts. There are enough engineers working on DeFi options for Bitcoin that one of them might technically work, even if socially it doesn’t catch on. Only time will tell which ones find product market fit.

Once there are enough people to create a real market, we might offer services or tools we can monetize.”

We’re gradually seeing more regulatory frameworks for a “bank + fintech” collaboration. In the past year, the U.S.’ Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has ruled banks can now be crypto custody providers, PayPal has started accepting bitcoin and the Bank of England has floated a potential CBDC Ecosystem.

The Brookings paper has started to map out a web of rails, endpoints and participants that will need to be defined and serviced. In other words, there are multiple roles the private sector can play in the access and usage of a CBDC. This is a critical time that will ultimately define who plays what role in the CBDC ecosystem.

It is therefore not only imperative, but mutually beneficial for central banks to offer “CBDC access APIs” to banks and nonbanks in order to decentralize the CBDC infrastructure for full inclusion, market resilience and better system efficiency.”

“Trump said he was “going to start looking at” a possible pardon for the whistleblower, who has been living in asylum in Russia since he left the U.S. in 2013. The comments came shortly after Trump told The Post ‘a lot of people think that Snowden is not being treated fairly.’

Snowden still faces federal charges for violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property.”

“The VeChain Foundation has partnered with accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton Cyprus.

The partnership hopes to extend blockchain solutions to a variety of industries. These will largely be determined by the Cypriot company’s network of customers. Alexis Nicolau, noted that legislation governing blockchain technology in Cyprus ‘is imminent.'”

The Disrupt Weekend

Recommended read.

“Ethereum is a platform for Global Public Goods in the realm of Money and Finance.

The Protocol Sink Thesis illustrates how applications move from being financial experiments to unstoppable global financial platforms, used by everyone.

The thesis states that the more trustless, permissionless, and credibly neutral a protocol is, the further it can scale itself to a global platform, and as a consequence, absorb a larger amount of capital.

Things that are very useful and cannot be captured will find themselves at the bottom of the Protocol Sink.

The Web2 movement illustrates the presence of the same outcomes that the Protocol Sink Thesis predicts. Global, non-rivalrous, non-exclusionary platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Medium have seen incredible adoption and growth due to the density they amass from free user-generated content, and their ability to scale to the widest audience possible. However, being a product from a for-profit company that answers to nation-state regulators places a limit on the scale of these platforms.

As it turns out, the human subjectivity involved with monitoring content limits their neutrality and prevents them from being an unbiased protocol. Additionally, being a centralized company forces them to be subject to the rules and regulations of a nation-state government.

As a result, crypto-economic protocols are destined to fall below centralized companies in the Protocol Sink. Simple game theory suggests that centralized companies like crypto banks (e.g. Coinbase and Gemini) will leverage the power of decentralized protocols beneath them.

Global Public Goods (GPGs) are the things that are found at the bottom of the Protocol Sink. Any crypto bank can improve its products and services by enabling users to access the Dai Savings Rate (DSR). You can repeat this same model for any protocol or application on Ethereum: Maker, Compound, PoolTogether, Augur…

Useful protocols that have removed trust, bias, and permission will find themselves leveraged by companies, businesses, banks, and individuals from all over the world. Ethereum generates a platform for hosting Global Public Goods.”

The goal of the Yield Protocol is to bring fixed-term, fixed-rate lending and interest rate markets to decentralized finance using a new kind of token we call “yTokens.” Version 1 will enable fully collateralized fixed-rate borrowing and lending in Dai.

yDai tokens are Ethereum-based tokens (ERC20) that may be redeemed one-for-one for Dai after a predetermined maturity date. yDai are analogous to zero-coupon, or discount, bonds.

yDai trade freely and will typically be priced at a discount to Dai. The difference between the discounted value and 1 Dai (the maturity value) represents the interest earned by the lender. Since the market determines the price of yDai, it also determines the interest rate.

The system is tightly integrated with — and complementary to — Maker. Maker users will be able to “migrate” their Dai vaults into yDai vaults, locking in a fixed interest rate for a period and converting back to a Maker vault after maturity.”

“Many people have asked—will sharding really work for DeFi? After all, sharding breaks composability, and isn’t composability the main thing about DeFi?

Ethereum 2.0 is going to create a bunch of shards, which will work like loosely connected blockchains. But all the DeFi stuff will end up living on a single shard, since it all wants to coagulate together. It’s wrong in being alarmed about this: in fact, this is perfectly fine and to be expected!

Imagine the day that Ethereum 2.0 launches with full smart contracts. On day one, it’s empty, like a fresh and untouched landscape. Eager Ethereum 1.0 settlers disperse across the shards. Will they spread uniformly across this landscape? Of course not! The first settlers will want to band together and form cities.

In cities, individuals live and work together because they benefit from coordination and proximity. In exchange for the increased productivity of living in a city, those settlers are willing to pay more in higher rents. This first city in Ethereum 2.0 will likely be the DeFi shard. I expect if there is a second city shard, it will be for centralized exchange settlement, separated from DeFi and all of its chaos.

I expect there will be two other kinds of shards: suburbs and farmlands. Suburbs are places where lots of people will live at relatively low cost, and have access to decent services.

Finally, there are the farmland shards. These are the rural areas that are empty of people. If you are a blockchain game that is mostly doing its own thing and doesn’t immediately need to interoperate with other assets, you can just settle all your game actions directly onto a farmland shard.

Sharding doesn’t mean that activity is uniformly spread across shards. That’s not only impossible—it’s economically stupid. Let high-value enterprises move into the cities, let boring families move to the suburbs, and let farmlands do their thing far away from the valuable real estate.

You can think of sharding as offering a similar vision to interoperability as Cosmos or Polkadot. Many different blockchains, each specialized for certain economic equilibria, with a superhighway connecting them all. Except in Ethereum 2.0’s case, all those shards will speak the same language, share the same tooling, and benefit from the immense community that Ethereum has already garnered.”

Since Sunday, 1,043 more bitcoins were tokenized through Wrapped Bitcoin than were actually created by bitcoin miners as the Ethereum-based decentralized finance (DeFi) boom shows no signs of abating.

At last check, nearly 31,000 bitcoins have been tokenized on Ethereum, according to Dune Analytics, 75% of which were minted by Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).

The rate of bitcoin tokenization signals the surging demand to use bitcoin in the burgeoning network of Ethereum-based DeFi applications.”

“According to the latest 13F, Howard Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway not only dumped all his airlines – as we learned previously, but has also liquidated huge amounts of its exposure to US banks (exiting Goldman Sachs entirely).

  • Berkshire’s JPMorgan Stake Down 62% to 22.2M Shrs
  • Berkshire’s Wells Fargo Stake Down 26% to 238M Shrs
  • Berkshire trimmed its bet on PNC Financial and M&T Bank as well as Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Mastercard, and Visa.
  • Berkshire Exits Goldman stake entirely
  • Berkshire took a new stake (20.9 million shares) in Barrick Gold, a holding that was valued at about $564 million at the end of that period.”

See Also: Peter Schiff Says the Fed Can’t Print Purchasing Power (Video)

“With yield farming becoming one of Ethereum’s killer narratives, non-custodial DeFi management platforms are becoming increasingly valuable.

DeFi management platforms abstract away the complexities of these systems to make it easy for anyone to capitalize on the opportunity. Instadapp is one of them. They’ve been one of the dominant players in the space with over $300M in value locked.”

See Also: Unsecured loans are coming to DeFi

Decentraland, MANA & The Virtual World Built Entirely On Ethereum

Another day, another billion dollars. The growth is staggering. On August 9, DeFi’s market cap hit $11 billion. By August 12, $13 billion. And now four days later—the rise almost like clockwork in DeFi’s steampunk utopia—the market cap hits $15 billion. As of today, DeFi’s market cap is $15.1 billion.

The huge rise is of course down to the prominence of Chainlink, the decentralized price oracle that’s responsible for 49.2% of DeFi’s market cap. Chainlink seems to rise every weekend, and this weekend resulted in a huge price bump of about 13% in under 24 hours.”

See Also: Crypto locked in DeFi clocks record $6bn
See Also: “Completely valueless” YFI token rises by 53% overnight

“In our last update we introduced “Tokenised Staking” to the world using our new rETH token, which represents a staking deposit and the rewards it gains over time in the Rocket Pool 2.5 network.

It can be held, sold, traded or all of the above long before Phase 1.5/2 of the ETH2 rollout occurs and provides our users with liquidity during this time in which all staking deposits are locked on the beacon chain.”

“This week a series of hedge fund indexes, reported average performance for July of 2.6%, and a year-to-date return of 1.7%. This significantly underperformed the S&P 500 (+4.7% for the month), Nasdaq Composite (+5.3%), gold (+10.3%), bonds (the long bond TLT index is up 4.4%) and, of course, bitcoin (+22%).

Aren’t hedge funds supposed to outperform the industry benchmark? The YTD performance of bitcoin to the end of July is 55% – in other words, the leading cryptocurrency by market cap outperformed crypto-focused hedge funds by five basis points, or 10%.

So, is the story here the outperformance of crypto hedge funds compared to their traditional brethren? Or is it the underperformance of crypto hedge funds compared to the industry’s benchmark?

I think it’s the former, that crypto funds are outperforming non-crypto funds, a trend that is likely to continue given evolving market developments and sentiment.

Investing in a crypto hedge fund instead of directly in the market is going to be a more attractive option for many investors even if the returns are slightly lower, because using a vehicle run by seasoned management is probably safer than direct market participation. Investors don’t have to worry about custody, best execution and liquidity crunches.”

“Angel League allows groups of investors to jointly purchase the stocks of startups in the “pre-IPO” stage. The members, known as “lead angels,” are selected through a recruitment process to incorporate new people willing to sign a stock trading contract to operate on the platform.

The trading company will then issue membership confirmation on an NFT-based digital card through the Kakao’s Klip crypto wallet. With the NFT-based digital card issued, members can then trade on the platform.

By making it possible to verify the membership of the Angel League through the NFT digital card of Klip, we have reduced operational hassle and strengthened the convenience of members.”

15 August

“Guo said that global jurisdictions can borrow from the DeFi model to allow qualified parties to issue digital assets backed by real world assets like real estate and stocks, and using them as collateral to secure loans in CBDCs.

According to the executive, such developments could bring tremendous liquidity to the economy.

The central bank is keeping track of recent developments in the DeFi industry, however, before trying to adopt the new technology to Thailand’s native cryptocurrency, the central bank has to solve two main issues around the DeFi — customer identification and privacy.

The Bank of Thailand has already deployed its CBDC for financial transactions with some large businesses earlier this year.”

“South Korea’s Woori and Shinhan banks have just announced their intention to introduce “crypto-asset services”.

That means that four of the country’s top five banks, holding a combined value of more than $1.2 trillion in assets, are now poised to introduce crypto services. Each of the banks aims to hold and manage cryptocurrencies for clients.”

See Also: Singapore’s Central Bank Backs New Code of Practice for Crypto Companies

On Thursday, an anonymous DeFi user deployed Curve Finance’s Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and token smart contracts without the team’s permission.

Following the deployment, Curve Finance tweeted it had ‘no choice but to adopt it,’ saying in another tweet it appears ‘to be an acceptable deployment with the correct code.’

The abruptness of the launch and the team’s willingness to go along with the premature activation has raised eyebrows in the DeFi community.”

See Also: Curve Finance ($CRV) Yield Farming (Video)
See Also: The Yam Protocol Will Migrate Old Tokens to an Audited Contract

[From] Aug. 28 verification will be mandatory for all users, a process that will include proofs of location, funds, trading experience, and more. The policy change comes with a six-month “grace period” ending in February 2021 to accommodate unverified users completing the process.

The exchange’s primary motivations for this change are to remove barriers to entry for some of its target users, improve the security of the platform, and “get ahead of evolving regulation” in the cryptocurrency industry.”

See Also: CME Rises in Bitcoin Futures Rankings as Institutional Interest Grows

The digital currency will be trialed in major cities across the most-developed regions.

When the new trials might start was not disclosed, but the ministry reportedly said the project design is hoped to be wrapped up by the end of this year.”

See Also: Long-Time Analyst Bove Says Cryptocurrency One Challenge to Dollar’s Dominance

“Partners of Wyre are able to offer their users a crypto savings account by simply creating a new savings sub-wallet via the Wyre API.

The new product’s interest rates are meant to be more stable than interest rates at crypto lenders because Wyre will manage funds between MakerDAO, Compound and two centralized crypto lenders.

As of Aug. 12, interest rates were 2.4% on bitcoin (BTC), 2.4% on wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), 3.3% on ether (ETH), 5.8% on USDC and 5.7% on dai.”

See Also: Walmart Adds Crypto Cashback Through Shopping Loyalty Platform StormX
See Also: Swipe Is the Latest Project to Integrate Chainlink’s Price Oracles

“The United States Postal Service (USPS) has moved to patent a novel vote-by-mail elections system secured with blockchain technology.

Among the various “embodiments” include: mailing out token-linked QR codes; distributing scannable paper passcodes to a digital voting system; storing voter identification on the blockchain; storing electronic voting signatures on the blockchain; and storing the votes themselves on the blockchain.”

“Aave has released specifications for version two of its protocol as the project eyes $1 billion locked under contract. Aave will partner with real estate tokenization firm RealT to bring home mortgages to DeFi.

v2 will introduce the ability to swap debt from one currency to another and the ability to swap collateral without returning the loan.”

See Also: Unsecured loans are coming to DeFi

Yield Farming & DeFi Psychology with David Hoffman of Bankless

“BBC Studios has issued an exclusive global license to the U.K.-based mobile game publisher Reality Gaming Group to develop a digital trading card game on the ethereum blockchain for its hit sci-fi show, Dr. Who.

Fans will be able to collect and trade digital versions of their favorite characters, and battle friends in the Doctor Who: Worlds Apart game. Trading cards collected by players will be tokenized into non-fungible or unique tokens that cannot be copied.

“Tom Emmer, a U.S. congressman from Minnesota and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), announced Thursday that next week he will lead the first cryptocurrency town hall to celebrate innovators leading the development of virtual currencies.

The town hall is intended to encourage “politically engaged voters” to take part in the growing digital asset transformation as the election nears. The town hall will be held virtually on Aug. 20 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

“Epic Games has filed suit against Apple Inc. for allegedly monopolizing the in-app payments market and making “innovations” like bitcoin payments all but impossible.

Epic Games demanded the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California prohibit Apple from acting in an anti-competitive manner and end what it called Apple’s stranglehold on in-app payments.

The lawsuit appears to be a legal volley in a campaign Epic Games began against Apple after the tech giant booted Fortnite from the Apple app store on Thursday.”

See Also: A WeChat Ban Should Be the Moment for Decentralized Tech. But It’s Not.

14 August

JPMorgan Chase & Co is in talks to lead a $50 million funding round in ConsenSys. The arrangement will see the bank’s Quorum project merged with the blockchain software development firm.

The tie-up will help ConsenSys grow by relieving some of its widely reported cash flow problems. JPMorgan will also likely benefit from adding blockchain expertise to its Quorum project.

Its interest in working with ConsenSys will see the Ethereum-focused company take on its Quorum unit.”

“DeFi meme coin YAM has succumbed to a bug within its rebase function, meaning the coin has lost control of its on-chain governance feature. All of the roughly $750,000 Curve tokens stored in the project’s treasury are lost as well.

In an ensuing blog post, YAM said it is drawing up plans to launch a new version of the yield farming protocol – presumably without the rebase bug in the codebase.

The team will gauge community interest by setting up a funding goal; if reached the team will develop a migration contract porting the ecosystem onto a new protocol.”

See Also: YAM’s Market Cap Falls From $60M to Zero in 35 Minutes

“First there were Tendies and YFI. Then came (and went) YAM. And, as of yesterday, we have Based Money. These aren’t the same DeFi projects launched earlier this summer, they’re about making crypto fun again.

Meet today’s decentralized finance (DeFi), in what amounts to a crossover between massive multiplayer online (MMO) games, like World of Warcraft, and crypto pump-and-dump schemes.

DeFi MMO is all possible because of Ethereum’s composable nature. Often analogized to Lego bricks, Ethereum applications can be snapped together to create novel financial projects.

Farm the BASED token, push the token price up and storm out the door before the algorithm changes the rules.

If you are clued in to play the game, play it. If not, sit out to the next one.”

See Also: Decentralized Finance, the YAM fiasco and the road to DeFi sustainability

“Between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020, the global market capitalization of the banking market dropped by a staggering 30.32%.

Hong Kong’s Standard Chartered and Spain’s Banco Santander had returns of -1.3% and -2% respectively. Meanwhile, UK-based HSBC Holdings saw stock values drop -16.7%, the worst among all banks.

Despite mitigation measures in place, the pandemic has raised the credit risk for most banks. A slump in economic activity raises banks’ loan losses.

The surging hashrate, Ether price, and rising fees signal that the user activity on the Ethereum blockchain is increasing. Although the momentum of Ethereum has primarily been fueled by DeFi, the data show the fundamentals of Ethereum have strengthened.

Miner revenue from fees on Ethereum has skyrocketed in the past two months, reaching an all-time high of around 18%.

On-chain transaction fees on Ethereum continue to outpace Bitcoin. The gap is now up to $1 million a day.”

See Also: Ethereum DEX trading hits nearly a half billion in 24-hour volume
See Also: Decentralized Finance Frenzy Drives Ethereum Transaction Fees to All-Time Highs

How to Build an Optimal Crypto Portfolio | Top Crypto Investors Explain

Chainlink has climbed 15 places in under a year, and is now the best performing top ten cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency is now up almost 850% year-to-date (YTD), 110.5% in the last month, and 68% in the last week.”

The arrival of digitized securities is one of the core aspects of the federal government’s blockchain strategy.

The proposed draft bill also improves regulatory clarity, stipulating that the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority will be acting as a major regulator in the field of blockchain-based e-stocks.”

See Also: Anchorage Is Streamlining Custody of Tokensoft’s ERC-1404 Security Tokens

“Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard said the U.S. central bank has been testing DLT over the past several years to study what a digital currency might do to the existing payments ecosystem, monetary policy, financial stability and the banking sector.

Her remarks indicate the Fed is further along in its experimentation than has previously been confirmed.

To enhance the Federal Reserve’s understanding of digital currencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is collaborating with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a multiyear effort to build and test a hypothetical digital currency oriented to central bank uses.”

See Also: New Blockchain Platform Aims to Help Countries Issue CBDCs More Easily
See Also: Fed Reserve Analysts Say Common Digital Currency Distinction ‘Problematic’

One million South Koreans have foregone their physical drivers license in favour of a blockchain-powered digital alternative used in conjunction with the PASS smartphone app.

This is the first authorized digital identification card to be used throughout South Korea. The legally recognised ID solution can also be used for identification and proof-of-age requirements.

In late 2018, Australia’s NSW government announced the trial of Ethereum-based digital licenses which can replace physical ones.”

See Also: Nigerians Are Using Bitcoin to Bypass Trade Hurdles With China

“The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the “largest ever seizure of terrorist organizations’ cryptocurrency accounts” on Thursday, including “millions of dollars” and 300 crypto accounts.

Al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups have been operating a BTC money laundering network using Telegram channels and other social media platforms to solicit BTC donations to further their terrorist goals.”

“Bitcoin smart contracts are a tricky beast to tame, but a new language is making them easier to write.

Minsc’s focus is on usability and making it easier to express, comprehend and reason about scripts, using a simple and familiar syntax.

Minsc doesn’t add anything new to Script, it just makes it easier to use.”

13 August

A user has transferred 30,000 Wrapped Ethereum (WETH), worth roughly $11,4 million, in a single transaction to the experimental—and unaudited—decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Yam today.

Even though Yam was developed in just 10 days, users eagerly deposited $76 million worth of crypto in less than an hour after its launch yesterday—and that figure surged to $390 million today.

Yam is an experimental DeFi yield farming protocol that rewards those who stake tokens on the network in its native YAM tokens. At press time, YAM is up around 50% on the day, trading at roughly $100 per token.”

See Also: Deposits in ‘Monetary Experiment’ Meme Token YAM Break $460M
See Also: Yam Suffers Technical Outage Following Scam Accusations

“Coinbase will allow U.S. retail customers to borrow fiat loans against as much as 30% of their bitcoin holdings in the fall. The product is available in only 17 states but Coinbase is pursuing licenses in other states and countries.

The exchange is setting conservative parameters on the product, capping credit lines at $20,000 per customer and offering an interest rate of 8% for bitcoin-backed loans with terms that are a year or less.

The exchange says it won’t reinvest the collateral elsewhere and will keep the bitcoin at the exchange, unlike some crypto lenders who rehypothecate collateral or invests deposits into perpetual swaps.”

“Fresh off the announcement that the retail DCEP app is undergoing the final stages of beta testing in Shenzhen, a representative from the People’s Bank of China told local media in the country that the first area where the platform would be officially deployed is the Greater Bay Area.

The Greater Bay Area is a regional amalgam of Hong Kong, Macau, and Shenzhen, with a combined GDP of $2 trillion that Beijing wants to turn into a unified economic hub.

Financial institutions and firms in the region that deal with high volumes of cross-border trade would be first on the list of companies piloting the platform.”

“The director of IBM financial services and digital assets says it is essential that banks understand and embrace DeFi space. Otherwise, it could eventually disrupt their entire business model.

Most financial institutions are still in early exploratory stages when it comes to DeFi, and are stuck at the crossroads between true decentralized finance and just digitizing traditional securities. Gaur foresees an entry ‘of the large banks, starting with investment banks.’

It is not enough for them to just create some DeFi products, the real value will only be unlocked if they embrace the global nature of the blockchain networks.”

See Also: Curve’s CRV token distribution: Everything you need to know
See Also: Worth The Talk? Weighing Up DeFi Products With the Token Price Craze
See Also: DeFi Token Serum Surges 1500% in 12 Hours After Listing

“Under the proposal, the tool would track transactions and identify cryptocurrency services providers and “partially” remove anonymity from people sending bitcoin, ether, dash, omni and monero.

Its goal is to create an artificial intelligence-based system for blockchain analysis. A prototype for the project, dubbed “Transparent Blockchain,” has already been developed by the Lebedev Physical Institute based on the bitcoin blockchain.”

“Andrew Hamilton, a lawyer with a background in computer science, is spearheading a class-action lawsuit accusing the social media and search giants Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for cartel-like behavior intended to kill off the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector.

The suit, which has already amassed more than $600 million in claims, accuses the firms of acting as a cartel in launching a coordinated attack designed to crush competition emerging from the nascent virtual currency sector in 2018 — when the social platforms enacted sweeping bans against the promotion of crypto assets and initial coin offerings.”

See Also: Google Ads is Failing to Protect People From Crypto Scams

“The Bolivarian Council of Mayors in Venezuela signed the so-called “National Tax Harmonization Agreement” for 305 municipalities in the country, including the Petro (PTR) as a means to collect payments of taxes and sanctions.

The cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly widely used as the result of a new campaign.”

12 August

Publicly traded business intelligence firm MicroStrategy purchased 21,454 bitcoin on Tuesday, effectively pouring all $250 million of its planned inflation-hedging funds into the digital currency.

MicroStrategy, a Nasdaq-listed software firm worth over $1.2 billion, said the cryptocurrency provided a ‘reasonable hedge against inflation.’ MicroStrategy ‘accordingly has made bitcoin the principal holding in its treasury reserve strategy.

This investment reflects our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely adopted cryptocurrency, is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.

We find the global acceptance, brand recognition, ecosystem vitality, network dominance, architectural resilience, technical utility and community ethos of bitcoin to be persuasive evidence of its superiority as an asset class for those seeking a long-term store of value.”

“Multiple national banks responded to the OCC’s June “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking”. Several banks, including U.S. Bank and PNC, indicated they might be interested in actually providing crypto custody and other services to customers.

The responses by just under a dozen banks, among a total of 89 submissions from think tanks, policy advocates, crypto startups and other entities, represent one of the strongest signs yet that traditional financial institutions view the still-nascent crypto space as a legitimate asset class.

Fresh guidance from the OCC may help provide the necessary legal comfort for banks to provide crypto-native analogs to traditional bank services.

“Decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch.exchange has launched its own DEX. As part of their efforts, they promised to fix two major issues with this type of exchange — front-running and impermanent loss.

The Mooniswap exchange is an automated money market, or AMM, similar to Uniswap or Balancer.

Inspired by a two year old post from Vitalik Buterin, they adopted the concept of virtual balances. When a high-slippage trade occurs, the internal balance of the exchange does not immediately reflect that change. At first, any new trade is still executed at the old price. The added benefit of this system is resistance to front-running.”

See Also: DEX Aggregator 1inch Raises $2.8M From Binance Labs, Galaxy Digital and More

“Status v1.5 introduces a bunch of new features that make your messaging experience a whole lot more enjoyable, without giving up your privacy or security.

Brighten up your private and group chats with images, turn up the volume with audio messages, and show some love with emoji reactions.”

“Applied zero-knowledge (ZK) cryptography on Ethereum has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last eighteen months. These recent advancements in applied zkSNARK technology have allowed us to build Dark Forest: a fully decentralized and persistent RTS (real-time strategy) game.

Dark Forest is an MMO space-conquest game where players discover and conquer planets in an infinite, procedurally-generated, cryptographically-specified universe.

Up until now, it has been nearly impossible to build incomplete information settings on decentralized systems. This is because the data layers of most decentralized systems are, by design, completely open and transparent. With zkSNARKs, players can keep private state while publicly submitting verifiably-valid actions. This allows us to build games like Dark Forest, which relies on a “cryptographic fog of war” secured with zkSNARKs.”

See Also: Iden3 builds zkRollup scaling solution for Ethereum

“Blockchain infrastructure startup Alchemy, which helps decentralized finance (DeFi) projects run or access nodes, just launched its full suite of products to the public, after a two-year closed beta serving teams including MakerDAO and Kyber Network.

Right now, building with blockchain, it’s like trying to build a skyscraper with a hammer and a shovel. Alchemy is bringing the construction equipment so it’s easier to build things.”

Developers are now able to build dapps and run nodes on either permissioned blockchains or major public chains through the global version of the network.

Available permissioned blockchains include Hyperledger Fabric and FISCO-BCOS, patented by digital banking company Tencent’s WeBank. Six major public chains are also available on the network now: Ethereum, EOS, Tezos, NEO, Nervos and Cosmos’ IrisNet.”

See Also: BSN Global

“The League of Entropy is launching the first production-ready version of drand, a network that produces “randomness” (also known as entropy) for anyone to use.

Randomness is an essential piece of cryptography that ensures security by adding unpredictable information to the mix.

League of Entropy’s drand beacon network is unique in that it generates randomness in a new way that doesn’t rely on a single point of failure. It’s analogous to having several dice rollers generating numbers and stringing them together, so no single one needs to be trusted.

Filecoin, a decentralized storage network, will be the first to use the randomness generated by League of Entropy as an integral piece of its network. This “beacon” can be used for all sorts of applications, from election auditing, to lotteries, to cryptocurrency.”

“Businesses can use DLT to track a single item in real time in a secure, verifiable and transparent way.

Supply chain management is already an established use case for blockchain – the likes of Daimler, Tesla and Amazon have all explored using DLT in theirs.”

See Also: Mitsubishi Launches Blockchain Platform for Metal Trading

“Deribit has started listing ether (ETH) options with strikes above $1,000, and some traders are now betting the cryptocurrency will reach that price by year’s end.

Volumes have been decent and open interest [open positions] is over 2,500 contracts already, indicating some traders believe ETH can potentially show a price move of over 180% in five to seven months.

At press time, the delta of the $1,120 call option expiring in December is 0.11. In other words, the probability of ether rising above $1,120 on or before Dec. 25 is 11%.”

“The move comes a day after crypto exchange rival Binance.US joined the group.

Recent weeks have demonstrated to us that the Blockchain Association is not interested in the membership criteria we had worked to establish to underpin the mission of this organization.”

11 August

“The group, called Facebook Financial — or “F2” —will run its payments projects, including a planned Facebook Pay.

The division appears to be incorporating Facebook’s previous adventures in fintech under a single umbrella, with Marcus reportedly being in charge of both Novi, the wallet for Libra previously known as Calibra, as well as recent attempts to bring payments to the WhatsApp messenger.

The division’s immediate goal will reportedly be introducing payments via WhatsApp in developing countries such as Brazil and India.

“The Compound protocol is set to introduce Open Price Feed — a decentralized oracle whose crypto market prices will allow the project’s lending system to function.

The system relies on price reporters and posters. The reporters will be exchanges, initially just Coinbase Pro, who will regularly sign price data with their public key. Posters, on the other hand, will be responsible for publishing this signed data to the blockchain. Posters are permissionless, meaning that anyone could become one if they wish.

In addition to Coinbase Pro, the system also uses the on-chain Uniswap V2 price feed as a fallback. Other price data providers are expected to be onboarded via governance by COMP token holders.”

“The dramatic yet amicable breakup split the founding team into three companies, which may benefit Cosmos. There’s no denying this initial coin offering (ICO) project from 2017 is still impacting real people and their assets.

Cosmos blockchain technologies were used to “secure” $6 billion worth of assets by July 2020. The foundation committed nearly $15 million so far in 2020, on 36 grants to software developers like the team at Tendermint.

Interchain Berlin is perhaps the most focused team on the core infrastructure of Cosmos. At the moment, they don’t have any other business interests.

It remains to be seen whether the project will evolve, despite conflicting interests, into something that attracts user demand beyond niche crypto circles. For now, Rinearson said her team is focused on Inter-Blockchain Communication, which should be live and usable on the mainnet by the end of the year.”

“According to Keiser, a number of people in Asia are using Bitcoin to move their money out of the continent as geopolitical tensions risk affecting markets. The news comes amid reports of Chinese citizens illegally crossing into the United States with $28,000 worth of gold bars.

You can’t take it with you, unless it’s Bitcoin – then you can take IT ALL with you.”

“The New York Department of Financial Services website (NYDFS), state regulators have approved 8 cryptocurrencies for listing and trading. These tokens include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance USD (BUSD), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Pax Gold (PAXG), and the Paxos Standard Token (PAX). The NYDFS also greenlighted the same coins for custody as well as XRP and Ethereum Classic (ETC).

Any entity licensed by DFS to conduct virtual currency business activity in New York may use coins on the Greenlist for their approved purpose.”

See Also: China’s National Blockchain Network Launches International Website

In-depth: Balancer

See Also: MakerDAO, Compound, Uniswap Leaders Talk DeFi’s Future (Video)

“Link’s 24-hour trading volume on Coinbase Pro is $163 million – nearly 70% higher than bitcoin’s trading volume of $96.48 million. However, link’s 24-hour aggregate global volume of $3.13 billion still amounts to just 17% of bitcoin’s global overall volume of $17.53 billion.

The sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market value has gained 68% in the last seven days alone. The token’s staggering 700% year-to-date gain makes bitcoin’s 61% price gain look meager by comparison.”

See Also: Messaging Firm LINE Makes Own Token Available to Japanese Traders for First Time

“The system will connect KEB Hana’s smartphone banking app, Hana One Q, for motorists to arrange their toll payments, defer them, or even receive toll fee refunds.

We will continue to expand customized non-face-to-face (contactless) services to the public by applying blockchain technology, which is part of the Korean version of the digital new deal policy to lead the global economy after the coronavirus.”

See Also: South Korean Beachgoers Can Now Use Bitcoin to Pay for Services

“As the bits settle, the proof-of-work blockchain’s future remains in question more than ever.

By striking twice, the attacker proved the blockchain has seemingly no ability to protect itself from meaningful exploits. When the network will be secure remains unknown. So, Ethereum Classic developers have encouraged exchanges to increase transaction confirmation times.

Ethereum Classic is exploring alternative mining algorithms, specifically replacing Ethash with SHA-3, which could help mitigate any further attacks. But until that transition happens, Ethereum Classic will remain vulnerable.”

8 August

Recommended read.

“Forced digitalization is driving most of the world’s population further into the grip of big tech companies. As more of life goes online, more of the world’s data goes into their hands, and a higher percentage of human thoughts and behaviors are guided by their self-serving algorithms.

Effective management of the pandemic cries out for integrated analysis of medical data and data on human movement and interaction. However, integrated doesn’t have to mean centralized. Indeed, the centralized nature of many track-and-trace apps has been their doom.

It’s clear that the centralized systems currently running the planet are not to be trusted to coordinate the next growth phase of humanity and its tech, nor to cope with the next global tragedy.

We should have a global, decentralized system for collecting medical, movement, interaction and lifestyle data from everyone on the planet – and methods to analyze it in a secure, anonymous way. Statistical and AI analysis should be guided democratically by everyone contributing data. While policy could be set by sophisticated agent-based modeling leveraging this data, without sacrificing privacy. We are not so far off from realizing such a system.

Bitcoin’s innovation of a “blockchain” combines strong encryption and distributed consensus. Ethereum adds to this with the successful implementation of general-purpose smart contracts. This goes a long way in terms of transitioning the vision of secure, decentralized computing platforms toward practical realization.

COVID-19 is not going to be the last crisis to hit our species, and if we want to cope with the next one better than we’re doing right now, we desperately need the tools that today’s blockchain projects are bringing toward maturity.

DeversiFi has received a credit line worth more than $200,000 using Aave’s credit delegation. Credit delegation allows trusted users to take loans against collateral provided by other users. OpenLaw facilitated the lending agreement with Ethereum-compatible digital contracts.

The transaction represents the first step on the road to opening up DeFi loans to millions of users without collateral of their own, with the potential to expand the market many times over.”

See Also: Podcast Host Lists Himself on Balancer: ‘EVAN’ Increases 500% in 2 Hours
See Also: Kyber CEO Predicts 2020 Transactions at $3B as DeFi Token Soars

“While ICOs and IEOs dominated crypto companies’ fundraising in the past, it seems that Initial DEX Offerings are becoming the preferred method to distribute tokens and raise capital in DeFi.

DEXs allow projects to list tokens without paying hefty fees required by CEXs and, because these protocols are permissionless, tokens are available for anyone in the world to trade.

Gnosis Protocol’s Mesa exchange aims to solve the front-running issue plaguing these DEX offerings. Mesa uses a so-called ring-trade mechanism, where traders set a limit for the price they’re willing to pay so they get at least the price they asked for.”

“VeChain’s newly released tool offers a suite of whitelabel services that will allow the food sector to implement on-chain safety management services. These services include traceability templates which track things like origin traceability, cross-border traceability, full-process traceability, and more.

Companies will also gain access to third-party services such as PwC, Deloitte, DNV GL, among others, to help them to reduce the cost of certification, auditing, insurance, and supply chain financial services.”

“KB Kookmin Bank, one of the largest banks in South Korea, has partnered with blockchain venture fund, Hashed, and crypto trading platform, Cumberland Korea, to establish “strategic technology cooperation” on the custody of digital assets.

The companies belonging to the partnership state that their inception into the crypto custody business is a response to regulatory changes.”

See Also: An Official North Dakota Cryptocurrency Could Be on the Horizon
See Also: BCB Group Teams With Circle to Offer EU Institutions USDC Stablecoin Settlement

“Bill, A.B. 2004, would create verifiable health records on the blockchain that citizens show on entry into public buildings or public transportation to check whether they have or have had the coronavirus.

EFF senior staff attorney said putting any health records on a permanent ledger was a “troubling step” to a national identification system that could be used to track citizens.

Blockchain’s immutability also means that false diagnoses would not be able to be erased.”

The US dollar has become such funny money that politicians are now ‘trillions of dollars apart’ in stimulus negotiations. Remember when a billion was a big number? If this isn’t a wakeup call and an endorsement of Bitcoin, I don’t know what is.”

“Bitcoin’s dominance has fallen to a 12-month low despite its recent rally, signaling renewed strength in the altcoins markets, with the leading cryptocurrency representing 61% of the $359.5 billion combined cryptocurrency capitalization.”

7 August

Goldman Sachs is seriously considering its own cryptocurrency, possibly a stablecoin, as it significantly expands its digital assets team and appoints a new head to spearhead efforts.

We are exploring the commercial viability of creating our own fiat digital token, but it’s early days as we continue to work through the potential use cases.

McDermott also said Goldman might consider collaborating with its rival, JPM, as well as Facebook on future digital asset initiatives.”

See Also: Russia’s Sberbank Launches Blockchain on Hyperledger, Mulls Stablecoin in 2021

“Crypto analyst Mati Greenspan says the correlation between crypto assets and the S&P 500 has fallen significantly since the dramatic sell-offs in tandem early in the pandemic.

We can clearly see earlier this year, where the correlation spiked up to 0.6 due to the multi-asset early-pandemic sell-off. By now, however, we’re once again below 0.2, which basically means that there is no correlation on a day-to-day basis anymore.”

“Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard said the U.S. central bank will debut its instant payment service “as soon as practically possible.” COVID-19 showcased Americans’ dire need of a “resilient instant payment system.” FedNow aims to be the answer, even if it won’t arrive until 2023 or 2024.

The Federal Reserve remains optimistic that emerging payment technologies could benefit consumers at the retail payments level when the appropriate safeguards are in place.”

See Also: China’s State-Run Banks Reportedly Testing Wallet for Digital Yuan

“Amidst the Ether (ETH) bull run, Grayscale Investments voluntarily decided to make its Ethereum Trust an SEC reporting company. This would likely present the Trust in a more favorable view to potential institutional investors.

Grayscale noted that the filing is under review. If approved, it would be the second cryptocurrency investment vehicle to attain such status.

Grayscale emphasized the increased willingness to diversify beyond Bitcoin for the returning institutional investors. In the last quarter, 81% of these investors diversified their holdings beyond Bitcoin, an increase from 71% over the trailing 12 months.”

The incoming bull market for crypto will look completely different than the last one. Mostly because there won’t be just one, but two different bull markets simultaneously playing out over the next 12-18 months.

One will involve the rotation of capital from zombie projects to protocols where the underlying product is actually being used and accruing value. DeFi is outshining alts, and investors now demand properly designed systems that actually contribute to the broader crypto ecosystem.

The second bull market will be led by the usual suspect, bitcoin. As policymakers around the world continue to provide pandemic-related economic relief, bitcoin’s long-term value proposition as a hedge against fiat currency debasement only grows stronger. Circumstances are converging to accelerate us towards precisely the kind of world crypto was designed for.”

See Also: Bitcoin Entering ‘New Adoption Cycle’
See Also: Someone Transferred a Billion Dollars in Bitcoin for Less Than $5

“The top DeFi platforms in July in terms of development activity include Maker, Synthetix, Band Protocol, and Augur. The top three ERC-20 projects were Gnosis, Status and Aragon.

Maker was the top DeFi platform for the month (at No.4) with several governance proposals being passed as the voting portal was upgraded, and new tokens and oracle feeds onboarded.

Synthetix came in second with several development milestones being achieved in July as it continually improves the platform in preparation for the launch of a branding refresh.”

See Also: Crypto venture firm Draper Goren Holm goes big on DeFi
See Also: Copper’s upgrade lets large investors trade in crypto derivatives

“Set will deploy yield farming strategies designed by Set Labs team and by the community. The platform aims to reduce the complexity of these trades, which often require interacting with multiple protocols.

V2 also aims to increase flexibility for Set managers to create portfolios and includes more sophisticated investment features like margin trading, limit orders, and DEX trading.”

How To: Zapper.fi DeFi Manager

“Rococo allows developers to “register” a Substrate-based blockchain as part of Polkadot’s grander parachain network.

Rococo is the first test of inter-blockchain communication through its Relay Chain logic. The testnet will begin with three parachains.”

“This fresh attack to Ethereum Classic’s network follows on from a recent attack that occurred between July 29 and Aug. 1.

Bitquery said Wednesday that an attacker double-spent a little over 800,000 ETC (about $5.6 million), and paid about 17.5 BTC ($204,000) to acquire the hash power for the attack. The monetary value of Thursday’s 51% attack in terms of the double spends is not yet known.

The attack follows the deprecation of the OpenEthereum client on July 16. Hashing power on Ethereum Classic looks to have decreased considerably since Monday, August 3 dropping nearly 20% from 1.6 TH/s to 1.3 TH/s as of press time.”

“The Ethereum-based hybrid exchange said Thursday the $2.5 million would go to launching IDEX 2.0, a new, more liquid platform, accessible to market makers and algorithmic traders.

Algorithmic traders have previously been shut out because of high transaction costs.

IDEX is a hybrid exchange in that settlement and storage are decentralized, while trade executions and deposits are processed centrally. This makes it fast enough to be usable while offering the security of a fully decentralized exchange.”

See Also: NBA’s Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala and More Join Dapper Labs $12M Funding Round