6 August

“Publicly traded business intelligence company MicroStrategy said it will invest $250 million of its excess cash in bitcoin, gold and other “alternative assets” over the next 12 months as a hedge against U.S. dollar (USD) inflation.

CEO Michael Saylor, who unveiled MicroStrategy’s new capital allocation strategy on a July 28 earnings call, said the weakening USD is no longer a tenable place to park MicroStrategy’s sizable cash reserves.

Near-zero interest rates, infinite helicopter money and the specter of coming inflation are all forces Saylor said are chipping away at the dollar.

It makes sense to shift our treasury assets into some investments that can’t be inflated away.”

“Online fintech and blockchain investment platform BnkToTheFuture is moving client assets to a Hong Kong-based trust company citing a “systemic risk” with traditional banking.

With a recession approaching, investors need a way to protect their assets from exposure to fractional reserve banking.

The most important difference will be that client money is “legally segregated” under a trust structure, but there is no guarantee of segregation at a bank.”

“Decentralized finance (DeFi) has been clogging the Ethereum network, but not in the way most analysts would have guessed. Transaction spamming is one of many reasons the average Ethereum user fee has increased some 800% since May.

Algorithmic trading firms have created bot swarms to watch the Ethereum transaction queue (called the mempool). These bots wait for large trades on DeFi platforms such as Uniswap. After they go through, the bots quickly place orders to take advantage of price movements in what is called “backrunning.”

On July 29, the Geth team approved swapping the execution model to a first come, first served basis. Yet, it remains to be seen if mining firms will update to the new Geth version. Miners could keep doing business as usual if they value the extra pocket change from DeFi traders more than helping out the network in general.”

See Also: Ethereum Transaction Fees Fall by 75% as Congestion Eases

“The new “staking” system could lock up so many of the network’s native ether tokens that investors who want to trade them may have to rely on derivatives markets.

The new staking system could soak up as much as 30% of the ether tokens in circulation.

Financial incentive to buy and hold both increases the security of the network, and could lead to dramatic price appreciation.”

“An Indian government official has claimed that two ministries and the Reserve Bank of India are actively working on a legal framework to ban cryptocurrencies on the subcontinent.

Once Parliament resumes for the session, we are hoping to get [the law] ratified.”

“Chainlink (LINK), in partnership with a video game called War Riders, has introduced human readable Ethereum (ETH) names. Unlike ENS, which is fully decentralized and involves registration and upkeep costs, this newly proposed hybrid solution would be absolutely free for gamers.

The fact that it is not fully decentralized makes the proposed system a “hybrid solution”. Users must instead rely on the robustness and security of Chainlink’s oracles.”

See Also: Coinbase Follows Huobi in Supporting .Crypto Domains-Based Payments

“The attack works by the bad actor creating a transaction that looks like an altcoin payment (a coin that isn’t Bitcoin) when it actually takes Bitcoin out of the wallet instead.

A new version of the Bitcoin app will be released today, with an update that will display a warning and prompt for confirmation when an unexpected path is used—therefore solving this issue.” (the fix is now live)

See Also: Opyn Removes Liquidity From Uniswap After $370K Stolen in DeFi Exploit

“Over 8,000 works have been sold on the platform, earning artists over $1.3 million and collectors over $430,000.

Artists are able to digitally sign their work on the platform by creating a tokenized certificate before entering it into an online auction. Collectors can then purchase and resell works in secondary markets.

For artists, these NFTs also offer a new way to capitalize on growth over time through structured royalty fee systems.”

5 August

“Ethereum 2.0’s “final” and “official” public testnet, Medalla, is now live.

Over 20,000 validators have joined the network with some 650,000 [testnet] ether (ETH) staked. Medalla was joined by five clients including Prysmatic Labs’ Prysm, ChainSafe’s Lodestar, PegaSys’ Teku, Status’ Nimbus and Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse.

Medalla is the final testnet before the launch of the Eth 2.0 network, which is tentatively expected by year’s end.”

See Also: Medalla Beacon Chain Explorer

The Fed is ‘preparing to effectively abandon its strategy of pre-emptively lifting interest rates to head off higher inflation.’ The shift signals an explicit willingness by the central bank to tolerate higher inflation.

The Fed’s extra loosening of monetary policy could help support prices for bitcoin, which many cryptocurrency investors speculate could serve as an effective hedge against inflation, similar to gold.

As more investors look to ‘digital gold’ as an inflation hedge in an increasingly digitized world amidst unprecedented government money printing, we know that it won’t take much of an institutional allocation until $50,000 bitcoin is back on the table.

Bank of America analysts wrote Monday in a report that it’s becoming a popular trade to bet against the dollar, since investors are ‘worried about the long-term impact of the rapid accumulation of U.S. debt for the U.S. dollar’s reserve-currency status.’ The dollar index fell 4% in July.”

See Also: Stocks Crash Can Stop $11.3K Bitcoin Price ‘In Its Tracks’ — Report

“CME’s open interest has surged 127% over the past 2.5 weeks alongside bitcoin’s quick rise from $9,100 to $11,100. ‘The rise in open interest represents an accumulation of long positions by institutional traders.’

The rise in open interest in crypto derivatives suggests investors are looking for alpha – the best returns – in alternative markets as equities look overbought and bond yields move into negative territory.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury note is offering a yield of 0.54% at press time with the real or inflation-adjusted bill at a record low of -1%. Similar bonds in Germany, Japan and Switzerland are offering negative yields.”

See Also: Decentralized Exchange dYdX Debuts Ether Perpetual Swaps

“Four lawmakers wrote a letter to the Internal Revenue Service Wednesday, asking the U.S. tax agency to ensure stakers don’t face tax liabilities for receiving block rewards before they sell their new tokens.

It’s misleading to say that validators get paid to create blocks and to maintain the network.

Sutherland said the appropriate approach to taxing staking rewards could be to treat it like new property. New property isn’t taxed as income right away, he said, but taxed when it’s sold.”

Google is partnering with FDIC-backed banks to allow customers to sign up for and manage accounts directly through the platform. Google will provide the interface layer and budgeting tools for the accounts, which will still be housed and operated by the partner institutions.

Of course, given all of the privacy red flags surrounding “big tech,” a Google-tapped bank account might be the last thing some users want in their lives.”

MPP effectively splits payments into smaller pieces so they’re easier to send across the network, making payments more reliable. C-lightning has made changes to make it easier for watchtowers to hitch up to c-lightning.

C-lightning has laid the groundwork for a tool to track “all” of a user’s coin movements. This could come in handy for anyone worried about tracking their Lightning coins come tax season.

“Online wallets through services such as Yandex, WebMoney, PayPal, and Kiwi maintain approximately 10 million users who use the accounts anonymously by topping them up with cash.

These measures will initially have no effect on the Blockchain space. As Russia tightens its anti-money laundering procedures, however, the existing ban may eventually be applied to virtual currencies as well.

See Also: Russia’s Biggest Bank Considers Launching Its Own Stablecoin

“The platform seeks a move away from online-policing, conformity, and political correctness on the internet.

Social media like Twitter is increasingly speech-policed, status-game-focused, and less creative. Anonymous discussion boards are rollicking and generative but have obvious downsides. My experiment: Register members and charge modest $2/mo to keep out trolls, help moderation.

Unlike completely anonymous forums like 4chan, users will be assigned a unique alphanumeric ID. This will help to ban users for any untoward reason.

Your view on the world is limited by the set of people you have chosen to follow, as well as how a platform’s algorithm has chosen to present their messages. The result is a conversation that is often performative and susceptible to groupthink and tribalism.

But sites like 4chan, he stated, change these interactions. Their anonymous nature fosters discussion independent of follower counts, likes or retweets, while the site’s algorithm does not push certain expressions or narratives for individual users. One sees what everyone else does.”

See Also: Club P.

“As of now, Alibaba’s financial subsidiary Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay control a majority of the digital payments across China while banks are left far behind in the competition.

They [PBoC] want a more level playing field for the banks. Retail payments are so dominated by Alibaba and Tencent while banks are less active in electronic payments.”

“During an Aug. 4 panel on legal compliance within the cryptocurrency industry, major figures noted recent shifts in public perception of the industry, pointing to arrests within weeks of the Twitter hack as an example of how effective blockchain analytics can be for solving crime.

It’s quite amazing how different this is from what we’d see in the traditional fiat world. You’d never have this resolved so quickly.”

“The card will work at millions of stores in Mexico by converting crypto funds to pesos using the Tauros mobile app. It will also be capable of conducting online transactions.

The fact that we are giving the opportunity for people to earn DashBack rewards with their card will also give a boost to the crypto ecosystem in Mexico as now anyone can use their pesos, and Hodl Dash.”

4 August

“The minimum validator deposits (16k+ of them) required to kick off the Medalla testnet were met on Friday, which means the genesis of this testnet is set to happen at 1596546008 Unix time, or 8 seconds after August 4th at 1pm UTC.

Remember, the vast majority of validators on the Medalla testnet are run by you, the community. We’re relying on you to treat this as a dress rehearsal for mainnet launch. If Medalla proves stable, mainnet launch is next – and represents years of hardwork by countless engineers, researchers, and community members.

The community will be running five different clients at genesis! [Teku, Prysm, Nimbus, Lodestar, Lighthouse.]

mc-attack-0, a new multi-client attacknet, launched today! This new attacknet falls under the beta-1 categorization with updated rules and increased bounties – up to $15k for critical exploits.”

“The Ethereum Foundation will be building a dedicated security team for Ethereum 2.0 to study any potential cybersecurity and crypto-economic issues in the next generation of the Ethereum network.

With the final stages of preparation for Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 underway, heavy emphasis is now being placed on the network’s security.

Among the potential team’s tasks will be “fuzzing, bounty hunting, pager duty,” which directly relates to software security management. The security team will also be doing more theoretical work on formal verification of cryptographic algorithms. This process will seek to mathematically prove that a certain algorithm is secure. Economic modeling experts are also sought by the foundation.”

[22] projects introduced potential scaling solutions prior to Reddit’s July 31 deadline. Most contest participants are existing developers of Layer 2 solutions for Ethereum.

The terms of the challenge stipulate that proposed technologies should be able to handle “100,000 point claims, 25,000 subscriptions, 75,000 one-off point burns and 100,000 transfers” spanning a five-day period.

Unlike its competitors, Aztec’s zkReddit makes all the token transactions private on the Ethereum blockchain.

OMG Network, previously known as OmiseGo, proposed Plasma side chains as a scaling solution. For the challenge, the team built a Chrome extension to interface with Reddit’s Community Points.

Skale’s proposal involves its high-performance blockchain network, which is primarily designed for cloud computing. Reddit would have to create its own blockchain on the Skale network.”

The new fund includes multiple undisclosed university endowments, a potential bellwether for traditional investors becoming more crypto-comfortable.

Electric’s new fund will invest in startup equity, crypto tokens or a hybrid of the two. The fund will continue Electric’s three-pronged focus on Layer 1 protocols, decentralized finance (DeFi) and crypto-enabled businesses.”

See Also: Huobi Hires Former Banking Giant Executive to Lead New DeFi Fund
See Also: Charlie Lee, Adam Back Lead $3.1M Private Token Raise for Blockchain Game Infinite Fleet

“BKB’s subsidiary and a national banking group, Bank Cler, are working on services that will allow customers to trade and store cryptocurrencies.

These plans make Basler Kantonalbank the first government-backed bank in Switzerland to enter the crypto industry.”

See Also: Industry Calls on US Regulator to Open Floodgates on Banks’ Crypto Capabilities
See Also: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to Launch Blockchain Securities Platform

“Utilizing the Baseline Protocol, the goal is to establish a “Coca Cola Bottling Harbor”, enabling a low barrier network joining process for Coca-Cola Bottling suppliers.

The Baseline Protocol provides an outstanding technical backbone for achieving the desired solution by:

  • using the public Ethereum Mainnet as an always-on, pay-per-use frame of reference;
  • keeping enterprise data in traditional systems of record;
  • enabling complex, private, inter-organizational business process automation;
  • providing extensibility for DeFi & asset tokenization use-cases;
  • being openly-governed open source, poised to become an OASIS standard

“pTokens has now listed Ethereum-compatible pLTC tokens on the Kyber Network. pLTC is pegged 1:1 to Litecoin (LTC), making the legacy asset fully compatible with Ethereum.

pLTC tokens will be accessible through KyberSwap and other decentralized apps, or DApps.

pLTC provides Litecoin holders a convenient way to explore the world of decentralized finance on Ethereum.”

“As the cryptocurrency declined, users withdrew more coins from exchanges than they deposited, suggesting holders were not spooked by the big mover lower.

Sunday’s flash crash is rumored to have been caused by an Asian whale, or big trader, who took profit on a long position after prices hit $12,000 amid thin volumes.”

“DeFi-focused oracle platform DIA is using crowd-sourcing to improve the accuracy of price oracles. Rather than provide data points and oracles itself, the platform enables the community to source and validate data through crypto-economic incentivisation.

DIA sets out to democratize financial data.”

“Ethereum Classic may have been targeted by a 51% attack, one of the only known ways to compromise the blockchain and execute “double spend” transactions that credit the attacker with free money.

The absence of powerful competing miners providing hash power to sustain the existing blockchain allowed the mystery blocks to be added and accepted as normal.

In theory, the new blocks could have contained double-spend transactions or other malicious activity that blockchains are designed to prevent. It’s not yet certain, however, that the blockchain reorganization was the result of nefarious intentions.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“Bitcoin closed the month of July at $11,351, its highest monthly close since the bellwether cryptocurrency’s all-time high nearly two-and-a-half years ago. Bitcoin gained 24% in July.

Bitcoin’s investor base is “highly favorable” for a continued move up, said Yan Liberman, former associate at Deutsche Bank and co-founder of Delphi Digital.”

See Also: Nearly $100 Million in Bitcoin Moved to Ethereum in July
See Also: Flash Crash: Bitcoin Price Slides by $1.4K in Minutes
See Also: Bitcoin’s highest monthly candle close in 2.5 years! (Video – TA)

“Aggregate trading volume on decentralized exchanges reached $4,32 billion in July, up from $1.52 billion in June. 41% of July’s volume came from Uniswap.

Decentralized finance has exploded over the past couple months. We’ve seen the largest use cases as trading, and borrowing and lending. I expect this trend to continue.

See Also: DeFi market cap hits $8 billion
See Also: Balancer Thesis (Good read)
See Also: How to protect against hacks with Nexus

Medalla Testnet Launch: August 4, 12:30pm UTC

See Also: Medalla Reaches Genesis Threshold
See Also: Launch Viewing

“Boardroom is an integrated governance and communications management portal providing an easy and flexible solution for stakeholders to exchange a wealth of governance information, insight, and participation tools.

The goal of the portal is to enable token holders, issuers, and protocol politicians (delegates) to understand the governance processes they hold influence in and allow them to frictionlessly participate across different protocols.

We’ll be releasing an Alpha of the Boardroom Portal on August 6th.”

“The Synthetix Foundation, which since the project’s 2018 launch has largely controlled the direction of the synthetic assets platform, is winding down and three DAOs are taking over; protocolDAO, grantsDAO and synthetixDAO.

The move highlights just how different startups building open-source protocols are to traditional ventures. While in the “old world” founders usually seek to hold as much power as possible (Mark Zuckerberg alone controls 60% of Facebook), in the new world of decentralized finance and Web3, the end goals for many of these projects is to give power away so that ultimately, the project’s community will have full control.

ProtocolDAO controls Synthetix’s smart contracts using a multisig which requires four of eight signers to agree on protocol upgrades (4/8 multisig). SynthetixDAO, a structure that’s already in place, will provide funding for the network’s growth. GrantsDAO is a 4/5 multisig, whose signers decide on public good funding.”

Bitcoin vs Ethereum Transaction Visualizer

“Titled “Bitcoin Investment Thesis: An Aspirational Store of Value,” the paper argued that Bitcoin is capable of becoming an “insurance policy” that may provide protection against various consequences of contemporary monetary practices.

Many investors consider Bitcoin to be an aspirational store of value in that it has the properties of a store of value but has yet to be widely accepted as such.”

“Ethereum Classic developers said the reorganization could have resulted from ‘the offending miner [having] lost access to internet access for a while when mining.’

While this is getting sorted out exchanges need to pause [ETC] deposits and withdrawals.

Saturday’s reorganization lasted for roughly 15.4 hours worth of blocks. A reorganization happens when two versions of a blockchain compete for validity from nodes in the network.”

1 August

The United States printed more money in June than in the first two centuries after its founding. Last month the U.S. budget deficit — $864 billion — was larger than the total debt incurred from 1776 through the end of 1979.

Morehead made it clear that Pantera Capital sees Bitcoin as the solution for the current crisis.”

See Also: Bloomberg: Americans Trade Depreciating Dollars For Bitcoin

“The Universal Protocol Alliance — a consortium of crypto firms comprising Bittrex Global, Ledger, CertiK, and Uphold — has launched a token backed by the Western Australian government-owned Perth Mint.

The tokens, dubbed ‘Universal Gold’ or UPXAU, can be purchased on Uphold and spent using the firm’s debit card. Investors can purchase UPXAU from $1 with no investment limits. Unlike mainstream gold products which often have 0.4% monthly custody fees, the token is free to hold.

Other gold backed tokens appearing recently include Tether Gold which launched in January, and Paxos’ PAX Gold which commenced trade in September 2019.”

“The BSN, a state-backed blockchain infrastructure project from China aims to be the dominant internet services provider for decentralized applications (dapps). Its first-mover advantage is significant.

Few may realize the network is supported by U.S. technology companies. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google are among the major cloud service providers for BSN’s overseas data centers.

The network’s reliance on U.S. cloud service providers makes it vulnerable to geopolitical risks.

If I were the Chinese company, I would be careful about setting up a system that really depends on continued services in the U.S. Anybody who wants to use the global version of this Chinese network should take into account the risk that a data center in the U.S. could get taken off the network because of geopolitics.”

See Also: Tech’s Antitrust Issues Flare Up on Both Sides of the New ‘Cold War,’ Report

“Bitcoin’s price jumped to a fresh 11-month high on Friday, with the options market betting on a sustained bull move.

The one-, three- and six-month put-call skews, which measure the price of puts relative to that of calls, are negative. This is a sign calls, or bullish bets, are drawing higher value than puts, or bearish bets.”

“The MakerDAO community approved and executed a vote on Thursday to almost double the total debt ceiling, which indicates how much Dai (DAI) can be minted by its users. This raises the maximum supply of DAI to 568 million, out of which 367 million have been minted so far.

The Maker community is currently discussing a direct arbitrage mechanism called the Peg Stabilization Module, which would create the possibility of directly swapping between DAI and USDC at a forced 1:1 rate.

The idea is nevertheless finding some opposition, as many voiced concerns of excessive reliance on USDC and a fundamental change to the mechanism of the DAI peg from collateral-backed to market-based peg interventions.”

See Also: KeeperDAO Raises Seven-Figure Seed Investment

“Non-fungible token (NFT) trading cards featuring images from William Shatner’s personal life and career, from the 1930s to today, sold out in nine minutes according to WAX.

The online marketplace for virtual items offered 10,000 “packs” for sale, featuring roughly 125,000 digital collectibles in total. Collectors can now buy, sell, and trade the cards amongst themselves.

The cards themselves represent a beautiful past. The verification of being on the blockchains represents a great future.”

“Cash App is paying Joe Rogan big bucks to talk up Bitcoin according to his scripted spiel on his most recent podcast.

Bitcoin is a transformational digital currency that acts as a decentralized peer-to-peer payment network powered by its users, with no central authority.

I love it. I wish it was the way we exchanged currency, and maybe it will be in the future. Get on board.”

“The exchange mitigates the issue of impermanent loss, where liquidity providers could lose some of their money as prices for particular assets fluctuated. The solution involves a combination of incentives and oracle-driven price feeds.”

See Also: Elrond Launches Onto Mainnet, Reduces Token Supply by 99%