20 October

“Powell is very much on the traditional side of finance, but some of his recent comments have been forward-looking and his very attendance signals recognition of the importance of digital currencies.

There are a number of ways that a CBDC might improve the payments system, and it is mainly this area that motivates our interest.

We do think it’s more important to get it right than to be the first.”

See Also: Major Meeting of Central Banks Produces Same Old ‘Evaluating’ CBDCs Refrain
See Also: Wanted: Economist for Digital Currencies, Fintech as Bank of Canada Studies a Possible CBDC

“Its main conclusion appeared to be that a CBDC should be viewed as another tool in currency issuance or monetary policy, rather than a panacea for every world economy.

CBDCs may benefit countries looking to exert greater control over their monetary policy but aren’t a solution for every crisis. A CBDC is not a one-size-fits-all solution for lackluster economies, and it won’t save nations with high inflation or similar domestic issues.

If the local currency suffers from instability and provides a poor unit of account, issuing CBDC is unlikely to change that. More broadly, the case for CBDC issuance is likely to depend on country circumstances.”

See Also: IMF: “Bretton Woods Moment” Needed to Save Economy—And Bitcoin Too?

“According to Reuters, early users of the trial digital currency feel the central bank has more to do if it wants them to switch over from existing payments apps like Alipay.

Polled users found the option less convenient and wouldn’t use the CBDC again unless it was provided through another giveaway. Infrastructure was similar to those from Alipay and WeChat Pay, which have been ‘out for a long time.’

With the central bank playing catch-up to existing providers, it may have to offer incentives to grow adoption of the digital coinage when it finally launches.”

Harmon’s case is notable because it is the first time the U.S. Department of Justice explicitly called bitcoin mixing a “crime.” Such a classification could mean far-reaching legal troubles for any service that uses obfuscation tactics to conceal bitcoin’s publicly accessible path.

Prosecutors allege Harmon was running an unregistered money services business in violation of the Banking Secrecy Act. They say he had a responsibility to file suspicious activity reports and systemically flouted U.S. money laundering laws.

Harmon’s bitcoin mixing services allegedly laundered tens of millions of dollars in crypto for darknet markets including Abraxas, Agora, Hansa, Hydra and Wall Street Market.”

“Five of its largest miners turned off a significant portion of their machines to due to the project’s economic model that requires a significant amount of FIL tokens to start mining operations.

In response to miners’ concerns, Filecoin has decided to release 25% token rewards in advance once a miner builds a block on the blockchain. ‘The revision could enable 80% of our mining capacity.’

Miners have been complaining about Filecoin’s mining economic model long before the mainnet launch and suggested that they should fork the project.”

Ethereum 2.0 Explained in 2 Minutes

See Also: Phase 0 Explained (Video)

“In order to take advantage of the burgeoning DeFi market, Dash holders must send tokens to StakeHound, which will then instantly generate and send back a wrapped ERC-20 representation called stakedDASH.

StakedDASH will be tradable and usable in major DeFi platforms such as UniSwap, Aave, Curve and others.

Meanwhile, the Dash tokens held by StakeHound will be held in a masternode and earn the standard rate of network rewards, which will be issued to users as additional stakedDASH.”

“GAMEE, which claims to have over 20 million registered users, is a platform for “hyper casual” games. GAMEE will have its own Ethereum-based token for users to earn while they play.

GAMEE Token is a fungible, ERC-20 token, and beyond its planned reward functionality, it can also be used to pay fees for tournament entries and will be used for governance voting as well. GAMEE is also working on a non-fungible token system that will unlock additional content and boosts in supported games, with users able to spend their GAMEE Tokens on the GAMEE NFTs.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“Ten years on, money is free. Just as the internet made information free, technology has served to make money more freely available and immune from vested interests.

In 2030, monetary power has shifted towards the individual. The popularization of digital currency has accompanied further advances in digital sovereignty and digital identity. Where in the past countries expanded by waging conflict, now they compete for human attention and loyalty. When the nature and ownership of money changes, so do the incentive structures and business models.

Like governments, the tech giants have fallen into line. We are no longer the products, we are the clients.

Ten years isn’t a long time, but already it’s difficult to believe that we once trusted the walled gardens of central banks to control the money flow. We reflect with naivete that we once expected powerful elites and kleptocrats to manage money and reduce inequality.”

“The internet is ruled by innovation-stifling monopolies that have stopped us having an internet-of-value. Organizations built on top of the current internet network have almost no other option than to become for-profit corporations, with code that’s proprietary and closed to the public. But when the network itself is designed to transfer value, it enables different business models to emerge.

In this new frontier, users retain control of their funds and their personal information. They roam freely without bowing to any king. Value – that is, money, assets, securities, property – is as native to internet apps as cat videos. And it’s already happening.

Complex financial services are now at the fingertips of anyone with access to the network.

The ability for these open organizations to have their own associated token – a share-like digital coin – makes open-source business models sustainable. It makes it possible for developers and entrepreneurs to build quality products and services outside the bounds of traditional for-profit corporations. This enables a world where the platforms we use aren’t competing with their integrations but working with them. It’s a way to change the paradigm from zero-sum to win-win.

The name of this new base layer for value is Ethereum.”

5 Passive Income Ideas to earn money with crypto

“Aave recently announced Aavenomics—a major token economics and governance upgrade aimed at reforming the protocol’s native token. If you’re holding onto LEND you’ll need to migrate over.

Once you have your AAVE, you can stake the tokens into the Safety Module (SM). You’re protecting the protocol in return for a suite of incentives including AAVE rewards, protocol fees, and interestingly, BAL rewards.”

Filecoin Inflation Incoming!

“Improvements for V2 design:

  • Allow a Vault to have multiple strategies at the same time
  • Streamline the development cycle of new strategies using a standard API
  • Streamline the QA/Security process for Vaults, to ensure the highest quality code
  • Ensure the Vaults are tested to handle different types of Strategy risk/return/volatility thresholds
  • Make it easier and safer for integrators to use Vaults in their projects”

Circles is the idea that every single person can issue their own currency, however, this happens exclusively under globally fixed rules. In the first year people could issue 1000 units per week and this number is increased by 5% year after year.

People who know each other can agree to set a fixed exchange rate between their currencies of 1:1. They form a “Circle” of two persons and within this “Circle” both currencies can be seen as equal.

This concept allows transitive exchange transactions along “Circles” and thereby create a spending network that effectively functions as a big “Circle”. If a set of people is at least somewhat densely connected to each other, all their currencies have the same value and can be seen as one.

The result would be a global cryptocurrency where every participant has a good reason to use it (because they get free tokens) but with a fully decentralized mechanism of joining this currency.

Ethereum makes it as easy as never before to start such a social experiment.”

See Also: Circles

“BTC’s recent resilience to several exchange-related issues may have given institutions the confidence to increase their bullish bets.

The derivatives market is now less dependent on exchanges like BitMEX and OKEx than a year ago. As such, the cryptocurrency is less sensitive to exchange-related issues. That’s a testament to the growing maturity of the cryptocurrency space.”

See Also: Record-high Bakkt Bitcoin delivery exposes institutional frenzy for BTC

Chris Dunn: Bitcoin’s Battle Phase & Snowball Growth

“According to The New York Times, the J5 — a joint task force of tax authorities from major Western governments convened in the wake of the bombshell publication of the Panama Papers — have placed “hundreds” of accounts at Schiff’s Puerto Rico-based Euro Pacific Bank under investigation for tax evasion and other financial crimes.

I think there’s a significant risk that some of the gold held within the Perth Mint by customers of the Euro Pacific Bank may be held beneficially for criminals in other parts of the world.”

THORChain Deep-dive

17 October

OKEx has suspended cryptocurrency withdrawals, citing the absence of an unnamed holder of the exchange’s private keys.

Caixin said it spoke to two individuals close to OKEx who indicated that Mingxing “Star” Xu had been taken by police at least a week ago and hasn’t been seen since.

The report also doesn’t indicate why police are holding Xu. OKEx CEO and co-founder Jay Hao said on Weibo the issue is over a personal matter and wouldn’t affect the business.

OKEx has a headquarters in Hong Kong while being officially based in Malta. Xu was previously held by police as part of a fraud investigation back in 2018, but was not arrested.”

See Also: OKEx Suspends Withdrawals, Says Key Holder Not Available Due to Cooperation With Investigation

“With thousands of Ethereum 2.0 validators expected to stash more than 500,000 ether in a restrictive multi-year lockup, there will be significant demand for a creative solution that unlocks the value of those funds without undermining the upgrade.

Given what we know about how DeFi innovators use oracles and smart contracts to create new assets like “wrapped” (or tokenized) bitcoin, taking value created in one chain and use it as collateral in another, it’s a solid bet that new tokenizing contracts will be used to bring liquidity to all that otherwise locked ether. They’ll be bought and sold as tokens but also used as collateral in DeFi lending markets.

The locked ether presents a contract that promises a set of contingent future cash flows, with properties akin to certain types of bonds. In fact, that is what DeFi-ers will create: tokenized ETH 2.0 bonds.”

See Also: Almost 1M Ether would have been burnt in past year if fee proposal approved

“Reddit users have discovered they can farm memes for ERC-20 tokens and earn returns comparable to minimum wages in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Reddit’s community points are given to users based on their activity within a given subreddit, with the feature currently activated for the platform’s cryptocurrency and Fortnite communities as ERC-20 tokens, dubbed Moons and Bricks.

With the xDai-based decentralized exchange Honeyswap recently launching pairings for wrapped versions of the tokens, Reddit users can now farm memes for profit.

The data suggests the content generated by the roughly 47,935 Redditors participating in both subreddits over the five months since the tokens’ launch is valued at $3.8 million.”

“Ingves called upon the Riksdag and Sweden’s government to address the digital shift with legislation. He pushed for Sweden’s government to “review the concept of legal tender” and the legality of an e-krona.

Although dozens of monetary authorities are now studying sovereign digital currencies, Sweden’s is one of the few to actually pilot one. Also notable: Sweden’s e-krona pilot project is running on distributed ledger technology.

There shall be digital state money as legal tender, an e-krona, issued by the Riksbank.”

See Also: Digital Euro Within Decade ‘Very Likely,’ Says Finland’s Chief Central Banker

“In the first two weeks of October, monthly trading volume for the TRUMP and BIDEN markets eclipsed prior high set in March.

PredictIt shows a lead for former Vice President Joe Biden ($0.65) over President Donald Trump ($0.40) similar to FTX’s Biden ($0.65) lead over Trump ($0.36).”

In 10 years, what institutions or mechanisms will prevent Vanguard from accumulating voting power by buying up governance tokens – or whatever other mechanism is in place at the time – in exactly the same way it has done with stock?

At a minimum, blockchain founders and investors need to recognize that many of the fundamental economic forces that are driving consolidation across the economy will also apply to blockchain-based applications. Distributed ledgers are not immune to “winner takes all” market dynamics, the increased globalization of markets, and more lax regulation and weaker antitrust enforcement simply because they are distributed.

Blockchain presents a new environment that requires custom-designed decentralized governance. As of now, governance systems are far from ready to oversee complex, billion-dollar products. Hundreds of years of insights in economics, political science, law and business must be translated and adapted into collective decision-making processes suitable for blockchain and resistant to consolidation.”

AA: What is a Crypto Wallet Derivation Path?

“Rally, a social money platform, today introduced a governance token that its community can use to decide to vote on the next influencer who’s allowed to create a cryptocurrency in their own name. It’s also possible to “yield-farm” the token.

So far, there are 19 creators on the platform—all Twitch streamers invited by Rally.”

See Also: Filecoin Settles Near $40 After Wild Opening Day of Trading

“Digital asset exchange Bitstamp has beefed up its insurance measures to combat the inherent uncertainties associated with the crypto space.

The policy covers an array of crime-related cases, such as employee theft, loss while the assets are stored at any premises, loss in transit, loss caused by computer fraud or funds transfer fraud, and loss related to legal fees and expenses.”

16 October

Let me just basically say how impressed I am by Ethereum, full stop, period.

I’m not willing to say necessarily that governance by staking would put Ethereum 2.0 into a securities classification. It’s still decentralized in a way that your typical company or even a cryptocurrency that really has a company standing behind it isn’t.

The more decentralized it becomes over time and the more that it effectively runs itself, the more likely it is it’s going to fall within the commodity category and not the securities [group].

The whole idea of DeFi really is, number one, it’s obviously revolutionary, and I think at the end of the day could lead to a massive disintermediation of the financial system and the traditional players. And ultimately, [it] could potentially even reduce systemic risk in some ways because we don’t have the finance system concentrated in these large globally, systemically important institutions.

Tarbert did not provide a firm answer about how assets involved in or issued by DeFi projects might fit into securities or commodities laws, noting it could depend on what the digital contracts do and how tokens are distributed.

The issue with fair launch, that takes the founders out of it,’ he said. But there are still concerns about market manipulation which the regulators might still have to evaluate.”

See Also: Invest: Ethereum Economy: Recap
See Also: Arbitrum Rollup Testnet: full-featured and open to all

“DLT is one of 20 focus areas on the National Security Council’s “critical and emerging technologies” shortlist. Pockets of the U.S. government are already investing in blockchain infrastructure, the Department of Homeland Security most publicly so.

The NSC’s strategy calls for investing in, developing, adopting and promoting the priority technologies. Absent from the document: hard numbers and a concrete roadmap to implementation.”

See Also: Nigeria Is Developing Strategies for National Blockchain Adoption

“The first clear similarity is the use of both online and hardware wallets. In the design of the DC/EP system, there is a unique feature of hardware chip-card wallets. Users can use these chip cards to pay merchants at a range of PoS-like terminals.

Another significant dimension of similarity is one more under-explored feature in the CBDC world – programmability. There are certain programmable components embedded in the data structure of the notes. There are also multiple levels of users within the digital currency system of the DC/EP. For each level of user, there are certain programmable functions enabled for DC/EP usage.

The architecture of the digital yuan could spur central banks all over the world into leveraging similar features.”

“Deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, or BoC, said central banks should have their own digital currency ready should regulators block Facebook’s Libra token. He also noted that such an asset is important as a possible solution for the economic realities of COVID-19.

Lane stated that the Bank of Canada has been developing a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, at “a good pace.”

That’s the nub of the question: whether the answer is Libra or whether it’s something that central banks do. If we’re saying, well, it should be [a CBDC and] not Libra, then we have to have something ready.”

See Also: The Bahamas central bank wants to make its digital ‘Sand Dollar’ global

Filecoin is a system from Protocol Labs meant to be both a decentralized file storage and content distribution network in one.

Despite multiple delays, the Filecoin project has attracted considerable attention, particularly in China where investors have been speculating heavily on the network’s mining hardware and the FIL token.

Of announced projects, one example is Slate, a personal storage service that uses Filecoin and IPFS. Textile is another, which has evolved into a set of developer tools for managing storage.

This was one of the most anticipated launches or token sales in 2017, it took them a long time to go live, I think that’s partly because they took their responsibility really seriously. It’s finally here and it’s one of the few, in my personal opinion, one of the very clear use cases for blockchain.”

“Polkadot has announced that its cross-chain bridge to Bitcoin (BTC) will go live in the first quarter of 2021. This will allow users to tokenize and transact their BTC—as PolkaBTC—on decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.

The Bitcoin-Polkadot bridge won’t have any central authority and will be run by a decentralized network maintained by regular users and various companies.”

“Taproot would implement Schnorr signatures into Bitcoin, a cryptographic technique for signing transactions that would enable Bitcoin with more flexible (and private) smart contracts.

For the new upgrade to activate network-wide, node operators must adopt Taproot’s new ruleset in place of the older code’s consensus rules. This could take weeks or months, depending on how the review process unfolds for the two leading implementation proposals.

One of these deployment triggers, BIP 8, would create a “signaling” period to allow full and mining nodes to upgrade; after this period is over, an automatic activation would take place for those who haven’t upgraded.

The other method, Matt Corallo’s modern soft-fork activation, is somewhat similar in that it includes a year-long signaling period but it also includes a six-month review process after activation (as well as the added contingency of a two-year activation method not unlike BIP 8 if the first method fails).

“Even though the CME’s Bitcoin futures deal only in cash, crypto traders and participants pay attention to their price action. Additionally, CME Bitcoin futures participants trade notably bigger positions on average:

A relative number of small trades in a given market is typically statistically insignificant for price discovery purposes. The average trade size on the CME futures market facilitates its lead in price discovery versus the Constituent Exchanges.”

The book tells 21 (often dramatized) stories of “Blockland” — the cryptocurrency space to you and me — starting with the creation of the first “Golden City of Bit” and the settlers who initially chose to inhabit it.

While all of the underlying stories are true, the use of metaphor and allegory really does bring home what a magical and unlikely path cryptocurrency has taken to get here.

Blockland succeeds amazingly in both mythologizing and explaining the current state of the cryptocurrency industry. This is the cryptocurrency book for people who are too cool to read cryptocurrency books.”

“Announced Thursday, Block.one has released “EOSIO for Business,” an enterprise-focused version of its software featuring Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), consulting, technical support and training and certification programs.

Blockchain cloud services can offer businesses a quick and painless way to spin up digital ledgers on their preferred cloud computing platforms. The enterprise BaaS offering will be using Amazon Web Services.”

15 October

Over the past 18 months or so, it has become increasingly clear that the real Ethereum killer is Ethereum itself, and whatever it or its ecosystem will evolve into.

As the Ethereum base layer scaling effort presses on, and with a possible recalibration to prioritize rollups, and as rollups do today (or tomorrow) what many of the Eth killers hope to do, I think the [Eth killer] narrative has been neutered.

I am not bold enough to say there can be only “one” smart contract platform and it is Ethereum. History teaches us that everything crumbles. But each passing day brings clarity: If the steady state of global settlement/coordination layers turns out to be winner takes all, Ethereum is in the lead. We should not mince words.

While credible threats have been made, Ethereum is a live player. And it is not a singular player. So, when you hear the next siren song, listen carefully, and I think you will find projects singing of building bridges to Ethereum, not bombs.”

See Also: Ethereum Blockchain Gets New Language Called ‘Fe’

“We are so excited to announce Coinbase Wallet’s native integration with the Optimistic Ethereum testnet! Users will be able to view their balances & send transactions safely and securely using Coinbase Wallet.

User experience is just as key to the viability of the protocol as the underlying architecture.”

See Also: Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Calls on Power Users to Move to Layer 2 Scaling
See Also: Introducing MetaMask Swaps

In almost every instance that you can imagine people wanting to hold ETH, it will be preferable to hold a staked version rather than the original real asset. This tokenized version of ETH will perform all the same functions of ETH, but it will also be more valuable because it will earn staking rewards and can simultaneously do other things.

Users will be able to secure the Ethereum network by staking, earn yield for doing so, and have the ability to use that ETH as yield-generating collateral elsewhere.”

“The Global Standards Mapping Initiative (GSMI), released Wednesday, is the most “comprehensive” attempt so far to survey blockchain technical standards, according to the organizations.

The [World Economic Forum] report attempts to provide a snapshot of the current blockchain landscape by mapping current technical standardization efforts, identifying gaps and recognizing “next steps” for the industry.”

See Also: Bank of Russia Seeks Limit on Amount of Digital Assets Retail Investors Can Buy

“Numerai, an open hedge fund using competitive data-science tournaments to crowdsource market-beating investment strategies, announced today the release of Numerai Signals, a way to index stock-trading signals and eliminate inefficiency in hedge fund operations.

And it’s giving $50 million in crypto to users who submit data others have overlooked.

In 2017, Numerai laid out a multi-step master plan. Its goal was to become the last hedge fund the world ever needs by aggregating all possible stock market data and crowdsourcing the most effective trading strategies, paying out contributors in its cryptocurrency, NMR, which they also use for staking.”

“Designed as a one-stop-shop for crypto news, firms can submit a press release and automatically distribute it to crypto and blockchain media.

Today, advertisers, brands and PR agencies must manually submit press releases to each publication separately. This creases lots of inefficiencies as it is very time consuming and costly.

The move to launch Chainwire is also, partly, in defiance of other media, including social media. ‘As platforms like Google and Facebook block and penalize crypto publishers, we want to help projects and media outlets to make sure we are able to further advance the industry as a whole.'”

“Litecoin is relying on a technology called mimblewimble, which reduces the amount of data that’s publicly visible on the main blockchain network. It’s not yet clear whether regulators will move to curtail the use of privacy features, which potentially could be used to conceal transfers of illicit funds or shelter money from tax authorities.

The enhancements are already being tested, and an upgrade to the main network is scheduled for next year.

“The U.S. State Department has submitted a proposal to add Ant Group, the fintech arm of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, to a trade blacklist.

The move comes as Ant, a global leader in digital payments, is readying to go public in what could be an offering worth up to a record $35 billion. Trade hawks in the Trump administration want to discourage U.S. investors from taking part in the Ant IPO, Reuters noted.”

Ocean Builders, a company that builds “floating, off-grid seapod homes,” has bought an Australian cruise ship, renamed it “Satoshi” and plans to fill it with crypto companies, entrepreneurs and digital nomads.

Satoshi will anchor in the Gulf of Panama, home to many crypto exchanges, and BTC will be accepted for all on-board purchases alongside U.S. dollars.

The first 200 of Satoshi’s 777 cabins will be sold via auctions scheduled for Nov. 5 to Nov. 28. The cabins are priced between $25,000 and $50,000. However, buyers must also pay ongoing monthly fees to acquire full ownership of the cabins.”

“Trezor Suite is designed to improve the Trezor user experience by providing a more consistent experience across both desktop and mobile platforms. The new desktop application offers improvements in three key areas: security, usability, and privacy.

It eliminates the risk of phishing attacks by allowing users to manage their funds without using their internet browser and also features a number of user interface improvements to help make managing cryptocurrencies a simpler task. This includes a new account and coin management system and improved hidden wallet (i.e. passphrase) management tools.”

“Shakepay, a regulated mobile app that lets Canadian customers purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum, announced today that it has publicly launched a peer-to-peer payments feature.

While Americans have mobile apps like Venmo and Cash App for rapid mobile payments, they do not work in Canada. The country has an Interac e-Transfer payments system via banks and other financial institutions that is widely used for paying bills and rent, but unlike that system, Shakepay’s platform requires only a username or phone number. As such, the company claims that it is “Canada’s first peer-to-peer payment system.”

Right now, it’s a hassle to do something as simple as paying back a friend for dinner. With Shakepay, sending cash to a friend is as easy as sending a text.”

14 October

Director of Research Ria Bhutoria wrote that the crypto’s current market capitalization ‘is a drop in the bucket compared with markets bitcoin could disrupt.’

Bhutoria argued that while institutional inflows may damp bitcoin’s uncorrelated performance, the crypto is “fundamentally less exposed” to the “economic headwinds” that other assets will likely face.

In a world where benchmark interest rates globally are near, at, or below zero, the opportunity cost of not allocating to bitcoin is higher.

Consider a portfolio with a target allocation of 5% bitcoin.”

“International financial authorities and 20 of the world’s largest economies are establishing official standards for regulating and issuing sovereign digital currencies.

The Group of Twenty (G20) said in a report Tuesday it is working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to formalize the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in banking systems.

According to the report, by the end of 2022 the G20 members, the IMF, the World Bank and the BIS will have completed regulatory stablecoin frameworks and research and selection of CBDC designs, technologies and experiments. The IMF and the World Bank will have the technical capabilities to facilitate CBDC transactions involving the countries by the end of 2025, the report said.”

See Also: Chris Giancarlo’s Digital Dollar Project Proposes US CBDC Pilots
See Also: Bank of Russia Considers Issuing Digital Ruble, Starts Public Consultations

“The Financial Stability Board (FSB) recommended on Tuesday that governments closely regulate “global stablecoin” projects to keep those privately issued currency competitors from disrupting the world economy.

The G7 economic bloc – U.S, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Britain – also reiterated Tuesday that it will stonewall any “global stablecoin project” that tries to launch before clearing regulators’ strict (and evolving) scrutiny.

See Also: G7 will oppose Libra launch until regulations in place

“The report identified five key application areas of blockchain with potential to generate economic value: product tracking and tracing ($962 billion), financial services and payments ($433 billion), identity security and credentials ($224 billion), contracts and dispute resolution ($73 billion), customer engagement and reward programs ($54 billion). Public administration, education and health care sectors will benefit the most.

A survey conducted as part of the report revealed 61% of CEOs across the world are placing digital transformation of core business operations and processes among their top three priorities.

Serious activity around blockchain is cutting through every industry across the globe right now.”

See Also: Canadian Pacific Railway Seeks Logistics Boost From Blockchain Tech

“The outcome of next month’s U.S. presidential election may not matter much for bitcoin’s price: Economic stimulus in the trillions of dollars is likely no matter who wins, bolstering the largest cryptocurrency’s appeal as a hedge against inflation.

If Trump wins in November, he’s likely to continue supporting stimulus spending or easy monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. He also could push for a new round of tax cuts.

Biden, has already rolled out his own $5.4 trillion agenda that includes increased budget allocations for education, housing, health care, paid leave and fixing crumbling infrastructure. The Biden campaign has pledged to cancel a substantial portion of Americans’ $1.5 trillion in federal student debt.

Such expenses would come on top of what already seems like an unending sea of red ink: The U.S. government’s budget deficit for the 2020 fiscal year tripled to $3.1 trillion. And economists say the Federal Reserve is likely to keep printing money in coming years to help finance the budget gap.

The wiggle room that any party in power is going to have is limited.”

“About 100 Italian banks are officially operating on the country’s banking blockchain network, Spunta, built on R3’s Corda.

The blockchain speeds up the complicated process of interbank reconciliation, where banks have to agree on how much money is owed by one bank to another. Since March 204 million transactions were processed on Spunta’s infrastructure.”

“The Ethereum blockchain also shows more than 650 transactions where investors have been whitelisted or registered. The sale has seen interest from retail, accredited and institutional investors.

Doing an IPO on-chain gives the public, and INX itself, a novel outlook on the process, which traditionally has been a back-room affair.”

“A report published by major U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken has identified signs the correlation between Bitcoin (BTC), the greenback, and legacy markets, is continuing to weaken.

The report notes that while the start of the month saw an 8-month low for correlation between BTC and the S&P 500, the correlation would later increase as both markets experienced sideways consolidation.

Bitcoin’s correlation with gold has remained positive since mid-July.”

“Blue Kirby has reminded cryptocurrency investors that fake names can still be a red flag. Blue Kirby is the handle of a now-infamous figure in the decentralized finance (DeFi) community who appears to have absconded with some $1 million worth of ether (ETH).

Without skin in the game, Blue Kirby had little incentive to act in community members’ best interest.

The problem with Blue Kirby wasn’t that he was anonymous, but that he was new. The account came out of nowhere and people threw money at it.

It seems that so many of the issues we see could be solved with simple vesting contracts. If you want to demonstrate your long-term commitment, prove it.”

See Also: Uniswap’s first community proposal seeks to reduce governance thresholds
See Also: Bithumb set to launch DeFi platform as a Polkadot Parachain

“IBM Watson Health announced Monday its Digital Health Pass would allow organizations to establish their own criteria for COVID-19 health verification.

These include test results and temperature scans that can be generated for an individual’s pass, and recorded and shared using the IBM Blockchain network.”

13 October

“Ethereum successfully launched yet another dress-rehearsal testnet for the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0, dubbed Zinken. The launch occurred on Monday at 12 P.M. UTC and unlike previous attempts, was a smooth launch with enough participation and no major bugs.

This was the confirmation that the developers needed to go ahead with the mainnet launch. Vitalik Buterin, who was also present during the call, added that the team may still do a few more rehearsals, but they’d likely be reserved to developers.

Danny Ryan, the Ethereum Foundation’s lead coordinator for Ethereum 2.0, was optimistic that a 2020 launch may be forthcoming:

That’s my impression [that a 2020 launch is on target].”

See Also: Zinken Launch (Livestream)


It’s Time to Launch the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain

We’ve spent the last nine months testing the life out of this thing. The year began with huge, long-running single client testnets: Sapphire, Topaz and Onyx networks run by Prysmatic Labs. In April, there were small multi-client networks: Schlesi, Witti and Altona.

And then the big one, the Medalla testnet. It has been running for over two months, with four different client implementations involved throughout that time. It continues to run today with over 50,000 validators actively participating, making it one of the largest decentralized consensus networks in existence.

Four high-quality, audited and battle-tested clients are currently available to run at beacon chain launch: Teku, Lighthouse, Nimbus and Prysm. Each has its own flavor and target user base. For example, Teku, the Eth 2.0 client from ConsenSys, has been designed and built primarily with institutional and professional stakers in mind.

We have tested everything else in every way we can: the deposit contract has been formally verified; the deposit tools have been audited; the specification has been audited; the beacon chain has been formally modeled; the node discovery protocol has been audited; the networking protocol has been audited; the crypto-economics have been simulated; we are running incentivized attack nets; we’ve been doing fuzz testing; every client has undergone at least one third-party security audit. Hundreds of pairs of eyes have scrutinized the whole process over the last year.

However, the real beacon chain will have real rewards and real penalties, and we simply can’t simulate these with testnets. This is why it is now time to go live with the beacon chain. We’ve tested these things as far as we can in the lab: Now it’s time to run it in the wild.

See Also: Danny Ryan: Eth1 Integration into Eth2 – The Future of Ethereum Mainnet (Video Presentation)

“The move increases the trust’s transparency – and potentially its liquidity. Accredited investors who hold the trust will be able to sell after only a six-month lockup instead of the usual 12.

We’re seeing interest from investors who have become more comfortable with digital currencies through bitcoin exposure, and are now looking at how else they can diversify within the asset class.”

See Also: Bitcoin and Ether Rally After Grayscale’s ETH Trust Becomes SEC-Reporting
See Also: DeFi Project Aave Raises $25M From Blockchain.com and Other Investors

Aztec 2.0 is both a scaling and a privacy solution rolled into one. The layer two solution adopted by Aztec relies on zkRollups, similar to Loopring or ZkSync.

The team says that the rollup can reach 300 transactions per second while allowing shielded ERC-20 token transactions and private interactions with decentralized finance protocols.

The network is currently live on the Ropsten testnet with no specific indications as to its mainnet release, though Walton-Pocock alluded to a launch before the end of the year.”

See Also: Aztec: zkRollup Layer 2 + Privacy
See Also: Curve + zkSync L2: Ethereum’s first user-defined ZK rollup smart contract!

“Catnip is a project of AugurDAO [offering] a simpler, lower-fee prediction market experience built on Augur and Balancer. Catnip features a simple Uniswap-style UI that will be familiar to any DeFi user.

We used foundry.finance to tokenize outcome shares in Augur markets, put them into a Balancer AMM pool, and then made a custom UI to let users swap via this pool. Trading is 100% non-custodial and market resolution is 100% decentralized, using Augur as the settlement and oracle layer.

We’re starting with just one market on the 2020 U.S. presidential election to concentrate liquidity around the world’s most predicted event. We already have over 300k in liquidity in our Balancer pool. This means you can buy 1k DAI worth of yTrump or nTrump outcome tokens at ~1% slippage.”

See Also: Catnip

“Over the last month or two, something strange has been happening. Like a vegan eating a steak, dai has been gobbling up huge amounts of centralized stablecoins as collateral.

MakerDAO’s ingestion of centralized stablecoins is part of its strategy for bringing Dai back in line with its $1 target. It’s a bold plan, but it could come at a price. MakerDAO could face pressure to import more of the traditional banking system’s rules.

If MakerDAO ingests even more of FinCEN-registered USDC’s stablecoins, will nervous USDC execs start pushing MakerDAO to register with FinCEN?

Or maybe regulators will use centralized stablecoins as a Trojan horse for exerting control over MakerDAO. For instance, they could tell MakerDAO to apply for a banking charter on pain of USDC being ordered to drop MakerDAO as a customer, or to conform to consumer lending laws.”

Securitize is teaming up with a protocol called Tinlake from Centrifuge, which uses a clever system of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to enable real-world assets to participate in DeFi.

But there’s a catch: Digital securities, like their traditional counterparts, are regulated and have several control mechanisms that must be enforced.

Tinlake’s smart contracts pool together NFTs that represent real-world assets. The Securitize Tinlake integration will be strictly for wallets that are associated with Securitize ID, so that the person on either side of a trade is known.

If you go and buy Apple shares on Robinhood, the only thing you can do is just to wait for them to appreciate over time. But if these DeFi protocols become available over time for security tokens, as we think will happen, then suddenly there are other avenues for you to make money besides just holding on and waiting.

“Pelosi said the Trump administration’s $1.8 trillion proposal still lacks adequate funding and has no plan for national testing and contact tracing.

Some in the GOP were reluctant to back the president’s proposal, instead voicing support for a much smaller package.”

“The guidelines will offer tax authorities guardrails for clarifying their local treatment of cryptocurrencies while also accounting for “international [exchanges].”

OECD said questions surrounding wallet providers, as well as crypto income not derived from sales (staking rewards, perhaps) may feature in the report. It plans for G20 members to review the framework in 2021.”

“The technical firm behind privacy cryptocurrency zcash (ZEC) is in the process of transitioning to a non-profit, called the Bootstrap Project, after a majority of shareholders elected to donate their holdings in the company.

The donation will allow the ECC to more fully embrace a central plank in ZIP 1014 – that of all future mining revenue furthering zcash’s potential as an asset, and not enriching founders or early investors. Those involved in the project’s 2016 launch garnered 15% of mining revenue under the old scheme.

Outside observers suggest the move may be in keeping with the progressive decentralization ethos designed to keep regulators at bay.”

Kate Winslet has signed on to star and produce Fake!, a movie based on an unpublished book by Jen McAdam and Douglas Thompson. McAdam, a victim of the OneCoin scheme, will be a producer on the film.

Fake! will be written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, who helmed The Report, a political drama based on the CIA’s report on torture post 9/11, and wrote the 2011 pandemic movie Contagion, which also starred Winslet.

A TV show based on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) podcast about Ignatova is also in development.”

10 October

“The Trump Administration is preparing a $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus proposal, its largest such offer in negotiations with the Democrats, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bitcoin (BTC) prices have been buoyed this year as investors bet that trillions of dollars of government and central bank spending around the world in response to the coronavirus-induced slowdown will inevitably result in inflation, and therefore be positive for the cryptocurrency.”

See Also: Bloomberg: Biden election would be good for Bitcoin, bad for DeFi

A group of seven central banks and the BIS had collaborated on the report, ‘identifying the foundational principles necessary for any publicly available CBDCs to help central banks meet their public policy objectives.’

The Bank of England, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan sit among the governing bodies involved in crafting the document, titled: Central bank digital currencies: foundational principles and core features.

A central bank should not compromise monetary or financial stability by issuing a CBDC; (ii) a CBDC would need to coexist with and complement existing forms of money; and (iii) a CBDC should promote innovation and efficiency.

See Also: Bank of Japan to begin digital currency proof-of-concept in 2021
See Also: China’s Central Bank, Major City to Hand Out $1.5M in Digital Yuan

“Investment bank Standard Chartered is planning to grow its cryptocurrency holdings on its balance sheet on behalf of institutional investors. The bank has put out three job applications in the last two weeks to build out a crypto asset team to support this goal.

The bank already revealed it was planning on building a custody solution three months ago. However, two of the bank’s recently published vacancies show that Standard Chartered wants to actively grow its crypto assets under management. This puts Standard Chartered in a position to compete with investment giants like Fidelity, which has already launched a Bitcoin fund for wealthy investors.”

See Also: SBI Subsidiary to Hold Security Token Offering Later This Month
See Also: JPMorgan’s Blockchain Lead Is Now in Charge of Ethereum-Based Interbank Information Network

“The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the largest U.S. regulated market for bitcoin futures, has been sounding out cryptocurrency traders to gauge their interest in a listing of futures and options for the Ethereum blockchain’s native currency.

Partly due to the explosive development of decentralized finance (DeFi) this year, there has been rising demand from traders for ether derivatives that can be used to make leveraged bets on price moves or simply to hedge.

For now, the biggest venues for trading ether futures are on non-U.S. exchanges led by OKEx, Huobi and Binance.”

“Uphold, an app for trading cryptocurrencies, fiat, and precious metals, announced on Wednesday the launch of a new 24/7 trading service for US public equities, freeing international investors from the time constraints held over from the days of stock floor trading.

Uphold will offer trading services for 50 of the most popular US equities, including Tesla (TSLA), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and more, as well as several exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that aggregate stock picks into a single tradable equity.

Uphold also offers services for buying, selling, and trading more than 30 cryptocurrencies.

U.S. equity trading has been stuck in the 20th century with archaic market hours that no longer meet the expectations of millennials who’ve grown up with ‘always-open’ digital asset markets.”

Andre Cronje, the prolific coder and creator of Yearn, said he’s quit the project – and decentralized finance (DeFi) altogether – out of frustration with its realities.

I’m not building anything at all anymore. I do it because I’m passionate, but if people are going to use my test environments, then lose money, and then hold me liable, it means there is 0 upside and only risk for me.

As Cronje explained, thanks to the fee built within Yearn, which replenishes the token treasury, the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) has funding now to support a staff that can carry on his work.

Yearn’s strongest asset is its incredible community that has coalesced in a short period of time. I’m extremely confident the project will continue to thrive, even if for some reason Andre decided to depart the project.”

See Also: Dapper Labs Raises $18M in Token Sale for NFT-Centric Flow Blockchain

“The former chief technology officer of the troubled BitMEX exchange has been released from custody after a bond for $5 million was paid in the U.S.

Samuel Reed pledged to appear in court and comply with sentencing or risk the loss of the bond.

A vulnerability in LND versions 0.10.x and below has been disclosed to the Lightning Labs team. Lightning Labs – one of three major implementations of the Lightning Network – released its newest v0.11.1-beta on Oct. 1.

No known exploitations of the vulnerability have been found to date, but ‘circumstances surrounding the discovery resulted in a compressed disclosure timeline.‘”

Energy, Oracles and AI

“Aragon provides a technology stack for DAOs [and] a framework for a virtual court, where contestants have to stake some amount of crypto and then submit to the decision of the decentralized jurors.

Cuende believes that the moderation woes experienced by social media platforms present a perfect use case for Aragon’s technology once the tech matures.

I think censorship is when the rules are defined by one party, moderation is when there’s a consensus on the rules.”

“The trustee for long-defunct Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox has spent another $1.2 million in fees in the last six months.

Creditors are complaining that Nobuaki Kobayashi, the platform’s bankruptcy trustee, gave few updates on what the money was spent on—and whether any progress has been made.

Kobayashi has delayed the refund process several times, publishing nearly identical statements in April 2019 and March 2020. The current submission deadline for the rehabilitation plan is October 15.”

9 October

“Square, the payments company helmed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announced Thursday it has purchased 4,709 bitcoins, a $50 million investment representing 1% of the firm’s total assets.

Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company’s purpose.

Bitcoin’s price jumped 2.5% following the announcement, while shares in Square popped around 1%.

Square is also now the second technology firm to go long on bitcoin in recent months after MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm, crowned the crypto as its treasury reserve asset of choice.”

“U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr announced Thursday the release of “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework,” a roadmap for policing the cryptocurrency landscape.

The framework provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging threats and enforcement challenges associated with the increasing prevalence and use of cryptocurrency.

An 83 page document accompanying the release included three sections – threat overview, law, and future strategies – to guide DOJ’s handling of the space.”

See Also: DOJ says use of privacy coins is ‘indicative of possible criminal conduct’

Ethereum Merges Phase 0 Spec

“The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP), a working group favored by banks and traditional financial institutions and focused on bringing crypto in line with global anti-money laundering (AML) standards, has released the first version of its application programming interface (API).

The product aims to offer a straightforward way for firms to swap identification data about the originators and beneficiaries of crypto transactions, as per the requirements of global AML watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

It’s not surprising the TRP’s membership is growing, given the financial clout of its founding team. A spokesman for the working group said that while the names of new joiners could not be disclosed without their permission, it included four large exchanges and a host of large tech firms.”

“100x – the holding group for BitMEX operator HDR Holdings – announced founders Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed have ‘stepped back from all executive management responsibilities for their respective CEO and CTO roles with immediate effect.’

Vivien Khoo, current chief operating officer of 100x Group, will become Interim CEO, while Ben Radclyffe, commercial director, will take on a supporting role.

Along with fellow founder Ben Delo, Hayes and Reed will no longer hold any executive positions within 100x Group. Further, Greg Dwyer, the head of business development, will take a leave of absence.

“‘Big Four’ professional services firm KPMG has announced a new patent-pending blockchain solution intended to help organizations measure, report and offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

The firm describes its Climate Accounting Infrastructure (CAI) as a transparent platform that offers companies a means to trace their emissions.

KPMG will work with businesses such as blockchain data visualization company Context Labs, software company Prescriptive Data and ConsenSys-backed Allinfra, a blockchain firm already working on carbon offsetting infrastructure.”

See Also: GM and Honda publish specs for decentralized electric car charging network

“In the top 10 by DeFi market capitalization alone, Aave (LEND) has lost 23.6%, Yearn Finance (YFI) is down 42.7%, and both UMA and Compound (COMP) are down a massive 63% in the last 30 days.

Despite these losses, DeFi as a whole continues to grow at a breakneck pace in terms of user counts – more than tripling in the last three months.

Similarly, the total value (TVL) of assets locked up in DeFi platforms has continued to grow over both 30-day and 90-day timescales. TVL of DeFi has increased by 17.7% in the last month and 293% in the last three.”

Dfinity ICP Token Economics

“Day explained that as more companies show interest in participating in this kind of technology, Google Cloud believes it can learn how to better support customers who wish to run validation nodes.

Google Cloud is not getting into crypto mining. This is really an infrastructure play for us.

Day said the partnership comes in the same spirit as the company’s February announcement of a partnership with Hedera Hashgraph. Google Cloud also recently became a network validator for Theta Labs.

When asked if the startup that ran a $4 billion initial coin offering had paid the cloud giant for expressing interest in validating the EOS blockchain, Block.one declined to comment further.

“For Navy Admiral Craig Faller, head of US Southern Command, the use of cryptocurrency throughout the “young democracies” of the Southern Hemisphere is a problem for the United States—and he is taking this “threat” very seriously.

Sixty percent of the cryptocurrency in the world is in this hemisphere, and a lot of that is because folks are trying to avoid regular order in the international financial system.

Cuba and Venezuela have notably made greater use of cryptocurrency in recent years as a way to circumvent the “regular order in the international financial system” and evade US sanctions.”

8 October

“Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich said the administration is studying a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) tied to the dollar, alongside the Federal Reserve, the U.S.’ central bank.

It’s something we’re studying … [T]his is really a decision which sits as much with the Fed as it does with Treasury.

The Boston Fed has confirmed it’s evaluating a potential CBDC, though it may take years to proceed. At the same time, Muzinich said finding a balance between preventing illicit activity and respecting consumer privacy will be a challenge.

There are clearly efficiency benefits and cost benefits to using a distributed ledger. And I also think, more broadly, it’s important for government to embrace innovation and not be scared by it.”

See Also: Inside the Estonian CBDC Experiment That Could Shape the Digital Euro (Spoiler: It’s Centralized)

“Deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said the bank opened 113,300 consumer digital wallets and 8,859 corporate digital wallets for residents of Shenzhen, Suzhou and Xiong’an to pilot a digital yuan.

The digital wallets processed RMB 1.1 billion ($162 million) across 3.1 million digital yuan transactions between April and August, making it the most widely used central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a commercial setting.

Hooked up to facial recognition, barcode scanning and tap and go payment technologies, the digital yuan transactions spanned over 6,700 types of use cases. These applications included retail, hospitality, transportation, utility payments, government services and electronic versions of red envelopes gifted to healthcare workers.”

See Also: South Korea’s Central Bank to Test Digital Currency in 2021
See Also: Kyrgyzstan’s central bank suspends SWIFT to prevent capital outflow

“Larsen named Singapore and the U.K. as possible countries where the San Francisco-based company could move if the regulatory environment doesn’t improve.

His payments company is battling investor allegations that XRP is a security as well as mixed signals from regulators at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

See Also: Markets will decide on regulations, not the government: Currency Comptroller
See Also: Congress’ renewed attack on Big Tech may clear the field for decentralization

“This October, we will be launching the next generation of Synthetix.Exchange: Kwenta.

Kwenta is a new derivatives exchange designed for users looking for multi asset trading and infinite liquidity. Users will benefit from access to the full suite of Synths available on the Synthetix protocol as well as innovative charting and performance tracking tools.

See Also: Authereum Wallet Launches on Mainnet
See Also: Limit Orders are Live on Dharma

“The ongoing debates about the degree to which bitcoin is correlated to other assets would do well to break bitcoin’s price behavior into two phases: bull runs and consolidation periods.

During those long consolidations, bitcoin becomes more correlated to short-term variables related to global liquidity and other risk assets. This becomes especially true as it reaches wider adoption and is invested in by the financial community. More interestingly, during bitcoin’s consolidation period, it acts a lot like digital gold.

The halving periods tend to act as fundamental catalysts for the next bull market within this long-term trend, as new supply gets cut in half while incoming demand remains robust. As long as that demand indeed remains strong, upward pressure builds on its price, and then when it eventually breaks out, momentum traders hop on board with a new influx of demand and drive it up further.”

“There are some macro trends which help explain why so many smaller exchanges are failing. The growth of DeFi and the rise of decentralized exchanges in 2020 has put the final nail in the coffin for many smaller operations.

Regulatory pressure has also increased since the early days of the industry and many exchanges simply haven’t been able to keep up with the requirements. Hacks and scams are also cited as growing issues for exchanges.”

“The security token was transferred using Curv’s advanced cryptography which utilizes a concept called multi-party computation (MPC). Its MPC technology eliminates the concept of private keys and single point of failure by signing each and every transaction in a secure, distributed way to protect against cyberattacks and insider collusion.

The PoC was carried out to demonstrate that tokenized securities can be transferred swiftly, securely, and transparently on the blockchain. It used an ERC-1400 security standard token, which has a far stricter set of technical requirements.”

See Also: HSBC-backed Trade Finance Platform Contour Goes Live