7 October

“MetaMask announced a new feature Tuesday: token swaps directly within the popular Ethereum browser extension and mobile application. MetaMask also announced Monday it had reached 1 million monthly active users.

MetaMask will seek the best exchange rate for any given trade, accessing all the best-known places to conduct an exchange. The MetaMask announcement lists services such as Uniswap, Kyber, ParaSwap, 1inch.exchange and dex.ag.

This new service is the latest step in monetizing MetaMask. ‘There are dynamic fees that range from 0.3% to 0.875% based on order size.’

The token-swapping feature will release first on its Firefox browser extension, before adding extensions for other browsers and MetaMask mobile.”

See Also: MetaMask hits 1M monthly users thanks to DeFi boom

“Specifically, the ban will affect “the sale, marketing and distribution” to retail investors of any derivatives contract or ETNs that linked to “unregulated transferable crypto assets” issued by entities in or outside the U.K.

The U.K. financial regulator said it considers these products to be ill-suited for retail consumers due to the harm they pose, asserting they cannot be reliably valued by retail consumers.

The FCA classifies unregulated transferable crypto assets as “tokens that are not ‘specified investments’ or e-money, and can be traded.” The term incorporates major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether and XRP.

The U.K. ban will come into effect on Jan. 6, 2021.”

No further stimulus package talk will occur prior to the election, the president said in subsequent tweets, while boldly forecasting victory.

Immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.

Following these tweets, the market responded in disapproval. Stocks fell noticeably, while Bitcoin dropped approximately $200 before bouncing slightly.”

Over Q3, the supply of USDC, the second-largest stablecoin by market cap, grew much more than that of tether (USDT), the largest stablecoin, even though the arbitrage opportunities (as measured by the standard deviation of the stablecoin prices) were greater with USDT. This hints at a growing demand for USDC from institutional investors and traders.

Ethereum’s market capitalization increased 60% in Q3 2020, growing from $25 billion to $40.5 billion by the end of September. The market capitalization of the top 10 DeFi coins by total value locked saw an even greater increase over the quarter, growing over 345% from $1.2 billion to $5.3 billion. Aggregated as one, the market capitalization of DeFi nows makes up roughly 12% of total market value on the blockchain, and has emerged as the driving narrative for the Ethereum ecosystem.

While the ether futures market is still a fraction of that of bitcoin, it is starting to exhibit some catch-up activity. Both daily transaction volume and aggregated open interest (OI) in ether futures set dramatic new records. This shows the strong growth in the Ethereum ecosystem and hints at growing institutional acceptance of ether as an investment and trading asset.”

See Also: Ethereum Hash Rate Breaks New All-Time High

“Aragon, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) management platform, today announced integration with Snapshot, a service for organizing and coordinating decentralized governance votes for DeFi platforms. Together, the tools will allow people to make off-chain votes that have on-chain consequences.

Aragon Agreements requires executors to lock up, or stake, valuable collateral like crypto tokens that are forfeited if they don’t follow the will of decentralized governance votes. By integrating with Aragon Agreements, Snapshot aims to bridge the gap between off-chain votes and on-chain execution by giving vote executors something to lose if they misbehave.

Snapshot means higher participation rates for the governance of DeFi projects.”

“An initial parachain offering allows emerging projects to obtain a parachain slot on the Polkadot network.

In order for a parachain to be added to Polkadot, it must secure an available parachain slot. However, only a limited number of parachain slots exist. Polkadot’s goal is to have 100 parachain slots available on its network.

Polkadot’s native token, Dot, is also required to bond a parachain to take advantage of the network’s scalability, security, interoperability and governance functionality. Therefore, parachain teams will need to acquire parachain slots through a permissionless auction process. While teams could buy Dot on the open market, Mauric mentioned that most parachain projects will undergo an IPO to participate in these auctions, allowing teams to accept Dot loans from any Dot holder.

If the project is able to secure enough contributions to win the auction, then the Dot loans will be returned to the contributors at the end of the parachain lease period. If the project is unable to secure enough contributions and the auction is lost, then the Dot loans will be returned to contributors immediately.”

“A new contract rolled out by Ark.Gallery hopes to inject some fluid in the CryptoPunk market by letting people place blind bids backed by ether (ETH), called bounties, for the increasingly in-demand digital collectibles.

The bounties give CryptoPunk owners the option to instantly cash out by accepting any of the live bids, as opposed to listing their product and waiting on bids in a marketplace. On the buyer side, instead of placing bids on multiple collectibles (thereby locking up more ETH) users can place a bounty on “any punk” and wait for an owner to accept it.

Fractional owners of the NFT also get voting rights on sale offers and, if successful, the proceeds are distributed proportionally. One of the first blockchain-enabled art projects, CryptoPunks were built by Larva Labs and debuted in June 2017.”

“Woleet provides a software suite that allows its clients to authenticate documents and signatures using Bitcoin’s blockchain. Anyone needing to authenticate this data can verify these proofs using hashes that correspond to the signatory and the document’s public key. These proofs can be used as timestamps, electronic signatures, electronic seals and digital IDs.

With its launch, Woleet joins a class of Bitcoin startups working to bring self-sovereign digital identities to the fore of Bitcoin’s enterprise applications.

Woleet is compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and its signatures are legally binding.”

Distro uses blockchain technology, smart contracts and artificial intelligence to support the decentralized, high-frequency trading of renewable energy by commercial consumers looking to optimize and manage their energy use. It matches demand with the intermittent power generated from different sources, specifically solar and battery storage.

Each market participant is allocated an AI energy-trading agent that learns their behavior, choices and needs and provides them with energy at the optimal price. Buyers and sellers can access localized, dynamic prices for energy, and the system is designed to deter excessive power consumption when generation is low by offering lower prices when the supply is abundant.

The trial involved 20 million blockchain-validated, cleared and settled transactions, which cumulatively lowered the cost for commercial users by 11% and improved local renewables producers’ revenues by 14%. Significantly, the use of the system increased the consumption of on-site solar generation by 92%.

Balancing local electricity needs with local generation holds the key to unlocking significant grid infrastructure savings.”

See Also: DBS and Standard Chartered to launch blockchain platform to curb trade finance fraud

“Google Cloud has joined the EOS blockchain community with the intent of becoming a block producer. This would require approval of the EOS community. EOS, which has often been criticized for excessive centralization, has 21 block producers in total.

Block One also announced that a former Goldman Sachs executive named R. Martin Chavez will be leading the company’s advisory board.”

“The dark web isn’t just black markets and Bitcoin; it’s also used by activists, researchers, and journalists in parts of the world with restrictive Internet policies.

Brave having its own Tor address means that all of Brave’s websites are accessible straight from the dark web. Instead of Brave.com, it’s Brave.onion. This site protects its users’ metadata, such as its location.”

6 October

“On Monday DOJ prosecutors unsealed a criminal indictment against McAfee, who faces charges of tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns that could land him behind bars for over five years if convicted. His extradition to the U.S. is pending.

The announcement comes the same day that U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued McAfee for allegedly pumping initial coin offerings (ICOs) without disclosing he was being paid to do so.

McAfee allegedly received BTC and ETH worth more than $11.6 million for promoting seven ICOs in 2017 and 2018. He also allegedly received $11.5 million in the promoted tokens.

McAfee’s extravagant posts (such as tweeting predictions about BTC price increases and promising to ‘eat my d**k on national television’ if such predictions did not pan out) … generated an enormous amount of publicity.

The SEC is seeking civil penalties and an order prohibiting McAfee from serving as a public officer again in future.”

“If passed, [the Bill] would recognize digital signatures on the blockchain as enforceable by law.

This is particularly important for the enforceability of smart contracts, which automate transactions or other contractual obligations according to binding, pre-specified rules.”

Three of the largest asset managers are diversifying their funds to hold blockchain stocks, throwing more establishment financial might behind bitcoin’s technology.

Charles Schwab has begun purchasing shares of Riot Blockchain, joining Fidelity and Vanguard – already investors in Riot, HIVE Blockchain Technologies, Hut 8 and BC Group – in allocating mutual fund holdings to a cryptocurrency company.

Riot Blockchain, based in the U.S., and HIVE Blockchain Technologies, based in Canada, provide services for mining bitcoin.”

ETHOnline: Scaling Ethereum in 2020 and Beyond – Vitalik Buterin

“Strong over-the-counter demand for wrapped bitcoin continues [with] a more than 160% increase over the $232 million minted in August.

Beyond WBTC, the supply of all forms of tokenized bitcoins grew 120% in September to over 121,000 BTC, up from nearly 55,000 BTC in August.”

Privacy-enhanced wallet services using coinjoin concepts (for example Wasabi and Samurai wallets) have emerged as a top threat in addition to well established centralised mixers.

Privacy coins may present a considerable obstacle to law enforcement investigations.

These statements echo comments made in June by the agency.

Europol’s report also included decentralized marketplace protocols as a “high priority threat”, specifically naming OpenBazaar. Actors labeled as threats in the report have also been ‘increasingly using hardware wallets‘ to securely store funds and private keys.”

See Also: The Web Wasn’t Built for Privacy, but It Could Be

“The report explained the pros and cons of personal wallets and storage versus centralized asset storage opportunities, such as exchanges.

An anonymous token-based central bank digital currency (CBDC) would pose particular security risks. These risks arise from how balances are aggregated and stored, how CBDC is used for transactions, and how various solutions such as e-wallets, crypto exchanges and banks compete to attract users.

In the digital asset world, tokenholders can make a huge number of wallets, spreading their funds in different allotments across those wallets. In response, possible solutions include caps on wallet holdings built into the CBDC.”

The next decade of innovation will prove decisive as state powers, global corporations and an increasingly assertive digital civil society vie for control over the lifeblood of our economic lives. Each of these new stakeholders has a vastly different set of aims and objectives.

For some, the reinvention of money is a chance to break free from state and corporate control. For others, it’s an opportunity to further entrench the dominant businesses of today – such as Facebook and Goldman Sachs, two of many big firms with their eye on the reinvention of money. And for governments, it is a chance to either defend the status quo in the case of the U.S. dollar, or create a new global hegemon, in the case of China’s central bank digital currency. If you want to understand our collective future, follow the money.

The digital economy that is emerging from this crisis will require digital money. But what kind? Who will win this battle for the lifeblood of our economic lives?”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the Egyptian economy into recession and deepening unemployment, more and more Egyptians see the benefits of trading and mining Bitcoin as an alternative source of income.

But while more Egyptians become interested in mining and trading cryptocurrencies, many are concerned that people could be targeted and accused of fraud without proper legislation. A law clarifying what activities can be considered legal or not around cryptocurrencies could come soon, according to experts.”

See Also: IBM Expands on Thailand’s Blockchain Solution for Government Bonds

The Disrupt Weekend

Highly recommended read.

“What if we “owned our identity,” meaning you have some kind of digital passport (or wallet) that proves you are you, not some imposter, and that this passport is secure, easy to use, and widely accepted in all corners of the internet, and also at banks and gyms and schools and shops? And what if – crucially – your passport is not controlled by third parties like Facebook or the government?

And what if we “owned our data,” meaning that instead of trusting the Googles and Facebooks with our precious data – a resource more valuable than oil – we are the custodians of our data, and we only share it when we choose, in certain contexts, and perhaps we can sell it or license it?

In today’s internet, most of us have made the Faustian bargain of trading agency for convenience. We trust Facebook with our log-in credentials to countless other sites, the photos of our family, the contents of our private messages, and troves of personal details that can be repackaged, exploited, and weaponized.

Self-sovereign identity (or SSI) would combine the convenience of Facebook with the principles of decentralization. When the SSI puzzle is fully cracked, centralized brokers like Facebook would be replaced (at least partially) with peer-to-peer communication, as we no longer need intermediaries.

But what would that actually mean from a user experience?

No more username and password hell: With SSI? Poof. You now have one master key that can open countless locks. ‘You’d use your ID to log in to anything that you need to access.’

A trusted internet: Deep fakes. Misinformation campaigns. Fake news. SSI could be the solution. Imagine a future internet where every tweet, post, pic, video, or article is cryptographically signed to verify the author’s identity, like a vastly superior version of Twitter’s little blue check mark.

More fluid payments:The emergence of SSI and trust-over IP will significantly change how value exchange will happen.’ Digital wallets are being developed for SSI, and those will be cryptocurrency-enabled. Widespread adoption could (at last) follow.

One identity across ecosystems: Consider the world of gaming. Today, you might have one identity in Fortnite, another in Second Life, another in Call of Duty. If you’ve played thousands of hours in World of Warcraft, building up an online reputation? This means nothing when you create a new ID in League of Legends. You start from scratch.

Flash forward to 2030. In the online utopia of SSI, you could float between worlds with the same core identity, bringing your reputation with you.

This might sound trivial, but consider the case of online trolls or bullies. In today’s world, it’s possible for ass-clowns to create an avatar in one game, spew racist hate speech, get banned, and then simply create a new character in a different game and continue their trolling. With a unified SSI that transcends platforms? Online “reputation” would follow you, potentially curbing toxic behavior.

Hyper-personalized shopping: Targeted ads, while creepy, have merit. Once again we make that agonizing tradeoff between privacy and convenience. The SSI internet of 2030, potentially, could give us both … with dramatically greater personalization.

I can go to a website, and they can give me a customized experience without asking for a log-in.’ The site wouldn’t just give you options to buy sneakers in ten different sizes (like today’s Amazon); instead, it would automatically display the sneaker in your exact size. Key caveat: It would only do this if – and only if – you’ve given permission for the partner to know your shoe size. ‘That’s the sovereign element of this. I have the choice.’

Secure and private messaging: Think of all your messaging platforms. Some are encrypted, some are not. ‘I should be able to use one smart secure messaging platform for everybody.

Online organizations with hard power: SSI could enable online voting – since your identity is now verified, online voting suddenly works – and this, in turn, would enable virtual organizations to wield hard power. ‘The internet will not just be a place where you ideate and talk about things, but it will be a place where you build and you shape reality.’ Virtual organizations that could, eventually, rival the power of nations.

‘Flow’ like a multimillionaire:Imagine you’re a multimillionaire, and you’re taking a flight from New York to Los Angeles.‘ A car picks you up from your apartment, drives you to a private plane, and your favorite cocktail is waiting for you. Your favorite magazines are tucked in your seat. When you land in LA, a private car (your preferred car, of course) whisks you to your hotel, and your assistant has already set up drinks with your LA friends.

You have this flow, your life just flows. And ultimately, that’s what the Internet can deliver us. That’s the real promise.”

“Last week the Optimism team announced the launch of the first stage of their testnet, and the roadmap to mainnet. They are not the only ones; Fuel is moving toward a testnet and Arbitrum has one. In the land of ZK rollups, Loopring, Zksync and the Starkware-tech-based Deversifi are already live and have users on mainnet. With OMG network’s mainnet beta, plasma is moving forward too. Meanwhile, gas prices on eth1 are climbing to new highs.

In a further twist of irony, eth2’s usability as a data availability layer for rollups comes in phase 1, long before eth2 becomes usable for “traditional” layer-1 applications. These facts taken together lead to a particular conclusion: the Ethereum ecosystem is likely to be all-in on rollups (plus some plasma and channels) as a scaling strategy for the near and mid-term future.

A rollup-centric roadmap could also imply a re-envisioning of eth2’s long-term future: as a single high-security execution shard that everyone processes, plus a scalable data availability layer.

To see why this is the case, consider the following:

  • Today, Ethereum has ~15 TPS.
  • If everyone moves to rollups, we will soon have ~3000 TPS.
  • Once phase 1 comes along and rollups move to eth2 sharded chains for their data storage, we go up to a theoretical max of ~100000 TPS.
  • Eventually, phase 2 will come along, bringing eth2 sharded chains with native computations, which give us… ~1000-5000 TPS.

It seems very plausible to me that when phase 2 finally comes, essentially no one will care about it. Everyone will have already adapted to a rollup-centric world.

This implies a “phase 1.5 and done” approach to eth2, where the base layer retrenches and focuses on doing a few things well – namely, consensus and data availability. This may actually be a better position for eth2 to be in, because sharding data availability is much safer than sharding EVM computation.”

ETHOnline: Scaling Ethereum in 2020

See Also: Deposit Contract Deployment Imminent!

Great in-depth investigative report from the Verge examining the history of and employee accounts of working under Tron’s Justin Sun — an epic account of Sun’s downward spiral, from plagiarizing the Ethereum Whitepaper, to smoke-and-mirrors ‘development’, to outright employee intimidation and physical abuse.

“Anyone following Justin Sun on social media couldn’t be faulted for thinking his reign over Tron consisted solely of insufferable, nonstop winning. In trying to separate facts from fiction in Sun’s story, and Tron’s, I spoke to former and current employees, both in China and the US, both rank-and-file and senior level, across multiple departments. In all, 18 insiders, current and former, spoke to me on the condition their names not be used out of fear of retaliation, with one exception who is on the record. Sun and Tron did not respond to repeated requests for comment..”

“While some countries are putting pressure on investors and levying taxes on income and capital gains from Bitcoin transactions, many are taking a different approach—often with the aim of promoting better adoption and innovation within the crypto industry. They’ve implemented friendlier legislation, and allow investors to buy, sell, or hold digital assets with no tax liability.

  1. Belarus
  2. Germany
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Malaysia
  5. Malta
  6. Portugal
  7. Singapore
  8. Slovenia
  9. Switzerland”

Synthetix on L2 ‘Optimism’

“Exciting days also for the blockchain gaming ecosystem as BlockPegnio (The Six Dragons) becomes an official Playstation partner. The Six Dragons will come to Playstation 5, making it the first announced game for Sony’s new beast machine.

Fans of the classic RPG games will enjoy an evergrowing substantial open world with a billion randomly generated dungeons. The Six Dragons is a community funded game and member of Enjin’s adopters program. The successful presale in June of 2019 raised over €150,000 ($168,000) by selling Loot Boxes, containing items based on the ERC-1155 Token standard and backed by 156,000 ENJ ($23,000).

The game has come a long way from that day with a complex and advanced crafting system, verified by Chainlink’s VRF technology. TSD sets some crafting standards and confirms that no one can mess with the outcome, not even the developers.”

“In a webinar yesterday, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), observed that all stock trading is now electronic, compared to twenty years ago. In the past, there were stock certificates, now there are digital entries.

It may very well be the case that those all become tokenized.

The point Clayton was making is that the technology might change, but the principles underlying certain activities’ regulation remain the same. He was keen to point out that the promise of blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology (DLT) is now being seen in terms of the efficiencies it brings.

We see this as more of an infrastructure issue than an investment asset issue in its maturity. What you have is a radical new payment system that may be better than existing payment systems, which are built on antiquated technologies.”

After a thorough investigation, we have found the suspects of the 9.26 #KuCoin Security Incident with substantial proof at hand. Law enforcement officials and police are officially involved to take action.

In addition, Lyu said another $64 million of stolen assets have been recovered from “suspicious addresses,” bringing the total value of recovered assets to $204 million since Oct. 1.”

“Transaction volume on the Ethereum blockchain reached $119.5 billion in Q3 2020, surging by nearly 1,200% compared to the previous quarter.

Among the 13 blockchains listed on DappRadar, Ethereum accounted for 96% of the total transaction volume, retaining its mantle of the biggest network by far. At the same time, the DeFi ecosystem was responsible for 99% of those figures.

The DeFi ecosystem is not only the number one category but also holds 99% of the value within the Ethereum blockchain in Q3 2020.”

3 October

“Instead of hopping from city to city like past Devcons, catch the latest Ethereum updates from your laptop at home.

Friday’s segments are free online here. The conference continues every Friday including Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30. Each day focuses on one area of interest for Ethereum developers and investors such decentralized finance (DeFi) or scaling Ethereum.”

See Also: ETHOnline Livestream

More than 32,200 BTC (worth around $337 million) has been moved from BitMEX – 19% of the exchange’s total funds. Open positions in bitcoin perpetuals (futures without expiry) traded on BitMEX have also declined by nearly 22% from $592 million to $462 million. Further, outflows are likely to greatly increase following BitMEX’s daily withdrawal time of 13:00 UTC.

More than 65% of the total outflow has been transferred to other exchanges, while the rest into unhosted wallets.

BitMEX’s reputation among large trading firms had already been dented by outages seen earlier this year. As such, its overall importance to the broader ecosystem is not as critical as was the case a few years ago.”

See Also: Binance, Gemini, Kraken So Far the Winners From BitMEX’s Legal Woes

Already launched, the new BDVE exchange is built to enable Venezuelan investors to trade stocks, bonds and real estate in digital form. It is said to run on the Ethereum blockchain digitizing traditional assets using the ERC-223 and ERC-721 token standards.

Authorized by the office of the National Securities Superintendence, the exchange will undergo a trial for 90 days, during which time authorities will decide whether to approve or revoke its trading license.”

“ConsenSys Codefi released details today for the Filecoin DeFi Bridge and Storage Market. The services are scheduled to launch alongside the Filecoin mainnet release, pegged for October 15.

Filecoin patrons use the protocol’s token, FIL, to buy and sell storage space on the network. The Filecoin DeFi Bridge will allow FIL to be transferred to the Ethereum blockchain, where it can be used for DeFi operations like funding loans and earning interest using a token bridge developed by Ren Protocol.

Codefi will also release Filecoin Storage Market on October 15, a simple application for reading through pricing and storage provider information.”

“To make their mobile apps more resilient, some Belarusian news organizations are using NewNode, a decentralized file-sharing service by the California-based startup Clostra, which basically runs on the same principle as torrents. This means users store bits of content on their devices, sharing them with others in a peer-to-peer fashion.

Devices will connect to one another automatically and build a network and use it to help one another get content using whatever means of Internet access exist. It’s a distributed self-healing network that automatically scales with the number of devices.

Firechat, which uses Bluetooth and WiFi to connect mobile phones into an off-line network, took off during the Hong Kong protests in 2014. NewNode uses these two plus the usual mobile internet. 800,000 new users in Belarus joined in one month since the election.”

See Also: Cosmos Gains Traction in India Amid Broader Crypto Resurgence

The next generation of the gig economy could look more like decentralized finance (DeFi) than Uber. Braintrust is a tech talent marketplace that will essentially be owned by the IT freelancers and companies using it.

While five guys in San Francisco became deca-billionaires, a third of all Uber drivers live below the poverty line, some of them even live in the cars they drive. So I wanted to figure out how we could create a marketplace that is owned and controlled by its users, instead of investors who just want to tax it.

Jackson describes Braintrust as a “labor protocol”, a kind of public good, he said, upon which other businesses and use cases will flourish, rather like the composability, or the Lego-like functionality of building with DeFi.

Our business model with Braintrust involves lowering the fees to almost zero. We charge talent zero; we charge clients 10%, that’s just meant to kind of pay our bills and sustain us.

What DeFi figured out was how to use a token as an incentive mechanism to bootstrap liquidity in a two-sided marketplace. A blockchain-secure token is a perfect value-capture incentive and governance instrument to replace a share of stock.”

“DeFi has grown from a science project into a $11 billion market, one in which there appears to be almost zero know-your-customer (KYC) provision and a considerable risk of potential manipulation.

Preliminary findings after the recent KuCoin hack suggest this new generation of decentralized exchange (DEXs) could be added to crypto mixers as an attractive service for crooks.

I think there’s a lot of concern that these platforms can be used as effectively the next generation of money-laundering mixing services.

It’s interesting to see what the governance of the platforms is, which often happens to be from venture capital-backed companies.’ This could be an avenue a regulator like the SEC might pursue, especially when faced with a U.S.-domiciled firm like Uniswap inhabiting a kind of decentralized lacuna.”

See Also: Yield farming platform APY Finance locks $67 million in first hour

“Bad news — the increase in the Bitcoin (BTC) price over the past decade may have been overstated because of the accompanying fiat inflation. Since Bitcoin is typically denominated in fiat — United States dollars usually — it is not immune to its depreciation.

In the decade that followed the economic crisis, the U.S. enjoyed some of the lowest inflation in history, which hovered around 2% annually. However, over the decade, this added up to almost 20%. Thus, if we use the 2010 dollar as our base and apply its subsequent depreciation to the price of Bitcoin, then the current price of $10,466 turns into $8,770.

On the contrary, if we compare the performance of Bitcoin and USD in the last decade (again adjusted for inflation), then there is no comparison. One dollar invested in USD would have turned into 84 cents, while one dollar invested in Bitcoin would be worth $274,000. Cryptocurrency has clearly done a much better job of value preservation.”

“ECB executive member Fabio Panetta, formerly head of the Italian central bank, said the envisioned aim of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would be to ‘preserve the public good that the euro provides to citizens.’

But a digital euro would also ensure foreign-based issuers, whether that’s other central banks or private companies, don’t become too integral to the eurozone’s stability.

A digital euro could ensure “strategic autonomy” for the bloc, as well as bolster the euro’s international standing as a reserve currency.”

“Whether we like it or not, taxation – defined broadly as a means by which a community collectively redistributes resources toward defending its common interest – is vital to any governance system. And that includes blockchain governance systems.

The relevant question, then, is not whether we should pay taxes but how? What is the optimal balance between private interests and public interests? What is fair? Or, better put, how do we make that system reflect our shared interests and not those of the administrators of the taxation regime? Our goal should be to make tax a service, not a means to accumulate unidirectional power. On this, crypto may have some answers.

Most blatantly, taxes can be imposed by directly extracting individual users’ property. For traditional governments, this presents itself as income and property taxes, as well as sales taxes and usage fees for government services. In blockchains, it appears as the transaction fees demanded by miners and validators.

Tax can also be imposed more subtly via an increased money supply, which dilutes the value of users’ property by way of inflation while generating seigniorage income for whichever entity enjoys initial ownership of the currency. Currency-issuing governments monetize their debts this way, but it’s also how Bitcoin users are taxed when miners are rewarded with 6.25 bitcoins for securing a block.

The main point, though, is that doing nothing is not an option. The security of the system must be paid for, which means users must be taxed, one way or another.”

2 October

“The CFTC announced Thursday that BitMEX, CEO Arthur Hayes, company owners Ben Delo and Samuel Reed, and corporate entities allegedly offered U.S. customers illicit crypto derivative trading services.

Similarly, Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that Hayes, Delo, Reed and Gregory Dwyer (BitMEX’s first employee) were being charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act and conspiracy to violate the act.

Reed has already been arrested; the others remain at large, an SDNY press release said.

The CFTC charged BitMEX with executing futures transactions on an unregistered board, offering illegal options, failing to register as a futures commission merchant, failing to register as a designated contract market, failing to implement proper know-your-customer rules and other counts, according to an attached legal filing.

One defendant went as far as to brag the company incorporated in a jurisdiction outside the U.S. because bribing regulators in that jurisdiction cost just ‘a coconut. Thanks to the diligent work of our agents, analysts, and partners with the CFTC, they will soon learn the price of their alleged crimes will not be paid with tropical fruit, but rather could result in fines, restitution, and federal prison time.

The CFTC is looking for a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from entering into any transactions “involving ‘commodity interests,’” soliciting funds for purchasing or selling commodity interests and applying for registration with the CFTC.

In addition, the agency wants the defendants to disgorge profits; provide full restitution to its customers; pay civil penalties; and rescind “all contracts and agreements” with any customers if those agreements violate the law.

Attorneys for Dwyer said they would contest the charges. ‘In the meantime, the BitMEX platform is operating entirely as normal and all funds are safe.'”

See Also: BitMex denies CFTC and DoJ allegations, says trading will continue
See Also: Should DEXs Be Worried After BitMEX? DeFi Founders Weigh In
See Also: BitMEX’s Receding Market Share Might Have Spared Bitcoiners Bigger Sell-Off

“SKALE, an “elastic blockchain network” working to support Ethereum-based projects, has successfully deployed phase two of its mainnet. The Ethereum-as-a-service platform said it now has over $78 million in total value locked (TVL).

These staked millions come from more than 4,000 users and entities from 90 countries helping to secure some 130 network nodes across 46 validators.

SKALE Chains will run DeFi, gaming, and Web 3 applications.”

See Also: Researcher suggests miners are manipulating Ethereum blocks to exploit DeFi

Ethereum miners earned over six times more in fees compared to those working on Bitcoin in September. Ethereum’s total transaction fees stood at an all-time high of $166 million for the month – far more than the $26 million taken in Bitcoin fees.

Fee revenue on Ethereum first outpaced Bitcoin’s in June – the same month decentralized lender Compound released its governance token and kick-started the DeFi mania.”

See Also: Decentralized Exchange Volume Rose 103% in September to Record $23.6B Even as Growth Consolidated

“Although Spadina is now healthy and finalizing, the launch was not as smooth sailing as it could have been [with] some errors near the edge of the stack with regards to client release and configuration.

Since many users experienced critical issues getting their nodes up and running, we’re opting for another crack at it before the deposit contract is launched and a mainnet genesis date is set. Enter Zinken.

As with Spadina, the primary goal of Zinken is to practice the genesis process. This means that, although the testnet may run for longer, client teams and ecosystem tools will only provide support for a few days.

The Zinken Launchpad is live today. Genesis time is expected to be approximately Monday, October 12th at 12 UTC.”

Vaults are now open for deposits of Chainlink’s LINK, Loopring’s LRC and Compound’s COMP. Community members pitched proposals to add the tokens this summer and voted for their integration via Maker’s on-chain governance platform this week.

Counting this new crop of collateral options, MakerDAO has added 11 new DAI vault pairs this year, [including] MANA, WBTC, ZRX, KNC, TUSD, PAX, USDC and USDT.”

“With close to $1 billion bridged to the Ethereum blockchain in the form of “Wrapped Bitcoin”(WBTC), it’s clear that the demand for cross-chain crypto assets within DeFi is very real.

To scale WBTC’s reliability and support its growing demand, we are excited to be working with the Chainlink team to streamline the auditability of WBTC reserves. DeFi applications can now receive definitive onchain proof about the fully backed collateralization of WBTC.

“Kik CEO Ted Livingston said he was “disappointed in this ruling,” and that the company is considering its options, including a potential appeal. The parties have until Oct. 20 to file either a joint proposal for providing relief to Kik’s investors, or a document explaining their positions on how to proceed.

Kik General Counsel Eileen Lyon took aim at the SEC in a statement, saying the agency ‘should engage in proper rulemaking, including the opportunity for public commentary, rather than force our industry to hunt for regulatory clues among the SEC’s conflicting statements.'”

“An institutional-grade conduit to the crypto ecosystem, is emerging from stealth mode to serve brokers, custodians, exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks.

Over the past year or so, Talos has been quietly onboarding a core group of capital market participants so that the platform can make its debut in a revenue-generating state.

Talos provides tools to support clients through the full trading lifecycle, from price discovery through to clearing and settlement.

One of the biggest keys to widespread institutional adoption of digital assets is a technology infrastructure that unites all market participants and gives them the confidence to operate at scale.”

See Also: Trading platform eToro launches staking-as-a-service feature

“Dapper Labs is rolling out its blockchain-based collectibles game, NBA Top Shot, to the public [toward the end of Q4]. Currently in its beta version and developed in partnership with the National Basketball Association, Top Shot will also be available to U.S.-based Samsung users on the Galaxy app store.

Built using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) minted on the purpose-built Flow blockchain, Top Shot lets users collect, showcase and trade in-game “moments” which capture moves made on the real court.

For instance, a user can purchase a moment based on a James Harden dunk and showcase it, sell it or swap it for, say, a Steph Curry three-pointer.”

See Also: Video game legend Atari seeks public token sale in November

“I’ve been fascinated with crypto for years and its applications beyond currencies, and believe that it can create a new paradigm for creative ownership directly between artists and their communities.

Anjos said 25,000 $RAC will be split between 1,545 Bandcamp supporters, and another 25,000 $RAC will be split between 219 individuals that have purchased token merchandise.

In addition, 200,000 $RAC will be split between 152 existing Patreon supporters, and 14,000 $RAC will go to EGO token holders. Not to be left out, 150,000 $RAC tokens will be going to Twitch supporters.”

“Shenzhen’s stock exchange, one of the biggest exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region, announced that they have co-launched a blockchain solution for trading with unlisted private-sector companies.

On September 30, the Shanghai Stock Exchange also announced their intention to conduct a pilot for a blockchain-backed trading platform jointly with the China Securities Regulatory Commission.”

See Also: Australian Securities Exchange to triple capacity of DLT system
See Also: European Central Bank Moves to Trademark ‘Digital Euro’

1 October

[The KuCoin hack] serves as an acid test—just how decentralized are our DeFi protocols?

  1. Centralized issuers froze the hacked funds (e.g. USDT, AMPL, OCEAN). This hack showed that a lot of tokens fall in the category of centralized issuer willing to freeze. Some more surprising than others. Hard to compete as credibly neutral money when you’re centralized enough to freeze funds.
  2. Less centralized issuers didn’t freeze the hacked funds (e.g. SNX). A freeze for a token like SNX only occurs through a coinvote driven governance process. You have to write a Snythetix Improvement Proposal and have a majority of SNX holders agree. DAI operates in a similar fashion—a single entity or foundation can’t freeze funds.
  3. Completely decentralized issuers can’t freeze funds (e.g. ETH and BTC). The actions of the hacker were instructive. The hacker didn’t liquidate for SNX or DAI, he liquidated his tokens for ETH.

Unlike USDT and DAI, BTC and ETH are not IOUs. There’s no centralized issuer or coinvote that can freeze them. Thus they are preferred by those wishing to operate outside the confines of a specific nation-state or trusted apparatus.

They are credibly neutral base monies for the world. Bankless digital gold. So credibly neutral…even a thief can use them. Or dissidents fighting for their freedom… Or companies that compete… Or countries at war…

The most credibly neutral systems become a critical layer for human coordination. ETH and BTC have a bright future—if they can maintain their neutrality. That’s what the KuCoin hack teaches us.

“Today, we are excited to introduce the Universal Token for Assets and Payments, an entirely new token standard designed by ConsenSys Codefi.

With the Universal Token for Assets and Payments:

  • Institutions can retain full control of the assets they issue. This is essential in order to keep track of token holder identities, prevent blocklisted actors from accessing certain assets, and ensure transfers are always compliant. In the future, should these institutions choose to interact with DeFi protocols, they will also be able to either remove or decentralize these controls and benefit from DeFi networks’ composability.
  • Enterprises and developers are empowered to issue any type of asset or payment instrument on the Ethereum blockchain, be it a DeFi derivative, loan or mortgage, a retail or wholesale CBDC, an invoice or warehouse receipt, any type of financial instrument, or even collectible, or gaming asset.”

“The Dfinity Foundation has unveiled a governance system for its upcoming decentralized internet protocol. The governance network, dubbed Network Nervous System (NNS), will power the protocol and allow users to vote on its future.

At its core, the NNS is a governance system that regulates Dfinity’s litany of data centers. The NNS governance system will run on a native token, dubbed ICP. These tokens fuel Dfinity’s decentralized web, akin to how ETH provides gas for the Ethereum network.

The NNS is the catalyst for the open internet we were promised in the 1990s, and it ensures that the future of the internet remains open and free.”

See Also: Dfinity poised to launch straight into Top 5 crypto tokens by market cap

“ZUBR has released a report showing that institutional investors want actual Bitcoin, rather than cash-settled futures. Investors are also interested in holding onto Bitcoin in the long-term—and aren’t put off by the volatility.

Interest in physically-settled Bitcoin derivatives, specifically, is becoming more important, the report notes. Using Bakkt as an example, ZUBR says that at the start of the 2020, cash-settled futures accounted for over 50% of Bakkt’s total traded volume. Though by August, physically-settled futures on the exchange accounted for 72%.”

“Sexy selfies and feminist GIFs are selling like hotcakes on non-fungible token (NFT) markets.

Some crypto-savvy women are now using NFTs to profit from their public image, selling to fans who understand they’re basically paying a tribute to the creator in exchange for a blockchain-based receipt.

The bitcoiners that see me with a personal token are outraged that I’m … selling a scam with ‘my good looks.’ Most of my supporters and fans enjoy that I’m so front and center. I brought in about $20,000 in a month.

This is a tale as old as time, where predominately male circles demean women profiting from their own image as the artist and owner.

The selfies are representative of new demographics starting to enter [the NFT market].”

“On PredictIt, shares of “Trump” started off the debate trading at around 46 cents. As the night wore on and the debate took a turn for the weird, if not troubling, sellers came in where they could, taking prices down to as low as 42 cents, more or less where it was at press time.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s shares remained more or less in the 59-cent range during the debate. Biden’s stock has since been on an upswing, as high as 63 cents as this article was published.

On Wednesday, bettors changed their minds about Florida, moving the Sunshine State from Republican at 52 cents to Democrat at 51 cents. That compounds trouble on the electoral map for Trump, who is seeing traditional southern Republican states like North Carolina and Arizona come into play. Wagers also appear confident Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – the three states crucial in Trump’s 2016 victory – will switch to the Democrats.

The moves now give the Democrats a likely 335 votes in the Electoral College, up from 306 several hours before.”

See Also: Trump and Biden Trade Blows, and So Did the Markets

“Swipe, a Binance-owned cryptocurrency debit card provider, is expanding its offering with a new crypto Visa card that allows users to borrow funds using blockchain technology.

Dubbed the “LendFi Visa Card,” the new product deploys major decentralized finance protocols to provide ‘near-instant access to lending balances.‘ The card is integrated with the LendFi app. At launch, the platform will support major DeFi protocol Compound.

Virtually-issued LendFi Visa Cards are available for borrowers in the U.S. by downloading the LendFi app, signing up and completing identification procedures.”

“Energy Web, a non-profit focused on decentralized approaches to decarbonizing the grid, wants to show how a large blockchain platform can switch to a zero-carbon footprint. Ripple’s support of this venture is intended to open the door to other blockchains with more energy-intensive operations.

To make all this possible, the non-profit has released an open-source app called EW Zero. This initial deployment uses energy attribute certificates (EACs) from renewable energy sources to decarbonize electricity.

In the same way that large corporates use certificates to decarbonize complex supply chains, blockchain users can purchase certificates from different places around the world (EW Zero also uses a blockchain system to track and account for these certificates).”

“MOON, a community token for the r/Cryptocurrency subreddit, technically has a market cap of over $2.88 septillion (that’s 24 zeroes) at press time. That dwarves the global economy.

Built on Ethereum’s Rinkeby testnet, MOON wasn’t initially tradable on secondary markets, which made it difficult to pin down a price. But users soon devised a workaround.

At the time of writing, HoneySwap was offering 10.5 xMOONs for an xDai. With Etherscan currently showing a supply of 30 septillion MOON tokens, that has magnified the token’s theoretical market cap to the $2.88 septillion figure.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the global economy is now 2,000 times bigger than it was earlier this month. Most of this value remains unrealized. Should more subreddit contributors decide to convert their MOON holdings into Dai, the exchange rate will fall massively, driving the token, and its market cap, down to a far more realistic value.”

See Also: DeFi ‘Vampire’ SushiSwap Still Hemorrhaging Liquidity

“NuCypher’s system will hit Ethereum’s mainnet on Oct. 15.

Primarily marketed as a solution for developers building decentralized applications (dapps), NuCypher helps firms encrypt data before they upload it to decentralized storage networks, while also retaining control over who can read the data once its uploaded (using an advanced form of flexible cryptography called proxy re-encryption).”

“Development work on the application, which allows personal medical data to be stored in a blockchain-secured digital wallet, began in May.

A successful pilot in July showed that the app was capable of managing and verifying digitized healthcare documents — including COVID-19 discharge memos, swab results, immunity proof, and vaccination records.

Digital Health Passport leverages blockchain technology to generate tamper-proof cryptographic protections for each medical document. Users can automatically verify the digital records via a mobile app and present it to officials via QR code, for a quick and seamless verification process.”