31 December

“VanEck has previously proposed ETFs before, withdrawing its most recent application in September 2019. As it has in previous applications, VanEck said this ETF would trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange.

So far, the SEC has considered many applications for bitcoin-based ETFs and rejected them all. In October, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the agency was still open to considering ETF proposals.

“Unicas, a joint venture between Indian online crypto banking platform Cashaa and United Multistate Credit Co-op Society, has launched a physical crypto bank branch in Jaipur, India. Users will be able to access both fiat and crypto-asset services at the bank. Unicas will also provide instant digital loans with cryptocurrencies as collateral.

The physical crypto bank branch in Jaipur is part of an initial rollout in 14 locations across three states before the end of January 2021. The Unicas JV is also working toward establishing a total of 100 branches by 2022.

For Unicas CEO Dinesh Kukreja, the establishment of physical crypto bank branches will allow the company to offer customized crypto investment products to the local Indian market. With a Unicas savings account, customers can transact in both digital currencies and Indian rupees.”

See Also: Serbia Legalizes Digital Assets Trading and Issuance

Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset manager, has reportedly dumped a significant portion of its XRP and XLM holdings.

Grayscale’s XRP holdings declined by more than 9.18 million on Dec. 29, bringing its total position to 26.45 million XRP, worth $5.77 million at press time. On the same day, Grayscale reportedly liquidated over 9.74 million Stellar Lumens, or XLM, bringing its total holdings to 9.19 million XLM, or $1.27 million at today’s prices.”

See Also: Binance US Says It Will Delist XRP on Jan. 13
See Also: Bittrex joins Coinbase in delisting Ripple’s XRP following SEC lawsuit
See Also: Ripple to Meet With SEC in First Pretrial Conference on Feb. 22

“In a complaint filed in the Northern District Court of California, Thomas C. Sandoval, the St. Louis County-based plaintiff, alleges Coinbase knowingly sold XRP as an unregistered security and gained commission on these sales.

The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, argues Coinbase violated California’s unfair competition laws by ‘[gaining] an unwarranted competitive advantage over digital asset exchanges that only sold commodities.’

The lawsuit against Coinbase seeks unspecified compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and other relief.”

See Also: BitGo to Pay $93K to US Treasury to Settle 183 ‘Apparent’ Sanctions Violations

“The addition of Binance Pool to the “yes” column means that all the major pools are now on board. Binance Pool represents 11% of the Bitcoin mining hashrate, so its support pushes mining pool support up to about 91% of the hashrate.

Binance Pool’s support is a bellwether sign that the change could activate soon if no one finds some sort of fatal flaw in it. Still, how to deploy the change is still up for debate. Over the last several months, developers have been discussing the best way to deploy Taproot.

Taproot is a scaling and privacy change that will be the biggest upgrade the digital currency has received in years – and it’s far less controversial than the last one.”

Bitcoin is becoming more difficult to buy, according to analysts at Glassnode. The amount of BTC received and spent among entities is decreasing, which means the liquidity is declining. If Bitcoin (BTC) liquidity is low, it means there is less BTC available to buy and sell. In the medium term, this could make BTC even more scarce.

We show that currently 14.5M BTC are classified as illiquid, leaving only 4.2M BTC in constant circulation that are available for buying and selling.

Over the course of 2020, a total of 1 million additional BTC have become illiquid — investors are increasingly hodling.”

“Chainlink has created an On-Chain Data Directory with the ENS name data.eth.

Each individual price feed is named with a subdomain. For example, the on-chain address for the ETH/USD Price Feed can be found by querying the ETH address record of eth-usd.data.eth. Data.eth names can be queried via the ENS Manager App, block explorers like Etherscan, as well as directly from any full node.

This improves the discoverability and readability of price reference feeds and provides developers with on-chain proof that they have connected their smart contracts to the correct price feed contract.”

“Gazpromneft, the oil subsidiary of Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom, opened a venue for cryptocurrency mining on one of its oil drilling sites in Siberia, unlocking the power of Russia’s oil and gas resources for the needs of bitcoin mining.

Gazprom, a company that counts the Russian government as a shareholder, is the country’s gas monopolist and world’s 10th biggest oil producer. Earlier this year, Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear power monopolist, opened up its energy supplies for miners.

The CO2 that gets freed during the oil drilling is normally a liability for oil companies as they have to burn it into the atmosphere, which results in fines. However, there are ways to utilize it instead of wasting it, and electricity generation is one of them.

By doing this, Gazpromneft is following the lead of the North American companies like Upstream Data and Crusoe Energy Systems that are making use of gas at drilling sites in the U.S. and Canada.”

“At the time of writing, DOT was at $7.21, according to data from Messari, up 17.27% in the past 24 hours, and up 41.36% in the past seven days. The currency’s ascent began on Dec. 23 when Binance announced a $10 million fund to support projects on Polkadot.”

30 December

“The arrangement comes by way of Zap, the bitcoin startup founded by Jack Mallers. Zap’s Strike product enables traditional paychecks to be converted into BTC. Technically speaking, Okung is still being paid in fiat. Behind the scenes, however, Strike receives a direct deposit from his team, the Carolina Panthers, and then swaps dollars for bitcoin. That bitcoin is then sent to a cold storage wallet held by Okung.

His $13 million yearly salary is being split 50-50 between bitcoin and fiat.

Mallers said other pro athletes, including unnamed members of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and baseball’s New York Yankees, have also begun onboarding to the program. Mallers said the NFL and NFL Players Association had to be involved to get approval. It is unclear if such approvals are also required for the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

Okung said he has long been frustrated with the lack of economic power professional athletes – particularly Black athletes – currently hold. Okung views bitcoin as a means of regaining financial independence and has launched an advocacy project in that vein.”

In the next year, Ethereum will solidify its place as the future substrate of the global digital economy by underwriting the world’s contracts.

The digitization of the contract is the digitization of the global economy, which has been valued at an estimated $270 trillion (compared to the $18 trillion market cap of gold that bitcoin stands to capture). Ethereum has the opportunity to upgrade entire economies, not just one asset class.

In 2021, we will see phase 1 of Ethereum 2.0 go live, drastically improving scalability.

Total DeFi locked will exceed $150 billion and 2021 will be the year of DeFi cross-chain bridges.

With Ethereum as the base layer, we will see an explosion of layer 2 solutions that will augment the Ethereum mainnet with unique features: scalability, privacy, interoperability and more.”

Optimal Risk-Adjusted Portfolio Allocation (Highly Recommended Watch!!)

“The New York Department of Financial Services has issued a trust charter to GMO-Z.com Trust Company, allowing it to “issue, administer and redeem” Japanese yen (JPY)- and U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins in New York.

GMO is a Tokyo-based internet conglomerate and said it is the world’s largest online FX trading platform.

We’re breaking ground with our move to issue the first regulated JPY-pegged stablecoin, which many see as a safe-haven asset.”

“Litecoin, a Bitcoin spinoff, is now the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. This isn’t due to hype around Litecoin—the coin fell in price by 10% today to $121—but rather that XRP has fared even worse. XRP fell in price by a further 40% today.

XRP’s market cap would have to fall by a further $2.8 billion to fall behind Bitcoin Cash, another Bitcoin spinoff that compromises decentralization in favor of speed and cheap transactions.”

“Canadian augmented reality (AR) company NexTech AR is jumping on the crypto bandwagon with plans to use its treasury funds to buy $2 million of bitcoin for “capital diversification.” Gappelberg said the investment reflects his belief that bitcoin is a long-term store of value with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.

Our investment in bitcoin is part of our new capital diversification and allocation strategy with the intent to maximize long-term value for our shareholders.”

“The update will add a host of new features to its options marketplace, including cash settlement for options without the need to exchange underlying assets, the ability for yield-earning assets to be used as collateral for options, and margin improvements for options.

We changed our system from physical settlement to cash settlement.”

See Also: OKEx Launches Real-Time Settlement for Derivatives Trading

29 December

“Starting now, XRP trading “will move into limit only,” Coinbase wrote. It will be fully suspended on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET.

We will continue to monitor legal developments related to XRP and update our customers as more information becomes available.

Exchanges that continue to list XRP without registering as a securities exchange with the SEC face potential consequences down the line, including possible enforcement actions.

Crypto exchanges are unregistered with the SEC (by choice, as registering carries on many burdens and increased costs) and thus it is in their best interest to not offer trading of securities. It is for their protection, not their customers.

The price of XRP on Coinbase tanked from $0.28 to $0.24 within the first 20 minutes of the announcement. Since the announcement of the SEC’s lawsuit, the price of XRP has fallen by more than 50%.”

See Also: OKCoin to Suspend XRP Trading and Deposits on January 4

In Bitcoin’s lull, altcoins are seizing the opportunity—and booming.

Ethereum, the second-largest coin by market capitalization, rose by 14.23% in the past 24 hours to $720; Litecoin by 6.57% to $134.18; Bitcoin Cash by 15.56% to $364; Polkadot by 15.78% to $5.76; Cardano by 8.47% to $0.16; Binance Coin (BNB) by 8.59% to $34; and Chainlink by 15.58% to $12.23.

Late yesterday we got the usual swapping of BTC profits into the Alts, driving ETH to new cycle highs as well.”

See Also: Altseason and $30K in sight: 5 things to watch in Bitcoin as 2020 ends
See Also: Whale Sightings Become Scarce, Removing Downward Pressure on Bitcoin: Analyst

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is seeking to hire a vice president to help build and execute strategies and “drive demand” for the company’s crypto and crypto-related offerings.

Candidates should be able to devise and articulate fundamental valuation methodologies for crypto-assets; evaluate game theory and decentralizing governance models associated with blockchain technology.”

“Binance has launched a new Bitcoin options contract [that] will allow traders to issue their own contracts.

This means that traders can set their own rules: there are no limits on the size of the contract, so long as the issuer has sufficient collateral. And this means that buyers may pay a greater premium for the contracts, but also that an issuer is obliged to fulfill the contract.

Binance said that it’s launching the European-style contracts to encourage investment from institutional investors.”

“Cover was exploited today when someone used an “infinite mint” bug to claim several millions of dollars worth of ETH. The hacker minted millions in fake tokens, used them to provide liquidity to Balancer protocol, then redeemed the staked tokens for Cover tokens, which they then dumped on exchanges. Rinse and repeat.

The Grap Finance deployer gave the money back to Cover, saying, ‘Next time, take care of your own shit.’

The Disrupt Weekend

“2020 may have been the blackest of black swans but the crypto space saw some incredible developments, innovations and growth. Despite the inevitable challenges, however, I’m extremely hopeful for the space in 2021.

We’re reaching some significant inflection points in areas from retail adoption, to nationalized digital currencies, to faster blockchain technologies and these developments will hopefully power a brighter, more accessible and even more decentralized financial future in the years to come.

  • Bitcoin will continue to grow immensely in value and popularity, as the original flagship cryptocurrency.
  • Governments will be exploring central bank digital currencies more seriously, and we may see a launch in 2021.
  • DeFi will continue to explode in value.
  • Crypto will begin to see widespread mainstream adoption.
  • With widespread mainstream adoption, we’ll begin to see some more regulatory clarity, especially in retail use cases.
  • 2021 will see several crypto acquisitions, unicorns and even a possible IPO.
  • Private assets will slowly start to go digital.

Async Art centers around digital artworks that are living and constantly shifting thanks to collectors’ trait activations or alternatively via data pulled from off-chain resources.

Async Art is a programmable crypto art platform built on Ethereum where creators’ artworks are published as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The interesting part about this is that any given Async Art piece is composed of a “Master” token and “Layer” tokens, the latter of which hold adaptable traits collectors can trigger to alter a Master token’s final appearance.

In the work above, note how there are 6 rows with 5 profiles per row. Each one of these headshots is separately collectable as a ‘Layer’ token, and each of their traits can be changed from black silhouettes to colorful headshots.

When the George Floyd protests struck the United States, virtually all of the individual Layer token owners of the piece promptly turned their tokens into the silhouette state as a demonstration of solidarity. It was a small protest through art and powered by Ethereum. This interaction took place in decentralized fashion and with no direct coordination between Layer holders.

[In another piece], Layer tokens change depending on BTC price data pulled from off-chain resources on an ongoing basis.”

“So, what exactly marks a crypto asset as impressive? High or low price is just as indicative of supply as it is of value. And value is just, like, your opinion, man. Market cap is a good measure, but half of it is just price. And while high volumes can indicate investor interest, they can just as easily highlight the churning of traders feasting on suckers.

Below, in absolutely no particular order (though we’ll count down from five anyway), using top-secret criteria we devised in a lab, are five cryptocurrencies that impressed us in 2020.

  • Ethereum
  • Chainlink
  • AAVE
  • USDC
  • Bitcoin

“Token Terminal is a data analytics platform that provides traditional financial metrics on crypto assets. While DeFi is new, we’re starting to grow our understanding of this nascent asset class.

As projects continue to mature, and report their costs and expenses on-chain (check out Yearn’s quarterly financial report), we can evolve the metrics and methods we use to compare these protocols, giving us a better understanding of the assets that underpin these systems. A year ago, we didn’t have these tools. Now, we do.

Metrics initially available in the Terminal:

  • Market cap — what is a project valued at?
  • Price to sales ratio (P/S) — how is a project valued in relation to its revenues?
  • Token trading volume to market cap ratio (VOL/MC) — how efficient is the price discovery for a project’s native token?
  • Total value locked (TVL) — how much money has been deposited into a project’s smart contracts?
  • Gross merchandise volume (GMV) — what is the demand for a project’s service?
  • Revenue—how much are users paying to use a project’s service?
  • Take rate—what does it cost to use a project’s service?”

See Also: Token Terminal

Year-to-date, BTC is up more than 275%. In the last 48 hours, it’s risen 14%.

With a market value of $512.34 billion, BTC is now more valuable than all but seven publicly traded companies, sitting between Alibaba at $545.4 billion and Tencent Holdings at $509.7 billion.

Institutional investors are perceived to be driving this record-setting run. Among them: Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital ($25 million in December); MassMutual ($100 million in December); and Guggenheim (up to 10% of its $5 billion macro fund).”

See Also: Ether Trades Above $700 for the First Time Since 2018
See Also: Corporations Now Own $30 Billion in Bitcoin as Bull Run Pays Off
See Also: Deribit Adding Options to Allow Bitcoin Traders to Bet on Rally to $120K, $140K


“CME Group’s recent announcement that it will launch ether (ETH) futures on Feb. 8, 2021, is the “writing on the wall” that institutions will being buying the cryptocurrency next year.

They wouldn’t launch an $ETH product if there wasn’t any demand for it.”

See Also: Now Is the Time for Enterprises to Look at ETH 2.0

Analysis: ETH 2.0

“Bitstamp said it’s halting XRP trading and deposits for all U.S. customers on Jan. 8, 2021. U.S. customers will be able to withdraw their XRP even after trading is halted, Bitstamp said.

Bitstamp is the first major cryptocurrency exchange to take action on XRP in response to the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple.”

See Also: MoneyGram Issues Statement on SEC Action Against Ripple

“The token, named 1INCH and running on the Ethereum blockchain, will be distributed to all wallets that have previously interacted with 1inch (under certain trading conditions).

Kunz estimates that around 50,000 wallets will get the 6% of 1INCH supply in the first round of distribution. The current supply of 1INCH is 1.5 billion tokens. Mooniswap, in turn, has just been rebranded as 1inch Liquidity Protocol.”

See Also: 1INCH Token Release Details

“Russia would likely welcome replacements for SWIFT as the nation’s banks have been threatened with being removed from the network as part of broader sanctions against the country.

In this case SWIFT it may not be necessary, because it will be a different kind of technological interaction.”

25 December

“They have to think – including just from a business perspective but also legal – what kind of precedent they’re setting. If they delist one [cryptocurrency] just because a regulator accuses it of being a security, what happens the next time that happens? Have you just given the SEC the right to delist anything from your platform just because [it makes] an accusation?

It’s not an easy decision for [Coinbase] to just delist and, personally, if I were them I don’t think I would delist unless I had something more concrete to point to.

It’s also possible an SEC victory would destroy XRP’s value because the regulator wants to prevent Ripple from selling any more tokens, and for Ripple, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Chairman Chris Larsen to disgorge their profits, pay prejudgement interest and pay civil penalties. Exchanges like Coinbase would “be crazy not to consider” delisting.

Coinbase in particular is in a unique position due to its impending initial public offering (IPO) or direct listing. While Shapiro does not believe the SEC would explicitly tell Coinbase to delist XRP, the agency could say that not delisting XRP might be a risk factor. Coinbase could then decide to delist XRP based on this feedback.”

See Also: XRP Liquidations Soar as SEC Lawsuit, Token Airdrop Whipsaw Markets

“Suarez tweeted Thursday that he is “absolutely exploring” making Miami, the seventh-largest city in the U.S., home to the country’s first crypto-centric municipal government, seemingly endorsing concepts from tokenization to on-chain voting. He tagged new city resident Anthony Pompliano, founder and partner of Morgan Creek Digital and a crypto Twitter celebrity, for help.

In a subsequent tweet, Suarez said he wants South Florida ‘on the vanguard of legislation that promotes crypto and makes us forward-leaning on innovation.'”

“About three weeks after the launch of ETH 2.0’s ‘beacon chain’, just over 2 million ETH is locked up in the Ethereum 2.0 staking contract. At Ethereum’s current price, $612, this is worth $1.2 billion worth of Ethereum.

See Also: Ethereum 2.0 Tutorial – Beginner’s Guide To Proof Of Stake Clearly Explained (Video)

“BitGo CEO commented that over the years BitGo has been “in talks with everyone” and will not accept a “small exit.”

Whatever talks there may have been have come to an end, sources told Fortune, with one saying that ‘PayPal is exploring other potential acquisitions.‘”

See Also: BitGo assets hit $16 billion as institutional adoption grows

“Open finance, and specifically open lending, has exploded to well over $10 billion this year. This growth has catalyzed a new source of funding for market participants ranging from individuals to corporates to hedge funds. It has also created a new source of liquid “digital yield” for investors, corporates and savers starving for an alternative to the perpetual 0% offered in legacy systems.

A hallmark of this space is extreme flexibility to lend and borrow at any term, in any currency, at any size, with any level of direct collateral, for any period of time. This ability to customize at low scale opens up an entire “yield-as-service” or capital-as-a-service industry.

The comparison on its surface boils down to:

  • Traditional Banks: 0% return, tiny liquidity reserves with limited transparency, poor governance fundamentals and very closely guarded underwriting practices but balances are insured.
  • Open lending platforms: 8%-10% return, greater and transparent reserves, better governance fundamentals, simple underwriting practice founded on highly liquid collateral but balances are not insured.

Open lending may be relatively basic today, but at its best it offers the building blocks of an entirely re-shaped financial system built on transparent, liquid and open fundamentals.”

“Elad Roisman has been named acting chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The news comes a day after former Chairman Jay Clayton announced that yesterday was his last day. Clayton had previously said he would step down by the end of the year.

Perceived as friendly to cryptocurrencies in general, Roisman had served as chief counsel for NYSE Euronext.”

“Japan is gearing up to launch a digital currency in both the public and private sectors as it trails China.

According to the Japan Times, the country’s Digital Currency Forum aims to create “some form” of digital currency similar to Facebook’s diem plan, by 2023. The group is preparing to conduct a feasibility study for its virtual currency in 2021.

China has prompted moves toward digital currency (around the world).”

Eth2 update – A conversation with Ben Edgington and Conor Svensson

In November, Hong Kong’s government announced plans to ban retail cryptocurrency trading as part of a broader money laundering crackdown. According to the South China Morning Post on Dec. 24, the proposed crypto regulations could also extend to Bitcoin automated teller machines.

To restrict retail individuals from accessing Bitcoin would be overshooting the government’s goals of promoting innovation, and financial inclusion.”

24 December

XRP price fell [63%] on Binance over the past three days as news of the lawsuit by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission against Ripple became apparent. As a result, several exchanges have already halted XRP trading.

According to prominent lawyers in the cryptocurrency industry, exchanges that listed XRP are at risk if the token is deemed a security.

With a plethora of coins offering enormous upside, it’s ludicrous to emotionally attach yourself to $XRP now they are being sued by the SEC.”

See Also: Bitwise Liquidates XRP Position in Crypto Index Fund Following SEC Suit Against Ripple
See Also: Hong Kong Trading Platform OSL Suspends XRP Services as SEC Sues Ripple
See Also: MoneyGram Takes Wait-and-See Approach as SEC Sues Partner Ripple
See Also: While XRP’s Market Dominance Crashes, Bitcoin’s Surges

“Did Ledger leak your data? Ledger’s customer databases have been hacked, with email addresses, physical addresses, names and phone numbers released to the public.

Enter your email address to check if any of your data was leaked. Argent will not store your email address.”

See Also: From SIM-Swaps to Home-Invasion Threats, Ledger Leak Has Cascading Consequences

ETH price is still down over 50% from all-time-highs (ATHs). And yet…almost every other Ethereum metric already hit an ATH in 2020.

  • Ethereum Utilization at All-Time-Highs
  • Ethereum Hashrate at All-Time-Highs
  • ETH Options Open Interest at All-Time-Highs
  • DeFi Users at All-Time-Highs
  • Total Value Locked at All-Time-Highs
  • DEX Volume at at All-Time-Highs
  • BTC on Ethereum at All-Time-Highs
  • ETH Held by Grayscale at All-Time-Highs
  • Stablecoins on Ethereum at All-Time-Highs
  • ETH in Deposit Contract at All-Time-Highs

While I highlighted these ten, there are many other metrics across the Ethereum economy breaking new records. NFT and digital art have hit seven figure volumes and crypto native financial primitives like flash loans have now surged to billions of dollars in volume.”

See Also: SNX price soars 100% in December — What’s driving the rally for Synthetix?

“In a Christmas present for the crypto industry, broker-dealers who abide by existing rules while holding security tokens in custody will not face enforcement action for the next five years. The SEC is responding to long-term industry complaints that nobody knows who can handle security token trading.

Alongside the announcement, the SEC is asking for comments on a number of issues related to proper requirements for security token trading. One of the questions suggests that the commission is looking to let investors use non-security tokens like Bitcoin and Ether to pay for security tokens.”

“A Pokemon-inspired digital pet universe that has grown to be the most-played game on Ethereum is testing new ways to scale. Axie Infinity has launched the public testnet of its Ronin sidechain. The non-fungible token (NFT) game has over 18,000 monthly active users.

Paris-based video game giant Ubisoft is Ronin’s inaugural validator. The Ronin public testnet will run until Jan. 18, when Axie Infinity’s new land system and related items will migrate over from its current sidechain, Loom Network.

23 December

The U.S. SEC believes Ripple Labs violated federal securities laws in selling the XRP cryptocurrency to retail consumers. According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Ripple raised $1.3 billion over a seven-year period to retail investors through its sale of XRP on an ongoing basis.

At all relevant times during the Offering, XRP was an investment contract and therefore a security subject to the registration requirements of the federal securities laws.

The impact could be wide-ranging: several exchanges list XRP in the U.S., with only one deciding to delist the cryptocurrency ahead of the Tuesday lawsuit. If the SEC prevails, platforms that continued to list the crypto may have to register as securities exchanges.

According to the SEC, the defendants allegedly said that the main reason someone might buy XRP is to speculate on its price, with the complaint quoting Ripple employees from as far back as 2013.

Similarly, in its official application to the NYDFS for XRP II in 2016, Ripple acknowledged that buyers were ‘purchasing XRP for speculative purposes.’

Ripple’s CTO, is cited in the complaint as saying that Ripple’s “publicly announced strategy” was to ‘do everything we can to maximize the price of XRP over at least the time it takes us to sell the XRP we have.’

Defendants continue to hold substantial amounts of XRP and – with no registration statement in effect – can continue to monetize their XRP while using the information asymmetry they created in the market for their own gain, creating substantial risk to investors.”

See Also: An SEC Victory in Ripple Case Would Render XRP ‘Untradeable,’ Market Pros Say

“Addressing all of the questions FinCEN has posed and the additional issues FinCEN has not yet considered would take much longer than 15 days in the best of times. To do so in a handful of working days across the national holidays and during the latest surge in [COVID-19] is quite obviously impossible.

There is no emergency here; there is only an outgoing administration attempting to bypass the required consultation with the public to finalize a rushed rule before their time in office is done.”

See Also: Crypto Exchange Coinbase Is Hiring for a New Canada Operation

Cryptocurrency traders showed their excitement for FTX’s pre-IPO Coinbase (CBSE) futures Tuesday morning by pushing the price above $295, a roughly 140% increase from the listing price of $125.

Newly launched Coinbase futures reported over $2.2 million in traded volume at last check, barely 12 hours after the market opened, making it the largest tokenized stock market on FTX by a significant margin.”

“In 2020, there was an explosion of digital art and tokenized custody startups: everything from sneakers to Cézanne to Saint Laurent are now being wrapped up, sold and traded as unique and individual NFTs.

The power of NFT ownership isn’t limited to gaming or art. Any illiquid or unique asset globally could benefit from this technological standard. Financial assets? Check. Commodities like diamonds? Check. The 3% timeshare of a boat you bought, have regretted ever since and can’t find a buyer for? You bet. The total addressable market is, quite literally, in the trillions.

NFTs are a rapidly emerging asset class with an Achilles heel: scalability. Different blockchains are doggedly fighting to solve this issue and establish themselves as the home of unique digital assets.”

See Also: Native NFTs Look to Boost Engagement (and Monetization) for THETA.tv Streamers

“Comprised of over 700 Italian banking institutions, the ABI said Tuesday the work would examine the technical feasibility of a digital euro and further look at “new value-added services.”

The aim of the initiative is to proactively contribute to public debate and support banks operating in Italy as they prepare for the future.”

The dynamic geofencing feature used in the research activated zero-emission activity in the vehicles whenever they entered a low‑emissions zone, without intervention from the driver. Ford also used blockchain technology to monitor the times a vehicle entered or left a geofenced zone, finding the paired technologies work well to improve urban air quality.

In parts of Europe, some cities have introduced low-emission zones where high-polluting vehicles are restricted from access. Hybrid vehicles are able to switch between electric and combustion motors, varying emissions outputs.”

22 December

“The $9.2 billion asset manager filed a Form D for “SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund L.P.,” a private securities offering open only to accredited investors buying at least $50,000. The fund’s strategy and means of exposure were unavailable at press time.

Fund founder Anthony Scaramucci, who became known to broader public during his 11-day tenure as White House communications director for President Donald Trump, has further dabbled in bitcoin rhetoric through conversations with MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor.”

See Also: MicroStrategy Splurges On Another $650M in Latest Bitcoin Investment
See Also: Grayscale Temporarily Stops Accepting New Clients in Six Crypto Trusts

“When implemented, EIP-1559 will bring about a better user experience, tighter security features, larger blocks for transactions (when required), and see ETH burned after every transaction processed by the Ethereum blockchain.

In its present form, Ethereum users can manually set their own “Gas” fees. However, this allows opportunistic and wealthy users to bid higher Gas prices and causes two significant issues: network congestion, and sky-high fees for using Ethereum.

But EIP-1559 brings a critical change. The network, under the proposal, would automatically propose a “BASEFEE” price that adjusts to the network activity, providing a set rate for all transactions and preventing opportunistic usage from clogging the entire network.

It introduces a deflationary element as well. As Gas is spent, a bulk of that amount of ETH is burned—creating a diminishing supply of tokens. The move would bring “zero to negative” issuance of new ETH tokens.”

“IBM announced a trial service for a privacy tech called fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), designed to vastly reduce the likelihood of sensitive data being exposed. FHE is an emerging technology – often described as the “holy grail” of encryption – designed to allow data to stay encrypted when being processed or analyzed in cloud or third-party environments.

Research and advisory company, Gartner predicts that by 2025 at least 20% of businesses will be budgeting for programs that require homomorphic encryption, up from less than 1% currently.”

See Also: Why Ledger Kept All That Customer Data in the First Place

“Users suffer “impermanent losses” related to fluctuations in demand for the trading pair, and a simple APY calculation on a user interface frontend isn’t sufficient to paint a full picture for what the gains might look like for liquidity providers.

This new conceptual model may allow for more sophisticated decision making from liquidity providers, as well as more robust architectural frameworks for AMM developers.

This paper provides a principled way for developers and designers to provide LP returns that make sense. APY only makes sense for fixed income assets (bonds), whereas derivative pricing makes MUCH more sense for something like liquidity provision.”

See Also: Curve Finance wants to promote euro stablecoins in DeFi
See Also: Decentralized Stock Trading Launching on DeFi Platform Injective Protocol

“According to Play To Earn editor-in-Chief Robert Hoogendoorn, the unique set of incentives for buyers means it might well become part of a larger trend.

In-game items and resources backed as NFTs can accrue significant resale value if a game becomes more popular, and according to the Alien Worlds team, complex game economies can even turn them into yield-bearing assets.

Now in crypto, everyone has the chance to earn passive income by owning land which is truly theirs.”

“Layer two decentralized exchanges Loopring and DeversiFi are joining forces by forming a committee dedicated to promoting usage of layer two solutions, named “L2 Squared.”

As things stand, Loopring and DeversiFi are the first exchanges on Ethereum to harness Layer-2 solutions, using zkRollup and StarkEx’s Validium respectively. However the much-needed migration to Layer-2 is not a simple one, and the network effects of Layer-1 composability are very strong.”

See Also: Uniswap Is the Number One Gas Guzzler on Ethereum

The Disrupt Weekend

Public blockchains, specifically Ethereum, are set to become the main mechanism that companies use to manage and coordinate their business relationships with each other.

In the world of information technology, this is called Middleware, and it’s just a fancy name for a set of tools that connect one system to another. The difference this time is that public blockchains will take what has historically been of limited scope or highly customized and turn it into a standardized, flexible, and scalable set of tools.

Right now, we can already see the very specific use cases for blockchain technology in the enterprise emerging, each with its own specific return on investment. The most popular by far is using blockchains to trace product or asset history. Our clients use it for everything from tracking blood donations to vaccine safety to verifying the history of a bottle of wine.

The second emerging use case is execution of enterprise business contracts. While most consumer transactions are relatively simple fixed prices and payments, enterprise transactions often involve complex sets of rules, many individually negotiated.

Blockchain-based smart contracts make it possible to encode each agreement as unique and execute it reliably every time and to do so in a way that is verifiable and inspectable by all the parties involved. EY is doing this with Microsoft for software licensing agreements and a public version of the same technology can be used for implementing enterprise purchasing agreements.

My own expectation is that these simple use cases of product traceability and contract execution will mature and scale quite rapidly and widen the scope of enterprise adoption. The most direct path I see in the near term is linking up the physical supply chain.”

“This interest in crypto isn’t driven by technology. And it isn’t driven by ideology. These money managers are looking to cut out the bank for an existential reason to them: a search for yield—risk-adjusted yield to be more accurate.

Historically, savers have been able to earn a decent return just from having their funds in a bank account or holding government bonds. This changed after the 2008 banking crisis. For the past decade there has been a quiet war on savers.

The advent of negative rates over the past year has caused a crisis amongst institutional money managers. While many people have complaints about their bank, these money managers are on the front line of trying to figure out alternative solutions to bank middlemen.

These past months feel like a genuine breakthrough, a movement from “if” to “how” do I take advantage of this new world.

As a tangible example, we have had in-depth discussions with some clients about plans to create a money market on Aave for an insured savings product. This is similar to what we offer in the traditional space, but it provides greater liquidity, the potential to boost returns through staking, and a gateway to other DeFi products.

Since the spring, the psychological borders between traditional finance and DeFi seem to be coming down, at least for some money managers. These people see that if you cut out the bank, the risk-return opportunities offered in DeFi are simply superior to what traditional finance can offer, in addition to the convenience benefits.

In our view, the DeFi revolution is more likely to come from savers than anywhere else. Just based on the trend over the past few months, expect adoption by institutional money managers looking for yield to lead to an increasingly bankless future.”

See Also: Banks Need to Adopt Crypto, Now

“We’ve seen lots of DAO action this year. And much of it is in the right direction. So let’s take a look at this year’s good, bad and ugly in the world of DAO.

In terms of decentralized exchanges, dxDAO, Curve and Nectar all saw notable appreciation, while MakerDAO, mStable and Bancor continued to make their presence known in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi). The launch of the LAO, a law focused DAO, had notable experiments with governance while Trojan DAO and Dada.art attempted to gain a foothold in the burgeoning crypto art scene.

Aragon is the only DAO technology platform to date that is anywhere close to developing its own self-governance. This is a huge step towards the vision of DAO tech, which is to provide truly self-governing distributed software.

The concept of “anyone can propose anything” sounds fair, but the flaws are so deep that, this year, major DAO technologies have created additional layers beyond reputation and staking to combat potential issues.

The recent release of Cardano network’s Voltaire system recognizes the importance of maintaining and rewarding a panel of reviewers prior to the vote. The reviewers give a ranking to each proposal, so voters are still free to vote for any proposal, but the rankings reduce overwhelm and give voters a solid starting point.

Given all of these advancements in the technology and its adoption, the outlook is optimistic for building on this success.”

See Also: Experiments in Crypto’s Governance Lab

  1. “Time Your Crypto Sales
  2. Use HIFO Accounting To Reduce Crypto Taxes
  3. Harvest Tax Losses To Offset Crypto Gains
  4. Donate Crypto to reduce taxes
  5. Gifting Crypto To Family Members
  6. Move to a State with No State Taxes On Crypto”

“What are Bitcoin’s biggest challenges today? First, for it to become the universal reserve currency, Bitcoin must be able to scale to hundreds of millions—or even billions—of transactions. Second, there needs to be a way to safely introduce smart contracts on the blockchain.

Most experts interviewed by Decrypt agreed that many innovative Bitcoin solutions are still in the early stages of their development and are far from ready for mass adoption.

While Bitcoin will likely play a leading role as a long-term value storage method in the cryptocurrency world, it is still relatively slow and has low throughput—and will likely remain this way due to how hard it is to upgrade the blockchain. Thus, other blockchains are likely to surpass Bitcoin in terms of speed and throughput (which are crucial for day-to-day transactions) or complex algorithms such as dapps and smart contracts.

In the long term, Bitcoin will look more like an investment instrument and less like money.

Polemitis expressed the same sentiment, suggesting that Bitcoin is likely destined to become a store of value rather than a medium of exchange.

Great thread on the proposed FinCEN AML rule

“If you want to do your shareholders a $100 billion favor, convert the $TSLA balance sheet from USD to #BTC. Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead & in time it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor.

In a huff, Musk said that “Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money” before proclaiming the One True Coin: Dogecoin.”

See Also: Jefferies’ Wood Cuts Gold Exposure in Favor of New Position in Bitcoin

19 December

“Under the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, users who want to send cryptocurrencies from centralized exchanges to a private wallet would need to provide personal information about the owner of that wallet to the exchanges, if the amount sent is greater than $10,000 in one day. The exchanges would also need to submit and store records involving such transactions with a total value over $10,000 in a given reporting period, or just maintain records for transactions over $3,000.

The general public will have until Jan. 4, 2021 to provide comments or feedback.

Along with another recent proposal, the move would increase the amount of work individuals and exchanges must put into transferring cryptocurrencies, as well as increase the amount of personal data exchanges must hold onto or report to the Treasury Department.

Undercutting that ability with last-minute rulemaking in the twilight days of an outgoing administration is not the way to make the type of long-lasting, responsive regulations that will support the safe growth of this industry in the U.S.

Republican lawmakers even decried the move, with a public letter signed by U.S. Representatives Warren Davidson (Ohio), Tom Emmer (Minn.), Ted Budd (N.C.) and Scott Perry (Penn.) asking Mnuchin to discuss the move with elected officials. Earlier on Friday, Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) said she was concerned by the move.

Other industry representatives criticizing the move include Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, who wrote an open letter to Treasury Department staff saying the proposed rule ‘would inadequately address the actual risks that are at issue,’ and harm the industry overall.”

See Also: Analysts say Mnuchin’s proposed self-custody rule won’t impact Bitcoin price
See Also: US Treasury Bulking Up Crypto Policy Advisers as Wallet Reg Rumors Swirl
See Also: Self-Hosted Bitcoin Wallets Become Front Line in Fight Over Crypto Regulations

“All of this is happening in an environment where we’re about to have a change of presidential administrations and there’s calls on Capitol Hill to dismantle some of the regulatory protections we’ve put in place with this stuff.

My agency has tried to make it safer for people to custody in national banks. We’ve talked about banks supporting some of these stablecoin projects. If those protections aren’t in place, I really worry about the environment for these kinds of things.

We’re at a really critical inflection point right now. It’s kind of a fork in the road.”

The SEC has been using its power to approve registration statements to try and enforce its will on public or soon-to-be-public entities.

For example, the SEC could say that crypto trading platforms need clearer procedures for how they list or delist different cryptocurrencies. While it’s unlikely, the SEC could even require exchanges to delist certain tokens in this manner before deeming the S-1 forms effective.

They’ve been monkeying with governance rules like this at the federal level even though there’s no federal laws around this.”

See Also: Coinbase Picks Goldman Sachs to Lead Upcoming IPO: Report
See Also: On-Chain Data Suggests More Institutions Are Buying Bitcoin Over the Counter

“In order for payments to be made offline, Visa proposed a system that would use “open source technology and public key infrastructure” so transaction messages could be signed without the need to be connected to the internet. The proposal outlines a protocol that can be developed in the future—but no code for such an idea has been written yet.

Recipients can submit signed, offline payment messages to an authorized wallet provider with guaranteed settlement of those transactions in order to withdraw funds from the offline payment system.

The idea is that an offline payment system creates an experience similar to physical cash.”

Call and put options at the $100,000 strike price expiring on Sept. 24, 2021, went live on Deribit Thursday. The purchase of a $100,000 call is a bet that bitcoin will rise above that level on or before Sept. 24, 2021, making the option “in-the-money.”

A few trades have taken place, as thus far 45 [call option] contracts have been traded.‘ The $100,000 put option is yet to register any activity.”

“Mizuho sees bitcoin, not as a source of revenue itself, ‘but as a vehicle to boost engagement on the app,’ and that could drive revenue growth, he said. Further, as people start to use PayPal services more ‘it’s going to make PayPal more the center of their financial life.’ The same applies to Square.

Dolev predicted that, in 2021, there will be an “inflection point” as more and more people start using these apps, and the ‘trigger is bitcoin.’

The developers of Ethereum crypto mixer Tornado Cash have proposed issuing a governance token called TORN. Token holders will be able to make proposals and vote to change the protocol. However, only early adopters and founding developers will be eligible for the airdrop and distribution.

TORN will be airdropped to all addresses that made deposits into Tornado.Cash ETH pools before block 11400000. TORN will be airdropped in the form of a non-transferable TORN voucher (vTORN) that can be redeemed 1:1 to TORN within 1 year.”

See Also: DeFi community raises centralization concerns over ‘Compound Chain’
See Also: Opium Insurance to Tackle Risk in DeFi Markets

MGA Entertainment’s Bratz franchise, spanning toy dolls, movies, TV shows, and games, is heading to the blockchain.

Animoca Brands will use the franchise, which was particularly popular in the early ‘00s, to create a blockchain-based game called Bratz Lookz to release in January, along with other Bratz mini-games on its GAMEE platform.

[The NFTs] come in five rarity levels, with the highest one—“Shimmerin’”—redeemable for a physical Bratz collectible doll. Additionally, NFT buyers will receive 200 Bratz Coins to use in the Bratz Lookz game. The sale will begin on December 22, with packs ranging in price from $4.99 to $24.99.”