18 December

Coinbase is getting ready to go public. On Thursday, the major cryptocurrency exchange filed preliminary documents with the U.S. SEC. It’s unclear whether Coinbase is looking to go public via an IPO or a direct listing.

The major exchange is positioning itself as Wall Street’s most accessible bet yet on cryptocurrency. In October 2018, Coinbase was valued at $8 billion. Given the stratospheric increase in the price of bitcoin since then and the recent demand for initial public offerings, it’s expected Coinbase’s current valuation will be significantly higher.

The company’s influence touches all corners of the cryptocurrency industry. It is a major hub for retail bitcoin trading and a gateway for alternative cryptocurrencies. Its institutional business is growing faster than MicroStrategy’s sats pile. It has an analytics team, a stablecoin in partnership with Circle, a ventures wing and a commerce department. All of that could appeal to a Wall Street class eager for exposure to the cryptocurrency markets.”

See Also: Paxos, Firm Powering PayPal’s Crypto Service, Raises $142M

“While their study concluded overall that the dollar is safe for now, the authors said the reserve currency landscape would likely shift. They posited that private digital currencies could “emerge as important international currencies,” with libra/diem possibly becoming the first example of a global stablecoin.

GSCs do not need to be backed by existing fiat reserve currencies and could themselves attain reserve currency status.

The paper theorizes that rather than be differentiated by macroeconomic factors, digital currency competition would differentiate along network lines and by users.

See Also: CFTC’s Latest Crypto Primer Highlights DeFi, Governance

“From a fundamental perspective, this year’s Bitcoin bull run is nothing like 2017 — especially in terms of transaction fees.

Bitcoin’s 2020 bull run is significantly healthier in terms of costs per transaction. The average BTC transaction fee is down to $5 in December 2020 from $50 in 2017. The contrast is even more evident when looking at total BTC transaction fees, which are down from around 1,500 BTC on Dec. 21, 2017 to just 70 BTC on Dec. 14, 2020.

Despite BTC transaction fees staying much lower than in 2017, the Bitcoin network is processing significantly more transactions than three years ago. Bitcoin processed around 320,000 transactions on Dec. 14, 2020, compared to around 280,000 transactions in mid-December 2017.

The BTC hash rate has been steadily growing over time, with total hash rate surging from about 14 million terahashes (TH) per second in December 2017 to over 130 million TH/s in December 2020.

Amid the BTC rally of 2017, about 120,000 transactions were stuck in the BTC network in mid-December. The number of unconfirmed BTC transactions was just 68 on Dec. 16 [this year].”

See Also: Ethereum Metrics

“Current figures represent an increase of approximately 3,500% in just over one month. The threshold for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade has also been surpassed by about 290%. This has been achieved by a combined effort of 34,709 total transactions to date.

The locked up funds signify the investor and community appetite for the new model.”

Perpetual Protocol uses a virtual automated market maker (vAMM) to allow perpetual swaps without the need for a centralized counterparty. The system bears some similarities to automated market makers (AMM) like Uniswap.

However, unlike Uniswap, there are no liquidity providers in the Perpetual Protocol setup. Thus, rather than storing tokens on the platform itself, tokens are domiciled in vaults with sufficient collateral to fulfill every trade. Thus, users do not suffer impermanent loss and liquidation is restricted to the individual deposits of the losing party in the perpetual contract trade.

While the platform promises 20x leveraged perpetual swaps on any crypto asset, the initial roll-out only covers BTC and ETH against USD Coin (USDC). The platform mitigates speed and trading fee issues by utilizing the xDai chain as a settlement layer.”

See Also: Perp Exchange

The Graph seeks to create usable decentralized indexes and API feeds for blockchain-based projects through its own blockchain and native token GRT. The project is seeking to be a key infrastructural piece of Web 3.0.

Indexers, delegators and curators are incentivized to build better APIs through the network’s native token, which is paid out depending on the performance of indexes called subgraphs.

The funny thing about blockchain data is that even though in theory everything is transparent and accessible, in practice it has historically been very opaque. The Graph has done great work so far in making smart contract data easy to monitor and use.

The Graph saw traction on its self-hosted version, Tal said, with some 10 billion queries last month alone, up tenfold since June.”

“Maple Finance is a new firm out of Australia releasing a token-governed platform for institutional lending at extremely competitive collateralization terms and fixed rates that won’t change for borrowers in good standing.

On Maple, a good firm would pay one rate for the life of the loan, could collateralize with as little as 40% of the loan’s value and the initial collateral deposit would not need to be revisited.

What we’re allowing is top institutions with solid balance sheets, sound reputations and strong cash flows soon being able to access capital-efficient finance.

Maple is able to offer better terms based on the reputation of borrowers. It will make offers only to institutional customers. While it will be more cautious than other DeFi projects about who it makes loans to, providing liquidity to Maple will be open to anyone who wants to get in.”

“Compound Labs released a white paper Thursday detailing its plans to create Compound Chain, an application-specific blockchain that can provide money market services across multiple networks. The whole purpose of the chain is to function like Compound but in a cross-blockchain fashion.

New supported assets aren’t envisioned to be limited to blockchains of the trustless, permissionless variety either. The new project is meant to support the forthcoming and rumored digital assets from central banks and investment banks.

While the Compound Chain will be governed by COMP – the token that spurred the yield farming craze over the summer – it also introduces a new cryptocurrency called CASH. Compound Chain’s native CASH token will be used to pay for transactions on the network.

Leshner expects those who are long Ethereum will see an advantage to incorporating other chains, because it will enable Ethereum to port value created on other chains into the world computer’s DeFi applications.”

“Blockchain platform Rocki has announced its first auction of a non-fungible token (NFT) bringing the buyer rights to royalty income from music.

Israeli-born and Malta-based progressive house musician Guy J sold the income rights a track dubbed “Cotton Eyes” on the Rocki platform through the sale of an ERC-721 standard NFT. Another token Rocki will issue – an ERC-1155 standard NFT – will bring purchasers “exclusive listening privileges.”

As such, Rocki is well-positioned to become ‘the preferred streaming service for all genres of independent artists.'”

“Over a century old, the Salvation Army is an international charity and church that is known for its network of thrift stores. Funds collected go towards its emergency relief efforts and ongoing programs such as shelters and hospitals.

When making a donation, if a zip code is provided the cryptocurrency would then go toward financing the donor’s local Salvation Army programs.

I believe the crypto community cares and could make a big difference in The Salvation Army’s efforts to help those struggling in communities across our country.”

17 December

“Bitcoin’s value has doubled in the past three months and the institutional-led rally looks sustainable.

Breaking above $20,000, which represented a significant hurdle in the mindset of most traders, is entirely new ground for bitcoin and opens the doors for a climb to $100,000 over the course of 2021, according to some.”

See Also: Guggenheim CIO Says Bitcoin ‘Should Be Worth’ $400,000
See Also: Bitcoin Smashes JPMorgan Market Cap 3 Years After Dimon Dissed Crypto
See Also: Binance and Coinbase suffer outages as Bitcoin’s price soars

Ether futures will be listed on Feb. 8, more than three years after bitcoin futures went live. Each contract will have 50 units of ether and the derivative product will be open to trade between 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m CT from Sunday to Friday.

The new contracts will use the CME CF ether-dollar reference rate from CF Benchmarks, the FCA-approved crypto indices provider.

Today’s CME news shows institutional demand continues to spill into other leading digital assets, such as Ether.”

“Those institutional investors that Bitcoin fans have waited for so long? They’ve been here for months; on the day Bitcoin broke past $20,000, another whale just announced his arrival. And he’s not the only one.

Eric Peters, CEO of One River Asset Management, revealed today that his fund will soon have $1 billion in Bitcoin and Ethereum. Just yesterday, Ruffer LLP, a London-based investment firm, disclosed that it had allocated 2.5% of its assets under management to Bitcoin. That amounts to $744 million of Bitcoin.

There is going to be a generational allocation to this new asset class. The flows have only just begun.”

See Also: Ruffer Investment Confirms Massive Bitcoin Buy of $744M

A new survey of global fund managers reveals that Bitcoin has climbed in the rankings of “most crowded trade” beating out traditional investments like gold and bonds. Only tech stocks (52%) and short dollar positions (18%) ranked higher.

A related question asked respondents if they held Bitcoin long positions, to which 15% responded affirmatively, which is three times more than last month’s total of 5%.

In a year in which money printing and stimulus has triggered fears of massive inflation, the trend away from cash and into uncorrelated assets such as Bitcoin is clearly highlighted by the survey’s results.”

See Also: The Big Banks Riding Bitcoin’s Bull Run

“The German government cabinet passed new legislation on Wednesday allowing all-electronic securities to be recorded using blockchain technology. The new law does away with the previous requirement for a paper-based certificate and comes as part of the nation’s blockchain strategy.

The paper certificate may be dear to some for nostalgic reasons, but the future belongs to its electronic version.”

See Also: UK FCA Grants Crypto Firms Temporary Registration as It Deals With Applications Backlog

“The Lightning network has matured to a level where it can be used by Kraken. It really comes back to what our users are asking for. They want instant and efficient payment – the ability to deposit and withdraw bitcoin without having to wait for confirmations and without high withdraw fee withdrawals.

Two Lightning tech advancements in 2020, wumbo channels and multi-path payments (MPPs), paved the way for the integration. Wumbo channels allow users to send larger transactions on the Lighting Network that are larger than a few hundred dollars, while MPPs allow users to break up large payments into smaller amounts to make them easier to send.

The rollout will be an “API-first launch” with only withdrawals initially enabled. This launch will only be ‘the first of many iterative developments with the Lightning Network‘ for Kraken though, Rochard continued, adding that the exchange may even allow users to set up payment channels (Lightning’s transaction avenues) directly with the exchange.

The Lightning Network would lower transaction fees for users when depositing and withdrawing from the trading hub.”

“These companies are Tilray (TLRY), Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC), Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Cronos Group (CRON), and Aphria (APHA).

To be blunt, this is one of the dopest joint listings we’ve done. FTX: blazing a path forward and weeding out the competition.”

“According to a report by the Daily Beast on Tuesday, the White House Counsel’s office is reviewing Ulbricht’s case documents. Ulbricht is considered a cult hero amongst some in the crypto community as well as political activists who argue that his sentence was unnecessarily harsh.

A final decision on Ulbricht’s case has yet to be determined, according to the report, but the notorious Silk Road founder reportedly has influential backers within the president’s inner circles pushing for a pardon.

Ulbricht was the founder and main administrator of the dark web marketplace the Silk Road back in 2011 that used bitcoin (BTC, +9.65%) as its main payment method for dealing in illicit contraband including drugs and weapons.”

Melon V2: Decentralized Asset Management

“Malta’s Finance and Employment Minister, Clyde Caruana, has revealed that the nation’s plan to become a “blockchain island” is floundering due to the unwillingness of local banks to work with innovative firms.

Traditional banks have written off blockchain at its early stages.”

“Up to five people can now take part in an end-to-end encrypted video call.

I have been waiting for this for a very long time.”

16 December

“New York-based Quontic Bank has become the first FDIC-insured financial institution to launch a bitcoin rewards checking program. The program includes a bitcoin rewards debit card (1.5% back), mobile app, access to ATMs, and mobile payments options like Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Customers will be able to hold their bitcoin with NYDIG or redeem it in cash, Schnall said. At the moment, customers are not permitted to transfer the bitcoin to another wallet address.”

“The exchange owner will launch a suite of tools in 2021 in a licensing partnership with execution provider CoinRoutes. Cryptocurrency indexes, historical data and real-time ticks are all on the table.

The deal makes Cboe, which operates the largest options exchange in the U.S., the latest financial force to enter the cryptocurrency data business. S&P unveiled its crypto index plans Dec. 3.

I would guess that in Q2, you’ll start to see actual indices come from this data through our Cboe global index team.”

“Decentralized derivatives trading platform Leverj today announced the launch of decentralized futures products for Bitcoin and Ethereum, in the form of perpetual swaps trading. Leverj was launched by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs traders and engineers.

Leverj.io is the first derivatives exchange to crack the self-custody problem. This is a significant piece of the DeFi ‘money lego’ stack.”

See Also: Secret Network Launches Bridge to Bring Transactional Privacy to Ethereum

“In a paper titled “Chartering the FinTech Future,” Charles Calomiris set out how stablecoin providers chartered as banks that do not rely on funding from deposits would themselves gain advantages from regulatory oversight.

Such companies would benefit by “coming out of the shadows,” he wrote, with geographic reach and market credibility outweighing the added cost burden of regulation.

It would be desirable to allow such banks to obtain national bank charters. At the OCC, we know that new technologies and consumer preferences, not regulators, will decide the future of banking.

Calomiris’ paper also examined the U.S. Federal Reserve’s grip on monetary power and its potential to oppose fintech banks.

The Federal Reserve is a very powerful organization that stands to lose its monopoly over the payment system as blockchain-based networks develop. One can hope that the Fed will be guided more by public interest than a desire to preserve its own power.

Calomiris suggested that politics as much as economics will decide whether consumers will ever benefit from a ‘chartered FinTech future.’

“The U.S. central bank’s top officials, led by Chair Jerome Powell, are expected this week to announce new “qualitative outcome-based” guidance to specify the conditions under which they might taper their stimulus-focused bond purchases, now proceeding at $120 billion a month. Such qualitative guidance would hinge on subjective criteria, such as a promise to keep buying bonds at the current pace until the pandemic is under control – which might be open to interpretation.

The upshot is that Fed officials might be using the new guidance as a way to tamp down expectations the bond purchases would continue ad infinitum, while leaving ample flexibility to continue the program as long as they see fit.

One “risk,” according to Feroli, is that traders start speculating on the timeline for broad distribution of a vaccine and perhaps then conclude bond purchases might wrap up sooner than most investors are currently anticipating.

This sets up the risk that new guidance could spark another taper tantrum.”

“The Tokyo District Court and an examiner will review the draft rehabilitation plan and determine whether to proceed with the rehabilitation proceedings relevant to the draft rehabilitation plan.

While there are no details provided on the plan, the announcement marks the beginning of the end for users who have been waiting for refunds since 2014 when the exchange collapsed.”

“Canadian musician Deadmau5 has teamed up with Worldwide Asset eXchange to launch a limited series of non-fungible tokens.

Inside the packs, users will find an assortment of random NFTs—from “Common” to “Very Rare”—such as stickers and pins as well as black, silver, and gold Deadmau5-themed cards.”

“The Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative (MMBI) from the WEF said its proof-of-concept carbon tracing platform COT was in development for over a year. The finalized platform will track embedded greenhouse gas emissions from the mine to the final product using distributed ledger technology.

The developmental phase will progress to the next stage of accumulating and processing stakeholder feedback.”

15 December

“Yearn Finance looks like it could put together the Amazon of decentralized finance (DeFi).

If [Amazon] customers will always care about prices, speed and choice, then what will the equivalents be in DeFi? How does that translate onto the blockchain? Maybe: low fees, high yields and a wide selection of risk profiles? This framework makes Yearn’s recent moves easier to understand.

The company has recently either acquired or partnered with a bunch of DeFi projects, such as fellow yield seeker Pickle Finance, hedging protocol Hegic, money market CREAM and institutional DeFi portal Akropolis.

It’s aggregating DeFi services so as to reduce the costs across protocols.

Yearn has been incredibly seductive. Not only has it drawn in lots of users willing to entrust their crypto assets to it, it’s already done phenomenally well with attracting code contributors. In fact, Yearn has more developers at this point in its life cycle than any other project so far. So far, Yearn is going extremely well, proving out the model of an organization running on the blockchain without any formal structure.

Yearn is about to get far more complex. It is also likely to continue to attract coding talent. The real question then becomes whether a user will be able to open the portal and make its many new and more complex opportunities comprehensible.”

“The CFTC Technology Advisory Committee heard a presentation covering the ins- and outs- of DeFi today, with one participant telling colleagues the emerging tech is “a game changer.”

There are still plenty of questions about how to regulate the new financial species, however. The biggest challenge is determining liability.

In many cases, software development is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech in the US. And even if it weren’t, charging or arresting the original developers of a DeFi protocol running on a blockchain won’t stop the service itself.

Aaron Wright, a subcommittee member who is a clinical professor of law at Cardozo Law School and co-founder of the OpenLaw digital contract platform, noted that a safe harbor agreement, which shields entities from liability if they follow a set of guidelines, would be a relatively straightforward way to induce DeFi protocols to comply with relevant US regulations.

A safe harbor could potentially create a regulatory incentive to build and support compliance.

The subcommittee concluded with recommendations of a wait-and-see approach to better understand where risk of illegal activity would manifest in the broader DeFi ecosystem.”

“Microsoft and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) have announced plans to use a blockchain platform to allow Microsoft’s Xbox gaming partners, artists and content creators to track and manage payments and royalty contracts.

The companies said this will be one of the largest implementations of a blockchain-based financial system for accounting that will manage Microsoft’s end-to-end process for rights and royalties to its Xbox gaming partners.

In this go-live, we successfully generated the first round of partner payments utilizing blockchain and smart contract technology.”

See Also: Crypto Traders Can Now Buy Bitcoin and Ethereum With Apple Pay – Here’s How

Sygnum, a digital asset finance firm with a Swiss banking license, has tokenized its shares on its own distributed ledger platform as it develops plans for a public offering.

The firm said Monday that it has now become the first bank to use distributed ledger technology to issue digital representations of shares.

The tokenization of shares provides investors with a fully regulated, highly efficient and potentially more inclusive alternative” to traditional ways of raising capital.”

See Also: Binance, OKEx Payments Partner Banxa Set to Make Milestone Stock Exchange Listing

MassMutual’s move suggests insurance firms and pension funds are beginning to look at bitcoin as an investment/reserve asset alongside increased demand from wealthy investors and family offices.

According to JPMorgan, bitcoin may find an additional demand of $600 billion if pensions insurance firms in the U.S., European Union, U.K. and Japan allocate 1% of assets to the top cryptocurrency.

One can see the potential demand that could arise over the coming years as other insurance companies and pension funds follow MassMutual’s example.”

See Also: Fidelity’s Custody Business Around Bitcoin ‘Incredibly Successful’
See Also: This New Way to Invest in Bitcoin Is Already Seeing Historic Volume

“It appears that Pornhub, the world’s largest adult website, is only accepting crypto for its premium service. The move was noticed on the site today after Visa and Mastercard cut off payments to the website last week.

Pornhub changed its policies to clamp down on abuse, and today said it was accepting crypto only as its default payment.

It’s unfortunate that Visa and Mastercard are playing these sort of legal games to hold Pornhub accountable.”

An investor bid $777,777 yesterday on a collection of digital art—which includes pieces inspired by technology, Star Wars and nature—during a Nifty Gateway auction. The collection includes 20 pieces of art.

In one creation depicting a retro Game Boy under construction, the artist said, ‘The speed of technology is fucking insane.’

This savage just bid $777,777 with literally one second left.”

Two cryptocurrency exchanges chose to kick off advertising campaigns with Transport for London (TFL) on Monday.

Coinfloor, the U.K.’s longest-running exchange, launched a mix of large digital billboards and posters across London’s main tube stations. Meanwhile, Luno, the crypto exchange recently acquired by Digital Currency Group, combines its London Underground ads with 650 Greater London buses and a bunch of large roadside billboards.”

“The United States Federal Trade Commission is making the giants of social media account for their user data practices. The commission’s stated aim is:

To compile data concerning the privacy policies, procedures, and practices of Social Media and Video Streaming Service providers, including the method and manner in which they collect, use, store, and disclose information about users and their devices.”

See Also: Homeland Warns of Major Breach in Software Used by US Government
See Also: Google Goes Down; Bitcoin Stays Up

The Disrupt Weekend

Recommended Read.

“Buoyed by innovations in cross-chain asset gateways and DeFi protocols, Ethereum has attracted a substantial amount of Bitcoin (BTC) assets, thus cutting into Bitcoin’s on-chain transfers.

Moving forward, this trend will pose severe challenges for Bitcoin’s network security, especially as BTC continues to phase out block rewards, leaving miners increasingly unable to generate income. Prior to the explosion of DeFi, BTC supporters were confident in their ability to generate income through the platform’s transaction fees — yet this appears to no longer be the case.

Given that Ethereum has surpassed Bitcoin as a settlement network, there is now a very real possibility that Bitcoin-based transactions may disappear in the future.

As Bitcoin continues to halve, miners are increasingly reliant on transaction fees, yet the fees are making up a smaller and smaller share of income as time goes by. Currently, it is estimated that transaction fees only cover 30% of mining costs — an insufficient amount, particularly as halvings continue and block rewards decrease.

In light of this challenge, the Bitcoin community has three options moving forward, namely increasing network fees, introducing Bitcoin-based DeFi, or implementing moderate inflation policies.”

See Also: An Intro to xDai: Ethereum’s Sister Chain

  1. China leading the CBDC and future of money race
  2. Traditional financial institutions (and private banks) falling in love with bitcoin?
  3. The taxman provides crypto tax clarity
  4. Crypto M&A turning crypto unicorns into crypto octopuses
  5. Retail investors (and my mom!) can finally buy bitcoin easily
  6. Traditional hedge funds and family offices rushing into crypto
  7. Crypto derivatives exchanges growing up
  8. Move away, Hoodies: Here come the Suits to professionalize the industry
  9. New regulations driving traffic to DeFi
  10. Stablecoins play a bigger role in cross-border transactions

Pomp breaks down his $100K Bitcoin outlook for 2021

See Also: Great Depression of the 2020s – Simon Dixon (Video)

“Upcoming CBDC experiments – there will be eight of them – will help us to investigate not only the potential of technology but also to question the players in the ecosystem on what tomorrow’s landscape could look like, on subjects as fundamental as the methods of exchanging financial instruments for CBDCs, the improvement of the conditions for executing cross-border payments or new ways of making CBDCs available to financial sector players.

In turn, these experiments will lead us to assess whether the regulatory framework currently in force needs to be adapted.”

Bundle—a social payments app active in Nigeria and Ghana—is accepting Bitcoin Lightning payments. This is made possible by Bitrefill, which allows users to buy gift cards using Bitcoin. By using Bitcoin and Lightning Network technology, users are able to send fast digital payments around the world.

Nigeria is one of the most financially blockaded countries in the world and buying gift cards on @bitrefill is a way for Nigerians to access the global product market.”

“Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money and founder of financial news site TheStreet, explained in an interview on his news site why he chose to invest in Bitcoin.

You want to diversify into all sorts of asset classes. I want to have a balance of assets.”

12 December

“A new crypto plugin will allow WordPress publishers to receive ad earnings directly into their Ether (ETH) wallets. The WordPress plugin plans to compete with Google AdSense, allowing publishers to earn ETH through banner ads.

After you inserted our widget your ad space is automatically openly auctioned off using our smart contract every two weeks to the highest bidder.

Google Adsense only pays you 68% of your ad earnings. We on the other hand pay you a whopping 90%.”

“An Ethereum-based fund has completed its initial public offering (IPO) on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). 3iQ successfully launched a similar bitcoin fund earlier this year. The ether product’s exchange listing marks a “world first.”

The Ether Fund Class A Units, aimed at all investor types, have opened for trading under the symbol QETH.U. Investors in the U.S. are specifically excluded, however. Gemini said it will provide exclusive custody of the fund’s assets.”

“Data from blockchain analysis firm Glassnode indicates that decentralized finance (DeFi) may be taking a huge bite out of centralized finance (CeFi) when it comes to ether. The amount of fees on Ethereum spent on ether deposits to centralized exchanges has fallen to less than 1%, as of Dec. 9, 2020, from around 26% in late October 2017.

Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao of the biggest crypto exchange by daily spot trading volumes, Binance, said he fully expects DeFi to one day cannibalize his CEX business.”

“Sweden’s financial markets minister, Per Bolund, said the Riksbank finance committee has launched a review into the prospects of moving the country to a digital currency, a study that will be completed in November 2022.

Currently, Sweden’s central bank is running an e-krona pilot project with Accenture Plc using distributed ledger technology.

It’s crucial that the digitalized payments market functions safely, and that it’s available to everybody … depending on how a digital currency is designed and which technologies are used, it can have large consequences for the entire financial system.”

See Also: 3 Chinese E-Commerce Giants Join Latest Digital Yuan Lottery Trial

“Ethereum wallet MetaMask is seeking to attract institutional investors into the decentralized finance sector with the soon-to-be-launched institutional-grade version.

The upgraded version is aimed at “trading firms and crypto custodians” and will provide them with “institutional-grade features,” including the ability to ‘swaps tokens, borrow, lend, and invest in Ethereum applications.’ It will also provide users with ‘operational, security, and reporting features necessary to run a professional DeFi trading desk.‘”

“The engagement of Fidelity, Citibank, BlackRock and now MassMutual need not be the death knell for a humanist Bitcoin dream.

But there’s still an inherent conflict between the interests of regulated, compliance-conscious institutions, which will support the imposition of regulations and controls to ease their own participation in it, and those that see such rules and constraints as exclusionary barriers to entry for a wider swath of humanity.

A lightning rod here is KYC and AML, the “know-your-customer” and “anti-money laundering” rules that compel banks to collect identifying records for all their account holders. The problem is not only that KYC runs counter to the cypherpunk ethos of privacy. This requirement can seriously hurt the goals of financial inclusion and innovation.

Raoul Pal says we need to first go through a process of official accommodation within the existing system to advance Bitcoin’s journey along “Metcalfe’s Law.” Once it becomes a ubiquitous network, then it is in a position to properly challenge that system.

Indeed, as Carlson pointed out, the positive thing, for those who believe in Bitcoin’s disruptive potential, is that ‘you’re not going to implement KYC and AML at the protocol level.‘ Since ‘there is nothing inherent to Bitcoin that can be regulated, enforced or controlled in that way,’ it can at that level always resist official coercion.

But she also worried that the ever-growing encroachment of compliance requirements on applications built on top of that protocol impedes access to it among marginalized and financially excluded people.”

See Also: MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin-Driven Offering Boosted to $650M After Notes Buyer Bought $100M More

“The Yam community is excited to announce a collaboration with the UMA protocol team and the creation of a new product suite: Degenerative Finance. This new suite of degen derivatives will begin with UMA’s recent uGas contract and expand into a variety of speculative and hedging products catered to the DeFi ecosystem.

With the flexible nature of UMA’s system, these products could include impermanent loss hedging, volatility derivatives, TVL derivatives, and more. Ultimately, Yam’s Degenerative Finance seeks to fill a market need that allows for new forms of speculation and hedging in DeFi that will increase market efficiency and allow for the expression of more nuanced market views.”

See Also: Introducing: Ethereum Address Activity Notifications

“Aavegotchi aims to “make DeFi fun.” Each Aavegotchi is a playable avatar that represents DeFi collateral that is earning yield on Aave. That said, you can also battle the spooky little critters, level them up and equip them with wearables that change traits.

Since an Aavegotchi represents locked assets, its owner can liquidate the underlying stake at any time. But in doing so the Aavegotchi will disappear. So it’s a test to see what happens to playability when characters have real value beyond their gaming value.

Further down the road, an open-world metaverse called The Realm will launch where Aavegotchis will populate as first-gen crypto pets.”

“Some might say we are seeing the strengthening of a crypto daisy chain connecting Switzerland and Singapore.

Singapore and Switzerland have very similar characteristics. They each have very progressive central banks and regulatory regimes, and a progressive kind of political regime where they really support digital assets.

The big picture is a steady institutional creep, said Grant, gathering pace in jurisdictions that have embraced the technology and also implemented the right sort of regulatory regimes. The trepidation of a few years ago has been replaced with a strong demand for crypto from small to medium-sized banks and wealth managers.”

See Also: India’s Banks Are Once More Serving Crypto Traders and Exchanges

“Micah Johnson’s “ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē” (pronounced “sovereignty”) was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and features two African American boys hoping to fulfill their dream of becoming astronauts.

This is represented by a spacesuit behind a closed door. Each year on the boys’ birthdays, they move closer to the gradually opening door, depending on the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) donations made by holders of a nonfungible token version of the artwork.

The piece also won the headline “NFT of the Year” award at the 2020 NFT Awards announced this week.”

See Also: Snowden and human rights advocates talk internet surveillance in the era of BLM

The NYAG said stablecoin issuer Tether and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex had been cooperating with its inquiry.

The NYAG has alleged Bitfinex attempted to cover up the loss of $850 million in funds held on behalf of customers via payment processor Crypto Capital, and that it secretly borrowed the shortfall from sister firm Tether’s reserves.”

11 December

“The number of developers in crypto is ticking up again. And one network remains a clear winner in terms of attractiveness to coders.

More than 300 new developers per month are joining Ethereum. Ethereum has continuously grown through Crypto Winter.

Electric’s report shows Ethereum so far out in front that second place is almost misleading. Almost 2,300 average monthly developers worked on Ethereum across the third quarter of 2020, with Bitcoin in second at a bit under 400.

We’ve seen a professionalization of grant funds.’ This means that well-resourced layer one projects are eager to support promising devs.”

“The blockchain application used was developed in-house by the bank’s blockchain business arm, Onyx, and is said to support the settlement and maturity of such transactions in hours rather than days. The trade also used the bank’s stablecoin jpm coin for the cash leg.

The blockchain app will see production use, being offered to external counterparties in the U.S. Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon have both been involved in trial trades on the platform and will be involved going forward.

Global head of digital assets at Goldman Sachs, said his institution is ‘looking forward to going live in early 2021.'”

“Four fiat currencies (SGD, USD, HKD, JPY) will be tradable against four of the most established cryptocurrencies covering 70%-80% of the market, namely bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and XRP. It will also provide tokenization of securities and other assets, as well as bank-grade custody for digital assets.

The security token offering part of the digital exchange will comprise a regulated platform for the issuance and trading of digital tokens backed by financial assets, such as shares in unlisted companies, bonds and private equity funds.

You can tokenize anything, you can tokenize a painting. But for now, we will be concentrating on financial assets.”

“The twin plays give MassMutual direct exposure to the cryptocurrency’s price swings and signal it’s betting that other big fish will follow suit. NYDIG is one of the fastest-growing institutional crypto shops with $2.3 billion under management.

Coming from a 169-year-old insurance institution in the business of measuring risk it could wield an outsize influence on bitcoin’s perception among mainstream investors.”

“Curv’s customers are professional traders who want to use protocols to lend, stake and trade.

You get all of the enterprise controls, security level and audit trail that you would get from Curv, but with MetaMask in one click you get integration with all of the DeFi protocols.

Curv is a custody startup that specializes in multi-party computation, and the company chose to integrate with MetaMask after building an integration with lending protocol Compound in July of this year. Creating products for institutional customers to have access to DeFi protocols is a burgeoning market.”

See Also: YIELD Raises $4.9M in Bid to Simplify DeFi
See Also: S&P, State Street Back $15M Investment in Crypto Data Startup Lukka

“The pandemic emergency purchase program (PEPP) will increase by €500 billion to €1.85 trillion (US$2.2 trillion), and the horizon for net purchases was extended to March 2022.

The governing council will conduct net purchases until it judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over.”

“Retro gaming company Atari has partnered with Enjin to enable developers to create Enjin-powered games using its brand and IP. The deal, which includes Atari IPs such as Pong, Breakout and Asteroids, will begin with a range of sports games that will go live in 2021.

The company is providing a standard licensing agreement, enabling anyone to build an Atari game—and leverage its strong brand name.

We’re going to create an ecosystem on the blockchain.”

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is designing a global governance framework for the ethical collection and sharing of data.

WEF’s Data for Common Purpose Initiative (DCPI) is the first of its kind and aims to ‘responsibly enhance the societal benefit from data‘ by creating guidelines to ensure governments and researchers can more readily rely on data for making decisions.

One goal of the initiative is to enable differentiated permissioning of the same data for varied purposes. This means people would be able to set permissions around how their data can be used.

User data will automatically be encrypted, anonymized and transmitted along with digital rights management rules to ensure that the data cannot be used for other purposes.”

See Also: Chainlink, World Economic Forum Want to Standardize Crypto Oracles

“The crypto-friendly regulator took office last year, and has overseen an expansion of regulated crypto products in the derivatives space, including ether futures contracts and bitcoin options products. In a public statement, he noted that ether was declared a commodity under his tenure.

Tarbert has said in various public statements that he sees the potential for much of the financial system to build on top of blockchain platforms, like Ethereum.”

“SpaceChain said Thursday it will use the funding to develop a ‘decentralized satellite infrastructure with blockchain payload‘ at its core to allow direct tasking of a satellite in real time.

The planned blockchain-powered mesh network of low-earth orbit satellites would ‘democratize access to the nascent space sector with lower barriers to entry by individual companies,’ according to the firm.”

10 December

The new service will target bitcoin investors who are keen to turn their holdings into cash without selling, as well as hedge funds, miners and over-the-counter trading desks.

Partnering on the initiative is crypto lender BlockFi, which will help manage risk by offering cash worth 60% of a loan backed by bitcoin.

As the markets grow, we’d expect that this becomes a fairly important part of the ecosystem.”

See Also: Bitwise’s crypto index fund now trading through US brokerage accounts
See Also: Standard Chartered, Northern Trust to Launch Crypto Custody Service in the UK
See Also: ING Bank Opens Up About Crypto Custody Solution at Singapore Fintech Event

“Four U.S. lawmakers want Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to rethink his rumored crypto wallet regulations.

According to Wednesday’s letter, this potential regulation would “hinder American leadership,” preclude U.S. actors from participating in the space, and “undermine the Treasury Department from stopping illicit actors from exploiting the financial system.”

Requiring exchanges to maintain this much KYC data could also threaten user privacy, the lawmakers wrote. Implementing regulations around self-hosted wallets might have the unintended effect of turning anyone who currently uses one into a criminal, the letter added.

Over-regulating self-hosted wallets will crush a nascent industry and leave the United States behind the rest of the world when it comes to harnessing the power of blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

The French Ministry of Finance unveiled sweeping know-your-customer (KYC) requirements on all cryptocurrency companies operating in and servicing the country on Wednesday, a move that could ultimately strip the French crypto space of any semblance of anonymity.

All virtual asset service providers must immediately begin checking their customers’ identities, verifying “beneficial owners” and prohibit anonymous crypto accounts, according to the press release.

The finance ministry said it is also preparing “new regulatory provisions” to fast-track “digital identification solutions” for crypto transactions.”

See Also: Mexican authorities struggle to keep up as cartels embrace crypto

“Notably, the firm’s crypto brokerage offering was tapped by PayPal earlier this year to power the payments giant’s cryptocurrency service. As with BitPay, the application will see a 30-day comment period as the next step in the process before it can proceed, though there’s no guarantee it will be granted.

A national Trust Bank charter provides us with flexibility to operate across the U.S. while continuing to adhere to the highest regulatory standards.

If approved, these companies would join Kraken and Avanti as some of the first crypto-native banks in the U.S., though the latter two secured state charters from the Wyoming Division of Banking, rather than go the federal route.”

See Also: Crypto Startup BitPay Files to Become Federally Regulated US Bank
See Also: Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio Softens Stance on Bitcoin, Says It Has Place in Investors’ Portfolios
See Also: There’s Now $3 Billion Worth of USDC in Circulation

“He cited increasing BTC usage in small pockets of international trade and PayPal’s recent move to tap cryptocurrencies as a funding mechanism. Considered in the context of falling faith in ever-growing dollar reserves, this trend could bode well for the market-leading cryptocurrency.

Do not assume that your traditional currencies are the only stores of value, or mediums of exchange, that people will ever trust.”

See Also: Crypto Remittances Prove Their Worth in Latin America
See Also: Mass Adoption of a Digital Euro Could Be a ‘Clear Negative’ for Europe’s Banks: BofA
See Also: One of the World’s Oldest Banks Is Issuing a Euro Stablecoin on Stellar

Enterprise blockchain applications are slowly but surely making their way to public networks, especially as new upgrades and features are being implemented into the Ethereum ecosystem. For example, the Baseline Protocol is a set of techniques using advances in peer-to-peer messaging, zero-knowledge cryptography and blockchain to coordinate complex and confidential workflows between enterprises.

The newly released commitment manager is a new microservice that would enable developers to switch between private and public blockchains using different Ethereum clients. This is notable, as the commitment manager component will likely attract more enterprises to the Ethereum mainnet via the Baseline Protocol.”

See Also: More than 100,000 ETH locked for staking via Kraken in four days

“CoinSwap transactions look like transactions going from one address to another, but they’re actually being sent somewhere else. This test is a big step – especially considering how complicated CoinSwap is under the hood. But there’s still a lot of work left before users will be able to use CoinSwaps.

For anyone looking at the blockchain [Alice’s] transaction appears completely normal with her coins seemingly going from address A to address B. But in reality her coins end up in address Z, which is entirely unconnected to either A or B.”

“In general, a PCP is a public sector purchase of research and development services to adapt new or emerging technology to its needs. This aims to deliver EU-wide cross-border public services using blockchain technology.

This PCP will focus on developing a novel blockchain solution that builds on the EU legal framework such as the General Data Protection Regulation, the Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services regulation and the Network and Information Systems directive.”

9 December

“London’s Standard Chartered bank has gathered a group of crypto exchanges for a new digital asset trading platform tailored to the institutional market, according to two sources familiar with the plan. Standard Chartered’s crypto trading group comprises five of the biggest over-the-counter (OTC) traders and four exchanges, and will include an Ethereum-based settlement token.

We are building our own token of fiat collateral and hoping that will become the equivalent of Tether, except that the tokenized collateral or money will be held in the trading bank account of a proper bank.

Standard Chartered plus five of the biggest traders in digital assets and four exchanges are about to get this new model started.

This is extremely serious and not some proof of concept. They have passed all the checks and compliance and are bringing in some exciting names.”

See Also: Replacing the Pig (Recommended Read)
See Also: SBI Teams Up With Swiss SIX Exchange to Offer Institutional Crypto Services in Singapore
See Also: JPMorgan exec: Softer stance on Bitcoin but we’ve always been pro-blockchain

Through a partnership with node-hosting service Staked, MyEtherWallet now offers its browser and mobile wallet users the option to stake ETH tokens into the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain deposit contract. Staked and MyEtherWallet claim the service is non-custodial (meaning users keep control of their keys).

Staked will run a validator node for them, making it easy for the users who don’t have the technical knowledge to participate, so no further action is required on the user’s part.”

See Also: Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain may speed up enterprise blockchain adoption

“Unity is the most popular game development engine used by game studios. With the release of the Arkane Unity plugin for Matic, game developers can publish their in-game items from within Unity straight to the Matic blockchain without any knowledge of smart contracts or transaction handling.

Moreover, thanks to the integration of Arkane wallets, gamers can sign on to their favorite games with their social logins like Google, Facebook or Twitter and automatically get a new Matic wallet, linked to the game, where their assets are safely stored.

Matic is rapidly becoming the go-to platform for Gaming and NFT Dapps, and Arkane Wallet is an incredibly powerful service in the arsenals of developers.”

“Bitcoin (BTC) may see a fresh “bearish signal” in the coming days as the Mt. Gox saga enters its final and possibly expensive phase. After multiple delays, creditors of Mt. Gox who lost money in its implosion in 2014 are set to know when they will receive BTC on Dec. 15.

After years of legal tussles, a rehabilitation scheme will see roughly 140,000 BTC distributed to creditors. The funds from the rehabilitation scheme are now worth $2.63 billion.”

Bitcoin – The Trillion Dollar Path To Becoming A Global Reserve Asset (Great Interview – Highly Recommended!)

See Also: Real Vision Documentary: Ethereum – An Investigation (Recommended Watch)
See Also: Cardano or Polkadot!?

“At a Tuesday panel called “Will CBDCs disrupt stablecoins?,” Giancarlo declared that the future of money depends on close government collaboration with the private sector.

Giancarlo compared the future of monetary development with the exploration of space and the development of the internet. The ex-CFTC chairman went on to say that the government’s collaboration with the private sector on digital money is ultimately a healthy approach.

The future of money is going to be determined by the public sector and the private sector working together.”

See Also: The Fiat Standard and Debt Slavery (Good Read)

“RBTC is the native coin on the RSK sidechain – a Bitcoin scaling solution that uses a blockchain-like network that sacrifices decentralization in favor of faster transaction speeds.

Before this change, RSK users would send bitcoin to a multi-signature wallet address – a wallet controlled by 12 different parties. The new system, dubbed Powpeg, will supplant these with an automated process, and most of the 12 signatories will now act as “pegnatories,” a group of validators who will monitor the RSK multi-signature wallet and the minting of RBTC.”