30 January

“Just before the close, things got downright surreal when in a blog post the broker – which should probably change its name from Robinhood to Suit – made a shocking announcement: going forward, customers will be subject to maximum aggregate limits in 51 securities of which 14 are capped at position limits of just 5 shares, while allowing total holdings in 36 securities to be just one share!

In other words, as of this moment, no client is allowed to one more than 1 share in names like GME, AMC, AG, BBBY, BYND, WKHS and many others. Ie. virtually nobody can buy any new securities.

The most likely reason is that between DTC, clearinghouses and other regulatory entities, Robinhood was found to be in another capital deficiency position – even with the billions raised overnight – and it is being forced to delever. We only hope that the billions in funds held in custody for clients is segregated should the company collapse.”

See Also: Robinhood Limits Cryptocurrency Trading Citing ‘Extraordinary Market Conditions’
See Also: Could #WallStreetBets Be The Early Innings Of A Financial Arab Spring?

Google removed as many as 120,000 negative reviews of Robinhood, pushing the app’s rating from one star to about four stars. The company reportedly said that Google’s policies explicitly prohibit reviews aiming to manipulate an app’s rating.”

“The U.S. securities watchdog is looking into the affair of Robinhood and the Redditors.

The Commission will closely review actions taken by regulated entities that may disadvantage investors or otherwise unduly inhibit their ability to trade certain securities.

Robinhood, already the subject of enormous backlash from its users, is clearly in the sights of this announcement, as it is the “regulated entity” i.e. broker-dealer at the heart of the news. The firm’s shutting off of sales but not buys provoked mass ire from investors and casual observers.”

“FTX has listed a WallStreetBets (WSB) index quarterly futures contract in a bid to capitalize on the retail trading fervor that exploded in recent days.

The basket of markets that make up the contract include stocks being targeted by the Reddit trading group – Nokia (NOK), BlackBerry (BB), AMC Entertainment (AMC), GameStop (GME), iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – as well as the dogecoin (DOGE) cryptocurrency and FTX’s native token FTT.

WSB-related stocks have been our most requested products ever.”

WallStreetBets Next Move? They’re Coming For Crypto!

“Canadian investment firm Ninepoint Partners completed the C$230 million (US$180 million) initial public offering of its cryptocurrency fund which is now fully invested.

The bitcoin fund is available in both U.S. dollars and Canadian dollars and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols “BITC.U” and “BITC.UN.” According to Ninepoint, the fund will have the lowest management fee structure for a listed bitcoin vehicle in Canada.”

See Also: Crypto Lender BlockFi Registers Bitcoin Trust With SEC

“The Indian Parliament will consider a government-introduced bill that would ban private cryptocurrencies in its upcoming budget session. Given the ruling party controls both houses of Parliament, the chances of the bill’s passage are considered good.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, seeks to prohibit all cryptocurrencies in India and provide a framework for creating an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

If the bill is approved, India would become the only major Asian economy to ban private cryptocurrencies rather than regulate.

The shorts were liquidated after Elon Musk added “Bitcoin” to his Twitter bio and prices rose by over 15%.

That one word addition caused the price of bitcoin to spike to a 10-day high of $38,020 and sparked $387 million worth of short liquidations on major exchanges including Binance, Bitfinex, BitMEX, ByBit, Deribit, FTX, HuobiDM and OKEx.”

See Also: Reddit co-founder hoists the Bitcoin flag on Twitter amid price surge

“RevPop today launched its test network—a blockchain aimed at providing fertile soil for competing social networks that protect data. Developers can use the Matic Network to create an entire ecosystem of competing social networks atop the RevPop blockchain. If one disappoints, users can port their data to another.

The idea that we should be stuck with the Facebook approach on the one hand and the Twitter approach on the other and a few other things around the fringes is just absurd.”

“Following its merger into the Yearn ecosystem, SushiSwap has been making significant inroads into the market share of leading decentralized exchange Uniswap.

SushiSwap is evolving from being an exchange to include lending, franchised liquidity pools, cross-chain integrations and a launchpad. Under #Yearn ‘s ecosystem, it’ll benefit from new network effects.”

“Right now, blockchains communicate via tacked-on solutions (state channels, sidechains, swaps, bridges and so on). With the Stargate update to Cosmos on Feb. 18, the tools for native blockchain interoperability will be live on mainnet.

For us this will enable seamless and simple integrations with any Cosmos-based decentralized application.

There have been a lot of standalone bridges between blockchains built so far, but Stargate could mark a new era in composability, where we see one big system that lets lots of different chains trade value and build on each other’s strengths.”

See Also: New project uses rollups to build Linux-based decentralized computer

“SBI Holdings has reportedly partnered with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) to launch a digital stock exchange slated for spring 2022.

SBI and SMFG are expected to launch the platform in Osaka to compete against the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). The exchange is expected to be Japan’s first such stock exchange, allowing investors to trade digital securities using blockchain technology.”

29 January

“Legislators are responding fast to the madness surrounding Gamestop and AMC shares and the hedge funds selling them short. Earlier today, Robinhood and a number of other platforms aimed at retail investors cancelled buying on GME, in what many have been calling unfair collusion with the hedge funds in question.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who both sit on the House Financial Services Committee, both announced their firm opposition to Robinhood’s action, with AOC calling for a hearing as well.

People on Wall Street only care about the rules when they’re the ones getting hurt.

On Jan. 28, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters announced a coming hearing on short-selling. Sherrod Brown, the incoming chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, similarly called for a re-examination of stock market rules.”

See Also: WallStreetBets vs Robinhood: Users Sue Over GameStop Ban

“Purportedly in response to the unprecedented trading action that has been threatening hedge funds like Melvin Capital, Robinhood has suspended the purchase of stocks that Redditors are pumping — such as GameStop, AMC Entertainment and others.

Yesterday, some brokers including TD Ameritrade restricted trades, while Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said that the firm would consider halting trading for similar stocks with ‘unusual activity.’

See Also: FTX lists GameStop after Reddit-fueled 200% rally in two days
See Also: Wall Street, Big Tech Clamp Down on GameStop-Style Pumps; Biden Admin ‘Monitoring’ Situation

Wall St Bans Retail – Restricts ‘Free Markets’

See Also: Chamath Palihapitiya Full CNBC Interview (Highly Recommended Watch)

Reddit is growing its role in the Ethereum ecosystem, with the goal of building out scaling tools for the blockchain network. Reddit development resources, including a developer team, would be involved in this work.

In this new stage of our partnership, immediate efforts will be focused on bringing Ethereum to Reddit-scale production. Our intention is to help accelerate the progress being made on scaling and develop the technology needed to launch large-scale applications like Community Points on Ethereum.”

“Citing the need to deal with the “devaluation of money and credit,” the founder and co-chairman of the world’s largest hedge fund said he expects the firm to soon offer an alt-cash fund and a storehold of wealth fund.

Calling bitcoin “one hell of an invention,” Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio appears to have warmed a bit further to the largest cryptocurrency, saying it or its rivals could fill the growing need for alternatives to gold.”

See Also: Following in Grayscale’s footsteps, new Bitcoin trust goes public in Canada

Chief among EY blockchain lead Paul Brody’s predictions for 2021: Financial institutions will bring decentralized finance (DeFi) to a consumer audience. Asked which large companies he sees launching consumer DeFi, Brody believes this will emerge via app services: the Robinhoods, PayPals and Publics of the world.

Two major catalysts will help this DeFi conversion take place, according to Brody. Firstly, the testing, auditing and hardening of smart contracts; secondly, the inclusion of regulated stablecoins in the space. A final piece of the institutional DeFi puzzle is the introduction of real-world assets into the on-chain space.

Regulated stablecoins will make it a more mature sector for institutional investors and for the big money to come in.”

See Also: DeFi’s UNI Token Jumps 92% in One Week, Passes $15

Trusts for aave, cosmos and polkadot, as well as privacy coin monero and cardano, have been registered in Delaware.

The filings do not, however, mean that trusts will necessarily be launched for the four new assets, but do indicate that the asset manager is laying the groundwork for potential launches. As reported on Jan. 22, Grayscale has registered trusts for chainlink, basic attention token, decentraland, livepeer, tezos and filecoin in the last few months.”

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would keep U.S. interest rates close to zero and continue its $120 billion-a-month bond-buying program. The panel agreed to continue accommodative monetary policy until inflation averages 2% over time. On average, the Fed doesn’t expect 2% inflation until 2023.

The low-interest-rate environment is thought to be a boon for bitcoin and other high-yield investments that can offer the market alternatives to bonds.”

See Also: Fed Chair Powell: ‘We’d Welcome Higher Inflation’

“Financial authority figures from China and Singapore offered a glimpse at how the international roadmap for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) might play out, with the suggestion of an interoperability deal between the nations.

Let’s say if Singapore was willing to have the Chinese digital currency moving to Singapore and China was willing to accept the Singapore digital currency, maybe the two countries can sign a deal to work on those things.”

See Also: Central banks representing a fifth of world’s population likely to issue CBDC in 3 years: BIS
See Also: BIS Chief Blasts Bitcoin’s Viability, Prompting Blowback From Advocates

“The rule would have prohibited U.S. banks from denying services based on ideological factors.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday put former acting Comptroller Brian Brooks’ controversial “fair access” banking rule on hold pending a review by the new administration. The next OCC head will review the rule once he or she is confirmed.”

27 January

“The industry now has 60 days to provide feedback on the proposal.

The move is a victory for the crypto industry, which has complained the previous deadline of 15 days was far too short. FinCEN previously extended the comment period by 15 days for a proposed currency transaction report rule and 45 days for the counterparty data collection rule.

[Yellen]: I agree on the need to ensure adequate consultation with and input from stakeholders. If confirmed, I intend to ensure a full and substantive review of the proposals, which will include an assessment of how to ensure proper input from stakeholders.”

The Human Rights Foundation exec pushed back on narratives which paint privacy and self-sovereignty in a negative light. Gladstein claimed financial privacy was just as essential to a healthy democractic state as privacy in communication tools.

Authorities will blame extremism not just on Signal and Telegram, but also on Bitcoin and anything they can’t control.

Bitcoin is neutral like cash, and can’t discriminate between good and bad […] Some extremists use these tools. They also use mobile phones, email, and the internet.

The Human Rights Foundation exec warned that turning away from financial tools like Bitcoin could potentially lead to a bigger police state in the U.S. fueled by “mass surveillance to fight extremism.”

Most Americans may not yet grasp that financial privacy is just as important as communications privacy for our democracy — that your spending habits say more about you than your words. In an open society, the ability to buy political books, have discreet medical procedures, and build communities without government surveillance is essential.”

See Also: Goldman Sachs CEO: Regulators should be ‘hyperventilating’ at Bitcoin’s success

The firm is launching a vehicle called the Galaxy Ethereum Fund, along with two other ETH-focused funds geared toward onshore and offshore institutional investors. The onshore institutional fund requires a minimum investment of $250k, though the minimum is lowered to $100k for the offshore fund.

The fund profiles point to DeFi protocols as a potential growth area for the network.

Six applications in the Decentralized Finance space (“DeFi”) are now worth more than $1 billion and are generating up to $100s of millions in annualized revenue. Galaxy Digital believes Ethereum is an emerging substrate for programming and interacting with digital value that will become ubiquitous in the future.”

See Also: Big Guns Back $10M Investment in DeFi’s dYdX

Bitcoin’s price dropped as much as 10% during early trading hours on Tuesday as bitcoin miners started selling a large amount of the cryptocurrency for the first time since October.

Bitcoin miners’ position index, a ratio of the number of bitcoin leaving all miners’ wallets to that number’s one-year moving average, reached an eight-year high last week and is still above 2.0. Any value above 2.0 indicates that most miners are selling.

With a need to allocate capital to more (and newer) mining rigs, taking bitcoin off of their balance sheet for cash at three or four times higher prices 30-60 days after the wet season ended in China was about the best scenario [miners] could’ve asked for.”

See Also: Union Square Ventures to Allocate 30% of New $250M Fund to Crypto-Related Investments

Video game pioneer Atari is to take over a large Estate in the metaverse for the creation of a giant retro arcade featuring classic Atari games.

Not only that but the first Game Jam of 2021, kicking off in February, will be centered around the creation of Atari games made by the community. Alongside your creations, the arcade will feature legendary titles like Pong, Break-Out!, Asteroids, Missile Command, Centipede and more.”

See Also: Enjin enters the fashion world with augmented reality NFTs

“The U.S.-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange and custodian said it has added 20 new tokens for trading, including a number of DeFi tokens like Yearn.Finance, Uniswap and Filecoin.

Gemini has also added support for the Singapore dollar on its mobile and desktop apps, allowing FAST bank transfers for account deposits and crypto purchases.”

See Also: Japan’s top brokers compete with crypto-native exchanges for market share

“A pair of foreign government websites joined a growing cadre of online forums supporting Bitcoin’s founding document.

Publicly hosting digital copies of the white paper has become a community response to legal threats of alleged copyright violations filed by nChain Chief Scientist Craig Wright.

“Signal is actively developing payment features relating to a Stellar-based, privacy-focused cryptocurrency called MobileCoin. Like the Facebook-backed Diem (formerly Libra) project, MobileCoin has been touted internally as a way to make it easier for people in developing nations to move money around.

However, employees at the firm fear the additions may open the app up to abusive behavior and bring negative attention to the app and encryption technologies from regulators. A crypto payments feature is seen by staff as risky because it may draw criminals onto the platform.”

26 January

More institutional investors are seeing ether as a store of value, according to Coinbase’s annual review for 2020. The crypto exchange noticed “a growing number” of its institutional clients have taken positions in ether. These clients predominantly bought bitcoin in 2020.

The case for owning ethereum [ether] we hear most frequently from our clients is a combination of, first, its evolving potential as a store of value and, second, its status as a digital commodity that is required to power transactions on its network.

Adding to the thesis that institutional investors are growing more interested in ether, the CME announced in December it will launch ether futures contracts next month.”

See Also: Ethereum’s Ether Cryptocurrency Sets New All-Time Price High Above $1,450
See Also: Big Investors Stacked Up Ether as Price Rose to Record High

Some of the largest university endowment funds in the U.S. have been quietly buying cryptocurrency for the past year or so through accounts held at Coinbase and other exchanges. Harvard’s is the largest university endowment with over $40 billion in assets. Yale has over $30 billion.

A lot of endowments are allocating a little bit to crypto at the moment. Most have been in at least a year. I would think they will probably discuss it publicly at some point this year.

The second source, who is involved in the crypto hedge fund world, pointed to “a big change” over the past few months. ‘We are seeing defined benefit pension plans getting close to making allocations. We are seeing public pension plans getting close to making allocations.'”

See Also: Rothschild Investment Corporation increases stake in GBTC as institutional adoption grows

“The exchange traded fund (ETF) magnate and outspoken bitcoin advocate said large companies have asked her if they should follow Square. Inc’s lead.

I think we’re going to hear about more companies putting this hedge on their balance sheet, particularly tech companies who understand the technology and are comfortable with it.”

See Also: Marathon Invests $150 Million in Bitcoin—Stock Rises 7%

ConsenSys Quorum, an open-source protocol layer that serves as a foundation for businesses to build Ethereum-based applications, will be available in about 80 different cities through BSN’s public city nodes throughout mainland China.

China is a great example of where enterprise blockchain is a strong play. What Ethereum is doing with ConsenSys Quorum is connecting people who are essentially migrating from the permissioned chain to the global chain.

After the launch, BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China.

Designed to be the backbone of the so-called “Digital Silk Road,” BSN has so far deployed 108 public city nodes, connecting over 80 cities across mainland China and eight public city nodes in other countries around the world.”

“Opium Finance has released collateralized debt obligation products (CDOs) for Compound Finance’s automated lending markets.

Investors can put up the Compound debt token cDai – and soon Uniswap LP tokens – to diversify exposure to DeFi lending markets. Opium’s product pays out structured returns to both a senior and junior risk tranche in exchange. The former tranche offers a 7% fixed return on dai (a collateral-backed stablecoin) at maturity, while the latter pool offers a variable rate paid out after filling up the senior tranche’s return.

It’s thought the transparent nature of blockchain-based financial applications could limit the downside of using these complex derivatives. DeFi apps have little chance of becoming insolvent due to programmatic liquidation settings.”

See Also: DeFi Market Cap Reaches $45 Billion as Token Prices Shoot Up

Before that can happen, though, cryptocurrencies must overcome hurdles including high volatility, regulatory acceptance and reputational risks, according to a research note from the bank.

First, investors need trustworthy institutions to be able to hold digital currencies securely. Second, liquidity needs to improve significantly to reduce volatility to manageable levels.

If the issues can be addressed, bitcoin could have a place in investors’ portfolios as a potential safe-haven asset and means to diversify assets.”

“The sessions, titled Resetting Digital Currencies, will be held on Monday and Thursday. The first session will feature five public speakers, including Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union.

Thursday’s group features four speakers, including Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a senior minister for the government of Singapore, and Zhu Min, chairman of the Beijing-based National Institute of Financial Research.

What policies, practices and partnerships are needed to leverage the opportunities posed by the rise of digital currencies?”

See Also: Bank of England Governor Insists Digital Payments (but Not Crypto) Are Sticking Around

Dorsey’s plan to build a “decentralized standard for social media” is starting to take shape, with contributions from Protocol Labs, the company that’s produced the censorship-resistant InterPlanetary File System and distributed storage network Filecoin.

The paper covers IPFS and pulls from multiple contributing authors to explain the ins and outs of seven other protocols: ActivityPub, GUN, Hypercore Protocol, Matrix, Peergos, Solid, and XMPP. It also reviewed blockchain-based social networks such as Peepeth and Steemit, as well as decentralized applications such as P2P forum Aether and federated Mastodon.

Bluesky doesn’t yet have a roadmap—and it’s looking for a project lead. Moreover, as the review paper indicates, the team is looking at ways to monetize a decentralized platform at the application, provider and/or protocol level.”

“The International Air Transport Association will soon roll out blockchain-based passports that digitally store an individual’s health information — specifically, their COVID-19 testing and vaccination status.

Known as the IATA Travel Pass and described as a way to give travelers complete control over their own data, the app would reportedly also act as a two-way communication tool that broadcasts information to relevant governments, vaccination centers and airlines.

This is the beauty of the technology we’re using; it puts the passenger in complete control of their data. There’s no central database and nobody can hack it. The passenger owns their data and they share it with the airline.

So, now passengers have three key things on their phone — their digital passports, test results and what we call an ‘okay to travel’. Passengers can then choose whether to share this data on the airline app.”

See Also: Blockchain-aided voting trials to begin in India

The Disrupt Weekend

See Also: The State of Eth2, Jan 2021 (Recommended read)

“Today, Yield Protocol is releasing RateLock, a new tool to permit Dai borrowers on Maker to lock-in a low interest rate with as little as one click. RateLock lets you migrate your entire loan at a fixed rate, or just a portion of the loan by specifying the amount of collateral and debt to migrate.

In the Yield Protocol, fixed rate loans are created by borrowing “fixed yield Dai” (“fyDai”) tokens using ETH collateral. fyDai tokens are Ethereum-based tokens (ERC20) that may be redeemed one-for-one for Dai after a predetermined maturity date. fyDai are analogous to zero-coupon bonds. Borrowers mint fyDai and sell it to lock-in a fixed rate loan.

RateLock migrates a Maker loan to Yield by flash-minting fyDai and selling it for Dai to pay off your existing Maker loan and free up collateral. The collateral is then transferred to Yield, and new fyDai is minted to pay off the flash loan.”

Credit markets are essential fuel for innovation. But today, they don’t exist in DeFi. If entrepreneurs cannot readily access and borrow capital, innovation is hampered.

Over-collateralized DeFi loans are trust-minimized. But they’re also capital inefficient. A large portion of the global market for loans can’t operate under this architecture—they need actual credit lines. That’s where decentralized credit markets come into play.

It’s obvious that there’s a demand for credit in crypto. Centralized lenders are demonstrating that the market is currently worth billions—and it’s only getting warmed up.

On-chain credit introduces significant improvements over its centralized counterparts.

Decentralized credit markets massively expand the potential supply of lenders, creating more competitive markets. With open architecture, anyone, anywhere can become a lender if they’re willing to take on the risk. Just like anyone can become an LP on Uniswap, anyone will eventually be able to pool capital and earn an interest rate by providing credit to verified corporate borrowers. On-chain credit markets also introduce significant efficiency gains because borrowers have a direct feed into the capital market instead of going through gatekeepers.

Creating efficient credit markets that serve professional borrowers will help create a more sustainable source of yield for liquidity providers.

While ‘DeFi Degens’ are happy to bounce between flash-in-the-pan yield farms, it remains challenging for long-term focused lenders to earn a competitive yield on their assets. Lending to premium crypto-native institutions like funds, market makers and miners represents a more sustainable source of yield than “coin pumps” in yield farms.

Given the skyrocketing demand for credit and a huge pool of potential lenders, decentralized credit markets could easily grow bigger than the $25B locked in DeFi today.”

“The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is a world ruled by corporations. This is the kingdom of aggressive capitalism in its worst possible form.

The closed hierarchical structure of corporations, their excessive centralization, the lack of transparency in their activities and the emergence of huge monopolies led to wealth and benefits being distributed unevenly. Being focused mostly on achieving profits, large conglomerates could often afford to act not in the interests of society but solely in the interests of their own.

Their beneficiaries were a narrow circle of top managers and large stockholders, while the majority of the population only lost from high prices for low-quality products produced by monopolies, as well as suffering from collateral environmental damage.

Today, “new technological startups” have become the so-called Big Tech, which controls most of the world’s data and media. And these companies are not just market monopolists — as we can see, now Big Tech considers it possible and advisable to interfere in the democratic processes of economically developed countries. Big Tech is also known for its censoring of information it does not consider appropriate or politically correct. You can see a certain political agenda even in Google search results.

Blockchain technology should help rethink the very essence of companies’ work and make it much more transparent. When every action of managers is displayed on a general ledger that is independent and not controlled by any narrow group of people, the temptation to conduct dubious transactions and cheat with accounting data is much lower. Access to the register can be provided to all interested groups — primarily, to the society and regulatory bodies, but also to the employees of the company.

The use of blockchain makes it possible to create a new, transparent, open company structure as opposed to the current rigid hierarchies of corporations. Thus, social responsibility will be distributed among a large number of people and will be transparent for society.

The use of blockchain makes it technically possible to create more responsible, transparent business structures — which, in turn, can save us from the centralized hell that is shown in Cyberpunk 2077 and similar works.”

See Also: Why secure data tokenization should scare the hell out of Big Data
See Also: We don’t need immunity passports, we need verifiable credentials

“While some countries are putting pressure on investors and levying taxes on income and capital gains from Bitcoin transactions, many are taking a different approach—often with the aim of promoting better adoption and innovation within the crypto industry.

Here’s our list of the most crypto-friendly tax jurisdictions, updated for 2021.”

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC would serve as the custodian for the proposed ETF.

With a new administration causing a changing of the guard at the SEC, it is widely hoped by crypto advocates that such an ETF will be approved in 2021. Clayton stepped down officially last month and was replaced by Gary Gensler, who is widely seen as being more pro-crypto than is his predecessor.”

“FlamingoDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for investing in digital collectibles, is behind Saturday’s eye-popping CryptoPunk sale. Only nine such “Alien” punks exist in the CryptoPunks universe, which pioneered non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2017 and are the “Holy Grail” for an emerging class of Ethereum-based art collectors.

Flamingo is a fund with roughly 40 members and 4,800 ETH in pooled capital, Desai said. It has “hundreds” of NFTs in its growing collection including rare Autoglyphs, NBA Top Shot cards and land plots in various metaverses.

It’s understandable for folks to be skeptical about NFTs, but in our view, NFTs are the future of not just digital art, but all digital property.”

“China’s biggest cities are planning to hold pilots to promote the use of the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) this year.

The report cites “industry observers” as saying the announcements mark a bigger push to promote the digital currency before a launch in the “near future.”

23 January

“According to on-chain data, institutions have continued their purchases of bitcoin despite the volatility and near-term bearish market sentiment.

The number of the total bitcoin transactions on the network remains high. However, most transactions were done through over-the-counter (OTC) deals, a preferred approach by institutional investors.

93% of transactions in the Bitcoin network is used for non-exchange transactions like OTC deals.

Institutional investors really piled into the bitcoin space after Paul Tudor Jones announced his entrance, and they didn’t stop as 2020 came to a close. There is little reason to assume institutional interest in the bitcoin space will suddenly disappear in 2021.

The recent price volatility is due to “over-leveraged” speculative traders and retail investors who found themselves “weak-handed,” according to OKEx Insights Senior Editor Adam James.”

See Also: Bitcoin as a last resort? Murmurs of crypto as reserve currency abound (Good read)

1. CME Ethereum Futures:

The world’s largest derivatives platform, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), publicly announced on Dec. 16 its plans to launch Ethereum futures by Feb. 8, provided it receives regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This is beneficial because it will give institutional investors in particular the opportunity to hedge spot positions, which reduces overall risk and in turn makes Ethereum a much more attractive investment.

2. Ether Burning and Predictable Fees:

Right now, transaction fees are determined via an auction-style system where users who attach the highest fees to their transactions get them processed the quickest by miners. This system causes a number of issues, namely unpredictable and often extremely high fees during periods of heavy congestion.

EIP 1559 suggests scrapping the current auction-style fee system in favor of an algorithmically determined base cost, called the “BASEFEE.” The BASEFEE aims to introduce a uniform fee across all ethereum-centric platforms and services that rises and falls depending on network activity. This means no more fee discrepancies between ERC-20 compatible wallets, protocols, and exchanges.

The second function of EIP 1559, and the one that will likely have the greatest impact on Ethereum’s future price, is the introduction of burning ether. Burning means completely removing tokens from existence, causing a reduction in the circulating supply. EIP 1559 plans to burn the BASEFEE so the vast majority of the ether used to process transactions is destroyed as opposed to being given to network validators.

3. Ethereum 2.0 Phase 1 Rollout:

Phase 1 is the next stage in Ethereum’s development and will see the launch of 64 shard chains. All transaction activity across the network will eventually be divided among and processed by these separate blockchains. The benefits of this new system will be that transactions won’t need to be validated by the entire network, only by a single shard chain. This will greatly reduce the time it takes to confirm transactions, and it means the overall network will be capable of handling significantly higher volumes without suffering the level of congestion it currently does.”

“New numbers published on the Coinbase “About” page Friday show the exchange now has over $90 billion in assets on platform and over 43 million registered users.

Coinbase’s asset surge is likely driven by the likes of MicroStrategy, Ruffer Investment and other institutions that have used the exchange’s prime brokerage service to make large bitcoin buys in recent months.

Assets under the control of Coinbase Custody accounted for “more than 50%” of the $90 billion total, the report states, adding that Coinbase executed ‘single trades exceeding $1 billion for some of the largest institutions in the world.'”

VanEck’s new ETF is called the Digital Assets ETF. The new fund would track the price and performance of the Global Digital Assets Equity Index run by its subsidiary MV Index Solutions.

Digital asset companies refer to companies that operate digital asset exchanges, payment gateways, mining operations, software, equipment and technology or services to the digital asset industry, and others.”

Tether Ltd.’s Bahamas-based bank, Deltec, said on Friday that the company’s stablecoin is fully backed by reserves, downplaying resurgent fears about the cryptocurrency’s integrity.

Every tether is backed by a reserve and their reserve is more than what is in circulation. We can see it first hand, so I can confirm that.

Reserves are said by Tether on its website to include ‘traditional currency and cash equivalents and, from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities.'”

“Over the past three weeks the price of REN has increased by more than 200%, going from $0.251 on Dec. 27 to a new all-time high of $0.778 on Jan. 20 driven by a record $369 million in 24-hour volume.

Three reasons for the recent price surge in the price of REN include the announcement of a collaboration with Google, the continued increase in total value locked on the platform and the ability to earn passive income in multiple cryptocurrencies through the operation of a darknode. Asylo is an open and flexible framework from Google designed to help build portable applications that run on Secure Enclave hardware.

The rapid growth of DeFi, its ever expanding total value locked and soaring ETH gas fees further highlight the sector’s need for a layer 2 option that also supports the ability to transact value across different networks.”

See Also: NFT boom and platform upgrades back Decentraland’s (MANA) 100% rally
See Also: Clever Aave to Matic bridge keeps track of yields

“The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub listed its priorities and programs for 2021 Friday, among which will be a new platform for testing wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The “proof of concept” platform will use multiple CBDCs ‘to explore the feasibility of faster and cheaper cross-border payments.’

“Sber, Russia’s largest retail bank, has applied for a license with the country’s central bank to issue its own digital token for corporate clients.

This stablecoin will allow companies to use smart contracts on Sber’s platform based on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Tokenizing both material goods and fiat money on this platform will allow transactions to be fully automatic.

Sberbank, is the first Russian mainstream company that has publicly announced an application for a digital asset registration with the central bank. The Bank of Russia itself has been exploring the possibility of launching a Russian ruble-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital ruble.”

See Also: Some Russian officials are being forced to sell their crypto by April 2021

Best 4 Crypto Payment Cards

“While van der Laan’s work is mostly “janitorial” in nature, making sure the project’s code proceeds smoothly, some in the community view him as a leader of sorts. He thinks this move will help to decentralize the project, a digital currency that is supposed to not have any leaders.

His announcement comes after finding himself in the midst of controversy on Thursday. Some Bitcoin users didn’t like his decision to pull the white paper from bitcoincore.org, following legal threats from Craig Wright.

He has asked other developers to step up to take his place as the leader of the weekly Bitcoin Core development meeting, where developers discuss pressing next steps.”

“Blockchain-based supply-chain provider SUKU today unveiled a new microfinancing ecosystem that will provide lending services to farmers, ranchers, and other small businesses. SUKU says the mission of its SUKU DeFi protocol is to incentivize the participation of people who might not have access to financial services such as microlending.

What makes SUKU’s mission especially interesting is that it focuses on people that might not have access to a stable Internet connection necessary to use most DeFi products. Users can interact with the SUKU DeFi protocol via SUKU’s TextMeCrypto service, which facilitates sending, receiving, and swapping ERC20 Tokens via SMS text or WhatsApp.

SUKU DeFi is live, and TextMeCrypto is live on the Kovan testnet with a scheduled mainnet release in early this year.”

22 January

Bitcoin ended Thursday down 13%, posting its largest daily drop since the market crash of March 2020.

The leading cryptocurrency’s drop is “probably just a dip,” according to Techemy Capital trader Josh Olszewicz, who is not expecting a prolonged correction. Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone agreed, [stating] he could see bitcoin ‘probing for support and resistance within a mostly $30,000 to $40,000 range for awhile until embarking on the next leg of the stair-step rally.'”

See Also: The Bitcoin Double-Spend That Never Happened

The Treasury Secretary nominee said that while cryptocurrencies can be used to finance terrorism and other illicit activities, they also have the potential to “improve the efficiency of the financial system”.

I think we need to look closely at how to encourage their use for legitimate activities while curtailing their use for malign and illegal activities. If confirmed, I intend to work closely with the Federal Reserve Board and the other federal banking and securities regulators on how to implement an effective regulatory framework for these and other fintech innovations.”

“According to The Wall Street Journal, President Biden is expected to nominate Michael Barr to serve as Comptroller of the Currency. Like his predecessor, Barr would bring cryptocurrency experience.

In addition to working on Dodd-Frank banking reforms in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, when he was Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Treasury, Barr was named an advisor to Ripple Labs in 2015.

Our global payments system is badly outdated. I think innovation in payments can help make the financial system safer, reduce cost, and improve access and efficiency for consumers and businesses alike.”

See Also: Chris Brummer Said to Be Biden’s CFTC Chair, Crypto-Friendly Tarbert Steps Down

“The dollar amount of ETH deposited into the Eth2 contract stands at approximately $3.75 billion, or 2.5% of Ethereum’s total market cap, with 4,864 unique depositor addresses. [Notably], more ETH is now being staked by individual contributors than single addresses with large balances, which had dominated flows to the Eth2 contract throughout December.

Ryan reports that testing is continuing on the newly-implemented beacon chain, which will serve as the bridge by which ETH1 will communicate with ETH2. He predicts that the first half of the year will be dedicated to research and development of user clients, as upgrade specifications are “vetted and refined.”

Next up is the implementation of shard chains, also known as phase 1 of the ETH2 rollout, which is expected to take place in the latter half of 2021. The sharding of Ethereum will allow the network’s load to be spread across 64 chains, increasing its transaction capacity exponentially and thus ability to scale.

Although Ethereum’s current L1 coupled with L2 scalability techniques will help massively in the next 12 months… Ethereum will continue to see demand outstrip supply as global adoption continues.”

“With the 3.0 release, Kyber will transition to become a network of specialized liquidity pools. For example, Kyber 3.0 will allow very high amplification factors for pairs between different wrappers of the same asset, similar to Curve. The team says this would allow a 100-fold improvement to slippage. Other, less stable pairs like Bitcoin (BTC) to Ether (ETH), would be able to benefit from a five-to-ten-fold improvement in capital efficiency.

The optimization is achieved by implementing dynamic market makers, or DMMs. This iteration on the original concept allows fine-tuned adjustments to the key parameters of a liquidity pool. Creators will be able to customize the pool’s relative weights of each asset — similar to Balancer — and set a custom amplification factor to reduce slippage.

Trading fees will be adjusted dynamically as well: During periods of high volume, fees will be increased, and conversely they will be decreased during lower volume periods. Such a mechanism helps mitigate some of the damage from impermanent loss.

The new architecture is also designed to support future cross-chain and layer-two scaling solutions. The token economics of KNC will also be overhauled to bring it in line with other governance tokens.

The upgrade will be rolled out in two phases, called Katana and Kaizen.”

Wisely is a blockchain-based communications platform-as-a-service aimed to offer more private and secure messaging.

The edge-to-edge encrypted platform is built on Microsoft Azure as a global network for secure communications including SMS, email and chat messages. Businesses can access the network via a single application programming interface (API) offering multi-channel capabilities.”

“Deposits from digital currency customers now make up nearly 16% of total deposits at New York’s Signature Bank. Signature’s $10 billion in deposits from crypto businesses is now double that of rival Silvergate.

Signature banks the “top five crypto exchanges,” DePaolo said, and is now offering retail banking services through them.

We’ve clearly become the preeminent player in that space. It’s obvious that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are not going away.”

See Also: Nebraska Lawmaker Introduces Bills That Would Permit Banks to Custody Crypto

“It will also let them get paid in Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum.

Many of our employees are enthusiastic supporters of cryptocurrency, and we’re happy to help them gain exposure to this trillion-dollar asset class.

We’re proud to give the members of our team the ability to easily invest in cryptocurrency and build their savings.”

ZKSwap (ZKS) Layer-2 DEX

Eight Ethereum mining pools amounting to around 30% of the network’s hash power have cast their support behind tiny mining pool Flexpool’s stance against Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559. The small pool – which only mined 10 blocks among 48 miners in December – is now calling on Ethereum miners to jump ship from major mining pools that support the update.

First proposed in April 2019 by Vitalik Buterin, EIP 1559 flips the traditional mining payment scheme on its head by burning most of the transaction fees typically given to miners in a bid to address transaction fee volatility.

Colluding against the update would bare large costs for mining parties.

It is easy for [miners] to signal they are against the change, and much costlier for them to actually follow through on things like forming cartels.

The EIP has received strong support among developers and could be forked into the Ethereum codebase sometime after the Berlin hard fork.”

21 January

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $7.81 trillion under management, appears to have granted at least two of its funds the ability to invest in bitcoin futures. The filings appear to mark BlackRock’s entrance into the bitcoin market.

BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc. and BlackRock Funds V are at least eyeing bitcoin. They both include the world’s oldest cryptocurrency on their lists of derivative products cleared for use. However, the funds may only invest in cash-settled bitcoin futures.

Last November, the company’s CIO for fixed income, Rick Rieder, told CNBC that cryptocurrency may be “here to stay,” and could even replace gold “to a large extent,” noting that it was “much more functional” than the yellow metal.”

See Also: Bitcoin thermocap metric shows BTC price is still in the ‘low end’ of bull cycle
See Also: Bitcoin Becomes Most-Crowded Trade After Passing ‘Long Tech’: Bank of America Survey

“Stephen Harper, an economist and the former prime minister of Canada, said bitcoin could potentially see use as a reserve currency, but it isn’t going to supplant the U.S. dollar’s international role.

Unless the U.S. becomes a catastrophe, it’s hard to see what the alternative is to the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency. Other than you know gold, bitcoin [and] a whole basket of things, right? I think you’ll see that the number of things that people use as reserves will expand, but the U.S. dollar will still be the bulk of it.”

“I think many [cryptocurrencies] are used, at least in transactions sense, mainly for illicit financing and I think we really need to examine ways in which we can curtail their use and make sure that anti-money laundering doesn’t occur through those channels.

As Fed Chair, Yellen said she didn’t want to over-regulate the crypto space, though she’s also dismissed bitcoin at various points during her term and immediately after. When she takes office, she’ll oversee a number of proposed regulations through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, including a controversial rule that would require exchanges to collect and store counterparty information for unhosted wallets.”

See Also: Criminal Activity in Crypto Transactions Fell Sharply in 2020, Says Chainalysis

President Joe Biden has frozen all agency rulemaking, including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s controversial proposal on “unhosted wallets.”

The freeze, effective until the proposed rules undergo further review, is already being hailed by cryptocurrency advocates, who fiercely opposed both the proposed rule and the initial attempt by the previous administration to rush it through.

We fought hard & earned the right to take a breath & reset.”

“Basing his prediction partly on use cases for Ethereum’s blockchain technology, Grider wrote in a note Tuesday that ether has scope for a rally to $10,500, according to Bloomberg. That’s an over seven-fold rise from the current price of $1,320.

Ether is the best risk/reward investment play in crypto. Blockchain computing may be the future of the cloud.

Grider sees bullish pressure stemming from the second-largest cryptocurrency’s growing role as the underlying infrastructure for the decentralized finance (or DeFi) space, which witnessed explosive growth in 2020. Ethereum is also eyeing transaction processing ability to rival card payment giants with a major network upgrade, per the report.

Ethereum launched its Beacon chain in December, kicking off a three-part series of transitions aimed at building a blockchain capable of handling an entire financial system.

See Also: Ethereum’s Ether Cryptocurrency Sets New All-Time Price High Near $1,440
See Also: What’s Next for Ethereum After Cryptocurrency Hits All-Time High
See Also: Why Ethereum 2.0 Shifts How Investors Value ETH

Berlin is an update for the current Ethereum 1.0 proof-of-work blockchain.

There are five EIPs in the draft published today: EIP-2565 (ModExp Gas Cost), EIP-2315 (Simple Subroutines for the EVM), EIP-2929 (Gas cost increases for state access opcodes), EIP-2718 (Typed Transaction Envelope), and EIP-2930 (Optional access lists).

With all participating clients having the code for those EIPs merged (the only exclusion is EIP-2930 for Geth), the Berlin upgrade could now be close to activation. However, the fork block number is not specified yet, so a date hasn’t been set in stone.”

See Also: The State of 1559 – Update #6

Connext is a cross-chain routing network for Ethereum L2s and shards. Vector, our flagship implementation of this network, uses state channels to enable swapping value between chains through a network of intermediary liquidity providers called routers.

This means you can use Vector to:

  • Instantly enter and exit, circumventing withdraw windows, into any Ethereum L2, shard, or turing-complete chain.
  • Send value (and soon even call contracts) between L2 ecosystems. For instance, using Uniswap running on Optimism with assets on Arbitrum.
  • Execute normal state channel usecases like conditional micropayments.

This marks the start of the multi-chain Ethereum ecosystem, where users can seamlessly interact with wallets and applications running on a variety of different L2s and shards, all without ever needing to know it’s happening.”

“The move continues to add accessibility to IPFS, allowing Brave users to access content on the protocol by ‘resolving ipfs:// URIs via a gateway or installing a full IPFS node in one click.’

Brave users who enable the IPFS node will have a network that still functions during internet outages and shutdowns and, for example, can access critical information such as COVID-19 news which is censored in some countries.

Dapps are ideal candidates to be hosted on IPFS.

One goal of this integration is to provide an early look at what truly decentralized access to information can look like and get feedback from developers and users so IPFS can start layering on more features and functionality in Brave.”

“Perpetual Protocol, a DeFi project offering decentralized perpetual contracts using the layer-two Ethereum scaling solution xDai, has emerged as the sixth-largest DEX by weekly trade volume after operating for only one month.

Despite executing 179,000 transactions during its first month of operation, the xDai-powered Perpetual Protocol spent just $183 on gas fees.

All trading fees generated by the protocol are currently sent to an insurance fund designed to secure the protocol, with the project planning to divert 50% of fees to PERP stakers once its staking pool has launched.”

See Also: Enjin Coin surges 71% after becoming first regulatory approved gaming token in Japan
See Also: ‘Let’s Not Be Bitcoin’: Yearn Finance Considers Minting $200M in New YFI Tokens
See Also: Chainlink Hits Record High, Altcoins Rally Amid Bitcoin Consolidation

Bitfinex expects to finish turning documents over to the Office of the New York Attorney General (NYAG) in the coming weeks, a procedural hurdle that would move the state prosecutor’s investigation of the alleged $850 million Tether cover-up one step closer to conclusion.

The documents could shed light into the financial goings-on of tight-lipped iFinex. New York state prosecutors alleged in April 2019 that Bitfinex papered over an $850 million loss by padding its books with a massive Tether loan.”

“Lido is a DAO that’s meant to give users a way to their ETH behind the new iteration of Ethereum without sacrificing its liquidity.

Those who deposit ETH into Lido to stake for Eth 2.0 will receive stETH in return. stETH earns a return from staking. Anywhere it resides, more stETH will appear. Users can trade it away and whomever receives it will begin earning the returns the former holder had.

Tokenized staking ETH is interesting, because you can use the tokenized staked ETH as collateral (for example in Aave) and get more liquidity in ETH so you can leverage quite a lot in Eth 2.0 staking, I’m curious to see how much leverage there will be in staking.”

“Automotive giants BMW and Ford have taken another step in developing a means to tackle used car fraud by recording the provenance and history of vehicles using blockchain technology.

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has released the second installment of a standard for how to record the “true” identity of vehicles on a blockchain platform.

Dubbed vehicle “birth certificates,” the Vehicle Identity Standards I and II focus on vehicle registration and maintenance traceability in order to provide a “tamper-proof” history of the vehicle to buyers, regulators and insurers.

See Also: Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech create blockchain system for P2P energy trading

“The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is launching a trading platform for digital assets in the second half of 2021.

The products listed on the platform will be tokenized assets and will not include cryptocurrencies. That’s because the asset class does not meet the stock exchange’s product standards and could be used to facilitating money laundering.”

See Also: Coinbase Buys Blockchain Infrastructure Startup Bison Trails
See Also: Bitpanda Launches Debit Card That Lets Users Spend Fiat, Crypto and Precious Metals

16 January

Optimism has “soft launched” its solution to Ethereum’s transaction problem, the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM). The startup announced Friday that OVM is now live, at a time when gas fees have reached near all-time highs for decentralized finance (DeFi) traders.

First on the docket is DeFi exchange Synthetix, which has been working on an integration for some weeks now. The transition will roll out in four phases to limit risk to the platform. Staking the platform’s native token, SNX, is now possible on OVM.

We have opted for initiating the transition with the absolute minimum risk to [layer one], and then adding functionality over the course of the next few months as we build confidence in [Optimistic Ethereum].

In conjunction with other technical solutions, the expectation is Ethereum will be able to execute and settle about 100,000 transactions per second (TPS) with rollups.”

See Also: Someone Moved $1 Billion on Ethereum for Just $7
See Also: 0x (ZRX) price rallies 35% ahead of v4 mainnet update

Only one major ETF was trading at volumes slightly higher than the BTCetc ETP in the first 11 days of January. The average daily order book turnover for the BTCetc ETP (BTCE) reached €57 million ($69 million).

The most highly traded exchange-traded product on the stock exchange – the iShares Global Clean Energy Ucits ETF (INRG) – was ahead of the BTCE by only €1 million.”

See Also: Canada’s first public Bitcoin fund hits $1 billion
See Also: GBTC has a new a competitor in the OTC Bitcoin trust market

“U.S. banking powerhouse Goldman Sachs has issued a request for information (RFI) to explore digital asset custody. When asked about timing, the Goldman source said the bank’s custody plans would be “evident soon.”

Like JPMorgan, we have issued an RFI looking at digital custody. We are broadly exploring digital custody and deciding what the next step is.

A tectonic shift took place in the world of crypto custody this week, as San Francisco-based Anchorage attained conditional approval from the OCC to become a national digital bank and “unequivocally” meet the definition of “qualified custodian” in the process.

Anchorage President Diogo Mónica said in an interview this regulatory approval will invite many large and risk-averse institutional players into crypto. Goldman, JPMorgan and Citi are all said to be looking at crypto custody.

“The Chinese national blockchain project, the Blockchain Service Network, is planning to pilot integration with global central bank digital currencies. According to a Jan. 15 blog post, the BSN is looking to build a universal digital payment network, or UDPN, based on CBDCs of various countries as part of its 2021 roadmap.

With the UDPN, BSN aims to enable a standardized digital currency transfer method and payment procedure. The new system intends to bring together systems like banking, insurance, enterprise resource planning and mobile apps through APIs to provide a cost-friendly global payment solution.”

“Bitcoin’s two-day rally has stalled as the U.S. dollar gains ground in the wake of Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus announcement. The lack of a bullish response by the bitcoin market is perhaps surprising, given that fiscal/monetary stimulus is inflationary and bitcoin is widely considered a store of value.

The strength of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies could be playing spoilsport. The performance of USD on the Dollar Index (DXY) has affected the cryptocurrency’s price in the past, and the negative correlation between the two assets is strengthening.

Analysts, however, expect the greenback’s bounce to be short-lived.”

Creditors of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox will be presented with the option to claim up to 90% of the exchange’s remaining bitcoin. The deal between Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee and MGIFLP, a unit of Fortress Investment Group, will be presented to creditors for a simple up or down vote.

Investors aren’t obligated to take the early payment and can wait for the lawsuits against the former exchange to settle. It was not clear at press time how many bitcoins are left for creditors to claim.”

15 January

The crypto industry has its first federally chartered bank: Anchorage.

Crypto custodian Anchorage has secured conditional approval for a national trust charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), making it the first national “digital asset bank” in the U.S. The safekeeping, management and trading of digital assets have been regulatory stumbling blocks for large financial institutions – but those obstacles are gradually being removed.

We are a national bank. The only difference is our business line, that we’re doing crypto assets versus doing other assets. The benefit of having a federally chartered bank is that it preempts all the state laws. The clarity of being regulated by the oldest regulator for banks in the United States … sends a very clear message.

Acting OCC chief Brian Brooks, speaking at a public event earlier Wednesday, expressed his belief that banks and financial services more broadly will transition to being blockchain-based.

I think what’s necessary is the creation of crypto banks that are able to hold stablecoins that reflect value of a fiat currency, but that doesn’t change the native asset, and you need to have real cryptocurrencies over here where they interact directly with each other, with no need to ever off-ramp. Fiat will ultimately be a legacy thing of the past.

Today’s announcement is a recognition that not only can banks engage with crypto, but that crypto companies can function as banks. This is the most important step yet towards the full modernization of our financial services system.

Fellow crypto startups BitPay and Paxos have also applied for federal charters through the OCC. Kraken and Avanti are special-purpose depository institutions organized under Wyoming state law.”

See Also: NYDIG Taps Fintech Firm Moven to Bring Bitcoin to Your Bank
See Also: Number of financial planners investing in crypto increases by 50%
See Also: CrossTower Launches Capital Markets Desk to Bring Institutions to Its Spot Exchange

“The amount of Ether held on exchanges has plunged over the past two days. Data from Glassnode indicates that Ether reserves on centralized exchanges have not been this low since July 2018. As of this writing, only 7% of Ether’s circulating supply is held on exchanges.

Saunders interprets the data as suggesting an explosive bull-run into new all-time highs is imminent for Ether. According to crypto market data aggregator Into The Block, Ether is currently exhibiting numerous bullish signals, including a bid-to-ask volume imbalance of almost 9%.”

See Also: Gnosis receives $2.3B Ethereum in a day, now 3rd largest ETH holder with 2.2% of supply
See Also: eToro warns users crypto trading may become limited due to ‘unprecedented demand’

“The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said Thursday it would reopen its proposed rulemaking period for an additional 15 days for its reporting requirements, and another 45 days for a requirement on recordkeeping and counterparty reporting requirements.

Perhaps most important, the 15-day extension means Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is said to be spearheading this effort, will be out of office by the time the comments period closes, perhaps allowing for FinCEN to better incorporate industry feedback.

FinCEN is providing a longer period in light of the somewhat greater complexity of those aspects of the proposed rule and various issues identified in comments received during the original comment period.”

See Also: DC Magistrate Judge Calls Unhosted Wallet ‘Horror Story’ a ‘Fiction’

“Biden’s bill – which amounts to $400 billion for Covid-19 management, more than $1 trillion in direct relief spending and $440 billion for communities and businesses – is more than double the $900BN bipartisan bill approved last month, and only slightly below the March 2020 Cares Act.

We have to act and we have to act now,’ Biden said, ahead of laying out a second, even broader economic recovery plan next month at a joint session of Congress. That initiative will include money for longer-term development goals such as infrastructure and climate change, the transition team said. So even more trillions.

“As excessive Ethereum gas prices continue to hamper smaller transactions and operations on the network, the number of faster and cheaper options continues to expand as layer-two adoption increases.

The LeverJ decentralized exchange has seen a surge in trading volumes since it launched perpetual contracts four weeks ago. Around $75 million has been traded across 26,600 transactions, costing just under $600 in total gas fees.

Only in DeFi 2021 could you miss these monster numbers trading on an Ethereum DEX—built on L2.

Decentralized exchange Loopring is also gaining traction with new updates and layer-two liquidity mining incentives for its native token, LRC. Its latest feature is the ability to send from a Loopring L2 account to any Ethereum based L1 account without the recipient ever needing to be on L2. DeFi protocol Synthetix is also poised to launch its Optimism layer-two staking upgrade called Castor later today, Jan. 14.

“The Winklevoss twins said in an interview they are considering taking the New York-based digital-asset firm public due to the rising interest in cryptocurrencies.

We are definitely considering it and making sure that we have that option. We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time. We are certainly open to it.”

See Also: Gemini to Offer Credit Card With Crypto Rewards

DTCC Global Settlement Behemoth and Ethereum

“The U.S. is going slow on central bank digital currencies (CDBCs) considering the risks they may pose to the dollar’s dominance, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve said Thursday.

Powell estimated it will take “years rather than months” before the Fed releases a CBDC, despite early studies of digital dollar–friendly blockchains at the central bank’s Boston outpost. He added the Fed is “investing heavily” in understanding the technology and looking at the policy questions CBDCs pose.”

See Also: Forget Facebook’s Stablecoin. Now It’s $700B Bitcoin in the Crosshairs

Cream is now allowing other protocols to borrow funds without posting collateral. For risk management purposes, the system is not permissionless. Each protocol needs to be whitelisted by Cream for a line of credit. The protocol is then able to borrow freely, until it reaches the credit limit set by Cream.

For the Yearn ecosystem, the Iron Bank can be particularly useful for increasing the effectiveness of yield farming strategies. By leveraging assets without posting collateral, Yearn vaults can effectively multiply the yield they obtain from farming SUSHI, CRV and ALPHA. At the same time, people supplying assets on Cream benefit from the higher interest-rate payouts.”

“Suarez, for his part, was interested in promoting Miami as a potential hotbed for new innovation in tech. Suarez also mentioned that he’s looking into ‘allowing people to use crypto to pay for city fees,’ from property taxes to fees associated with permits.

We want anyone who shares our vision to come here and build.”