12 January

Bitcoin continues to trade in the opposite direction to the Dollar Index in a reflection of the cryptocurrency’s maturation as a macro asset like gold. Since the major markets crash in March, bitcoin and the index have trended in opposite directions, with bitcoin witnessing consolidation or correction during DXY’s temporary recovery rallies.

Bitcoin’s value increased as the money supply and inflation expectations grew. At the same time, the dollar depreciated to multi-year lows, resulting in an inverse correlation between the government-backed fiat and decentralized digital asset.

The DXY has jumped to two-week highs near 90.50, extending a two-day winning streak. The index reached a 33-month low of 89.21 on Jan. 6. The dollar’s latest bounce looks to have been fueled by a rise in U.S. Treasury yields.”

“Bitcoin exchange Bakkt has inked a business combination deal that will result in the Intercontinental Exchange subsidiary becoming a publicly traded company.

The agreement will see Bakkt merge with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Victory Park Capital. The combined company will be called “Bakkt Holdings” and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with an expected valuation of $2.1 billion.

The firm is planning a full launch of its Bakkt Cash app this spring, a year or so after Starbucks integrated it as a way for customers to top up their credits with bitcoin.”

“Over 24.6 billion tethers now circulate across Ethereum, Tron and Bitcoin’s Omni Layer, per data from Coin Metrics, up from 4.8 billion one year ago.

Among Tether customers are all the major OTC desks and high frequency trading firms in the space.

Taking the buyer’s funds, OTC desks will routinely convert to USDT and spread the buying pressure across all possible liquid venues, creating demand for more stablecoins. Growth also comes when traders start to “aggressively sell BTC into USDT” or vice versa, Trabucco noted.

Notably, trading volumes for markets quoted in USDT continue to surpass bitcoin-quoted pairs, which used to be where most trading volume concentrated.”

See Also: Ethereum layer-two network to offer batched Tether payments

“AgBank, one of the “big four” Chinese banks, is allowing customers to deposit and withdraw digital yuan to or from their current or savings accounts. Other major banks in the nation are also working on apps for the People’s Bank’s digital currency initiative.

As these and other trials continue, China looks to be closing in on the launch of the digital alternative to traditional cash and would be the first major nation to do so.”

“Vocdoni combines decentralized infrastructure such as the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) with bleeding-edge zero-knowledge proofs (zk-SNARKs) in an effort to bring democracy into the 21st century.

It’s infrastructure for digital societies. Vocdoni’s technology allows for infinitely scalable, free and anonymous voting with on-chain settlement. For us, that’s the Holy Grail of blockchain voting.

The addition of Ethereum throughput solution ZK-Rollups is expected later this year and should make the project capable of conducting elections consisting of the entire earth’s population, Arús claimed.

It’s super expensive – millions of dollars – to do a proper election. We thought we could do better than that.”

See Also: Aragon One CEO Jorge Izquierdo Resigns in Protest of ‘Governance’ Decisions

“The most common violations were anti-money laundering breaches, which are put in place to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income. Of all violators, US banks paid up the biggest fines.

Of all banks, US-based Goldman Sachs, a legacy bank founded in 1869 and one of the most influential financial institutions in the world, paid the biggest bank-related fine in 2020. It shelled out a $3.9 billion penalty for breaking anti-bribery laws in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi—a case now infamously known as the 1MDB scandal. Goldman paid another $2 billion to US authorities under different charges in the same case, bringing its total to nearly $6 billion.

Among other US banks, Wells Fargo paid a $3 billion fine in connection with a fake accounts scandal, while JPMorgan paid $920 million after its traders were found using “spoofing” techniques (which consists of faking market demand and supply) to manipulate the publicly-traded markets.”

“The solution supports verification of an individual’s SARS-CoV-2 status while remaining compliant with European data protection standards under the GDPR framework.

Ubrich anchors an anonymous digital fingerprint in a blockchain. This way, an individual’s certified SARS-CoV-2 status can easily be verified by the airline at the departure gate, the arrival airport, or any other entry point by scanning a QR Code. Important to know is that at no point during the process are person-specific user data or test results visible in the blockchain.”