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