14 January

Internet hosting giant Cloudflare will be able to connect to domains hosted on the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) by a new indexing service.

We are proud to announce a new resolver for the Distributed Web, where IPFS content indexed by the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) can be accessed.

The primary purpose of the eth.link service is pretty straightforward: users can append ‘.link’ to the end of a .eth name to access an IPFS website at the name like a normal website, no special browsers or extensions necessary.”

See Also: Pirated Academic Database Sci-Hub Is Now on the ‘Uncensorable Web’

“Arxnovum Investments Inc. filed documents for the “Arxnovum Bitcoin ETF” on Monday. The ETF is planned to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker “BIT.U.”

The proposed bitcoin ETF will provide investors with exposure to bitcoin and daily price movements of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin by investing in bitcoin and/or bitcoin futures contracts, and/or other derivative instruments that provide economic exposure to bitcoin.

Winklevoss-owned Gemini Trust company will be the sub-custodian of the bitcoin held by the ETF.”

See Also: New Bitcoin ETP Launches on Swiss Stock Exchange SIX
See Also: SolidX files lawsuit against VanEck alleging Bitcoin ETF ‘plagiarism’

“Cryptocurrencies could grow fivefold by 2025 into a $3 trillion market, under new projections from Bakkt Holdings. In the investor presentation, Bakkt estimated its revenue, net of transaction-related expenses, could grow by an average 75% per year to $515 million by 2025.

The underlying assumptions behind the transaction show just how bullish investors, entrepreneurs and financial executives have become over the past year on the fast-paced digital-asset industry.”

See Also: Goldman Sachs says Bitcoin is on the path to maturity
See Also: Multiple Tokens See Rally Amid Looming ‘Alt Season’

“We had a really, really awful event in the United States last week. What has followed from that, however, is truly chilling. Now you’ve got payments companies saying that they will not process the payments of people who are of a certain political party who voted one way on a contested political issue.

Everything is at risk if financial technology is politicized.

Payments platforms Shopify and Stripe deplatformed Trump’s campaign after the violence. Brooks said this is an extension of the existing pressure payment companies have exerted on businesses in the past.

The OCC under Brooks is looking into creating a rule that would prohibit institutions from not providing services to certain industries, including the energy and crypto sectors.

We live in a world where not only information, but also money might be controlled by a handful of elites who might not like the way that any one of us thinks [about an issue]. Crypto is about freedom and if you didn’t believe that freedom mattered last week, you should think about it again.”

See Also: OCC’s Brian Brooks thinks that DeFi can root out bias and fraud in traditional banking
See Also: Brian Brooks, Crypto-Friendly Bank Regulator, Expected to Step Down This Week: Report

“Global payments provider PayPal has doubled its previous crypto volume record, with $242 million worth of digital assets changing hands on the platform during Jan. 11. Since Jan. 1, daily volume has increased by 950% from $22.8.

With the spike in PayPal’s volume coming amid Bitcoin’s rally into new all-time highs, the U.S.-based payments firm appears to be gathering popularity among retail traders.

PayPal is expected to offer cryptocurrency services to its 26 million merchants in the coming months, likely driving further demand for the company’s crypto services.”

“Traditional insurance cover within the crypto industry remains thin on the ground and prohibitively expensive. Nexus takes a different approach, offering cover to users themselves, rather than relying on an insurance policy held by the exchange – or not, as the case may be.

We are expanding to provide coverage for centralized exchanges, starting with the big ones like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, Gemini.

The more secure an exchange is perceived to be, the more likely risk assessors will back it. Once sufficient staking has been established, cover purchases will go live and members of the mutual will be able to purchase cover.

The centralized exchange cover from Nexus will pay a claim if an exchange gets hacked and the user loses more than 10% of their funds, or if withdrawals are halted for more than 90 days.”

“[Gensler] has testified before Congress about cryptocurrency and blockchain on multiple occasions, pushing back against comparisons between cryptocurrencies and Ponzi schemes and declaring that the still-unlaunched libra token met the requirements of being a security under U.S. law.

At MIT’s Sloan School, Gensler taught a course on cryptocurrencies and blockchains, calling the technology ‘a catalyst for change in the world of finance and the broader economy.'”

See Also: ECB’s Christine Lagarde Says ‘Speculative’ Bitcoin Needs Global Regulation
See Also: Visa Abandons $5.3B Acquisition of Plaid Over DOJ Antitrust Concerns

“The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one of Pakistan’s four provinces, announced the launch of two state-owned Bitcoin mining farms last week. The move marked one of the first instances of a government using its own funds to mine (and make a profit from) Bitcoin.

Countries like Pakistan and Iran have turned to Bitcoin to revive a failing economy.”

See Also: US Navy Commissions $1.5M Blockchain System for Tracking Critical Weaponry

Ledger has announced its first measures to address the data breach and ensure such a hack doesn’t happen again.

These include working with blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis to hunt the hackers, offering a 10 BTC bounty for information leading to the hacker’s arrest and creating a comprehensive review of what information the company holds onto, where it’s stored and how long it’s retained.

We are announcing changes in the way Ledger will collect and handle customer data: keeping personal data for as short a time as legally possible, minimizing the display of personal data in emails, moving needed data in a further segregated environment as soon as possible, and creating a secure channel for communicating 1:1 with our customers via Ledger Live. Our goal is to delete data such as name, address, and phone number as soon as possible, even if we would be allowed to keep them under the GDPR.

We will soon release a technical solution that will remove the 24 words as the single pillar of the security of our hardware wallets and will open the door to funds insurance as well.”

“The Yearn.finance community is introducing a proposal to reform the current token economics of YFI. Currently, Yearn.finance uses a staking and dividends model. Holders must place their tokens in the yGov contract and receive a portion of the revenue generated by its yield strategies.

An alternative method of value capture used by some, like Maker, sees the protocol buyback tokens on the open market and then “burn” or retire them. This mechanism creates buying pressure on the token’s price, ideally resulting in a tight coupling between the protocol’s success and its token’s price — and finally, stakeholders’ wealth. This kind of strategy has gained significant prominence in stock and crypto markets in recent years due to its flexibility and tax efficiency for holders.

Instead of retiring the tokens bought back on the market, they would be kept in the treasury’s balance to be redistributed for development and community initiatives.

Nonetheless, the fact that the tokens are expected to eventually make their way back into circulation limits the effectiveness of this value accrual strategy. This is largely by design — One of the motivations for activating the mechanism is to concentrate all resources on the growth of the protocol.

An informal poll shows more than 90% support among community members.”

See Also: Uniswap’s growth lead bites back over Yearn Finance’s SushiSwap merger

“Metapurse recently announced that it had acquired all 20 of the 1/1 NFT artworks auctioned in December’s Beeple Everydays: The 2020 Collection. Of course, one doesn’t spend $2.2 million on NFT art without a gameplan.

On Jan. 23, it will launch the B.20 bundle. This consists of all 20 unique NFT artworks, along with prime virtual real estate in the Cryptovoxels, Decentraland and Somnium Space metaverses, and custom-designed VR galleries in each metaverse to house the art.

To celebrate the launch, Metapurse is hosting a free cultural quasi-festival called Metapalooza, featuring a live virtual performance from DJ, Producer and crypto-evangelist 3LAU.”

See Also: Avatar Social Platform IMVU Launches Ethereum Token to Power Its Virtual Economy

“Almost a decade ago, Stefan Thomas, the former CTO at blockchain company Ripple Labs, was given 7,002 bitcoins worth $2-$6 each for making a cryptocurrency explainer video.

Thomas has used eight of his most frequently used passwords in an attempt access his IronKey hard drive and his now multimillion-dollar fortune but has had no luck. Two attempts now remain before the device auto-encrypts its contents.

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.”

The Disrupt Weekend

In the legacy financial world, yield has dried up. Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds have never been lower. The 10-year Treasury bond now offers you a less than 0.9% return. At around 2.1%-2.3%, AAA corporate bonds aren’t doing a whole lot better.

On Ethereum it’s difficult to avoid yield. Yield is the default incentive for successful decentralized finance (DeFi) applications to attract capital.

At the most basic level, borrowing and lending applications like Compound and Aave are offering 4.6% and 6.2% interest, respectively, on deposited USDC. More sophisticated yield aggregators like Yearn are generating 7.8% in their basic yield strategies, and up to 16% in more aggressive strategies.

Uniswap, averaging over $1 billion in trading volume per week, is putting its 0.3% trading fees into the hands of those that have supplied liquidity to the protocol. Those that have supplied ETH and USDC to Uniswap have received a staggering 35% APY on a hybrid 50-50 USD/ETH position in the last 30 days.

The DeFi economy is constructed fundamentally differently than its legacy counterpart. In order for DeFi to work, it requires over-collateralization. No one can borrow more than they have deposited, and so far this simple safety net has been the foundation on which DeFi has been able to stand.

It is also the reason why Ethereum and DeFi will become synonymous with “yield” in 2021. In DeFi, rates can’t go negative. There is no room for fractional-reserve lending in DeFi, because it would break the trust model that makes these applications function. In order to remove trust (and therefore centralization), you must over-collateralize.

In addition to its native store-of-value qualities, the launch of ETH staking turns ETH into a capital asset that produces cash-flow for its owner. We have seen other protocols offer proof-of-stake style returns on alternative assets, but ETH is uniquely compelling because it is also backed by the native economy of Ethereum.

When the size of the Ethereum economy increases, staking yields are designed to reflect this growth. The relationship between the Ethereum economy and ETH should be familiar to the typical bond investor: Healthy economies are highly valued, therefore the native bond typically has a premium associated with it.

Ethereum cannot default on its ETH payments to ETH bond-holders. ETH is dependably issued to ETH bond-holders for compensation for providing security to Ethereum. Ethereum doesn’t need to collect taxes or generate revenue to compensate those who are looking for ETH-denominated yield. Removing this requirement is a boon to the valuation of ETH bonds because there is no risk of default. Ethereum has no debts to pay, it is solvent by design.

In 2021, Ethereum is positioned to become the Schelling Point for yield. As bitcoin blasts the doors open on the investability of digital assets, it exposes a yield-rich world behind it in Ethereum.”

“As the threat of quantum machines looms over modern computers, the need for newer and stronger forms of cryptography has never been greater.

Finding a replacement for existing encryption methods isn’t a trivial task. For the past three years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has worked to research and advance alternative algorithms, or the backbone of any cryptographic system. This July, it announced a shortlist of 15 proposals in an ongoing project looking for quantum-resistant encryption standards.

Once an alternative is defined, there’s a much bigger job in ensuring that all existing applications get updated to the new standard. The scope of this is massive, covering virtually every use case on the entire internet, across all of finance and in blockchains. Given the scale of the task, plans and measures to migrate existing data must be in place long before the quantum threat becomes a reality.

The concept of blockchains is not in itself threatened by quantum computers. Blockchains are, first of all, used to securely register data (or digests of data) and we know already now how to secure the basic functionality of blockchains (immutability of registered data) with cryptographic primitives that are secure in the quantum era (hash functions and digital signature schemes).

But more work is required to handle more advanced protocols in an efficient way and more work is needed to continuously improve the security and efficiency of cryptographic primitives to make the blockchain more and more efficient.”

This week, the federal banking regulator published an interpretive letter saying that national banks and federal savings associations can use public blockchains to store and validate payments. It effectively awards blockchains the status of “payment network.”

Do you see the picture emerging? It’s not just about expanding the range of products banks can offer clients. It’s not just about offering better payment services. It’s about the convergence between traditional and crypto markets. It’s also about the role of the dollar in the economies of tomorrow.

While there are many hurdles yet to overcome, and many more pieces of legislation and regulatory guidance needed, we are getting a glimpse of what the finance of tomorrow could look like. And blockchains and crypto assets play a meaningful role in the emerging picture, which depicts so much more than rising prices and portfolio allocations – it sketches a new way of transacting, something that eventually will affect all of us.”

See Also: Institutional Custody Will Challenge Retail-Oriented Crypto

Bitcoin, the US Dollar, and the Money Supply

See Also: Ethereum Logarithmic Regression: Potential future peaks

Milestone 1: January 15 — Mainnet Soft Launch. A trial run of the full mainnet experience with Synthetix. Goals: Battle-test in production with training wheels — upgrade key, withdrawal monitoring.

Milestone 2: March 15 — Community Release. A public testnet open to all, replete with documentation and tooling for projects to start integrating. Goals: Give teams the ability to deploy onto L2 as a shared staging ground for mainnet.”

See Also: Aavegotchi to be Poered by Matic

“Larimer, who co-founded the company and had served as its chief technical officer since April 2017, announced the move on Block.one’s social network Voice.com. He said he left Block.one as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Block.one confirmed the departure, saying Larimer “left to pursue new personal projects.” The price of EOS fell on the news of Larimer’s departure, dropping to as low as $3.01.

Larimer founded BitShares alongside Charles Hoskinson (a co-founder of Ethereum) in 2013. Larimer later founded the Steem blockchain in 2016.”

“SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund run by former White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, which on Monday opened a Bitcoin fund, was on Thursday overrun by prospective customers.

Over 6,000 people attempted to join, overwhelming their system and prompting them to schedule a second launch call for Tuesday, January 12. The fund promises to be a secure middleman between high-stakes investors and a Bitcoin market that, to Skybridge, is primed to take off this year.

Bitcoin is digital gold. It is better at being gold than gold.”

See Also: Deluge of Would-Be Bitcoin Traders Prompts eToro to Put Out the Unwelcome Mat
See Also: Think How Well Bitcoin Would Be Doing if You Could Actually Buy It

“From a casual glance, it can look like DeFi is stronger than it’s ever been. Judged by the sector’s favorite metric, total value locked (TVL), the sector has been adding about a billion dollars worth of additional value per day since the new year started – from $15.67 billion to $22.35 billion as of this writing; however, a lot of that growth has been driven by the simple fact of asset prices going up across the board.

TVL isn’t the best indicator when ETH and all other crypto is green for weeks.

A good way to baseline DeFi upticks is by checking action specifically in stablecoins, since they don’t tend to get skewed wildly by price volatility.

Tether’s stablecoin has risen from a mere $91.5 million on Jan. 1 to $146 million today. Meanwhile, DAI has basically hovered a bit above $1 billion and USDC has in the area of $800 million that whole time. Nothing very exciting happening there, which probably stands as something of a bellwether for the real action in the space.”

“While a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would be a long-term positive, in the short term it could hurt the price of the leading cryptocurrency as it would draw institutional money from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), currently the only way for some on Wall Street to gain exposure to bitcoin.

A shrinking GBTC premium would also diminish the allure of a popular trade, the analysts wrote. Right now, some institutional investors buy GBTC at net asset value with the intent of selling after the mandatory six-month lockup period expires to capitalize on that premium. Should the premium drop due to the coming introduction of an ETF, it would diminish the popularity of buying GBTC at NAV for that purpose.

The JPMorgan analysts estimate the GBTC premium monetization trade could account for around 15% of outstanding GBTC stock.”

“Today Musk ended his ambivalence about Bitcoin in response to a tweet written yesterday by author Ben Mezrich that said he’s ‘never turning down getting paid in Bitcoin again.’ Musk replied: ‘me neither.’

Another major revelation came to light from Musk’s Twitter feed. When asked if he actually owns any Dogecoin, he replied ‘No, but maybe one day.'”

“So far, algorithmic assets such as algorithmic stablecoins have proven to be great ways for savvy game theoreticians to enrich themselves, but inefficient when it comes to keeping their intended pegs.

To this end, Spadafora and the rest of the team have taken inspiration from previous rebasing experiments such as Ampleforth.

We think the secret sauce is learning from what AMPL did around liquidity, and then adding the automated vaults on top.

Effectively, a DIGG vault would automatically and programmatically play the tokeneconomic ‘games’ other algorithmic asset projects expect users to play with bonds or coupons. Currently Badger’s vaults are worth $700 million — a massive pool of automated yield-generating liquidity that could be brought to bear to keep DIGG’s price tied to BTC.”

“Apple has suspended Parler, a conservative social media service, from its App Store, saying the app’s owner hasn’t done enough to deal with threats of violence on the platform. Meanwhile, Amazon dealt the service a potential death blow by kicking it off its web hosting service, citing the same reason.

Amazon’s action means that if the service can’t find another host, Parler will go offline Sunday.”

See Also: Failure To Contain Big Tech Is The Biggest Failure Of 2020

9 January

“We’ve started to see participation not just from the hedge fund segment, which we’ve long seen participation from, but now it’s recently from other institutions, pensions and endowments.

The sizes of allocations they are making are growing rapidly as well.”

“According to an Axios report, President-elect Joe Biden is considering a two-pronged stimulus effort in the form of $2,000 checks for Americans and a tax and infrastructure spending package worth $3 trillion. The new fiscal stimulus is expected to boost inflation, weaken the U.S. dollar and bring more buyers for scarce assets such as bitcoin and gold.

The U.S. central bank is unlikely to unwind or scale back its $120 billion-per-month asset-purchase program any time soon and is committed to keeping interest rates at record lows for sometime after inflation has risen above its 2% target.

The Biden stimulus may add an extra jolt to bitcoin’s price, but nothing more than pushing along a barreling freight train.”

See Also: Traders Can Now Bet on ‘Bitcoin $300K’ as Options Keep Pace With Rising Price

“The shares of MicroStrategy, a relatively little known business intelligence firm prior to its massive investment in the leading cryptocurrency, have soared 330% since the company bought its first bitcoin on Aug. 11, 2020, rising from $123.80 to $539.57.

Given MicroStrategy’s shares are largely tracking the price of bitcoin, which is up more than 40% this year following a 300% gain in 2020, it’s likely Morgan Stanley views its investment as a way to benefit from bitcoin’s historic run without actually being a HODLer.”

“More people are searching for the word “Ethereum” now than ever before in its history. Google Trends data reveals that the number of Google searches currently being performed for “Ethereum” is at an all-time high, eclipsing search interest during the height of the last Ether (ETH) bull run.

The same can’t be said for searches of “Bitcoin,” which remain at just 65% of its peak popularity on Dec. 23, 2017. That said, many more people are searching for “Bitcoin” rather than “Ethereum” by a ratio of approximately five to one.”

“The UK government is seeking consultation until March 21, 2020, on a regulatory proposal that explores the scope and regulation of stablecoins.

The paper said that if appropriate standards and regulations were met, certain stablecoins could play an important role in retail and cross-border payments (including settlements).

To reflect the proposal to bring additional tokens and associated activities into regulation the government is considering whether a new category of regulated tokens may be needed – stable tokens.”

“For anyone unfamiliar with blockchain explorers in general, this guide will go over the basic details of reading an Ethereum 2.0 blockchain explorer.

Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ethereum 2.0 progresses in epochs, not blocks. An epoch is a bundle of up to 32 blocks that actors on the network (called validators) propose and attest to over a period lasting roughly 6.4 minutes. An epoch, along with all the blocks of which it is composed, is only considered finalized after the progression of two more epochs after it.

A total of 262,144 validators is needed at minimum for Eth 2.0 to advance to its next phase of development in which 64 mini-blockchains, called “shards,” will be spawned. At the current rate of 900 new validators being added to the network each day, phase 1 will occur sometime in late August or early September of this year.

A participation rate of 99% suggests the vast majority of validators on Eth 2.0 are doing their job and securing the network. Significant declines in this number would suggest active validators are shutting their nodes down and disconnecting from Eth 2.0.”

Cryptocurrency exchange Bakkt, which is majority-owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is in advanced talks to go public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The deal, if it’s concluded, would value the combined company at more than $2 billion.”

India’s regional internet shutdowns in 2020 cost its economy approximately $2.8 billion, making it the country that suffered the most damage from internet manipulation by a government last year. India and Myanmar are responsible for the longest shutdowns for the second consecutive year.

Not only are [internet disruptions] an act of economic self-sabotage, they also violate citizens’ freedom of expression, the right to information and the right to peaceful assembly.”

See Also: Tron-Owned Video Platform Criticized for Hosting Extremists, US Capitol Rioters

8 January

At its current market cap, Bitcoin has a money supply worth more than 170 different fiat currencies. The USD, EUR, CNY, and JPY are the only world currencies with a larger money supply than Bitcoin.

The M0 figure represents the total value of all the banknotes, coins, and other money substitutes that can be easily converted into cash.”

“As the public comment period for the controversial rule comes to a close, industry heavyweights are logging their opposition in a coordinated effort. They are trying to delay the rule’s implementation until after a new presidential administration takes over, as well as raise procedural and substantive concerns. The proposed rule, industry participants contend, could drive crypto innovation outside the U.S. and threaten the digital privacy rights of individuals and entities transacting with cryptocurrencies.

As of press time, well over 65,000 comments had been submitted (though less than 4,000 were available to read), with major fintech firms such as Square, traditional business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and crypto exchanges like Coinbase filing comments pushing back against the proposed rule. U.S. lawmakers have also weighed in, asking the Treasury Department to at least slow down and engage with the industry before implementing any strict Know-Your-Customer (KYC) rules on counterparties.

A number of respondents questioned whether sending name and address information to FinCEN would be safe for users. Young noted that over the past few months, the FinCEN Files were leaked and the Treasury Department’s systems were breached as part of a broader intrusion into U.S. government agencies through the use of a software vendor, SolarWinds.

If anything, the Treasury’s awful infosec proves just how essential our financial privacy is. We’re safer when we use personal wallets, privacy coins and other financial tools free from government surveillance and interference.

It will similarly increase physical security concerns for CVC holders who may be subject to physical harm or threats from bad actors should their identity become known, particularly those storing CVC in self-hosted wallets.

If the rule is finalized, it will likely be challenged in court and the shortened time period will be used as one argument.

Special counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and an attorney with Ropes and Gray, told CoinDesk she believes the proposed regulation might violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures” and requires probable cause for warrants to be issued.

The warrantless mass surveillance of financial records is a Fourth Amendment violation.”

“The number of Bitcoin locked on Ethereum reached an all-time high in mid-November of nearly 152,000, worth approximately $2.5 billion at a BTC price of $16,150 at the time. Since then, the number of locked BTC has actually fallen a little more than 10%, during the same period the price of Bitcoin more than doubled.

It’s possible, then, that the exodus of BTC from Ethereum is due to Bitcoin investors cashing out in search of profits on those holdings.

More value in DeFi means better borrowing rates and capacity for even more users. Even if a few thousand Bitcoin are leaving the industry, rising value may still be viewed as a positive sign for the budding DeFi industry.”

“With an open interest of $2.1 billion, the CME accounted for 19.09% of the global tally of $11 billion on Wednesday. OKEx was the second-biggest, while Binance ranked third.

Looking back a year, the size of the futures market was quite small. Global open interest stood at $3 billion on Jan. 7, 2020, of which the CME contributed just 7% or $224 million. Open interest refers to the number of contracts traded but not squared off with an offsetting position.

The exchange is considered synonymous with institutional trading.”

See Also: FiCAS’ Actively Managed Crypto ETP Gets Green Light for European Expansion

Guide to Algorithmic Stablecoins (AMPL, ESD, DSD, BASIS, MITH CASH)

“Crypto exchange BTSE launched a Wrapped Monero token yesterday. A first-of-its-kind, the token is issued via the Ethereum network, and each unit is backed by an actual Monero token. BTSE will mint and redeem the Wrapped Monero and act as the custodian of the underlying Monero.

With this product, the value of XMR is further unlocked. Users don’t need to sell their Monero to buy erc20 tokens.

Meanwhile, such benefits come at the cost of privacy.

“Twelve staffers involved in the Aragon Network have announced their resignations Thursday due to an apparent lack of financial transparency.

I no longer recognize the place that I used to love to work. I believe it no longer reflects my values, nor the values of the Aragon Manifesto.

The mass exodus of Aragon developers was preceded by some 52,000 in ether (ETH) from the project’s 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) moving onto various exchanges on Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. It’s unclear if the mass transfer of funds was a catalyst for the resignations.”

“After a troubled few months, crypto exchange Bithumb looks like it’s set on turning over a new leaf through an acquisition by one of South Korea’s top gaming firms. Nexon, a multi-billion dollar gaming conglomerate, has signed a memorandum of understanding, or MoU, to acquire the exchange at an evaluated price of 650 billion won ($460 million).

Nexon’s holding company, NXC, has previously invested in cryptocurrency and fintechs, including the well-known exchange Bitstamp.”

“Can’t get into specifics, but know we tried – and will continue to try [with] the new administration – to resolve this.

Garlinghouse, along with Ripple General Counsel Stuart Alderoty, said the San Francisco-based firm’s response to the SEC suit is on its way.”

7 January

The total value of all cryptocurrencies passed $1 trillion Wednesday for the first time ever. At its prior peak in late 2017, the market’s total capitalization was just above $760 billion. Bitcoin represents roughly 69% of the market’s value.

The $1 trillion mark cements cryptocurrency as a investable asset class that no longer sits on the fringes of Traditional Finance as a toy for retail investors. It demonstrates that this asset class is large enough to absorb large orders like we’ve seen recently with the slew of institutions entering over the last few months.

Cryptocurrencies are now almost an institutional-grade venture bet. The market is finally liquid enough to deploy large sums of capital, but still early enough for a 10x return.

Bitcoin has already gained 25% in January, following its more than 300% gain in 2020. Ethereum has also soared over the past 12 months, reaching a total gain of roughly 860% Wednesday after trading above $1,200 for the first time since early 2018.

Crypto is in a unique position to be the most important asset class of the 21st century and still has a lot of room to grow.”

See Also: Bitcoin Sets New All-Time High, Tops $37K Hours After Roaring Past $36K
See Also: Bitcoin Is Now Among Top 10 Most Valuable Global Assets
See Also: Ethereum Enters Top 100 of World’s Largest Assets

“Newsweek, one of the largest American weekly news magazines, has taken a positive spin on Bitcoin (BTC) in a recent article that explores whether the digital asset can become the new gold standard.

Although the article presents little new information for crypto enthusiasts who have been charting Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, it provides more validation that the mainstream narrative surrounding cryptocurrency has changed.

All that glitters is not gold—but it might be Bitcoin. And in the long run, it might be more valuable.”

“A Democratic win in the Senate runoff election ushers in the “Blue Wave” scenario that cryptocurrency traders have been speculating over for months. Biden has pledged to increase government spending, which could lead to higher inflation as well as additional bond purchases (money printing) from the Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin is viewed as a potential hedge against currency debasement by a growing number of investors in both digital-asset markets and on Wall Street.”

See Also: Here Are The Full “Blue Wave” Implications For Politics, Markets And The Economy
See Also: Former Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler Loses Senate Seat; Democrats Retake Senate

“Voorhees said KYC implementation cost the platform 95% of its users.

We had to be the counterparty – the market maker – to provide that service at scale. The decentralized protocols are now providing a superior service, so we’re embracing this evolution and helping our customers easily connect with them.

Because ShapeShift is no longer acting as any form of financial intermediary or counterparty, this new, frictionless [user experience] frees users from having to provide personal, private information.

The exchange has now integrated with multiple decentralized exchanges (DEX) including ‘Uniswap, Balancer, Curve, Bancor, Kyber, 0x, mStable and half a dozen other DEXs.’ Bitcoin (BTC) will be available for trading via the DEX integration this quarter. Cryptocurrencies and tokens from other non-Ethereum blockchains will also be available in Q1 as well.

ShapeShift receives a portion of trading fees that each DEX charges in return for directing traffic to the DEX. ShapeShift customers also get the exchange’s native token, FOX, in return for every trade conducted on the platform to help facilitate a feeless experience.”

See Also: Kraken Users Are Staking More Than $1B in Crypto

Working products and beneficial use cases have propelled the crypto sub-sector from strength to strength in the past year. While $10 billion was locked in DeFi protocols at the start of November last year, use cases like lending, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), payments, and derivatives, have attracted another $10 billion in the past two months alone.

Of that, the projects with the bigger total value locked (TVL) is Maker, the governance protocol for the DAI stablecoin, with over $3.98 billion. Lending project Aave is next with $2.64 billion, while Ethereum-based DEX Uniswap comes third with $2.47 billion.

But despite the metrics, the $20 billion figure may not necessarily be an outright sign of increased DeFi adoption. Data suggests the increased value in US terms comes from the 43% price rise in ETH (and similar gains in other DeFi assets) instead of the number of the actual assets locked up increasing.”

See Also: Maker’s MKR Token Surges to 2-Year High on DeFi Growth

Institutional investors borrowed ETH to profit off the Grayscale Ethereum Trust. Now they’re having to pay it back as ETH climbs higher.

To make the trade institutional investors borrow ETH at an annual interest rate of around 8%. They use those assets to buy ETHE shares at the value of the crypto on that day, but are subject to a waiting period before they actually receive the shares. After selling the shares, that loan needs to be paid off. That leads borrowers to market buy ETH, pushing Ethereum prices higher. In the meantime, selling ETHE shares pushes those prices lower.

For retail investors and long-term holders, though, the rush to cover ETH loans (and the price increases that could result) are likely a welcome addition to the current crypto bull run.”

“Strike – the Chicago-based startup’s Bitcoin wallet and banking service – is rolling out native support for the euro, pound and Swiss franc, soon to be followed by the Australian and Canadian dollar after partnering with cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global.

Described by Mallers, as a “Bitcoin neo-bank,” Strike leverages the Bitcoin network and scaling technology the Lightning Network to move fiat fast from point A to point B. Zap plans on providing banking services in up to 200 countries via the international exchange.

We can move any physical value anywhere in the world for no variable cost. Transaction finality from one point to another for free.

Bittrex Global will handle the behind-the-scenes operations with the tokens, which typically are issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Strike itself does not support ether (ETH, +10.12%) or Ethereum-based tokens. Rather, each tether or USDC token is credited to an account on Bittrex and mirrored on Strike’s internal database.”

Williams still refers to the current Mercury release as an alpha. As such, only a fraction of the 469 million governance tokens has thus far been issued. These are held by Dfinity itself.

With Genesis, which is hoped to be reached in the next two to three months, the network will transition into beta. The mainnet is currently running on nodes held in seven independent data centers across the United States, Germany and Switzerland.

The Internet Computer promises to be the first blockchain computer running at web speed with unbounded capacity. It achieves this speed through something called Chain Key Technology, which splits calls to smart contracts into two types: update calls and query calls.”

The protocol has engaged design agency Koto to revamp its token icon, typography, messaging, and more. Key decisions will all happen “on-chain,” to maximize the input of the Polkadot community.

Brand identity and direction are crucially important elements to a growing network like Polkadot, so it was never in doubt that these efforts would need to be led, funded, and approved by the community.”

“As of Monday, 100 doctors and personnel had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccinated personnel also received a digital certificate on their E-HCert App, an electronic wallet for lab results based on the VeChain Thor blockchain.

In a Twitter post earlier this week, the VeChain Foundation said its technology provides governments and individuals assurances that the test results are valid. For all its potential use cases, VeChain has singled out healthcare as one industry primed for disruption due to blockchain technology.”

The Italian Banking Association, or ABI, has affirmed its support for the implementation of a sovereign European digital currency by beginning pilot studies on a digital euro project.

The ABI’s digital euro study will reportedly focus on two major areas — technical feasibility analysis and central bank digital currency programmability to create a distinction from existing electronic payment methods.”

See Also: Iranian Authorities Close 1,620 Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining Farms: Report

“The Tuesday order bars United States citizens or people located in the U.S. from using nine Chinese payment apps.

The executive order takes effect in 45 days, by which time Trump will already be out of office. Given that his earlier order to get ByteDance to divest from TikTok was stonewalled in court while he was still in office, there’s not a ton of reason to believe that Trump will get his way here.

See Also: Google Cloud Seeks Blockchain Expert for China Division

6 January

Federally regulated banks can use stablecoins to conduct payments and other activities, the OCC said Monday.

The letter said these financial institutions can participate as nodes on a blockchain and store or validate payments. The OCC said [blockchains] ‘may be more resilient than other payment networks‘ due to the large number of nodes needed to verify transactions, which can, in turn, limit tampering.

Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, said in a statement that while other nations have built real-time payments systems, the U.S. “has relied on” the private sector to create such technologies, seemingly endorsing the use of cryptocurrencies – specifically stablecoins – as an alternative to other real-time payment systems.

The letter states that blockchains have the same status as other global financial networks, such as SWIFT, ACH and FedWire.”

See Also: Official Statement

“One River has worked with crypto exchange Coinbase to invest an undisclosed amount in cryptocurrency. According to Coinbase, which carried out the transaction, its purchase represents “one of the largest digital asset trades in history.”

Market observers have noted large amounts of Bitcoin being withdrawn from the exchange, suggesting institutional holders buying Bitcoin and withdrawing to long term storage. On January 5, Cryptoquant CEO Ki Young Ju noted that 55,000 Bitcoin left the exchange on January 2.

One River recently made its case for cryptocurrencies in a post on its website, entitled “The Case for Digital Assets.”

Owning these assets is a mere toehold to the future, a deposit on the view that everything we know about financial intermediation and its relationship to centralized policy will change in ways we cannot yet foresee.

Holding these assets over the long-term aligns yourself with the macro mega-trends of technological advance and currency debasement, both of which appear to be accelerating.”

See Also: JPMorgan Predicts Bitcoin Price Could Rise Over $146,000 in Long Term

“The “Kimchi Premium” is back, suggesting sentiment for Bitcoin is increasing in Korea. The premium usually fluctuates by 1% on average. However, on Monday, it rose to 5.5%, with the trend continuing on Tuesday morning.

Some traders consider the rising premium to be an indicator of rising sentiment—and perhaps prices—for Bitcoin in the future.

The 2017 bull run was marked by a constant kimchi premium throughout the rally, it particularly shot up during the local tops.”

“One of Ripple Labs’ big financial backers is looking to reverse its bet on the XRP issuer.

Tetragon Financial Group LTD, the multi-billion asset manager-turned-plaintiff, had led Ripple’s $200 million funding round in December 2019. On Monday night the U.K.-based firm moved to exit its position in a sealed filing in Delaware Chancery Court.

Tetragon seeks to “enforce its contractual right to require Ripple to redeem” Series C preferred stock. In the meantime, Tetragon wants the court to essentially freeze Ripple’s liquid assets until it pays.”

“In a Jan. 4 letter addressed to FinCEN, Dorsey said, if the rules are approved, cryptocurrency customers maybe pushed to use unregulated services outside of the U.S.

This creates unnecessary friction and perverse incentives for cryptocurrency customers to avoid regulated entities for cryptocurrency transactions, driving them to use non-custodial wallets or services outside the U.S. to transfer their assets more easily.

VC firm Andreesen Horowitz said Monday that ‘FinCEN has proposed at the eleventh hour of an outgoing administration a rule that has all the hallmarks of an arbitrary and capricious agency action.'”

See Also: Andreessen Horowitz joins push against FinCEN’s 11th-hour crypto rules

“Back in October, the OCC laid out its “True Lender” rule, which took effect at the end of December. The rule dictates that a loan that includes a national bank as a lender can therefore rely on the OCC’s national guidance rather than that of individual states.

The controversy here is that many states have especially strong anti-usury provisions, which cap interest rates in the hope of preventing predatory lending. State regulators claim that the OCC overstepped its authority by overriding — or preempting— state law.”

The licenses make LCX a regulated crypto exchange, digital asset custody provider, price oracle provider, digital asset compliance provider, smart-contract creator and token-offering platform, said LCX CEO Monty Metzger.

In an era where banks are not only exploring bitcoin but their own digital assets, LCX is positioning itself to be a retail exchange that can help other institutions launch their own digital assets.”

See Also: Swedish Bankers Air Concerns Over E-Krona Digital Currency Plan

5 January

“Ether trading volumes are closing on bitcoin trading volumes. That shows an aggressive move by bulls into ether.

Top-tier exchanges have registered ether trading volume of over $19 billion in the past 24 hours, versus $16 billion in bitcoin. So, ether is now the biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume.

According to Chu, MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor and SkyBridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci are now playing chicken over who will first make an ether investment.

Prices rose over 40% last week to register the biggest weekly gain since December 2018. At the press-time price of $1,020, ether is still down around 43% from the record price of $1,433 observed in January 2017.”

See Also: Ethereum Transaction Fees Soar Amid High Demand

“It looks like crypto stakeholders turned out in force, despite the Treasury’s best efforts to evade scrutiny.

As of Sunday night, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, had recorded 5,633 responses to its proposed rule. That number is despite the fact that FinCEN gave only 15 days, rather than the usual 60 for responses.

The rule would require registered money services businesses, especially crypto exchanges, to both adopt Bank Secrecy Act limits on transactions to and from their platforms and, indeed, go beyond them by requiring they know the beneficial identity of any self-hosted crypto wallet on the other end of a transaction valued at $3,000 or more.”

“Announced Monday, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build out a ‘virtual assets ecosystem and national digital currency of Ukraine.’

The National Bank of Ukraine has been researching the possibility of CBDC implementation since 2017, and the Stellar partnership will now be the basis of its virtual currency development. The National Bank of Ukraine mentioned the use of a “private version of the Stellar blockchain” as part of its E-hryvnia Pilot Project back in 2019.

We believe our cooperation with the Stellar Development Foundation will contribute to development of the virtual asset industry and its integration into the global financial ecosystem.”

See Also: Shenzhen to Double Digital Yuan Giveaway in China’s Latest Lottery Test

“Amid speculation on social media that United States President Donald Trump may still pardon Julian Assange before leaving office, lawyers are preparing the WikiLeaks founder for many possible legal outcomes as crypto users open their wallets.

Yesterday, someone sent 8.48 BTC — roughly $280,000 at the time — to support the WikiLeaks founder, while another crypto user donated 4.51 BTC last Wednesday.

In response to the ruling [blocking extradition to the US], President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he is willing to offer Assange asylum, referring to him as a journalist in need of protection.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“Less than 8 hours after breaking above $800, and just an hour after surging beyond $900, Ethereum has broken back above the $1000 mark for the first time since Feb 2018.

According to Moore, each disruptive technology must go through five stages of adoption: starting with tinkering “innovators” who first try new technologies, through the “early adopters,” to the “early majority” and “late majority” – the two biggest groups – and finally, to the “laggards.”

The most critical stage of Moore’s framework for these journeys is what he terms “the chasm.” The chasm yawns between the “early adopters and the “early majority” because there is a step-function difference between the demands of these two cohorts. This is often where new technologies go to die.

Bitcoin and crypto may not have been ready to jump across the chasm yet, but the long year of 2020 that propelled the world across the Rubicon pushed cryptocurrency across its adoption ‘chasm.’

See Also: Bitcoin Blasts Past $34K for First Time, Hours After Blowing Through $30K
See Also: Analysts Explain Why Bitcoin’s Price Is Going Crazy This Weekend
See Also: Bitcoin Worth $1B Leaves Coinbase as Institutions ‘FOMO’ Buy: Analyst
See Also: Bitcoin price quickly climbs to $31K, liquidating $100M of shorts

The essence of “collateralized” stablecoins resides in a centralized issuer, an organization that bears economic and legal responsibility, and maintains fiat currency reserves in a bank account. In fact, these are not cryptocurrencies, but tokenized fiat – digital money on the blockchain.

The most popular decentralized stablecoin, DAI, was launched in 2017, on the Ethereum blockchain. Its U.S. dollar parity is supported by market and technical mechanisms based on smart contracts that implement a price stabilization algorithm. Hence the term “algorithmic.”

Thus, with the help of price regulation algorithms, a stable crypto asset is created without the participation of fiat currencies and the necessity of connection to the traditional financial system. Algorithmic stablecoins work like cryptocurrencies. Unlike USDT and its analogues, they are decentralized and are not subject to a single issuer and regulators.

From the end user’s point of view, CBDCs and bank tokens are very similar to fiat-backed stablecoins. Therefore, these three asset groups will compete directly and try to squeeze each other out of the market.

The main advantage of private bank stablecoins is the large distribution, user base and strong reputation of traditional financial institutions. People will use them like other banking products, in the same applications. That’s why stablecoins issued by private companies, such as jpmcoin and libra, are causing serious concerns for regulators.

Given that, traditional crypto stablecoins may not be needed. They are likely to survive but will be under a lot of regulatory pressure and their volumes will drop significantly. Their functions will be taken over by banks and CBDCs. The state will aim to completely overtake the niche of “blockchain digital money” as it does not need any outside players in this area. This process is already underway in China.

It is in uncertain situations that algorithmic stablecoins, which do not depend on banks and regulators, can prove themselves. In the crypto industry, they will take over the functions now performed by USDT and other collateralized stablecoins.

On the other hand, against the backdrop of the pandemic and accelerated money issuance with governments worldwide, fiat currencies are depreciating more and more quickly. As such, the idea of pegging cryptocurrencies to declining fiat currencies becomes a dangerous play. In this case cryptocurrencies that withstand the volatility of fiat become the basis of a truly decentralized financial system.”

“In an article co-authored by Don Fort today, the former chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) criminal investigation division said that while the agency until now has focused its resources on informing the public of proper reporting guidelines, it will now be turning to more stringent “enforcement.”

Even though the IRS has not yet announced many mainstream tax evasion or money laundering cases involving virtual currency, that trend should change in 2021.”

“Dash announced in a tweet that they had “reached out to @BittrexExchange to request a meeting,” and that referring to DASH as a “privacy coin” is a misnomer:

From a technical standpoint, Dash’s privacy functionality is no greater than Bitcoin’s, making the label of “privacy coin” a misnomer for Dash. We have reached out to @BittrexExchange to request a meeting with their compliance team. Hopefully this will be rectified soon.”

“Been HODLing my $Doge since 2014. MUCH PATIENCE. TO THE MOON.

That apparently was enough to get some of White’s 1.3 million followers to go out and get DOGE of their own. The price of the Shiba Inu meme-based cryptocurrency rose as much as 203% in three days.”

T-Bonds are bundles of fungible tokens that have been locked into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) until a certain condition is met — for instance, the passage of a certain amount of time or the launch of a mainnet.

As a result of selling T-Bonds, projects can hypothetically raise funds without tanking their token prices.”

2 January

Nine congressmen have signed on to a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, telling him to hold his horses. The Thursday letter is in response to the Treasury’s recent proposal to make registered crypto businesses hold on to more customer information, especially when transacting with self-hosted wallets.

The proposal in question was made public just before the Christmas holiday, and it announced that the public would be afforded 15 days to file comments. A comment period consisting of eight business days over two holidays is not appropriate for regulating any industry, and could result in in stakeholders being unable to meaningfully respond.”

While Bittrex gave no reason for the removals, exchanges around the world have been moving to delist coins that seek to preserve the privacy of their users as a way to be compliant with so-called Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) regulations that are spreading around the world.”

See Also: Dash announces new update, social payment wallet enters testnet

Token-based art sales hit $8.2 million in December compared to $2.6 million in November 2020. Most NFT purchases are made using ether or Ethereum-based stablecoins. More and more artists are now presenting their work in online showrooms and the NFT-based art scene is seeing increased interest.

Crypto natives are starting to understand the value NFTs bring to verifying authenticity of the original artwork. Furthermore, big-name digital artists like Beeple are discovering what NFTs are and how they open up a new business model for artists other than commissions.”

The pandemic was a fantastic opportunity for blockchain technologies focused on personal medical data sovereignty. China and other Asian countries fought COVID-19 while setting privacy aside and aggressively leveraging tracking and tracing. Blockchain tech provides the option for privacy-preserving track and trace, and for broader privacy-preserving gathering and aggregation of personal data for collective analysis for the common medical good.

Several blockchain-based contract tracing apps emerged. Adoption was minimal. To be fair, centralized efforts at privacy-preserving contact tracing by Google and Apple haven’t fared much better. My own team’s experience with COVID-19 agent-based modeling, for scientifically evaluating and proposing pandemic management policies, was instructive.

To those of us in the middle of the blockchain/AI space, it’s obvious the radical power these technologies could have helped with a pandemic. But what our tools can do doesn’t matter that much if, when push comes to shove, neither the general public nor the major societal decision-makers can understand and see the value.

In the end, the failure of blockchain and AI tools to contribute in a massive and central way to combat the pandemic is attributable to the same factors that are slowing their adoption overall: making the broad value and importance of our tech clear outside our own special communities. If our experience seeking to apply our advanced tech to help with COVID-19 serves as a wake-up call in this regard, it will have been well worth the effort.