“A quick recap of bitcoin’s most tumultuous weekly performance since almost a year ago shows that this week’s high volatility was not caused by one simple factor. The correction earlier this week was largely triggered by an overheated derivatives market as traders rushed to exit leveraged bets. A drop below $45,000 on Thursday coincided with a sell-off in the broader stock market due to rising concerns over surging bond yields, which might dim the allure of riskier assets like cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin’s spot market looked quiet on Friday, with the daily trading volume on eight crypto exchanges tracked by CoinDesk largely flat compared with levels on Thursday. The market’s relatively quiet tone Friday appeared to reflect low anxiety over a key month-end expiration date on options contracts.
Now, with those options contracts out of the way, the market appears, in the short term, to be free to pick a direction.”
“Purpose Investments now holds over 10,000 Bitcoin in just a week after the launch of its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund product. Data suggests such demand for spot Bitcoin among investors is high. As per Glassnode, the fund has taken in over 1,000 Bitcoin ($46 million) in the past four days, with over 417 Bitcoin in the past day alone.
One of the benefits for investors to purchase the Purpose Bitcoin ETF is that it holds “spot” (or actual) Bitcoin whenever an investor purchases its shares. This is different from most Bitcoin futures products, which allow investors to bet on rising/falling prices but tend to be settled in fiat money.”
“Bitcoin represents a new asset class and may serve as a reserve currency in the future, said the founder and CEO of ARK Invest Cathie Wood on Thursday, during an online conference hosted by Bloomberg. She also drew attention to the investors’ traditional 60/40 equity-bond portfolio, suggesting that this once magic formula is about to come to an end.
Look what’s happening to bonds right now. If we are ending a 40-year secular decline in interest rates, that asset class has done its thing. What’s next? We think crypto could be the solution.
In its annual research report published last month, ARK Invest said that, if institutional investors allocate around 6.5% of their funds in cryptocurrency, the price of Bitcoin could go as high as $500,000.”
“EulerBeats are brief audio tracks paired with artworks. They were named after legendary mathematician Leonhard Euler (pronounced “oiler”). Their tracks and artworks were both generated using Euler’s phi function. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban called them “the most genius idea ever.”
EulerBeats also have a built-in revenue stream. The holders of the 27 original EulerBeats receive 8% in royalties when each print is minted and sold for the first time. According to Dune Analytics’ data, around $1.15 million in cryptocurrency has been paid out to the holders of the original EulerBeats in just the week since they launched.”
“Targeted toward investment advisors, broker-dealers, exchanges and transfer agents, this Risk Alert provided a broad list of specific procedural, bookkeeping and advisory steps the division will be expecting from securities companies in future examinations.
Investment advisors should beaware of risks associated with forks and airdrops, and the Division will be reviewing advisors’ “fulfillment of their fiduciary duty with respect to investment advice.” Investment custodians, meanwhile, should have “continuity plans” in situations where key executives have access to private keys, and the division will be examining private key management going forward.”
“Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are asking the private sector for help in commercializing a super-powerful cryptojacking detection algorithm that government officials believe can help datacenters overcome crypto-mining malware.
This type of software watchdog will soon be crucial to prevent cryptocurrency miners from hacking into high-performance computing facilities and stealing precious computing resources.
In August, scientists at DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory unveiled a neural network they said could detect cryptojackers faster and more reliably than non-AI methods.”
“The city state’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and Ministry of Health (MOH) have developed a set of digital standards used to issue COVID-19 test results, known as HealthCerts. HealthCerts uses blockchain technology to issue trustworthy documents that can be verified independently in an open-source framework.
Only the individuals’ hash – or digital finger print – will be published to the blockchain upon issuance to keep data private.”
“The world’s first Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) may be on the way, after CI Global Asset Management filed a preliminary prospectus in Canada on Thursday. If approved, the ETF would trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker “ETHX.”
Ethereum is the leading candidate to be the base layer of Web 3.0, and ether is a growth asset that provides investors exposure to the explosion of decentralized applications.
Galaxy Digital Capital Management LP will act as the ether sub-adviser and execute trading on behalf of the ETF. ETHX will invest directly in ether with its holdings priced using the Bloomberg Galaxy Ethereum Index.”
“Ethereum usage is surging this year, with the value of transactions settled on the network skyrocketing during 2021. If Messari’s $1.6 trillion forecast is accurate, Ethereum’s quarterly settlement value will have increased 1,280% compared to Q1 2020, and more than 5,000% compared to Q1 2019.
Messari researcher Ryan Watkins noted the data counters the prevailing narrative that Ethereum is seeing an exodus of users amid its high gas fees, exclaiming:
Incredible scale for a technology that critics claimed couldn’t scale.
Cryptofees.info is currently reporting an average daily fee generation of $32 million for ETH over the past seven days. Comparatively, Bitcoin has generated just $8 million daily on average over the past week. The massive demand on the network has caused gas prices to surge to all-time highs. With many retail traders increasingly getting priced out of using the Ethereum mainnet for smaller transactions.”
“Leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase identified some unique business risks in its prospectus released Thursday, including competition from decentralized finance (DeFi) and the potential discovery of the real identity of Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
We compete against a growing number of decentralized and noncustodial platforms and our business may be adversely affected if we fail to compete effectively against them.
Other identified risks are more standard, including the company’s revenue being “substantially dependent” on the categorically volatile prices of digital assets, and the potential for platform security breaches.”
“IBC Group wants to spend 100,000 Bitcoin to help Mayor Francis Suarez’s dreams of a Miami crypto capital come true. IBC Group is creating the Miami 2.0 Blockchain Strategy Foundation to support other projects.
Making the largest Bitcoin investment in history is proof of our commitment to assisting cities adopt Blockchain, which we see as the key to enabling widespread adoption.”
“U.K. personal finance tool Money Dashboard is allowing its 600,000 users to view their crypto holdings alongside their bank accounts and other financial products within its app. Users will be to use the Money Dashboard app to access their balances and transactions on exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance and Bitstamp.
The U.K. company is providing this service in partnership with Zabo, a Dallas-based crypto software firm that aims to connect crypto wallets to bank accounts.“
“It depicts what appears to be a monumental Donald Trump lying face down in the grass and covered in graffiti. Foster said he believed Beeple’s artwork sold for such a substantial amount because it was the artist’s “first-ever 1/1,” meaning the artwork is the only one in existence.
History has just been made.
Beeple is quickly becoming, or arguably already is, the most important crypto artist in the world.
The sale was brokered by Nifty’s art buying services, according to the platform, which said the buyer wishes to remain anonymous. Nifty was acquired by the Winklevoss brothers’ cryptocurrency exchange Gemini in 2019.”
“Individual parachain teams may be hesitant to commit funds for an auction, knowing that their competitors would benefit just as much from it without having invested any of their resources. This is referred to as the “free-rider problem” in economics.
The Polkadot team thus proposed on Thursday to allocate some parachain slots to public-good features, bypassing the auction process. Instead, the inclusion of the parachain will depend on DOT stakeholders passing a governance proposal. For now, the candidates for public-good parachains are primarily “system-level chains” and “public utility chains.”
Public utility chains can be considered as a Polkadot-native implementation of individual project parachains. This includes features such as bridges to other blockchains, or general smart contract environments based on WebAssembly. Such a parachain could allow developers to deploy their project on a neutral Polkadot environment, where fees are paid with DOT.”
“Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX has created a new specialized futures contract for traders to bet on the likelihood of the Olympic Games occurring in Tokyo in 2021.
In addition to the OLY2021 contract, FTX is continuing its line of products for speculation on the future likelihood of a Trump presidency in 2024. Notably, neither of these contracts is available to residents of barred jurisdictions, which include the United States, Canada, mainland China and Hong Kong, Singapore, Turkey, the United Kingdom and others.”
“Wednesday, Powell went further while speaking before the House Committee on Financial Services, saying the U.S. central bank would “engage with the public” on the digital dollar this year, giving a timeline to the central bank digital currency’s development for the first time.
This is going to be an important year. This is going to be the year that we engage with the public pretty actively including some public events that we are working on, which I’m not going to announce today.
We’re going to have a public dialogue … in the meantime we’re working on technical challenges and also collaborating and sharing work with other central banks around the world.
Powell emphasized that the Fed won’t make decisions and then present them to the public, but will rather talk with Americans about the tradeoffs involved with the digital dollar project.”
“Canadian bank VersaBank has launched a stablecoin called VCAD that it plans for use in commerce. The bank said it expects VCAD to be available to the general public in coming months.
Currently, the digital currency is only being issued by VersaBank to financial intermediary partners in exchange for Canadian dollar deposits. The partners will then offer VCAD directly to individuals and businesses for use in commerce. VCAD will be redeemable for Canadian dollars as required after that, the bank said.
As North America’s first bank-issued ‘stablecoin’ VCAD offers consumers and businesses the ability to adopt and leverage the benefits of digital currency and blockchain-based assets without the volatility of traditional currencies, alongside the security of a value-backed asset that the cryptocurrency world has long demanded.”
“The CoinShares Physical Ethereum ETP is listing on the Swiss SIX exchange under the ticker “ETHE” and already has around $75 million in assets under management (AUM). This is the firm’s second such product after its “BITC” bitcoin ETP was listed on the SIX exchange in January.
Bringing innovative products like ETHE allows us to continue setting the industry standard for trust and transparency and provide institutions with easy access to industry-leading crypto investment vehicles.”
“Decentralized finance (DeFi) trading venue dYdX is now onboarding users to a new version of its platform built on StarkWare’s Cairo software. The StarkWare implementation relies on a cryptographic innovation to boost speeds by moving the heavy computation off-chain.
Cross-margin perpetuals are now available to early signups at zero gas fees thanks to a proprietary implementation of the Layer 2 solution.
ZK-Rollups offer high throughput, instant finality (no danger of trade rollbacks), self-custody, and privacy, and are therefore well suited to the high-value exchange use case.
A platform for cryptocurrency derivatives, dYdX lists both BTC/USD and ETH/USD perpetual contracts, lending, spot and margin trading. The platform has $250 million in total value locked (TVL).”
“We’ve spent a great deal of time looking at various approaches and teams building Layer 2s, and today we’re thrilled to announce we are leading a $25 million Series A investment in Optimism. Optimism’s exceptional team, carefully designed developer experience, major scaling benefits, years of research and testing, and full composability made it the obvious choice.
Optimism is among a small cohort of firms looking to boost Ethereum’s famously choked throughput. The startup added seven new members to the team as well, including talent from Coinbase, Handshake and Casa.
As a result of being able to hire this kind of talent, we will be launching arbitrary contract deployment on mainnet in March instead of public testnet.”
“Bitcoin gained ground, while U.S. bond yields dropped, during Wednesday’s Asian session as remarks by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell squashed fears of an early unwinding of monetary stimulus. The leading cryptocurrency clocked a high of $51,413 at 04:15 UTC, having defended the psychological support of $45,000 on Tuesday.
The 10-year rose to a 12-month high of 1.39% earlier this week, diluting bitcoin’s appeal as an inflation hedge, and sending the cryptocurrency lower to $45,000 from record highs above $58,000. The sell-off was accentuated by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s anti-bitcoin comments.
Moving forward, a continued decline in bond yields could propel bitcoin toward record highs. ‘The focus remains on bond yields and stock markets.’
Vinokourov added that “buying the dip” remains the best strategy, as institutional demand for the cryptocurrency continues to grow. Further, the settlement of a long-running legal dispute between Tether Ltd, the company behind the stablecoin tether, and the New York Attorney General’s office has supposedly removed a potential systemic threat to cryptocurrency markets.”
“Investment bank JPMorgan Chase has been testing blockchain payments between satellites in earth orbit. The tests ultimately showed that blockchain technology could power payments between everyday objects.
The idea was to explore [internet of things] payments in a fully decentralized way. Nowhere is more decentralized and detached from Earth than space. Secondly, we are nerdy and it was a much more fun way to test IoT.”
“Golem is an Ethereum-based decentralized application that enables users to rent out computing power resources. Since November 2020, the project has been migrating from GNT to GLM tokens after deploying a new ERC-20 contract. Anyone can share and aggregate computing resources, as well as create applications using the network. Ultimately, the solution aims to compete with traditional centralized cloud services like Amazon Web Services.
Layer-two scalability is already being offered on the mainnet using Matter Labs’ zk-Sync, which is a zero-knowledge technology for the payment API. On Feb. 23, Polygon, formerly known as the Matic Network, announced that it would be joining forces with Golem to produce an off-chain payment driver.
While there appears to be potential in the project’s product, the team may need to secure an enterprise-level partnership in order for GLM to gain sustainable traction.”
“The note, predominately a rather bullish take on gold’s 2021 trajectory, cast the two commodities as inhabiting different ends of the investment spectrum: Gold remained the “defensive” play while bitcoin was more “risk-on.” Bitcoin “serves a different role in portfolios vs. gold,” the analysts said, primarily because of the crypto’s legendary volatility.
In an environment of broadband dollar weakness and still very low and negative real rates we do not see either asset cannibalizing each other and see enough room for both.”
“According to security researchers, BitcoinPaperWallet.com sends a copy of every private key it generates on behalf of its users to the site’s servers. Whoever has access to the BitcoinPaperWallet’s back end can then access these keys and steal the funds associated with wallets generated on the site.
BitcoinPaperWallet users who collectively claim to have lost millions of dollars worth of bitcoin. Blockchain analysis shows these funds flowing to Binance and Poloniex exchanges.
The unfortunate scenario is a reminder that, in most cases, web-based bitcoin wallet generators should be avoided in favor of vetted bitcoin wallet software and hardware.”
“With Eth 2.0’s first hard fork spec mapped out, attention has turned to the planned merge of Eth 1.x and Ethereum 2.0. A few functions may be removed from Ethereum during its merge from Eth 1.x to Eth 2.0.
We have a unique opportunity to make some backwards-incompatible changes to the EVM that could be valuable for Ethereum in the long term.
It’s unclear how much support the EVM cleanup pitch will receive. Moreover, any changes to the EVM will come with ample warnings beforehand, Buterin said.”
“In a closely watched case with wide-ranging implications for the crypto market, Tether has admitted no wrongdoing and will provide reports on USDT’s reserve composition for two years.
The New York Attorney General’s office (NYAG) has settled with Bitfinex over a 22-month inquiry into whether the cryptocurrency exchange sought to cover up the loss of $850 million in customer and corporate funds held by a payment processor.
Under the terms of the settlement, Bitfinex and Tether will admit no wrongdoing but will pay $18.5 million and provide quarterly reports describing the composition of Tether’s reserves for the next two years.
The settlement may help resolve, one way or another, a question that has long bedeviled the entire $1.6 trillion global cryptocurrency market. By requiring Tether to provide a greater level of transparency than ever about the backing of its USDT stablecoin – a foundational piece of crypto’s plumbing – the arrangement could replace whispers and conjecture with regular data.
Contrary to online speculation, there was no finding that Tether ever issued tethers without backing or to manipulate crypto prices.
Since the case entered the public sphere, Bitfinex has tried to recover the funds held by Crypto Capital held by law enforcement officials in Portugal, Poland and the U.S. It’s unclear how long it might take for these cases to resolve, given the different jurisdictions and the ongoing cases against Crypto Capital’s operators.”
“Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter said this was a historic “derisking event” for the industry. According to Carter, one of the largest hurdles for institutions to enter the market was the lack of certainty around USDT, despite its outsized role.
For instance, JPMorgan analysts said just last week a loss of faith in tether could cause a liquidity crisis in crypto. In addition to questions about USDT’s backing, there have been persistent conspiracies that tether is used to inflate the price of bitcoin.
“Ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday the payments firm announced it had purchased an additional 3,318 BTC as a reserve asset. The company’s total value of BTC on Square’s balance sheet is $394 million.
Square has $4.4 billion in total cash and securities, so the $220 million it spent on bitcoin is 5% of its total liquid assets.”
“The European Central Bank (ECB) is seeking the power to veto launches of stablecoins in the eurozone. According to the ECB, such stablecoin issuers should meet “rigorous liquidity requirements” on cash reserves similar to money market funds.
The assessment of the risk that stablecoins pose to financial stability in the eurozone should ‘fall within the exclusive competence of the ECB,’ the central bank said.”
“In what may become an industry standard, unused liquidity from Balancer will be deposited into Aave, significantly increasing depositor yield. In essence, the integration will allow users to earn two forms of return on their deposits: trading fees and yield farming from Balancer, in addition to lending interest from Aave.
The release of the feature is slated for “not too long” after Balancer’s V2 launch in March. The blog also notes that deeper collaborations, such as Balancer LP tokens as collateral on Aave.”
“Bitcoin mine operator Northern Data AG is reportedly planning a US listing and could raise up to $500 million via an IPO. The Frankfurt-based firm’s largest facility is located in Rockdale, Texas, and it claims to be the biggest Bitcoin mine in the world.
Northern Data’s stock has been trading on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra OTC-market since 2015. The firm is backed by a number of high-profile shareholders, including Block.One founder Brendan Blumer and Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital.”
“Clearing firms act as intermediaries in the U.S. securities markets, facilitating payments and the transfers of securities for exchanges. If approved, Paxos would become one of just a handful of clearing firms in the U.S., joining the Depository Trust Company (DTC), Options Clearing Corporation and others.
Cascarilla also raised the idea that a blockchain-based clearing system might be more efficient than the current market infrastructure.
The GameStop issue really highlighted how blockchain infrastructure can help solve a lot of the problems in our markets.
There’s no firm timeline for when Paxos might submit the application, and after it does the SEC will likely publish it for a public comment period. Paxos has also applied to become a nationally chartered bank through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This application is still being reviewed by the bank regulator.”
“Popularly referred to as Miner Extracted Value (MEV), the arbitrage strategy sees bots identify and target trades waiting in Ethereum mempools. Bots will copy that trade and up the gas price for its transaction. That way, a miner will package its copy trade before the original can go through.
After scraping the Ethereum blockchain starting from the first block of 2020 (9193266), we’ve found a total of at least $314M worth (~540k ETH) of Extracted MEV since Jan 1st 2020.
Failed transactions generally increase the average transaction cost on-chain – a sore spot for Ethereum users who have suffered under $20-$30 average transaction fees – in addition to “bloating” the Ethereum by leaving traces of the failed transaction on the blockchain’s state. In other words, MEV creates negative externalities for Ethereum (or any smart contract blockchain).
Some Ethereum mining pools have even built custom networks to deter front running – a form of MEV – such as SparkPool’s Taichi Network.”
“Bitcoin prices plunged as much as 19% in a violent sell-off Monday, the biggest of the year in dollar terms with a loss of more than $10,000, before quickly recovering and settling around $54,000. The day’s price swings came on strong volume across major exchanges. Volume spiked to above $8 billion, the highest levels in almost two weeks.
Blockchain data showed billions of dollars of bitcoin being transferred onto exchanges on Sunday, as this year’s doubling in prices to levels above $58,000 apparently motivated some traders to take profits.
Monday’s sell-off is without a doubt the result of overly confident traders with unsustainable leverage. It’s been brewing for some time, as the premiums on futures have been very high lately. The dump and the liquidations of leverage traders today were necessary and healthy for the market.
For now, even with the price bouncing back, the market is not in an uptrend, and bitcoin needs to consolidate and reclaim $55,000 levels.”
“Bitcoin’s (BTC) sudden $11,500 drop liquidated more than $1.64 billion worth of BTC futures contracts. This massive figure represents 8.5% of the total $19.5 billion in open interest, which coincidentally had just reached its all-time high. Although these are significant figures, they are proportionally lower than the $1-billion futures liquidation on Nov. 26, 2020. At that time, the 16% correction that followed Bitcoin price testing a $16,300 low reduced the open interest by 17%.
In light of today’s big price move, investors’ positive expectations regarding Bitcoin remain unfazed, as both the futures contracts funding rate and the options 25% delta skew are not flashing any red flags.
By measuring the futures contracts premium against the current spot levels, one can infer whether professional traders are leaning bullish or bearish. Although the premium toned down after touching 5.7% on Feb. 17, it has since dropped down to 3.5%, which is average. Considering that there are 31 days left for the March 26 contract expiry, this translates to an extremely bullish 50% annualized rate.
The 25% delta skew measures how the neutral-to-bullish call options are priced against equivalent bearish put options. The indicator acts as an options traders’ fear and greed gauge, and it is currently sitting at -6%, meaning protection to the upside is more expensive. This further confirms theabsence of desperation from market makers and top traders.
Today’s price action might be surprising to new market participants, but those who remember when Bitcoin’s price crashed $11,200 between Jan. 10 and 11 will know that these sharp movements can’t be deemed out of the norm. The data suggests that traders buying today’s dip will likely come out on top.“
“The treasury secretary said a digital dollar maintained by the Fed could result in “faster, safer and cheaper payments,” but added there were “a lot of things to consider” before a possible rollout. She questioned how regulators would “manage money laundering and illicit finance issues” as well as the impact on banks and the Fed.
In addition, the treasury secretary criticized Bitcoin as a medium of exchange:
I don’t think that Bitcoin is widely used as a transaction mechanism. […] It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions, and the amount of energy that’s consumed in processing those transactions is staggering.”
“The two commercial banks join the six state-owned banks already participating in the CBDC trial.
China has been trying to curb the power of commercial payments companies, per the report, and the addition of MYbank and WeBank to the digital yuan trials could be a setback to firms like Alipay and WeChat Pay.”
“The London-based firm best known for its bitcoin exchange-traded product XBT has released its CoinShares Gold and Cryptoassets Index Lite (CGI) token on the Ethereum blockchain. The CGI token was built in cooperation with Index Coop, the team behind the DeFi Pulse Index, and the Imperial College of London.
The CGI token consists of two equally weighted “wrapped” crypto assets – wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) and wrapped ether (WETH) – and the firm’s wrapped gold token, wDGLD.”
“The American people’s collective jaws are still somewhat agape at the speed and oomph with which Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and others have recently acted to combat online discussion. With the volume of situations and people they’re dealing with, how can these companies consistently figure out the right place to draw the line, especially when society as a whole doesn’t have a consistent or coherent idea of where to draw the line.
The basic principles needed to create better social networks are not too hard to see:
Democratic decision making
Explainable AI – Recommendations of connections and content should be made using open-source AI that has the ability to explain the reasons behind its judgments.
It is well within our current capability to deliver modern social media functions based on decentralized compute power as well as decentralized algorithms.
Your social media and Internet usage data should be owned and controlled by you, and the AI algorithms used to model this data should be under your control. You should be able to inspect and interrogate these models and understand what they are thinking about you and why they are recommending certain things to you and not others.
Transparent, explainable AI applied to a person’s social media and Internet usage data has the potential to be a powerful tool for self-understanding and self-growth. An AI watching what I do will very likely understand some aspects of myself better than I do, and this is of interest to me because I would like to better understand myself.
It’s easy to imagine a smarter, more transparent version of Alexa or Google Assistant designed to serve as an “AI media navigator” finding me what I ask for in a savvy but unbiased way, and recommending me people and content that it genuinely thinks will be of interest to me.
Let us not forget that, alongside all the hate and stupidity, there is a massive influx of brilliant ideas and wonderful creations being put out there on the internet every minute of every day. Most of these have a hard time finding the audience they deserve because of today’s centralized online information architectures.
We have the core tech to enable radically more ethical and beneficial social media networks. All that remains is to get this tech out of the blockchain ghetto and into the internet mainstream. It’s not a small task but the potential benefit is huge. What we’re talking about here is not just a revolution in a certain sector of the software industry. It’s a massive upgrade in how the collective mind and heart of humanity guides its own growth.“
“Credibility is hard to find. But one Los Angeles-based startup is providing what it argues are objective rankings of information distributors. Built on Ethereum, Ideamarket launched this week and lets users put their money behind social media accounts they deem important.
Essentially, you buy tokens in accounts you think are “attention-worthy” or have a reputation you’d like to support. Upvotes cost money and increase in cost as vote count increases. As the price of the token rises you can sell at a profit if you choose, and the account earns interest which can be collected by its owner.
Ideamarket is an entirely new income stream for creators, without dependence on ads or paywalls. Our goal is to liberate journalism from paywalls by giving [journalists and creators] an income stream dependent only on the trust they earn from their audience.
Ideamarket is a new income stream for trusted voices, and a constantly growing expense for propagandists.
Ideamarket’s main goal is to relieve social media platforms of the ‘impossible task of making epistemic judgments on behalf of the public.’ By measuring credibility in dollars, “fake news” becomes permanently and increasingly more expensive.“
“We dream of a financial system that is open, fair, uncensored and trustless. The recent events in the financial markets have been disheartening to see. We recognize this moment as a turning point for all the builders in Decentralized Finance. This past weekend, the Yam Community voted to stand in support with Wall Street Bets and launch uSTONKS on the Degenerative Finance platform.
uSTONKS, designed by UMA Protocol in their uLABS program, will be a synthetic that tracks an index of the ten most bullish Wall Street Bets stocks. Bullishness will be measured by the number of positive comments on the WSB subreddit, with data provided from Swaggy Stocks’s trend tracking.
uSTONK will launch with a quarterly token, uSTONKS-JUN21, with a basket of Wall Street Bets favorite tickers rotated every quarter.”
“If you’ve ever been liquidated on Compound, Aave, dYdX or anywhere else in DeFi, you may have been liquidated by a KeeperDAO bot. KeeperDAO is a liquidity underwriter in DeFi. Anyone can deposit capital and earn a profit in return for allowing the protocol to borrow that capital to execute liquidations, rebalances, and arbitrage opportunities in the DeFi ecosystem.
All profits from these opportunities are split amongst the protocol’s liquidity providers and Keepers—the actors who initiate the transactions. The protocol is currently deploying over $20M per day towards profitable opportunities, generating half a million per day in profits to users.
KeeperDAO’s P/S ratio is substantially lower than the average in DeFi right now (Lower can mean better value). With DeFi tokens experiencing a recent bull run, the average P/S ratio in the sector currently stands at a lofty ~150. Meanwhile, KeeperDAO barely shows up on the radar with a P/S ratio of ~6. KeeperDAO’s native token is up over 675% YTD—outperforming the DPI by nearly 2.5x.”
“The GameStop drama awakened a greater interest in financial market plumbing, something that very few had bothered to care about before. When we see what looks like institutions trampling on the retail investor, we have questions. This is happening at the same time as an explosion of interest and development in DeFi applications.
The economic value riding on DeFi platforms has almost tripled since the beginning of the year, to $41.9bn at time of writing. These platforms are usually powered by tokens which confer access and governance rights – the aggregate value of the 100 largest tokens by market cap currently stands at $83 trillion (yes, with a “t”), with over $16 trillion in 24-hour trading volume. The DeFi Pulse Index, which tracks 10 of the largest tokens by market cap, has risen over 260% year-to-date.
Institutional onramps are spreading. Coinbase Custody has offered institutional clients trading and custody services for DeFi tokens for some time now, and has listed four new DeFi tokens so far this year. Given the public support for examining structural inefficiency and fragility in traditional capital markets, and the increase in DeFi activity and innovation, thegrowth in mainstream interest is likely to accelerate.
This will be positive for those building the capital markets of tomorrow, and for those that invest in these projects. Smart money will hopefully understand the risks involved. But getting in early on a transformational innovation rewards the brave. And current market infrastructure is getting ready to help this along.”
“Rocket Pool is the base layer protocol for decentralised and trustless ETH2 staking. Designed to support stakers of all shapes and sizes, Rocket Pool was built with the intent to allow anyone to trustlessly stake ETH to a network of decentralised node operators with full autonomy underpinned by RPL collateral.
Rocket Pool strives to embody the core ethos of Ethereum and DeFi, specifically the non-custodial, trustless nature that allows self-sovereignty to truly thrive. This is why creating the protocol layer for ETH2 staking is so important, especially with the vast majority of players either not having the technical skills to run a node, or the financial capacity to own 32 ETH. With Rocket Pool you can stake as little as 0.01 ETH.
In exchange for depositing ETH to Rocket Pool, users receive rETH in return. rETH is fully composable in the wider DeFi landscape, while accruing value from ETH earned through ETH2 staking. Rocket Pool’s staked ETH wrapper, rETH, is the purest in DeFi. We foresee a vibrant ecosystem of integrations ranging from lending markets to run validators more efficiently to composability for productivity.
In short, rETH is a natural building block for Etherum, and the most trust-minimised form of staked ETH.”
“While many traders are skilled at using perpetual futures and the basic margin investing tools available on most exchanges, they may be unaware of additional instruments that can be used to maximize their gains. One simple way, albeit expensive, is buying Ether call option contracts.
This multiple options strategy trade provides a better risk-reward for those seeking exposure to Ether’s price increase. Moreover, there is zero upfront funds involved for the strategy, except from the margin or collateral deposit requirements. Overall it yields a much better risk-reward from leveraged futures trading, for example.”
“The United States will adopt bitcoin as a reserve asset. The question is not if this will happen, but when. Whether it happens within 12 months, two years, five years or 10 years will have major implications for U.S. positioning for decades. Failure to embrace bitcoin sooner rather than later will damage U.S. strategic interests and benefit rivals adopting it first.
While bitcoin shares many similarities with gold, including scarcity, stable supply inflation, fungibility and durability, it also makes major improvements over gold in some key areas. So far, countries and their central banks have resisted (publicly) making or disclosing investments in bitcoin. But there is near certainty that this dynamic will ultimately reverse, potentially within the next 12 months.
Why? Simple economic incentives. In the near term, there exists an irresistible arbitrage opportunity for a country silently to accumulate a bitcoin position and later announce its holdings. In the longer term, bitcoin represents a sovereign wealth-building opportunity with asymmetric risk/reward upside.
If America’s rivals embrace bitcoin first and take advantage of the reserve asset arbitrage, not only will they secure a once-in-a-generation economic windfall, they will also be in position to damage U.S. foreign policy and strategic interests.
The U.S. has found itself at the crossroads of many consequential technology shifts before: the space race, the atom bomb, the internet and, more recently, the race for general purpose artificial intelligence. The outcomes of these sovereign techno-economic games determine the fate of empires.“
“A subsidiary of a firm overseeing more than $230 billion in assets will work with Galaxy Digital on what could be the third bitcoin ETF in Canada.
Two bitcoin ETFs went live this week, offering investors a way to gain exposure to bitcoin by buying stock, rather than the asset itself. ETF managers purchase an underlying asset on behalf of investors trading on the stock market, for a fee.”
“A new study has found that a majority of American believe cryptocurrency is a safe investment. Further, 25% already own crypto with another 27% saying they plan to invest this year. A separate question found that 30% of those surveyed said they do not understand crypto, while 13% said they never heard of cryptocurrency.
The words “we’re still early” did not appear anywhere in the survey.”
“The cryptocurrency is up 172.5% year-to-date. Ethereum-based applications create a natural utility for ether as the cryptocurrency is required to settle transactions. DeFi coins have followed lockstep with ether as shown by the DeFi Pulse Index (DPI), up 83% in the last 30 days.
Staking on the Ethereum 2.0 network is also creating a supply shock of supports for the digital asset. Some 2.7% of ether worth $6 billion has been deposited on the Eth 2.0 blockchain.
Lastly, large investors such as investment funds may be interested in gaining some exposure to the cryptocurrency. CME launched cash-settled futures contracts for the digital asset on Feb. 8. The contracts surpassed $160 billion in aggregated volume within the first week.”
“The fund has seen huge interest, trading well over $100 million shares on its first day, and by the end of Friday it had collected $421.8 million AUM. Bloomberg Intelligence ETFs analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted the Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF could reach $1 billion in assets by the end of next week.
On Friday, another bitcoin ETF, the Evolve ETF, started trading on the TSX under the ticker EBIT.”
“Ethereum developers have scheduled the Berlin hard fork for April 14 at block height 12,244,000. The update, which includes at least five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP), will be shipped on four test networks before deployment
The hardfork includes various optimizations for contracts including gas efficiencies, updates to how code is read by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and other changes to protect against denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.”
“OKCoin is delisting bitcoin cash (BCH), a fork or “clone” of bitcoin, as well as its own fork, bitcoin sv (BSV), both as a way to protect neophyte clients who are trying to buy bitcoin and as a statement of principle. Craig Wright’s most recent legal crusade against developers who host Bitcoin’s white paper was a breaking point.
We wouldn’t have changed that if it weren’t for Craig Wright posting these threats to the open-source dev community. We think these threats are very destructive to development and Bitcoin as a whole.
Additionally, these coins bear bitcoin’s name and that has ‘caused a lot of confusion about what is the real bitcoin among new entrants.'”
“An age-old question of how to monetize memes appears to have found an answer. This afternoon, the storied internet sensation, Nyan Cat, sold for 300.00 ETH (about $590,000). Chris Torres, who created the meme 10 years ago, confirmed the sale and his role in it.
I’m very surprised with the success, but I think I’m most glad knowing that I’ve basically opened the door to a whole new meme economy in the crypto world.
I am still relatively new to crypto in general, but I see its full potential.
Torres’ sale represents the latest permutation of the NFT industry: codifying and selling bits of the web that seemingly belong to everyone.”
“Raghu Yarlagadda cited three reasons for the recent institutional interest in crypto: inflationary hedge, geopolitical risk and a 24/7, always-on trading desk. Yarlagadda believes the Bitcoin price is more sustainable now than it was in 2017 thanks to the ‘the number and quality of institutions that are coming in.’
‘The first and foremost reason is the inflationary hedge.’The second reason is less obvious—less publicly known—but all the last ten institutions that came to FalconX mentioned this: the geopolitical risk hedge.
With the new US administration coming in, there are a lot of people who say that the trade war between the US and China is going to aggravate just a little bit more.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin also said that any conflict between China and the US is good for crypto, even though it’s an overall negative-sum for humanity.”
“According to analysts at JPMorgan, the bitcoin market could face severe liquidity shock if traders were to lose faith in tether (USDT).
If any issues arise that could affect the willingness or ability of both domestic and foreign investors to use USDT, the most likely result would be a severe liquidity shock to the broader cryptocurrency market, which could be amplified by its disproportionate impact on HFT [high-frequency trading]-style market makers which dominate the flow.
USDT’s market capitalization has increased from $4 billion to over $33 billion in the past 12 months [and] around 50%-60% of bitcoin traded was for USDT since 2019. Hence, a sudden loss of confidence in tether could end up triggering the crypto version of a bank run, destabilizing exchanges and causing a panic drop in bitcoin’s price.
The JPMorgan analysts did say, however, that they believe bitcoin is here to stay as an alternative currency.”
“BitMEX co-founder and former CEO Arthur Hayes has returned from exile with a post on the derivatives exchange’s official blog calling for a boycott of legacy platforms following the GameStop drama. Hayes urged retail traders trader to “opt-out” of the legacy financial system in favor of “Crypto Capital Markets”.
The game masters just didn’t like how the game was being played, so they jacked up margin to force a course correction.
The post did not provide any indication as to his current whereabouts, and did not address any of the accusations levied against BitMEX. However, he apparently has BitMEX’s permission to post on its official blog as he noted that he intends to post on a fortnightly basis.”
“Binance had a hiccup with its withdrawals for Ether (ETH) and all ERC-20 assets on Friday, with users being unable to access any of their Ethereum-based assets for about one hour. The community showed skepticism at such a [vague] explanation.
It would appear that the exchange would have no reason to actively undermine the Ethereum blockchain, but the lack of clear communication is letting speculation run wild. Curiously, Binance Coin (BNB) price spiked from $260 to a brief peak of $350 immediately after the pause was announced.
Whether it was simply scheduled maintenance or intentionally timed, the fact that any exchange can decide when someone is able to use their tokens with little to no warning is antithetical to the spirit of decentralization.”
“Data published by statistics firm Statista has revealed Nigeria is the leading country per capita for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption, with nearly one in three survey respondents indicating they used or owned crypto assets in 2020. The pre-existing prevalence of mobile phone based peer-to-peer payments has led many Nigerians to explore cryptocurrency.
On Feb. 17, BTC was trading at a 36% premium in Nigeria. Nigeria also dominates search traffic for the keyword “Bitcoin”.
Crypto adoption is also strengthening in South-East Asia, with 21% of Vietnamese and 20% of Filipino participants responding they had used crypto last year. Turkey and Peru were found to be the third and fourth-ranked nations for adoption, with 16% of respondents from each country directly engaging with crypto.”
“RAI, a new type of stablecoin that is not pegged to any specific fiat currency, has gone live on the Ethereum mainnet.
You don’t need to peg to anything in order to be stable. The most important thing to understand is that DeFi can and should be detached from the fate of the US Dollar.
If RAI fulfills its purpose within DeFi and starts to earn global adoption, it could prove to be a viable solution to the Triffin Dilemma, and bring credible neutrality to the administration of a stable global reserve asset, a global public good.”
“The NVIDIA CMP (cryptocurrency mining processor) is purely focused on computing power, and isn’t built to handle graphics. A lack of display outputs is meant to improve airflow, and lower core voltages will supposedly increase efficiency.
The company is also lowering the computing power of its RTX 3060 graphics drivers, making them less efficient for mining.
By intentionally lowering the computing power of the RTX 3060, and launching a new processor designed specifically for pro miners, NVIDIA is hoping to address those shortages.”
“The Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance (TRISA), one of the better-known solutions being proposed, is launching a testnet that includes a directory of virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and scenario testing for inevitable contact with non-compliant firms.
The TRISA testnet begins to address that looming challenge by including a dummy version of an “evil VASP” that will provide false authentication, attempt to steal data and so on.
The solution leverages battle-tested certificate authority infrastructure that allows VASPs to mutually authenticate one another. Post-testnet, TRISA will be issuing know-your-VASP certificates, validated by a registration authority.“
“The spotlight was definitely on the gamified trading app, rather than the traders on r/WallStreetBets.
That lack of scrutiny towards Gill and Huffman does much to quell widespread fear that the events surrounding explosive trading in GameStop (GME) shares at the end of January would kick off probes into social media platforms’ role in potential market manipulation.
The nature of Robinhood’s revenue model, which is based on the sale of order flow, while advertising itself as commission-free, fell under mass scrutiny, as did it’s dependence on a $3 billion injection of capital to meet collateral requirements.
I believe a vulnerability was clearly exposed in your business model. We just can’t live in a world where my constituents can have their shares liquidated if you can’t make a capital call.”
“Most institutions favor a two-level model for a digital ruble in which banks open wallets on clients’ behalf on the central bank’s platform. Banks had feared being drained of liquidity under the original concept for the digital currency.
The new model will be presented for discussion with the public and stakeholders at the start of this summer.”
“Shares in the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. are changing hands on the Nasdaq Private Market at $303 a piece. That implies a total company value of about $77 billion – greater than Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.
The first week it was 200 bucks a share, the second week it was $301 a share, and the third week it was $303 a share. So you can kind of see price discovery happening.
Coinbase pre-IPO futures contracts were trading on crypto derivatives exchange FTX at about $386 at the time of writing.”
“Traditional finance is going further down the crypto rabbit hole than you might think. Goldman Sachs, ICAP, JPMorgan, and UBS have bought the first exchange-traded product (ETP) that offers exposure to Polkadot’s DOT cryptocurrency for clients.
These banks and brokerages purchased small amounts of shares in Switzerland-based 21Shares’ ETP. The shares debuted Feb. 4 on the SIX Swiss Exchange at a price of $22-23 and have since climbed to $30.
The purchases suggest institutional investors’ appetite for crypto exposure in the current bull market goes beyond the market bellwether bitcoin, or even its closest rival ether. To be clear, these clients are not investing in DOT itself, but rather a security that tracks its performance.”
“It remains to be seen if the latest move above $50,000 is sustainable, given that U.S. bond yields are rising and pushing gold lower. Bitcoin is widely considered a hedge against inflation, like gold. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note clocked a 12-month high of 1.33% early today and has risen by over 20 basis points this year.
Momentum funds who bought bitcoin as a hedge against inflation might sell if real yields rise.
However, yield rises may be limited, with the Federal Reserve running an open-ended bond purchasing program and inflation likely to get a lift from rising oil prices.“
“The fund bets on 10 Ethereum-based protocols angling to shape the future of finance.
At launch, the fund’s top holdings include tokens backing an Ethereum-based lending protocol and a decentralized exchange – AAVE and UNI – which each carry an initial weighting of around 25%. Lending protocol token MKR (+5.59%) and derivatives protocol token SNX come in around 10%.
You’re seeing the initial flicker of a new technology that could significantly disrupt a lot of what traditional Wall Street makes money on, making it more efficient, more open, more accessible and more functional.
The fund, which also includes COMP, UMA, YFI, ZRX (+2.05%) and LRC (+10.03%), is the first such offering for accredited investors.”
“Revenue from crypto-related crime dropped by more than half in 2020 according to Chainalysis’ annual report on the subject. Cybercriminals netted around $5 billion less than the $10 billion plus they got away with in 2019, representing a 53% fall.
Transactions involving illicit funds have decreased even more rapidly than the total volume of those funds, falling from 2.1% of all transactions analyzed in 2019 down to just 0.34% last year.
The good news is three-fold: Cryptocurrency-related crime is falling, it remains a small part of the overall cryptocurrency economy, and it is comparatively smaller to the amount of illicit funds involved in traditional finance.
But it’s not all good news and possibly the most alarming part of the report is the finding that ransomware-related theft rose 311% from 2019 to 2020.”
“The biometric hardware wallet enables easy identity verification for users via fingerprint sensors on the card. Consumers participating in the CBDC trials in Beijing are also able to use the card to access healthcare services.
With this card, it is much more convenient to enter and exit public places, and you can pay with just one touch. It is especially suitable for the elderly who have difficulty using smartphones.”
“The code for the fully primed-and-ready Taproot upgrade will be deployed sometime between March 17 and March 31 (or April if necessary), but the actual signaling that kick-starts the activation process probably won’t start until July.
If everything goes as planned, then Bitcoin’s “economic majority” (miners and node operators who run Bitcoin’s code) could update within two weeks of the signaling period’s start. Come August 2022, Taproot’s activation period will reach its timeoutheight and signaling will end.
But what happens if the mining pools don’t signal to activate Taproot? Well, that’s where the hang-up is in discussion right now. At the heart of the matter for activating Taproot is whether to give node operators an option to force activate the upgrade if a supermajority of miners fail to support it before the timeout.”
“Stargate represents an important milestone for the Cosmos project on the way to launching its inter-blockchain communication (IBC) protocol that will allow the 200+ Tendermint-based blockchains to interoperate easily. The era of cross-pollinating blockchains is very nearly here.
Many blockchains that will be familiar to denizens of the crypto community are part of the larger Cosmos ecosystem, including the stablecoin protocol Terra, collateral-backed stablecoin Kava and location verification network FOAM.
The key reason I chose Cosmos to drive technology at my company was because of the planned interoperability between different Cosmos zones.”
“Cryptocurrencies are now accepted as a form of payment at the KIKLABB free trade zone in Mina Rashid, Dubai. The free zone is allowing customers to pay for Dubai trade licenses and visas with bitcoin, ether and the tether stablecoin.”
“When everyone becomes overly bullish, the market enters ‘euphoria’. And it generally indicates a ‘top-signal’ in a market cycle. However, today let’s indulge. I want us to take a stroll down Bull Street—because big things are happening….and they’re happening fast.
Here’s my case for why the exuberance today might be…rational.
“Evolve’s bitcoin ETF was conditionally approved on Tuesday to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
It’s a promising sign if there are no issues with launching a bitcoin ETF in Canada. … The U.S. regulatory framework tends to be a lot more in line with things that happen in Canada.
The approval follows the OSC’s approval of Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF on Thursday. Both ETFs have a management fee of 1%, falling just shy of Europe’s cheapest bitcoin exchange-traded commodity from Wisdom Tree, which charges 0.95%.”
“The rebranded Libra network aims to come out with an initial product around the end of this quarter, with help from Fireblocks and First Digital Assets.
Fireblocks and First are providing the digital plumbing to allow financial service providers such as banks, exchanges, payment service providers (PSPs) and eWallets to plug into Diem on day one. It will be integrated, via Fireblocks and First, with Diem Association members like Spotify, Farfetch, Lyft, Uber and Shopify.
The streamlined project has bent to the will of regulators and operates on a strict permissioned basis with a specific onboarding process to become a diem virtual asset service provider, or VASP.”
“For the first time in its 250-years long history the renowned auction house Christie’s will be auctioning a digital artwork on its own. Christie’s will be selling “THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” by prolific digital artist Beeple.
This historic event marks a significant inflection point for both the digital art and the fine arts industry, bridging the apparent gap in the global recognition for digital art.
Christie’s is proud to be in the vanguard of this exhilarating movement.”
“The roadmap is divided into three main stages. The current phase is the Rococo testnet environment, where developers can test mechanisms to communicate between various Polkadot parachains, its analog of shards.
The Rococo testnet was launched in August 2020, but the component features have yet to be fully completed. Once details like dispute resolution and approval voting are completed, the Polkadot codebase will finally reach feature completion.
The next stage will be holding a vote to enable parachains on Kusama, Polkadot’s “canary network.” Kusama can be considered as a middle ground between a testnet and a mainnet. Once the parachains on Kusama are stable, and all audits are completed, an on-chain vote will be triggered on Polkadot to introduce parachain auctions.
There are no indications of the precise timelines for these milestones. There also appear to be issues with the Rococo testnet’s stability. For example, one of its parachains has been stuck on block 1036, which suggests that there has been a significant stability incident for the testnet.
The latest updates to the Rococo testnet are indicating the necessity of further amendments to the technology.”
“Nexus Mutual has a very aggressive roadmap for 2021, Karp said, aiming to sell over $1 billion worth of cover spread across at least 30 protocols.
Nexus started out focused on providing protection against risk and potential bugs in the smart contract code of decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. Recently, the startup announced it was extending its community-based offering to cover users for hacks and losses incurred at centralized exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken and Gemini.”