18 February

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.”

See Also: BlackRock has started to ‘dabble’ in crypto, says CIO

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.”

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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.”

See Also: The Bahamas gets a card for its sand dollar national digital currency

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.”

See Also: SecretSwap Is the Secret Network’s Answer to DeFi Privacy

“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.”