31 March

“PayPal, which last year added the ability to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency, is pushing it as a payment method across the 29 million or so online merchants connected to the fintech giant.

Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.

PayPal’s Checkout will allow bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC) to be seamlessly converted into U.S. dollars or other fiat currencies when making purchases, the same as credit card or a debit card would work inside a PayPal wallet.

The terms and conditions for “Checkout with Crypto” include a number of important caveats. Chief among them is the tax liability: ‘Sales of Crypto Assets via Checkout with Crypto are taxable just like all other sales of Crypto Assets.'”

“Bakkt is launching its digital wallet app with companies such as Starbucks among its roster of merchant partners. Other partners include Best Buy, Choice Hotels, Fiserv and GolfNow. Bakkt is aiming to aggregate cryptocurrency holdings with other digital assets such as airline miles, gift cards and loyalty points.

Customers can now use Bakkt to reload their Starbucks Card through the Starbucks app for iOS.”

“Produced by Cayman Islands-based accounting firm Moore Cayman, the document examines Tether’s holdings as of Feb. 28, 2021, at 23:59 UTC, finding the company had at least $35.28 billion in total assets against total liabilities of $35.15 million.

Tuesday’s attestation is the first third-party verification Tether has produced indicating its reserves match the amount of USDT in circulation since 2018, the first from an actual accounting firm since September 2017, and by far the least equivocal of the bunch.

The attestation puts Tether on par with stablecoin issuers such as USDC’s Centre, GUSD’s Gemini or PAX’s Paxos, at least when it comes to financial clarity. Tether plans to issue another attestation for March after it ends, followed by quarterly attestations thereafter.”

Bitcoin is charting gains amid rising bond yields, contrary to the last week of February when firmer yields knocked the wind out of the cryptocurrency’s bull market. Bitcoin’s resilience is noteworthy and implies a bullish mood in the market.

BTC remains extremely strong, particularly in the face of an appreciating USD and rising treasury yields. Despite historical correlations, bitcoin is bucking the trend even as gold sinks to below $1,700.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield is seen at 1.77%, the highest since Jan. 23, 2020. The benchmark yield has gained six basis points today and nearly 20 basis points since March 25.

Bitcoin may face some selling pressure if yields rise at a faster pace, destabilizing stock markets, as discussed earlier this month. However, Goldman Sachs expects equity markets to digest a 10-year yield of roughly 2% without much difficulty.”

See Also: Bitcoin nears all-time highs — Here’s why $73K is the next key level to watch

“Canada-based digital asset merchant bank Galaxy Digital (TSX: GLXY) said it is actively preparing for a U.S. listing after reporting positive Q4 earnings Tuesday. The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) listed-firm founded by Mike Novogratz said it will list in the U.S. in the second half of the year.

We believe our industry is at an inflection point as we participate in a once in a lifetime secular shift into cryptocurrencies as an institutionalized asset class.

The firm’s Digital Asset Management business expects to report preliminary assets under management of $1.24 billion as of March 22. In March the firm launched the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF which is trading on the TSX under the ticker “BTCX.””

CME will launch smaller-sized bitcoin futures contracts in May, potentially expanding the number of people who bet on the future price of the leading cryptocurrency. The new contracts sized at one-tenth of one bitcoin will be available for trading on May 3 and will be cash-settled.

The introduction of Micro Bitcoin futures responds directly to demand for smaller-sized contracts from a broad array of clients and will offer even more choice and precision in how participants can trade regulated bitcoin futures.”

One of Japan’s largest banks, has completed its first asset-backed security token issuance pilot.

The method of raising funds through the issuance of security tokens is called a security token offering (STO). Investors are issued a digital token that represents a physical investment to be stored on a blockchain.

Another influential Japanese financial institution, SBI Holdings, announced three days ago it had also completed registration requirements to handle STOs. Additionally, Nomura Holdings, Mizuho Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and others have been researching and developing digital securities backed by assets such as bonds, stocks and real estate.”

See Also: Blockstream Issues Security Token Tied to Bitcoin Hashrate, Payable in BTC

“The nonprofit said FinCEN’s proposed rule “represents a radical extension of … financial surveillance of innocent Americans.”

FinCEN’s proposed rule unlawfully attempts to transform the agency’s limited authority to regulate banks into permission to engage in the mass financial surveillance of innocent individuals who merely use digital assets.

March 29 marks the last day the regulator is taking public comments on its proposed rule.”

See Also: US Government Sues Decentralized Content Platform LBRY Over $11M in Token Sales

“The notice is primarily aimed at trading platforms that deal in crypto-based securities and derivatives as well as contractual rights or claims to digital assets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. The new rules will come into effect on June 1.

MSBs must verify the identity of persons or entities that made “large virtual currency (VC) transactions” worth 10,000 Canadian dollars (roughly $7,940) or more within a single day. Additionally, MSBs must verify the identity of every person who wants to buy, sell or exchange 1,000 CAD ($794) or more in cryptocurrencies and take “reasonable measures” to identify any “suspicious transactions,” regardless of the amount.

Foreign CTPs that serve Canadian customers are not exempt from complying with local rules.

We remind all CTPs that are dealing with Canadians, including foreign-based CTPs, that they are expected to comply with Canadian securities legislation.”

See Also: UK to Focus Regulation on Stablecoins Rather Than Crypto in General: Report
See Also: UK Tax Authority Updates Treatment of Crypto Assets to Incorporate Staking

“In a press release today, Ethereum software developer ConsenSys announced Palm, an environmentally friendly NFT scaling solution. Palm will be a sidechain designed to be “fully connected” to Ethereum, sporting faster settlement times, lower fees and an especially light carbon footprint.

ConsenSys announced a lineup of ecosystem-building partner powerhouses for Palm, such as NFT social media platform Nifty’s and experimental NFT mining project Meme.

Likewise, Palm will come out of the gate with significant infrastructure in place from partners Infura, NFT metadata storage via Protocol Labs, and a partnership with decentralized exchange Uniswap, which may soon be announced as the home of the forthcoming PALM token initial exchange offering.”

See Also: UFC Champion Francis Ngannou’s NFTs Sold For More Than His Title Fight Purse
See Also: R3 Corda Now Has a Bridge to Public Blockchains With Arrival of Ethereum-Based XDC

The Satoshi, a cruise ship that was once intended to become a floating home for the Bitcoin community, may soon get new life with a new cruise line. The vessel has reportedly been sold to new owners who have not publicly announced themselves.

Formerly known as Pacific Dawn, the 804-foot vessel, built in 1991, was sold to a company called Ocean Builders in October 2020, which planned to turn it into a cryptocurrency-themed tech hub anchored in the Gulf of Panama. In December 2020, claiming they had failed to obtain insurance for the concept of a community living aboard a former cruise ship, the project’s organizers sold the “Crypto Cruise Ship” for scrap.”

30 March

Visa has processed a cryptocurrency payment directly on the Ethereum blockchain as part of a new service the payment giant plans to introduce to its partners later this year. The move, the latest sign of increased adoption of digital currencies by the old-guard financial industry, bumped the price of bitcoin 4% and ether 8%.

Usually, Crypto.com has to sell cryptocurrencies to cover its obligations to Visa in cash, but this new program will allow the company to pay in USDC. The pilot could be a bellwether for mainstream acceptance of crypto-native payment methods because it marks the first time Visa has accepted a cryptocurrency payment in lieu of cash for its services.

The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency, and it’s really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world.

Going forward, Visa plans to flesh out its crypto-native services by “support[ing] reconciliation and currency conversion for stablecoins such as USDC” and creating “settlement reports” with blockchain wallet addresses to verify transactions. Visa also said in the press release that Anchorage will be its “digital asset settlement agent” and that it will “integrate [its] treasury systems with Anchorage.””

See Also: Market Wrap: Bitcoin, Ether Gain After Visa Deal as Stocks Struggle With Archegos Margin Call

“Amrita Ahuja, CFO at payments company Square, argued that Bitcoin should be a part of every major company’s financial war chest.

Square’s investment and support of Bitcoin is part of a growing trend, according to a PwC market overview released today, which predicts that the industry will become more institutionalized. Corporate players, bigger investors, and crypto platforms, bolstered by recent gains, will increasingly drive activity, Henri Arslanian, PwC global crypto leader, told Bloomberg.”

See Also: Crypto M&A Doubled to $1.1B in 2020: PwC

Silvergate Bank will be the second lender to extend bitcoin-backed loans to investors who custody their crypto with Fidelity. Fidelity began accepting bitcoin as collateral for cash loans in December after partnering with crypto lender BlockFi. The product targets investors who are interested in using their bitcoin without selling it.

Like Silvergate, we recognize the opportunity to create a more seamless investor experience by helping institutions maximize capital efficiency, as well as the opportunity to strengthen the digital assets ecosystem.”

See Also: Nasdaq-Listed Canadian Firm Mogo Launches Bitcoin Cashback Mortgage Program

President Biden is about to introduce two separate components of what is expected to be a $3 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden advisers recommended splitting the $3 trillion plan into two components, which may make it easier to gain much-needed GOP support.

The first part of the “Build Back Better” plan – which Biden will float on Wednesday – is expected to focus on rebuilding ‘roads and railways,’ while the second part which will be released “in just a couple of weeks” will focus on “social infrastructure” funding, including childcare and healthcare.”

“The long-awaited vision of the Cosmos blockchain has now been realized, as holders of the ATOM token have voted through inter-blockchain communication (IBC), enabling assets to transfer easily between blockchains. In the simplest terms, IBC enables messages to travel between blockchains that have implemented the standard. The most obvious use case in crypto is sending messages to transfer tokens off one chain and onto another.

This development has the potential to open up opportunities in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, where a product on an application-specific blockchain could use an asset from a completely different chain. One place ATOM may go: the Terra blockchain, which runs a DeFi savings account called Anchor. Terra could plug in to IBC and make ATOM one of the tokens its underlying money market will loan.

Some of the most interesting connections will be between chains that we have never heard of, accomplishing things not currently feasible.”

See Also: Tendermint Launches $20M Venture Fund to Boost Development Across Cosmos

“The Polkadot ecosystem continues to progress, with DeFi platform Acala Network becoming the first to win a parachain slot on the Rococo testnet.

Parachains are acquired in an auction process whereby projects try to outbid each other for the slot. Polkadot launched Rococo as a parachain testnet in August 2020 to test it’s inter-shard communication protocols before projects progress to deploying on Polkadot’s sister-network Kusama, and eventually the Polkadot mainnet.

A new Polkadot DAO Alliance has also been announced on March 26 to promote the development of decentralized governance in the Polkadot ecosystem.”

“The project sold more than 5,000 ETH worth of Founder Series cards in the first 24 hours of sale, beginning March 18, or more than $9 million worth at the time of sale.

The Ether Cards platform has a built-in, smart contract-powered “traits” system that activates once the cards are minted, bestowing each one with unique differentiators and even special perks for buyers. The traits system is powered by Chainlink’s Verifiable Randomness Function (VRF) technology.

Imagine Ether Cards as very attractive access cards. They are keys to unlock a whole world of interaction with smart contracts all over the Ethereum blockchain.”

“The leading Ethereum-powered decentralized exchange Uniswap has generated more than $4.8 million worth of fees over the past 24 hours. This has propelled the automated market maker into second place above Bitcoin — which has generated just $3.1 million.

The top network by daily fees is Ethereum with $16.5 million — which beats out the other 30 other networks tracked by CryptoFees combined. ETH Gas Station reports that Uniswap is the largest gas guzzler in the industry.”

“Following cybersecurity assessments, commercial institutions are being cleared to issue the world’s first CBDC: the Bahamas’ Sand Dollar.

The Central Bank expects to imminently complete the technical integration of the digital infrastructure with the commercial banking system. This will establish links between wallets and bank deposit accounts, through the Bahamas Automated Clearing House (the ACH), and allow transfer of funds in both directions.

In October 2020, the Sand Dollar became the first CBDC in the world to go beyond the pilot stage and achieve an official launch. The centrally issued digital currency became available for use by all Bahamian citizens upon release, while integration with the commercial banking system has been subject to a gradual rollout.”

The Disrupt Weekend

Good crypto-economic systems optimize both cryptography and economics. The optimization of one without the other leaves an inefficient imbalance in the system and can lead to long-term wear on the system. This is the fundamental critique that crypto-economic researchers have of the bitcoin system: an optimized economic asset but powered by an inefficient economic engine.

Proof of Work is Inefficient. Bitcoin built the first viable crypto-economic engine, and has proven viability as a construction. A critique of the Bitcoin system is that it is using ‘stone-age economics’. Bitcoin has ongoing costs for maintaining economic security:

  • Perpetual energy consumption
  • Perpetual ASIC degradation and turnover

Under Proof-of-Work, this endless competition to mine Bitcoin blocks adds security to the Bitcoin system, at the cost of expending the energy inside the BTC monetary unit. Bitcoin is secured by long-term perpetual selling pressure on the economic unit.

BTC the asset leaks its value due to significant power-draw placed on it by the Bitcoin Proof-of-Work security engine. Bitcoin’s expenditure-based security is persistent, reliable long term sell pressure of BTC from PoW miners, because Bitcoin does not meter resource consumption by its security providers.

Just as economic systems before it, Bitcoin is secured by taxation on GDP produced by its economic engine. Bitcoin’s military, its PoW force-shield is running at an extremely high burn rate.

A second inefficiency in the Bitcoin economic engine is its inability to control its security budget. Bitcoin’s long-term security comes from the transaction fees paid to the network.

Bitcoin does not know how much fees it will receive at any given moment; it just collects the revenue it receives and sends all of it to the miners. Bitcoin has no capacity to give long-term assurances to its security providers about the future size of the security budget.

BTC fees paid to miners are volatile. Sometimes they are low, sometimes they are high. This is like injecting fuel into an engine by stomping on the gas and then immediately releasing it. Rather than finding the exact right spot to go the desired speed, Bitcoin just throws all of its received transactional revenue into the engine as soon as it receives it.

Not being able to meter the economic resources inputted into the Bitcoin security engine means two things:

  • Bitcoin miners have an unpredictable security budget
  • Bitcoin is overpaying for security

Giving up the power of issuance at the protocol level means that Bitcoin’s security acts as a sail, powered by the winds of its economic engine. It is not actually capable of generating its own power; its security is a function of its own economy. Bitcoin’s native economy may be enough to keep the sail filled with air, but long-term security assurances are absent.

From the perspective of a holistic, integrated system design of both an economic engine and monetary fuel, Bitcoin has sacrificed the efficiency of its engine to produce scarcity in the asset.

But crypto-economic systems are composed systems; the aggregate output of these things are the result of the interaction between the power of the money and the efficiency of the engine. Optimizing for one and not the other leaves you with an inefficient system that is a drag on the economy that it hosts.

As with all technological innovations that humans have ever come up with, there have been 12 years of crypto-economic research and development to leverage. Leveraging these advances in crypto-economics means that we can move away from the stone-age economics of ‘Gold 2.0’, and move into the full expression of sci-fi economics using optimizations in both cryptography and digital economies.”

“WellsFargo’s “Way2Save” Savings Account offers 0.01% APY. Like what in the actual f**k is that.

While rates across the board hit all time lows, inflation is hitting all time highs. In response to the global pandemic, the Fed expanded the money supply by roughly ~24% in the past year alone—an unprecedented level of issuance in that time span. This is a recipe for disaster.

There’s little chance that the average American individual will be able to preserve their purchasing power these days. They’re set up to have their wealth decimated. While traditional finance leaves investors dry, DeFi is offering the best yields in the world on USD. Full stop.

In DeFi, virtually every opportunity is offering over 5% APY on USD—even with the safest DeFi protocols today. So we took some time to research where anyone can put their money to work, and not only preserve their purchasing power, but even grow it. Here’s what we found.”

“The distinction between the token and the digital object to which it binds is quite crucial. In the crypto-native world, property rights and ownership are defined by “not your keys, not your crypto” – meaning that (absent certain circumstances) you control the private key that can send (assign) the token to someone else, you own the token (and all associated rights).

However, in case of a digital collectible, the ownership of a token may or may not mean you own the underlying computer file to which the token maps. Blockchains use a hash function to establish uniqueness but a JPEG file and its copy both produce the same hash.

Content addressable systems (systems that allow information to be retrieved based on its content rather than location) such as IPFS (a decentralized network) can solve this problem by allowing an NFT to bind with an IPFS URL such that you own the resource but the copy of the JPEG is a different resource.

In this scenario, the URL bound to the token becomes worth $69 million whereas the URL corresponding to the copy is basically worth $0. Essentially it’s the token minted by Beeple that “makes” the artwork worth $69 million more than a copy of the digital artwork.

However, purely from a technical point of view, an artist or another actor can double-spend a digital object on (a) the same blockchain (b) on a different NFT platform (c) on a different blockchain.

Further, multiple non-fungible tokens can be mapped to the same underlying digital file or IPFS URL or to different copies of the same digital file. Indeed, on-chain ownership is not sufficient for off-chain objects unless the legal framework governing the rights of an NFT owner respects and enforces these rights in the off-chain world. I might own a Beeple artwork on Ethereum but Justin Sun might mint the Beeple artwork on the Tron blockchain and thus claim ownership of the artwork anyway. A court in the U.S. might enforce MetaKovan’s rights, whereas a court in Macau might decide in favor of Sun.

NFT platforms are doing three critical things:

First, by creating a large, digitally native market for off-chain assets using on-chain tokens, these platforms are providing a proof of value for bringing other off-chain assets such as land titles, cars, houses and bonds – basically everything of any value on to Web 3.0.

Second, by building robust, scalable infrastructure for minting, trading and settling NFTs on-chain, NFT platforms are bringing ordinary, nontechnical people to crypto platforms in the way nothing else has so far. I’d not be surprised if 100 million new people become comfortable with using wallets like Metamask and DeFi products this year and next year because they want to trade digital collectibles.

Third, by sparking debates such as the one contained in this article, NFTs will force common and civil law frameworks to align off-chain rights with onchain rights.

Essentially, with NFTs we are looking at technical consensus evolving into a market which in turn forces the social consensus.”

We’ve just launched our V4 testnet which is our mainnet release candidate. We’ve hosted an open and permissionless testnet for five months now, and it’s been an incredible experience for testing our software in the wild. We’ll be giving the release candidate a bit of mileage on testnet before shipping it off to mainnet.

  • Typical transactions on Arbitrum use 2–3k Ethereum gas. With the introduction of BLS signatures in our release candidate, developers can now cut these costs down even further.
  • Arbitrum is EVM compatible on the bytecode level so no need to rewrite your code or use any custom compilers or new tools to download.
  • Your Solidity/Vyper code just works. Arbitrum breaks out of Ethereum’s contract size limit and transaction gas limit. Want to do a large contract deployment on Arbitrum? No problem! Have a transaction that uses more gas than is available in an Ethereum block? Go for it!”

See Also: Optimistically Cautious

“Ren is a cross-chain liquidity protocol. With Ren, anyone can port any crypto asset to any other blockchain in a trust-minimized fashion. Interoperability between chains may be a key factor to the growth in crypto.

The RenVM ultimately acts as an interoperable liquidity building block, allowing developers to integrate cross-chain capabilities into any application they build. This means that any DeFi application, like a DEX or lending protocol, could integrate RenVM’s capabilities and enable cross-chain liquidity into their application.

By achieving interoperability, we can bring significantly more liquidity (we sometimes call it economic bandwidth) to DeFi. Bitcoin is now a trillion dollar asset. All of that liquidity and economic bandwidth could be used as value in DeFi—as collateral to mint DAI, used to borrow USDC on Aave, provide liquidity on Uniswap, etc.”

“Let’s take a look at the projects that received funding in the final quarter of 2020.”

Sentinel Network allows anyone to be able to sell their bandwidth on its marketplace. Developers can utilize the Sentinel Protocol, built with Cosmos SDK, to build applications, both public and private, that use the Sentinel Network’s bandwidth marketplace for dVPN applications.

Sentinel is the first project that focuses on offering privacy at the network level to any blockchain or dApp. Once integrated, these blockchains or applications will be able to provide their users with both privacy and censorship resistance.

Simply, the purpose of the Sentinel ecosystem is to empower universal access to the internet in a trusted and provable manner.

As Freedom House notes in their latest annual Freedom of the Net report, the pandemic is ‘accelerating a dramatic decline in global internet freedom.’ For the tenth year in a row, users of the internet have ‘experienced an overall deterioration in their rights, and the phenomenon is contributing to a broader crisis for democracy worldwide.‘”

“Secure technologies, like blockchain and encryption, are woven throughout Excelsior Pass to help protect the data, making it verifiable and trusted. No private health data is stored or tracked within the apps.

Each participant will determine what information they want to share, with whom, when and for what purpose – without sharing the underlying personal data used to generate the credential.

It’s available for free of use by businesses, and the implementation will be voluntary. The major venues that will adopt the blockchain COVID-19 pass include the Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Times Union Center in the state’s capital, Albany.”

27 March

“The near 40% jump in the U.S. money supply over the past year sparked concerns about rising inflation, especially in bond markets like U.S. Treasurys. While a sharp slowdown in the money supply’s expansion is expected over the coming months, the growth is expected to continue at a breakneck pace relative to historical norms, according to a new report.

We reckon that the increase in M2 this year will be about $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion. This implies that M2 will rise by some 13% to 16% in the year to December.

The current spike in M2 growth will not be reversed, even after the economy recovers. Central banks everywhere are terrified of outright declines in the nominal money supply, because they are rare and are associated with depressions.

Nothing like this has ever happened before.

The question then becomes, how far does inflation rise, and how quickly does it increase?”

See Also: Bitcoin no longer a fringe asset due to US dollar debasement, says Soros Fund exec

“Zurich-based investment firm Tavis Digital has partnered with Singapore-based Persistence, a bridge for traditional firms into undiscovered realms such as token staking and decentralized finance (DeFi). The tie-up with Tavis is a demonstration that some traditional funds are going beyond merely adding bitcoin as an asset class.

Tavis Digital is a spin-off of Tavis Capital, an asset manager regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) with about $1.07 billion in assets under management.

We white-label our services to institutional clients and stakeholders who do not know how to run a validator node.

With backdrop of most parts of western Europe now at 0% interest rates, or negative interest rates in certain jurisdictions, there is an increased demand from institutional folks to generate fixed income yields. And that’s what Tavis Digital is trying to do – create this fixed income fund vehicle and generate returns from proof-of-stake mining as an asset class.”

“The two firms will jointly launch “Terra Pool,” a bitcoin mining pool exclusively powered by clean energy. Terra Pool will initially consist of both Argo’s and DMG’s hashrate, which is mostly generated by hydroelectric resources.

The agreement comes amid rising criticism for the energy used by the crypto mining industry and its potential impact on climate change.”

See Also: 99.98% less power: Lighthouse’s first Ethereum and Eth2 merge transaction

“The throughput-boosting Layer 2 project said rushing its mainnet launch could have consequences for unprepared projects. ‘There is a very real risk of’ projects getting fraudulently forked by bad actors.

Optimism called July a “rough estimate” for its mainnet launch. A hacker-ready testnet will debut in late April.

Citizens of Beijing and Shanghai can now apply to one of six state-owned Chinese banks for a digital yuan wallet.”

See Also: China’s Digital Yuan Will Be ‘Backup’ to Alipay, WeChat, Says PBOC

“Superchief, an artist collective that operates galleries in New York and Los Angeles, announced the launch of the new gallery in the Union Square neighborhood. The location will display NFTs on auction on high-res screens. Featuring over 300 artists, each will be auctioning a one-of-one NFT of their displayed work, as well as a 72-print drop.

Russia’s Hermitage museum will be hosting a NFT exhibition set to include works from artists like Abosch, and on Friday, a museum in Beijing opened what it claimed to be the first “major” NFT exhibition.

Likewise, critic, collector and artist Kenny Schacter is planning a dual physical-and-virtual show at German gallery Nagel Draxler on April 9, possibly a world’s first, which will run simultaneously in the Metaverse at the Museum of Crypto Art and the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art.”

See Also: Russia’s Hermitage museum to host NFT art exhibition

Fractionalized NFTs and baskets of non-fungible tokens could easily be considered investment contracts under U.S. securities law, warns SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce. Peirce urged NFT issuers to be cautious if they decide to “sell fractional interests” in NFTs or NFT baskets, stating:

You better be careful that you’re not creating something that’s an investment product — that is a security.

With NFTs fetching increasingly exorbitant prices, fractionalized interests in these assets enable smaller investors to still be able to gain exposure to a small share of a high-priced NFT.”

“Decentralized exchange SushiSwap has announced the “rolling release” of Kashi, a specialized lending platform specifically designed for margin trading on the exchange, and BentoBox, a dual-purpose yield vault. Kashi also features flash loans.

Kashi aims to let traders borrow assets for creating leveraged long and short positions, similarly to other lending platforms like Compound or Aave, and BentoBox will enable users to earn interest from farming liquidity pools while simultaneously using the same tokens to contribute to lending pools.

Kashi is one of the first major implementations of SushiSwap’s 2021 roadmap, which aims to diversify the exchange beyond a pure automated market maker platform.”

“Chainalysis, a blockchain tracking firm whose client base includes government investigators, crypto exchanges and even financial institutions, raised $100 million in a round that underscores surging demand for cryptocurrency compliance infrastructure.

The Series D raise values the New York firm at $2 billion.

The FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal offices spent over $10 million on Chainalysis in 2020. A growing global rolodex spans government agencies in 30 countries and companies in 60. Gronager said private-sector tie-ups continue to be a major source of new partnerships for Chainalysis.”

26 March

“A radical new framework for how to authenticate online identities just went live on the Bitcoin network. An ID network like ION could be the key to unlocking a web where users no longer have to fumble with passwords, emails and cell phones for verification.

This network is a layer 2 technology similar to Lightning except that instead of focusing on payments it uses Bitcoin’s blockchain to create digital IDs for authenticating identity online. It uses Sidetree, an open-source protocol for decentralized identifiers built by devs from Microsoft, ConsenSys, Mattr and Transmute.

ION uses the same logic as Bitcoin’s transaction layers to sign off on identity. A public key and its associated private key are used to verify that a user owns an ID. For example, to log into your email or social media in a world that uses ION, you would verify you own your account by “signing” your DID with your ION account.

Decentralized Identity is a good example of a non-monetary use case for public blockchains like Bitcoin, and it’s even on the radar of the World Economic Forum’s blockchain chief.

We are excited to share that [version 1] of ION is complete and has been launched on Bitcoin mainnet. ION does not rely on centralized entities, trusted validators or special protocol tokens. ION answers to no one but you, the community.”

According to Robert Gutmann, CEO of New York Digital Investment Group, the firm has been having conversations with sovereign wealth funds about possible Bitcoin investments. Raoul Pal also confirmed Gutmann’s revelation, stating that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek was indeed a Bitcoin investor.

According to Pal, Temasek which holds about $306 billion in assets under management, has been buying virgin Bitcoin from miners. Tweeting on Thursday, Pal characterized the imminent entry of sovereign wealth funds into the Bitcoin space as a ‘wall of money.'”

See Also: New Zealand retirement fund reportedly allocates 5% to Bitcoin

“Among options listed on the dominant Deribit exchange with an April 30 expiry, the most common open position is the $80,000 call. The total open interest in the $80,000 call option is 4,469 contracts, or 240 million at press time. That’s a sign of high price expectations for April.

Statistically speaking, the seasonality for April is biased bullish. Historical data shows bitcoin has chalked out gains in April in eight out of the last 10 years.

The near-term focus in the bitcoin options market is on this Friday’s March expiry, where a record $6 billion of contracts are set to come due, with some analysts warning of an extreme pullback to what’s known as the “max pain” point, seen at $44,000. But if that expiry comes and goes without any major price fluctuations, the bullish bets for April would come into view.”

See Also: Bitcoin Traders Keep Buying the Dip, Blockchain Data Suggests

Cboe Global Markets is looking to broaden its return to cryptocurrency by introducing more products and possibly re-listing bitcoin futures.

The exchange also officially filed to list shares of VanEck’s bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) March 2 in hopes VanEck’s application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is approved.

We’re keen on building out the entire platform. There’s a lot of demand from retail and institutions and we need to be there.”

“Over the past week, beacon chain Altair pre-release specs – Stargazer v1.1.0-alpha.1 and Half of ‘em just look like dots v1.1.0-alpha.2 – were released. These represent the first feature complete releases of the upcoming Altair upgrade to the beacon chain.

Altair is an upgrade to the beacon chain that brings light client support, minor patches to incentives, per-validator inactivity leak accounting, an increase in slashing severity, and cleanups to validator rewards accounting for simplified state management.

Over the past few weeks, merge designs have continued to be refined. We expect these base designs to be integrated into the specs shortly and for engineering teams to begin work on the next wave of demos and testnets.”

A blockchain startup has created an investment trust that will allow individuals to bet on the next generation of Ethereum, with interest.

An investor in the trust gets the benefit of exposure to ether, plus the rewards from staking that ether without having to purchase it, custody it and stake it independently. It’s all handled by the trust.

As you see a lot of institutional interest in bitcoin, I think a very natural next step is how does Ethereum work? There are a bunch of investors who believe that the risk/return on Ethereum is significantly higher than that on Bitcoin.”

“Speaking at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) seminar on Thursday, Mu Changchun laid out the proposals, explaining that CBDC fund flows should be “synchronized” to help regulators ‘monitor the transactions for compliance.’ The PBoC has shared its proposals with other central banks and monetary authorities.

Interoperability should be enabled between CBDC systems of different jurisdictions.”

See Also: Indian Government Says Companies Must Disclose Crypto Holdings

“The latest product from IoTeX, a privacy-focused platform for the Internet of Things, reportedly brings the concept of a smartphone’s trusted execution environment with real-world data to the crypto space. Pebble Tracker is reportedly able to capture data including location, temperature, air quality, motion, and even light levels and record it securely for a variety of blockchain-related applications.

This would reportedly allow use cases including healthcare providers verifying the temperature of COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of their journey from manufacturer to injection, but also provide a new way to incorporate real-world data to non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

This technology can be used to absolutely verify the proof of presence of a person.”

“In a paper published on Thursday, Professor Matera argued that Wyoming’s targeted blockchain-friendly approach could pose a significant challenge to Delaware’s dominance.

Wyoming’s blockchain approach goes beyond corporate or tax law and extends to banking and securities regulations which are of significant importance to startups operating in the industry. These liberal blockchain laws could see the state chip away at Delaware’s preeminence in business incorporation in the United States.

According to statistics from the Delaware government portal, 67.8% of all Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in the state with 1.5 million legal entities electing to be registered in the state.”

See Also: Texas chases after Wyoming with crypto law proposal, but challenges remain

“Effect Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that connects companies to the global workforce, will be switching its development from the EOS blockchain to the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The team cautions that with Effect’s departure this may well mean ‘the end of applications with real use cases on the EOS chain.’

Effect Network cites ‘unfulfilled promises to address the many issues that plague the EOS mainnetprior to Larimer’s departure as motivating factors for its search for greener pastures.”

See Also: Dapper Labs Taps Alchemy to Give Boost to Blockchain Powering NBA Top Shot
See Also: IBM Ventures Further Into Crypto Custody With METACO, Deutsche Bank Tie-Ups

“A Reddit post revealed that a man’s wife left him after he refused to sell his Bitcoin holdings when the price hit $60,000, and instead loaded up on more BTC during the recent dip.

Where is a good place to pick up girls in my Lambo?”

25 March

“Although the largest cryptocurrency was changing hands Wednesday around $56,500, traders were handicapping the odds of a plunge to about $44,000 by Friday, when a record $6 billion of options contracts is set to expire.

A drop to that price level would inflict “max pain” on buyers of options contracts, and it might be the most profitable price point for options sellers.

The max pain theory states that the market will gravitate toward the pain point while heading into the expiry. That’s because sellers – typically institutions or sophisticated traders with ample capital supply – often try to push the price toward the max pain point by buying or selling the asset on spot or futures markets.

The bullish spin is that if bitcoin makes it through Friday without a major correction, a major overhang will be lifted.

Max pain for the March 26 expiry is currently $44,000 on Deribit. That does not mean the market will move to $44,000 by the end of this week, but it does imply that after Friday this potential downward pressure no longer exists.”

“A Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks approval for the “Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust,” an exchange-traded fund with multiple ties to Fidelity.

Fidelity affiliates serve as the fund’s sponsor, administrator, custodian and trustee, the filing states. The fund would track the performance of Fidelity’s bitcoin index. Peter Jubber, the managing director of Fidelity Digital Funds, serves as president of the trust.”

See Also: NYDIG cuts Bitcoin fee to 0.3% for investors as Morgan Stanley opens floodgates

“The Tesla CEO said via Twitter Wednesday the bitcoin the company receives will stay as bitcoin and not be converted into fiat. The move will see Tesla add to its already sizable bitcoin holdings, which Musk revealed on Feb. 8.

This option will also be made available outside the U.S. later this year. Musk added that Tesla operates Bitcoin blockchain nodes directly using internal and open-source software.”

“The network – which will be used by stablecoin giant Tether – will initially support five assets including ether, wrapped bitcoin, dai, tether and the hermez token.

As exorbitant gas fees continue to cripple the community, we must bring scalability and cheaper transactions to Ethereum now. We are now inviting developers, projects and users from around the world to join us on this journey towards a significantly cheaper and decentralized future.”

See Also: VCs bet big on layer two as StarkWare raises a staggering $75 million

“The Ethereum developer community is pushing with guns blazing toward proof-of-stake (PoS). Last Friday, Ethereum developers began spitballing possible dates for merging the Eth 2.0 client, the Beacon Chain, and the current Ethereum network, Eth 1.x, also known as Ethpow.

One idea circulating among developer communities slates “The Merge” for after July’s London hard fork in the subsequent hard fork, Shanghai.”

“Decentralized storage network Filecoin has integrated with decentralized finance (DeFi) oracle service Chainlink. The integration would enable connection between Filecoin and Ethereum and other smart contract-enabled blockchains.

The integration will automate Filecoin storage functions and make Filecoin’s state accessible on other blockchains.”

“The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that the 19,000-capacity American Airlines Arena will become the FTX Arena. This is the first occurrence of a crypto business winning the naming rights to a major U.S. professional sports venue.

This is yet another sign of the increasing integration of the cryptocurrency industry into the mainstream. This year has also seen exchange Crypto.com secure a partnership with the Montreal Canadiens to have its logo brandished on the ice at its home arena.”

“SushiSwap is wrestling with the issue of an estimated 47 million tokens ($880 million) that are set to be released from the end of April. The concern is that, if these tokens are suddenly dumped on the market, the project’s token—which only has a $2.3 billion market cap—could be crushed.

But on the flip side, if SushiSwap reneges on the deals—and some code suggests that the DEX could have the capability to do so—then it would be a slap in the face to those who bootstrapped the project through its early days. SushiSwap is changing how the tokens will be distributed, five months after the lock-up period was agreed.

This would result in a significant degradation of sushi’s reputation if they ask protocol participants to earn again what is already owed.”

See Also: Jeff Garzik’s DeFi protocol Vesper Finance tops $1B TVL in six weeks

“Buterin suggested two potential ways to help make NFTs more “legitimate” as a method of acting as a funding mechanism for causes which in some way promoted a social good.

Which NFTs people find attractive to buy, and which ones they do not, is a question of legitimacy.

Buterin said a decentralized autonomous organization could be set up which, with the collective approval of its decentralized governance community, would “sanction” certain NFTs if it was guaranteed that a portion of the sales revenue would be passed on to charitable causes.

Another way would be to work with social media platforms to integrate NFT displays into users’ profiles, allowing them to show off the thing they invested their money into. In combination with the first idea, wrote Buterin, this approach could work to ‘nudge users toward NFTs that contribute to valuable social causes.'”

See Also: Mark Cuban, Joe Lubin Invest in New NFT Social Platform Nifty’s

The code for Taproot could be ready for users to active in the Bitcoin Core client via “Speedy Trial” in May of this year. If Speedy Trial is successful, this would mean the upgrade could be online in November. Speedy Trial allots a three-month trial period to see if miners representing at least 90% of Bitcoin’s hashrate will signal their support for the upgrade.

As stakeholders appear to be in agreement on the timeline, bitcoiners finally have a (more or less) concrete deadline for when they can expect Taproot’s code to be available to the public to download, marking an end to what has become a painstaking road to a relatively simple upgrade.”

Uniswap V3

“China’s central bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve agree that a fully anonymous national digital currency is not feasible. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell believes when a digital dollar is developed it must provide users with more privacy than the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) planned digital yuan.

The lack of privacy in the Chinese system is just not something we could do here. We’re only beginning to think carefully about these things and it’s going to be a careful, detailed and probably lengthy process of consideration.

Powell said he agreed with Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), who said during the hearing an anonymous, untraceable digital dollar ‘is not a viable option for our country or free world.’

See Also: German federal bank runs successful blockchain system without a CBDC

“Zamfir is accusing the startup of labeling its proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol “Casper” and for filing for federal registration of the Casper mark without his knowledge or consent.

The issue, Zamfir claims, is that CasperLabs has improperly used the mark to benefit commercially while causing confusion and damage because Zamfir’s own PoS research, stretching six years back, is of the same name.”

24 March

“Uniswap, the leading decentralized exchange (DEX) on Ethereum and a centerpiece of the $42 billion decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, is releasing its third iteration. Uniswap v3 is expected to launch on mainnet on May 5. Notably, Uniswap is eyeing an integration “soon after” with Ethereum throughput booster Optimism.

The new version promises greater ‘up to [4,000 times] capital efficiency relative to Uniswap v2.’

The key change, as outlined in the new white paper, is what Uniswap is calling “concentrated liquidity.” Concentrated liquidity allows liquidity providers (LP) to set minimum and maximum prices on their portion of any given pool.

The new version further allows different pools to be created with different fees. Up to now, all trades in all Uniswap pools have had a 0.03% fee for trading.

While this fee historically seems to have worked well enough for many tokens, it is likely too high for some pools (such as pools between two stablecoins), and likely too low for others (such as pools that include highly volatile or rarely traded tokens).

A key change for the composability of Uniswap may be in its removal of native ERC-20 tokens to represent LP positions. The blog post promises this actually increases flexibility for users:

Over time we expect increasingly sophisticated strategies to be tokenized, making it possible for LPs to participate while maintaining a passive user experience. This could include multi-positions, auto-rebalancing to concentrate around the market price, fee reinvestment, lending, and more.

Lastly, the post describes a major change to licensing this new version:

The license limits use of the v3 source code in a commercial or production setting for up to two years, at which point it will convert to a GPL license into perpetuity.”

See Also: Uniswap V3 Introduces New License to Spoil Future SUSHIs
See Also: Fancy Tweet

Bitcoin’s “reserve risk” metric measures the risk-reward ratio of investment based on long-term holders’ confidence relative to the price at any given point of time, and is currently seen at 0.008. That’s well short of highs above 0.02 seen during the bull market frenzies of December 2017, December 2013, and June 2011.

The low current level suggests confidence is still high relative to the cryptocurrency’s price. The bullish signal is consistent with the positive picture painted by other on-chain indicators, such as the market value relative to realized value ratio.

The incentive for long-term holders to sell is still relatively low when compared to past bull markets. This metric suggests the current bull market still has a long way to run in terms of price increases.”

See Also: Bitcoin Transfer Worth $806M Might Reveal Big Institutional Purchase

A bitcoin ETF would likely oust Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) product from its dominant position by offering investors far lower fees and nixing the fund’s premium/discount discrepancies, negatives that have spooked some advisories from touching GBTC.

There have been so many shares created that that has put some selling pressure on the stock itself, but ultimately [I] do not foresee this as a product issue.

Institutional investors continue to line up, he said, predicting the market remains in the “early days” of a corporate bitcoin adoption trend that may accelerate through 2021.”

See Also: Institutional managers hold a record $57B worth of crypto

“The Hong Kong-based exchange announced the launch Tuesday, claiming it will be the ‘world’s largest and most user-friendly NFT platform.’ The platform will be invite-only and will feature collaborations between mainstream and digital artists.”

Unsecured commercial-grade lending is one step closer to making its debut in decentralized finance (DeFi). Algorithmic credit risk protocol Teller Finance’s limited alpha mainnet is now live on the Ethereum blockchain.

Teller Finance has worked with fintech giant Plaid to integrate real-time credit scores into DeFi from over 2,000 financial services. The protocol plans on decentralizing its governance over time as data providers begin natively lending through the application.

Teller is focused on enabling credit risk assessment for DeFi. We see ourselves becoming a protocol for other DeFi markets to launch atop or integrate. Maple Finance and Aave are partners in our eyes, who can leverage Teller to bring data based risk assessment into their markets.”

See Also: Trading Platform Abra Will Now Lend Fiat Money for Crypto Collateral

“Self-titled as a “lightweight,” Mina has a fixed blockchain size of 22 kilobytes, which it maintains by discarding blocks as they elapse. Usually blockchains retain every block mined. Its unorthodox design employs a technology called “zk-SNARKS,” most widely known for its use by Zcash, to preserve its transaction record without saving every block.

Through its SNARK-powered applications – or “Snapps” – Mina aims to ‘bring new possibilities for internet privacy and data security.'”

Justin Drake on Ethereum Crypto-economics

“The crypto asset could be used as a “neutral bridge” between different currencies, Ripple says. A neutral bridge currency would be needed to support liquidity markets to allow for effective movement of value between different CBDCs.

Ripple looks to be pitching itself to central banks researching and developing CBDCs amid its ongoing lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) over its allegedly illegal sales of XRP.”

23 March

Bitcoin (BTC) is about halfway through its current bull market, which originated around the March 2020 price low, according to Peter Brandt, a veteran analyst and investor who’s been following commodity markets for more than four decades and serves as CEO of Factor LLC, which he founded in 1980. He’s been given credit for correctly predicting bitcoin’s steep price correction in 2018.

Brandt, a well-known author on interpreting chart patterns, explained the long-term BTC bull market remains intact. Bitcoin is currently moving along its fourth parabolic advance on the weekly log-scale chart. Brandt expects bitcoin to reach $180,000 to $200,000 by Q3 or Q4 based on its long-term trend channel.

Bitcoin is taking the role of store of wealth and medium of exchange. It’s a binary bet. It will be be the best of what people really want it to become, or it will become nothing.”

See Also: ‘Altcoin Season’ Leaves Some Bitcoin Alternatives Frozen

“Per the NYT, Biden’s economic advisers are preparing to recommend spending as much as $3 trillion on an “infrastructure” package that also features some facets of the Green New Deal, and other progressive measures to help “narrow economic inequality.”

After months of debate and preparation, the Biden advisors are expected to present their proposal to the president this week. The plan reportedly recommends carving the administration’s economic agenda into separate legislative parcels, rather than trying to push through another leviathan like the stimulus bill.

Mr. Biden’s broader economic agenda will face a more difficult road in Congress than his relief bill, which was financed entirely by federal borrowing and passed using a special parliamentary tactic with only Democratic votes. Mr. Biden could again attempt to use that same budget reconciliation process to pass a bill on party lines. But moderate Democrats in the Senate have insisted that the president engage Republicans on the next wave of economic legislation, and that the new spending be offset by tax increases.

Republican support will primarily depend on how Democrats choose to pay for it. GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell have already expressed opposition to any tax increases.”

“The Google search value for the term “Bitcoin” more than quadrupled to 100 on Sunday after Erdoğan dismissed central bank governor Naci Agbal, triggering fears of a sharp slide in the lira (TRY).

The lira plunged at least partly on concerns the new top central banker might implement capital controls as a way of tamping down the nation’s high inflation rate. Meanwhile, search values for gold remain flat in Turkey in the wake of the latest financial upheaval.

Banks have lately stopped exchanging the dollar and euro on online banking systems. “Currently USDT/TRY has the second highest trading volume after the BTC/TRY pair on BtcTurk.”

See Also: Crypto Is Banned in Morocco, but Bitcoin Purchases Are Soaring

“Registered Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) must file suspicious transaction reports with the FSC, subject themselves to compliance inspections and verify their customers’ identities beginning Mar. 25.

Crypto firms engaging in custody, trading, sales, exchange and digital wallet services have a six-month grace period to register with the FSC before facing potential sanctions for non-compliance beginning in late September.”

See Also: India May Block IP Addresses of Crypto Exchanges: Report
See Also: People’s Bank of China Official Says Fully Anonymous Digital Yuan ‘Not Feasible’

“Time magazine is embracing the blockchain digital art movement by auctioning three nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, inspired by some of its most iconic covers throughout the decades. The three NFTs will be sold both individually and as a collection on SuperRare.

The collection is based on the theme “Is _ Dead?”, which refers to a series of provocative typological covers inspired by the original April 8, 1966 rendition, “Is God Dead?”

The NFT rendition of “Is God Dead?” is now available on SuperRare, alongside Time’s April 3, 2017 cover, “Is Truth Dead?”, and the forthcoming March 29/April 5 cover, “Is Fiat Dead?”

See Also: William Shatner-backed firm teams up with Mattereum for NFT provenance tracking
See Also: Non-Fungible Tokens and the New Patronage Economy

Xend Finance today launched a platform to enable credit unions and co-ops throughout Africa to provide DeFi services to their members. Xend will provide multiple saving strategies for cooperatives and credit unions and their members, including fixed and flexible savings, and decentralized insurance.

The problem for the citizens of many countries in Africa is that their currency valuations fluctuate wildly, often devaluing greatly compared to other regions.

The platform will enable people to channel their savings into stable currencies, without worry that their money will devalue overnight, and earn higher interest rates through DeFi.”

“Friday, bot trader and LocalCoin Swap CTO Nathan Worsley released two token contracts named “Salmonella” and “Listeria” on the Ethereum blockchain with the intention of luring unsuspecting bot traders into an ambush. Mining pool Ethermine – which only publicly announced its MEV strategy last Wednesday – became entangled in the token trap, netting Worsley a quarter-million dollars.

Worsley’s gambit was a “poisoned” sandwich trade. In a sandwich, a transaction is both front-run and back-run (the bread), which causes price slippage for the transaction in between.

Instead of giving them a juicy payout, the token itself in the trade exploits the sandwich trader by giving them only a fraction of the tokens they thought the swap would yield. After this happens, the ‘sell’ order of the sandwich trader now fails and they are left holding the Salmonella token. Instead of making a bunch of ETH in profit from my bait, they are instead left with a stomach full of Salmonella.

Nothing against Ethermine or the other traders personally, but this is a game of high-stakes poker and they sat down at the table intending to take all of my chips. Maybe next time they will be the ones walking home with all my chips. That’s the game.”

“Cybercriminals in Russia are going to extreme lengths to untraceably cash out cryptocurrency. A darknet ad flagged by the crypto sleuths at Elliptic says vendors will bury vacuum-packed physical cash “5-20 cm under the ground.”

Cashing out crypto on Hydra, the sprawling Russian darknet marketplace, has evolved to include services that offer to hide large volumes of physical cash at a specified location, where the cash can be retrieved by the customer.

It’s an interesting way of cashing out that people are starting to use.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“The Ethereum researchers have gone through an epic research and development phase to maximally optimize both its applied cryptography and its internal economics. We call this effort “Ethereum 2.0”. The entire design effort around ETH 2 is to enable Ethereum to create a maximally secure platform with the minimum necessary resource expenditure necessary to maximize longevity and sustainability.

As a result of this, ETH the asset has been optimized for soundness. You can’t maximally protect Ethereum without also maximizing the moneyness of ETH.

Proof of Stake allows for orders of magnitude more security than Proof of Work. Because stakers don’t have large operational costs, PoS engines don’t need to consume as much energy to provide security. Ethereum 2.0 can achieve the same level of security while issuing less ETH to do so. This makes ETH more sound.

In the same vein as PoS, EIP1559 makes ETH more sound by reducing the need to issue ETH to power Ethereum’s economic engine. EIP 1559 captures excess transaction fees and returns the captured value back into ETH. Most importantly, this allows Ethereum to only issue what is necessary to achieve security.

While it’s likely that ETH issuance will still dwarf transaction fee burning at the genesis of EIP 1559 introduction, what about after Proof-of-Stake eliminates the 2 ETH / Block issuance from the PoW ETH 1 chain? What happens when burned transaction fees outpace ETH issuance?

ETH goes from an inflationary asset to a deflationary asset.

If Ethereum truly becomes the value layer of the internet, then the GDP of Ethereum will perpetually march closer to being the same thing as the GDP of the Earth. Ethereum block space will always become more and more in demand, and the ETH furnace will only get hotter and hotter. …and ETH is the fuel that runs that engine.

If Bitcoin is sound money, then Ether is UltraSound money.”

“The content and metadata that an NFT represents are stored separately from the NFT smart contract itself. It’s on you, the NFT buyer, to take steps to protect and store your NFT.

The contract is a different thing than the data. And that means the contract can still exist while the data disappears.

There are several ways a purchased NFT could get lost or changed. For starters, the token with the smart contract might not link directly to the asset. Or the asset could be on a centralized provider such as Cloudinary, which NiftyGateway uses, that could eventually shut down.

While many say Protocol Labs’ InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a silver bullet solution to guard against this, Williams said that’s not how IPFS works. The file can still become “unavailable” if the asset is stored on IPFS and the only node storing it is disconnected from the network. ‘When you ‘upload’ to IPFS there is no guarantee that your data is replicated.’

To make the most of IPFS, Filecoin’s Darrow recommends “pinning” data to IPFS. It’s taking that content hash and saying, ‘I’m going to keep storing this file’. Several services do this for you, including Pinata and Infura. CheckMyNFT recommends going a step further and using IPFS2Arweave.com, which both pins the NFT and stores the data on Arweave, where people can store data for 200 years upfront for around $0.05 per megabyte.

This creates a sustainable system where you can put large amounts of data into a blockchain and have it replicated, basically indefinitely, for thousands and thousands of years at minimum.”

See Also: 5 Legal Considerations When Dealing in NFTs (Recommended read)
See Also: Porn Creators Are Getting In on the NFT Craze
See Also: Lessons From the Nifty Gateway NFT Heist: Not Your Keys, Not Your Art

A radical experiment is being considered in the US state of Nevada. It would allow new local governments to be formed on land owned by tech firms. Jeffrey Berns, the cryptocurrency millionaire who proposed the idea, is convinced of its revolutionary potential.

Unveiled last year, the plan envisions a city of more than 36,000 residents, 15,000 homes, and 11 million sq ft of commercial space. Blockchain estimates that, eventually, the city will generate $4.6bn in output annually.

For this to happen, Mr Berns says a new model of local government is needed in Nevada. This government would have powers to raise taxes, enforce the law, and administer public services such as schools, utilities and transport.

In Mr Berns’s imagined smart city, residents would manage most of their affairs on blockchain applications, eliminating the need for “middlemen” such as banks. In theory, these residents would control their own data, with their devices, with their digital identity. The governor’s bill is expected to be presented to Nevada’s legislature within the next few weeks.

I want to create a place where we can rethink things. Where we can democratise democracy.”

“Pendle aims to leverage on the volatile nature of yield and allow more options to manage yield according to individual risk appetites. Our novel AMM system enables the trading of tokenized future yield. This will allow for a higher level of trading in DeFi, where one party can exchange streams of yield payments for immediate cash while the other can hedge and speculate on pure yield exposure. This is an integral part of any functioning fixed income market and will lead to the creation of a new DeFi building block, allowing the ecosystem to further evolve and flourish.

At the highest level, Pendle incentivizes the pooling of yield-generating assets and the creation of yield markets across DeFi platforms. Holders of yield-generating assets can sell their rights to yield for a fixed period of time, allowing them to lock in their profits and receive upfront cash.

Buyers of these rights gain exposure to the fluctuating rates in a more capital-efficient manner as they do not need to purchase and stake the core underlying asset. As such, there is no need to worry about collateralization or liquidation risk.”

See Also: Introducing Overlay

“Republic Real Estate – which buys distressed condos in the real world, is launching the virtual land fund next week.

Republic has purchased over 30 parcels across four metaverses, and is in talks with a real-world hospitality brand to co-develop a hotel and bar on one of those sites. The goal is to become a well-regarded watering hole, which then draws other retailers and developers to snap up nearby parcels.

Plots sell daily in online worlds such as Decentraland, a virtual place with its own economy, currency and social events calendar, accessible to anyone with a web browser. And values for such assets are multiplying.

Buying land today in virtual worlds may end up feeling a lot like buying land in Manhattan in the 1750s. There is massive growth ahead, and now is the time to get in on the ground floor.”

“For the digital yuan to achieve global adoption, China would thus need to work with trading partners or regional financial hubs to have a platform where the digital yuan is technically, legally and financially interoperable with other countries’ digital currencies.

To that end, China has been quietly testing pilot digital currency trading platforms in different nations as well as setting up a legal framework for CBDCs with global financial regulators. The project will act as a cross-border corridor network for big financial institutions. It would entice more central banks to join the network by offering a more competitive foreign exchange rate than the open market.

Some countries might be reluctant to trade central bank digital currencies on a platform designed by China due to privacy concerns. In contrast to a platform that is controlled by China, a more neutral and inclusive platform by MAS could be more acceptable for many other countries.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has worked with JPMorgan and state-backed conglomerate Tamasek to use CBDCs and other digital currencies, including the tokenized dollar JPM coin, on the Ubin platform.The Ubin project aims to settle inter-bank transactions, cross-border remittances and tokenized securities through distributed ledger technology.”

See Also: Inside China’s Effort to Create a Blockchain It Can Control

“Similar to VPNs, decentralized private networks, or decentralized VPNs, also use encrypted tunnels to route web traffic, but they do this over decentralized rather than centralized networks. DPNs are serverless and distributed, ensuring higher security levels such that user data is not logged, hacked or subpoenaed.

The negation of a central point of control in DPN services means there are no central points to attack; the network cannot be taken down. Users also have control over their data, as no centralized provider has access to the information they are trying to protect.”

No reason was given for the delay, but Bloomberg noted the SEC has been reviewing the exchange’s plan for a direct listing.

Yesterday, it was announced Coinbase will pay $6.5 million in a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over allegations the exchange “self-traded” digital assets between 2015 and 2018.”

When it comes to DeFi platforms, the FATF said its standards may not apply to the underlying software or technology, but entities involved with the “DApp,” such as owners or operators may now be considered virtual asset service providers (VASPs) – regulator-speak for crypto entities that must meet the same AML requirements as traditional finance.

It’s a clear shot across the bows of DeFi founders, investors and VC firms.

As well as adding clarity on DeFi, the FATF guidance makes a careful change of terminology, which appears to nod in the direction of NFTs. NFTs that can facilitate money laundering and terrorism financing are “virtual assets” in the eyes of the FATF.”

20 March

“The Fed had been letting banks exclude cash and government bonds on their balance sheet when calculating their Supplementary Leverage Ratios (SLR), a gauge of capital adequacy. In April 2020, the exemption allowed banks to support the Treasury market, and expand the size of their balance sheets. That rule will not be extended and will expire at the end of March.

The Fed’s announcement is causing a dollar pop and a bit of a dump in risk assets as it reduces bank liquidity.”

“One of the metaverse’s crypto casinos is angling to put those non-player characters (NPCs) out of a job – by employing the players themselves. At press time it has on-boarded 20 part-time greeters and a full-time manager to run the show.

Real-life hosts now work the floor at Decentral Games’ Tominoya Casino, helping newcomers to this crypto house of chance try their hand at digital roulette, blackjack and slots. For four hours each day, the greeters staff shifts in the metaverse. Then, at the end of the month, they get paid upward of $500 in DAI or the firm’s DG token.

The hiring push is an early example of real-life employment opportunities in the decentralized metaverse, where players who navigate user-owned landscapes swap cryptos like MANA for pieces of digital art, clothing and even land parcels – all recorded on the blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Decentral Games’ NFT casino has generated “a little over a million dollars in MANA and DAI” for the DAO over the last three months. He and the other DAO members are betting that real-life floor hosts can generate even more by boosting table game engagement and improving player retention.”

See Also: Balancer (BAL) hits an all-time high as DeFi projects trial new solutions

“First Trust Advisors and SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund run by former White House Communications Director and recent bitcoin convert Anthony Scaramucci, have become the latest firms to seek to offer a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The two companies are just the latest to file for an ETF, following in the footsteps of WisdomTree, Valkyrie, NYDIG and VanEck. The flood of applications comes as the SEC is widely expected to approve the first bitcoin ETF this year.”

See Also: Brazil Becomes Second Country in the Americas to Approve a Bitcoin ETF
See Also: GBTC at a Discount Could Become a Systemic Risk, ByteTree Says

“Convertible central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) offer countries a tantalizing chance to improve vital cross-border payment rails, researchers from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) wrote in a March note. The authors said central banks have an opportunity to collaborate on these issues before launching otherwise walled-off CBDC systems.

Interoperable CBDCs “are preferable” to the Facebook-led Diem project, the authors said, arguing convertible national cryptos “strengthen monetary sovereignty in the digital age” while private cryptos would simply shift the cross-border risks elsewhere.

Central banks would have to coordinate on policy, technical standards, data requirements and regulation to establish a viable, linkable system. Authors pointed out that’s easier said than done; establishing the euro payments system took years.”

Over the past year, crypto mining stocks have outperformed bitcoin (BTC), and the trend has accelerated since the cryptocurrency climbed past $20,000 a few months ago.

Mining company equities may serve as a high-beta play on bitcoin … [and when the cryptocurrency] enters a bear cycle, we would expect mining equities to have greater downside volatility than bitcoin.

The largest publicly listed mining companies include Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT), Hive Blockchain (OTCMKTS: HVBTF), and Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ: MARA).”

See Also: Robinhood Growing Its Crypto Team ‘Hugely’ This Year Says CEO

“A pair of wildly speculative options trades this week on the over-the-counter institutional cryptocurrency trading network Paradigm has analysts’ tongues wagging.

According to the tape, on March 14 two block trades crossed for a total of 1,644 call options contracts on ether, with a strike price of $25,000 and an expiration date of Dec. 31. In plain English, that means the buyer of the options stands to reap a massive profit if ether’s price jumps by a four-digit percentage by the end of this year.

The trades, which came at a total estimated cost of about $82,200, have such farfetched odds that Skew, one of the top suppliers of data on the crypto options market, doesn’t even calculate them for a strike price that high.

The buyer could be betting that the probability of ether rising above $25,000 by the end of December will go much higher than its current level, rather than betting on ETH actually crossing above that level.”