30 April

“Coinbase is allowing U.S. users to buy cryptocurrency with their PayPal accounts in a major expansion of the exchange’s funding rails. The integration could lead to massive, and avoidable, costs for users who don’t pay attention to Coinbase’s fee schedule.

Coinbase users can now buy up to $25,000 in crypto daily using PayPal, according to the exchange’s settings page. They’ll lose nearly 4% of such purchases to PayPal-specific fees.

Buying crypto through PayPal ranks among Coinbase’s priciest payment options (and Coinbase is already notorious in some circles for its high fees). The 3.99% fee is as expensive as debit card buys despite a far higher limit. And it is markedly higher than bank buy fees of 1.49%. Depositing U.S. dollars from PayPal into Coinbase triggers a 2.5% levy; ACH transfers are free.

A CoinDesk reporter previewed $25,000 AAVE (-4.26%) buys on Coinbase using every available funding option. Choosing PayPal, the order would have triggered $959 in fees.”

Under the legislation, wealth and institutional investment fund managers, known as Spezialfonds (special funds), will be able to invest up to 20% of their portfolio in crypto. The bill, which was approved by Germany’s parliament last week, is expected to take effect on July 1.

The legislation could prove a significant development for wider acceptance of crypto institutional investment across Europe.”

“Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second-biggest overall, reached a fresh record high early Wednesday, widening its lead over market leader bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has rallied by 43% so far this month, decoupling from bitcoin, down 7%.

The trend looks set to continue, with ETH/BTC (the ether-bitcoin price ratio) breaking out to a multi-year high in a sign of increased capital flow into ether. The ETH/BTC ratio has jumped to 2.5-year highs above 0.050, confirming a major bullish breakout on technical charts.

ETH/BTC has broken out after a multi-year consolidation, and the trend looks very strong. There are no further resistances here, and we expect to see ETH/BTC push through 0.10 eventually.

The implication is the ongoing capital rotation out of bitcoin and into ether is likely to continue over the coming months.”

“All In” with Ethereum!? Why $10k ETH is Trending!

Two cornerstones of the German financial landscape, Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank, are working together to create a blockchain-based marketplace for real estate and art. Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank will work with fintech firm 360X to build a digital asset marketplace with the first reference transaction (minimum viable product) for each tokenized asset class planned for later this year.

Blockchains and tokenization promise untold liquidity for assets like real estate and art, which is what these large financial firms are aiming for here. Germany is becoming a powerful contender in the digital asset race, with its regulator BaFin inviting banks and startups to apply for special licenses to hold cryptocurrency for interested clients.”

“Asset manager WisdomTree has listed its ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded product (ETP) on Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra market in Frankfurt and the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX) in Zurich. The physically backed ETP, trading under the ticker “ETHW,” will track the spot price of ethereum and has an expense ratio of 0.95%.

21Shares and ETC Group both listed ethereum-backed ETP in Germany in March, while such products have been listed on the Swiss exchange for some years.”

“Mobile payments firm HIPS and Nordic taxi payment rail The Payment House have partnered to allow cabs in the UK and Scandinavia to accept cryptocurrencies over the Ethereum blockchain.

The deal means that 10,000 taxis in the UK, and 20,000 in Scandinavia can use the payment gateway after it debuts in a beta test in November.”

“CoinGecko calculates a total market capitalization of $128 billion for decentralized finance (DeFi), the corner of the cryptocurrency industry that represents a wide range of lending, trading and betting activities carried out almost entirely on blockchain networks using tokens as proceeds and collateral. The top five tokens on CoinGecko’s list are UNI, LINK, LUNA, AAVE and CAKE.

TVL first broke $1 billion in February 2020. It broke $10 billion in September, on Ethereum. Earlier this month, the money market platform Compound broke $10 billion in TVL all on its own. Tuesday night, the original DeFi protocol, stablecoin minter MakerDAO, also broke $10 billion for the first time.

At least 2 million wallets have interacted with DeFi protocols. The top DeFi applications (Uniswap, SushiSwap and Compound) show a seven-day average of daily fees collected ranging from $1 million to $4 million.”

See Also: Paxos Raises $300M, Joins Crypto Unicorn Club at $2.4B Valuation

“Jason Somensatto, a former lawyer at decentralized exchange project 0x Labs, is the new acting director of LabCFTC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) financial technology research division. Before joining the CFTC in February, he was a senior counsel 0x, whose ZRX token was the first ERC-20 token to be listed on Coinbase’s professional trading platform. 0x raised $24 million in an initial coin offering in 2017.

I am grateful that Jason has agreed to serve as the Acting Director of LabCFTC. Given his experience and deep knowledge of the digital asset marketplace, I am confident he will continue supporting the agency’s important role within this evolving space.”

29 April

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, used Ethereum technology to issue €100 million ($121 million) in two-year digital notes for the first time. The EIB said the transaction is a series of bond tokens on a blockchain.

Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander SA and Societe Generale AG served as joint managers for the notes, issued on April 28.”

See Also: Ether Soars to New All-Time High and JPMorgan Notices

“The securities regulator announced Wednesday it was designating a longer deliberative period for the bitcoin ETF application, saying it needed to ensure it has “sufficient time” to evaluate the proposal. There are 10 active bitcoin ETF applications, including VanEck’s, and the agency is currently looking at three of them.

The Commission designates June 17, 2021, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change.”

Ether has cannibalized bitcoin in Genesis’ loan book as more hedge funds borrow ETH to deploy into decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, the cryptocurrency lender reported in its Q1 results on Wednesday.

ETH loans at Genesis increased by 400% from $465 million in Q4 2020 to $2.4 billion in Q1. ETH now makes up 27% of the lender’s loan book. Meanwhile ETH locked in DeFi overall has increased from $15 billion to $60 billion, a 300% increase.

It shows just how much institutions are taking DeFi seriously.

Genesis did note a decrease in BTC lent out in Q1 compared to other quarters because traders have now lost the arbitrage opportunity of selling bitcoin at a premium in the public market after a vesting period in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).”

See Also: Polygon Launches $100M Fund to Support DeFi Adoption

Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin has warned investors the cryptocurrency exchange Binance may have violated European securities rules with the launch of its stock tokens.

According to BaFin, the violation of the prospectus constitutes an administrative offense and can be punished with a fine of up to €5 million ($6 million) or 3% of Binance’s annual revenue.

Elsewhere red flags have already been raised by Hong Kong law firms regarding the Binance stock tokens launched earlier this month. On April 22, the Financial Times reported that U.K.’s regulator is ‘working with the firm [Binance] to understand the product.'”

“A South Korean-Japanese video game publisher said it made a $100 million purchase of bitcoin, adding itself to the ranks of companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy that used corporate cash to load up on the leading cryptocurrency.

Our purchase of bitcoin reflects a disciplined strategy for protecting shareholder value and for maintaining the purchasing power of our cash assets.

The purchase represents less than 2% of Nexon’s total cash and cash equivalents on hand. Major game franchises from the company include MapleStory, KartRider and Dungeon&Fighter.”

See Also: ‘AWS for Blockchains’ Alchemy Closes $80M Funding Round at $505M Valuation

“In an interview with CNBC yesterday, Landry’s chair and CEO Tilman Fertitta said “80% to 90%” of the company’s restaurant brands — including the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Morton’s The Steakhouse, and Mastro’s — would accept Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies in the next 90 days. Fertitta said the move was a step towards bringing crypto into the mainstream.

It’s amazing how simple [a crypto] transaction is, and it is here to stay. This is where it is, and it’s inevitable that this was going to happen.”

See Also: Residents of Caribbean island can conduct local transactions using Bitcoin
See Also: Malaysian Delivery App Bungkusit to Use Blockchain to Avoid Customer Disputes

“JPMorgan, DBS Bank and Singapore government-owned investment company Temasek are teaming up to create a blockchain-based joint venture for payments, trade and settlement.

The platform, to be dubbed “Partior,” will seek to disrupt the traditional payments model and the common pain points that come with it. Built on the Ethereum-based Quorum blockchain, JPMorgan seeks to deepen the networks cross border payments capabilities.

Partior is intended to develop wholesale payments rails based on digitized commercial bank money, allowing instantaneous settlement between financial institutions. The platform will harness blockchain and smart contracts to enable banks worldwide to conduct real-time cross-border transactions.

“The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it would keep the benchmark U.S. interest rate near zero and keep buying assets at a rate of $120 billion a month.

Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses. Inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors.

An uneventful Fed meeting opens the door for the continuation of a risk-on environment, where investors are more willing to enter into higher-return, higher-risk investments from stocks to bitcoin.”

Developers are currently estimating the merge will be activated by the end of this year or early next year.

Once the merge is complete and the network has stabilized, the post-merge, cleanup hard fork will address unnecessary legacy features of a hybrid proof-of-work (PoW) and PoS model. It will also enable new, long-awaited functionalities for validators on Eth 2.0, such as the ability for withdrawals and transfers of their ETH.

Then comes another long-awaited feature on Ethereum: sharding. Sharding expands Ethereum’s capacity to process transactions by splitting its database into 64 new mini-blockchains.

With 64 shards simultaneously processing Ethereum transactions and each shard leveraging rollup technology to further optimize the speed at which these transactions are written onto blocks, the issue of high fees and network congestion is finally expected to be resolved for the long term.

After boosting the robustness of Ethereum’s PoS protocol and shards, Buterin’s suspects developers will begin tackling “medium-term” agenda items, the most important of which, in my view, is the issue of Ethereum’s state. Ideally, anyone should be able to spin up their own computer, also called a node, and verify the transaction history of Ethereum.

More big projects: Casper CBC. SNARKs. Quantum resistance.

28 April

Open interest in Ether options trading has increased from $50 million to $4 billion over the last year. The massive growth of Ethereum’s futures and options arena is reportedly pointing toward significant institutional involvement in the second-largest cryptocurrency.

In another example of the apparent increase in institutional appetite for Ethereum, ETH saw $34 million in investment product inflows for the past week. This figure puts the total ETH inflow for crypto fund managers at $792 million. The $34-million ETH investment inflow came amid Bitcoin’s lowest weekly inflow numbers since October 2020. Indeed, fund movements were primarily outflows for BTC, with $21 million (the largest weekly outflow recorded) moving the other way.

Amid the growing institutional demand for ETH, Two Prime also predicted that Ether will decouple significantly from Bitcoin’s (BTC) price action.”

See Also: Ether Hits All-Time High Price Near $2.7K After Rallying 19% in 3 Days
See Also: Yearn Finance Earns $5M in Q1, Besting Total 2020 Profit
See Also: Polygon Price Climbs to Record High, Benefiting From Ethereum Congestion

Further gains may remain elusive for a while or unfold at a slower pace, as the max pain point for Friday’s $4.2 billion options expiry is $54,000. Therefore, option writers may try and keep prices around $54,000.

At press time, the total number of outstanding bitcoin options contracts – or open interest – is around $13 billion or 1.3% of bitcoin’s total market capitalization. Further, only 77,000 contracts worth $4.2 billion are set to expire this Friday. Nevertheless, traders can benefit from keeping an eye on the max pain, especially as expiry nears.

Options and futures are new critical datapoints for traders. While bitcoin was up +103% in the first quarter, we saw huge pullbacks end of each month.”

“Suddenly, it’s a top-of-the-mind concern for Wall Street analysts peppering CEOs on quarterly earnings conference calls. The number of mentions of “inflation” in earnings calls of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies has more than tripled year-on-year, the most significant jump in 17 years.

Strategists cited raw materials, transportation and labor as major potential drivers of inflation, adding that the number of mentions of inflation has historically led the consumer price index (CPI) by a quarter. Bond markets have been predicting a pick-up in inflation for at least a year. Inflation expectations for the second half of the coming decade have more than doubled since the March 2020 crash to a 30-month high of 2.25%.

Several publicly listed companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy have already adopted bitcoin as an asset within their corporate treasuries, casting the cryptocurrency as a store of value.

What we’re trying to do is preserve our treasury; the purchasing power of the cash is debasing rapidly.”

See Also: A Year After Coronavirus Meltdown, Few Investors See Risk of Deflation: Deutsche Bank
See Also: Possible Bitcoin treasury adoption as more companies cite inflation concerns

Gemini cardholders will be given the option to transfer their crypto rewards into interest-earning program Gemini Earn. The card will be made available to American investors across all 50 states later this year.”

“1inch, the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol for routing trades, has released a wallet for Apple’s iPhone.

The iOS app will offer a similar experience as the web version but with the convenience and simplicity of being mobile. The app will also feature encrypted backup to Apple iCloud, allowing users to migrate between different devices.”

“The amendment means those institutions will now be able to pay for goods and services from other countries in a bid to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Some say the local crypto mining industry could generate as much as $2 million a day in revenue.

The bank had previously stipulated only digital assets for import funding could be used by itself and no one else. All miner’s coins had to be sold to the bank directly.”

“Helium, a technology that uses blockchains and tokens to incentivize consumers and small businesses to run commercial telecommunications hubs, is launching a 5G version of its network. Helium hotspot growth has reached 30,000 since 2019, with 200,000 more in the pipeline.

Helium is partnering with FreedomFi, a kind of do-it-yourself tech package for building 5G networks, so that participants can be paid to support the rollout of next-generation wireless networks, effectively by building their own mini cellular towers.

What Helium has so far done with telecoms in the wireless space is almost like Airbnb enabling people to monetize their real estate in the form of a mini hotel.”

Many employers are experiencing an exodus in the workforce of young people who are looking to make their fortune trading amid the current crypto bull run. Many of South Korea’s young workers aged in their 20s and 30s are leaving their average paying jobs to explore crypto day trading.

I face the reality of being unable to afford my own home no matter how hard I save up my salary.”

27 April

JPMorgan Chase is preparing to offer an actively managed bitcoin fund to certain clients, becoming the latest, largest and – if its CEO’s well-documented distaste for bitcoin is any indication – unlikeliest U.S. mega-bank to embrace crypto as an asset class.

The JPMorgan bitcoin fund could roll out as soon as this summer. Institutional bitcoin shop NYDIG will serve as JPMorgan’s custody provider, [and] will be actively managed. That’s a notable break from the passive fare offered by crypto industry stalwarts like Pantera Capital and Galaxy Digital.”

“The price increase came amid continuing signs of growing adoption of cryptocurrencies. The ascent began early in Asia trading hours when the cryptocurrency reached lows near $48,000 and looked oversold as per the relative strength index.

While the cryptocurrency is gaining ground for the first time in six days, the options market continues to show bias for short-term puts. However, the metric has come off sharply to 6% from highs above 20% seen last week, an indication of reduced bearishness. According to some analysts, it’s a sign the market has bottomed out.

See Also: Bitcoin options traders neutral after 28% BTC price dip
See Also: Blockchain Data May Have Foreshadowed Monday’s Bitcoin Price Rally

“The move means Binance users will be able to qualify for economic returns on the underlying shares, which will include potential dividends. The tokens also allow Binance customers to purchase as little as one-hundredth of a regular stock using BUSD.

Two stock tokens have [already] begun trading on Binance including electric vehicle maker Tesla and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Those listings are already ruffling the feathers of regulators who say the exchange has not acquired the necessary license to begin marketing equities to the public.

Binance’s stock tokens are tokenized equities that can be traded on traditional stock exchanges. Each tokenized stock represents one ordinary share of the stock and is backed by a depository portfolio of underlying securities held by CM-Equity AG, Germany.

The tokens will only be available for trading during traditional exchange hours and are not available for residents in mainland China, Turkey, the U.S. and other restricted jurisdictions.”

Trading platform eToro has launched a portfolio of bitcoin proxy stocks.

Besides carrying exposure to bitcoin itself, the portfolio includes companies “in the value chain behind bitcoin” including PayPal, Nvidia, Canaan and Coinbase. Notably, it does not carry stocks whose only link to crypto is a treasury allocation, such as MicroStrategy or Tesla.”

“Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected. There’s a lot of excitement.

He pointed out that today’s financial systems are rapidly becoming obsolete due to their slow transaction speeds and high fees. In this light, companies need to think about modernizing their existing financial infrastructure.

In the next 5 to 10 years, you’re going to see more change in the financial system than you have over the past 10 to 20 years.

Following its successful launch of crypto services in the US, PayPal is already eyeing further expansion of the scheme overseas, with plans to introduce Bitcoin buying and selling to UK customers.”

“DeFi protocols Badger DAO and RenVM have announced today the launch of “Badger Bridge,” a Bitcoin-to-Ethereum bridge that will allow BTC holders to bring their Bitcoin to Ethereum and deposit it into yield-bearing vaults purportedly with a single click. Users of the rebranded Ren bridge are also incentivized with upwards of $6 million in $BADGER and synthetic Bitcoin $DIGG rewards.

The Badger Bridge is the first of its kind to enable users to earn yield on their tokenized Bitcoin immediately, all while transacting within the same app.

BadgerDAO is becoming the one stop shop for BTC in DeFi, and RenVM is underpinning this functionality by providing seamless interoperability for their users.

The integration via Ren notably removes the RenVM branding for the Bitcoin-to-Ethereum bridge/wrapper, redirecting Ren’s wBTC.cafe website to BadgerDAO’s Badger Bridge page. Ren will continue to provide the infrastructure for the swaps, however.”

See Also: Insurance Alternative Nexus Mutual Follows DeFi Activity to Polkadot, Cosmos, Binance Smart Chain
See Also: Developers: Balancer V2 Smart Contracts Are Now Live

“Tesla sold some of its bitcoin stash in the first quarter for $272 million in proceeds. The sale trimmed Tesla’s position by 10%. Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company reportedly purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in February.

Kirkhorn said on the call that Tesla invested in bitcoin to earn yield on its excess cash in a low-interest-rate environment. He said the bitcoin market is a liquid market with an optimistic future. Telsa will continue to accumulate bitcoin through customer transactions and will make bitcoin-related announcements in the future.”

“On Monday, community-owned metaverse casino Decentral Games and veteran Ibiza club Amnesia announced their new partnership and launch of two virtual Amnesia dancefloors, dubbed “Amnesia Experience” and “Amnesia Hype.”

The partners expect they will generate considerable revenue this year from the venture largely from ticket sales, NFTs and advertising.

Decentral Games has plans to offer partygoers real-time music events featuring live streams from celebrity DJs. It will, meanwhile, pitch the virtual dance floor as an attractive online site for advertisers to lease and also launch an Amnesia merchandise store within the club selling NFTs tied to electronic music, DJ autographs and in-game accessories tailored to the metaverse.”

“Ethereum software company ConsenSys has formed a technical partnership with Kakao’s Klaytn blockchain, with a goal to develop a private platform for the issuance of a South Korean central bank digital currency, or CBDC. The project will also encompass making Klaytn compatible with Ethereum layer-two solutions.

Klaytn is a public blockchain developed by Ground X, a blockchain affiliate of the South Korean internet company Kakao, which by the time of publication has the 25th-largest market capitalization in the cryptocurrency space.

Through this collaboration we will strengthen the efficacy of the Klaytn platform, readying it to process transactions which would conceptually support CBDCs, and also optimize it for Ethereum Layer 2 integration.”

“The company stated that apart from paying staff salaries, JD has also utilized the DCEP in business-to-business payments to partner firms as well as cross-bank settlements. In December, the online retailer began accepting the digital yuan as a payment method on its website.”

The Disrupt Weekend

See Also: Notes on ETHGlobal’s Merge Summit (Recommended Read)

“With the ETHGlobal Scaling Ethereum summit currently ongoing, we have tons of news on rollups. Here are some highlights.

Matter Labs announced details about zkPorter. By adding zkPorter to the mix, we now have scalability that’s completely impossible with L1s unless you centralize your validation to supercomputers like Solana is doing – at this point, it’s no longer a decentralized, trustless network.

Of course, Matter Labs is not alone – StarkWare is building a similar solution for StarkNet, where they will have a data availability consensus mechanism to add to Validium. However, StarkNet is only planning to get there in 2022, while zkSync 2.0 will potentially have the entire stack live on mainnet by late 2021. There’s plenty of exciting progress for StarkNet before then, though. In May, we will have the StarkNet single-app rollups – what they call Planets.

Optimism and Arbitrum both have their public release-candidate testnets out now. Optimism is taking a more conservative approach with guardrails and whitelists for contract deployment on mainnet. A common misconception is that “Optimism is delayed till at least July”. In reality, they have been live on mainnet since January. As per their whitelist approach, we’ll see Synthetix to gradually move more of their functionality over to L2 over the next couple of months, and I expect to see Uniswap V3, Maker Protocol and a handful of others join them there. The July timeline is for when Optimism turns off the whitelists and anyone will be able to deploy smart contracts.”

See Also: Polygon (MATIC) jumps ahead as the race for Layer-2 adoption picks up
See Also: ✈Ethport: Loopring ⟺ L1/L2/CEX

Recommended Read.

“Today, if there’s anything that people tend to agree on (at least in the United States) it is that “The economic system unfairly favors the powerful.” The systems, protocols and incentives we create now can be less susceptible to censorship, government overreach and misinformation.

Ethereum 2.0’s design has a number of attractive attributes that make it exceptionally well-positioned to reliably operate through the choppy waters ahead as a neutral infrastructure. Individuals, enterprises and governments can be confident that Ethereum 2.0 will continue functioning in the instance of individual or state-actor level attacks. It is a solid foundation on which to build economic and financial infrastructure.

Eth2’s features are particularly relevant when viewed through a broader socioeconomic context:

  • Governance through rough consensus — Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, wrote a convincing post suggesting credible neutrality, or “a basic effort to be fair,” which should be a guiding principle in protocol design.
  • Robust and performant in the face of censorship — Ethereum 2.0 researcher and tech developer Carl Beekhuizen outlined how Eth2 can continue producing blocks, even if there is a massive disruption that knocks a large number of validators offline, preventing the network from reaching finality. This robustness allows essential business functions to continue operating on Eth2, despite massive network disruptions.
  • Reliable money for the decentralized economy — Ether (ETH) incentivizes participation on Ethereum via mining rewards. It also serves as the base asset for the decentralized economy built on top of Ethereum by functioning as a base trading pair, loan collateral and more. Eth2’s design builds upon and expands ETH’s moneyness characteristics in two ways:
    • Eth2’s rate of inflation is expected to be less than 1%, one of the lowest inflation rates of any protocol and much lower than the dollar.
    • EIP-1559 (which will likely be active on Ethereum even before the transition to Eth2) will make ETH more scarce, and therefore potentially more valuable, as Eth2 usage increases.
  • The Ethereum community follows a policy of minimum viable issuance to keep the chain secure against attacks. This approach is markedly different from today’s economies, in which central banks have tremendous control over monetary policy. Users, enterprises and governments can feel confident working with Eth2 because its base unit issuance is only used for one specific purpose: security, and that raison d’être cannot be repurposed to serve alternate goals. Additionally, the entire monetary policy is known and public, so everyone has equal insight and access to understand all protocol rules.
  • Empowers and enables self-sovereignty.”

“What the internet did to content, crypto is doing to assets.

DeFi democratizes the creation of financial assets. Before crypto, creating a financial asset was gatekept by banks and institutions. You needed millions of dollars to launch a new asset. No longer!

What does the world look like when anyone can build a new financial asset? What strange things might people start adding to their portfolios? Maybe you’d want price exposure to Bankless twitter follower count? This is the true power of synthetic assets on Ethereum—you can literally create a financial asset for anything.

In the same way YouTube allowed new forms of long tail video content to flourish (think unboxing videos, or Twitch streams), synthetic assets will enable new types of financial products we haven’t even imagined yet.”

See Also: Introducing the dVIX protocol volatility token

With a liquidity mining program set to launch on Monday, Aave could be on the cusp of becoming the dominant decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol.

Starting on Monday, 4/26 liquidity providers and borrowers in Aave’s USDC, DAI, USDT, GUSD, ETH, and WBTC pools will earn stAAVE rewards in addition to their standard interest yield. The goal of the program is to “drive lending and borrowing activity across markets,” as well as increase the decentralization of the protocol’s governance by distributing governance tokens to more users.

The proposal allocates most of the rewards on stablecoins meaning that we will see substantial increase in TVL.”

See Also: Top Three DeFi Lenders on Ethereum Hold Record $25 Billion in Deposits

“Aztec network is a Layer 2 (L2) privacy protocol on Ethereum. Last month, Aztec launched a new version of a Ethereum privacy app called zk.money. It’s now live on mainnet! Since launching just a month ago, Aztec has already successfully processed over 10,000 transactions.

This technology enables private transactions on Ethereum coupled with a scaling solution leveraging Aztec’s private rollup. So not only do you save on gas fees, but all your payments stay private as well! Aztec users can transact anonymously without unveiling their addresses, balances, nor their transactions.”

See Also: zk.money

“The low prices offered in the early days of ride-sharing and couch-surfing are gone. Like the sellers in the marketplace, many are not happy to find the rules are changing and the increasing fees are coming on both ends of the transaction.

As blockchain technology matures, it is increasingly possible to build competitive decentralized ecosystems that offer similar services. Companies are getting better at structuring decentralized markets, leveraging designs that reward consistency and quality, and infrastructure that can handle some level of decentralized dispute resolution.

A fairly typical business model is starting to emerge, where an open-source protocol is developed and a decentralized community takes over the long-term governance. A foundation or company is charged with doing the heavy work of maintaining and maturing the protocol in exchange for a sizable (but not dominant) chunk of the network governance and reward tokens.

This more mature decentralized approach balances the openness and transparency required to get buyers and sellers to join while putting enough incentive in the hands of a single entity to assure that someone takes a leadership position in maturing and shepherding the protocol forward.

When this new model comes to these sharing services, real-world, non-financial consumer services may face a much tougher fight. It will be the battle of Web 3.0 vs. Web 2.0.”

“Widespread adoption of the digital yuan – also known as the e-CNY – could give China’s central bank more data on financial transactions than the big tech giants, allowing the Communist Party to both strengthen its grip on power and fine-tune policies to bolster the economy. While cryptos seek to disintermediate the state from monetary transactions, a digital yuan would do the opposite and give the PBOC even more sway and minute control over every single transaction, while obliterating monetary anonymity entirely.

Instead of challenging U.S. dollar dominance and neutralizing sanctions, the digital yuan appears potentially more geopolitically significant as leverage over multinational companies and governments that want access to China’s 1.4 billion consumers. Since China has the ability to monitor transactions involving the digital currency, it may be easier to retaliate against anyone who rebuffs Beijing on sensitive issues like Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

China’s state-endorsed boycott of H&M shows “great commercial risk” for companies that use the digital yuan. If foreign merchants had to use the e-CNY, he said in a separate email, the government could prohibit transactions with H&M wallets and the store could disappear from digital yuan apps.”

24 April

“After quietly executing an experimental launch with sTSLA last month, we are now ready to publicly roll out a full suite of the some the most actively traded stocks in traditional finance. As with all Synths on Kwenta, these stocks can be traded directly for any other Synth with zero slippage, no matter the trade size.

Stocks currently available [include] Tesla (sTSLA), Apple (sAAPL), Amazon (sAMZN), Netflix (sNFLX), Facebook (sFB), and Google (sGOOG). Both synthetic Microsoft stock and synthetic Coinbase stock will be added within the coming weeks.

Encouraging liquidity pools for these assets is particularly important because equities do not undergo any price action during out-of-market-hours, and thus are not tradable through the Synthetix protocol during this time. Therefore offering liquidity via an AMM such as Balancer means there can still be some price discovery + access to the assets outside of this period.”

See Also: 1inch Onramp now Live on Kwenta

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun its formal review of Kryptoin’s bitcoin exchange-traded fund application, starting the countdown clock for a decision on the proposal.

This is the third active bitcoin exchange-traded fund application the federal regulator is evaluating, after VanEck and WisdomTree. The regulator has up to 240 days to approve or deny each. It’s possible the agency may approve multiple ETFs at once to promote competition and to avoid favoring one company over another.”

See Also: NYSE Files to List Shares of Valkyrie’s Bitcoin ETF
See Also: Ethereum ETFs Get Off to $138 Million Start So Far
See Also: Canada’s 4th Ether ETF, From 3iQ and CoinShares, Begins Trading on the TSX

Biden’s proposed treatment of capital gains as income, which stipulates a rate of up to 39.6% instead of the current 23.8%, has had “a shock effect in all markets.” Still, cryptocurrency is likely to be unaffected over the long-term. According to Landsberg-Sadie, the drop in bitcoin’s value on Friday has been an “overreaction” to Biden’s capital gains proposal and will likely bounce back to the Pantera projections where its next high is somewhere above $70,000.

The difference between cryptocurrency and any other market is that we’re seeing more and more large-scale crypto buyers who simply have no intent on exiting the position.

Instead, the stock-to-flow model cited by blockchain hedge fund Pantera Capital for its prediction that the price of bitcoin will reach $115,000 this summer will be a ‘much stronger driver of value than fiat-based tax.'”

See Also: Market Wrap: Bitcoin Steadies After $300B Market Cap Dump on Taxation Trepidation

“Stablecoin issuer and blockchain startup Paxos has become the third crypto-native company to score a federal trust charter through the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Becoming an OCC-regulated trust is one way crypto exchanges can operate nationwide without needing to secure state-level licenses in each of the 49 different U.S. states.

The move is another sign that the global cryptocurrency ecosystem is becoming increasingly acceptable to regulators. In particular, the preliminary approval indicates that the OCC is comfortable with Paxos as a custodian.

With the approval, Paxos joins Anchorage and Protego in becoming one of the only national trusts that were born in the crypto ecosystem. Kraken and Avanti have also become state-regulated crypto bank entities after securing Special Purpose Depository Institution charters through Wyoming.”

See Also: Gemini users can now buy Bitcoin with Apple Pay and Google Pay
See Also: Boerse Stuttgart Group Crypto Trading App Volume Reaches $2.4B
See Also: Schwab Waiting for Regulatory Clarity Before Deciding on Crypto Services: Report

“Mastercard will help consumers directly offset carbon emissions and choose better products for the environment via its blockchain-based Provenance Solution.

Once the company is tracking and storing the carbon footprint on its blockchain, it can break it down into the level of a “coffee cup or even a t-shirt,” and provide evidence to the consumer that the carbon emissions have been offset. A carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide that has been removed from the atmosphere. Companies offset their emissions by purchasing the equivalent amount of carbon credits.

So this is notable because it’s reaching down to the specific good. It can be three liters of milk. It could be a cup of coffee, it could be sunglasses, it could be a T-shirt. The carbon footprint of that product will be offset with full integrity upstream.”

See Also: Hollywood elite will receive NFTs in recognition of upcoming awards ceremony

“In a move that could point toward greater decentralization and wider access, the Nexus Mutual community is currently considering a proposal to sunset the coverage protocol’s legal entity and lift Know Your Customer.

The decentralized autonomous organization, with over 3,500 global members, is now sufficiently decentralized and no longer needs a “legal wrapper” in the form of a limited company. Nexus originally launched with a “a UK-based limited company” in order to protect the team from legal liabilities and tax-related issues.

Nexus Mutual’s platform is currently offering 285,153 Ether (ETH) and 67,497,888 Dai worth of cover across nearly 4,000 policies, worth an aggregate $721,332,712. These policies are earning NXM stakers a total of $20,350,781 in annual premiums.

Lifting the KYC burden could grow these metrics considerably, as privacy-focused users could gain access to policies without revealing their real-world identities.”

“The head of South Korea’s financial regulatory agency has created controversy by saying all the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges could be shut down in September.

Chair of the FSC said the agency has yet to receive any Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) applications required under a recently amended law going into effect later this year. The FSC began accepting applications for registration on March 25, but no exchanges have applied yet.

There are an estimated 200 cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. But if the current situation continues then all of them could be shut down.

The most important qualification for VASP registration is an official partnership with a local commercial bank. Out of the some 200 exchanges to which Eun alluded, only the country’s four largest exchanges, known as the “Big 4,” have established such partnerships thus far. Many industry insiders already think the Big 4 will end up being the only exchanges to survive the regulatory tidal wave.”

See Also: Seoul Seizes Tax Dodgers’ Crypto From Exchanges: Report

Blockchain organizations from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to promote blockchain collaboration in the Asia Pacific. The MoU aims to engage with regulators to ensure legal compliance alongside raising industry awareness and education through a new blockchain consortium called the ASEAN Blockchain Consortium, or ABC.

The growth in the digital assets and blockchain industry is tremendous and BAS is proud to collaborate with our Asean and Australia counterparts to further support the growth of the industry in a healthy and sustainable pace.”

Draper said Bitcoin (BTC) could incentivize governments around the world to compete for the attention and devotion — and seemingly, money — of its citizens. According to the venture capitalist, crypto levels the playing field, so lawmakers will have to choose if they want to make people’s lives better, otherwise they will simply move to somewhere that will.

People are already realizing that they would rather have Bitcoin than fiat currency.”

See Also: Governing body of Louisiana gives Bitcoin its nod of approval

23 April

“Maker made history in 2017 as the first blockchain-based protocol to launch a major automated cryptocurrency-lending platform, helping to initiate a boom in what’s known as decentralized finance, or DeFi.

Now Maker is paving the way for what might become another source of growth in the now-$60 billion DeFi industry: lending against trillions of dollars of “real-world” assets like residential properties, in competition with banks and other financiers.

On Wednesday, members of the MakerDAO community – the decentralized organization that governs the project – passed an executive vote to allow an ERC-20 token representing an ownership stake in a pool of real estate assets as collateral.

This is DeFi taking on traditional finance.

The latest move to add real-world assets greatly increases the addressable market for collateralized loans.

Notably, Citigroup wrote about the report last week, calling referring to MakerDAO as ‘the decentral bank.‘”

Miners have raised Ethereum’s gas limit to almost 15 million for the first time in a bid to relieve transaction congestion at a time when on-chain activity is increasing with ether’s price.

The Ethereum gas limit sets a ceiling for how many operations can be included in each block. Before the increase, miners set Ethereum’s gas limit at 12.5 million until Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin suggested raising it last week on Reddit, in light of recent code optimizations activated on the network.

Now that the chain is safer, we can increase the gas limit, which makes every application cheaper.

This is the seventh time in Ethereum’s history that miners have voted to increase the gas limit as a temporary solution to rising network fees. Along with the increase, Ethereum developers are also working on a parallel blockchain network, dubbed “Ethereum 2.0,” to reduce the issue of high fees and network congestion for the long-term.”

See Also: Ether Price Hits New Record High as Analysts Anticipate Supply Drop

The ratio was 48% as of 15:44 coordinated universal time (11:44 a.m. ET) and came as ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second-largest overall, surged to a new all-time high.

It’s a signal the market is risk-on and ‘alts’ are outperforming. This is the scenario we’ve been seeing lately, and it reminds us of mid-2017.”

See Also: Citi Analyst: Bitcoin Could Lose Out to Other Digital Currencies

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has attracted the attention of regulators for selling “stock tokens,” designed to track the performance of shares. Red flags have already been raised by Hong Kong law firms regarding the two tokens launched earlier this month.

U.K. regulator the Financial Conduct Authority told the FT it is ‘working with the firm to understand the product, the regulations that may apply to it and how it is marketed.’

If the tokens are transferable, can be traded at a crypto exchange and are equipped with economic entitlements like dividends or cash settlements, they represent securities and are subject to the obligation to publish a prospectus.

Tesla and Coinbase token holders are indeed entitled to potential dividends, Binance said, but don’t confer any of the voting rights associated with regular securities.”

See Also: Binance’s Tesla Stock Token May Have Raised Regulatory Red Flags: Report

Wyoming has become the first state to clarify the legal status of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), allowing Wyoming to recognize DAOs as limited liability corporations (LLCs), effective July 1. Proponents of the law say that it will protect DAOs from being sued as general partnerships in court and makes the rights of DAOs as legal persons enforceable in court.

We look for feedback from the user community to understand any shortcomings of the LLC structure so that we can improve our existing DAO legislation and consider further DAO corporate supplements. Maybe we need a DAO C Corp next to address other challenges. We’re certainly not done yet.”

“One of Morgan Stanley’s new bitcoin-only private funds raised $29.4 million from 322 investors in its first 14 days. In just 14 days, Morgan Stanley’s FS/NYDIG fund has become one of the most popular private bitcoin vehicles, beating out far-older industry offerings from Pantera and Galaxy by investor count.

The early returns for “FS NYDIG Select Bitcoin Fund LP” indicate investors are indeed hungry for accessing bitcoin products through their institutional managers. Passive funds like Morgan Stanley’s fare give clients unwilling to custody their own keys an easy way into the asset class.”

See Also: Grayscale Added Nearly $1B in Crypto in 24 Hours
See Also: Bitcoin Recovers From Panic Zone as Funding Rates Reset

“Canada’s largest digital asset manager, 3iQ Corp, aims to raise over $200 million in proceeds from the dual listing of its 3iQ Coinshares bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Dubai. Launched in 2020, 3iQ’s ETF is the first cryptocurrency fund to go public in the Middle East. The company received regulatory approval for the dual listing earlier this week.

We trade on the North American market times, and Dubai is almost perfectly opposite of what our trading hours are.”

“The problem right now for crypto traders is that to get loans or receive leverage from lenders like Celsius or BlockFi, they need to over-collateralize.

Using the X-Margin Credit system, if Celsius is going to lend to a hedge fund like Dunamis, the fund’s risk profile is made available on the fly, based on all the positions it has across venues like Binance, BitMEX or Deribit, for example. This is done using anonymous data thanks to zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), so the lender is not privy to the hedge fund’s whole trading strategy.

X-Margin Credit is a provably unbiased arbitrator of trading risk. We calculate trading firms’ overall risk so that lenders extending credit can make real-time decisions about that, without traders needing to reveal their sensitive trade data to anyone, including us.”

Heavy scrutiny of coal mines in Xinjiang, new regulations on high energy-consuming companies in Inner Mongolia and the end of a local energy policy in Sichuan have unnerved some bitcoin miners in China. The regulatory challenges from these three regions are distinct, but they epitomize some of the biggest long-term policy risks when Chinese crypto miners deal with local authorities.

With so much hashrate concentrated in China, the volatile regulatory environment for Chinese miners can have significant ripple effects on bitcoin’s global market.”

The CEO of Turkish crypto exchange Thodex has gone missing at a time when users filed a complaint alleging hundreds of million of dollars have been stolen. Exchange executives are deactivating their social media profiles and the platform’s customer support group is inaccessible.

Before shutting down transactions, Thodex was trading more than $585 million in cryptocurrencies on its exchange. The exchange also had about 400,000 users, 390,000 of whom were trading actively.

People in Turkey have increasingly been turning to crypto as a hedge against inflation. Earlier this month, the central bank announced that the republic was banning the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. Crypto trading remains unaffected by the new law, which is set to go into effect at the end of the month. So Thodex’s sudden disappearance appears to be an isolated incident.

There may be a scam here because there have been problems with this exchange for days.”

“The Seychelles-based exchange is adding spot, brokerage, custody, information products and educational service. No time frame was given for when the products would be made available.

The exchange also said it would be seeking “additional licenses in highly respected jurisdictions.” Derivatives are to remain at “the heart” of BitMEX’s business, however, according to the post.”

22 April

“Since the start of April, bitcoin’s dominance, a measure of the asset against the broader crypto market as calculated by charting firm TradingView, has plummeted. It’s down almost 10% since April 1, and bitcoin is currently at 51% dominance as of press time, roughly half the market. At the beginning of 2021, that figure was over 70%.

Traders are looking for opportunities elsewhere. That’s what seems to be happening now. It’s not bearish but a potential sign of confidence in the space.

As expected, we saw the April 14 ‘Coinbase top’ we were positioning for that bled into a deleveraging weekend sell-off. A week later, traders are looking at other markets to play in.

U.S. dollar inflation will continue to be a key driver for investment into cryptocurrencies, and the case for crypto remains.

Inflation and scarcity value could emerge as newer drivers for the crypto space, especially with a Fed meeting next week.”

See Also: Bitcoin Liquidity ‘Likely to Remain Resilient’ After Volatility Shock, JPMorgan Says

“Known as the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 (H.R. 1602), the legislation seeks to set up a digital asset working group with representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The purpose of the group is to “ensure collaboration between regulators and the private sector” in order to foster innovation, according to the release.

The overarching goal of the legislation seeks to clarify when the SEC has jurisdiction over digital assets, in the case of when they are deemed securities, and when the CFTC has a final say, in the case of when digital assets are classified as commodities.

This is the first step in opening up the dialogue between our regulators and market participants and move to needed clarity.”

“A number of new collateral types have been proposed for MakerDAO, potentially increasing the number of digital assets that can now be used to mint its stablecoin, Dai. Voting began on Monday and will run for 14 days.

Seven tokens have been suggested as collateral for the Maker (MKR), including Moss Carbon Credit (MCO2), Rocket Pool’s staked Ethereum (rETH), the 1inch decentralized exchange token (1INCH) and the BadgerDAO Sett token (bBADGER). Three liquidity provider tokens are also being voted on as prospective collateral.

The MakerDAO community is also conducting a governance vote on a proposed upgrade to its liquidation system, dubbed MIP-45. The protocol has been working on an upgrade for the past year in response to the Black Thursday crash in March 2020.

Functionally, the new Liquidations system will provide greater security, predictability, and decentralization, facilitating wider participation by the Maker community and DeFi sector as a whole.”

See Also: Uniswap deploys V3 contracts to four Ethereum testnets

“IPwe, a platform for the world’s IP ecosystem, today announced that it plans to begin representing corporate patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in collaboration with major computer company IBM.

The tokenization of intellectual property will, per the announcement, help position patents to be easily sold, traded, commercialized or otherwise monetized. IPwe expects tokenized intellectual property on the platform to be “commercially available” in Q4 of this year.

The use of NFTs to represent patents will help create completely new ways to interact with intellectual property.”

“During the eighth congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, attendees proposed various changes that aim to improve the country’s economy amid global economic sanctions initiated by the United States. One of those objectives will now be to ‘advance in the study of cryptocurrencies in the current conditions of the economy.’

The idea that the island nation should explore ways to use crypto to circumvent economic sanctions had been previously discussed by government officials, but the recent measure makes it now official policy.

While it remains unclear what approach the Cuban government will take with crypto, citizens of the island nation aren’t waiting around, as Bitcoin adoption continues to rise.”

The Graph has introduced Scalar, a microtransaction system meant to enable new ways for the platform’s node operators and data providers to make money.

The Graph, which describes itself as “the indexing and query layer of the decentralized web,” functions as a link between decentralized applications (dapps) and different blockchains, providing a data querying platform that other blockchains and projects can use for their data requirements.

The major jump in Web3 use cases has created unprecedented demand for a truly decentralized and scalable query processing system.

This is the first time state channels will be used in broad-scale production.”

Bitcoin transaction fees have hit a new all-time high. The average transaction cost of sending Bitcoin is now $59.87. That’s more expensive than the last bull run, in December 2017, when the average cost hit $55.17.

Why? Quite simply, lots of people are using the Bitcoin network. And with more people using the network, comes costlier fees.”

The publicly traded crypto exchange is launching an internal incubator program to find the Next Big Thing. “Project 10 Percent” will seek industry-disrupting ideas with “10x impact.” Employees will have two pitch days per year to showcase their ideas.

It’s still early days for the crypto economy. By maintaining our culture of repeatable innovation through these 10 Percent projects, we’ll be in a position to continue building powerful, simple and compelling product experiences that define the future of our industry.”

21 April

Customers of the payments app will be able to buy, sell and trade as little as $1 worth of crypto on Venmo, which has more than 70 million customers.

As on PayPal itself, trading is limited to bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash.”

The pilot will be launched with a single stablecoin pegged to the U.S dollar. It will be based largely on payments between individual consumers, potentially with the option for users to buy goods and services.

The Diem project is currently in talks with Swiss regulators to secure a payment license.”

The tectonic plates of enterprise blockchain shifted Tuesday, as SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) announced its support for the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), and the Swiss digital asset trading venue’s head of business, Tim Grant, joined the EEA board of directors.

You cannot ignore the Ethereum ecosystem as a driver of digital asset flow.

The evolution of the DeFi (decentralized finance) space has now captured the attention of all our institutional clients, and being involved in driving where that goes is where we want to be positioned.”

See Also: Crypto-convert JPMorgan is hiring developers skilled in Ethereum
See Also: Celo Network Adds Deutsche Telekom as Partner; German Telco Buys ‘Significant’ CELO Position

“The office space providing firm said it is accepting bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), USD coin (USDC), paxos standard (PAX) and several other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment through BitPay. WeWork said it will hold the currency on its balance sheet and pay landlords and third-party partners in cryptocurrencies using Coinbase.

WeWork is giving their customers an innovative payment option that is cheaper and easier than credit cards and taps a community valued at over $2 trillion.”

See Also: Time Now Accepts Crypto as Digital Subscription Payment

“A trio of high-end luxury companies are coming together to tackle counterfeit goods through a blockchain-based seal of authenticity. The collective effort aims to give shoppers a level of assurance that the pricy products being purchased are authentic.

LVMH enlisted a full-time blockchain team under the Aura codename to develop a cryptographic provenance platform for the luxury market. The team worked closely with Ethereum design studio ConsenSys on a project that finally appears to be coming to fruition.

LVMH Maisons, Hublot, Bvlgari and Louis Vuitton are already active on the platform. Hublot, for example, has launched a digital e-warranty, which is stored in the Aura infrastructure and allows customers to verify the authenticity of their watch via a simple photo taken with a mobile phone.”

“Less than one week after the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. was listed, Nasdaq is set to start trading options for Coinbase Global.

The launch of equity options will offer a new way for investors to bet on the fortunes of Coinbase. The COIN.O options will start trading on Nasdaq on Tuesday, April 20.

See Also: Uniswap’s Weekly Trade Volumes Reach Record High of $10B
See Also: Atomic swaps and network upgrades send Monero (XMR) price to a 3-year high

“Look at what happened in Xinjiang. You could shut down the Bitcoin mining network actually pretty quickly, especially if the U.S. stopped all the U.S. miners, Kazakstan stopped all the miners there — that kind of shuts down 80% to 90% of the hash rate pretty quickly.

I think the fact that [Bitcoin is] still here means governments are supportive.”

20 April

“Institutional investors have had a buy-the-dip mentality during these risk-off events, suggesting increasing ease with handling bitcoin’s volatility.

We believe the root cause of the sell-off had to do with investor positioning rather than fundamental news. Simply put, traders were overleveraged and positioned long, resulting in forced liquidations.”

“In a rare show of support for cryptocurrencies, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said while he and his central bank believe digital assets are viable investment vehicles, there was a clear distinction to that of the digital yuan.

[An] encrypted asset is an investment option, it is not currency itself. It is an alternative investment.

We believe that encrypted assets [bitcoin and stablecoins] should play a major role in the future either as an investment tool or as an alternative investment.

The digital yuan will also not replace the U.S. dollar and that its internationalization was to be a “natural process” dependant on market demand, Li said at the same event.”

See Also: China aims to let foreigners use digital yuan at Winter Olympics in 2022

“Open banking, the umbrella term for sharing banking, identity and payments data among fintech innovation firms, is being connected to the Ethereum ecosystem via API3, a startup focused on porting data onto blockchains.

API3 has entered into a 10-year development partnership with the Open Bank Project, to merge over 400 banking APIs with blockchain smart contracts, Web 3.0 applications and decentralized finance (DeFi). The move could one day give bank customers easy access to the online smart contracts that provide bank-like services (with more risk but often better yield).”

“The Diem white paper made it clear that it is ‘open to having a discussion with any central bank [that] would be interested in adding [its] currency as a stablecoin on [Diem’s] network.’

The stablecoin project could provide an infrastructure layer on top of that provided by the public sector via CBDCs, the report suggested. This could provide greater functionality and features in the payments sphere, thus driving greater adoption of CBDCs by individuals and companies.”

“Last year and 2021 have been bedrock years for Lightning Network adoption among exchanges, which have added the feature in a bid to lower withdrawal and deposit fees for clients when moving funds through exchanges. OKEx is the seventh major cryptocurrency exchange to integrate the tech stack.

OKEx is pleased to announce that BTC Lightning Network is now live on OKEx website, enabling much faster and cheaper BTC transfers.”

“Reshma Patel, a Democratic candidate for the city’s chief financial officer position, unveiled a “future proof” plan for New York on Monday centered around investments in blockchain businesses and cryptocurrencies. She hopes that her proposal, if enacted, would increase the city’s efficiency in approving contracts, spur new businesses to operate within the city and diversify local pension funds.

Under Patel’s plan, New York’s five retirement systems would invest up to 3% of their funds into cryptocurrencies, the city itself would invest in funds with blockchain exposure to help support fintech startups and New York would utilize a blockchain-based system for its procurement contracts. Patel also wants to work with the New York Department of Financial Services to streamline the BitLicense.”