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.