6 May

S&P Dow Jones Indices launched its first three cryptocurrency indexes Monday. The crypto indexes, S&P’s first, carry ticker symbols SPBTC, SPETH and SPCMC – one for bitcoin, ether and a “MegaCap” combo of the two.

S&P’s crypto indexes are poised to add more visibility to bitcoin and ether data among Wall Street traders hungry to decode crypto price action. The products will compete against existing indexes from Bloomberg and Galaxy.

S&P said it uses Lukka Prime’s “Fair Market Value Pricing” methodology to render an asset’s price in points, not dollars. Each index measures price appreciation, not the actual price.

So comparing the two indices, we can see that bitcoin YTD (year to date) has grown 95.67% in value vs. ETH, which has grown 273.72% in value YTD. The actual index value isn’t so much as important as the change in that index value over time.”

“ETH hit several new all-time price highs this past week as developers made progress with their plans to expedite the merging of Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0.

Plans to expedite Ethereum’s transition to a fully proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol took a big step forward this past week with Steklo. On Friday, April 30, developers launched the first multi-client test network simulating the Ethereum blockchain run atop Ethereum 2.0 software.

Since as early as April 2020, ETH’s correlation to BTC has been on the decline, moving from above 0.9 to below 0.7. This trend suggests more investors are beginning to recognize the unique value propositions of these two crypto assets and evaluate their investment cases differently.

As a result of ETH’s price rally, network rewards issued to both Ethereum miners and Ethereum 2.0 validators are becoming more lucrative than ever. Since the launch of the Ethereum 2.0 network on Dec. 1, 2020, total daily validator rewards have increased from roughly $200,000 to $3 million. Miner revenues have also risen significantly over the same time period, trending at about $11 million in December to a high of over $82 million by April.”

See Also: Ether’s Price Rally Above $3.2K Appears Spot-Driven, Boding Well for Further Gains
See Also: Mogo Bought $405,880 of Ether, Plans to Allocate Up to 5% of Cash Into Crypto

Buterin’s ether address, which he disclosed in October 2018 as his main ether wallet, currently holds 333,520 ETH, worth $1.09 billion at the ether price of $3,278.

Prior to launching Ethereum, in 2012 when he was 18, Buterin cofounded (and wrote for) Bitcoin Magazine with Mihai Alisie, who later joined Buterin in founding Ethereum. In 2014, Buterin was awarded the prestigious Thiel Fellowship, offering $100,000 for young people under the age of 23 to pursue interests outside of academia (instead of going to college or university). A year later, the Russian-Canadian entrepreneur and the rest of the developing team launched Frontier, what they called the “barebone implementation of the Ethereum project.”

Last week, Buterin donated about $600,000 in ether and maker (MKR) tokens to a COVID-19 relief fund for India.”

“New Digital Investment Group has inked a partnership with fintech staple Fidelity National Information Services, better known as FIS, to provide a framework for United States banks to offer crypto trading services to their customers.

As part of the collaboration between NYDIG and FIS, participating banks will be able to offer direct crypto trading for their customers straight from their existing accounts. Banks greenlighting crypto trading could see U.S. lenders competing with platforms like Robinhood, Coinbase and Square, among others.

Several banks have already signed up for the program, with the majority being smaller financial institutions. However, Sells also added that the company is in talks with major U.S. banks to participate in the program.”

See Also: US Federal Reserve Proposes Guidelines for ‘Novel’ Banks That Want Access to Fed Payments

“The futures contract was announced in late March but has just opened for trading. The CME micro bitcoin futures are cash-settled and based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate.

At one-tenth the size of one bitcoin, micro bitcoin futures will provide an efficient, cost-effective way for a broad array of market participants – from institutions to sophisticated, active traders – to fine-tune their bitcoin exposure and enhance their trading strategies.”

Major online marketplace eBay will be pursuing crypto payment options for its customers along with exploring ways to introduce nonfungible tokens on the platform.

The CEO said parts of NFTs were “already transacting” on the platform now but eBay had not yet simplified the process for buyers and sellers.”

See Also: Sotheby’s to Accept Crypto as Payment for Banksy Artwork

The payments giant polled 15,569 consumers in 18 countries; 40% said they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year.

Among millennials, interest is even higher: 67% said they were more open to using the technology than they were a year ago, 77% said they were interested in learning more about it and 75% said they would use crypto if they understood it better.

The company’s interest in the sector is more than academic. The company plans to give merchants the option to receive payments in cryptocurrency this year.”

See Also: Visa, Circle Team Up With Fintech Firm to Drive Crypto Adoption in Emerging Markets

“Grayscale is now the Official Digital Currency Asset Management Partner of the New York Giants.

Under terms of the deal, Grayscale will provide ‘educational seminars on cryptocurrencies for Giants personnel each year.'”

The organization, which is led by former U.S. regulators and executives from the consulting firm Accenture, announced its intention to launch within the next year its first five pilot projects to evaluate different aspects of a digital dollar.

The five pilot projects will evaluate whether and how a digital dollar would benefit individuals who are unbanked or underbanked, individuals who do have access to banking services and small businesses.

It’s a private effort separate from the Federal Reserve’s own research into a CBDC, though the two groups have been in contact.”

See Also: Bahamas central bank prepares national Sand Dollar push for summer

“DeFi uses smart contracts to create protocols that replicate existing financial services in a more open, interoperable, and transparent way. DeFi may lead to a paradigm shift in the financial industry and potentially contribute toward a more robust, open, and transparent financial infrastructure.

Schar stated that Ethereum has unleashed a wave of innovation built on blockchain technology. The research adds to the bullish momentum for Ethereum.”

“Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency-focused financial services firm run by Michael Novogratz, said it has agreed to buy BitGo, the U.S.-regulated crypto custody specialist, for $1.2 billion in stock and cash. The deal will help the company on its stated intention to become a prime broker. One can’t be a prime broker without custody.

The acquisition of BitGo establishes Galaxy Digital as a one-stop-shop for institutions and significantly accelerates our mission to institutionalize digital asset ecosystems and blockchain technology.

The deal is another sign of M&A heating up in the digital asset industry following PayPal’s March agreement to buy custody specialist Curv. It also highlights the importance of custodians to this asset class.”

A new bill in the New York state legislature seeks to place a three-year moratorium on crypto mining pending an environmental review by the state. Environmentalists argue mining plants like Greenidge counter New York’s decarbonization goals.

Parker’s bill comes as state power plants roar back from their grave as bitcoin mining operations. In the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York, for example, a long-dormant coal plant now burns 19 megawatts worth of natural gas to feed its armada of power-hungry mining rigs.

The bill, from state Sen. Kevin S. Parker (D-Brooklyn), would lift the moratorium only for mining facilities that “will not adversely affect” New York’s carbon-cutting benchmarks.”

See Also: Thailand to introduce in-person KYC for crypto exchanges

“Jaime Rogozinski, the founder of the WallStreetBets (WSB) community has been working with blockchain and fintech experts to create exchange-traded portfolios (ETPs) to ‘fight back against corrupt institutions and to end dependence on them altogether.’

Portfolios will be governed under a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) community consensus within which the dapp’s own $WSB token will allow holders to vote on various issues. If token holders wish to change the weight and exposure of a particular stock, they may do so during voting cycles using $WSB tokens to influence a particular portfolio.

The amalgamation of blockchain technology with financial markets is the next logical step for finance. It will result in stronger, more democratized markets and will empower individuals around the world.”

“Cryptocurrency’s latest media darling may not be as wholesome as it seems. For all the hype surrounding Dogecoin (and its de facto master, Elon Musk), publicly available data suggests relatively few people are actually using the blockchain, and those who do use it account for an incredibly large portion of its overall activity.

When looking at Dogecoin’s average transaction value on the day in question, it stood at almost double that recorded on Bitcoin (BTC). The average DOGE transaction value stood at $800,000, compared to $420,000 on BTC. Its statistics relative to Ethereum paint an even more dire picture — Dogecoin’s average transaction value exceeded Ethereum’s by 8,000%, despite processing only 5% of the number of transactions.

Combined with the long-standing reality that one single address holds 28% of all coins in existence, while just 12 account for 67%, it becomes clear that Dogecoin isn’t exactly the people’s champion that interested parties would have the public believe.

What’s more, the number of fully synced nodes is just 26% of the overall node count, suggesting few people are willing to make the effort to maintain the blockchain’s network security.

Dogecoin has always been a joke, and the joke keeps getting funnier.”