30 June

Interdealer broker TP ICAP is launching a crypto-trading platform alongside Fidelity Investments and Standard Chartered. The venture’s aim is to make trading of crypto more like that of stocks, bonds and foreign exchange for institutional investors.

The platform, which is awaiting approval by the U.K.’s financial regulator, will launch later this year, offering bitcoin trading initially with ether to be added later.”

See Also: Morgan Stanley Buys Over 28,000 Shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust

“Deutsche Börse Group said it has agreed to buy a two-thirds stake in Crypto Finance AG for more than US$108.6 million, moving the Germany-based exchange deeper into the cryptocurrency asset class by allowing it to now offer custody and other crypto-related services to institutional and professional clients.

Switzerland-based Crypto Finance offers 24/7 trading and brokerage of more than 200 digital assets in combination with in-house custody. Deutsche Börse said its goal is to create a neutral, transparent, and highly scalable digital asset ecosystem under European regulation.

Digital assets will transform the financial industry. There is increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class and want a trusted partner.”

Coinbase appears to be aiming squarely for banks with its new product, touting rates “more than 50x the national average of a traditional savings account.”

The account isn’t FDIC- or SIPC-insured and functions much like other products at crypto lenders and other exchanges that regularly offer yields around 8%. The reason why Coinbase is offering a comparatively lower yield is because it doesn’t lend to “unidentified third parties.”

It’s the second USDC savings product advertising 4% APY in as many days. On Monday, Compound Labs announced the creation of Compound Treasury. That USDC-powered vehicle is aimed at fintechs and neobanks.”

See Also: CEO Brian Armstrong Flags Self-Custody, DeFi Access as Coinbase Priorities (Recommended Read)
See Also: USDC Stablecoin Could Soon Expand to 10 More Blockchains

“The big question: Should the U.S. undertake a massive public project to digitize cash – through an alternative consumer deposit infrastructure at the Federal Reserve – or should that be left to the private sector?

According to Quarles, CDBCs could put more stress on the U.S. banking system and pose cybersecurity risks. They might also limit competition between banks that benefits consumers. On a practical level, there may be a host of legislative roadblocks and administrative costs to setting one up. These are just a few of his concerns. Crypto pundits have become anxious about CBDC privacy, with some calling them state-mandated spyware.

The Federal Reserve has traditionally supported responsible private-sector innovation. Our existing system involves – indeed depends on – private firms creating money every day.

Although the analogy isn’t perfect, the rise of stablecoins may end up resembling the explosion of consumer credit cards. Those cash equivalents rapidly entered the market and reshaped the economy.”

“The number of companies abandoning their efforts to register with the financial watchdog has increased by a quarter in less than a month. Fifty-one had dropped their bids in early June, a number that has now increased to 64. Just six companies have successfully completed registration.

Crypto firms have until March 31 to register with the FCA for the regulator to determine whether they are meeting anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards.”

See Also: UK Bank NatWest Limits Amount Users Can Transfer to Crypto Exchanges

Crypto.com’s branding will be present trackside at all F1 races for the remainder of the 2021 season starting with British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 17.

The partnership furthers Crypto.com’s presence at major sporting events; the exchange sponsored Italian soccer’s Coppa Italia final in May. It also signed a deal with the National Hockey League team Montreal Canadiens in March.”

See Also: Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen Become Part Owners of FTX
See Also: Crypto.com taps Circle for global dollar deposits

“Currently, the DeFi Agent tool provides “stop-loss agents,” which can automatically withdraw user funds from liquidity pools. These kick in if the exchange rate between the two tokens falls to a predetermined level. At launch, users will be able to create up to five agents with stop-loss triggers for all liquidity pools on Uniswap and PancakeSwap.

The Fetch.ai team plans to extend the functionality of the DeFi Agent tool to enable automatic liquidity withdrawal and deposit when token sentiment goes below a certain threshold; to move liquidity of ERC-20s or BEP-20s to a defined range if the price is breached (in Uniswap v3); and to remove liquidity if ETH fees are becoming too high in a given period of time.

Intelligent automation has the potential to transform the end-to-end experience of the DeFi applications we use today.”

See Also: Web3 Creators Have a New Platform for Minting Social Tokens

Advertisements for small-scale hydro plants with 50-megawatt capacity have surged on Chinese secondhand e-commerce platforms such as Xianyu, as crypto miners go abroad amid a nationwide crackdown on mining activity. One seller reportedly said that small dams rely on crypto miners for a customer base because they have not obtained approval from state authorities and environmental protection agencies to connect to the power grid.

You can secretly mine cryptocurrency if you buy a hydropower station.

Meanwhile, the price of GPUs in the mainland has dropped dramatically. Asus’ RTX 3060 card was reportedly selling for $730 earlier this month, down from its peak price of $2,100 in May on JD.com-operated online retail site Tmall.”

“The company has designed an orb-shaped unit that can produce a unique personal identifier from an iris scan.

Altman, former president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, devised the concept in 2019 around experimentation on universal basic income and how money could be distributed to people in a way that circumvents the role of government.

Aspirations of financial inclusion are nothing new in crypto, though the concept of scanning eyeballs may be seen as a controversial way of achieving it.”

29 June

DeFi firm Compound Labs, the creator of the Compound money market on Ethereum, has a new company: Compound Treasury. It could be one of the most significant developments in “institutional DeFi” to date.

In cooperation with Fireblocks and Circle, Compound Treasury lets neobanks and fintech firms send dollars that are converted into USDC. Those USDC tokens will then be deployed on Compound for a guaranteed interest rate of 4%, vastly better than anything firms would get from a savings account or even a certificate of deposit.

Compound Treasury enables large holders of U.S. Dollars to access the interest rates available in the USDC market of the Compound protocol, while abstracting away protocol-related complexity including private key management, crypto-to-fiat conversion, and interest rate volatility.

From the start, it was always the plan to build the protocol and then build a business atop the protocol that would have a revenue stream, which brings us to Compound Treasury.

This is what Compound Labs is offering, a dollar on-ramp to the protocol. I think this could be shockingly big and shockingly profitable.”

According to SEC filings, the noted tech investor is applying to create the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF. The vehicle would tap 21Shares’ expertise in spinning up crypto ETFs, mostly in Europe. Wood joined the board of Amun Holdings, the parent company of 21Shares, in May.

ARK joins the swelling ranks of companies hoping this will be the year the SEC approves a bitcoin ETF.”

“The speech was in sharp contrast to recent comments from other Fed officials. Speaking at the 21 Utah Bankers Association Annual Convention, Quarles added that the U.S. central bank has a “strong regulatory interest” in stablecoins but also said there is no need to fear them.

When our concerns have been addressed, we should be saying yes to these products, rather than straining to find ways to say no. Indeed, the combination of imminent improvements in the existing payments system such as various instant payments initiatives combined with the cross-border efficiency of properly structured stablecoins could well make superfluous any effort to develop a central bank digital currency.

Among the concerns Quarles highlighted was the possibility stablecoins that were fractional rather than fully reserved could create a “run risk” for consumers.”

See Also: Singapore’s Central Bank, IMF Launch Global Challenge for CBDC Solutions

Crypto investments in the country have surged to $40 billion from $200 million a year ago. It’s a considerable jump, demonstrating a shift in thinking among the country’s youngest investors away from the precious metals that older generations in the country typically favor.

I’d rather put my money in crypto than gold. Crypto is more transparent than gold or property and returns are more in a short period of time.

More than 15 million Indians are now trading crypto, roughly 8 million fewer than in the U.S. and many more than the U.K.’s 2.3 million. Despite the regulatory roller coaster Indians have faced from the country’s central bank, courts, and political corridors, crypto is beginning to take root in the country of 1.33 billion.

Meanwhile, India’s financial regulators are considering classifying bitcoin as an asset class under a bill that could be presented as soon as next month.”

“Polygon has announced the rollout of a general-purpose, scalable data availability solution called Avail. Avail will function as a data available tool for execution layers like sidechains, standalone networks, and layer-two protocols.

Rather than creating their own data availability protocols, execution layers can offload the role to the Avail layer with the latter acting as a secure data hosting site. Avail utilizes erasure coding and polynomial commitment to combat data encoding fraud proofs by creating a two-dimensional data availability layer.

Avail is a key component of a new paradigm in which blockchains will work in the future.”

Like Binance, “global” crypto exchanges are widely used in jurisdictions where they are not explicitly licensed to operate. The series of actions this past weekend could be a preview of a sterner worldwide clampdown on that class of crypto exchanges.

Exchanges like KuCoin and Bitfinex have based much of their growth on what’s known as “regulatory arbitrage.” The term refers to the exploitation of differences between laws in different places to evade oversight and control. It can also refer more simply to the exploitation of unclear or weakly enforced regulation. Uber’s growth was a mainstream example of regulatory arbitrage.

In the case of the exchanges, regulatory arbitrage has mainly involved putting headquarters in low-regulation jurisdictions while offering services in restricted countries via the superficial digital wink-and-nod of virtual private network (VPN) software.

This arguably began with the U.S. filing criminal money laundering charges against Arthur Hayes and other executives of BitMEX. While uncertainty, indifference and VPNs have allowed global exchanges to play games with regulators for years, leaders looking at those sorts of personal consequences may finally start to take regulators seriously.”

See Also: UK Regulator FCA Has ‘Huge Issue’ with Binance’s Lack of HQ
See Also: China’s Longest-Running Crypto Exchange Closes Bitcoin Business Following Crackdowns
See Also: Coinbase Receives Crypto Custody License From German Regulator BaFin

For all of the digital yuan’s consequence, it is a toe peeking out from a giant red curtain. Behind is an ambitious and largely invisible infrastructure program to rewire the country and its economy with a distributed ledger technology known as blockchain. China has moved deliberately to secure first-mover advantage in what it believes is the future of the internet.

If the digital yuan is Beijing’s tender for the digital frontier, its blockchain initiative is its bid to build the railroads.

Chinese officials are right to talk about the digital currency as if it’s a new frontier. What are the full implications for financial, banking and payment systems, or the conduct of a monetary policy? I don’t think anybody has a firm grip on that. And that includes China.

When it comes to blockchain, China appears to have taken a lead in a technology of consequence. After President Xi in 2019 promised blockchain would “lead the next wave of the digital transformation of China,” thousands of companies reportedly initiated blockchain projects related to everything from retail banking to global shipping and supply chains. This profusion of activity continues apace.

These projects are transforming a digital ecosystem that was already among the world’s most sophisticated. China has 850 million internet users and more than a quarter of the world’s most successful startups. One of them is Hangzhou-based Ant Group. The financial services giant has over 50 blockchain-based decentralized apps, or dapps, in areas such as shipping, insurance claim processing and charitable donations. Internet search firm Baidu, the Google of China, has 20 dapps, including one that has handled 35 million pieces of electronic evidence for China’s ‘Internet Court.’

It’s a field of one. No other country is even close.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“Bitcoin and ethereum come with very different stories, and thus what to track is quite different.

Bitcoin is digitally scarce, and therefore can be viewed as “hard and sound” money. While the Chinese authorities may attempt to stomp out bitcoin mining like a weed, it does little to change the network’s ability to secure transactions and generate a store of wealth for people who want to do so away from their governments. In this way, Bitcoin is a political tool aimed at sovereigns, meant to strip away their monopolies on wealth.

It is a breath of fresh air to switch from talking about existential geopolitics and who gets to be the money god – a monarch, a president or a computer program – to talking about creative computation.

Once you layer in programmability into blockchains, you are no longer constrained into talking about money. Yes, money is lovely. But it is also a mere derivative of actual things that actual people do. Money does not exist without some work that has gone into the tangible world, and then became abstracted into something else. To us, it is that work that is important.

Paying for your sandwich in BTC or Apple stock is not a digitally native economy. Building software that runs on Ethereum, or another bridged computational blockchain, definitely is.

Having open-source, mutualized financial engines that provide the best financial functionality in the world is a worthwhile goal. Fixing the original sin of the internet by rewiring human creativity out of attention-eating advertising monsters and into economic exchange seems like a pretty good goal too. Designing, congealing and governing an emerging metaverse to make the cyber expanse feel grounded and worth inhabiting may be the largest goal of all.

To that end, we find it much easier to root in Ethereum’s fundamentals because it welcomes non-canon extensions, whether they are scalability networks like Polygon, Optimism or Arbitrum, or whether they are the myriad decentralized applications extending the financial uses of ETH through trading, lending, investing, insurance, structuring and asset management.

The more others build, and the easier it is for them to build and therefore generate economic exchange and transactions, the better off everyone becomes.

To believe in the future of the crypto economy, you don’t have to believe in stories about sovereigns, digital or flesh. Rather, you have to believe in stories about the benefits of non-coercive peer-to-peer economic exchange. To that end, instead of swapping out old governments for the internet, the thesis is that you are swapping out the old economy for the internet.

As the crypto markets continue to display both (1) pronounced volatility and (2) increased correlation between different asset types, it’s important to articulate the main difference between the motivating purpose of Bitcoin and Ethereum. We do not think crypto prices are telling a useful or clear story, so it is worth considering the fundamentals of what one is betting on to become true.

Bitcoin and Ethereum/Web3 are aiming for quite different goals and will take very different paths to get there. Perhaps during some beautiful singularity, they will converge. The Twitter universe will yell at you until you comply to its price narrative, so be vigilant and pay attention to core principles. A lot is at stake.”

See Also: DeFi in Simple Terms (Send to your parents)

“The backlash from establishment figures in the U.S. and Europe has been somewhat muted but obvious. You can absolutely smell the fear.

The IMF, which is dominated by advanced economies and consistently headed by Europeans, makes loans to developing countries in economic or financial crisis. Though founded with high ideals, since the 1970s the IMF has used these loans as a coercive tool to advance first-world interests as part of a neoliberal strategy that Naomi Klein termed “The Shock Doctrine.” The IMF has consistently tied its emergency loans to drastic economic “reforms” that usually amount to brutal austerity for working people and free rein for international (read: mostly American and European) corporations.

In 2019, when Ecuador was in a severe economic slowdown, the IMF stepped in to loan it $4.2 billion. In exchange for that truly insulting pittance, the IMF demanded “modernization” policies that included privatizing public assets, stripping worker protections and cutting public spending by 6% over three years. The IMF knew and acknowledged these spending cuts would send Ecuador into a recession, increasing unemployment and poverty.

The same rapacious policies have been deployed, usually in a cookie-cutter fashion with little flexibility based on local conditions, in dozens of developing countries. Under the most repulsive of these provisions, the IMF even prohibited some countries from providing free education to children in the name of fiscal discipline.

Remember all the hoops Ecuador jumped through for that $4.2 billion? The total capital on DeFi systems today is $59.4 billion. It is not a great leap to imagine a future in which the IMF is no longer the lender of last resort for countries in crisis. They can borrow directly from the rest of us, without submitting to destructive, anti-human “reforms.”

You can begin to see why the IMF might regard a developing nation’s adoption of an independent currency system as deserving of “very careful analysis,” as a spokesperson put it.

[…] Bukele’s resistance to anti-corruption measures should be seen in this grim context: In Latin America, “anti-corruption” is too often code for “an American plot to overthrow your government.” The U.S. has violently intervened in the domestic politics of Latin American countries at least 14 times since the beginning of the 20th century, according to a tally by the Associated Press. The term “banana republic” derives from America’s old habit of knocking over governments for the benefit of fruit companies – including the one now known as Chiquita Brands International. These various operations frequently involved the use of secret death squads, including the Contras in Nicaragua, whose operations were allegedly funded by the CIA’s direct involvement in international drug smuggling.

Again, you can see why a left-wing South American president might look for ways to reduce his country’s dependence on the U.S. dollar and the U.S.-controlled financial system. While death squads never go out of fashion, the increasing internationalization of banking and finance has added a subtler weapon to the imperialist arsenal. Adopting bitcoin is a first step towards loosening that death grip.”

“Michael Saylor went on CoinDesk TV this week and described a world in which citizens of dollarized, bitcoin-adopting countries like El Salvador have digital wallets holding multiple cryptocurrencies. That’s where Saylor departed the text. “It’ll move on Bitcoin rails,” he said, talking about that dollar stablecoin, leading to further dollarization across the world. The possibility of dollarization via stablecoins is real, but as for what rails it will move on, the market has spoken: It’s not Bitcoin, it’s Ethereum.

As of this Tuesday, the supply of WBTC was 188,961. Lightning Network’s bitcoin capacity was 1,523.

The chart above shows the supply of tether (USDT), the largest stablecoin by supply, on three networks that support it. The nearly flat line is tether on Omni, an application-supporting layer that runs on Bitcoin, and tether’s original network. The line that goes up and to the right-hand corner of the chart is tether on Ethereum.

In sum, it’s finance, not commerce, that is leading adoption of crypto, and while bitcoin enjoys a unique status as the blue-chip investment in this category, the market is showing a clear preference for rails built on Ethereum.

“Solutions designed to redress the problems of the past, rather than the problems of the future, are almost surely doomed to failure because they are playing in the sandbox of old paradigms.

Part of the solution may lie in the complete transition to automation, assisted by the developing wave of AI and crypto, which will remove the kind of harsh systems that promoted no-cost (slavery) or low-cost (industrial age) human labor, as well as legacy government initiatives that are extractive, such as taxation. Automation, if deployed well, promises solutions to remove the need for anyone to take a hard labor and low-wage job ever again.

As always, with more solutions come more problems. There are fears that the coming wave of automation will remove worker agency and create even more wealth stratification, with some people living above the automation line and some people living below it.

This can be solved by taking the automation line and placing it at the very bottom of civilization so that no human being lives below it. The distributive properties of cryptocurrency can help us better do this effectively.

When we can effectively do that, with post-extractive technologies like AI and crypto, there will be systems that will emerge that allow for that possibility, to make poverty, food lines and the tent cities that have defined this early decade as an inhumane relic of the past, just like slavery. If nothing else, the advent of distributed autonomous organizations, rather than extractive ones, opens the possibility for us to follow a new way, a better way.”

“The brand new TriCrypto pool from Curve represents a major mathematical and economic breakthrough.

Conceptually, the Transformed Peg Invariants allow for high liquidity among differently priced assets (5-10x greater than the product invariant used by other AMMs). The pool internally computes an “internal oracle” price that adjusts when the loss becomes smaller than the system’s profit.

Curve has already launched a TriCrypto pool on Polygon for those brave enough to jump in. TriCrypto contains Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD, arguably the three most important assets within the cryptocurrency space.”

See Also: DFX V1 Launch (Decentralized Forex)
See Also: Pendle is Live (Tokenized Yield Market)
See Also: Introducing INST (InstaDapp Governance)
See Also: Opium.Finance ETH Dump Protection (Protective Put Product)

“In a slide presentation Friday, Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, listed Tether among the “financial stability challenges” the U.S. central bank is watching.

The reason I talked about Tether and stablecoins is if you look at their portfolio, it basically looks like a portfolio of a prime money market fund but maybe riskier. Tether has a number of assets that, during the pandemic, the spread got quite wide on those assets.

I do worry that the stablecoin market that is currently, pretty much unregulated as it grows and becomes a more important sector of our economy, that we need to take seriously what happens when people run from these type of instruments very quickly.”

Binance shouldn’t be operating in the U.K., the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned Saturday, a day after Japan financial regulator issued a similar notice to the cryptocurrency exchange.

No other entity in the Binance Group “holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the U.K.

Binance responded in a series of tweets saying that the notice has no direct impact on the services provided on Binance.com and that its relationship with its users hasn’t changed.”

See Also: Binance Pulls Out of Ontario Following Actions Against Other Crypto Exchanges

26 June

“A group of the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians have been tackling the challenges of bringing digital assets in line with anti-money laundering (AML) rules as they exist in traditional finance. Now they say they have an answer.

The first version of a proposed solution to this problem has been built by a team of engineers from BitGo, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken and Fidelity, all members of the U.S Travel Rule Working Group (USTRWG). The U.S. Travel Rule Group expects to begin sending transactions accompanied by real customer PII by the end of Q4.

The USTRWG is a great example of the crypto industry coming together to problem-solve and develop an innovative solution to comply with regulatory requirements that were not built for crypto.

Our solution is tailored to the industry’s needs and places a very strong emphasis on data privacy and security, while enabling participants to send the required Travel Rule data to the correct counterparty.

For now, the U.S. Travel Rule Group is solving bite-sized chunks of crypto’s global AML problem, and as such, the version 1.5 to emerge towards the end of this year will only support transactions in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Initially, we’ve decided to narrow the scope to just solve for just those two protocols. Then we will expand to include ERC-20 tokens, and later other protocols.”

“Every Salvadoran adult who downloads the government’s Bitcoin wallet app will be eligible for an airdrop of $30 worth of BTC.

The wallet app will even work anywhere with a cell connection, and you won’t have to have a cell plan for the app.

President Bukele also stated that the country’s much-celebrated Bitcoin law recognizing BTC as legal currency nationwide will come into effect on Sept. 7.

See Also: Athena to Install 1,500 ATMs in El Salvador Following Bitcoin Law
See Also: Why Bitcoin Could Be Good for El Salvador
See Also: El Salvador’s Bitcoin Fee Problem (and Solutions)

“In an unusual success story from the past few weeks, Canada’s Purpose did not see a significant reduction in holdings or demand after BTC/USD hit $30,000 and under.

Beginning May 15, an average of 86.15 BTC per day entered the ETF for a total of 3,446 BTC between then and Thursday. In total, Purpose now holds 21,114 BTC worth around $720 million.

Ever since the May 19th capitulation event, the Purpose Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) just keeps stacking sats.”

See Also: Institutions have no appetite for Bitcoin at this price level: JPMorgan

“Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar fell in tandem while the S&P 500 refreshed its record high at open on Friday as the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation indicator surged to its highest levels in almost three decades. The expenditure rose 3.4% year-over-year, the highest level since 1991.

The flagship cryptocurrency dipped after the latest PCI readings, hinting that investors chose to ignore its safe-haven narrative over risks concerning China’s latest crypto ban and amid speculations that the U.S. would impose strict regulations on the cryptocurrency sector. Bitcoin dipped also as investors’ focus shifted towards the Wall Street equity markets following President Joe Biden’s latest stimulus deal worth $1T.

Vasiliev noted that strong anti-inflation narrative would keep investors’ interest in Bitcoin in the coming months.”

“Two payments firms have partnered to roll out crypto payments across 50,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Europe.

The firms haven’t revealed which cryptocurrencies will be supported yet, but Vourity has dropped a pretty strong hint that Ethereum is likely to be among the first after it released an image of a payment terminal with an ETH logo on it. Ethereum is moving to the much more energy efficient Proof-of Stake consensus mechanism in the next year, which could mitigate any backlash among environmentally conscious EV drivers.

We are currently evaluating what cryptos/coins we will support. It will be converted to fiat.”

In a Twitter discussion with Jack Dorsey overnight, Musk agreed to speak at The ₿ Word, a July 21 virtual event hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation and featuring major players in the crypto space. The organizers have said the event is intended to “destigmatize mainstream narratives about Bitcoin.”

As more companies and institutions get into the mix, we all want to help protect and spread what makes #bitcoin open development so perfect. This day is focused on education and actions to do just that.”

25 June

“Institutional bitcoin shop NYDIG has partnered with Texas fintech firm Q2 to provide bitcoin access to Q2’s 18.3 million users. Q2 is a behind-the-scenes player providing online banking software to over 450 small and medium-sized banks and credit unions.

The partnership with NYDIG will allow Q2’s institutional partners to provide their customers with access to buy, sell and hold bitcoin through their bank accounts. Q2’s decision to partner with NYDIG was based on client demand.

The work we will do together will be key to making bitcoin as easily accessible as possible through the incumbent financial institutions, enabling the continued growth of the Bitcoin network.”

See Also: Citi Launches ‘Digital Assets Group’ Within Wealth Management Division

“Bitcoin (BTC) price received a boost as news that lawmakers in Paraguay plan to present a bill to make BTC legal tender spread across Twitter. Traditional markets also rose to new highs after U.S. President Joe Biden revealed that he had reached an agreement on a $953 billion bipartisan infrastructure spending plan with the Senate.

While traders’ sentiment may have improved slightly, investors could be waiting for the $6 billion in Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) quarterly futures and options to expire on June 25 before making a more decisive move.”

Adams, who leads his party rivals in every borough across the city with the exception of Manhattan, has campaigned on promises to fight the city’s crime and promote its economic prosperity.

We’re going to become the center of life science, the center of cybersecurity, the center of self driving cars, drones, the center of bitcoins.”

FTX said buyers and sellers in permitted jurisdictions will be able to trade about 55 free-floating stocks. Stocks of Facebook, Google, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal, Square and Tesla are among those available.

The tokenized stocks are available for trading now on FTX. Switzerland-based Digital Assets (DAAG) is providing the stock infrastructure. The stocks will run on the Solana blockchain.”

See Also: Coinbase unveils ‘Solidify’ tool to auto-audit smart contracts and DeFi clones

One of Ethereum’s most anticipated updates, the London update, has been activated on the Ropsten testnet. The London update includes five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), with EIP 1559 being the most significant.

The update will be implemented on the Goerli testnet on June 30.”

See Also: Ethereum 2.0 Merger Spec Finalized
See Also: Notes from the EF’s Research Team AMA (Recommended Read)

The “soft rug” is when a project’s founders simply dump their own tokens and exit the venture instead of taking control of users’ assets. In some cases, a soft rug is more insidious, with developers going out of their way to build trust and a false sense of security at the same time, attempting to disguise the dumping of tokens.

There have been a couple of incidents in the DeFi scene over the past week where soft rug exit scams have been alleged.

The team from Polywhale, a Polygon-based yield farming project, announced that it would be ceasing work on the platform in a Reddit post on Sunday. Two days later, it was discovered by token holders that the project’s treasury wallet had been emptied. The Defiant reported on another claimed soft rug involving Swipe, which developed Binance Smart Chain’s third-largest protocol, Venus.”

“Six of the world’s biggest banks endorsed a new platform for international payments set for launch in November 2022 by SWIFT. Citi, Bank of China, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, BNY Mellon and Standard Chartered plan to use the new platform.

The new platform is set to include features such as upfront validation of beneficiary details, extension of SWIFT’s high-speed system to lower-value payments and incorporation of the universal messaging standard for international payments, ISO 20022.

There have been suggestions that SWIFT could be made redundant by growth in use of digital currency – be it crypto, stablecoins or central bank digital currencies.”

Official Cowards, Financial Scatology & Precursors to Hyperinflation

24 June

“John McAfee, the controversial software magnate and crypto booster, has died by suicide in a prison in Barcelona. McAfee was awaiting extradition to the U.S. for tax fraud, which the Spanish High Court authorized just this morning.

Everything indicates that it could be a death by suicide.

McAfee was a controversial figure in the later years of his life, participating in alleged “pump and dump” schemes as well as being paid to promote a number of initial coin offerings, without disclosing those payments.”

See Also: Remembering John McAfee: computer programmer and crypto evangelist dead at 75

“Crypto-friendly payments app Wirex intends to bring decentralized finance (DeFi) to a mass audience.

Wirex is launching X-Accounts, a new service that offers users the chance to earn up to 10% interest on crypto holdings and 16% on fiat funds, in a partnership with custody and infrastructure firm Fireblocks. Behind its hassle-free custodial platform, Wirex is tapping DeFi majors Aave, Uniswap, MakerDAO and 1inch.

The income you can generate with DeFi pools and lending is much higher than the centralized model where you use institutional lenders to generate interest.”

See Also: DeFi Is the Next Frontier of High-Frequency Trading

Blockchain investment firm QR Capital’s bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) started trading on the Brazil stock exchange today. The bitcoin ETF will give investors exposure to bitcoin with safe custody, daily liquidity, without worrying about private keys.

The arrival of bitcoin in the stock market is a historic moment for the cryptomarket and the conventional financial market as well. The Brazilian investor has now a regulated and robust choice to buy bitcoin.”

See Also: 3iQ’s Dubai Bitcoin ETF is first go public in the Middle East
See Also: South African Banks Block Crypto Trading on International Exchanges: Report

TA: Wyckoff Accumulation Signals Bottom

See Also: Bitcoin price ‘very near bottom’ with $30K dip, says bullish institutional report

“The Bank of Israel (BOI) completed its pilot in an experimental, closed environment based on Ethereum’s architecture, involving the trial issuance of tokens representing digital shekels and their transfer amon digital wallets.

As part of its pilot, the BOI successfully tested its ability to program a car ownership certificate transfer using nonfungible digital tokens (NFT) and completed a transaction wherein an NFT payment was made the condition of the certificate’s transfer and vice versa.

This application, the report stated, represents just one possible example of what payment services providers, tasked with providing digital wallets for the public, could be able to build. The BOI has reportedly asked industry actors to propose various smart applications that could prospectively be built upon the infrastructure of a future digital shekel.”

“Since January, the amount of ether (ETH) held in smart contracts has increased over 50% to an all-time high of 26.7 million ETH, worth roughly $50 billion. Meanwhile, the amount of ETH held on cryptocurrency exchanges fell to a two-year low of 13 million ETH.

As of June 2021, close to one quarter of total ETH supply is held and managed by smart contract accounts. Of the 26 million ETH held in smart contracts, roughly 8.5 million is used within decentralized finance (DeFi) apps such as MakerDAO, Aave, Compound and Uniswap.

After DeFi apps, the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract, which is the smart contract that creates validators on the Eth 2.0 Beacon Chain, is the second-most popular by total value locked, holding around 5.8 million ETH.

Increasing value in these smart contracts suggests the use case for ether as a speculative asset to trade on exchanges is growing weaker while the asset’s narrative as an interest-bearing crypto asset to be used within the decentralized application (dapp) ecosystem of Ethereum is taking off.

“Fresh on the heels of the unveiling of the FTX Arena in Miami, the crypto exchange is becoming the “Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB.” Under the baseball deal, FTX branding will appear on all umpire uniforms starting at the All-Star Game in Denver on July 13 and continue into the postseason. MLB is calling FTX its “first-ever umpire uniform patch partner.”

Bankman-Fried said FTX and MLB have plans on ‘collaborating on products and experiences together.’ The data-minded traders at FTX crunched the numbers and found sports naming rights to yield the best return on investment for their marketing spending.”

“The two blockchain bills – the Blockchain Innovation Act and parts of the Digital Taxonomy Act – direct the Secretary of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study and report on the use of blockchain technology and digital tokens.

The blockchain bills are one of many in a series of attempts to provide regulatory clarity on digital asset ownership and management. Many in the crypto space are increasingly demanding regulation, claiming that the lack of a legal framework stifles innovation.

Previous attempts at providing regulatory clarity, including Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-Ohio) Token Taxonomy Act, which was first introduced in 2018, have failed to gain any meaningful traction.”

23 June

By now, it should be clear the “hashrate migration” is real: Miners are leaving China for good. As of April 2020, an estimated 65% of bitcoin hashrate was domiciled in China; with confirmed bans across the country, that figure will be far lower 12 months from now. The precise magnitude and schedule for the westward move is currently unknown, but all signals seem to be indicating the greatest shakeup in the geographic makeup of bitcoin mining since the start of the industrial mining era.

Hypotheses for the motivations behind China’s move to eliminate mining abound. One obvious explanation would be a desire to meet climate targets and reduce emissions. But this is contradicted by China’s continued embrace of coal power (it added three times as much in 2020 as the rest of the world combined) and that the crackdown extended to hydro-powered regions like Sichuan.

Other analysts have said China sees bitcoin as a competitor to its own digital currency project, the DCEP. But again, bitcoin mining is a largely self-contained industry. Banning mining does little to inhibit bitcoin transactions or exchanges – they are totally distinct concerns.

The central and regional government had hitherto tolerated the monetization of excess energy because it simply wasn’t being put to alternative economic use. But as the grid integration and load balancing has improved in the last five years, bitcoin miners have increasingly begun to compete with other industrial and commercial uses.

It is still unclear where these newly mobile miners will end up. The U.S. has the second-most capacious grid in the world, and some miners appear optimistic about the opportunities to migrate hashrate west without sustained interruption. Raw electricity cost is no longer the sole consideration. Today, political stability, regulatory clarity and a respect for private property rights are paramount in miner decision-making.

In the U.S., obtaining the necessary permits can take upwards of six months. Additionally, while some states like Texas and cities like Jackson, Tennessee and Miami have indicated their openness to miners, others like New York have taken a decidedly hostile approach. Other more convenient near-term geographies include Kazakhstan, Central Asia and Russia.

But whether it’s the U.S. or other locales that grow their market share at the expense of China, it will be a significant win for bitcoin’s decentralization, the stability of mining and bitcoin’s climate impact. At long last, bitcoin’s vulnerability to China and the CCP is melting away.”

See Also: Denied electricity, world’s 5th-largest mining pool leaves China for Kazakhstan
See Also: China’s Anti-Crypto Crackdown Is Different This Time
See Also: Stronghold Digital Mining Raises $105M to Turn Waste Coal Into Bitcoin

“Digital asset bank Wyoming Deposit & Transfer (WDT) has been awarded a bank charter by the Wyoming Division of Banking allowing the bank to provide commercial banking and custodial services for tokenized assets and digital currencies.

WDT said it is the third charter of this type to be awarded. In September, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken became the first entity to secure a bank charter from the state. The second charter was issued to Avanti Bank in October.”

See Also: Treasury Nominees Pledge to Enforce New Crypto Regulations

“A recent large-dollar funding round by Securitize signals that security tokens may be poised for a comeback. If so, more private companies will bypass traditional initial public offerings (IPO) and instead use blockchain technology to digitize the capital-raising process. Some in the industry now go so far as to predict a sixfold increase in the total dollars raised using such funding methods over the next four years.

While this niche failed to live up to the hype of the 2017-2018 cryptocurrency boom, several firms said they expect the security token industry to finally take off on a global scale, citing strong demand from issuers and investors. Securitize, which helps private companies raise money by issuing tokens, completed a $48 million Series B fundraising round on Monday. Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital co-led the round, which was oversubscribed.

Two years ago, there was no infrastructure for a security token marketplace: no licensed platforms, broker-dealers, and no transfer agents. The SEC recent approval of Securitze as a transfer agent is yet another sign that the industry is prepared for take-off.”

Ethereum’s Fee Market Upgrade Explained

“Bakkt said it had launched a fully virtual Visa debit card for both online and in-store spending. Card holders can spend Bitcoin (BTC) from their Bakkt accounts without waiting to convert the cryptocurrency to fiat.

Now, instead of selling and waiting to transfer to a bank, they can simply walk into their favorite store, tap their Bakkt Card and buy that new item they’ve been eyeing […] the Bakkt Card untethers Bitcoin owners from their online-only past into a world with countless options to leverage the digital assets in their day-to-day lives.”

“PayPal and Visa are chasing bets across the crypto industry as partners in Blockchain Capital’s fifth venture fund, a $300 million war chest announced Tuesday. The increasingly crypto-savvy companies are relative newcomers to crypto VC.

The new fund is maintaining a focus on crypto infrastructure plays like startups building to support decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Bogart said the LP route gives these firms indirect equity upside while also getting an early read on startups for partnership deals.

Blockchain Capital is one of older and larger crypto-native venture capital firms with over $1.5 billion under management. Bogart said the firm’s fifth fund also received backing from pension funds and university endowments.”

See Also: MakerDAO slashes stability fees as stablecoin demand wanes

8 reasons why the U.S. needs a digital dollar | Former CFTC chairman explains

The auction win secures Karura a 48-week lease to build on Kusama, Polkadot’s pre-production environment. The sister network of Polkadot’s main DeFi project Acala, Karura raised more than 500,000 Kusama tokens (KSM) from its community, or about $100 million at current prices.

The second auction is set to begin later today, with three more auctions to follow in the next three weeks.”

Privacy-oriented web browser Brave has launched a new feature in beta, Brave Search, which does not track users’ searches or what they click on.

The new service offers fully anonymous searching and is transparent regarding how search results are ranked. Brave Search is based on Tailcat, the open search engine Brave acquired in March.

Brave Search is based on an independently built search index, whereas other search engines are critically dependent on big tech search engines under the hood.”

22 June

China’s central bank says institutions must not provide trading, clearing and settlement for crypto transactions. They also have to make sure to identify virtual-currency exchanges’ and over-the-counter dealers’ capital accounts, and cut off the payment link for transaction funds in a timely manner.

The central bank noted the hype surrounding virtual-currency transactions, and identified them as a risk for illegal cross-border transactions and money laundering and a challenge to economic and financial order.

Financial institutions and banks have agreed to take necessary steps in line with the PBOC’s guidelines.”

“Bitcoin’s network hash rate, a measure of its computational horsepower, has slumped 46% since its peak level in mid-May. Bitcoin’s hash rate is currently 91.2 exahashes per second (EH/s), close to half of its 171.4 EH/s high posted less than six weeks ago.

Bitinfocharts has also reported a drop in mining profitability from a peak of $0.449 per day per terahash per second to current levels of $0.226 over the same period. Bitcoin’s hash rate has not been this low for eight months, last creeping below 90 EH/s on Nov. 3, 2020.

The slump in hash rate and mining profitability is due to the ongoing crackdown from Chinese authorities on Bitcoin mining facilities across the country.

North America, particularly the state of Texas, has become one of the top destinations for what has been dubbed the “great mining migration” due to favorable legislation and an abundance of low-cost renewable energy.

See Also: Bitcoin Hashrate Falls 17% Overnight After China Mining Crackdown
See Also: Chinese Logistics Firm Airlifting Bitcoin Mining Machines to Maryland: Report

“Institutional managers continued to take profits on their cryptocurrency holdings, with funds dedicated to Bitcoin (BTC) registering their sixth consecutive weekly outflows.

Outflows from Bitcon funds totaled $89 million, whereas Ethereum (ETH) products endured a $1.9 million decline. Year-to-date, Bitcoin investment products have generated over $4.1 billion in net inflows. Ether products, meanwhile, have accumulated $992 million since the start of 2021.

While on-chain metrics seem to show favorable signs of a bottom — namely, that Bitcoin is being scooped up by long-term holders at the expense of newer wallets — market sentiment remains overwhelmingly bearish due to negative headlines.”

See Also: VanEck Files Prospectus for a New Bitcoin Futures Mutual Fund

Bitcoin Foundation chairman Brock Pierce thinks he represents the Bitcoin industry. A lot of Bitcoiners disagree.

Pierce further angered his Twitter following today when he tweeted a picture of him and President Bukele on the front page of New York-based Spanish-speaking newspaper Noticia, alongside a blowout story about his trip on page 8. ‘The visit to El Salvador by the delegation has made world wide news. We’re making history,’ he wrote in his tweet.

The thing is, none of the editions of Noticia—not the Long Island, Suffolk or Nassau edition—covered Pierce’s visit.

Pierce’s election to the chair of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2014 was not uncontested. Several members of the foundation resigned in protest over allegations of his ‘past behaviour that involved drugs and sexual misconduct.'”

“Billionaire real estate mogul Frank McCourt will invest $100 million in a project leveraging blockchain technology, attempting to democratize social media data. The project will utilize blockchain technology to build a new type of internet infrastructure dubbed the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP).

McCourt’s Project Liberty will focus on the development of a publicly accessible database of people’s social connections. The hope is to encourage a more egalitarian approach by having social media companies, such as Facebook, draw from a shared place of social data.

We live under constant surveillance, and what’s happening with this massive accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few, that’s incredibly destabilizing.”

“Stefan Parsons’ car embellished with the DOGE Shiba Inu dog crashed into the wall during Stage 2 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday. DOGE’s price has fallen [32%] in the last 24 hours.

Springates, a manufacturer of auto parts whose CEO is a DOGE enthusiast, sponsored Parsons’ car.”

20 June

The long-anticipated London upgrade is now ready for deployement on the Ethereum testnets! The upgrade will first go live on Ropsten, at block 10499401, which is expected to happen around June 24, 2021.

This upgrade follows Berlin, which was activated only a few months ago on the Ethereum mainnet. By starting the work on London while Berlin was being rolled out, client teams were able to release this network upgrade at record speed!

The upgrade includes the following EIPs:

  • EIP-1559: Fee market change for ETH 1.0 chain
  • EIP-3198: BASEFEE opcode
  • EIP-3529: Reduction in refunds
  • EIP-3541: Reject new contracts starting with the 0xEF byte
  • EIP-3554: Difficulty Bomb Delay to December 1st 2021″

See Also: 4 Common Misperceptions About Ethereum’s EIP 1559 Upgrade
See Also: Banks Edge Closer to Ethereum 2.0 Staking

“A state-owned Chinese commercial bank has enabled a feature that allows users to convert their digital yuan to cash at more than 3,000 automated teller machine (ATM) locations in Beijing. The Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) has become the first bank in the country to launch such a feature.

The move effectively lets users switch between digital and non-digital versions of government-issued currency with ease.”

See Also: Morgan Stanley Says Digital Euro Could Deplete Bank Deposits by 8%: Report
See Also: Ex-PayPal Execs Launch Cross-Border Payments Network on Algorand

Next month, Panamanian congressman Gabriel Silva plans to present a bill that could potentially spearhead the adoption of cryptocurrencies as legal tender and create tax incentives for crypto-related businesses.

I do not see this being approved in three days, as in El Salvador, but it can be achieved. There is strong citizen support, but we will sit down with everyone necessary.”

See Also: El Salvador reportedly weighing paying employees in Bitcoin
See Also: World Bank Denies El Salvador’s Request for Technical Assistance on Bitcoin
See Also: Jack Dorsey notes lobbying efforts to get Ethiopian gov’t to embrace Bitcoin

“The SEC renders a decision on prospective applications within 45-day windows and can take up to 240 days to make a decision. This is the second time it has extended the review period on the VanEck bid.

In the same filing, the SEC asked for public comment on VanEck’s application. The regulator asked interested parties to answer questions about how susceptible the ETF would be to market manipulation and whether or not the regulatory landscape has changed significantly since the first time bitcoin ETF applications had garnered popular attention in 2016.”

More than $6.5 billion worth of BTC — or close to 1% of the crypto asset’s entire capitalization — is held by 19 publicly-listed companies. A further 5.75% of Bitcoin’s market cap is held by exchange-traded products and closed-ended trusts.

The study shows that institutional adoption of crypto is on the rise, with eight listed companies purchasing Bitcoin during the first four months of 2021 compared to seven during all of 2020.

Increasing allocations by large-scale institutional and corporate players is expected to lead to a reduction of this volatility over time, thanks to a longer-term, stickier type of capital brought by those investors, as well as a much larger liquidity pool of crypto ecosystem.”

See Also: 6 Insurers Initiate New Cryptocurrency Investment Positions: Report
See Also: Hedge Funds See 7.2% of Assets in Crypto by 2026: Report

The National Republican Congressional Committee will accept donations in cryptocurrency, making it the first national political party committee to do so.

The NRCC will use BitPay to process contributions, which will be converted into U.S. dollars before being deposited to the committee’s account. By not taking possession of the cryptocurrencies, the NRCC can accept individual donations of as much as $10,000 per year, avoiding the $100 maximum-value limit per year for cryptocurrency transfers.”

See Also: House Democrats Form Cryptocurrency Working Group

Algorithmic stablecoins use less than one-to-one backing and a complex web of automated transactions and issuances to maintain a price peg. The details of these systems are spectacularly arcane. In very broad terms, these projects are fractional reserve banks. Bitcoiners and other “hard money” advocates loathe fractional reserve banking like vampires loathe garlic because of the risk of exactly the sort of catastrophe that hit Iron.

No matter the complex rules for burning or printing Titan, Iron was still a dollar-denominated token backed only 75% by anything resembling dollars. This was ultimately why a slight price fluctuation led to death-spiral panic-selling: Everyone wanted to get out before the bottom of the barrel was in sight.

The fable is that a run can bring down a solvent bank. What a run does is: It causes an insolvent bank to be recognized as insolvent.”

See Also: In Token Crash Postmortem, Iron Finance Says It Suffered Crypto’s ‘First Large-Scale Bank Run’

“Integration with Wyre enables U.S. customers ‘to buy crypto through Ledger Live, bringing instant and secure deposits directly on their hardware wallet.’

Ledger announced the integration of its first DeFi app, Paraswap, into Ledger Live on Monday. The decentralized exchange allows Ledger users to swap tokens on Ethereum without leaving their wallets.

See Also: Bakkt Allows Users to Send Bitcoin, Gift Cards From Its Wallet

15 June

Goldman Sachs plans to offer investors options and futures trading in ether.

In March, Goldman Sachs relaunched its cryptocurrency trading desk after a three-year hiatus, with plans to once again support trading in bitcoin futures.”

See Also: Almost a Quarter of the Entire Ethereum Supply Is Locked
See Also: Ethereum Single Sign On Might be the Future of Internet App Log in

Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC on Monday he would “go all in on the inflation trades” if the U.S. Federal Reserve remains indifferent to rising consumer prices.

Jones said he likes bitcoin and sees it as a great way to protect wealth over the long run. In May, Jones bet 1% to 2% of his assets on bitcoin. His firm, the $44.6 billion Tudor Investment Corporation, most recently secured custodial ties with institutional powerhouses Coinbase and Bakkt. Jones told CNBC Monday he wants an allocation to bitcoin of 5%.

The U.S. central bank’s monetary policy committee meets this week in a two-day, closed-door session to evaluate the latest economic figures, with a statement expected Wednesday followed by a press conference with Powell. Jones said he will be paying close attention.

If they say, ‘We’re on [the] path, things are good,’ then I would just go all in on the inflation trades.”

See Also: MicroStrategy to Sell Up to $1B in Stock, Use Part of Proceeds to Buy Yet More Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) held support at around $34,000 over the weekend and is approaching resistance at $40,000-$42,000. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has been consolidating for nearly a month as buyers established a solid base at $30,000.

A breakout from the range would yield further upside toward $50,000. Sellers, however, remain in control given the strong overhead resistance.

The short-term trend is improving as prices returned above the 100-period moving average on the four-hour chart. A decisive breakout above $42,000 could shift the downtrend from May.”

See Also: Bitcoin Tops $40K as Musk Says Tesla May Accept Crypto in Future

“Tesla will resume accepting bitcoin as payment once the cryptocurrency’s power-hungry miners go halfway green, CEO Elon Musk tweeted Sunday. The news appears to have driven up the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

It is unclear how Musk will fact-check miners‘ clean energy usage as there is widespread debate over where the industry currently stands. Even so, the comments provide a first benchmark for reinstating bitcoin payments at Tesla.”

“Mark Cuban, billionaire investor and owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, said yesterday that the U.S. government and regulators need to start getting behind crypto innovations, such as the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry. Otherwise, he argued, the U.S. will ‘lose the next great growth engine that this country needs.’

His thoughts came in a blog post entitled “The Brilliance of Yield Farming, Liquidity Providing and Valuing Crypto Projects.”

Cuban predicted that in 10 to 20 years we will look back at this period of time and observe that world-changing companies were built. ‘Among those companies, [it’s] already a certainty that De-Fi and other crypto organizations will be at or near the top of the list.’

That is not to say that every crypto blockchain or DeFi project will work. They won’t. Crypto is brutally competitive. But in crypto vs traditional, centralized businesses, all other things being equal, I’m taking crypto every time.”

See Also: Nvidia CEO: We’re ‘on the cusp of’ a blockchain and NFT-enabled metaverse

“Many central banks are fine with tourists using their hypothetical digital currencies, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) said Thursday. 28% told the BIS they would be interested in forming multi-CBDC (mCBDC) arrangements to build a single payment system.

Central banks are considering a variety of mCBDC arrangements. Some central banks are even contemplating multiple CBDCs run on a single system.”

See Also: Central American Development Bank Forms Technical Group for El Salvador Bitcoin Bill