5 August

Countdown to Ethereum London Upgrade

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“Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cynthia Lummis (R-MT), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have introduced an amendment that would exempt Bitcoin miners and validators on other blockchain networks from a provision aimed at raising $28 billion in tax revenue to help pay for the bill.

The proposed amendment specifically excludes those responsible for ‘validating distributed ledger transactions,’ as well as wallet creators and protocol developers.

Industry advocacy groups Blockchain Association and Coin Center have released a joint statement with exchange Coinbase, FinTech firm Square, and Ribbit Capital in support of the amendment.”

“Sartori’s bill would establish that cryptocurrencies ‘are products of free sale by those entities and individuals who wish to commercialize them,’ and states that any natural or legal person ‘may receive and/or send funds in legal tender from and to their own bank accounts or those of licensed companies.’

Crypto assets will be recognized and accepted by law and applicable in any legal business. They will be considered valid means of payment. The use of all these instruments will be free and will not require prior consent, permits or licenses.

In the Senate, the National Party and its allies, which form a coalition named Coalición Multicolor, hold the majority, with 17 of the 30 seats.”

“SEC head Gary Gensler signaled Tuesday that the agency would aggressively regulate cryptocurrency markets using existing rules. That sounds scary, but markets have barely blinked – Bitcoin even ticked up slightly this morning. Responses from some industry leaders and analysts were accepting, and even positive; more than anything reflecting faith in Gensler’s deep knowledge of both the promise and technical underpinnings of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The takeaway for some was that Gensler would continue focusing on deceptive “shitcoins”, a likely net positive for the industry. One of the more surprising expressions of approval came from Bruce Fenton, founder of the strongly libertarian Satoshi Roundtable, who wrote this morning that ‘we need securities markets to work right and help capital formation & building businesses and jobs.’

It’s unclear, though, whether Gensler can shift the SEC’s slow-moving whack-a-mole approach on ICOs towards something more systematic and consistent.”

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“Genesis is seeing bitcoin’s role changing in the bear market. From late 2020 until the end of the second quarter, Genesis saw bitcoin’s dominance in market cap decline from over 70% to under 45%, while ether and prominent DeFi tokens doubled in value during that time.

As DeFi grows and attracts the attention of institutional investors, demand for ether is also growing. Hedge funds are increasingly turning to Genesis and other lenders to borrow ETH to deploy into DeFi protocols.

That trend was evident in the second quarter, when the firm had $25 billion in new originations, its largest amount ever in a quarter. The figure was up eightfold from a year earlier.”

“Kitco provides precious metals news and data used by millions to access the market prices of gold, silver, palladium and other metals. Its users will now gain access to the digital equivalent of Kitco’s depositories and vaults, which are audited to industry standards.

Kitco Gold (KGLD) will be fully backed by physical gold held in Kitco’s DirectReserve vaults and will track the real-time market value of the yellow metal. The stablecoin attempts to combine the safe-haven nature of owning gold with the flexibility and transparency of a digital asset.

Investors will have a competitive alternative to traditional gold products such as gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds), with the additional benefits of real-time trading and settlement enabled by blockchain technology.

Hong Kong’s First Digital Trust will provide regulatory compliance, know-your-customer and anti-money laundering procedures, funds processing and final authorization. Stablecoin issuer Stably will provide smart contract technology for minting and burning KGLD on the Ethereum network, and Tradewind Markets will assist in settlement.”

The exchange is to build a payment bridge with crypto-fiat gateway Alchemy Pay allowing Binance Pay users to send and receive payments in over 40 supported cryptocurrencies. Alchemy Pay provides a crypto-fiat payment gateway and operates in 18 countries with the goal of driving crypto adoption in merchant networks and financial institutions.

Merchants on Alchemy’s network include e-commerce giant Shopify, which provides online merchant services for 1.75 million retailers worldwide, as well as QFPay, Hong Kong’s Pricerite, Singapore’s Ce La Vi, Canadian footwear brand Aldo and multinational Arcadier SaaS.”

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