30 November

“Bitcoin led the crypto market to its third straight day of gains, after a steep drop by more than 8% on “Black Friday.” The No. 1 cryptocurrency by market capitalization rose to nearly $59,000 on Monday before it sank toward the $58,000 level again.

Bitcoin (BTC) is holding support above its 100-day moving average, currently around $54,200, as last week’s sell-off stabilizes. Short-term momentum is improving, although buyers will need to clear $60K to sustain the uptrend.

See Also: Bitcoin Bears Retreat as Traders Buy on Dips

The Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF is an actively managed fund that will invest in cash-settled Ether futures contracts traded on registered commodity exchanges. The CME’s current position limits for ether futures contracts are 8,000 contracts for an applicable month with each contract representing 50 ether.

In August, VanEck and ProShares suddenly withdrew their applications for their futures-based ether ETFs, which suggested they received pushback from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates ETFs.”

See Also: WisdomTree Lists 3 Crypto Basket ETPs in Europe
See Also: Trillion-Dollar Investment Firm Invesco Launches European Spot Bitcoin ETP

“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York launched the New York Innovation Center (NYIC) to build and test new financial technology, including central bank digital currencies (CBDC), stablecoins and cross-border payments, the central bank division announced Monday.

The NYIC plans to focus on five so-called opportunity areas: supervisory and regulatory technology, financial market infrastructures, future of money, open finance and climate risk. Jerome Powell said the innovation center will foster collaboration and the sharing of expertise among central banks.

In particular, the partnership will support our analysis of digital currencies, including central bank digital currencies, help to improve our current payment system, with a particular focus on making cross-border payments faster and less expensive.”

See Also: Israel Is Stepping Up Its Central Bank Digital Currency Efforts: Report

MicroStrategy said it bought 7,002 bitcoins for about $414 million in cash during its fiscal fourth quarter.

MicroStrategy now holds 121,044 bitcoins worth about $3.6 billion with an average purchase price of about $29,534 each.”

See Also: Citi Veteran Launches $1.5B Crypto Fund With Algorand as First Strategic Partner
See Also: Galaxy Digital raises $500 million in convertible debt to fund business expansion

“Today, Budweiser will release its first series of NFTs, dubbed Budverse Cans: Heritage Edition. The series will span 1,936 individual NFT collectibles, referencing the year the company first started releasing beer in cans. Each NFT will feature elements of classic photos, ads, and design documents charting the history of the brand.

These NFTs will act as your key to the Budverse and can unlock exclusive benefits, rewards, and surprises.

The Budverse Cans will be sold at two rarity levels, with Core Cans available for $499 apiece and Gold Cans selling for $999 each. The company has confirmed that the NFTs will be minted on the Ethereum network and sold on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea. Budweiser has also changed its Twitter name to “beer.eth.”

“Many on social media speculated that Dorsey made the move so he can devote more time to crypto.

Some speculated that Dorsey may step up his crypto ambitions through his work at payments company Square, which he also founded and where he remains CEO. The editor of TechCrunch suggested this could be because Square—which is building a Bitcoin wallet—is better positioned than Twitter to take the lead on Web 3.

It’s an open question whether Dorsey’s departure will lead Twitter to turn away from its recent pivot to crypto, which has included tipping with Bitcoin and plans for NFT integration.”

See Also: Twitter’s New CEO Parag Agrawal: Good for Bitcoin?

The Disrupt Weekend

Human civilization is a massive experiment in coordination. Turns out, coordination is tricky. Kingdoms have risen and fallen, ancient religions so old they’re not known to man today have burned hot then sputtered out, nation-states have conquered and crashed, then conquered again. All of history has been a massive coordination effort.

Time and time again, people have tried different mechanisms to corral humans into working together for the common good. We’ve tried all forms: Monarchies, dictatorships, co-ops, democracies, republics, committees, and countless permutations. And while DAOs are just another form of coordination, they represent a unique opportunity: Coordination unfettered by demographic constraints.

Our situation at hand is markedly different from that of the coordination attempts of years past. Throughout all of human history, you had to be in power to try your hand at large-scale coordination. You had to be born with royal blood, deemed an ancient prophet, elected to office, or lucky enough to be in a constitutional convention to have any say in how societies organize. Human coordination—save for a few revolutions—has never been in the hands of the masses.

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization is the greatest governance and coordination experiment to gain real community traction in centuries.

We have—and are currently building—trustless, permissionless structures that allow anyone in the world to join an organization they believe in, put forth their talents, and earn money to do it. When I say anyone, I mean that in the strongest sense of the word: DAOs are agnostic to age, gender, race, ethnic background, economic status, nationality, residence, and any other demographic identifier that might prevent someone from working and earning money for something they believe in.

This is a big f—ing deal. These solutions aren’t just elegantly built atop code—they’re our first real shot at a universally equitable work environment. People have power in their hands, and this power is not being wasted. This power is busy building communities. It’s generating ideas. It’s shipping products.”

Transaction fees on L1 have been very high for months and there is greater urgency in doing anything required to help facilitate an ecosystem-wide move to rollups. Rollups are already significantly reducing fees for many Ethereum users, however even these fees are too expensive for many users. This document describes a pragmatic path, which unlocks data space for rollups as quickly as possible and adds additional space and security over time.

Step 1: Tx Calldata Expansion

If we want to give a short-term boost to rollup capacity and reduce costs without requiring the rollup teams to do any extra work, we should just decrease the cost of transaction calldata. EIP 4488 should increase data space available to rollups to a theoretical max of ~1 MB per slot and decrease costs for rollups by ~5x. It can be implemented far more quickly than the later steps.

Step 2: A Few Shards

At the same time, we can start doing the work to roll out “proper” sharding. The first natural piece to implement is the “business logic” of the sharding spec, but avoiding most of the difficulties around networking by keeping the initial number of shards very low (eg. 4). This would increase rollup data space to ~2 MB per slot (250 kB per shard * 4 shards, plus the expanded calldata from step 1).

The sharding spec itself is not exceptionally difficult; it’s a boilerplate code change on a similar scale to the recently released Altair hard fork, and so it’s reasonable to expect it could be implemented on a similar timeframe to Altair’s implementation and deployment.

Step 3: N Shards, Committee-secured

Increase the number of active shards from 4 to 64. This would increase rollup data space to ~16 MB per slot.

Step 4: Data Availability Sampling (DAS)

Add data availability sampling to ensure a higher level of security, protecting users even in the event of a dishonest majority attack. Once data availability sampling is fully introduced, the sharding rollout is complete.”

See Also: Announcing Grants for Advocacy Non-Profits

“While I’m extremely bullish on crypto in the coming decade, there’s a point for every crypto investor where they might have too much in it. Sometimes it’s good to take money off the table and make meaningful investments elsewhere so you’re protected in the instance of another multi-year bear market.

Many of us are all lost on the same question: “Where else would I put my money?”

The barbell strategy is an investment concept that suggests that the best way to strike a balance between reward and risk is to invest in the two extremes of high-risk and no-risk assets while avoiding middle-of-the-road choices.

Historically, storing cash in a high yield savings account would provide steady passive income, this strategy doesn’t cut it anymore. The average interest rate on a savings account is 0.06% APR. But worse, the total amount of US dollars in circulation has increased by 37% since 2020.

If your net worth did not increase by the same amount in that period, you lost to Jerome and the money printer – you need to generate a higher return than the rate the M2 money supply is expanding. Therefore, if you entrusted the U.S. government to preserve and grow your purchasing power with 10Y or 30Y treasuries, just as the boomers did for decades, you’re down by -23% against inflation.

Today’s cash strategy is to hold what you need for living expenses and perhaps a few months in liquid cash.

That brings us to equity markets. The U.S. stock market has a long history of sustainable and moderate returns, so it may feel like the most natural alternatives for many crypto natives. The problem is that it doesn’t really fit into the barbell strategy. You have the high-risk box already checked off with crypto. You want something lower risk and uncorrelated. And in this risk-on environment, correlations are largely the same. If there’s some major market correction (see the COVID crash), crypto and stocks are likely to go down together. They’re both risk-on assets. You’re getting lower returns with the same correlation. Not worth it.

So cash, stocks, and bonds are largely out of the picture. What’s left? The best answer that I’ve found is real estate. And I think when paired with crypto assets, this could be the best barbell strategy heading into the next decade. Real estate, gold, and Bitcoin are all hard assets that have scarcity games. Like Bitcoin, real estate is a non-sovereign scarce asset. The key difference is that one is digital and the other is physical.

Stocks, bonds, commodities, cash—all of these are becoming increasingly less attractive by the day, especially for those with significant exposure to crypto. Either the returns are too low or the correlations are the same. Investing has changed. With the government beginning to abuse the money printer, you can’t rely on the same investments that made the previous generations their wealth.

The best barbell strategy for the coming decade is playing the two scarcity games, digital real estate (bitcoin) and physical real estate (property). The investors that can play these two games well may likely become some of the most successful individuals in the world in the coming decade.”

The base, foundational layer of the metaverse is hardware. The metaverse is dependent on physical devices to access and interact with the metaverse.

Cryptographically secured microchips are a way for people to hold their own keys when it comes to hardware. ‘Through these chips you have a way to interact without an arbiter.’ By addressing individual ownership at the hardware level, these chips can then be embedded in virtually anything, for secure access to digital assets and digital lands.

Kong Land [DAO] intends to do this through “silicon locked contracts” (or SiLos) to address digital and physical asset ownership at the hardware level. SiLos are low-cost, durable, secure element microchips that are cryptographically linked to a smart contract on a public blockchain.

Embedding a SiLo microchip into any physical item transforms it into a crypto asset that can be verified on chain, as well as interacted with in real life. NFTs enable verified ownership of assets to port between the physical and digital, and back to physical, as well as genuine ownership of assets for interoperability between metaverses.

While traditional tech companies focus largely on bringing users into virtual worlds or augmenting reality with digital experiences, we envision a seamlessly intertwined metaverse that doesn’t rely solely on wearable headgear.

The rapid experimentation of blockchain-based DAOs as crypto-cities and states is demonstrating innovative ways to link the digital and the physical. Fundamentally, the battle between an open, decentralized, crypto metaverse and a closed, extractive, corporate metaverse comes down to the hardware, as to how people will access digital worlds.”

The project is governed by a Creative Commons CC0 “No Rights Reserved” license, which means anyone can use the Nouns name and characters to create anything. It’s in the public domain.

There’s Nouns merchandise sold by someone who doesn’t own a Nouns NFT, for example, and derivative projects that have generated millions of dollars in trading volume—and that’s allowed. In the same sense, anyone could take the Nouns brand and style and create their own movies, books, and toys.

The Nouns creators, or “nounders,” like to think of the project as a protocol or application layer for others to build upon. Ultimately, the genuine Nouns are the originals, as proven by the publicly-viewable Ethereum blockchain.

You don’t need copyright anymore. In the same way that academic citations make the original paper more important, citation of Nouns in whatever form they come in—at least, this is our thesis—will make the originals more important and more valuable.

A lot of companies, I think, are going to be unwilling to make the transition—because they rely on this idea that their IP is a monopoly product. It will be very scary for them to have to compete in the marketplace, where other people can use the same IP that they can.”

See Also: Yearn Finance v3.0

“Ultimately, much like how crypto exchanges function, in the future, there will be two types of stablecoin issuers: those that purposely avail themselves to regulated jurisdictions and offer transparent accounting, clear rules for redemption, and investor protections in one basket, and conversely, there will be other issuers which have a robust secondary market but remain functional without clear rules that may be synonymous with financial institutions.

Gregory said that the first basket will be the likely venue for regulated financial institutions engaging in crypto-specific financial products and the latter being more for cross-border trading from countries with stringent currency controls, peer-to-peer marketplaces and access to offshore exchanges.

There’s a real recognition that as these payment stablecoins grow, they could grow at internet scale relatively quickly.”

27 November

The financial markets are a sea of red on Friday as worries over a new coronavirus variant appear to have zapped risk appetite. While bitcoin is trading 6.7% lower on the day near $55,000, the S&P 500 futures are nursing a 2.3% loss.

The cryptocurrency was better bid on Thursday and appeared set to cross the resistance at $60,070. That would have confirmed a double bottom breakout on the 4-hour chart. However, renewed COVID fears have played spoilsport.”

See Also: Goldman Says Fed May Accelerate Tapering from January: Report
See Also: El Salvador Buys 100 More Bitcoins as Crypto Market Falls

The Senate is poised to reject the White House’s choice to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the federal agency charged with overseeing the country’s banks. She appears to have no path to confirmation as five Democratic Senators have told the White House they will not vote for her.

The impending rejection is significant for the crypto industry since the nominee, Saule Omarova, has been an outspoken critic of crypto. In recent months, she has described crypto as benefiting from a “dysfunctional” financial system, and shared a Financial Times story that framed Bitcoin as a symbol of American decline.

The Senate opposition to Omarova, a Cornell law professor, is not rooted specifically in her position on crypto. Instead, Senators have called attention to her academic writing, which has called for “hemming in” banks and giving citizens direct access to accounts at the Federal Reserve.”

“Major crypto mining pools including Binance Pool, F2pool, Poolin and ViaBTC are reporting connectivity problems. Binance Pool’s bitcoin hashrate is down 14% in the last 24 hours. F2pool has dropped almost 8% and ViaBTC has fallen by 7%.

The issue is caused by domain name system (DNS) “pollution,” Binance Pool and Poolin said on their Chinese Telegram channels. F2pool also said the pool’s domain name is not being properly resolved. DNS poisoning can occur when a hacker redirects traffic from the domain name to an imposter website. De La Torre thinks the Chinese government is likely interfering with the mining pools.

The connectivity issues appear to be primarily affecting Chinese miners.

Binance Pool, F2pool, and Poolin advised users to modify their DNS to solve the issue. Binance Pool said that a long term solution is to use a VPN to circumvent the country’s telecoms carrier.”

See Also: Hackers Are Attacking Cloud Accounts to Mine Cryptocurrencies, Google Says

“The new German government has cited crypto in its coalition agreement, advocating for an equal playing field between traditional finance and “innovative business models.”

Elsewhere on the continent, the European Council, which guides the EU’s political agenda, adopted two proposals named the “Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets” (MiCA) framework and the “Digital Operational Resilience Act.”

While MiCA still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, if enacted, it will subject crypto asset issuers to more stringent requirements, but nonfungible tokens and utility tokens will fall outside the scope of the regulation.

Because of the ‘Brussels Effect,’ there is a very good chance these rules will become international standards in the end. While everyone is focused on the US and China, the EU is casually leading the way.”

“DappRadar, a popular platform that provides analytics and portfolio tracking for the decentralized application (DApp) and nonfungible token (NFT) markets, has announced an upcoming company restructuring to a decentralized business model, in addition to releasing a native governance token, RADAR.

Founded in 2018, the site currently boasts over 4 million global users, 600,000 of which are uniquely active on a monthly basis, as well as playing host to over 8,300 DApps and 27 protocols. The purpose behind the evolution is to expand DappRadar’s ecosystem to a global audience and establish itself as one of the world’s leading DApp stores.

“Yaron Shalem, the chief financial officer of cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius, was one of the seven people arrested in Tel Aviv this month in connection with Israeli crypto mogul Moshe Hogeg. It is not clear what charge(s) Shalem was arrested on.

While this is in no way related to the employee’s time or work at @CelsiusNetwork, the employee was immediately suspended. We have also verified that no assets were misplaced or mishandled.

Shalem joined Celsius earlier this year. From January 2014 to March 2018 he worked as CFO for Singulariteam, a venture capital firm launched by Hogeg.”

See Also: Jutta Steiner Leaves Polkadot Builder Parity Technologies

TA: Bitcoin Retests Bull Market Support

See Also: Crypto Near-term TA (Video)

26 November

The crypto market on Thursday, the U.S. Thanksgiving day holiday, was not as quiet as some anticipated, after bitcoin prices briefly broke past $59,000, and trading volume remained at a level similar to the previous three days. Ether soared past $4,500, a more than 6% gain.

One analyst expects this bullish sentiment will continue during the December holiday season, particularly now that a few macroeconomic uncertainties have abated, including Jerome Powell’s reappointment as Federal Reserve chair.

The period after U.S. Thanksgiving is traditionally very bullish for risky assets and I would not be surprised to see a healthy Christmas rally for cryptos during the holiday season.

Yet there were also less optimistic signs in investors’ activities. ‘Bitcoin put options, derivatives offering downside protection, continue to become pricier, implying bearish sentiment.'”

See Also: Bitcoin’s put options become pricier amid Fed rate hike fears
See Also: Morgan Stanley Adds More Grayscale Bitcoin Shares Despite Heavy Discount
See Also: Celsius Network Series B Expands to $750M

“The Bank of Canada should issue a central bank digital currency that can be converted into a “loonie,” the colloquial term of the Canadian dollar, as cryptocurrencies grow in popularity, a new report by C.D. Howe Institute said.

Canadian-dollar-linked stablecoins could become attractive to Canadians by making them convertible into cash issued by the Bank of Canada, and ensuring that stablecoins are well designed and regulated from business conduct, competitive, operational, privacy and prudential perspectives.

Our preference is for an ‘indirect CBDC,’ one that is allowed to pass over the balance sheet of payment providers, mimicking cash/banknotes on the Bank of Canada’s balance sheet today.

The authors also highlighted that such adoption may incentivize private sectors to introduce Canadian-dollar linked stablecoins by enabling convertibility to cash to take place digitally, without relying on physical bank notes.

Canadians are more likely to favor those stablecoins if governments facilitate innovation in the payments world so that Canadians can benefit from ongoing advances in payments systems and crypto-technology, and the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar is maintained by keeping inflation low.”

The token of the decentralized virtual reality platform built on the Ethereum blockchain now has a reported market capitalization of $9.2 billion. The surge pushes it ahead of metaverse related play-to-earn game Axie Infinity’s AXS, which has a reported market cap of $8.6 billion.

Investors are still wanting to capitalize on the narrative of the metaverse since the rebranding of Facebook.

Pellicer said that the recent waves of transactions for MANA of over $100,000, could be signalling institutional demand. He also noted that the recent virtual real estate plot sales are putting Decentraland in the spotlight again. On Monday, the Metaverse Group, bought a patch of virtual real estate in the Decentraland metaverse for 618,000 MANA – equivalent to around $3.2 million at the time of writing.”

See Also: Axie Infinity virtual land slot sells out for 550 ETH
See Also: ConstitutionDAO: PEOPLE price pumps 200% as new ‘We The People’ token unveiled

“A particular focus she had was on how social media platforms, which have been used to influence elections through disinformation, could be combined with the cryptocurrency markets in a way to help state and non-state actors destabilize other countries.

There’s one other thing that’s on the horizon, which people are only beginning to pay attention to, and that’s the need to regulate the cryptocurrency market.

We’re looking at not only states such as China, Russia, or others manipulating technology of all kinds to their advantage. We’re looking at non-state actors, either in concert with states or on their own destabilizing countries, destabilizing the dollar as the reserve currency.”

See Also: UK Law Commission affirms English and Welsh laws apply to smart contracts

25 November

“In September, El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender, sending shock waves through the international monetary establishment. That, and other increasingly ambitious plans to put bitcoin at the center of its economy, are wagers that America’s global influence is waning.

They are afraid and concerned because a lot of countries are looking at us, and they will follow our leadership.

I know the concerns here in D.C. are about losing the power of the dollar and we can understand that, but El Salvador has to move on [because] it wants to be on a different level.”

See Also: El Salvador: Who Needs the IMF When You Have Bitcoin?

“Ethereum, the smart contract-enabled network that Three Arrows Capital founder Su Zhu publicly denigrated this week for putting profits over people, has burned over $4 billion in transaction fees since an August protocol upgrade.

Since the early August update, the Ethereum network has issued nearly 1.5 million new ETH as rewards to miners. But it has “burned” 1 million ETH collected in fees, resulting in a net issuance of just around half a million.

Abetted by a decrease in supply growth, the price of ETH has rocketed from under $3,000 to nearly $4,500 in that timespan.”

Trading volume is expected to decline over the next few days, especially on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday Thursday. Still, some analysts expect volatility to increase in the bitcoin and ether options market as November comes to a close. Rising volatility could cause sharp price moves over the next few days.

Technical indicators suggest downside is limited around the $53,000 support level, which could keep buyers active toward $60,000 resistance.”

“The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published a letter instructing banks and federal savings associations that they must demonstrate adequate controls prior to engaging in crypto-related activities.

Today’s letter reaffirms the primacy of safety and soundness.

The letter provides a degree of regulatory clarity for banks and federal savings associations.”

See Also: Japanese megabanks join consortium launching yen-based digital currency

“Hot off the news of a DAO quickly forming to bid on a copy of the U.S. Constitution, another is taking a shot at buying an NBA franchise. Last week, the DAO began its funding drive in earnest by selling NFTs.

Krause House’s NFTs represent “a metaphorical ticket” and grant access to its Discord server, events, and an allocation of its Ethereum-based token KRAUSE. The team says it met its initial goal of 200 ETH (roughly $844,208 at today’s prices) within 15 minutes.

I think we have a long way to go to actually buy an NBA team, but there is so much we can do along the way to prove that this type of model can work. To show that when fans become owners, they become a lot more active and engaged which ultimately can lead to better outcomes for the team… and the underlying business.”

“What was a $1.29 billion sweetener package when announced is now worth $7.32 billion as the MEX token surges. Elrond, which went live on mainnet in July 2020, has been slow to attract developers but is now rising quickly on the back of a massive liquidity mining program from the Maiar decentralized exchange.

The sudden surge for the chain could be a sign of the continued significance of what Yearn.Finance founder Andre Cronje described as “liquidity locusts” – traders who hop from project to project, feasting on incentives – as a growing number of chains attempt to buy their way into relevance with gargantuan incentive programs.”

24 November

“The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, aims to create a framework that would facilitate the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India. However, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

Although the title and description of the draft bill look identical to the one looking to ban all private cryptocurrencies, there is a “high probability” that the contents had changed.

Singh cited India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent statement that the government will not move forward with a blanket ban on crypto as an indication that the bill may have undergone some changes. The bill might focus more on restricting who is allowed to create or issue new cryptocurrencies with the aim of protecting investors.”

See Also: Nigerian Payments App Reportedly Suspending Operations Due to Government Crackdown on Crypto

“Decentralized finance (DeFi) is fast becoming a preferred avenue to hedge smaller cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

The Singapore-based firm QCP now trades more than $1B of crypto options per month using decentralized financial applications, including $1 million worth of AAVE options recently with Ribbon Finance.

With Ribbon Finance, the covered call strategy is automated. Investors need to deposit their AAVE into the vault, which takes care of other complexities like selecting the appropriate strike level for selling the weekly option.

We see this as the real DeFi 2.0 wave.”

eToro announced it would delist Cardano (ADA) and Tron (TRX) for United States customers by the end of the year. In making the decision, eToro cited regulatory concerns surrounding both assets.

The move came as a surprise to some as ADA has not been traditionally associated with regulatory troubles. In context, tokens like Ripple (XRP), whose creators are currently engaged in an ongoing lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, as well as Monero, which is a privacy coin that some fear is easily abused for illicit purposes, are facing the brunt of regulatory scrutiny in the cryptocurrency industry.”

Institutions are waiting for rules to be defined before increasing exposure to digital assets, and a ‘regulatory framework should incentivize payments companies to integrate blockchain technology and stablecoins into their platforms.

Oversight is needed for stablecoins, because they are now a “systemically important asset” with a market value of around $141 billion with a quarterly transaction volume of over $1 trillion in 2021, the bank said. Mastercard, Signature, Visa and Western Union could see an increase in market value from stablecoin regulation, Bank of America said. It has a buy rating on the stocks of those companies.”

See Also: Bank of England sees CBDCs as a revolution for the future of money

“South Korea’s Financial Services Commission, or FSC, announced Tuesday that nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, will be taxed starting next year. This tax law amendment would impose a 20% tax on income from virtual assets that exceed 2.5 million won ($2,102) as of Jan. 1, 2022.

The FSC’s vice chairman Doh Kyu-sang specified that only some NFTs would be categorized as virtual assets and therefore subject to “other income” taxes, referring to those used for investment or payment on a large scale.

See Also: Not All NFTs Are Securities (Recommended Read)
See Also: NFT Authenticator ORIGYN Raises $20M at $300M Valuation

According to the IMF, El Salvador’s public debt could escalate beyond 95% of its GDP by 2026 if the country does not implement “strong policy measures” to correct fiscal imbalance and ease constraints on growth. The debt figure did not include the bitcoin bond recently announced.

Although the IMF’s technical analysis did not include the bond announcement, the financial institution said El Salvador’s plans to buy more bitcoin following the bond issuance, along with increasing its bitcoin exposure, ‘will require a very careful analysis of implications for, and potential risks to, financial stability.'”

See Also: El Salvador Dollar-Denominated Bonds Crash as Country Launches Bitcoin Alternative

GIANT (Global Internet Access Network Token) is working to essentially tokenize spare bandwidth, turning cellular access into a digital asset and phone numbers into wallets that can pay to use networks anywhere.

We make it really easy for anyone from anywhere in the world to also get access to the internet in a very seamless, consistent and secure manner without being locked to any single provider.”

23 November

Kintsugi will culminate in the launch of a persistent multi-client testnet to run through the December holidays and serve as the basis for Merge plans made in January.

Kintsugi specs incorporate all of the learnings and minor adjustments from the Amphora interop. The Kintsugi November sprint, then, is an effort to (1) incorporate the new changeset and (2) refine and productionize Merge implementations.

After the launch of this testnet, the relevant EIPs and specs will move into a last call status in which teams and individuals put a final set of eyes on the changeset before it is frozen. After this, the public proof-of-work and clique testnets will undergo the Merge transition in the new year as we teams finalize testing and prepare for mainnet launch.”

See Also: Ethereum layer-two TVL reaches all-time high

MoonPay’s payment infrastructure lets people exchange traditional fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies for each other using all major payment methods, including debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. The platform supports more than 90 cryptocurrencies and over 30 fiat currencies.

MoonPay handles the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) checks to verify a customer’s identity, partnering with vendors around the world to ensure compliance with local regulations. MoonPay also shoulders the time and financial costs of potential chargebacks or fraudulent crypto transactions.

MoonPay has been bootstrapped and profitable since its founding, having processed more than $2 billion in transactions to date, but growth has accelerated significantly over the past year. MoonPay says transaction volume has increased by 35 times since 2020 and the staff has grown from five to over 130.

The next stage of where we’re going is really trying to focus on a new emerging movement around [non-fungible tokens], which we think are going to be a very big area where more and more people will be onboarded into the crypto economy.”

See Also: Citi Plans to Hire 100 Staffers for Beefed-Up Crypto Division
See Also: Algorand Project Raises $3.6M to Make Cross-Chain DeFi Friendly for Big Investors

Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce company in Latin America by market value, will enable users in Brazil to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies starting this week. Mercado Pago’s digital wallet has 16.8 million unique users, according to its third-quarter report of 2021.

Mercado Pago’s president said in an interview with Bloomberg Linea that bitcoin and ethereum ‘could be a revolution in finance.'”

The president cites Powell’s stewardship of the economy during the pandemic. With Powell as chairman and Brainard as vice chairwoman, Biden said he expects that the duo will help keep the focus on low inflation, stable prices and provide more employment for the American people, as well as address Biden’s stance on climate change.

Economists have previously stated that differences between the two candidates’ positions – on both digital-asset regulation and economic policy – are so slight and finely nuanced that either choice likely wouldn’t have made a huge difference for the industry or cryptocurrency markets. Both candidates were seen as monetary policy “doves” – meaning they would likely be more tolerant of inflation.

Traders in traditional markets seem to have taken the news as a positive, with the S&P 500 up about 0.7% in early trading on Monday.”

See Also: WEF releases resource suite for CBDCs and stablecoins aimed at regulators and businesses leaders

“El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced the plans on Saturday to issue a $1 billion “Bitcoin Bond” with a 10-year maturity on the Liquid Network. Half of the money raised will be used to purchase bitcoin, and the rest will fund construction of a new ”Bitcoin City” along the Gulf of Fonseca near a volcano.

While El Salvador’s new bitcoin-linked bond may be one of the highest-yielding fixed-income instruments globally, it might turn out to be riskier than the country’s outstanding government bonds, which are already categorized as junk-grade.

Some experts said the new offering might struggle to attract investors, especially because the bond appears to pay interest at a lower rate than the country’s conventional dollar-denominated bonds. The latest announcement to issue bitcoin-backed bonds may [also] draw further ire from rating agencies and international partners.

The new El Salvador bond’s projected performance is based on Blockstream models suggesting that bitcoin will rally to $1 million in the next five years – an aggressive target given that the cryptocurrency is currently trading around $58,000.

Anyone buying this bitcoin-backed bond is betting on the cryptocurrency in a very big way, ignoring the credit market currently signaling that El Salvador is very much facing a distressed-debt situation.

While crypto enthusiasts will doubtless be buyers, the simple question is would they rather own the underlying or be happy to take the encumbrance of a clearly distressed sovereign debt.”

“The South China Morning Post (SCMP) has released a white paper detailing its new non-fungible token (NFT) metadata standard called Artifact. The standard will be used to mint historical NFTs, including the SCMP’s own inaugural NFT collection.

The Artifact white paper outlines a proposed governance structure as well as the development of a dedicated marketplace for the sale of historical NFTs.

Through our Artifact white paper, we look forward to inspiring other ‘guardians of history’ to share our vision of making history more discoverable, connected, and collectable.”

See Also: NFT Music Platform Royal Closes $55M Funding Round Led by A16z

The Disrupt Weekend

Zero-knowledge cryptography is the cutting edge of the cutting edge. And general purpose zkRollups are the holy grail for Ethereum scalability. zkRollups work off economies of scale, where more users transacting makes the network cheaper to use. Two of the leading teams competing in the zkRollup space are Matter Labs and Starkware. Matter labs with zkSync 1 and 2, and StarkWare with StarkEx and StarkNet.

StarkEx is a zkRollup by StarkWare that launched in June 2020 with support for general smart contracts (general here refers to the ability for smart contracts to have the functionality to run any arbitrary logic.) Applications can deploy on StarkEx and harness the scalability of a zkRollup.

To date, StarkEx has processed 42M transactions and a cumulative trading volume of $185B across the four protocols it hosts—those being dYdX, ImmutableX, DeversiFi, and Sorare. The network has demonstrated a rate of over 9,000 TPS for trades and 18,000 TPS for transfers. With Ethereum’s ~15 TPS for trades, it is a ~600x increase in scalability.

Transaction fees are inexpensive to the point where, in practice, they have been abstracted away by protocols on StarkEx. ImmutableX is one such example, with $0 gas fees for both minting and trading NFTs. DiversiFi also features $0 gas fees.

zkSync is a zkRollup by Matter Labs that is built for scalable payments, where users can deposit onto the network and transfer between other zkSync accounts at a fraction of the costs on Ethereum. Since mainnet launch in June 2020, it has processed 4M transactions with transfers fees as low as $0.20. Transactions can be paid for with any supported token (e.g. ETH, DAI, RAI) as well as the token that is being transferred—removing the need to hold a token specifically for paying transaction fees.

In July, zkSync also added functionality for NFTs. All NFTs are pinned to IPFS with minting/trading costs of approximately $0.25.

StarkNet is StarkWare’s next iteration of a zkRollup, with a planned alpha mainnet launch this month. Doing so will make it the first zkRollup to feature general smart contracts on a fully composable network—a feat thought to be years away. Composability refers to the ability for applications to coordinate, build on top of one another, and interconnect.

zkSync2 is the next version of the initial zkSync network, aiming to also feature fully composable smart contracts on a zkRollup. The testnet for zkSync2 launched in October with Curve Finance as the initial testnet application. ZkSync2 has also introduced a zkEVM testnet—the first of its kind. A zkEVM is a virtual machine that simulates an environment like Ethereum, allowing Ethereum smart contracts to be deployed on a zkRollup. The zkEVM testnet was first introduced with UniSync, a fork of Uniswap V2, to demonstrate its functionality.

Phase 2 plans for composable smart contracts, which is expected to release on mainnet sometime in the next few months. Alongside it, a new programming language, Zinc, will be natively supported, as will Solidity. Phase 3 introduces privacy, unlocking the other notable feature of zkRollups. This will be done at a time when zk proofs won’t add significant overhead to the system.

Ultimately, be on the lookout for the mainnet releases of both StarkNet and zkSync 2 as this is the future of blockchain scaling as we know it.”

See Also: StarkNet Alpha 4 Release

“As the Layer 2 ecosystem evolves and DAI liquidity grows within these domains, it will become important for users to be able to move DAI between them in a trustless manner. This initiative to Wormhole DAI across Layer 2 ecosystems, starting with Optimism and Arbitrum, will become an integral feature of the fungibility of Layer 2 DAI.

Our proposed design is fully trustless and allows system participants to bridge virtually unlimited liquidity via the instantaneous minting of DAI on the destination domain. This means no longer being at the mercy of a counterparty having available liquidity.

Maker Wormhole is a generalized version of Fast Withdrawals and that it allows DAI transfers across Layer 2 domains. By taking this approach we will be able to seamlessly deploy Maker Wormhole to any L2 after MCD becomes available on that chain.”

See Also: Introducing Aave Arc

“El Salvador, the only country in which bitcoin is a legal tender, is going to build an entire city based on the largest cryptocurrency, President Nayib Bukele told a raucous crowd in a Saturday night presentation at Bitcoin Week in El Salvador.

According to Bukele, Bitcoin City will be a full-fledged metropolis with residential and commercial areas, restaurants, an airport as well as a port and rail service. The city will be laid out in a circle (like a coin) and in the city center will be a plaza that will be host to a huge bitcoin symbol. The city will have no income, property, capital gains or payroll taxes. The government plans on locating a power plant by the volcano to provide energy for both the city and bitcoin mining.

Bukele also said El Salvador plans on issuing $1 billion US “bitcoin bond,” a tokenized financial instrument developed by Blockstream, on the Liquid Network. Of that amount, $500 million will be used to help construct needed energy and bitcoin mining infrastructure and $500 million to buy even more bitcoin.”

SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT allows a new type of signing option when signing a transaction, allowing a user to sign a transaction without adding a specific output. This code change helps with a variety of technical problems, including one facing the Lightning Network.

Covenants are a proposed change to Bitcoin’s code that would restrict where a user can send their funds. For example, a covenant could restrict where the bitcoin can be sent, so that it can only go to a few whitelisted addresses.

CISA proposes allowing signatures in a single transaction to be aggregated. One of the exciting consequences of CISA is that it can make CoinJoins cheaper. Only time will tell if any of these proposals will make it into Bitcoin.

“Placing bets on which candidate for Federal Reserve chair would be best for cryptocurrencies? The answer might disappoint: Both incumbent Jerome Powell and leading alternate Fed Governor Lael Brainard are seen as having roughly the same impact. Both candidates are seen as taking a tough stance on crypto regulation, but they’re also both seen as dovish – possibly beneficial for bitcoin’s inflation narrative.

Both Powell and Brainard are seen as monetary-policy doves – meaning they would likely be more tolerant of inflation, if given a choice – and that might be a positive for bitcoin given the cryptocurrency’s use by many investors as a hedge against rising prices. They also, generally speaking, share a conviction that cryptocurrencies should not be allowed to grow unfettered to the point where they might threaten the existing financial system.

I think certainly the people who want to see a more active Fed and a more hands-on Fed with regards to any rollout of a central bank digital currency would be backing Brainard.”

See Also: Public Banking vs. Open-Source Money: What Omarova for OCC Means

The South Korean people and an increasing number of major companies in the country have begun to embrace and integrate the metaverse into their everyday lives in new and unexpected ways. Metaverse and AI avatars are popping up in several industries including retail shopping, finance and even public services.

GS Shop introduced home shopping via the metaverse on Tuesday by showing the inner workings of a food production facility. It aimed to reassure customers of the quality of the facility and the food that was for sale.

The deployment of virtual reality has also extended to the public sector. The Seoul City government announced on Nov. 6 that it planned to have built its metaverse platform by 2023, where residents can file civil petitions.”

See Also: Boson Protocol seeks to blend physical and digital marketplaces in the Metaverse

While stablecoins backed by non-cash assets might be more prone to losses, that’s not the same as broader financial instability.

Consider the dot-com bust at the beginning of the century, which wiped out $8 trillion in U.S. stock market wealth—an amount more than 50 times bigger than the stablecoin market—but that did not trigger systemic financial uncertainty.

Conversely, a weakening housing market in 2007 turned into a full-blown financial crisis when a $2.2 billion French fund no one had ever heard of, with a third of its assets in highly rated subprime bonds, suspended redemptions and touched off a run on all financial institutions and the highly rated assets they were using as collateral.

This is not to say that Tether or other stablecoins won’t implode one day, especially given their connection to the volatile crypto markets. Indeed, it’s not hard to imagine situations that could leave stablecoins in a bad feedback loop: large crypto price declines, margin calls, hacks or operational failures, and so on.

But if such a situation comes to pass, and a run begins, the last thing we want is stablecoin issuers to be holding large cash deposits, fast-maturing repos, or ties to borrowers who are at the core of the banking system. It’s better for now to leave stablecoins where they are in the crypto realm, rather than to chain these risky assets to the center of financial markets.”

See Also: Tether’s Troubles Could Soon Include Antitrust Law

20 November

“Bitcoin is looking to regain its footing, having reached five-week lows early Friday in a move market participants said was driven by derivatives. The early drop was predominantly driven by traders taking short positions in the perpetual futures market.

We did not see big sellers at all; the move was derivatives driven. Fears of selling pressure appear to be more of a justification than a reason for the market correction, which has the characteristics of a normal breather to a bull run and a healthy reduction of leverage.

Data tracked by Glassnode shows no signs of panic selling by long-term investors. Meanwhile, data shared by IntoTheBlock shows more than 20,000 coins have left centralized exchanges in the past seven days.

The bullish divergence of the hourly chart relative strength index points to downtrend exhaustion and scope for an extended recovery. Resistance is seen at $58,400 followed by $60,000.”

Binance has completed the integration of Arbitrum One mainnet, a scaling solution for the Ethereum network. Users can now deposit ether to their Binance accounts via Arbitrum One.

This is fairly big news because it will enable more people to use Arbitrum without having to touch Ethereum.”

Blockchain offers distinct value propositions: ‘displacing trust with truth; real-time bilateral settlements; real-time servicing; enhanced security; automation; the ability to operate 24/7/365,’ according to the note that looks at themes that will define the future.

The bank sees asset-backed securities (ABS) markets, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS), as having a high potential for disruption from blockchain.

While blockchain is not new, the bank observes, the technology until recently had not developed to a level that was appropriate for banking and financial markets in ‘terms of scale, speed, flexibility and autonomy.

The technology itself appears to have evolved enough since the Ethereum launch in 2015 to meet the critical demands of at least certain segments in the banking and financial markets.”

Hillary Clinton slammed cryptocurrencies on Friday, calling on nation-states to keep a tab on their rise.

One more area that I hope nation-states start paying greater attention to is the rise of cryptocurrency because what looks like a very interesting and somewhat exotic effort to literally mine new coins in order to trade with them has the potential for undermining currencies, for undermining the role of the dollar as the reserve currency, for destabilizing nations, perhaps starting with small ones but going much larger.

Earlier this week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a joint effort by democratic nations to ensure cryptocurrencies do not ‘end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.'”

“Fraud cases involving China’s central bank digital currency have been making headlines. Just this week, police arrested a woman for defrauding RMB 300,000 ($40,000) using the CBDC. Earlier in November, another 11 people were arrested in Henan province for using the digital yuan to launder money for Cambodian gangs.

The use of CBDC to commit fraud undercuts the narrative that digital currencies issued by nation states will be a better, less-prone-to-fraud alternative to crypto.”

“Bidding ended at $43.2 million. According to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday, billionaire hedge fund manager [Citadel CEO] Ken Griffin was able to outmatch the group.

Nonetheless, multiple observers hailed the attempt as a remarkable display of DAOs as coordination tools – the entire project was conceived and executed in under a week in a process that insiders referred to as a company in “hyper-growth.”

Despite the grand ambitions, however, the group fell short and a host of questions remain: Who gets the money raised? What happens to the thwarted governance tokens for the DAO? And, perhaps most importantly, what’s next for what could be the start of a crowdfunding movement?

The ETH donors will be able to claim their funds pro rata (minus gas fees); it’s unclear if the conversion rate at the time of the auction and the time of the return could impact how much of a refund donors receive. Some observers have suggested using a layer 2, or companion, system to ensure smaller donors get a larger cut of their funds back, but details have yet to be released.”

See Also: ConstitutionDAO Lost Auction to Anti-Bitcoin Citadel CEO Ken Griffin

Two paintings from contemporary artist Banksy sold for over $12 million in the first Sotheby’s sale denominated in ETH.

Accepting bids in crypto is part of a larger cryptocurrency-focused push from the auctioneers. In October, Sotheby’s launched “Sotheby’s Metaverse,” a virtual gallery for the live auction event.”

See Also: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Gets in on NFT Craze With Collectible Balloons

“The tbDEX protocol facilitates decentralized networks of exchange between assets by providing a framework for establishing social trust, utilizing decentralized identity (DID) and verifiable credentials (VCs) to establish the provenance of identity in the real world.

The tbDEX protocol aims to create ubiquitous and accessible on-ramps and off-ramps that allow the average individual to benefit from crypto innovation. You can think about this as a decentralize[d] exchange for fiat.”

19 November

“The largest cryptocurrency by market value was down 4.2% over the past 24 hours to around $57,800, after failing to sustain an all-time high around $69,000 last week. If further declines materialized, the next level of price support is seen around $53,000, which could then stabilize the pullback.

For bitcoin, upside momentum continues to slow on the daily price chart, suggesting continued profit-taking among buyers. And the relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart is not yet oversold, which provides scope for further downside in BTC over the short-term.”

See Also: Traders say Bitcoin’s drop to $57K is an ‘attractive entry’ for hodlers

The influential blockchain infrastructure company on Thursday launched an NFT API that it said will bridge assets like CryptoPunks with websites, social media and other non-crypto-native platforms. The new product line makes it easier for developers to integrate NFTs with the wider digital world.

Our goal here is to make NFTs accessible to any developer. Think of it as Web 3 meets Web 2.”

See Also: Investors Offer OpenSea $10B Valuation in New Round: Report

The league said it’s pairing tickets purchased at select games with “Virtual Commemorative Tickets” sent as NFTs to eligible Ticketmaster wallets.

The league also released its first batch of commemorative NFTs through Ticketmaster and Polygon on Thursday, which include 125 different collectibles for each of the league’s 32 teams.”

“Maple Finance, a lending platform that specializes in liquidity pools made up of institutions, announced on Thursday that it launched its first decentralized finance (DeFi) syndicated loan for Alameda Research, the trading firm affiliated with global cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

These loans tend to be denominated in the billions and are spread out among several lenders to mitigate the risk in case the borrower defaults. In this instance, a whitelisted cohort of lenders including CoinShares, Abra and Ascendex have committed $25 million in capital at launch, with planned growth to $1 billion over 12 months.

Maple describes itself as ‘an institutional capital marketplace built on the Ethereum blockchain.’ Unlike “traditional DeFi,” which relies on collateral that can be slashed in the event of underpayment, Maple allows users to issue uncollateralized or under collateralized loans to known entities based on reputation.

What’s really important about it is that it provides firms with a way of directly accessing capital markets and institutional investors so that they can raise debt for themselves. This is completely different to the way things have been done before.”

See Also: Switzerland’s Six Digital Exchange Launches With Blockchain Bond

“A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill to amend the crypto-related provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law earlier this week.

The “Keep Innovation in America Act,” introduced Thursday, would amend the definition of a crypto broker included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bill also seeks to modify a provision of the new law that amends section 6050I in the tax code, as well as address transactions between brokers and non-brokers.

We can fix these poorly constructed standards and ensure they are compatible with how this new technology actually works.

Coin Center, the Blockchain Association, the Crypto Council for Innovation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Taxpayers Union, the Association for Digital Asset Markets, Americans for Tax Reform and the Chamber of Digital Commerce all released statements supporting Thursday’s bill.”

Under the partnership, the magazine will be launching a TIME 100 Companies list for the metaverse, and issuing a weekly newsletter dubbed Into the Metaverse. The deal is completely financed through ether, which TIME will hold on its balance sheet.

The magazine will also host educational resources on the metaverse on a new webpage, called TIME for Learning, which will launch in December.”

“The first coveted Polkadot parachain slot was won by decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Acala after days of jockeying for first place with Moonbeam, an Ethereum compatibility layer.

This opening batch of five Polkadot parachains will be auctioned off by mid-December and then all the projects will go live simultaneously on Dec. 17.”

“The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation Unit (CI) unit seized $3.5 billion in cryptocurrency during fiscal 2021, which accounted for 93% of its criminal investigation seizures, according to the agency’s annual criminal investigation report published Thursday.

The seizures included $1 billion in crypto tied to the darknet market Silk Road. That action is the largest crypto seizure ever by the U.S. government.”