21 December

“Wall Street bank JPMorgan Chase has partnered with German industrial group Siemens to develop a blockchain-based system for payments. The infrastructure uses JPMorgan’s blockchain unit Onyx, of which Siemens is the first anchor client.

The system will be used to automatically transfer money (in U.S. dollars for the time being with euros to be supported next year) between Siemens’ own accounts. The application would be geared toward the automation of the various actions required in the recording and verification of payments. The infrastructure will take programmable payments beyond current uses.

This development represents the growing appetite among the world’s major institutions to harness blockchain technology to improve the efficiency and cost of their day-to-day operations.”

“The National Bureau of Economic Research, an American private nonprofit research organization, released a study claiming that 10,000 Bitcoin investors, or 0.01% of all BTC holders, own 5 million BTC, or 27% of all 18.9 million coins in circulation.

The amount of BTC held by the “one percent” is equivalent to approximately $232 billion. The study aims to demonstrate that Bitcoin is not as decentralized as one might think.

Despite having been around for 14 years and the hype it has ratcheted up, it’s still the case that it’s a very concentrated ecosystem.”

Notably bullish flows hit ether’s options market early Monday, indicating budding hope for a recovery rally ahead of the year-end.

Institution-focused over-the-counter (OTC) desk Paradigm saw 18,500 contracts for the $4,400 call option and 14,000 contracts for the $4,200 call option change hands during Asian trading hours. A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the underlying asset. The $4,400 call represents a bet that ether would settle above that level on Dec. 31.

The two trades were traded live and appear to be a large directional bet for a move higher into year-end.

Despite sizeable buying activity in the $4,200 and $4,400 calls, the overall options market still signals caution.”

See Also: Bitcoin, Ether Dip in ‘Bearish Asia Session’ as China Rate Cut Fails to Inspire Risk Buying

“Ignoring the PBOC’s warnings, Chinese companies rushed to register metaverse-related trademarks such as “metaverse satellite” and “metaverse exhibition.” According to the South China Morning Post, more than 1,360 Chinese companies submitted 8,534 trademark applications related to the metaverse.

Most of the companies that applied for trademark registrations are tech firms. Tencent registered almost a hundred metaverse-related trademark applications including “QQ Metaverse,” “QQ Music Metaverse” and “Kings Metaverse.””

“The Mirror Protocol is a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to create and trade “mirrored assets,” or mAssets, that “mirror” the price of stocks – including major stocks traded on U.S. exchanges. It was launched last December.

On May 7, less than five months after the launch of the Mirror Protocol, the SEC opened an investigation to determine whether Terraform Labs was in violation of federal securities laws by allowing synthetic stocks to be minted and sold on its platform.

On Oct. 22, Kwon and Terraform Labs filed a civil lawsuit in New York against the SEC – a highly unusual move, as suits against the SEC are rare – alleging the SEC improperly served the two Sept. 20 subpoenas. It also claims that the SEC does not have proper jurisdiction over either Kwon or Terraform Labs, and asked the court to quash the subpoenas and end the investigation.

The SEC has until Friday, Dec. 24, to respond to Kwon’s motion of opposition. Separately, the SEC must respond to Kwon and Terraform Labs’ civil suit by Dec. 27.

The SEC’s investigation of the Mirror Protocol is just one in a sea of similar investigations the U.S. regulator is conducting against crypto companies in an attempt to sniff out scams and regulate the booming crypto industry. The lack of regulatory clarity has been an issue for both crypto companies, which struggle to know what the rules are and what they can do legally, and regulators, such as the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that are in the midst of a power struggle for control over the regulation of the industry.”