11 January

“In a blog post Monday, Polygon made some audacious claims about having set new speed and scalability milestones with its “Plonky2″ technology in what may be a possible breakthrough for Ethereum throughput.

Plonky2 is a recursive SNARK that is 100x faster than existing alternatives and natively compatible with Ethereum.

Bjelic claims that one of Polygon Zero’s major breakthroughs is that it can verify complex transactions, such as Ethereum smart contract interactions. Plonky2 achieves the speed and scalability milestones by using a blend of advancements across different academic disciplines.

The team is completing work on the virtual machine for Polygon Zero, which will allow the network to process transactions, as well as other key infrastructure for an eventual launch.”

TP ICAP, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, has started offering clients services in crypto-linked exchange-traded products (ETPs) in another sign of the growing mainstream adoption of digital assets. The firm facilitates transactions between investment banks, hedge funds and other large financial institutions.

The broker is responding to increased demand for digital assets from institutional clients, and it’s not alone. UBS, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are all clearing and settling cryptocurrency ETPs for hedge-fund clients in Europe.

TP ICAP plans to launch the trading of crypto-linked ETPs in the U.S. in the coming months, the broker said. Still, the focus for 2022 is on the roll-out of over-the-counter (OTC) derivative products based on digital assets.”

Global financial markets, stocks and cryptocurrencies took a knock on Jan. 10 after rumors that the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates four times in 2022 circulated and sparked a sell-off and sent the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield briefly above 1.8%.

The Fed’s shifting monetary policy is generating significant challenges for risk-on assets but this was anticipated by analysts at Delphi Digital who noted that the headwinds facing BTC and the crypto market have more to do with “tighter liquidity conditions and heightened market volatility” than with rate hikes.

The shift away from excess liquidity and accommodative monetary conditions is a structural headwind we’ve highlighted in recent months, which now appears to be coming to a head.

Conceivably a double bottom from the September 2020 low, after retracing Q4s move up. Currently trading below the 2d 200 EMA, which has historically been a good buying opportunity.”

See Also: Crypto Traders See $343M of Liquidations as Bitcoin Dips Below $40K

Between Jan. 5 and 6, the hashrate of top mining pools fell by 11% as Kazakhstan’s internet went dark. Today, the loss had narrowed to around 2.2%.

Kazakhstan is the world’s second-largest bitcoin miner. It accounts for about one-fifth of the global total and is surpassed only by the U.S. The country has been rocked by civil unrest in the past week, set off by a spike in electricity prices.

The situation is almost resolved and crypto mining data centers are back.

Internet watchdog NetBlocks said last week that the fact that multiple providers lost connectivity simultaneously “indicates a centralized kill-switch.””

“The former all-pro wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys is tapping oracle platform Chainlink to bring “dynamic” NFTs to Personal Corner, a platform Bryant founded to help athletes build virtual brands.

Dynamic NFTs use Chainlink data feeds to change their appearance, in this case according to player performance. So if a player reached a milestone for touchdowns or receiving yards, for example, the NFT could adapt to reflect the progress.”

See Also: Associated Press Launching NFT Marketplace for Its Photographs on Polygon
See Also: Disney patents technology for a theme park metaverse

Market-beating fund manager and billionaire Bill Miller is so bullish on bitcoin that it and investments tied closely to the crypto now represent 50% of his personal assets. Miller, who gained fame for beating the S&P 500 index for a record-breaking 15 years in a row from 1991-2005 as a fund manager at Legg Mason, has previously invested heavily in bitcoin in funds that he managed, but his revelation about his personal portfolio was new.

Miller said he thinks bitcoin is best thought of as “digital gold” with a strictly limited supply and that he’s only recently allowed himself to be called a “bitcoin bull” rather than just a “bitcoin observer” because he feels that it’s now developed into a game-changing technology.

I think the average investor should ask himself or herself, what do you have in your portfolio that has that kind of track record – number one, is very, very under-penetrated; can provide a service of insurance against financial catastrophe that no one else can provide and can go up 10 times or 50 times? The answer is: nothing.”

“The near-$100 billion dollar wealth amassed by CZ (as he is known in crypto circles) doesn’t even factor in his own personal crypto holdings.

CZ’s fortune dwarfs those of many of the crypto industry’s biggest names, including FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (who holds $22.5 billion according to Forbes), and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong (who holds $9.6 billion). Per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, CZ’s wealth even eclipses that of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Outside the world of crypto, CZ’s peers include Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk who boasts an estimated net worth of $263 billion, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, whose net worth is estimated at $188.4 billion.

Coinbase might appear to be the 800-pound gorilla from a U.S. perspective, but Binance is significantly bigger.”

“The test enabled Bank ABC to settle real-time payments to Alba’s counterparts in the United States using JPM Coin, a blockchain-based payments system and stablecoin pegged to the United States dollar.

CBB governor Rasheed Al Maraj said that the trial has been crucial for the government of Bahrain to address and potentially eliminate existing inefficiencies in the traditional cross-border payments industry. The trial could potentially extend to its central bank digital currency development.

The investment bank has been actively promoting its blockchain tech for global use, partnering with Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, to pilot a blockchain payments system. JPMorgan previously provided its Liink blockchain technology to the State Bank of India to reduce transaction costs and improve cross-border payments.”

See Also: UAE regulators pave way for crypto and blockchain adoption, says legal expert