The Disrupt Weekend

Crypto Will Set You Free

“When put to even the mildest of tests in late 2021, the alt-L1 narratives unraveled amazingly fast. Not only are monolithic L1s unsustainable, they will actually never be able to offer the throughput required to begin with — and miss the mark by several orders of magnitude. It’s simply not a question anymore— we need modular execution layers & data availability sampling to scale blockchains. The sooner we recognize and pivot to this, the better the blockchain industry will be for it.

For application-specific chains, ZKRs are the best solution already for most cases. This should be very obvious to anyone who has used dYdX, zkSync, Loopring or Immutable X (though not a rollup). There are some trade-offs, but all that will be plugged in by the end of the year. (See: dYdX V4)

Smart contracts: monolithic L1s have one more year of relevance. The writing’s on the wall, and there’s no escape other than emergency pivoting to the fraud proofs, validity proofs & DA proofs.

Optimistic rollups will scale up faster than ZKRs. A lot of their codebase is already maturing, and once sequencing & upgradeability are decentralized, they’ll be ready for mass adoption. It’s possible by the end of 2022 ORs have sub-cent gas fees, are fully decentralized, and materially the same security and finality as Ethereum, with ample liquidity for fast withdrawals. They’ll continue improving as statelessness & state expiry are implemented over 2023.

ZKRs will continue evolving, maturing, and being battle-tested, optimizing proving times, moving to GPU and finally ASIC provers. Their novel VMs and sequencer nodes will mature and scale up over time too. By the end of 2023, I expect ZKRs to have caught up to and edged out ORs. But ORs will continue to be relevant till 2024/25, by which time I expect most ORs to become ZKRs or at least replace their fraud proof systems with validity proofs.”

“The European Union has “resolved” to isolate Russia from the international financial system, including by blocking some banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the messaging network underpinning global financial transactions.

In blocking Russia from SWIFT, the European Union would block Russian institutions from conducting any interbank transactions with non-Russian entities, effectively cutting it off from the global financial system. Germany is in favor of “targeted and functional” restrictions.

We are working flat out on how to limit the collateral damage of decoupling from SWIFT in such a way that it affects the right people.

The EC also committed to blocking the Russian Central Bank from using its international reserves and preventing Russian oligarchs from buying passports in other nations to reenter the global financial system.”

See Also: “I’m In Shock”: Russians Scramble To Pull Money From ATMs As Bank Runs Begin
See Also: All Hell Breaks Loose As Global Markets Open: Stocks Crash, Oil & Gold Surge
See Also: Russia Central Bank Bans Selling Of Russian Securities By Foreigners

“Maker at its core is not a lending facility. Maker’s main product is the DAI stablecoin. Lending is simply how we control the peg. Instead of competing with products like Aave and Compound, we could instead provide them with privileged access to mint DAI on demand. This would allow Maker to get exposure to part of Aave’s user base. In exchange Aave gets access to stable interest rates. It’s a win-win.

Instead of competing on the retail side of things, Maker could instead delegate minting rights authority to protocols that specialize in particular market segments. The low hanging fruit is the crypto-lending markets, but there is no reason this cannot be attached to real world lending markets such as Maple or others.

This is similar to the relation between commercial and central banks. Central banks provide liquidity to commercial banks which in turn can offer highly specialized services to their customers. It’s not the job of Maker to be the best at everything. We can use the DeFi legos to construct something bigger than the sum of its parts.

Eventually DAI will de-peg from the USD as it becomes competitive as one of the global reserve currencies. This is the end state of Maker I see — a rock solid, credibly neutral foundation to for the world to transact on.”

The official Twitter accounts of the Ukrainian government and Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov provided wallet addresses for donations of bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and the stablecoin tether (USDT). The Ethereum wallet has received just over $3.9 million in donations as of 22:39 UTC. The Bitcoin wallet has received $970,000.

This is not the first instance of using cryptocurrencies to aid Ukrainians in their battle against the Russian invasion. A digital wallet raising funds to support the Ukrainian army has received almost $6 million in bitcoin.”

See Also: New DAO Raises $3 Million in ETH for Ukrainian Army

“Stagflation describes an economy with higher-than-normal inflation and unemployment rates but little to no economic growth. The last time the U.S. economy entered such a state was in the 1970s, when former President Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard.

With bitcoin seen by many digital-asset investors as a hedge against inflation, and by others as a risky asset whose price could fall during a lousy economic stretch, the “S-word” might soon start creeping into the lexicon of the crypto-markets narrative.

Stagflation is a reality. Because of the positive correlation between crypto and the NASDAQ, the stagflation playbook could certainly hurt the crypto markets.

He predicts high demand for Treasury bonds, U.S. dollars, gold, consumer staples and real estate, and he’s bullish on small-cap stocks – companies with a market capitalization below $2 billion – and tech.”

26 February

ECB President Christine Lagarde says it’s “critically important” for the so-called MiCA legislation to be pushed through as soon as possible.

There are always criminal ways to try to circumvent a prohibition, which is why it’s so critically important that MiCA is pushed through as quickly as possible so we have a regulatory framework.

The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation has been worked on for several years to provide a structure for broadly regulating the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. A vote on its passage was supposed to take place on Feb. 28, but was suspended indefinitely today on criticism that wording in the bill could overly restrict or even ban the energy-intensive proof-of-work process that secures the Bitcoin (BTC) network.

While there’s been lots of speculation on how Russia might make use of cryptocurrency networks to assist in evading stringent financial sanctions imposed by the EU and U.S., many legal and blockchain experts aren’t convinced it’s possible.”

See Also: European Parliament Postpones Vote on Crypto Regulations Indefinitely
See Also: Former CFTC Chair Giancarlo on Russian Sanctions, CBDCs and Dollar Hegemony

Major investment bank BNY Mellon is developing a digital asset custody platform that will allow institutional customers to gain crypto exposure. Customers will be able to store Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in BNY Mellon crypto wallets.

BNY Mellon also suggested it will be “the first to enter” the global digital custody market. According to the report, Mellon intends to begin with the United States before expanding worldwide based on demand. The new service, according to the investment bank, is expected to be offered later this year.

BNY Mellon recently partnered up with Chainalysis, a blockchain data and analysis firm, to utilize Chainalysis compliance software within its risk management system.”

“Vladimir Putin is ready to send to Minsk a Russian delegation.

Still, the situation was unstable, especially after Russian forces intensified attacks on Ukraine’s capital.

Some investors expect the rebound in crypto prices to continue because of the spike in volatility. Bitcoin’s one-week implied volatility jumped to an annualized 75% on Thursday, topping the one-, three- and six-month gauges, similar to what occurred after the May 2021 crash. Further, bitcoin’s inverted volatility structure typically precedes price bottoms.”

See Also: Bitcoin whales fuel BTC price comeback as stocks brush off Russia-Ukraine shocks
See Also: US Sanctions Russian President Vladimir Putin

“In the wake of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, crypto users have taken it upon themselves to raise money in support of the beleaguered nation. To that end, decentralized autonomous organizations, better known as DAOs, are spinning up to help those hurt by the invasion.

Political activist and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nadya Tolokonnikova, better known as a founding member of “conceptual protest art group” Pussy Riot, announced Ukraine DAO via Twitter today, alongside Trippy Labs and members of PleasrDAO.

Elliptic reported today that there had been a spike in Bitcoin donations to a pro-military Ukrainian NGO in the last 24 hours. While that organization plans to aid soldiers with weapons and medical aid, Ukraine DAO is using its star power to help the citizens of Ukraine. The drop will consist of 10,000 Ukrainian flag NFTs minted on Ethereum, with all proceeds benefiting the Return Alive Foundation and NGO Proliska.

Our goal is to raise funds to donate to Ukrainian civilian organizations who help those suffering from the war that Putin started in Ukraine.

Creating a DAO is a good way to get international and Web3 attention and give the Ukrainian people a voice. This is exactly what DAOs are for, making change offline in the real world harnessing the power of blockchain.”

“NFT Worlds is a project built on third-party Minecraft servers with a Polygon-based overlay. NFT Worlds gives players a metaverse experience in an existing game, which is big news for Minecraft fans and NFT collectors alike.

NFT Worlds’ blockchain layer on Minecraft will allow players to access Web3 features, such as an online shop where they can buy items for their Minecraft experience using the $WRLD ERC-20 token.

The Defiant: Zero chance Russia will bypass SWIFT using crypto

25 February

“The sanctions announced Thursday include technology export controls to limit Russia’s ability to work on its aerospace, ship-building and other industries; freezing assets belonging to Russia’s largest banks and freezing assets belonging to “Russian elites” and their family members. Biden said Thursday’s sanctions could cut off more than half of Russia’s “high-tech” imports.

The European Union is similarly freezing Russian assets and blocking bank access to European financial markets. Biden added the U.S., EU and other nations will coordinate to try to limit Russia’s ability to transact with euros, dollars, pounds or yen. Biden met with leaders of the G7 earlier in the day.

A U.S. Treasury Department press release said Thursday’s actions would “fundamentally alter” these banks’ ability to conduct operations.

On a daily basis, Russian financial institutions conduct about $46 billion worth of foreign exchange transactions globally, 80% of which are in U.S. dollars. The vast majority of those transactions will now be disrupted.

The U.S. will not attempt to expel Russia from the Swift global messaging network at this time. ‘It’s always an option but it’s not the position the rest of Europe wants to take.’

See Also: Russia to seize retail deposits if sanctions go too far, official warns
See Also: Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Calls Russia Invasion a ‘Crime’

“The National Bank of Ukraine announced a range of resolutions on Thursday in connection with martial law now throughout the country.

Among them, the bank banned the issuance of electronic money and the replenishment of electronic wallets. The orders also suspend the foreign exchange market, limit withdrawals from consumers’ bank accounts and forbid the withdrawal of foreign currency from customer accounts.”

See Also: Tether’s USDT Stablecoin Well Over $1 on Ukrainian Crypto Exchange
See Also: People Are Sending Bitcoin to Aid Ukraine’s Military as Russia Advances

Bitcoin (BTC) had tumbled to about $34,400 in the overnight hours following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but has been gaining ground throughout the day. Those gains have sped up since the Biden press conference. Stocks are in rally mode as well, with the Nasdaq – down nearly 3% at its worst levels – currently up 2.4%.

Bitcoin is paring losses as some investors think the majority of the brunt of the selling is over. The Russia-Ukraine crisis will remain a volatile situation, but most of that risk aversion has been priced in for bitcoin.”

See Also: Bitcoin Stabilizes Amid Geopolitical Uncertainty

“European Union (EU) lawmakers are preparing for inter-institutional discussions on proposed regulations for governing crypto assets, and may be set to ban energy-intensive cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory package up for discussion includes a provision that could limit the use of the consensus mechanism known as proof-of-work (PoW) across the union’s 27 member states.

The provision seeks to prohibit crypto services that rely on environmentally unsustainable consensus mechanisms starting in January 2025. The provision specifically refers to PoW.

EU lawmakers began focusing on energy concerns following an open letter from Swedish regulators in November 2021, which called for a bloc-wide ban on cryptocurrency mining. The call gained momentum, winning support from politicians in Germany, Spain and Norway. Crypto advocates pushed back, saying regulators might be rushing into a ban when regulation would suffice.

Berger, the lawmaker responsible for handling the procedure and content of the MiCA legislative package, said debate on the energy issue has escalated. Berger said he does not feel MiCA is the place for settling technological or energy-related rules, as the package seeks to regulate crypto as assets.

Three-way discussions between the European Commission, Council and Parliament on finalizing MiCA are set to begin at the end of February.”

See Also: China’s Supreme Court Rules Crypto Transactions Constitute ‘Illegal Fundraising’
See Also: BitMEX Founders Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo Plead Guilty to Violating US Law

“zkSync, a protocol responsible for implementing Ethereum scaling platforms, accomplished the unexpected yesterday, announcing the test network release of an Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible Zero-Knowledge rollup (zkEVM) years ahead of schedule.

The new test network is the first implementation of a ZK rollup capable of running the full Ethereum environment and will provide great insight into how capable zero-knowledge technology is at scaling blockchains.

If zkEVM is capable of offering fees similar to other ZK rollups, Ethereum’s scaling issues may be mitigated earlier than expected. Ethereum native applications will be able to manageably port over Solidity-based contracts and offer a full range of products in a cheap fee environment backed by Ethereum’s security. zkEVM will theoretically be able to host the industry’s favorite applications without sacrificing liquidity, decentralization or product offering.”

“Celsius, a crypto lending platform best known for paying out yield considerably higher than bank savings accounts on stablecoin deposits, announced Thursday that it is committing $30 million of wrapped ether (wETH) to Maple Finance’s liquidity pools.

Maple Finance provides liquidity to market makers such as Wintermute and Amber. In turn, Celsius would be able to get exposure to the yield generated by firms like Wintermute and Amber for its vast pools of capital.

The interesting angle is that Celsius is using DeFi to run its lending infrastructure. It’s a big move forward where you have a CeFi lender acknowledging that they need to be in DeFi and turning to Maple to run their infrastructure.

While the pool is starting at $30 million, Powell projects that it could be worth $500 million or even $1 billion after 12 months.”

See Also: Ex-Meta Coders Raising $200M to Bring Diem Blockchain to Life: Sources

24 February

Wealthy Ukrainians, at least those who have not fled the country, are looking to cryptocurrencies as a safe haven for their assets as the Russian-Ukraine conflict heats up. However, there’s a limited supply of Tether’s USDT dollar-linked stablecoins, and that limit has pushed up the exchange rate to a sizable premium.

There is nothing you can do with the cash right now in here. We don’t trust the government. We don’t trust the banking system. We don’t trust the local currency.

Most people who want to hedge with cryptocurrencies exchange cash for USDT, and then convert that to other coins such as bitcoin or ether. The problem is, the USDT supply is limited locally so buyers can’t even purchase it at a 4% premium, he said. The situation is worsened by Ukraine’s local currency devaluation. The hryvnia has lost 6% of its value since Feb. 16.

In the worst-case scenario, the internet and the whole banking system could break down in Ukraine, and crypto could be a safe haven.

The majority of people have nothing else to choose apart from crypto. Those who are already in the crypto world are on the safe side, and many are trying their best to get in, with difficulty.

We’re talking about millions of dollars of cash that wants to go into crypto, but we can’t find people who are willing to do the opposite, sell it.”

See Also: Canada, Russia and Crypto’s Place in the World

Circle has launched a new account service aimed at helping businesses transact in cryptocurrencies — potentially opening the door to wider mainstream adoption of digital assets. The new business-centric Circle Account allows enterprise clients to deposit, withdraw, receive and store cryptocurrencies and have all payments settled in the USDC stablecoin.

Circle’s new account features give businesses the ability to seamlessly integrate crypto payments into their operations and use digital assets as collateral. Account holders can send and receive USDC across eight blockchains, including Ethereum, Algorand, Solana, Stellar, Tron, Hedera, Avalanche and Flow.

Some drivers for USDC growth are increased payment use cases, cross-border transactions and the adoption of assets like USDC as a “flight to safety,” especially in countries where the local currency is suffering from a valuation loss.”

Web 3 browser Opera has integrated decentralized finance (DeFi) trading platform DeversiFi to bring a layer 2 Ethereum wallet to its users. With its DeversiFi integration, Opera aims to enable users to transact on Ethereum’s layer 2 directly, offering them fast transacting at low costs.

Opera for Android will become the first mobile browser with a layer 2 Ethereum wallet. Opera’s “Crypto Browser Project” launched in beta earlier this month as an internet browser with built-in Web 3 integrations.”

See Also: StarkWare Launches Layer 2 Product StarkNet on Ethereum
See Also: Puma registers ENS domain, changes name to Puma.eth on Twitter

This year’s conference stood out due to the sheer amount of actual building that occurred. Full of starry-eyed optimism for the future of Web 3 and crypto, simply put, they came to Denver to BUIDL.

It’s wild right now. There’s so many people building in Web 3 – everyone from the brilliant hackers in a college dorm room to the largest corporations.

Many prominent developers compared the energy of the conference to the early days of Web 2. For many projects, that meant new product launches aimed at integrations or tools that streamlined the development process for engineers.

Skale, an Ethereum scaling solution, announced a $100 million ecosystem fund last Friday. ‘Our hackers are grinding. So far, they’ve made over 20 submissions on Skale.’ Last Thursday, data-querying project The Graph announced a similar $205 million ecosystem fund to support dapp development using its technology.

Launched last week, MetaMask Snaps, available only on the developer build of MetaMask, allows third-party projects, such as Solana or Cosmos, to create their own application programming interfaces (APIs) for for the popular Ethereum wallet.

Beyond Web 3, the buzz focused on interoperability.

Reach is a programming language that allows developers to use a few lines of JavaScript code to write Solidity smart contracts.

Ta’s hackathon submission, Proof of Meditation, is a decentralized application (dapp) that takes a user’s heart rate during meditation sessions to generate unique pixel art NFTs. It won a prize in the “Impact” category.”

See Also: Ren Labs Raises $7.5M for ‘Catalog’ Cross-Chain Exchange

Indira Kempis is pro-Bitcoin. Mexico’s president is not.

The legislator praised Bitcoin’s attributes as an inclusive currency that benefits the unbanked. She said she has been consulting with people knowledgeable in the asset, and now she wants to use her political influence to promote the usability of Bitcoin in all of Mexico. She has been working on a proposal for a crypto-friendly legal framework.

We need bitcoin to be a legal tender in Mexico.

In October, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador clearly stated in a press conference that his administration is not interested in adopting Bitcoin as a means of payment—much less declaring it legal tender. He is instead focused on strengthening the country’s financial system by fighting tax evasion.”

The brand refresh is meant to symbolize a pivot to “a product-first focus.” Tendermint’s prior focus was on developing back-end Cosmos infrastructure.

The team’s new growth strategy involves optimizing the user experience of Ignite’s portfolio manager, Emeris, to better on-board newer users into Cosmos and build its developer platform, Starport, into a tool that enables non-coders to easily churn out blockchains and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Despite the messy breakup of Ignite’s founding team in 2020, the Cosmos ecosystem has enjoyed steady growth over the past year, and Ignite hired 90 new employees in 2021, bringing its total headcount to 120.”

23 February

USDT stablecoin issuer Tether cut its reserves allocation to commercial paper by more than one fifth between September and December last year, dropping from around $30.5 billion to $24.16 billion.

The makeup of Tether’s reserves shifted significantly since its prior report from late September, with cash and bank deposits dropping 42% to 4.187 billion, while its allocation to money market funds increased 200% to $3 billion, and its treasury bills also grew 77.6% to $34.52 billion.

The significant amount of commercial paper backing Tether’s reserves — which hit 65.39% as of May 2021 — sparked criticism from onlookers who have questioned the lack of transparency regarding the origins of the paper and its credibility as an investment. There were also concerns last year Tether may be exposed to the Evergrande crisis via commercial paper holdings, although Tether said this was not the case.

Tether is legally required to disclose its reserves every quarter as part of an $18.5 million court settlement with the Office of the New York Attorney General from February 2021.”

“Bitcoin (BTC) ticked up slightly after U.S. President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia.

Biden said, for the first time, during a press conference Tuesday that he views Russia’s latest move into two separatist regions of Ukraine as an “invasion.” He announced sanctions on Russia that would effectively “cut off western finance,” Bloomberg reported.

The prospect of large-scale sanctions against Russia could be a potential bull run for bitcoin as Russia looks to the crypto market to navigate potential global punishment.”

See Also: Analysts say Bitcoin ‘bottom is in’ as BTC bounces back to $38,000

“The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has bought TORA, a provider of technology for the trading of multiple asset classes including crypto. The acquisition will add digital assets to LSEG’s trading capabilities, the group announced on Tuesday.

The deal opens the door for LSEG to offer crypto or non-fungible token (NFT) trading in the future.

See Also: NY stock exchange owner ICE buys stake in tZero security token platform
See Also: Tokenized Asset Firm Securitize Acquires Stock Transfer Company

Cryptocurrency tied to the Canadian truckers protesting COVID-19 restrictions has been on the move, in defiance of the authorities’ orders to freeze funds, blockchain analysis shows. The situation highlights the limitations of a government’s ability to thwart transactions through decentralized, censorship-resistant systems.

Nearly all of the roughly 20 BTC (about $788,000 U.S. at current exchange rates) sent to the Tallycoin fundraiser is gone from that address. Most of the 30 bitcoin wallets identified by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as being attached to the fundraising have been largely drained as well.

On Feb. 17, Twitter user NobodyCaribou wrote that fundraisers for the Freedom Convoy distributed 14.6 BTC among 90 protestors.

Epic P2P bitcoin wallet airdrop. Team of two, distributed to 90 (ish) truckers over 24 hours. 14.6 btc.

Four small portions of the roughly 20 bitcoin raised – about 0.14 BTC each – ended up at two centralized exchanges, Coinbase and It is not clear whether the funds were cashed out for fiat or frozen at those platforms.”

See Also: Regulator in Canada Warns Crypto Exchanges Not to Promote Self-Custodial Wallets: Report
See Also: Coinbase Wallet extends support to Ledger hardware wallet

“Laura Shin, a cryptocurrency journalist and host of the Unchained Podcast, claimed to have discovered the identity of the individual behind an exploit which drained more than 3.6 million Ether from Germany-based startup’s The DAO in 2016.

According to a Tuesday Bloomberg report, Shin claimed that she had “extremely strong evidence” that Mimo Capital co-founder [and ex-TenX CEO] Toby Hoenisch was responsible for removing more than 3.6 million Ether (ETH) from The DAO in June 2016 — roughly $50 million at the time.

According to Van de Sande, the hacker used crypto exchange Shapeshift to convert the pilfered ETC — following the hard fork — to Bitcoin (BTC). They believe the attacker then use crypto wallet Wasabi to mix the BTC, four “different central exchanges” to further launder the funds, and finally privacy-focused cryptocurrency Grin “for added privacy.”

Chainalysis said it was able to de-mix the crypto transactions and trace the funds to exchanges that later received the tokens in accounts allegedly managed by Hoenisch. The firm added that ‘this is yet another example of evidence preserved on the blockchain forever.’

Had developers not acted to hard fork the network, the original 3.6 million ETH tokens would have been worth more than $9 billion at the time of publication. However, with the ETC price roughly 10% that of ETH, the stolen funds are estimated to be worth roughly $94 million.

I have no pity on Toby Hoenisch, if he is truly the guy. That period was stressful for all of us, we almost saw everything we had build fracture and fall.

I imagine a number of people who have used [Wasabi] for illicit purposes are feeling insecure today. This may get them wondering if blockchain forensics will catch up to them later, even if they use the latest crypto obfuscation techniques today.”

See Also: Former Crypto CEO Denies Responsibility for $11 Billion Ethereum DAO Hack
See Also: Exclusive: Austrian Programmer And Ex Crypto CEO Likely Stole $11 Billion Of Ether (Original Article)

“Singapore-based Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), a nonprofit organization supporting the growth of the Terra ecosystem, has raised $1 billion through the sale of LUNA, the native token of the Terra blockchain. The funding round, which ranks among the largest in crypto history, was led by Jump Crypto and Three Arrows Capital.

The funding will go toward building a bitcoin-denominated foreign-exchange reserve for UST, an algorithmic-based stablecoin in the Terra ecosystem. According to Luna Foundation Guard, the UST Forex Reserve aims to strengthen and protect the peg of the UST stablecoin, which is algorithmic-based.

A decentralized Reserve can provide an additional avenue to maintain the peg in contractionary cycles that reduces the reflexivity of the system.”

22 February

Over 12,000 people came to Denver to participate in the hackathon, attend the talks, meet other like-minded people, and go to parties. It was, by far, the biggest ETH Denver ever.

Here’s my curated list of the talks that I thought were some of the best talks at the conference. You can find ALL of them on the ETH Denver youtube:

  1. Steps to the Digital State & Open AMA – Vitalik Buterin
  2. Web3 in politics and Lobby3 – Andrew Yang
  3. The Off-Chain Internet – Evin McMullen
  4. The Road to Ethereum 2.0 – Panel
  5. Ethereum PoS and Our Solar Punk Future – Danny Ryan
  6. Transcending Individualism and Collectivism – Erik Voorhees and Kevin Owocki
  7. Crypto is Here to Set You Free – David Hoffman
  8. How to Contribute to DAOs – Tracheopteryx”

See Also: ETHDenver Hackathon Finalists Take Aim at Adoption Barriers

“Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, dipped to a two-week low of $37,300 early Monday amid rising tensions in eastern Europe, before stabilizing.

The Kremlin has ruled out the prospect of a dialogue soon between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, an idea proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. [Further], Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, both of which are located in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

The White House responded by promising an executive order banning U.S. citizens from engaging in investment, trade, and finance with the so-called DNR and LNR. The Biden Administration further warned that these measures are but a warm-up for sanctions planned in conjunction with allies in the event of further Russian escalation.

It seems like a full ‘de-risk’ across the board, presumably a flight to cash as it’s hard to find an asset that is actually performing against the current uncertainty. Markets could be very messy if military action actually does transpire.”

See Also: As Bitcoin Dips, Inflation ‘Breakevens’ Offer Hope to Bulls
See Also: Bitcoin Renaissance Likely in H2: Babel Finance

The bill was presented Feb. 18. and is based on the previously approved roadmap drafted by several government bodies, including key law-enforcement agencies.

The bill treats crypto as an investment tool, not a legal tender, and says cryptocurrencies may not be used to pay for goods and services. It also specifies requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges and over-the-counter desks, which must satisfy certain criteria to obtain a license and be included in a dedicated government register. Foreign crypto exchanges must register legal entities in Russia to provide services in the country. Cryptocurrency mining will also be regulated under proposed bill.”

See Also: California lawmaker introduces legislation to accept crypto as payment for govt services

ESPN estimates that the team would sell for $4 billion, which is what the DAO is aiming to raise. The effort is being led by Sean O’Brien, a 10-year veteran of Cisco Systems’ legal department. O’Brien said the DAO will go live this week.

According to O’Brien, the DAO would also incorporate as a cooperative, and participants in the DAO would have a parallel ownership share of the cooperative. Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers team is owned by a community cooperative, first incorporated in 1923 in a structure similar to what the DAO would use to purchase the Denver Broncos.

In 1980, the NFL put in new rules that banned a “decentralized,” community-driven ownership that the Green Bay Packers use. Rules state that ownership must be led by a single person that has at least 30% equity in the team, with minor exceptions for a family ownership structure. There is also a limit of 32 owners for one team, and sales need to be approved by the NFL.”

See Also: FriesDAO scoops up fast food franchises as part of its crypto governance experiment

FTX Gaming will launch gaming tokens, offer NFT support, and is already set to hire software engineers as early as this month.

We can provide all of that white-labeled for the largest gaming companies in the world, and new indie studios that are looking for a turnkey solution.

We are launching FTX Gaming because we see games as an exciting use case for crypto. There are two billion plus gamers in the world who have played with and collected digital items, and can now also own them.”

See Also: Rising Metaverse Game Pairs Ethereum NFTs With Retro 16-Bit Look

“OpenSea said that 17 users were impacted by the Sunday’s phishing attack instead of 32 users that was reported earlier. The attack also no longer appears to be active, as there has been no activity on the malicious contract for over 15 hours.

Users had signed a malicious payload from an attacker, and some of their NFTs were stolen.”

The Disrupt Weekend

See Also: ETHDenver Video Presentations

Nunchuck Wallet Team Responds to Ontario Court Order Requesting Bitcoin Wallet Freeze for Canadian Protestors:

“As the ETHDenver developer conference gets underway, the incubator ConsenSys Mesh will debut details about TreeTrunk, an NFT platform that aims to eliminate the risk of centralized platforms failing to pay royalty payments from secondary sales correctly or on time. TreeTrunk is launching a beta release on the Polygon Mumbai testnet.

According to the company, TreeTrunk has introduced a pioneering smart contract that collects and distributes royalty payments from the secondary sales of NFTs immediately and securely on the blockchain. Current NFT standards may not enforce instant collection or distribution of royalties on a chain to the creator, and less so to both creators and distributors.

This approach, according to Wolpert, offers influencers the opportunity to construct an “NFT family tree” of first- or second-generation NFT and syndicate prints holders who can buy into a “community of inclusion” that generates passive income.

The technique that TreeTrunk uses to create and exchange authorized copies that can prove their relationship to an original NFT is called crypto-lithography. Similar to the lithographic printing process, zero-knowledge cryptography technology ‘shields the original NFT while letting people see, enjoy and sell unique, verifiable prints.’

The TreeTrunk co-founder also emphasized that it was important to the company to improve on the way NFTs handle legal rights and artists control their intellectual property.

It’s no longer a game of guessing what the license agreement terms are, especially on secondary market transactions. Unlike the previous NFT standard, with TreeTrunk the license agreement is embedded in the NFT metadata itself.”

See Also: Harmony launches Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Passport
See Also: ‘The industry will need to have dynamic NFTs,’ says Vivid Labs CEO Halsey Minor

“The Helium Network, a crypto-powered distributed network of long-range wireless hotspots, has amassed over half a million miners across the world in just two years and is expected to cross the 1 million mark in the next six months.

A Helium hotspot is a small device that plugs into a regular electric outlet, taps into existing internet service and extends that Wi-Fi for miles – providing a connection to local devices as well as acting as a node on the network. Hotspot owners are rewarded in cryptocurrency – the HNT tokens – for operating the hotspots.

Helium uses a “burn-and-mint equilibrium” token model, with two units of exchange: HNT and Data Credits (DC). Users wanting to use the network to transfer data use DC, which is set at a fixed rate of $0.00001 per 24 bytes of data. When DC is acquired, HNT is burned — reducing the supply of HNT.

So that’s what might drive appreciation in the price of HNT: Greater usage of the network would theoretically make the tokens scarcer, and thus more valuable. At the current pace of growth, the network is adding 80,000 new hotspots monthly.

People might be underestimating how quickly Helium could take the market share from incumbent wireless carriers over the next few years.

Farrell said that a significant damper for the price right now is the cryptocurrency’s general availability to U.S. investors – possibly introducing the risk of regulatory intervention under applicable securities laws.”

See Also: The Graph (GRT) gains momentum as Web3 becomes the buzzword among techies
See Also: Gnosis (GNO) continues uptrend after vCOW airdrop and rebrand to CoW Protocol

The next edition of Devcon will take place in Bogotá, Colombia at the beautiful Agora Bogotá Convention Center! Agora Bogotá is a newly constructed and state-of-the-art center that we hope will be, by far, the best venue to ever host Devcon.

The Ethereum ecosystem’s preference clearly aligned around a strong demand for an event in Latin America, and a venue capable of welcoming and serving this large and growing gathering. We’re confident that in Bogotá we’ve found both a region and venue capable of accomplishing every goal laid out for this year’s Devcon. Moreover, we’ve found serious potential to grow a significant community presence.

This event represents many things to the many different types of attendees that come together to be there. It is a homecoming for many active participants in the world of Ethereum. It is a large stage on which to present the latest groundbreaking ideas and achievements for the builders that make Ethereum what it is and what it will become. And to all of us, Devcon is an opportunity to bring new faces, places and entire communities into the fold.

In coming posts, we’ll cover more about Devcon 6 ticketing, the city and our recommendations for your stay and for getting around, and more.”

IBM, originally one of the biggest supporters of permissioned blockchains, is now carefully positioning its hardware security and cloud computing capabilities around the safekeeping of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

IBM’s cryptographic key management infrastructure is becoming a complementary technology to a growing list of crypto custody firms such as Hex Trust, Protego Trust, Custodigit, Unbound, Onchain Custodian and most recently, Swiss custody firm Metaco.

Large institutional players entering crypto want bank-grade computing, where a special purpose operating system on adapted security hardware handles and attests to the integrity of everything: deployment of code, execution, maintenance, auditing, etc.

IBM’s main market for its digital asset suite remains the banks that already use its LinuxOne mainframes and who can deploy a digital assets stack that connects to their core banking system without the need for any additional infrastructure.

Thus far, cryptocurrency exchanges have yet to be convinced of the benefits of using IBM technology, despite the reputational damage and substantial losses that could result from collusive attacks and inside jobs that happen periodically in crypto.”

“Kaufman said the bull case for bitcoin is supported by the rise and prominence of decentralized finance (DeFi), which could essentially stifle sanctions altogether.

If sanctions hit Russia and hit Russia heavily, there is no question that they’re going to go into every stablecoin. They’re going to go into bitcoin. This is how they’re going to circumnavigate it.

Quantum Economics analyst Jason Deane agrees that bitcoin remains a viable and valuable avenue in Russia to hedge some of Biden’s threats, but sees any big moves as part of a longer-term scenario.”

“We are actively investigating rumors of an exploit associated with OpenSea related smart contracts. This appears to be a phishing attack originating outside of OpenSea’s website. 32 users thus far have signed a malicious payload from an attacker, and some of their NFTs were stolen.

OpenSea had planned to revise its smart contract (the code governing its trading platform, essentially) by releasing a brand-new contract on Friday. The upgraded contract was intended to ensure old, inactive listings on the platform would eventually expire.

On Twitter, traders shared what they’d initially thought were official OpenSea emails about the migration process from contract A to contract B.”

19 February

“Dan Morehead, CEO and founder of leading blockchain venture fund Pantera Capital, stated that digital assets will be the “best place” to store capital following the potential fallout of interest rate hikes.

Bitcoin and crypto markets have often moved in correlation to trends in the stock market; however, Morehead argued in his Wednesday newsletter that bonds, stocks and real estate will cop the brunt of the Fed‘s “massive policy U-turn” in relation to hiking interest rates.

I think our markets will decouple soon. Investors are going to think: bonds are going to get crushed as the Fed goes from the only buyer on Earth to seller. Rising rates will make equities and real estate less attractive.

So, where does one invest when both stocks and bonds are falling? Blockchain is a very legit place to invest in that world.”

See Also: Bitcoin and Altcoins Dip Amid Russia, Ukraine Uncertainty

The Canadian government’s efforts to choke off the flow of funds to protesting truckers in Canada illustrate why cryptocurrencies exist, Ethereum founder VItalik Buterin said. He described the government’s response as heavy-handed, and crypto as a potential check on such overreach.

If the government is not willing to follow the laws … [and] give people a chance to defend themselves…and they just want to talk to the banks and basically cut out people’s financial livelihoods without due process, that is an example of the sort of thing that decentralized technology is there to make more difficult.

In this way, crypto is not so much a radical technology as a restorative one. ‘It’s not about being lawless. In some ways, it’s about bringing rule of law back.’

This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government invoked rarely used emergency powers in an effort to quash the protests. Banks and other financial service providers were authorized to freeze or suspend accounts associated with the trucker convoy without a court order and were shielded from civil liability for doing so.”

See Also: Crypto community condemns Canada for freezing dissidents’ Bitcoin wallets
See Also: Court Orders Freeze of Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’ Crypto Fundraising

“Lobby3 will prioritize and propose new policy, and aggregate new ideas that need to be top of mind for our leaders.

Participation in the DAO includes ‘community votes, roundtable discussions with policy leaders and exclusive events geared toward building a new community for the Web 3 ecosystem.’

Membership to Lobby3 is achieved via the purchase of general membership tokens, which are available in three tiers ranging in price from 0.07 ETH (about $210 at current prices) to 40 ETH ($1,200). Level 1 offers basic access to the community, while the third, invite-only level offers one-on-one access to Yang and the Lobby3 team.”

See Also: DAO Framework Builder Moloch Launches V3 at ETHDenver
See Also: Syndicate protocol helps create 450 new DAOs in just three weeks

“Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has responded to a letter from lawmakers calling the regulator denying approval of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds “unacceptable.”

In a Tuesday letter from Gensler addressed to Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer, the SEC chair hinted that the regulatory body was no closer to approving a Bitcoin (BTC) spot ETF in the United States capable of preventing “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” by the standards of the Exchange Act. Gensler reiterated his stance of being technology-neutral, but that he would give “careful consideration” to the concerns Emmer raised in November.

See Also: Biden expected to issue executive order on crypto and CBDCs next week: Report

“Bit2Me, a leading Spanish crypto exchange, has obtained approval from the Bank of Spain to be the ‘first provider of services for the exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency and the custody of digital wallets.’

Bit2Me now will be able to provide Spanish-based banks with a white-label service allowing crypto trading on their platforms, adding that it is currently in negotiations with several banks.”

See Also: UAE to Issue Crypto Licenses in Bid to Become Industry Hub: Report

With Interchain Accounts, one blockchain can access the application features of another blockchain, such as staking, voting, swapping tokens, etc. For example, Solana users can interact with protocols in Polygon directly from their Phantom wallets without switching wallets or networks.

Enabling composability in IBC allows innovation in distinct applications to be deployed without needing to upgrade the entire Interchain.”

“Circle, the backer of the USDC stablecoin, said it plans to go public in a deal that values it at $9 billion, twice the level it originally agreed to in July. The company negotiated a new deal with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Concord Acquisition Corp., reflecting improvements in its financial outlook and competitive position

The holding company set up in the original pact will acquire both Concord and Circle to form a new publicly traded business listed on the New York Stock Exchange under CRCL.”

“Quantum key distribution (QKD) utilizes quantum mechanics and cryptography to enable two parties to exchange secure data and detect and defend against third parties attempting to eavesdrop on the exchange.

The technology is seen as a viable defense against potential blockchain hacks that could be conducted by quantum computers in the future. JPMorgan collaborated with Toshiba and Ciena to deploy and test the QKD blockchain.

At this time, QKD is the only solution that has been mathematically proven to defend against a potential quantum computing-based attack, with security guarantees based on the laws of quantum physics.

This work comes at an important time as we continue to prepare for the introduction of production-quality quantum computers, which will change the security landscape of technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

17 February

The Ontario Provincial Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police ordered all regulated financial firms to cease facilitating any transactions from 34 crypto wallets tied to funding trucker-led protests in the country.

Speaking alongside Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said banks can immediately freeze or suspend bank accounts tied to the truckers without a court order and without fear of civil liability.

The federal agencies are investigating cryptocurrency donations supporting the weeks-long protest against Canada’s vaccine mandate. The protests are now deemed illegal under the Emergencies Act invoked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the first time since the law was passed in 1988.

Donors have sent more than 20 BTC to the addresses, worth over $870,000 (CA$1.1 million). The donors turned to cryptocurrencies after the GoFundMe account that had previously received more than $9 million was suspended.”

“The social media giant added bitcoin tips in September. Users can now add their Ethereum wallets to the product as well. Tipping with ETH and ERC-20 tokens (including Ethereum-based stablecoins) will be supported, the company confirmed.

The move follows Twitter’s continued exploration of the Ethereum ecosystem. The company debuted non-fungible token (NFT) verification for paid “Twitter Blue” subscribers last month.

We’re continuing to expand ways to get paid on Twitter which includes more choices for creators and fans who want to use crypto.”

In a Wednesday blog post, crypto services provider Paxos announced the launch of the Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology, or TRUST, with members, including Coinbase, BlockFi, Gemini, Kraken, Robinhood, Circle and Fidelity Digital Asset Services.

The endeavor is aimed at ensuring crypto firms are in compliance with the Travel Rule while also proving ownership of recipients’ crypto addresses, meeting security and privacy requirements, and not centrally storing users’ personal data.

Travel Rule enforcement is simultaneously the biggest milestone and the biggest setback for crypto. It has and will continue to force a level of maturity that will enable the industry to grow into an institutionally accepted asset class. […] It also presents an existential threat for many exchanges and poses potential privacy issues for users.”

“El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin (BTC) as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests. If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on.

If passed, the bill would require the State Department to report on a laundry list of subjects with respect to El Salvador and Bitcoin, including the flow of remittances from the U.S. to El Salvador, bilateral and international efforts to combat transnational illicit activities, and the potential for reduced use by El Salvador of the greenback.

The move quickly drew a partly comic, partly angry response from El Salvador President Nayib Bukele:

OK boomers … You have zero jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don’t try to control something you can’t control.”

See Also: Crypto Could Derail Financial Stability, Global Financial Watchdog Says

When it comes to the scenario of being cut off from SWIFT, which is being reported as part of a sweeping sanctions package under preparation by US and European officials, Siluanov referenced his country being able to withstand it, with plans being readied for a “Fortress Russia” approach:

We expect the country’s financial system to continue to focus inwards as part of the “Fortress Russia” strategy and advance digital and fintech sovereignty.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov reaffirmed his country has “prepared alternatives” which ensure such US sanctions, while yet “unpleasant”, would remain “not fatal”. He assured in an online briefing that Russia will fulfill all settlements.”

See Also: Here’s how much digital yuan is being used at the Olympics, according to the PBoC

Gold-backed tokens are outpacing the overall growth of the crypto market, despite some analysts’ concerns about the reliability of the tokens. Greenspan noted that investors may need to trust that the issuers of the gold-backed tokens are actually buying gold to back them up.

The market capitalization of tether gold (XAUT), the largest gold-backed stablecoin, has increased fourfold since the start of January 2021 to $421.3 million. The second-biggest gold-backed stablecoin, PAX gold (PAXG), has grown fivefold to $378.3 million. On a combined basis, the market cap of the two tokens has increased 360%, versus 150% for all cryptocurrencies.

Gold is seen by many investors in traditional financial markets as a hedge against inflation. Some investors also argue that gold might be a safe haven in times of geopolitical turmoil, so the recent tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine have added to the appeal for bullion.

Commodity-backed tokens are growing in popularity. So far, primarily gold-backed tokens have attracted investment, but other commodities may soon follow.”

See Also: Minutes Show Fed Ready to Take Action, Mentions Crypto and Stablecoin Risks

16 February

“The bill would designate certain stablecoins as “qualified,” making them redeemable on a one-to-one basis for U.S. dollars.

Both bank and non-bank financial institutions would issue them subject to their meeting certain conditions on reserve requirements with cash collateral held in a segregated Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured account.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would also have oversight of stablecoin issuers and issue rules on leverage ratios, auditing requirements, anti-money laundering/know-your-customer compliance and so on.”

“The bill was introduced on Feb. 15 by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), a member of the Blockchain Caucus, and would ban agencies from ‘restricting the use of convertible virtual currency by a person to purchase goods or services for the person’s own use, and other purposes.’

The legislation also prevents agencies from prohibiting users from ‘conducting transactions through a self-hosted wallet.’

Larger institutions are awaiting more regulatory clarity, but a “really substantial wave” of capital is ready to be put to work across the cryptocurrency industry. Vanderwilt said his conversations with investors suggest many are seeing the recent plunge in crypto prices as a buying opportunity.

Compared with estimates of global wealth of around $450 trillion, that means the total market cap of crypto, excluding venture capital, is only about 40 basis points of total global wealth.”

See Also: Bitcoin Soars Past $44K as Ukraine Tensions Lessen
See Also: Berkshire Hathaway Invests $1B in Brazilian Digital Bank Nubank, Reduces Mastercard, Visa Positions

“In a bid to become a global hub for the incorporation of DAOs, The Republic of the Marshall Islands has recognized decentralized autonomous organizations as legal entities, becoming the first sovereign nation to do so.

The new law essentially grants DAOs the same privileges as limited liability corporations (LLC), allowing them corporate personhood and the ability to hold real estate. The islands have several advantages over individual U.S. states as a potential DAO domicile, namely not being subject to U.S. federal laws.

The first DAO putting the new legislation to the test is Admiral DAO, which has registered its company Shipyard Software, a decentralized exchange software developer, under Marshall Island jurisdiction.”

“Notice of a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust as a spot-based ETF has generated a long list of comments with a large majority in approval. Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas observed that 95% [of recent comments] are in favor of the proposed conversion.

The current structure of the closed end fund has led to price of the fund trading at a premium and discount to net asset value which has created arbitrage opportunities for more sophisticated traders to take advantage of unsuspecting retail investors.

Grayscale originally hinted at converting the world’s largest BTC fund into a spot ETF in October. On Feb. 4, the SEC delayed the decision on the conversion of the $37-billion GBTC fund, citing the same familiar concerns regarding manipulation, liquidity and transparency.”

See Also: Fidelity International Debuts Bitcoin ETP in Europe

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to provide an online marketplace for various digital goods including NFTs, cryptocurrencies, digital media and artwork. If the exchange follows up with these plans, it would be competing with the likes of OpenSea and Rarible.

In April, the NYSE minted its first set of NFTs with homages to six hot tech stocks that debuted on the world’s largest bourse.”

“JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S., said it has become the first lender to arrive in the metaverse, having opened a lounge in Decentraland. In January, electronics giant Samsung opened a version of its New York store in Decentraland, and in November Barbados established a metaverse embassy, also in Decentraland.

As well as the unveiling of the Onyx lounge (the name refers to the bank’s suite of permissioned Ethereum-based services), JPMorgan also released a paper exploring how businesses can find opportunities in the metaverse.

There is a lot of client interest to learn more about the metaverse. We highlight what needs to be built next in technology, commercial infrastructure, privacy/identity and workforce, in order to maximize the full potential of our lives in the metaverse.

In time, the virtual real estate market could start seeing services much like in the physical world, including credit, mortgages and rental agreements.”

See Also: Disney Readies Metaverse Push as CEO Calls it ‘Next Great Storytelling Frontier’