31 March

“Layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution, Polygon (MATIC) has announced the establishment of Polygon ID, an identity platform designed to complement the decentralized finance and decentralized application (DApp) economies by providing users greater privacy and sovereignty within Web3.

Professed to be the first identity platform of its kind to adopt cryptographic-based zero-knowledge technology, the platform will utilize Iden3’s Circom ZK toolkit, including zk-SNARK cryptography for the generation and the zk-Proof Request Language protocol to verify the authenticity of the proposed claim.

Users of the platform can provide proof of their identity when engaging in activities such as initial coin offerings, token airdrops, decentralized exchange (DEX) trading, or those in which strict Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements apply.

With the capacity to introduce a Sybil-resistant one-vote-per-person mechanism, the use-cases can also expand beyond the DeFi sector, to the metaverse, gamify and nonfungible token (NFT) industries whereby asset authenticity is verified via on-chain, privatized claims.

The team is expecting to deploy the public version of the ID wallet app during Q2 of 2022, alongside features such as ‘Claims Issuance, Private Authentication, zk-Proof Generation and Verification.‘”

See Also: A16z, FTX and Sequoia Lead $135M Round for LayerZero at $1B Valuation

“Starting with iPhone users, MetaMask is adding integrations with payment gateways on its mobile wallet to increase options for buying crypto.

MetaMask uses two payment gateways Wyre and Transak to support debit card and credit card transactions. Users can now use their Visas and Mastercards stored in Apple Pay to buy ETH and deposit a daily maximum of $400 into their wallets.

Via Transak, it‘s possible to buy the stablecoins Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC) and Dai (DAI) on the Ethereum mainnet in MetaMask. The latest update allows users to make bank transfers and use credit/debit cards to buy crypto using over 60 global currencies.”

See Also: Kraken users report Bitcoin Lightning Network availability

Ethereum’s staking derivatives offer many of the qualities institutions look for in investments. While traders have been excited at the forthcoming ETH supply shock for years (not to mention the beefier staking returns, which by some estimates might exceed 10%), institutions are starting to get the message as well.

In March, staking services provider Staked introduced a staked ETH trust aiming for 8% returns. Likewise, in June, Switzerland-based Sygnum Bank introduced institutional staking services for its clients. Even Goldman Sachs is getting in on the action.

The crypto market can be intimidating for institutional investors because it so rarely seems tethered to any fundamentals – the mess of dogcoins, memecoins and outright scams would put off any self-respecting suit. But trackable returns, provable scarcity and technological infrastructure – these are qualities an investment desk can appreciate.

Over 10 million ETH worth $34 billion is currently staked in the ETH 2.0 contract. As the buzz approaching the Merge grows louder, we expect to see more headlines about major financial entities getting involved as well.”

“We are committed to ensuring that all of the drained funds are recovered or reimbursed, and we are continuing conversations with our stakeholders to determine the best course of action.

The stolen funds included the deposits of players and speculators, plus revenue from the Axie Infinity Treasury. AXS is down 7% over the last 24 hours and has declined over 20% since the announcement of the hack.”

See Also: So You’ve Stolen $600M. Now What?

30 March

The gaming-focused Ronin Network announced Tuesday a loss of 173,600 ether and 25.5 million in USDC, currently worth in excess of $625 million. It may be the largest exploit in DeFi history.

An attacker ‘used hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals‘ from the Ronin bridge across two transactions. While the Ronin sidechain has nine validators requiring five signatures for withdrawals, the blog post notes that ‘the attacker found a backdoor through our gas-free RPC node.’

The Ronin Bridge and the Katana automated market maker (AMM) have both been paused while investigations are ongoing. The price of RON, the native token of the Ronin network, is down 27% on the news.

We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice.”

“Thanks to the transparency of Bitcoin, we can watch along as LFG moves UST towards a bitcoin-backed existence.

As of writing, LFG is in the process of raising $3 billion, most of which has already been raised, to buy bitcoin and has purchased almost 28,000 bitcoin, worth ~$1.3 billion. Given the indication that LFG intends to hold more than $10 billion in bitcoin, there is more purchasing that LFG needs to do. Absent any large moves in BTC price, that could mean ~180,000 bitcoin of purchase volume in the coming months.

A dollar stablecoin with provable reserves might be seen by some analysts as an improvement on the current collateralized stablecoins where users need to trust, rather than verify, assets in reserve.”

See Also: Bitcoin Nears 200-Day Average Ahead of Seasonally Bullish Period, Triggers Over $400M in Liquidations

“Pierre Poilievre promises to “unleash” the potential of cryptocurrency like bitcoin and ethereum if he becomes prime minister, and make Canada “the Blockchain capital of the world.”

Poilievre, who is campaigning to become the next federal Conservative leader, said he intended to simplify and streamline rules and taxes to make it easier for Canadians to decide to use cryptocurrency instead of traditional forms of money. He insisted on the importance of decentralizing the power of central banks.

A Poilievre government would welcome this new, decentralized, bottom-up economy and allow people to take control of their money from bankers and politicians. The government is ruining the Canadian dollar, so Canadians should have the freedom to use other money.

Poilievre, who was the finance critic for the Conservatives until recently, once again blamed the Bank of Canada for creating “$400 billion in cash out of thin air” since the start of the pandemic.

The fact that what is called blockchain and crypto has now moved up and is getting the kind of attention now from someone like Pierre to actually make change and craft legislation that fits this new economy, I think that’s very exciting.”

See Also: Dapper Labs, Ether Capital Headline Newly Formed Canadian Web3 Council

The bitcoin (BTC) community is reacting harshly and incredulously to a planned ad campaign by Ripple co-founder and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen and Greenpeace USA that would advocate a code change to reduce the energy use of the largest cryptocurrency by market value.

The campaign aims to change bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which requires vast amounts of energy. Larsen is putting $5 million into the ad campaign, which is dubbed “Change the Code, Not the Climate” and set to roll out over the next month.

The campaign will run ads in leading publications such as the New York Times, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and on Facebook, and some of the ads will take aim at bitcoin’s most famous supporters including Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, Block (SQ) CEO Jack Dorsey and Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson.

The chances of such a measure being implemented from the top down, without widespread consensus, are dubious, however. The Ripple executive and allies at Greenpeace assume that all it takes for a fundamental change to bitcoin’s code is getting 50 firms and core developers on board.

The reaction from bitcoin proponents was swift and harsh.”

“The government of Maharashtra, one of India’s state governments, has started issuing caste certificates over the Polygon blockchain to citizens residing in Etapalli village.

The caste certificate issuance via neutral Web3 platforms aims to target 1.1 million economically challenged residents of the Gadchiroli district, with over 70% representing the tribal population. The verifiable certificates aim to deter forgery efforts by bad actors to falsely claim government-provided benefits for the under privileged.

Various departments within the Maharashtra government including MahaIT, the social justice department, school education departments, the minorities department and NMMC-Mumbai are in the process of upgrading traditional systems to blockchain-based documents/ data storage.”

29 March

“The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is up 15% over the past week, compared with a 16% rise in ether (ETH) and a 25% rise in Solana’s SOL token over the same period. The rally in alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) relative to BTC reflects a greater appetite for risk among crypto investors.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was roughly flat Monday, versus a 6% rise in BTC over the past 24 hours. That suggests the recent rally in bitcoin can be explained by new token accumulation, which is unique to the crypto market. Bitcoin’s recent price bounce appears to be driven by demand in the spot market, which typically occurs around market turning points.

Over the past six days, the Luna Foundation Guard’s (LFG) bitcoin wallet address purchased more than 27,000 BTC worth roughly $1.3 billion. The foundation is delivering on its month-old promise to add BTC as an additional layer of security for UST.”

See Also: Bitcoin Breaks Above $46K, Resistance at $48K-$51K
See Also: Analysts say Bitcoin daily close above $48K opens a clear path to a new all-time high

“A group of U.S. lawmakers says the U.S. Treasury Department may be the right government entity to create a digital dollar – not the Federal Reserve. A new bill introduced Monday would authorize just that.

Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Jesús Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) introduced the “Electronic Currency And Secure Hardware Act” (ECASH Act) to direct the Treasury Secretary to develop and issue an electronic version of the U.S. dollar, with an eye to preserving privacy and anonymity in transactions.

The electronic dollar, as defined in the bill, would be a bearer instrument that people could hold on their phone or a card. The system would be token-based, not account-based, meaning if someone were to lose their phone or card, they would lose the funds. In other words, it would be like losing a wallet with dollar bills in it.

This electronic dollar would be deemed legal tender and be functionally identical to a physical greenback.

We’re proposing to have a genuine cash-like bearer instrument, a token-based system that doesn’t have either a centralized ledger or distributed ledger because it had no ledger whatsoever. It uses secured hardware software and it’s issued by the Treasury.

This form of e-cash would support peer-to-peer transactions, and given the nature of its setup, it would support fully anonymous transactions.

Thus, it would differ from other proposals for a digital dollar, which are based on stablecoins or other decentralized ledger tools. Blockchains are designed to track every transaction, and any transaction could be therefore tied to the sender and receiver.”

See Also: US Congress agency recommends 4 key policy options for blockchain
See Also: Russian government official calls to legalize mining ‘as soon as possible’

“The proposal would expand the definition of “dealer” to include people and businesses that use automated and algorithmic trading technology to execute trades and provide liquidity in the market. Crypto lawyers have sounded the alarm on Twitter, calling the proposal an ‘all-out shadow attack on decentralized finance.’

While the proposal is, at least ostensibly, aimed at electronic traders of U.S. Treasurys, a footnote buried in the 200-page text says the proposed rule would also apply to digital assets that have been deemed to be securities.

The proposal would bring all automated market makers (AMMs) and liquidity providers with more than $50 million in total assets under management under the SEC’s regulatory umbrella and thus subject to the SEC’s registration requirements – something that would be impossible for many, if not all, decentralized exchanges.

The inclusion of crypto as a single footnote in the massive proposal has been seen by some lawyers as a deliberate attempt to add confusion and uncertainty into the crypto markets.

In a healthy rulemaking process, we wouldn’t have to guess at the SEC’s intent or its underlying goals.”

See Also: European Union Proposes Crackdown on Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets

With the agency set to make a decision by July 6, CEO Michael Sonnenshein would consider suing the agency if the application is rejected.

I think all options are on the table.

A Bitcoin ETF is the holy grail for crypto investing firms as it would come with fewer fees for investors, could easily integrate into retirement portfolios, and would still allow everyday users price exposure to Bitcoin without concerning themselves with custody.”

Bringing non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) to Instagram’s large audience has the potential to supercharge the overall market going mainstream, Deutsche Bank said in a research report on Sunday.

Instagram will simplify the process of buying and selling NFTs, thereby lowering the barriers to entry, the bank said, adding that the platform’s strong global brand recognition will ‘lend itself to legitimatize NFTs, which could serve to erode buying hesitancy across the company’s broader audience.’

Deutsche Bank says the market opportunity for NFTs is very large, with the total addressable market (TAM) estimated to be over $1 trillion.”

See Also: Polygon NFT Game Cross the Ages Raises $12M in Round Backed by Ubisoft, Animoca
See Also: Mark Karpeles announces commemorative NFT drop for Mt. Gox users

The spread between yields on the 30- and five-year government bonds fell under zero for the first time since 2006 – a year before the great financial crisis of 2007-2008. The spread between the 10- and two-year yields, another widely tracked section of the yield curve, was 12 basis points short of inversion at press time.

An inverted yield curve is widely read as a sign of impending economic recession, a significant decline in economic activity that lasts for months or even years. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the yield curve has inverted before each recession since 1955, with the economy taking a hit between six and 24 months following the inversion.

The latest curve inversion perhaps indicates that bond traders are skeptical about the Fed’s ability to control inflation without causing a recession.

The recession hint provided by the latest curve inversion could have bearish implications for bitcoin. While the cryptocurrency hasn’t developed strong links to economic activity yet, it has evolved as a macro asset since the coronavirus crash of March 2020 and tends to move in line with risk assets, mainly technology stocks, which are sensitive to economic cycles.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“Hal Finney received the first-ever Bitcoin transaction. Hal passed from ALS in 2014, but his legacy lives on. In 2010, Finney wrote a message on the famed BitcoinTalk forum that discussed the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the ‘high-powered money’ that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash.’

On March 14, Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, announced UST was going to be backed by a $10 billion reserve of bitcoin (BTC). While Terraform Labs is not exactly a bank, it is issuing its own digital cash to make paying for things easier – and it’s about to be backed by bitcoin. This is a big deal for anyone with a vested interest in the Bitcoin system, even if you vehemently reject altcoins.

If successful, UST could become a dollar stablecoin backed by a completely auditable, transparent and decentralized digital asset. That’s a big deal. You won’t need to trust Do Kwon that the collateral is there, nor an accounting firm that will qualify its assurances with weasel words. You’ll be able to see for yourself on the blockchain.”

“MakerDAO has either implemented or is currently mulling over new updates to help improve the adoption of its stablecoin and also rethink the tokenomics of its native MKR token. The very likely pretext for this wave of changes is to bring DeFi’s original central bank back to the top.

One proposal under discussion is that of turning MKR into a sort of vote-locking token akin to Curve and Yearn’s “ve-” models. This means that to participate in various governance proposals, you would need to stake your MKR token. In exchange, you would receive “stkMKR” and voting rights. More importantly, though, those who stake MKR tokens also would be rewarded with additional MKR (similar to staking or yield farming rewards).

Another update was that of adding stETH-ETH liquidity provision (LP) tokens as collateral to MakerDAO. It’s a particularly interesting inclusion because it also shows how a traditionally conservative (at least for DeFi) project is onboarding a bit more risk than in the past.

The final proposal, and perhaps most controversial, has been that of onboarding more real-world assets (RWAs) as collateral to the Maker protocol. Hexonaut proposed to open the collateral pool to assets like real estate loans or debt financing. This means you could mint DAI using non-crypto things. And there are already protocols built to bridge these two worlds too, including Centrifuge.

With more funds sloshing around, black swan events akin to what happened in March 2020 (when DAI briefly lost its dollar peg) could be better cushioned.”

“Raiden is at a critical juncture. We have completed building the Raiden protocol as it was originally envisioned. Our goal was to provide a scalable payment solution — one optimized for a world in which everyday purchases can be made using ERC20 tokens.

Today, multiple bull-and-bear cycles, ICOs, DeFi, NFTs, Gaming, L2s, the Merge, and regulatory changes have changed the Ethereum ecosystem in ways we could not have foreseen 7 years ago. While we are seeing plenty of use cases on Ethereum, everyday payments using ERC20 tokens is not one of them. The demand for a scalable payment solution is way lower than we and the Ethereum community originally anticipated.

[Further], since we started the project in 2015, new scaling technologies (e.g. rollups) with different trade-offs have emerged. Even in many payment use cases, rollups offer a superior scaling solution.

To overcome these obstacles, we are currently reworking Raiden Network to sit on top of Ethereum rollups, which will allow users to set up a Raiden payment channel at a fraction of the gas fees needed to do so on Mainnet. This adaptation will reduce the setup costs to acceptable levels and make Raiden a viable option for projects looking to implement or build on payment networks.

Although rollups have many benefits, payment channel networks like Raiden have some unique properties regarding latency, transfer cost, and decentralization. In theory, the Raiden Network still offers one of the very best trustless foundations for payment products with massive scale. The challenge moving forward is to discover the niches in which these characteristics are crucial, thus creating new opportunities for the Raiden Network to thrive.”

“One of the world’s oldest living cultures is meeting the world’s newest emerging tech as Indigenous Australians begin to take part in the Metaverse.

The virtual world does impact the physical world. The Metaverse mirrors the earth, using the earth as the mirror in the gaming realm. The virtual world plays out features from the physical world. During creation, the ancestors created sacred worlds between the land and the living. From birth, we are taught to connect with the physical and spiritual worlds, past the present, future — The Metaverse is a future realm.

Having a cultural embassy for the group is about using the future to re-write the past. It’s about leapfrogging the political process and making the cultural process part of that negotiation from the beginning. Crypto allows us to be part of the conversation again.

The project is currently in the design phase with a hexagonal dome cultural embassy providing “multiple doors for many conversations.” They have received offers to donate some plots of land and hope to have virtual embassies on Metaverse platforms like Decentraland and the Sandbox.

In November 2021, Barbados launched its embassy in the Metaverse. In February, another Indigenous Australian group, the Sovereign Yidindji Government in Queensland — a first for the country — launched its own digital currency as a way to further foster self-sovereignty that it has claimed since 2014.”

“Though I believe Modular Chains like Ethereum that maximize decentralization and are backed by strong monetary assets will capture the bulk of bankless activity over the long-run, I also think there’s a role to play for networks of sidechains and interlinked but independent appchains.

Cosmos is an internet of blockchains. Cosmos functions as a decentralized network of interoperable and independent blockchains. The project uses the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) to allow these blockchains to readily pass tokens and data among each other.

The project is a framework for building custom-tailored independent blockchains that are interoperable with all other Cosmos-powered blockchains. Dapps don’t directly deploy onto Cosmos as they would on an L1 per se, rather they deploy as “appchains” — i.e. application-specific blockchains — or onto blockchains that have been deployed via the Cosmos framework. These chains are underpinned by the Tendermint Core consensus engine.

The first blockchain deployed on the Cosmos network is the Cosmos Hub. Cosmos Hub is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain secured and governed by ATOM token holders. So while the Cosmos network is best understood as an L0, Cosmos Hub is more directly comparable to, and usable as, L1 infrastructure.

Note that Cosmos Hub isn’t compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) like many other alt-L1s are, so creating a Cosmos Hub wallet isn’t as simple as, say, adding a new network to your MetaMask.”

See Also: Hottest tokens in the Cosmos Ecosystem

“Like the EU’s framework for crypto assets that is currently making its way through the legislative process, the U.K.’s regulatory efforts may also focus heavily on stablecoins.”

The rollout of this initiative will place Rio de Janeiro as the first Brazilian city to make BTC payments mainstream. Supporting this cause led by the Brazilian Mayor Eduardo Paes, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced to open a new office in the region.

We will stimulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies by integrating them into the payment of taxes. In the future, this can be expanded to services such as taxi races, for example.”

26 March

The future of finance is being built on Ethereum’s rails. Banks who have entered the digital arena have done so using Ethereum, most notably JP Morgan on its Onyx platform. Public sector trials for bond issuance were also executed using Ethereum, such as the one completed by the European Investment Bank. The preference for Ethereum came despite periods of high transaction fees and a long list of challenging upgrades. With the core of those upgrades close to completion, the focus will turn to scale.

Ethereum achieved a milestone with last week’s Merge. It is “only” public testing, but transactions are being validated for the first time. It is working. Scaling solutions to increase throughput and lower costs will accelerate innovation. Investor behavior is a vote of confidence – ether (ETH) is being valued as a reserve asset with a high store of value.

The successful start of the Merge has increased demand to stake ether (ETH). After the launch of public testing, ether staked on March 15 jumped by the second-highest one-day volume ever. Total ether staked is more than 2,000% the target needed to start the process as first determined in November 2021.

Ether is being transformed into a low-risk bond asset and it is cheap. The yield from staking generates a real cash flow that is paid in ether. Additional value that is extracted by miners will redirect to staking investors, translating to yields of around 10% in the initial instance. It is equivalent to a perpetual bond. It transforms ether into the low-risk asset inside of its ecosystem, like a banking reserve. A doubling in the value of ether to $6,000 is a low bar.

It is increasingly clear that the future of finance runs on Ethereum with ETH as a reserve asset to the ecosystem. It was worth the wait.”

See Also: Eth2 Development Update #34

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged crypto’s growing role in American finance during an interview Friday, and said she will work towards creating a regulatory environment conducive towards continued innovation.

There have been benefits from crypto and we recognize that innovation in the payment system can be a healthy thing. We would like to come out eventually with recommendations that will create a regulatory environment [for] innovation.

Crypto has obviously grown by leaps and bounds, and it’s now playing a significant role … in [the] investment decisions of lots of Americans.

Yellen’s more constructive comments follow the Biden Administration’s executive order earlier this month calling for a “whole-of-government” approach to regulating crypto.”

Members of the European Parliament are likely to vote to end the anonymity of even small crypto payments at a committee meeting to be held next week. Lawmakers at the Economic Affairs Committee are also poised to include crypto transfers to self-hosted or private wallets (also referred to as unhosted wallets) in anti-money laundering (AML) checks.

Under existing laws, payees need to be identified for any bank transfer over EUR 1,000 ($1,099). The bloc’s national governments have already said they want to scrap that lower limit when extending the rules to crypto assets – on the basis that large transactions could just be broken up into smaller ones.

Parliament documents suggest lawmakers will also tell crypto service providers to refrain from making or aiding any transfers deemed at high risk of money laundering or crime. That will in practice make it harder, or perhaps impossible, to make transfers from the EU to anywhere deemed by the bloc as a tax haven, such as the U.S. and U.K. Virgin Islands, Turkey, Russia or Hong Kong, or places like Iran and the Cayman Islands seen as dirty-money hotspots.”

See Also: EU Passes Law to ‘Rein In’ Big Tech’s Domination Over Smaller Players

Indians will begin paying a capital gains tax of 30% on crypto transactions in just one week after Parliament passed a controversial tax proposal on Friday, sparking uproar and disappointment among those in the country’s crypto industry.

In addition to the capital gains tax, Indians buying or selling crypto will have to pay a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS), as well as taxes on crypto gifts, with no ability to take deductions for losses.

More than 20 members of the lower house of Parliament reacted strongly to the bill, with several members of Parliament saying that the crypto taxes will “finish the industry.” India’s crypto industry was overwhelming in its response, calling the passing of the bill without favorable amendments ‘one that will hamper the overall growth of the industry.’

This is not conducive for the government or the crypto ecosystem of India, it is poised to do more harm than good. This can result in cascading participation on Indian exchanges and lead to a rise in capital outflow to foreign exchanges.

We hope that in the subsequent years the crypto industry gets treated like other investment-related industries.”

Coinbase will soon require its customers in Canada, Japan and Singapore who send cryptocurrency to another financial institution or exchange to provide the name, address and in the case of Japan, the destination wallet of the recipient.

The changes will take effect in early April in order to comply with local travel rules in those places. The move does not seem to be going over well with Coinbase customers in those countries.”

See Also: Korean crypto exchanges are now in compliance with the Travel Rule

“Decentraland kicked off Metaverse Fashion Week: a combination of high-end designers and wearables vendors flaunting non-fungible token (NFT) collections in the blockchain-based virtual world.

Brands such as Estée Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana and Forever 21 are all participating in the virtual fashion event. Many spent weeks laying claim to metaverse-ready trademarks in what now appears to have been a preemptive brand protection strategy ahead of their NFT premiere.

Fashion shows, galleries and brand-hosted panels will pop up across a newly-developed corner of Decentraland called Fashion District through March 27. Virtual real estate company Metaverse Group purchased the 6,000-square-foot plot last November for a record $2.4 million.”

The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine is set to launch the MetaHistory NFT Museum, a blockchain-based chronicle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The museum will showcase non-fungible tokens (NFT) in the form of digital art paired with written reflections. The first drop could come as soon as Tuesday.

Each NFT will sell for 0.15 ETH, and all profits from the initial sale will go to the Ministry of Digital Transformation’s wallet. The funds will be distributed to humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine.

A key feature of storing data on the blockchain is immutability. Minting the artwork in the form of NFTs will help preserve it, while also raising money for the Ukrainian cause.”

“The prime minister of Vanuatu has officially given the green light to Satoshi Island.

Satoshi Island is a space in which crypto enthusiasts plan to reside — not visit. Community members will be living in sustainably-built homes in a community organized by decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, where ownership is represented by NFTs.

Many of the past crypto megaprojects, from Akon City in Senegal to CryptoLand in Fiji, have failed.”

25 March

Russia, sanctioned because of its invasion of Ukraine, can sell gas to the West for rubles and gold, and to “friendly” countries such as China or Turkey for either national currency or bitcoins, said Duma deputy Pavel Zavalny.

If they want to buy, let them pay either in hard currency, and this is gold for us, or pay as it is convenient for us. The set of currencies can be different, and this is normal practice, [so] you can also trade bitcoins.”

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock (BLK), has confirmed that the world’s largest asset manager is exploring how to serve clients with digital currencies.

Fink cited increasing interest from clients around digital currencies in a letter to shareholders Thursday. Fink also wrote that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will push countries to reassess currency dependencies and look to means of payments that can bring down the costs of cross-border transactions.

A global digital payment system, thoughtfully designed, can enhance the settlement of international transactions while reducing the risk of money laundering and corruption. Digital currencies can also help bring down costs of cross-border payments, for example when expatriate workers send earnings back to their families.”

“Helping the mood for the bulls was that Pavel Zavalny, chairman of Russia’s congressional energy committee, earlier Thursday suggested bitcoin could work as the country considers hard currency alternatives for oil sales. An analyst from Split Capital took note of not just the price spike following those comments, but a big jump in bitcoin open interest.

GlobalBlock also said that the accumulation of bitcoin by large investors bodes well for the cryptocurrency. That includes Luna Foundation Guard’s plan to purchase $3 billion of bitcoin in the short term and $10 billion long term.

That’s a lot of buy pressure, GlobalBlock said, explaining that it expects seller exhaustion and a run above $45,000 as long as oil prices don’t reach new highs.”

See Also: Bitcoin Strengthens Above $43K; Resistance at $46K-$51K

A proposed change that would require crypto exchanges to register with the SEC may be key to future approvals, two analysts wrote.

Expanding the definition of an exchange could eliminate the agency’s primary objection to the products by bringing cryptocurrency platforms under the SEC’s regulatory framework. Once crypto exchanges are compliant, the SEC’s primary reason for denying spot Bitcoin ETFs would no longer be valid.

The two expect the change to be finalized sometime between November of this year and May of 2023.”

“Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has teamed up with crypto custodian Fireblocks to mint a stablecoin pegged to the Australian dollar.

The bank created the stablecoin for Victor Smorgon Group, a large family office based in Australia, which plans to use it to trade on the Melbourne-based exchange Zerocap. The CEO of Fireblocks said in a statement he expects more banks to follow ANZ’s lead.

An ANZ-issued Australian dollar stablecoin is a first step in enabling our customers to find a safe and secure gateway to the digital economy.

ANZ’s A$DC will initially be marketed toward institutional clients, with retail availability on an Australian crypto exchange coming later. A$DC is currently based on the Ethereum blockchain, but ANZ said it plans to expand it to Hedera and other chains in the near future.”

See Also: ‘Correctly’ Was Wrong: Circle’s Accountant Tweaks Fine Print of USDC Attestation

Global sailing league SailGP – founded by Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison – and the Near Protocol are creating a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to enable fans to be owners of sports teams. Members of the DAO will be able to determine athlete selection, team management and team strategy. The DAO team could join the SailGP lineup as soon as Season 4 in 2023.

We are ushering in a brand-new era of entertainment by combining sports and technology to elevate the fan experience to a level that has never been seen before.”

International securities regulators are setting up a new task force to probe any regulations needed for decentralized finance (DeFi), saying it poses risks and its logic doesn’t add up. In practice, DeFi often involves central actors who retain control, the report said.

The new task force will be chaired by Singapore official Tuang Lee Lim. A better understanding of the market will help show what regulations are needed, IOSCO said.

IOSCO members regulate more than 95% of the world’s securities markets in around 130 jurisdictions, and include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).”

See Also: UK Regulators Say Crypto Adoption Poses Financial Risk, Call for More Oversight
See Also: Synthetix commence debt pool merger to enhance liquidity and staking capabilities

24 March

“We’re thrilled to announce the GameStop NFT Marketplace has taken its first steps to welcome users. And it is built atop Loopring! GameStop, in partnership with Loopring, has the opportunity to cement itself at the forefront of this new paradigm and become the destination for global digital economies.

The new Marketplace built atop Loopring L2, ensures that users receive the strongest digital property rights anchored by Ethereum’s self-custodial security while abstracting away costly gas-fees.

Loopring has built the rails for creators to deliver high performance applications that rival the speeds and scalability of Web2, while also empowering users to receive provable ownership and control over their assets in Web3.

Users can get early access to beta.nft.gamestop.com, to set up your username and profile, make deposits and be prepared for the full launch of the official marketplace coming soon. We believe that today marks an important inflection point for the entire NFT space, and we are excited to be a part of what’s to come.”

See Also: Loopring’s LRC Up 34% on Beta Release of GameStop NFT Marketplace
See Also: Meta Files Trademarks for Crypto Tokens, Wallets, Exchanges

“Joystream seeks to act as a decentralized YouTube. It’s part of a broader crypto movement that aims to empower individual creators over corporations.

Creators can mint their videos as NFTs on the Joystream blockchain, and each channel has its own native token. Consumers can invest in their favorite creator’s success, as well as take profits from their non-fungible token (NFT) sales on the platform.

Giving the stakeholders the tools required to decide, fund and direct the operation and evolution of the system is a much more durable approach, and one which is going to make it much more attractive for developers to build applications on top of Joystream.

Right now it’s preparing to launch a mainnet in Q2 or Q3 of this year. Other decentralized video platforms such as LBRY and DTube are more limited in scope, hosting crypto tipping.”

See Also: NFT Band Debuts With Singer Kiesza on Ellen Degeneres Show

Stock and bond issuance, trading and settlement via blockchain technology will be tested in the European Union under a five-year pilot program approved by the European Parliament in Brussels. It will give EU members the chance to test out new crypto applications that would otherwise be blocked by existing laws governing financial market infrastructure.

It is not only vital to make existing financial legislation fit for digital, but also to show an openness towards new technology that could make financial markets safer and more efficient.”

See Also: UK, US Regulators Call for ‘High Levels’ of Global Collaboration in Overseeing DeFi
See Also: Thailand Bans Crypto as Means of Payment

“I’ve told the state agencies to figure out ways where if a business wants to pay tax in cryptocurrency to Florida, we should be willing to accept that.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, not wanting to lose the rivalry with his state’s neighbor to the north, helped pass a provision allowing Coloradans to pay taxes in crypto by the end of this year. He said the plan is to expand that to other state fees and licenses—though it won’t hold any crypto assets it receives, instead converting them to dollars.”

The perennial debate of whether bitcoin (BTC) is a gold-like haven asset or a risky investment may heat up as the cryptocurrency’s sensitivity to stock markets increases – amid concerns the Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening plans may tip the U.S. economy into recession.

The 90-day correlation between bitcoin, the top cryptocurrency by market value, and Wall Street’s benchmark equity index, the S&P 500, rose to 0.49 on Friday, the highest since October 2020. According to Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading, macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties seem to be keeping bitcoin from drawing store of value bids.

Bitcoin’s correlation to the S&P 500 has only been higher for five days in BTC’s history.”

See Also: Ether Options Shed Bearish Skew for First Time in 2 Months, ETH/BTC Ratio Eyes Big Move

DeFi Dad: How to Farm 10% APY on stETH with Curve, Convex, and Concentrator

23 March

“Bitcoin (BTC) is trading higher a day after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled he’s prepared to raise interest rates more aggressively. Powell put a 50 basis point increase on the table for the coming months, having raised by 25 basis points last week.

1. Fed tightening is priced in

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, markets foresaw the Fed raising rates by 50 basis points in March. Now, traders are factoring in a 50 basis point hike in May. In other words, Powell’s hint of aggressive rate hikes is hardly surprising. If anything, last week’s hawkish Fed meeting and Powell’s comments on Monday confirmed investor expectations and appear to have removed a significant amount of uncertainty from the market.

Investors hate uncertainty more than they hate bad outcomes. The ‘storm before the calm’ had been brewing, and it looks like the storm has finally passed.

2. Recession concerns: a blessing in disguise

Forward-looking markets could be focusing on a recession and the prospect of the Fed returning to expansionary monetary policy to support the economy. According to the Fed Funds futures, interest-rate derivatives traders are pricing a rate cut as early as 2023.

The inversion of the curve signals to investors that the Fed may compromise in the future, so it’s a good sign in part. Once the economy is in trouble, the Fed can only turn back to the road of quantitative easing.”

See Also: Bitcoin Rises Above $42K; Resistance at $46K-$50K

“There’s a “significant risk” that overseas stashes of digital assets could undermine existing requirements to share details of foreign bank accounts, intended to stop tax evasion and illicit finance, the OECD said.

The proposals say crypto providers would have to share their users’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers and details of transactions both between crypto and fiat and between different kinds of digital assets. Exchanges would also have to check the tax residences of new users and would be given 12 months to figure that out for existing clients.

The rules would also apply to both offline “cold” wallets and hot ones, as well as to services like crypto ATMs. Potential new central bank digital currencies and other kinds of electronic money would be included under existing data-swapping rules, under the plans.

The OECD says it will complete the rules based on peoples’ comments and will update the G20 in October.”

The legislation aims to put in place a two-year moratorium on the kind of crypto mining used to secure the Bitcoin network. The bill was put together under the auspices of the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates that New York’s greenhouse gas emissions be cut by 85% by 2050, with net emissions being slashed to zero.

The legislation still requires passage by the entire New York State Assembly and the state’s Senate, and then would need to be signed into law by the governor.”

See Also: Why Some Bitcoin Devs Say Lasers Can Cut Mining’s Energy Costs

“El Salvador has postponed its planned $1 billion bitcoin bond offering due to unfavorable market conditions, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said on Tuesday. The issuance could be postponed to as late as September, Zelaya told Reuters.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the bonds will not be issued by the government of El Salvador, but instead by state-owned thermal energy company La Geo. Further, Americans will not be eligible to buy the paper.”

“Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation and former head of data, blockchain and digital assets at the World Economic Forum, said the Federal Reserve could make a “strong move” in preserving the dollar’s role by introducing a central bank digital currency with wholesale use cases.

American exceptionalism is not something we can cling to anymore — not with the rise of what’s happening in Asia, Africa and around the globe. Innovation is going to flow to where it can thrive the most, and actively trying to block it is going to encourage it to head elsewhere.

These things are going to get built. The question is where do we want them to be geographically located and under what legal, regulatory, and sociocultural systems.”

See Also: Cross-Border CBDC Payments Are ‘Viable,’ Says Report From Central Banks of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa

“Now valued at $4 billion, the company will use the funds to build out its NFT-based metaverse. Metaverse investor Animoca Brands, which made its play-to-earn Benji Bananas game ApeCoin-compatible on March 17, also participated in the round.

Yuga Labs says it plans to use the new funding to build out an NFT-based, ApeCoin-powered gaming metaverse called Otherside.

See Also: A16z Alum Katie Haun Raises $1.5B for 2 New Crypto Venture Funds

“Rep. Sessions today tweeted, ‘Bitcoin mining will play a critical role in rebuilding energy independence in the USA.

Sessions is far from the only Texas politician to hail Bitcoin. Senator Ted Cruz has been increasingly aligning himself with cryptocurrency, while Governor Greg Abbott sees Bitcoin mining as a way to stabilize the state’s largely deregulated power grid.

Texas now has the perfect opportunity to hone its sales pitch beyond the Bitcoin mining firms it’s been courting to a larger public that is still forming an opinion on cryptocurrency. In this line of thinking, there’s no need to worry about the consequences of sanctioning Russia if the U.S. doesn’t need the energy it provides.”

Proof-of-Stake and Our Solar Punk Future – Danny Ryan

See Also: Transcending Individualism & Collectivism – David Hoffman, Erik Voorhees and Kevin Owocki (Video)

22 March

“Last week, Ethereum developers successfully tested the long-awaited merge of the programmable blockchain’s proof-of-work and proof-of-stake chains, dubbed Eth 2.0, which will allow users to hold coins in a cryptocurrency wallet to support network operations in return for newly minted coins. Thus, staking is analogous to passive investing.

According to Kruger, ether staking yields are likely to be in the range of 10% to 15%. Blockchain analytics firm IntoTheBlock expects the yields to be higher than the U.S. consumer price index, which stood at a four-decade high of 7.9% in February. Most traditional investments are currently yielding negative returns when adjusted for inflation. In crypto, the popular bitcoin cash and carry trade now yields -4.9% in real terms.

Through the merge with the proof-of-stake chain, fees previously earned by miners will pass on to being earned by those staking. I am very bullish on ether for the summer as ether staking would offer returns better than real or inflation-adjusted yields in traditional markets after the merge.

With the merge test run completed successfully, researchers expect the mainnet launch to happen by the end of June. Observers foresee increased institutional adoption once the Eth 2.0 upgrade is complete.

Estimates for post-merge yield are at 10% and above. Plus, moving to proof-of-stake means it’s easier for institutions to adopt it since they don’t need to defend the energy consumption associated with bitcoin and proof-of-work coins. [The merge will] reduce energy consumption by 99.95% and eliminate a carbon footprint the size of Finland.

Lastly, the merge is likely to make ether a deflationary, or store-of-value asset.

Following the merge, the amount of ETH issued is projected to drop by 90%.”

“This marks the first OTC crypto transaction by a major bank in the U.S. as Goldman Sachs continues expanding its cryptocurrency offerings, demonstrating the continued maturation and adoption of digital assets by banking institutions.

Last June, Galaxy announced that it would serve as Goldman’s liquidity provider for bitcoin futures block trades on the CME exchange. Earlier this month, Goldman was offering interested clients access to an ether (ETH) fund issued by Galaxy. Galaxy founder and CEO Michael Novogratz worked at Goldman for 11 years.”

See Also: Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Investing in Crypto Fund: Sources

“Dave (DAVE), a publicly traded banking app, has made a strategic partnership with FTX US. FTX US and Dave are currently exploring how to introduce digital asset payments onto Dave’s platform.

Dave, which counts billionaire Mark Cuban among its backers, went public in January through a $4 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III.”

See Also: Gemini receives license to provide electronic money services in Ireland

Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Zahidi Zainul on Monday said the Southeast Asian country should recognize Bitcoin and other crypto assets as legal tender.

Malaysia’s government hasn’t given many signs that it’s considering an El Salvador-style leap into crypto. Like many other countries, it is researching a central bank digital currency. It’s been over six months since El Salvador became the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.”

“According to the proposer and a member of the SushiSwap community, Tangle, the intended foundation will play a key role in limiting the liability for contributors and, as a result, drive Sushi’s future growth. Considering the possibility of risk mitigation and liability limitation via legal clarity for holders and contributors, the proposal received a 100% vote for the implementation of the legal structure.

It’s definitely a must, it’s really the time for Sushi to update itself and to have a legal shield ready for all contributors.

There are several jurisdictions which can be contemplated for forming a DAO entity, but Swiss Association law is currently the leading solution.”

“Crypto mining comes in many shapes and sizes, from mega mines under the blazing Texas sun to small facilities nestled in Italy’s snowy Alps. Reporters traveled across Europe, Asia and North America to capture the diversity of crypto mining farms.

Mining is a little understood industry, in large part because miners tend to be extremely secretive. Security concerns coupled with regulatory uncertainty have made this industry wary of the limelight.”

The Disrupt Weekend

Recommended read.

“Nine years ago, Buterin dreamed up Ethereum as a way to leverage the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin for all sorts of uses beyond currency. Since then, it has emerged as the bedrock layer of what advocates say will be a new, open-source, decentralized internet. Ether, the platform’s native currency, has become the second biggest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, powering a trillion-dollar ecosystem that rivals Visa in terms of the money it moves. Ethereum has brought thousands of unbanked people around the world into financial systems, allowed capital to flow unencumbered across borders, and provided the infrastructure for entrepreneurs to build all sorts of new products, from payment systems to prediction markets, digital swap meets to medical-research hubs.

But even as crypto has soared in value and volume, Buterin has watched the world he created evolve with a mixture of pride and dread.

Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong.

Buterin worries about the dangers to overeager investors, the soaring transaction fees, and the shameless displays of wealth that have come to dominate public perception of crypto.The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling,’ he says, referring to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, an überpopular NFT collection of garish primate cartoons that has become a digital-age status symbol for millionaires including Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton, and which have traded for more than $1 million a pop. ‘There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos.’

Buterin hopes Ethereum will become the launchpad for all sorts of sociopolitical experimentation: fairer voting systems, urban planning, universal basic income, public-works projects. Above all, he wants the platform to be a counterweight to authoritarian governments and to upend Silicon Valley’s stranglehold over our digital lives. But he acknowledges that his vision for the transformative power of Ethereum is at risk of being overtaken by greed.

If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable. And those are often far from what’s actually the best for the world.

I would love to have an ecosystem that has lots of good crazy and bad crazy. Bad crazy is when there’s just huge amounts of money being drained and all it’s doing is subsidizing the hacker industry. Good crazy is when there’s tech work and research and development and public goods coming out of the other end. So there’s this battle. And we have to be intentional, and make sure more of the right things happen.”

“In crypto quarters, DAOs have been called the “most important innovation” and the “future of work”. DAOs, at their essence, enable people on a mass scale to coordinate, invest and work with economic certainty, thanks to the immutable and open-source nature of blockchains.

Today I want to position DAOs within the historical development of the modern capitalist firm to better appreciate what these new social organizations are capable of on a logistical and economic scale.

The weakness of the traditional U-shaped firm stemmed from its concentration of decision-making power in the hands of a few top men, making it too slow and cumbersome to adapt as the firm grew. Managing the firm in one’s home market may have been easy, but proved too difficult in different regions due to different market conditions, supply chains, cultural phenomena, and more.

Over time, this led the U-shaped firm to spontaneously innovate and decentralize into the multidivisional M-shaped structure. This saw corporations entrusting decision-making into lower-level divisions that oversaw different products or geographical areas of the business.

Enabled by blockchains, DAOs are the next iteration in the continued decentralization of the modern capitalist firm.

What sets DAOs apart from all previous organizational forms is their flat, decentralized structures and absence of central planning. DAOs share a treasury and raise equity capital through the issuance of their own token, attracting anonymous investors and workers who believe in its mission.

The decentralized ownership of DAOs lets anyone holding its native token exercise an active vote. Even if not all members vote, the fact that organizational decisions can be publicly accessible and scrutinized by more active members is a dramatic improvement from traditional corporations where decisions are shrouded in secrecy.

The economic marvel of DAOs lies in how it so superbly aligns the incentives between work and reward. Rock pioneered the private limited partnership model that compensated upper management and junior employees with stock options, later becoming synonymous with Silicon Valley’s equity culture. With Fairchild, Rock ensured that key scientists and engineers who were integral to the success of the firm received stock options. This model of “liberation capital” introduced high-powered incentives for workers and unlocked human talent.

DAOs extend this economic logic to every worker. Like gig economy workers, most DAOs offer a flexible “pay for work” model. Unlike gig economy workers, however, DAO workers are paid in native tokens (equity). DAOs, therefore, empower workers with the best of both worlds: flexibility and stakeholdership. This gives them an even further vested interest in seeing the DAO organization grow.

DAOs are still in their nascent stage, but the technological innovation of blockchains upon which it sits promises to solve coordination problems on an unprecedented scale.”

“On Monday, some people (like me) were struck by a brief note published by Zoltan Pozsar, Credit Suisse’s short-term interest rate strategist, about a new world monetary order. Pozsar sees the ‘birth of Bretton Woods III – a new world (monetary) order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West.’

Russia is one of the world’s largest commodities exporters, and because of the sanctions, Russian commodities are less desirable than commodities from other countries. The People’s Bank of China, which has massive amounts of now seizable, U.S.-based inside money, could defensively sell Treasurys to fund the purchase of “subprime” Russian commodities. In addition to giving China control over inflation, such action could lead to commodity shortages and a recession in the West.

This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although Russia has sold U.S. dollar assets for gold the past few years, the foundation of Bretton Woods II has splintered.

Tack on Russia’s partial banning from SWIFT and we could be looking at the beginning of a new monetary regime, a “Bretton Woods III.” Now, we are facing a world where there may be a sharper focus on outside money, like gold and other commodities as countries boost their reserves. Or they may turn to bitcoin (BTC).

Connecting Consumer Goods to NFTs

See Also: How Web3 Can Revitalize (Revolutionize) Journalism (Video)