29 April

“The global investment bank says it is looking into NFTs in the context of financial instruments because that is where the power is.

We are actually exploring NFTs in the context of financial instruments, and actually there the power is actually quite powerful.”

See Also: Goldman Sachs Makes Its First Bitcoin-Backed Loan: Report
See Also: Propy Teams With Abra to Offer Property Purchases Backed by Crypto

“Panama’s legislature on Thursday passed a bill aimed at making the country a favorable locale for crypto business.

The bill doesn’t allow for any crypto to become legal tender, but makes possible free use of crypto as a means of payment for any transaction. Additionally, the law treats crypto assets as foreign-source income, which in accordance with Panama’s territorial taxation system, means no taxes on capital gains.

Panama has no currency per its constitution, but has officially been on the U.S. dollar for more than a century.

We can’t just establish bitcoin because that will be unconstitutional.”

See Also: Indian Crypto Exchanges’ Trading Volume Continues to Dive Following New Tax Law; Cryptos Higher

“The Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2022 (DCEA), introduced Thursday would create a definition for “digital commodity” and allow the CFTC to oversee companies issuing or letting people trade these types of tokens, while having the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continue to oversee tokens that fall under U.S. securities laws.

The term ‘digital commodity’ means any form of fungible intangible personal property that can be exclusively possessed and transferred person to person without necessary reliance on an intermediary.

The definition would not include any equity or debt interests, or securities. These digital commodities could only be sold on a CFTC-registered exchange, which would have to abide by certain requirements which include holding customers’ crypto in qualified custodians, safeguarding customer assets and prevent commingling customer and corporate funds.”

“The TON Foundation has added crypto payments to Telegram, allowing its 550 million users to send and receive toncoin within the messaging app. While only toncoin (TON) can be sent within the app, users can also buy bitcoin (BTC) through the “@wallet” bot.

The aim is to make sending toncoin feel like sending a text message. We anticipate that this functionality will extend into consumer to business payments, so that people can easily acquire goods and services by sending toncoin.”

“Bitcoin (BTC) traded higher for the second day as the yen and euro tanked against the dollar and a gauge of foreign exchange (FX) market volatility hit a two-year high. The Japanese yen slipped to 130.80 per U.S. dollar, the lowest in 20 years. The currency has fallen more than 10% in seven weeks.

Sharp currency depreciation imports inflation and often has domestic investors pouring money into the perceived store of value assets like bitcoin and gold. Bitcoin has recently been drawing a premium in Japanese yen markets. Still, it may be too early to say that cryptocurrency is the preferred safe haven of investors exposed to the yen’s volatility.

Bitcoin traded at a consistent premium on Japanese markets since the start of April. However, BTC-JPY trade volumes remained low.”

See Also: Bitcoin is 40%+ down from its ATH, but on-chain analysts say it’s ‘starting to bottom out’

Frenzied buying of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for three- and four-digit Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains has caused daily trade volume to surpass that of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

One of the largest sales of all time has also taken place, with the 555.eth NFT being purchased for $158,000 worth of ether (ETH). Owners of ENS domains containing four digits or fewer gain entry into an elusive private Discord channel dubbed the 10kclub.

The current floor price of three-digit domains is 6.5 ETH ($18,850), while that for four-digit domains is rapidly approaching 0.5 ETH ($1,450).”

See Also: Argent Raises $40M to Make Crypto Wallets Easier to Use
See Also: DeFi Trading Platform Hashflow Introduces Bridgeless Cross-Chain Swaps

28 April

Confirming rumors that had been around for a few days, the Central African Republic has become the second nation in the world to adopt bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. The legislation established a legal and regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, and made bitcoin legal tender alongside the existing CFA franc.

There’s a common narrative that sub-Saharan African countries are often one step behind when it comes to adapting to new technology. This time, we can actually say that our country is one step ahead.

The Central African Republic has a population of 4.83 million, around 11% of which have access to the internet.”

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has listed its iShares exchange-traded fund (ETF) to allow investors to gain exposure to the blockchain and cryptocurrency market. The ETF comes soon after brokerage firm Fidelity launched two ETFs to track the crypto industry and the metaverse.

The iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) ‘seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of U.S. and non-U.S. companies that are involved in the development, innovation, and utilization of blockchain and crypto technologies.’

Blockchain tech is allowing independence and control of personal data while enabling financial inclusion for billions of unbanked consumers.”

See Also: 21Shares launches hybrid Bitcoin and gold ETP to enable inflation hedge
See Also: Dragonfly Capital Raises $650M as Billions Flow Into Web3 Funds

Only four of 10 Salvadorans who downloaded the state-run bitcoin (BTC) wallet Chivo said they still use it after obtaining the $30 bitcoin incentive. In addition, 5% of Salvadorans paid taxes using bitcoin, while 20% of firms accept bitcoin and 11.4% said they had positives sales using the cryptocurrency.”

The median user reports no ATM withdrawals, and no payments sent or received in bitcoin in a given month. Although most citizens in El Salvador have a cell phone with internet, less than 60% of them downloaded Chivo Wallet.

See Also: Flexa Expands Payments Suite for Multiple Cryptocurrencies and Wallets

“With inflation reaching new highs month after month, and the Federal Reserve taking an increasingly hawkish stance, the U.S. economy is exposed to an elevated risk of upcoming recession.

The COVID-19 recession that began in February 2020 and lasted through April of that year – the most recent in the U.S. – did, however, have a positive impact on cryptocurrencies. It shot bitcoin (BTC) to an all-time high above $28,000 and, more importantly, caused investors and Wall Street firms to start taking the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization seriously.

But if analysts are right, and the U.S. economy is bound to go into another recession as early as next year, the cryptocurrency market could see a very different outcome this time.

Because of bitcoin’s recent strong correlation to U.S. stocks – from the Nasdaq Composite Index to the Standard & Poor’s 500 to the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 – the largest cryptocurrency’s performance will likely depend on what the broader markets do, according to some analysts.

[Ultimately], a recession that drives down stocks might push the Fed to reverse its hawkish stance and move back to a more accommodative stance. And that could end up being a good thing for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Digital assets create value through network growth and brand loyalty as opposed to equity and debt, which represent a claim on assets.

Given this backdrop, it’s possible digital assets are the only asset class that a recession wouldn’t negatively impact. During an extended recession I think we will see positive price movement.”

See Also: Purpose Bitcoin ETF adds 1.1K BTC as data hints investors want to ‘buy the dip’

New European Union proposals to monitor crypto transactions with unhosted wallets could breach the risk-based approach set out by international money laundering regulators, an official from the bloc’s own banking authority has said. Policymakers from the European Commission also warned any decision to scrap a 1,000-euro threshold for identifying crypto payers would need to be backed by evidence.

In particular, plans to force large transactions with unhosted wallets to be automatically reported to the authorities could prove overwhelming, the European Banking Authority’s Joana Neto said at an event held Wednesday at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Who’s going to handle this? … If it’s going to be the competent authority, what are they going to do with that information?

Our message to the co-legislator is that the solution they must take must be risk based and proportionate. Are there differences in the risks that justify a different treatment?”

See Also: Europe’s Lawmakers Set to Advance Discussion of Controversial Crypto AML Rules

27 April

“U.S.-based financial services firm Fidelity Investments will allow investors to put bitcoin (BTC) into their 401(k) retirement savings accounts later this year, the firm said on Tuesday. Investors can use part of their savings to invest in the world’s largest cryptocurrency, if their employers allow.

The move would allow several first-time investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without having to make a separate account on a crypto exchange. Fidelity’s retirement accounts are big business: They held an estimated $2.4 trillion in 401(k) assets in 2020, or more than a third of the market.

Business analytics firm MicroStrategy (MSTR) is said to have already signed on to the plan.”

See Also: MicroStrategy to Offer Workers Bitcoin Options in 401(k) Accounts via Fidelity

“Optimism PBC, the company behind the eponymously named Ethereum scaling protocol, today announced that it has created its own DAO—known as the Optimism Collective—and will be airdropping OP tokens to 267,000 Ethereum wallet addresses.

Optimism Collective will be tasked with taking the revenue created from Optimism’s transaction fees and transforming it into grants for “public goods.” In short, it sees public-goods funding as feeding into a flywheel effect for Web3.

The Optimism Collective will dispel the myth that public goods cannot be profitable. The Collective will consistently provide massive retroactive incentives for public goods which benefit Optimism, Ethereum, and the Collective as a whole.

The Collective is split into two “houses.” The “Token House” will govern concerns such as software upgrades, Treasury allocation, and incentive structure. The “Citizens’ House” will determine how public-goods funding is distributed. Both will use quadratic voting, which is designed to reduce the impact of large token holders.

Buterin today tweeted that the Collective is ‘possibly the biggest attempt at non-token-holder-centric DAO governance so far.’

The arrival of a native crypto business as a broker registered with the National Futures Association – and the oversight from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that comes with it – could mark a significant stage in mainstreaming crypto.

FalconX is akin to a financial wholesaler that serves only institutional clients, such as hedge funds and other financial firms that want to give clients access to crypto derivatives. As a swap dealer, FalconX can join the ranks of major Wall Street banks, such as Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), in providing a service for customers who want to acquire or unload derivatives.

Crypto derivatives are much like the traditional financial industry’s futures and options overseen by the CFTC. But Yarlagadda said institutional customers have been waiting for brokers to fill their needs for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.

Our priority is to develop standard terms for products that are already traded, such as cash-settled forwards and options referencing bitcoin and ether [ETH]. The demand is huge. I really hope other players also come in, because it’s the right thing for the industry.”

See Also: Fireblocks Sees $500M Stampede Into Terra DeFi in First Week
See Also: Crypto gaining trust as investment, but still lagging behind other options: Bitstamp report

“USDC.Homes, a company that partners with mortgage lenders and brokers to facilitate crypto home loans, has completed its first sale via DeFi lending protocol Teller. The new owner took out a $500,000 USDC stablecoin mortgage on an Austin, Texas, condo valued at $680,000.

Teller is calling it the “first unsecured DeFi mortgage;” the borrower didn’t put up collateral (though he did make a down payment in USDC) but won the loan on the strength of his credit score. Moreover, Teller says that all of the loan transactions took place on-chain via Polygon‘s Ethereum sidechain.

The upside of crypto mortgages is that those who hold a lot of digital assets don’t need to liquidate their holdings to buy a home.”

The card will allow displaced Ukrainians to send and receive crypto payments and make transactions at retailers located in the European Economic Area.

Apart from access to crypto transactions, recipients of the card who are verified by their local nonprofit organizations will receive financial support from Binance in the form of Binance USD (BUSD). These users will get 75 BUSD per month for three months, the donation amount recommended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Crypto is a tool that has no boundaries, restrictions, does not require documents and other complex and lengthy bureaucratic procedures, and is capable of producing results here and now.”

“Elon is the singular solution I trust.

In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, requires Elon, and Elon alone. Taking it back from Wall Street is the correct first step.”

See Also: Elon Musk Wants to Authenticate Every Twitter User. Crypto Twitter Should Take Notice

26 April

“Once the deal is completed, Twitter will become a privately held company.

Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.

I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”

See Also: DeFi partnership aims to tokenize shares of pre-IPO companies

If passed, tomorrow’s city council vote would see the city of Fort Worth begin mining Bitcoin as part of a six-month pilot program.

In 2021, the Texas legislature voted to approve the Virtual Currencies Bill to update the state’s Uniform Commercial Code to define “virtual currencies” and how to establish control over them. Texas lawmakers also approved a law to create a 16-member blockchain working group to “develop a master plan” for crypto in the state.

Bitcoin is aligned with American values and will strengthen the dollar.”

See Also: New York Lawmakers Advance Mining Moratorium Bill to Full Assembly

“Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Instagram account and Discord server were both hacked on Monday, with an unofficial “mint” link being sent out to followers. The wallets of those who clicked the link have now been compromised, with a series of Bored Apes and Mutant Apes being transferred to new wallets by the hackers.

At the time of writing, it is estimated that around 24 Bored Apes and 30 Mutant Apes have been stolen. The value of the 54 NFTs calculated by floor price is $13.7 million.”

See Also: OpenSea Eyes ‘Pro Experience’ With Acquisition of NFT Aggregator Gem
See Also: NFL Draft Goes NFT: Football League Releases New Collection on Polygon

The European Union has agreed to new laws to curb targeted online ads, remove illegal content and impose supervision and sanctions on the largest internet platforms. Lawmakers, governments and the European Commission finalized provisions for the Digital Services Act (DSA), one of a range of laws intended to bring big tech companies like Apple (AAPL) and Meta (FB) to heel.

The DSA aims to restrict the ability of social networks, app stores and content-sharing platforms to target ads. It also requires sites to take down illegal content. The proposals also limits targeting ads at children and those based on sensitive data such as race or sexuality.

The DSA could become a constitution for the internet, curbing hate, polarization and disinformation.”

The Disrupt Weekend

“Instead of being backed by assets like dollars or bonds, algorithmic stablecoins are intended to maintain their dollar peg by what looks to some like financial alchemy. But experts are highly skeptical that these systems’ designers have actually figured out how to turn lead into gold.

Broadly, algorithmic stablecoins rely on a pair of tokens, both created ex nihilo at the token’s launch. One token is the stablecoin itself, and the other is the corresponding “balancer token.” Generally, the balancer token can be “burned,” or destroyed, to create more of the corresponding stablecoin. The defining algorithm in an “algorithmic stablecoin” is a function that changes the amount of the balancer token required to create the stablecoin. This changing burn value is intended to create arbitrage opportunities for traders.

Ryan Clements, an assistant professor of Business Law at the University of Calgary, published a paper about algorithmic stablecoins called “Built to Fail,” arguing that the systems are inherently fragile and can never be truly “stable.” (Note that MakerDAO’s DAI is a bit of an outlier with some unique design features, and these critiques don’t necessarily apply to it.)

An algorithmic stablecoin, he writes, can only function when three conditions are met at all times:

  1. There is a “support level of demand” for the stablecoin and/or balancer token
  2. There’s a permanent supply of independent actors to perform price-stabilizing arbitrage
  3. A market has near-perfect information to trade on

Clements argues these assumptions break down frequently, particularly during times of instability. One clear sign of this is that the teams behind algorithmic stablecoins sometimes have to essentially step in and do the balancing arbitrage themselves. There’s even clearer evidence from algos that have already collapsed, most notably Iron Finance, which unwound in a “death spiral” in June 2021.

All the UST in Anchor is just rotator capital, farming for the subsidized yield.’ If Anchor’s yield drops below the competition, there could be a significant rush to the exits. That seems practically inevitable because there isn’t an infinite amount of money to pour into the reserve fund. As soon as that financial nitroglycerin runs out, it could create the conditions for a depegging of terraUSD.

The team behind LUNA/UST seem to agree with the idea that such systems can’t work. They don’t say so out loud, but they’ve made a variety of efforts to add more stability into the system, and those efforts have accelerated alongside UST’s growth.

But it might be even worse than that. What if building a BTC reserve actually increases the likelihood of a bank run? ‘This could create an incentive (effectively an economic moral hazard) to utilize strategies to acquire discounted BTC.’ Such a coordinated, intentional attack could look similar to George Soros’s legendary attack on the British pound. Attacking a pegged asset could be described as an attempt to acquire the backing assets at a discount.

There’s a lot of incentive to attack the peg, especially for people outside the [crypto] space. I think [UST] will collapse on its own, but if someone attacks it, it will collapse even faster.

At $18 billion, terraUSD is far from a systemic risk for mainstream finance, but luna/terraUSD could be a systemic risk to the cryptosphere. Do Kwon has said he would like to grow the system’s BTC holdings to $10 billion. But if that reserve is integrated in the wrong way, it could create the conditions for a future sudden flood of BTC for sale if the peg is attacked or breaks under market strain. It is [also] important to note the terraUSD stablecoin is the central function of the entire Luna layer 1 blockchain.

So while Iron Finance sank alone, terraUSD could drag others down with it.”

See Also: Tether’s Paolo Ardoino on UST: ‘It’s All Fun and Games’ Until You’re a $100B Coin

“In addition to being high risk, crypto trading can also be a very time-intensive process. It can be an overwhelming task and a barrier to entry for most investors in determining which tokens to invest in. For these investors, index investing could be a profitable alternative for gaining exposure to some of the hottest sectors of the cryptocurrency market.

Index Cooperative (INDEX) is a decentralized autonomous asset manager that allows investors to create a custom index of tokens using smart contracts. Several of the most actively traded indexes originated from Index Coop, including the DeFi Pulse Index (DPI), Metaverse Index (MVI), Data Economy Index (DATA) and Bankless DeFi Innovation Index (GMI).

Since May 29, 2021, the weakness of the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector can be seen in the poor performance of DPI, which is currently down more than 50%. During that same period of time however, the Metaverse index has increased 103% when compared to the price of Ether (ETH), and the gains are even greater when looking at its value in terms of USD. The price of NFTI has increased from $386 on March 5, 2021, to its current price of $1,724, a gain of nearly 350%.

Metaverse and nonfungible token (NFT)-related projects have been a bright spot in an otherwise weak market over the past six months and in this instance, it was beneficial to be invested in a basket of metaverse tokens.

This suggests that indexes offer the opportunity to capture a large percentage of the overall gains in the market while offering a better return. In many instances, this is a better tactic than trying to pick individual tokens that will see the biggest gains.”

See Also: Did Coinbase Blow Its NFT Launch? Not So Fast

23 April

Payments processor Stripe will use Ethereum scaling platform Polygon in a move that will enable Stripe’s customers to pay sellers, freelancers, content creators and service providers in crypto. Initial payouts will be made using USDC stablecoins native to Polygon.

Twitter (TWTR) will be the first company to try out the feature by allowing earnings to be paid out to content creators in crypto for users of the company’s monetization products. Stripe said it will add support for additional rails and payout currencies over time.”

“Polygon plans to invest $100 million in customizable “Supernet” chains, customizable networks that projects will be able to run without cost. On each Supernet, validators will stake MATIC tokens on the mainnet before going on to validate the network to ensure a robust level of security.

In March, Avalanche committed $290 million to a Multiverse Fund, some of which will be used to develop “Subnets,” a similar concept to Polygon’s Supernets. Both efforts ultimately aim to scale application-specific blockchains, particularly those focused on consumer or enterprise use cases.”

See Also: Privacy Blockchain Findora Launches Ethereum-Based Testnet ‘Yellow Submarine’

“The yuan (CNY) fell to 6.5050 per U.S. dollar, the lowest level since July 2021 and was on the way to end the week with a 2.5% loss. That’s the biggest single-week percentage decline since August 2015. According to some observers, the yuan could continue to slide as China is facing a major economic downturn and needs to severely devalue its currency.

Lockdowns, slower GDP growth, and the currency of its nearest competitor Japan collapsing. A fast-weakening yuan is a risk-off signal.

Previous episodes of yuan devaluation injected significant volatility into traditional markets. For instance, the S&P 500 fell 6.2% in August 2015, hitting a 10-month low as the yuan depreciated by 2.5%. Stocks faced similar turbulence during three months to January 2016 as the yuan’s depreciation gathered pace.

Bitcoin’s strengthening correlation to stocks makes it vulnerable to a yuan-induced shake-off on Wall Street. Historically, before 2020, bitcoin has put in a positive performance during bouts of yuan weakness. Perhaps, Chinese investors diversified into bitcoin to hedge against fiat currency volatility. However, they may have a tough time doing so today, given China has banned bitcoin.”

“Scott Free Productions, the production company behind “House of Gucci” and “Blade Runner 2049,” has attached its name to an adaptation of The Defiant founder Camila Russo’s book “The Infinite Machine” about the founding of the Ethereum network.

Shyam Madiraju is attached to write and direct, and director Ridley Scott will produce alongside Scott Free colleagues Tom Moran and Vera Meyer.

I can’t imagine a better team to turn the riveting story about the people behind the most revolutionary technology since the internet into a feature film that will capture the hearts of our generation.”

Meet the war hero saving lives with crypto

European Union officials discussed banning Bitcoin (BTC) trading during a debate on a proposal to ban proof-of-work (PoW) mining, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request.

We need to protect other crypto coins that are sustainable. We don’t see [the] need to protect the Bitcoin community.

Another unnamed speaker suggested that the EU could reasonably place a blanket ban on trading any crypto assets that used a PoW algorithm. The answer to this question was redacted in the document to protect the “ongoing decision-making process,” but it brings attention to the fact that the EU was seriously considering such dramatic regulation.

The EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee recently voted against legislation calling for a ban on proof-of-work mining. However, these documents do provide unique insight into the lengths that some EU officials are willing to go to in order to crack down on mining-related energy usage.”

“Ukraine’s central bank has banned the purchase of cryptocurrency using the country’s local currency. Individuals may only purchase crypto using foreign currency up to a value of 100,000 Ukrainian hryvnia ($3,400) per month, the National Bank of Ukraine said on Thursday.

The measures are being taken ‘to prevent unproductive outflow of capital from the country under martial law.’ Ukraine formally legalized crypto in the country last month.”

See Also: Panamanian Legislative Assembly’s Committee Approves Bill Regulating Crypto

“Binance fiercely denied it had helped Russian authorities track down donations to the opposition, in response to an investigation published by Reuters on Friday.

According to Reuters, last April, Gleb Kostarev, Binance head of Eastern Europe and Russia, met with Russia’s anti-money laundering agency, Rosfinmonitoring (Rosfin). According to Kostarev’s messages reviewed by Reuters, he consented to Rosfin’s request to agree to share client data.

Around the same time, Rosfinmonitoring was looking for ways to track crypto donations to the organizations of Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Although there are no direct indications of whether Binance indeed shared any user data with Rosfinmonitoring, Binance did not challenge the fact of the meeting itself.”

“So-called utility NFTs are now expanding beyond things like decentralized finance (DeFi) and into enterprise uses like supply chain track-and-trace.

AEternals NFTs, available via the Winklevoss-owned Nifty Gateway, offer the token holder a real-time connection to plots of virgin rainforest. In other words, if it happens to rain on your part of the forest, it rains on your NFT. The NFTs also grow and evolve over time, a process fueled by the owner’s engagement in game playing or by participating in social-impact community events or donating to a charity like Rainforest Partnership.

This adds an element of financial sovereignty into the NFT, as opposed to floor prices being set solely by some NFT platform, Gallardo said, because the owner decides how much to evolve their plot before selling it, and more evolved plots are valued differently.”

See Also: Play-to-Earn: Intro to Gods Unchained (Video)

Dan Tapiero explains his portfolio for 2022

22 April

“The two chief executives discussed Goldman Sachs advising FTX, which was valued at $32 billion in January, on future funding rounds and taking a role in a potential initial public offering (IPO). Solomon also offered Goldman Sachs’s advice to FTX in discussions with regulators in the U.S.

The two also discussed collaborating on market making in crypto trades. Market making involves setting buy and sell prices on certain assets to facilitate trades and provide liquidity.

The discussions demonstrate the increasing interest mainstream financial institutions are taking in the crypto industry after Goldman Sachs led the initial public offering (IPO) of crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) last year.”

See Also: Institutional Goes Exotic: Valkyrie’s Multi-Coin Trust Eyes Staking Rewards

The second-largest cryptocurrency went ahead of Bitcoin in total realized gains in 2021, clinching a narrow win with $76.3 billion to Bitcoin’s $74.7 billion, according to a new report by blockchain forensic firm Chainalysis.

We believe this reflects increased demand for Ethereum as the result of DeFi’s rise in 2021, as most DeFi protocols are built on the Ethereum blockchain and use Ethereum as their primary currency.

According to a January report by CoinGecko, the market cap across the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols grew by 7.5x from $20 billion to $150 billion in 2021. DeFi Llama, a data dashboard tracking all things DeFi, shows that the number two crypto network enjoys a 54.43% market share of all activity.”

See Also: Blockchain Gaming Usage Explodes 2,000% in a Year: DappRadar
See Also: Ethereum DeFi Staple MakerDAO Adds StarkNet Bridge in First Step Toward Multi-Chain

“The marketplace, which was first announced last October, will support Ethereum-based NFT trading, with a social-media spin that could distinguish it from competitors.

The platform will allow users to showcase their personal profile and follow accounts whose content will appear in a “For You” feed, which is visually similar to social-media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Users will also be able to “like” and comment on each other’s posts.

This product is more than just buying and selling, it is about building your community.

Coinbase has a plan for what it’s calling “progressive decentralization” within the marketplace, where certain features will begin centralized but eventually move on-chain. The marketplace will support ‘all sorts of self-custody wallets‘ besides the official Coinbase Wallet, a decision the exchange made to create ‘an open NFT environment for everyone.‘”

See Also: 0x Protocol’s Token Surges Over 47% After Coinbase NFT partnership

The government will also start enabling Bahamians’ access to digital assets using the Bahamas sand dollar, a central bank-issued digital currency that was launched in 2020.

We have a vision to transform the Bahamas into the leading digital asset hub in the Caribbean.”

See Also: Russian tax authority proposes using crypto as a foreign trade payment tool

“The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which handles the U.S. sanctions list, added BitRiver and 10 subsidiaries, saying the companies “operated in the technology sector” of Russia’s economy.

By operating vast server farms that sell virtual currency mining capacity internationally, these companies help Russia monetize its natural resources.”

See Also: BitRiver Calls OFAC Sanctions ‘Unfair’ Anti-Competitive Move to Benefit US Miners

A new smart contract would take a portion of each transaction fee within its blockchain network and automatically process it to purchase verified carbon credits at ClimateTrade, a blockchain-based carbon offset marketplace.

According to Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden, the move will allow the network to scale while still being carbon negative.

The industry is moving in the right direction by adopting proof-of-stake as the preferred consensus mechanism.”

See Also: TON Users Donate $1B to Advance Ecosystem, Foundation Says

“Since iTrustCapital’s inception four years prior, the firm has attracted more than 35,000 clients with its crypto IRAs.

IRAs enable individuals to save for retirement through tax-free capital accumulation or on a tax-deferred basis. Those with IRAs do not need to pay taxes on asset capital gains held within these accounts but may need to pay taxes on withdrawals when they reach retirement age, depending on account type.”

See Also: 3.6M Americans to use crypto to make a purchase in 2022, research firm predicts

20 April

Australians will soon join Canadians in gaining direct access to Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs.

21Shares announced today the launch of two ETFs on April 27. The ETFS 21Shares Bitcoin ETF and ETFS 21Shares Ethereum ETF will track the price of BTC and ETH, respectively, in Australian dollars and trade on the Chicago-based CBOE Exchange.”

Governments should ensure they have the power to impose capital controls on crypto alongside traditional assets, the International Monetary Fund said, as the war in Ukraine continues to raise concerns over sanctions evasion. That means that citizens of crisis-hit countries like Greece and Argentina could potentially see their access to bitcoin limited alongside restrictions on withdrawing cash from ATMs or accessing foreign currency.

Crypto mining also offers the chance for emerging market countries to effectively exchange energy for bitcoin, the IMF said, adding to concerns that states’ ability to halt outflows during financial turbulence could be undermined.

In remarks to reporters after the publication of the report, IMF officials admitted virtual assets probably aren’t being used to circumvent the financial restrictions on Russia.

The evidence to date suggests there is not much going on in terms of undermining sanctions via crypto assets. Of course it’s something that we’re watching very very closely.”

See Also: Crypto Proponents Fear SEC ‘Backdoor’ Regulations on Exchanges, Dealers
See Also: Nearly Half of Jurisdictions Still Not Applying Crypto Laundering Norms: FATF
See Also: El Salvador’s Bid for Bitcoin Bonds Sinking as IMF Deal ‘Practically Dead’: Former Central Bank President

The foundation funds research and development on Ethereum and related technologies. It spent in excess of $48 million on various teams, funding and bounties last year, the report said.

Research and development of layer 1, or base blockchains, saw a majority of last year’s spending at over $21 million, which included research on mainnet upgrade, security, mechanism design and grants to external clients.”

See Also: First Ever: Ethereum Foundation Report

“The National Basketball Association will begin minting its upcoming Ethereum NFT collection of 18,000 assets called The Association on Wednesday. Each Association NFT represents a real NBA player in this year’s playoffs. There will be 75 NFTs of each player.

But, as with actual players, these NFTs don’t stay static. NFT traits will evolve over the course of the playoffs based on each player’s real-life performance, meaning that a certain number of dunks, blocks, three-pointers, rebounds, or assists will change that player’s image. NFT backgrounds and “frames” will also change based on the player’s team’s performance.”

An alleged North Korean Ethereum wallet tied to March’s $600 million crypto hack continues to launder its stolen ether (ETH) Friday in defiance of U.S. sanctions.

The hackers are pushing their trove through Tornado Cash, about $10 million at a time. Tracing company Elliptic on Thursday estimated the Ronin hackers have laundered $80 million through Tornado Cash.”

“In a statement published by former video-game giant Atari on Monday, the firm says it has, effective immediately, terminated all license agreements with its joint venture partner ICICB Group and its subsidiaries. Previously, the two had jointly created the Atari Chain and the namesake Atari Token (ATRI). However, the company has had a change of heart regarding the deal, and announced it was disclaiming interest in the joint venture.

Atari disclaims any interest in the […] Joint Venture, currently promoted as Atari Tokens, and related websites, whitepapers and social media channels are unlicensed, unsanctioned and are outside the control of Atari. ICICB is not authorized to represent Atari or its brands in any manner.

Moving forward, Atari plans to create, distribute and solely manage a new proprietary token focusing on gaming, community and utility. But it appears there will be some form of respite for ATRI investors. As told by Atari, the company has taken a “snapshot” of ATRI holdings as of April 18, 2022, at 6:00 pm CET. Atari will then implement a future exchange of a new token for the ATRI tokens held.”

The Disrupt Weekend

Blockchains sell blocks! That’s the revenue. And what are a blockchain’s expenses? Security! Both issuance and transaction fees. Simply put: Net Profit = Transaction fees (in $) – Issuance (in $).

But here’s the dirty little secret: blockchains are hemorrhaging money. None are profitable. None are sustainable at current security levels. But for the first time in crypto history, one chain is about to become profitable. Not profitable by a little. Profitable by a lot.

As a crypto investor, one thing you can do is find the most profitable blockchain business and invest in that. The best blockchain sells its blocks for the most value as people are willing to pay for it, meaning it has product-market-fit as a settlement layer.

We can analyze “successful blockchain businesses” by looking at the amount they spend to secure the blockchain versus the amount of revenue they bring in via transaction fees. If a blockchain is paying more for security than the revenue they bring in, they’re running a deficit.

Ethereum is bringing in nearly $13M in transaction fees every day, making it the most valuable blockchain by this measure. However, the flip side of that is that in order to produce those blocks, the network is distributing $36M in ETH per day in issuance to miners. As such, Ethereum is currently operating at a -64% loss.

Virtually all [other] major Layer 1s are operating at a loss of around 90% or worse. Despite a decade of issuance reductions—three Bitcoin halvings—the Bitcoin network is still operating at a -98% loss.

So what’s the path for blockchains to become profitable? There are two main levers:

  1. Increase transaction revenue – The primary way for a blockchain to increase its transaction revenue is to increase its block utility; to increase the value of what can be done within each block. This can be done by building valuable applications on top of the network, increasing the surface area for what’s possible on the network and the utility that users can derive. Blockspace revenue is almost directly correlated to the number of valuable applications on the network and the opportunity they hold. And all of this is contingent on the network being decentralized and secure. As mentioned, blockspace isn’t that valuable if transactions can be reversed or censored and fewer applications will set up a long-term home in such a network.
  2. Reduce the security expense – Increasing blockspace utility largely has to happen organically. As such, the main pathway to sustainability for blockchains will be to reduce the issuance over time, lowering the network’s expenses. The big tradeoff when you reduce issuance is that you’re spending less on security. Unless the price goes up, every time a network reduces its issuance, there’s less of an incentive for validators/miners to keep operating. Blockchains must balance the supply of blockspace they produce with the issuance that this brings along with it. If you want more scale, you must pay for more security.

Ethereum is the first blockchain on a clear path to economic sustainability with The Merge. Sometime later this year, likely in June/July, the network will shift to Proof of Stake and reduce its issuance by 90%.

Later this year, the network will be distributing $4M per day in issuance while generating $13M in revenue, generating a net profit of $9M and a profit margin of +72%.

The interesting part of The Merge and Ethereum’s shift is that it’s not just a pure issuance reduction. There’s a fundamental change in how that “security budget” is spent while tapping into higher security efficiency. Given the shift in the consensus algorithm and the improvements it holds, Proof of Stake makes Ethereum more secure while simultaneously allowing the network to reduce issuance.

It’s worth highlighting that ETH also completes the triple point asset thesis with the Merge and its full transition to become an interest-bearing asset. All of the transaction fees generated from the network will go to ETH holders via EIP 1559 (buybacks) and staking (dividends). As a result, ETH staking yields will shoot up to a double digit APY, driving more demand for the asset as investors race to soak up those yields, all while the network becomes more secure from the increased stake.

Ethereum is on course to become the first profitable blockchain. And it will happen in months, not years. Will other chains follow Ethereum? That depends very much on the quality of the product they sell. How much will the market pay for their blocks? Will they still buy them when token incentives dry up? How will Layer 1s compete for profitability against Layer 2’s that don’t have to pay billions per year on security through token issuance? We’ll find out in the months and years to come.

In the long run, only the profitable survive.”

See Also: The Empire Model for Blockchains

  • Binance to invest 100 million euros into the French crypto ecosystem
  • Tether’s chief technology officer reveals adoption plans for pro-crypto city of Lugano
  • Bybit’s Lawrence Tan analyzes the mechanism of the Ronin bridge hack
  • Ripple’s CEO is optimistic on the future of the SEC case
  • Blockchain.com’s Nicolas Cary reflects on a decade in crypto

What is Enzyme

15 April

An executive at Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the government to conduct cross-border settlements in cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Chamber President Sergei Katyrin sent a letter to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, advocating the use of CBDCs and cryptocurrencies for mutual settlement and payments as part of Russia’s move into Africa amid Western sanctions.

It seems useful to instruct the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, together with the Central Bank, to ensure providing intergovernmental agreements with African states on the use of national currencies and cryptocurrencies in mutual settlements and payments.

The news comes as several countries in Africa are considering cooperation with Russia-linked blockchain networks.

On Monday, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo issued a joint announcement on the national plans to adopt TON, the Telegram-initiated layer-1 proof-of-stake blockchain. The DRC is also reportedly considering launching a new national stablecoin built on top of the TON blockchain.”

“Amazon (AMZN) CEO Andy Jassy said on CNBC Thursday morning that the e-commerce and cloud-computing giant is likely not close to adding cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism for its retail business, but it’s possible it will sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the future.

See Also: Top Latin America delivery app to accept crypto

The EPNS protocol enables on-chain communications with the ability to opt-in for permissionless channel notifications and subscriptions.

EPNS currently provides on-chain notifications for CoinDesk media alerts, Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) domain expirations, Snapshot governance updates and Oasis vault liquidations, among other services. EPNS will use the funding to expand its team and develop on blockchains beyond Ethereum.

A user on any blockchain should be able to receive a notification from any other service they use on any blockchain. EPNS solves a huge pain point for us and fellow Web 3 product users by creating and consolidating notifications into an easy-to-use dashboard with fantastic UI/UX.”

See Also: Cosmos Gains Interchain Accounts as Upgrade Kicks In

“The Bank of Canada has become the first G7 country to turn to quantum computing to simulate scenarios where cryptocurrency and fiat currency can coexist.

That means Multiverse Computing has completed its proof-of-concept, which combines blockchain data from stablecoin Tether (USDT) and public data from up to 10 major financial institutions. It also consulted with experts from two major Canadian banks to come up with realistic parameters.

Most scenarios in the model showed that non-financial institution adoption of the cryptocurrency would be slow, since there was some upfront knowledge and cost associated with converting fiat to a digital asset. It was also able to simulate how banks might respond by reducing wire transfer fees to compete with the very low cost of crypto transactions.

The research itself has only just reached the proof-of-concept stage, so there aren’t yet any implications for Canada’s crypto regulations. But being able to use quantum computing models to simulate how fiat and digital currencies might compete for use and adoption is a big leap forward, says a Bank of Canada official.

Mugel said their next steps include making the model even more efficient and able to simulate more variables in an economy.”

“Concerns about macroeconomic and geopolitical risks continue to linger, which has kept some buyers on the sidelines. For example, during a news conference on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that peace talks with Ukraine have reached a dead end. Putin also pledged that Russia’s ‘military operation will continue until its full completion.’

Sotiriou is still optimistic for the crypto market over the short term because of extreme negative sentiment among traders. Indeed, the bitcoin Fear & Greed Index reached “extreme fear” territory this week, which typically precedes price jumps, albeit with a long lead time that can span several months.”

See Also: Bitcoin bulls need to reclaim $41K ahead of Friday’s $615M BTC options expiry

Archie Comics aims to build the largest writers’ room on the blockchain with its new Archieverse: Eclipse NFT collection, which will let holders contribute character details and storylines that could potentially be used in future comic books.

As people develop their storylines, we’ll be working to publish those with you. You’re going to get creator credits and all sorts of other cool, unique perks, and opportunities with it.

The 66,666 NFTs are profile pictures (PFP) with randomized traits—akin to Bored Ape Yacht Club or Azuki avatars—and they’re based in the world of the Archie Horror imprint. They’re releasing on May 16 alongside the next Blood Moon, and will sell for $66.66 apiece.”

Ledger has partnered with cryptocurrency tax software ZenLedger to integrate its crypto tax reporting solution into Ledger’s interface application, Ledger Live. The software tool allows users to automatically aggregate the history of all transactions completed via Ledger Live and track losses and earnings.

Without tax reporting software tools like ZenLedger, users who chose to self-custody cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) would have to manually calculate their losses and earnings.”

Ronin Network said in a blog post that the FBI had linked Lazarus with the validator breach and that the Treasury Department sanctioned the funds. Thursday’s action is the first time the Treasury’s sanctions office has blacklisted an alleged Lazarus-held crypto wallet.

We are still in the process of adding additional security measures before redeploying the Ronin Bridge to mitigate future risk.”