24 December

Systems using zero-knowledge (ZK) technologies are among the most promising – and their potential isn’t limited to scaling. ZK-powered technology is expected to revolutionize myriad sectors from gaming to payments, and from digital identity to enterprise solutions. Looking ahead, 2023 promises to be the year ZK tech truly starts to take off.

Zero-knowledge technology refers to tools that use cryptography to prove that something is true without revealing any additional information other than the fact that it is true. The application of ZK tech allows blockchain networks to prove the authenticity of their operations in the most efficient way, using the fewest possible steps. This has the power to be transformational for Web3 development by reducing costs, increasing throughput capacity, and expanding potential use cases far beyond what is currently possible.

There is little doubt among blockchain developers that ZK technology represents the ultimate solution to blockchain scaling. For many, it’s the most crucial development in ensuring a fair internet environment for the free exchange of value and digital ownership of assets and data, all without being subjugated to centralized control.

ZK rollups and zkEVMs are bringing Ethereum’s vision of a decentralized web into focus.”

See Also: Crypto Funding Plunged in 2022, but VC Head Sees Areas of Opportunity for 2023

Russia’s Congressional finance committee chairman, Anatoly Aksakov, said the country is moving to greenlight international trade in cryptocurrency within the next month. The chairman highlighted that although Russia is taking steps to allow bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments for imports, there are no plans to encourage similar usage of the burgeoning assets within the boundaries of the nation’s territory.

In January, we want to legalize cryptocurrencies to ensure foreign trade activities.

The circulation of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment on the territory of Russia will be prohibited. But to pay for foreign trade transactions, we still assume the possibility of using cryptocurrencies.

Russian officials have teased at this possibility for almost a year, following an intense package of Western sanctions deployed in the wake of the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.”

See Also: Brazil’s Securities Regulator Allows Investment Funds to Invest in Crypto

“The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has been dealing with a torrent of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) since the downfall of FTX. The firm is now fighting back with its latest blog post.

It confirmed that “all users’ assets in Binance are supported 1:1,” and that its financial status was very healthy since it makes ample profit on transaction fees. On Dec. 16, CryptoQuant verified Binance’s reserves, reporting that there was no “FTX-like” behavior.

Binance will not embezzle users’ funds for any transactions or investments, nor does it have any debts, nor is it on the list of creditors of any company that has recently gone bankrupt.

Regarding Mazars and the “Big Four” auditing firms refusing to work with crypto companies, it said that encrypted on-chain verification was a new field that these companies may not have the capacity to carry out.

Regarding a Reuters report claiming that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating the company, Binance stated that mainstream media has been targeting the company with salacious reporting for quite a while now. It added that it had the most compliance licenses in the world and spent the most fighting crypto crime.

Finally, the blog post reiterated CEO Changpeng Zhao’s comments that Binance did not destroy FTX; FTX did that itself.”

See Also: SEC Increases Scrutiny of Audits of Cryptocurrency Companies: WSJ

In a transcript of proceedings for her plea deal in the Southern District of New York released on Dec. 23, Ellison stated she and SBF signed off on “materially misleading financial statements” for Alameda lenders — knowing it was illegal. According to the former Alameda CEO, Alameda had access to a “borrowing facility” through FTX from 2019 to 2022.

I understood that FTX executives had implemented special settings on Alameda’s FTX.com account that permitted Alameda to maintain negative balances in various fiat currencies and crypto currencies. In practical terms, this arrangement permitted Alameda access to an unlimited line of credit without being required to post collateral.

If Alameda’s FTX accounts had significant negative balances in a particular currency, it meant that Alameda was borrowing funds that FTX’s customers had deposited onto the exchange.

“I am truly sorry for what I did,” said Ellison. “I knew that it was wrong.”

Ellison’s plea deal, released on Dec. 21, largely spared the former Alameda CEO of many of the charges Bankman-Fried currently faces including wire fraud and securities fraud. She may still be prosecuted for criminal tax violations, but the agreement set bail at $250,000 on the condition she surrendered all travel documents.”

See Also: Bankman-Fried’s Incredible Shrinking ‘$250 Million Bond’
See Also: FTX Asks Judge for Help in Fight Over Robinhood Shares Worth About $450M

In a Dec. 15 notice, the United States Federal Election Commission (FEC) said it was “permissible” for DataVault holdings to send nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, to political campaign contributors. DataVault will receive “reasonable compensation” for each NFT issued to contributors, as well as track all tokens issued for its own records.

In September, DataVault’s legal team proposed the firm be allowed to send NFTs as souvenirs — “in a manner akin to a campaign hat” — to individuals who contributed to political committees. The tokens would also give tokenholders the option to use them for promoting a campaign.

In a broader view, we believe, Blockchain technology represents the future for elections that seek to be trusted and transparent in their outcomes in the future.”

See Also: U.S. delays crypto tax reporting rules, as it still can’t define what a ‘broker’ is

“The report, titled “Developers of Bitcoin,” found that there are only 40 to 60 active developers. NYDIG estimates the number of monthly active developers in that wider community (developers working on Bitcoin related applications) to be anywhere from 600 to 1,000. Bitcoin developers can be found worldwide. Roughly 84% of its GitHub commits – or suggested software changes – come from 20 different countries.

What’s most mind-boggling, perhaps, is how the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, currently worth about $320 billion, has been chugging along with no major hiccups for almost 14 years, under the care of a passionate – but small – group scattered across the globe.

When compared to competing networks, Bitcoin always seems to come out smaller, but exponentially more efficient. For example, previous estimates from venture firm, Electric Capital’s 2021 developer report, show Ethereum has over 4,000 monthly active developers in its broader ecosystem, yet Ethereum’s current market capitalization is less than half of Bitcoin’s.

Similarly, traditional payment firms such as Visa and Mastercard, with market capitalizations comparable to Bitcoin’s, are run by tens of thousands of full-time employees. (Bitcoin developers are all volunteers, many of whom are part time.) These numbers seem to not only illustrate the “ultra lean” nature of the Bitcoin machine, but also, the purpose-driven orientation of its contributors.

Do you want the missionaries or the mercenaries? Do you want hired guns to come build things and then they leave when the money’s gone, or do you want the missionaries who are here for a purpose?”

Crypto Thesis for 2023 | Ryan Selkis