17 March

“Fidelity Digital Assets quietly opened access to Fidelity Crypto for the masses.

Millions of users can now trade bitcoin and ether commission-free on the platform. The app was previously restricted to a waitlist, with users given access on a rolling basis. Fidelity Crypto is open to new and existing customers.

Fidelity, which has 37.1 million total retail accounts, has acted sooner than most of its peers in the U.S. in offering crypto to retail clients.”

Arbitrum, the biggest player in Ethereum’s layer 2 scaling landscape, is finally getting a token. The Arbitrum Foundation said on Thursday that ARB, Arbritrum’s new token, will be airdropped to community members on Thursday, March 23.

ARB will mark Arbitrum’s official transition into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), meaning ARB holders will be able to vote on key decisions governing Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova. Unlike ether (ETH), which is used to pay out fees on Ethereum (and Arbitrum), the ARB token will only be used for protocol governance.

ARB’s introduction has been timed to coincide with the launch of Arbitrum Obit, which will allow third-party apps and protocols to build new “layer 3” blockchains based atop Arbitrum’s low-fee infrastructure.

Arbitrum worked with Nansen, the crypto analytics firm, to “snapshot” user activity in February in order to determine who should be eligible for ARB tokens. ‘How many transactions you did, how many different applications you used, and how long you’ve been using‘ Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nitro were among the factors used to determine eligibility. Arbitrum users will be able to check their eligibility for the airdrop and claim tokens by visiting gov.arbitrum.foundation.

ARB’s total circulation will number 10 billion. The Arbitrum community will control 56% of those tokens – the airdrop will grant 11.5% of the total supply to eligible Arbitrum users, and 1.1% to DAOs that operate in the Arbitrum ecosystem. The remaining community tokens will go to a treasury controlled by the new Arbitrum DAO, which will allow ARB holders to vote on how to disburse the funds.

The other 44% of ARB’s circulation will go to the investors and employees of Offchain Labs. These tokens will be subject to lock-up periods and vesting schedules.”

See Also: Google Searches for Arbitrum Soar Amid Airdrop Announcement

“The “attempt to restrict liquidity” was the result of governments trying to strangle many of the weaker, relatively unregulated players and eventually set back adoption.

It may end up having the opposite effect as exchanges and other players in the industry move offshore to jurisdictions that are courting financial technology innovators, leading to more robust infrastructure and less hostility.”

See Also: Banking Chaos a ‘Reminder’ of Fractional-Reserve Risks: Circle Global Policy VP
See Also: US credit crunch means it’s time to buy gold and Bitcoin: Novogratz
See Also: Investors Flock to Tokenized Diamond as Crypto Banking Crisis Props Hard Assets
See Also: Tether’s Stablecoin Market Cap Now Double USDC After SVB Chaos

Signature Bank is on the market after being shuttered by New York state regulators on Sunday, but any potential buyer reportedly has to agree to a major caveat: no crypto. Reuters first reported the development on Wednesday evening, citing people familiar with the matter. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said bids for the bank must be submitted by Friday.

Many in the crypto industry – including former acting Comptroller of the Currency, and one-time Binance.US CEO, Brian Brooks – have speculated the closure of the three banks is indicative of a coordinated effort by regulators to choke the crypto industry off from the banking system.

Barney Frank, a Signature Bank board member and former Democratic U.S. congressman who co-authored the Dodd-Frank Act, also suggested the takeover was spurred by an anti-crypto motive, telling CNBC that Signature Bank was solvent – and that regulators intervened anyway to send a message.”

See Also: Banking Giant State Street Cuts Ties With Crypto Custody Firm Copper

In a March 16 notice, the Blockchain Association said it had submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for documents and communications that could potentially show regulators’ actions “improperly contributed” to the collapse of the three banks.

BA is investigating troubling allegations — including account closures and refusal to open new accounts — which have grown more concerning in the wake of this week’s banking crisis. A crisis that long term crypto opponents have rushed to blame, incorrectly, on the technology.

According to Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith, crypto firms ‘should be treated like any other law-abiding business‘ in the U.S. with access to bank accounts.”

See Also: Stop Blaming Crypto for Traditional Finance Failures
See Also: Former FDIC Regulator: Friendliness Toward Crypto ‘Does Not Exist’

Ethereum developers set a target date of April 12 for its long-awaited Shanghai hard fork.

The Shanghai upgrade, more accurately called “Shapella,” marks the completion of Ethereum’s full transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) network, and will enable staked ETH withdrawals. All three tests on Ethereum’s testnets ran smoothly.”

A $1 billion bid by Binance.US to buy Voyager Digital’s assets should go ahead, a bankruptcy judge ruled in a Wednesday court filing, denying a bid by the U.S. government to put proceedings on hold.

Government filings exaggerate and in some places mischaracterize what I have done and the authorities on which I have relied, and in other instances rely on hyperbole or on ‘straw man’ arguments.”

“The Swiss Bankers Association released a white paper on how Swiss banks can support the development of the country’s digital economy. A Swiss franc “joint” deposit token is the solution the group settled on.

The authors of the paper suggest a variety of stablecoins — that is, a deposit token “issued by regulated and adequately supervised intermediaries” — issued and redeemed by smart contracts and denominated in Swiss francs.

Joint tokens are issued by a licensed and supervised special purpose vehicle consisting of participating banks. The token would ideally be a layer-2 solution usable in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and capable of self-custody or bank custody.

From a technical standpoint, all the economic and legal requirements that have been identified can be met. […] In principle, the DT should operate on a public blockchain with additional protocols to ensure sufficient privacy and transaction efficiency.”

See Also: European Parliament votes to form final law on EU digital wallet