The Disrupt Weekend

“On May 2, a Texas House committee passed a bill to create 100% reserve gold and silver-backed transactional currencies. Enactment of this legislation would create an option for people to conduct business in sound money, set the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money, and possibly create a viable alternative to a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The legislation would require the state comptroller to establish and provide for the issuance of gold and silver specie and also establish digital currencies that are 100% backed by gold and silver, and 100% redeemable in cash, gold, or silver. Specie is defined as ‘a precious metal stamped into coins of uniform shape, size, design, content, and purity, suitable for or customarily used as currency.’

In establishing gold and silver specie, the comptroller would be required to authorize the Texas Bullion Depository as issuer and ensure that the holder of the specie may use the specie as legal tender. The comptroller would also be required to create a mechanism to use 100% backed gold and silver digital currencies in everyday transactions. Physical gold and silver backing the digital currency would be stored in a pooled account at the Texas State Bullion Depository.

The creation of state-issued gold-backed and silver-backed digital currencies would create currency competition with Federal Reserve notes and undermine the Fed’s monopoly on money. It would also provide a sound money-backed competitor if the Federal Reserve implements a central bank digital currency.

Professor William Greene, an expert on constitutional tender, said in a paper for the Mises Institute that when people in multiple states actually start using gold instead of Federal Reserve notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

On May 2, the House State Affairs Committee passed HB4903 by a 7-6 vote. HB4903 will now move to the Calendars Committee. This committee determines which bills move to the House floor for a vote. Supporters of the bill in Texas have created an online tool to register support for the bill.

This is one of several bills introduced in the Texas legislature this year to promote sound money, including legislation to establish state gold and silver reserves, and a bill to make gold and silver legal tender in the Lone Star State.”

“Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, temporarily paused bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals Sunday morning U.S. time as the Bitcoin blockchain became overwhelmed with pending transactions and sky-high fees. On-chain data shows that there are nearly 400,000 unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions, which is higher than anything seen during the bull runs of 2018 and 2021.

Biggest difference now between this jump in transaction fees and past ones with inscriptions is that BRC-20 standard is a new way to inscribe. Adoption of this standard is driving fees up.”

See Also: U.S. Justice Department Investigating Binance for Russia-Related Sanctions Violations: Bloomberg

“A new frenzy is sweeping cryptoland – so-called “BRC-20s” are fungible tokens deployed on the Bitcoin blockchain. The proposed new standard was introduced in March by a coder known online as Domo.

But Domo, and most other experts, have issued strong warnings against financial speculation in the new token format. In fact, just after the experimental standard was launched, Domo declared that ‘These will be worthless. Please do not waste money mass minting.’

Above all, BRC-20s aren’t broadly compatible with smart contract or decentralized finance (DeFi) systems. Despite borrowing their nomenclature from Ethereum’s ERC-20s, they’re not technically parallel. There are certainly possible use cases for simple tokens on Bitcoin, but their structure may wind up being radically different from tokens on Ethereum.

There’s a much more immediate downside to BRC-20s current limitations, even for degens happy to play the decentralized Ponzi game of memecoins. The lack of DeFi compatibility means that BRC-20s can’t benefit from liquidity provided by DeFi services like trading pools. So even pure speculation in the tokens may not have the frothy upside of a similar token issued on Ethereum.

[Further], the BRC-20 standard is just a proposal at this point, and there’s no guarantee it will be widely integrated into blockchain tools like wallets and exchanges. The design of BRC-20 isn’t necessarily finalized, much less fully vetted or adopted. If a competing or improved standard winds up being more widely adopted, the current wave of BRC-20s could become little more than digital museum pieces.”

“Implementing the new on-ramp service aims to support Web3 companies by providing a user-friendly way for customers to top up their crypto wallets. This comes after mobile payments service Venmo announced its own fiat-to-crypto payment service on April 28. Meanwhile, Robinhood announced its fiat-to-crypto on-ramp at Consensus on April 27.

Companies interested in offering cryptocurrency and blockchain-enabled experiences often face a cold start problem: Their customers don’t have the crypto in their wallets to carry out transactions.

Stripe’s newly launched fiat-to-crypto on-ramp, which Stripe itself will host, will allow Web3 companies to offer United States-based customers the ability to purchase crypto “at the precise moment they need it” without the need to embed any code into a website or app.

Several Web3 companies, including privacy-focused browser Brave, decentralized finance protocol 1inch and blockchain protocol Lens Protocol, have already implemented Stripe’s fiat-to-crypto on-ramp.”

See Also: Deloitte integrates blockchain for digital credentials

The Immutable Passport offers fiat deposits, withdrawals, and crypto swaps within the wallet, so users won’t have to go through the hassle of using a third-party crypto exchange and migrating funds. This also means that if games want to offer users the ability to pay with fiat currency instead of IMX or Ethereum, they’ll be able to do so from their wallet.

The two biggest challenges facing Web3 game studios today are security and player onboarding. The complexity of a crypto wallet often leads to confusion and skepticism.

The vast majority of wallet solutions available today aren’t designed for gamers and actually detract from an immersive gaming experience. Our aim is to bring down the cost of install by more than 10-20X—all without compromising self-custody.”