28 May

The Moscow-based Interfax news agency and Reuters reported Friday that Ivan Chebeskov, who heads the Financial Policy Division within Russia’s Finance Ministry, is actively considering the possibility of incorporating crypto payments.

The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed.

The Finance Ministry is considering adding the proposal on international payments to an updated version of a crypto law that’s still under construction.

Support for cryptocurrency legalization appears to be coming from all segments of the Russian government. According to trade minister Denis Manturov, Moscow plans to legalize crypto payments “sooner rather than later.” In April, the country’s Finance Ministry supported legalization in a bill titled On Digital Currency.”

Bangkok-headquartered Siam Commercial Bank (SBC), the oldest and one of the biggest banks in Thailand, has entered the decentralized finance (DeFi) realm via Compound Treasury. Compound Treasury, a kind of institutional wrapper that leverages custody firm Fireblocks, converts U.S. dollars into fiat-backed USDC on Compound, which allows institutions to earn fixed annual yields of 4%.

We think Compound has created a regulated instrument that’s very easy to understand: U.S. dollar in, U.S. dollar out with a fixed 4% interest rate.

Large institutions including banks have been eyeing the DeFi space, with services like Compound Treasury and Aave Arc offering a serviceable entry point.”

See Also: JPMorgan trials blockchain for collateral settlement in after-hours trading

“Three ​​Republican senators, Tom Cotton, Mike Braun and Marco Rubio, introduced a bill on Wednesday, aiming to limit the use of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the United States. According to the bill, app and software distributors in the U.S. shall not support or enable transactions in e-CNY or support any app that features such transactions in the country.

The senators reasoned that banning China’s digital yuan in the U.S. would help the nation avoid “direct control” and surveillance of users’ financial activity.

The Chinese Communist Party will use its digital currency to control and spy on anyone who uses it. We cannot allow this authoritarian regime to use their state-controlled digital currency as an instrument to infiltrate our economy and the private information of American citizens.”

Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos traded lower on Friday despite another move upward in stocks. Crypto traders are still in risk-off mode after experiencing almost nine consecutive weeks of negative returns. BTC is on track for a 27% decline this month, although it is up 10% from its recent extreme low at $25,840 on May 12.

Over the short term, however, prices could stabilize. On the macro front, MRB Partners, a global investment research firm, expects equity markets to rebound should global growth conditions prove resilient. The firm is ‘[a]ssuming interest rate expectations and bond yields stay calm for a period of time, which is probable as inflation will temporarily decelerate, first in the U.S. and then elsewhere. Central banks, in turn, likely will briefly cool their newfound hawkishness.’

The short-term rise in stocks could be a tailwind for crypto, assuming the high correlation between both assets remains intact. In contrast, perhaps the decline in cryptos signals limited upside in stocks as risk-off sentiment prevails.”

See Also: Ether Accounts for Almost Half of $520M Liquidations Amid Weak On-Chain Data
See Also: UK Crypto Hedge Fund Weathers Market Storm With Arbitrage Strategy

“In a Wednesday blog post, Buterin noted that the increased amount of scrutiny placed on crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) since the Terra crash is “highly welcome,” but he warned against writing off all algo-stablecoins entirely.

The Ethereum co-founder offered two thought experiments to determine if an algorithmic stablecoin is “truly a stable one.”

In Buterin’s view, if the market activity for a stablecoin project “drops to near zero,” users should be able to extract the fair value of their liquidity out of the asset. Buterin highlighted that UST doesn’t meet this parameter due to its structure in which LUNA, or what he calls a volume coin (volcoin), needs to maintain its price and user demand to keep its United States dollar peg.

Buterin also feels it is vital for an algo-stablecoin to be able to implement a negative interest rate when it is tracking “a basket of assets, a consumer price index, or some arbitrarily complex formula” that grows by 20% per year.”

Terra’s most valuable asset – the loyalty of their developers – is being challenged. With the launch of Terra 2.0, projects must decide whether or not they will stay loyal to the Terra ecosystem or choose another path. Competing blockchains are offering up major perks for them to develop on greener pastures.

Terra’s failure shouldn’t punish [the decentralized applications] built on it.

Kadena, a layer 1 blockchain founded in 2016, announced a $10 million Terra relief fund Thursday in an attempt to court projects into its ecosystem. Polygon, an Ethereum sidechain, has also announced a multimillion-dollar fund to assist Terra projects looking to build in the Polygon ecosystem.

These developers are also facing poaching efforts from Terra’s competitors, with some blockchains even launching eight-figure funds to help sweeten the deal.

Project founders are really exploring other options, even more than I was anticipating. Terra 2.0 has too much up in the air, the path forward is being questioned.”

27 May

“Prior to the U.S. election in November 2020, I opined that the regulatory risk to bitcoin was already lower than the regulatory risk to the giants of the Nasdaq. Public opinion had already turned against these titans of the data industry, fueled by concerns about election tampering and manipulation. Terms like “surveillance capitalism” entered the vernacular.

Congress was increasing its scrutiny of the industry as the public realized that these companies swindle us. Suffice it to say that the uphill regulatory path for the elite members of the Nasdaq has steepened further, which makes it less likely that they will repeat the 10x return in this decade that they achieved in the last one.

Because of inflationary drivers, smart analysts of the 2020s have drawn comparisons to both the 1940s and the 1970s. Both were periods of high consumer price inflation in which consumer price inflation significantly outstripped interest rates, which helped the economy manage its debt.

In the 1940s, gold ownership for investment purposes was prohibited. That didn’t stop many Americans from owning it and protecting their purchasing power. In the 1970s, gold was the single best-performing major asset. Gold investors made approximately 30% annualized. By contrast, stocks returned just 5% annualized.

This brings us to digital gold, aka bitcoin. With roughly $600 billion of total network value, bitcoin has approximately the value (in nominal terms) of the sum total of the top seven members of the Nasdaq a decade ago. And bitcoin could easily accrue another $10 trillion of value this decade like those companies did in the prior one.

The Nasdaq had a great run last decade. Recent price action suggests that may be ending. Bitcoin’s price has also had a rough ride recently. But given that bitcoin is the hardest monetary asset ever invented, and the forces of inflation seem likely to endure, I expect bitcoin to be the must-own asset of the 2020s.”

MXNT is Tether’s first foray into Latin America and joins the company’s other pegged coins — USDT (U.S. dollar), EURT (euro) and CNHT (China’s yuan). The token will initially be supported in the Ethereum, Tron and Polyong blockchains.

The company bills this effort as a “testing ground” in Latin America that it expects will “pave the way” for more fiat-pegged tokens in the region.

We have seen a rise in cryptocurrency usage in Latin America over the last year that has made it apparent that we need to expand our offerings.

Mexico is “a prime location for the next Latin American crypto hub,” said Tether, noting a report from Triple A stating that 40% of Mexican companies are interested in adopting blockchain and crypto in some way.”

See Also: ‘Other flavors of Tether’ will bridge users to USDT: Paolo Ardoino

“MetaMask can now help victims of crypto scams and phishing attacks recover their lost assets – or at least try to.

London-based Asset Reality, a specialist when it comes to investigating and recovering stolen crypto assets, will act as a case handler and help MetaMask users around the globe build an investigation in the event they fall victim to fraud.

Partnering with Asset Reality gives users a way to start an investigation to try and track down their stolen funds and possibly lead to a recovery down the line.

Once a MetaMask user makes a report, Asset Reality carries out an initial investigation involving some blockchain analytics, which provides the user an understanding of what has happened. The recovery firm also acts as an expert witness if the user wants to be connected with a lawyer or get together into a larger class action.”

A well-designed central bank digital currency could complement stablecoins and cash, Brainard will say in front of the House Committee on Financial Services on Thursday.

CBDC could coexist with and be complementary to stablecoins and commercial bank money by providing a safe central bank liability in the digital financial ecosystem, much like cash currently coexists with commercial bank money.

Brainard also addressed the capabilities of a CBDC to facilitate global payments, and how the U.S. can serve as an example in digital finance with ‘privacy, accessibility, interoperability, and security.'”

See Also: US Fed Vice Chair Says Digital Dollar Would Take 5 Years to Launch
See Also: Ark 21Shares Backers Take Another Shot at Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval

DeFi insurance protocol InsurAce has already processed nearly all 173 submitted claims and will pay out $11 million.

On May 13, InsurAce caused a stir when it announced it had shortened the claims window for those with cover related to Anchor (ANC), Mirror (MIR), and stablecoin Terra USD (UST) following the collapse of the Terra layer-1 blockchain.

We want the best for everyone here, but if this were traditional insurance, people would be stuck in litigation for months or years.”

See Also: Crypto Exchanges Including Binance, FTX To Support ‘Terra 2.0’ Relaunch

26 May

“Immutable X, which is powering the next generation of web3 games as the leading carbon-neutral, scalable platform for trading NFTs on Ethereum, today announced its expansion to be the world’s first cross-rollup liquidity platform for NFTs, built on StarkNet.

This announcement allows players to directly trade any asset matched across multiple Ethereum Layer 2 and Layer 3 roll-ups, solving the liquidity fractionalization problem that occurs with every individual roll-up today and scaling to billions of users.

The protocol will facilitate hundreds of thousands of transactions per second, supporting games with hundreds of millions of daily players to truly own their in-game items.

This is the future of Ethereum – multiple roll-ups for different purposes and games, each abstracted and unified in liquidity via Immutable X – while never compromising on Ethereum’s security. The next billion players can scale across hundreds of L3s, while never losing the liquidity and composability that makes Ethereum the strongest blockchain network in the world.

Secure, composable and insanely scalable: welcome to L323.

Until now, any web3 project that required both scale and composability had no choice but to choose a less-secure, non-Ethereum Layer 1, which is prone to suffer outages and where assets can incur significant liquidity penalties. Immutable X’s mission is to ensure developers don’t have to choose between Ethereum’s security/liquidity and the UX of their game.”

Soulbound is a property of an item that makes it non-exchangeable. In the paper, the accounts are referred to as “Souls” and tokens held by the accounts as “Soulbound Tokens” (SBTs).

Imagine a world where most participants have Souls that store SBTs corresponding to a series of affiliation, memberships, and credentials. For example, a person might have a Soul that stores SBTs representing educational credentials, employment history, or hashes of their writings or works of art.

In terms of blockchain and Web3, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that Soulbound tokens have the potential to transform the industry. In a nutshell, Soulbound tokens create identity and representation of users by giving them unique traits. Unlike NFTs that represent what someone can afford, SBTs will stand for who a person is.”

“Digital assets have replaced real estate as a preferred alternative asset class, according to the JPMorgan’s alternative investments outlook and strategy note.

While public markets already price in significant recession risks, and digital assets have repriced significantly following the collapse of terra USD [UST], some alternative assets such as private equity, private debt and real estate appear to have lagged somewhat. We thus replace real estate with digital assets as our preferred alternative asset class.

Looking more broadly at crypto, they said the Terra collapse has crushed sector sentiment, thus offering a “good entry point” for longer-term investors. The key to avoiding a “long winter” akin to 2018-2019, they say, will be venture capital funding, and thus far there’s little evidence that has dried up.”

See Also: Andreessen Horowitz Establishes $4.5B Crypto Fund, Its Fourth
See Also: StarkWare nets $100M as investors bank on layer-2 success

Circle Internet Financial is arguing the U.S. Federal Reserve should pass on launching a digital dollar, arguing that could strangle private-sector efforts such as Circle’s to manage their own dollar-based tokens. Circle also underlined potential harms a digital dollar might pose to traditional banking, which the banking industry itself pointed out in its own letters.

USDC does not detract from, but in fact supports, the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency.”

See Also: FTX’s Bankman-Fried Pitches CFTC on Directly Clearing Customers’ Crypto Swaps
See Also: Crypto Whales Ditched Tether for USDC After Stablecoin Panic

“The National Football League and the NFL Players Association have partnered with Mythical Games to develop a blockchain game with NFTs called NFL Rivals.

The fantasy football game—where users act as an NFL team’s general manager—will feature all 32 teams and all league players as tradeable NFTs. The game will primarily focus on team building and leveling up with NFTs and is set to debut next year.

The game will be “play and earn” as well as “play and own,” meaning players can earn tokens as well as NFTs by winning matches or completing set objectives. Mythical Games—now valued at $1.25 billion—has created its own private Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible sidechain for Web3 games like NFL Rivals.

We’re really bullish on the potential of blockchain technology to drive future fan engagement.”

See Also: ‘Love, Death + Robots’ Returns to Netflix With NFT Scavenger Hunt
See Also: Golf Brand Callaway Joins LinksDAO as Equity Investor, ‘Strategic Partner’

Portugal’s parliament today rejected a proposal to tax Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Portugal has long been considered a cryptocurrency tax haven—proceeds from individual sales of cryptocurrencies have been tax-exempt since 2018.”

“A snapshot of the Terra blockchain is expected to take place later this week ahead of the launch of “Terra 2.0,” a so-called revival of the Terra ecosystem. The revival plan is now moving forward after the conclusion Wednesday of a vote among network validators, with a 65% approval rate.

The revival plan, although passed by Terra’s network validators, was pushed live even as results from a preliminary online poll on a hard fork plan found minimal backing among community members. Some 92% of over 6,220 voters on a previously held online poll voted against the change.

Investors who held over 10,000 LUNA tokens before UST’s implosion will receive the new tokens periodically, to prevent immediate selling. Over 30% of their tokens would be unlocked initially, and the remaining 70% would be released over two years. New tokens will be distributed after six months to such holders.

The supply at genesis is considerably lower than anybody is anticipating, closer to 116.7M rising to 182M after [one] year.”

25 May

“Perhaps nothing announced the turbulent crypto industry’s arrival at the world’s biggest business table more than the fact that the WEF itself is holding serious discussions about digital money, with industry participants as key players.

Jeremy Allaire, chairman and CEO at Circle Pay, and Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, sat side by side on Monday to discuss remittances and digital money at an issue briefing at the WEF media village. Garlinghouse said that regulatory clarity is a problem that needs to be solved, adding that the U.S. is lagging behind in setting up clear rules for the crypto sector.

We don’t think about cross-border emails. We don’t think about having a cross-border web browsing session, it’s absurd to think about that. And I believe we’re on the cusp of that with money. And I think when it comes to remittances, I believe the concept of a remittance will also disappear.

A panel featuring Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, PayPal (PYPL) CEO Dan Schulman, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and economist Jason Furman that purportedly focused on the future of the U.S. economy continued the discussion on crypto. All of the panelists quickly became very enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts on stablecoins and the like, despite the best efforts of New York Times Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumenstein, who moderated the panel, to put a stop to it.

I think we ought to have a framework that allows privately issued stablecoins to thrive in a rational framework and if that happens, I’m not sure how much we need a digital dollar.

Promenade, the main street that leads to the Congress where the official WEF panels take place, is dominated by crypto companies.In 2018 it was all crypto castles and now it’s all about branding. It’s established companies coming to Davos as an industry.

That’s not to say central bankers and finance regulators are enamored with the idea of digital assets. On a WEF congress main stage, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not money but assets.”

See Also: WEF 2022, May 24: Latest updates from the Cointelegraph Davos team

“Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who are both speaking at Consensus 2022 in June, have been at work for months on the bipartisan legislation, which they said they expect to make public in June.

The bill would lean on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as the primary regulator for spot markets and futures. The legislation would also clarify that crypto mining would not be regulated under rules for broker-dealers.

We are truly committed to creating the type of baseline and framework legislation that will allow this industry to grow, allow it to flourish. The best thing we can do for all these businesses is to bring clarity.”

“Fintech firm Stripe along with bitcoin (BTC) payments infrastructure platform OpenNode are joining forces to allow Stripe’s merchant customers to instantly convert all or portions of incoming payments to bitcoin via the OpenNode app.

The app gives businesses a simple and secure way to convert incoming payments to Bitcoin in real time, automatically or on demand.”

“Wall Street bankers are arguing that the Federal Reserve launching its own digital dollar could crack the foundations of banking as we know it, according to letters industry lobbyists sent to the U.S. central bank on Friday.

The American Bankers Association, predicted that a digital dollar would mean ‘deposits accounting for 71% of bank funding are at risk of moving to the Federal Reserve.’

While a U.S. digital dollar has frequently come up in congressional hearings and debates over legislation, no bill has yet found traction that would encourage the Fed to set it in motion. The early negotiations over a CBDC often include its potential effect on stablecoins, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said he expects private stablecoins could coexist with a digital dollar.”

24 May

On Monday, in an interview for CNBC, Rostin Behnam, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), affirmed his perspective that Bitcoin and Ethereum are commodities and ought to fall under the CFTC remit.

The CFTC chairman said that it would analyze a wide range of assets to determine which of these assets qualify as commodities or securities. When asked about the connection between the SEC and the CFTC, he answered that the agencies are attempting to offer investor assurance.”

See Also: CNBC: Bitcoin, ethereum are commodities, says CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam (Video)

Video game retailer GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) today launched its non-custodial, browser-based Ethereum wallet similar to MetaMask. The wallet leverages Loopring’s ZK-rollup technology, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling protocol for cheaper and faster transactions. The wallet can be downloaded as a browser extension from the chrome web store.

The wallet would let users store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across various crypto apps. It will support NFT trading through the upcoming launch of GameStop’s NFT marketplace in Q2 2022.

Though the wallet is non-custodial, it does track certain user information, including IP address, GPS coordinates, and information near to the user’s device, according to their privacy policy.

It also monitors the user’s network, clicks, mouse position and keystroke logging.”

See Also: Interest in Ethereum Name Service reaching ‘critical mass’

“The Seoul Metropolitan Police have asked various crypto exchanges to ban Luna’s capability of withdrawing company funds. Seoul police are seeking to ban the entity from withdrawing suspectedly embezzled funds.

Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon is already under the financial crimes microscope and is facing a tax evasion investigation by a South Korean police unit known as the ‘Grim Reaper.'”

See Also: Litecoin confidential transactions spook Korean exchanges
See Also: Terra’s Difficult Post-Collapse Path: VCs Backing Away, Regulators Jumping on Stablecoins
See Also: Goldman Sachs Says DeFi’s Interconnections Can Increase Systemic Risk

The e-commerce giant is testing the NFT waters with digital hockey collectibles. Following the Gretzky launch, eBay said it will continue its push into NFTs later this year with digital reinterpretations of various Sports Illustrated covers.

The Gretzky NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership—are on the Ethereum sidechain Polygon and were issued through a partnership with Sports Illustrated and NFT platform OneOf. Some of the NFTs contain Gretzky’s digitized autograph.”

“The Onyx Digital Assets network uses tokens for short-term trading in fixed income markets, enabling investors to lend out assets for as little as a few hours without them actually leaving their balance sheets.

Goldman Sachs (GS) has also previously tapped JPMorgan’s network for repo trading. Some $300 billion of intraday repo deals have been conducted on the Onyx network since its launch in 2020.

We see this as part of our efforts to utilise the technology for the whole trading and operations lifecycle as the market evolves.”

See Also: PayPal looks to embrace all possible crypto and blockchain services
See Also: Fed Finds Unbanked Americans Are Turning to Crypto at a Higher Rate

“Lockheed and Filecoin plan to identify a satellite or other space-faring platform that can hold the technology to operate an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) node, identify that platform’s needs and try and identify a test mission by August 2022.

IPFS is an open-source data storage and sharing protocol. The idea is to reduce latency when downloading data from remote locations, such as the moon, said Marta Belcher, the head of policy and general counsel at Protocol Labs.

Joe Landon, vice president of advanced programs development at Lockheed, said the move is meant to anticipate an emerging “space economy.”

In the future, we’ll have one satellite refueling another. That’s a transaction that takes place entirely in space that doesn’t really have a nexus back on Earth. Decentralization makes sense for that. [We’re] redesigning a lot of the technologies [that] just aren’t ready to work in space.”

“An L2 scaling solution takes advantage of the security of an L1 chain like Ethereum and alleviates traffic on it by “rolling up” a number of transactions into a single package to be settled at once. The incoming Optimism airdrop could mark the beginning of a rapid influx of users to L2s.

L2s right out of the gate, more secure and decentralized than alt-L1s and are built to use sound money on a credibly neutral platform.

Several major decentralized apps (DApps) are already deployed on L2s. Decentralized exchange (DEX) SushiSwap and yield aggregator Curve are on Arbitrum. Meanwhile, crypto derivatives protocol Synthetix and DEX Uniswap are on Optimism.

As of the time of writing, Arbitrum is the largest L2 on Ethereum with $2.65 billion in TVL, according to L2beat. The entire Ethereum L2 ecosystem has a TVL of $4.77 billion. These numbers may be set for an explosion if the right forces conspire to draw users and capital away from other L1s.”

“I think at the high level for us, Web 3 is the term for the movement whereas crypto is the underlying tech that makes it possible.

A16z compared take rates, or the fee a marketplace charges on a transaction from a third party, between Web 2 and Web 3. Meta (FB) had nearly 100% take rates across Facebook and Instagram compared to the 2.5% take rate for non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea.

A16z conducted new data analysis to compare the payouts of Ethereum-based NFT creators with Web 2 creators. Last year, primary sales and royalty payments of Ethereum-based NFTs totaled $3.9 billion, four times the $1 billion that Meta reserved for creators through 2022.

While Web 2 currently holds far larger user numbers, the upstart rival wins in terms of payouts. Overall, Web 3 paid out $174,000 per creator compared to the $0.10 per user for Meta, $636 per artist for Spotify and $2.47 per channel for YouTube.

Using a number of on-chain metrics, a16z estimates a wide range of between 7 million and 50 million active Ethereum users. The firm estimates that Web 3 could potentially reach 1 billion users by 2031, meaning we are currently still in the early innings.

Analogizing to the early commercial Internet, that puts us somewhere around the year 1995 in terms of its development timeline. The internet reached 1 billion users by 2005 – incidentally, right around the time Web 2 started taking shape amid the founding of future giants such as Facebook and YouTube.”

“Cointelegraph’s team is on the ground in Davos, Switzerland to bring in the latest updates from one of the most significant global events of the year. The topics of discussion among world leaders include blockchain technology, the role of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), Web3 and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

Crypto used to be a bad word in Davos. Now, it’s being talked about, and there are more and more cryptocurrency companies taking part.”

21 May

“Ethereum core developer Preston Van Loon told a panel at the Permissionless conference today that there’s momentum behind finalizing the move in the next three months. Ethereum Foundation Justin Drake, also on the panel, noted there’s a ‘strong desire to make this happen before [the] difficulty bomb in August.

If everything goes to plan, August—it just makes sense.”

See Also: Binance Adds Support for Layer-2 Ethereum Scaling Solution Optimism

“OpenSea has announced the launch of a Web3 marketplace protocol for ‘safely and efficiently buying and selling NFTs.

The marketplace protocol, dubbed Seaport, will give users the option to obtain NFTs by offering assets other than just payment tokens like Ether (ETH). According to the platform, a user ‘can agree to supply a number of ETH / ERC20 / ERC721 / ERC1155 items‘ in exchange for an NFT, implying bartering a combination of tokens as a method of payment.

OpenSea does not control or operate the Seaport protocol — we will be just one, among many, building on top of this shared protocol.”

Investors have largely exited the Terra ecosystem – now evident in DeFi protocols on the blockchain – and analysts remain skeptical about its long-term prospects.

Data from trackers show funds held in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications built on Terra have slumped to $155 million in locked value as of Friday morning. Locked value on Terra DeFi peaked at $30 billion in early April.

Experiencing significant losses, or seeing others take significant losses – at no fault of their own – is probably one of the fastest ways for a protocol or blockchain in this space to lose the trust of the community.”

See Also: Terra’s amended revival plan would decrease the allocation for post-attack UST holders
See Also: Could Terra’s Do Kwon Go to Prison?

“The CEO of crypto lending and staking platform Celsius Alex Mashinsky believes “the Sharks of Wall Street” can smell blood in the water and are causing instability at several crypto projects.

Mashinsky attributes recent Celsius (CEL) price falls, the brief Tether (USDT) depegging and collapse of Terra (LUNA) — at least in part — to short sellers on Wall Street. CEL has fallen from its all-time high of $8.05 to $0.82, which is a 90% drop.

This is not a coincidence. This is somebody who decided, ‘You know what? I’m going to take down all of Celsius. They took down Luna. They tried Tether, Maker and many other companies. It’s not just us. I don’t think they have a specific hate or focus on Celsius. They are all looking for any weakness to short and destroy.

The point is that the Sharks of Wall Street are now swimming in crypto waters.”

See Also: Amid crypto carnage, Goldman and Barclays fill their bags
See Also: Coinbase Co-Founder Fred Ehrsam Buys the Dip, Purchases $75M of Company Stock
See Also: 20% drop in the S&P 500 puts stocks in a bear market, Bitcoin and altcoins follow

“The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is scheduled to take place from May 22–26, marking the first in-person WEF global leadership event since the pandemic began. At the Davos blockchain event, individuals will be able to gather, learn, discuss and demonstrate how blockchain is a crucial driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Blockchain and digitization and their subsequent impact on various global sectors will be featured topics during the annual meeting, with discussions ranging from the emerging role of the decentralized finance market to how blockchain can be applied to eradicating world poverty.

Crypto industry leaders like Sam Bankman-Fried will present the environmental sustainability goals of Bitcoin to world leaders. The role of decentralized finance in the future of governance will be another key event to watch out for. The session will see discussions around the need for centralization in the decision-making process and whether DeFi protocols can do without regulation.”

20 May

“The Chicago outpost of Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading empire said it will begin testing stock trading functionality for a handful of U.S. users on Thursday. The launch comes as FTX makes an aggressive push into the traditional financial ecosystem.

Our goal is to offer a holistic investing service for our customers across all asset classes.

The exchange also plans to let its customers fund their accounts in the stablecoin USDC. This effectively means that the same go-between asset for crypto traders can enter the stock market.”

Tether reduced its commercial paper holdings by 17% from $24.2 billion to $20.1 billion in the first quarter, according to its latest attestation report. The reduction in commercial paper has continued with a further 20% cut since April 1, which will be reflected in the second-quarter report, Tether announced Thursday.

The majority of this $20.1 billion (around $18 billion) is comprised of A-1 and A-2 paper, which qualify as investment grade. The geographic location of the commercial paper issuers was also not found in the report.”

Sellers using the Crypto.com Pay feature can allow customers to settle their accounts with over 20 tokens. Shopify merchants also have access to Jack Mallers’ Strike, Coinbase Commerce and BitPay.

Our growing blockchain ecosystem demonstrates our commitment to supporting merchants with alternative payment methods on their storefronts, helping to further expand what’s possible in commerce.”

“If the proposal is passed, CRV emissions from all pools involving UST would be ended, effectively ending all incentives for anyone to provide their UST to Curve. And the consensus seems to agree as 100% of all voters have voted to end CRV emissions from UST-related pools at writing time.

Due to the current circumstances, i.e., UST trading 90% off-peg and Terra ecosystem having approx. $9B in bad debts, there is currently no prospect of a sustainable recovery of the peg.

The proposal further pointed out that Curve pools involving UST could act as a way for opportunistic investors to attract exit liquidity for their failed investments.”

See Also: South Korean watchdog reportedly fines Terraform Labs $78M for tax evasion
See Also: Avalanche Plummets Double-Digits as Crypto Meltdown Continues

“In light of the recent turmoil in the crypto-asset market, the G7 urges the FSB (Financial Stability Board) … to advance the swift development and implementation of consistent and comprehensive regulation.

The FSB, an international body based in Basel that was responsible for generating many of the post-2008 financial norms, had previously promised a report on the regulation, supervision and oversight of global stablecoins for October of this year.

The FSB’s leader, Klaas Knot, has already volunteered to write a crypto rulebook that could cover financial stability and investor protection issues.”

See Also: US Appeals Court Orders SEC to Bring Enforcement Actions to Jury Trials
See Also: Commerce Dept. Asks for Public Comments on Framework for US Crypto Competitiveness

19 May

“Lens Protocol opened on the Polygon blockchain mainnet Wednesday. Built by Aave Companies, it allows developers to build their own decentralized social media networks in which users fully own their data. Today people can starting minting their profiles, an Aave spokesperson said, noting about 50 apps are already built on Lens.

Aave’s Lens differs in its focus on non-fungible tokens (NFTs): each creator gets their own. These “profile” NFTs link to their followers and communities and interact with the 50+ platforms available at launch.

Web 3 social ensures that users are in control of their content which makes the applications and algorithms compete on bringing the best experience layer to the users.

Aave has additionally launched a $250,000 grants program to fund projects seeking to build decentralized applications (dapps) on Lens.”

See Also: Elon Musk Wants Twitter to Be WeChat-Style ‘Super App’ With Payments

“Ethereum developers have reached another milestone on their way to the long-awaited ETH 2.0 network upgrade—the Ropsten public testnet will undergo an upgrade to proof-of-stake consensus on June 8.

As it prepares for upgrading the mainnet, the Ethereum Foundation has bumped up rewards on offer from its bug bounty program, launched in 2021. The max Ethereum bounty for reporting vulnerabilities in upgrades that are already live on public testnets or scheduled to be released on the Ethereum mainnet are doubled at the moment, bringing the ceiling to $500,000.”

The five applications suggest the social media firm may use its namesake in a payments processing platform called Meta Pay.

The filings included Meta’s name for use in a online social networking service for investors allowing financial trades and exchange of digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, digitized assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens and utility tokens.”

See Also: Two credit card firms in Israel to let cardholders buy Bitcoin

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration will press Congress to demand cryptocurrency exchanges keep their customers’ money separate from their own corporate funds. Federal officials will push in the coming weeks to put the change into any crypto bill considered by Congress.

Spurred by Coinbase’s (COIN) recent disclosure that customers’ money would be jammed up if the company declared bankruptcy, federal officials intend to push U.S. lawmakers to fix the problem by insisting that a future legal framework require crypto firms keep customer assets walled off. That type of custodial rule is standard for financial firms such as futures platforms, but crypto exchanges routinely mingle their funds with customers’ holdings in the same pot.

But not everybody sees fencing off customers’ money as the best answer.

Legislators should work on a Digital Asset Investor Protection Act that mirrors the Securities Investor Protection Act. It could give investors primary status in bankruptcy proceedings, and it could also set up a backstop fund to cover losses like the one securities investors have.”

See Also: SEC Chair Gensler Threatens Action Against Unregistered Crypto Exchanges, Again

“The Coinbase Institute, which was announced on Tuesday, will ‘cut across many disciplines and provide expert analysis and insights about what’s happening in the global crypto economy.’ A key priority for the institute will be the dissemination of empirical and peer-reviewed research. This will include an academic partnership with the University of Michigan to measure household adoption and attitudes toward cryptocurrency.

Coinbase’s launch of a “think tank” is consistent with the mentality of CEO Brian Armstrong, who has often expressed frustration with media accounts of the crypto industry he views as wrong or uninformed.

The Coinbase Institute has already issued its first report, titled “Crypto and the Climate,” which makes the case that the industry’s high energy use is often justified, and claims that it contributes to new forms of energy efficiency and longterm sustainability.”

See Also: Crypto giants co-launch Chainabuse platform to water down rising scams

“Terra governance prop #1623 to rename the existing network Terra Classic, LUNA Classic ($LUNC), and rebirth a new Terra blockchain & LUNA ($LUNA) is now live.

As per the proposal, the new chain would entirely cut out the failed UST product and instead focus on decentralized finance (DeFi) applications building on Terra. The current chain would continue as Terra “Classic,” while holders of LUNA on the “Classic” chain would receive a token airdrop of the new chain’s token under the plan.

At writing time, some 64% of voters on the on-chain proposal supported the fork, while 34% voted against it. The community, however, is apparently not on board. Some 92% of over 6,220 voters on a previously held online poll have voted against the change, with the most popular responses calling for “no fork.” Most comments on the proposal’s discussion are negative. Some even term it “anti-community,” while others urged legal intervention.

The primary challenge the Terra community has against a new fork as proposed by Do Kwon is trust. Anything incoming from Luna’s team may be treated in the same way as the lack of trust prevails. It’s rather a speculative asset now than a representation of a tier 1 ecosystem. The chances of a consensus are very low.”

See Also: Mike Novogratz Ends Twitter Silence, Shares Take on UST/LUNA Crash

“Bitcoin dipped to under $30,000 in European trading hours on Wednesday amid a retreat across traditional markets, as traders and analysts assessed the potential economic ramifications of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s pledge Tuesday to keep tightening pressure on financial conditions until inflation shows signs of weakening.

What we need to see is inflation coming down in a clear and convincing way and we’re going to keep pushing until we see that.

In traditional markets, U.S. stocks were poised for declines on Wednesday based on the direction of futures trading, with weakness appearing as a disappointing earnings report from Target sent the giant retailer’s shares plunging more than 22%. Inflation is forcing consumers to spend more on food and less on discretionary items.”

Asia-based genomics firm Genetica and Web3 data management firm Oasis Labs have partnered to tokenize genomics profiles with the aim to enhance genomics-based precision medicine. The partnership is also backed by Vietnamese government officials who are very supportive of Web3 technologies and data rights.

Genetica will migrate 100,000 genomic data profiles to the Oasis Network. These profiles will allow the data owners to have full control and knowledge of how their genetic data is being used.

The partnership enables us to turn the idea of issuing GeneNFTs to our users a reality.”

May 18

As host of an annual meeting of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is promoting the use and adoption of bitcoin to 32 central banks and 12 financial officials representing emerging economies.

The event, which takes place between Monday and Wednesday, covers topics such as financial inclusion and the digital economy, Bukele said, as well as the benefits El Salvador has obtained from becoming the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender last year.

Among the countries attending are Paraguay, Haiti, Honduras, Costa Rica and Ecuador in Latin America; Angola, Ghana, Namibia and Uganda in Africa; and Bangladesh, Palestine and Pakistan in Asia.

El Salvador, which joined the AFI network in 2012, has made significant progress in harnessing digital financial services to advance financial inclusion for individuals and small businesses.”

“The EY OpsChain Supply Chain Manager, which is now available in a beta version, is the first joint project between Ernst & Young and Ethereum scaling tool Polygon.

The project is aimed at tackling chokepoints along supply chains combining product traceability with inventory management. Organizations would create tokens to represent assets and inventory, which the OpsChain manager would then track across the supply chain network.

Polygon Nightfall, the network combining the fruits of the two entities’ labor, offers zero-knowledge proof-based privacy technology, guaranteeing that only selected parties can see the full history of the assets tracked.

Enterprise use cases outside of financial services are still not widely developed. Privacy tools open a whole new world for us.”

See Also: Ledger Adding Browser Extension to Connect Hardware Wallets to Web 3 Apps
See Also: Coinbase Expands Features, Allowing Some App Users to Access Ethereum-Based Dapps
See Also: Fireblocks Deploys ‘Web3 Engine’ for Firms Eyeing GameFi, NFTs

“S&P Global’s (SPGI) ratings division has created a decentralized finance (DeFi) strategy group to help build the company’s decentralized market framework for investors. The team seeks to build out S&P’s analytics and risk assessment capabilities for both traditional finance and DeFi clients.”

See Also: Global financial regulators will discuss crypto at G7: Report

“The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a legislative agency that supports the United States Congress, has published a document that contains a rundown on algorithmic stablecoins and points out key factors to look at in the TerraUSD (UST) crash.

The CRS described the TerraUSD crash as a “run-like” scenario where holders started to doubt the reserves that back the dollar peg. The research agency further explained that run-like scenarios in traditional finance are guarded by regulation and other measures such as bank deposit insurance and liquidity facilities.”

See Also: Do Kwon summoned to Korean parliamentary hearing following UST and LUNA crash

“It’s not possible to make direct purchases, but after reading about the NFT and seeing an enlarged preview, the user can tap to be redirected to the OpenSea page where they can purchase the item.

The tests are being conducted in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.

Musicians are actively exploring the NFT market, which could be a vital source of revenue. In 2021, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda became the first major-label artist to release a single as an NFT, and the Kings of Leon were the first band to release a whole album in the form of nonfungible tokens. Aoki, according to an estimate from Rolling Stone, made close to $3 million from minting just two NFT pieces out of the 11-piece collection.”

See Also: ApeCoin Migration Draws Interest From Avalanche, Flow

“China is once again contributing a significant chunk of the world’s bitcoin (BTC) mining operations despite the ban last year. From September 2021 to January of this year, China’s contribution to the bitcoin mining network was second only to that of the U.S.

Following the crackdown on bitcoin mining in the country last year, China’s share was reduced to 0% in July and August. However, the CCAF’s latest data show that the figure was up to 22.29% in September and fluctuated around 20% in October-January.

This suggests that underground mining activity has been underway in China.

Access to off-grid electricity and geographically scattered small-scale operations are among the major means used by underground miners to hide their operations from authorities and circumvent the ban.”

“Internet security company Cloudflare has announced it will run and fully stake several Ethereum validator nodes in the coming months. Cloudflare is committed to playing a small role in the transition to Ethereum 2.0.

Cloudflare says its Ethereum validator nodes ‘will serve as a testing ground for research on energy efficiency, consistency management, and network speed.’ Cloudflare was founded in 2010 to help businesses fortify and speed up their websites. The company’s mission is to build a ‘better internet.'”

“Despite being publicly endorsed by the respective mayors of both cities, MiamiCoin (MIA) and NewYorkCityCoin (NYC) have plunged 90% and 80% since their all-time highs. The assets were developed by the CityCoins project, a Stacks layer-on blockchain-based protocol aiming to provide crypto fundraising avenues for local governments.

Miami mayor Frances Suarez has spoken about the potential use cases of MIA on multiple occasions and most recently announced in February that the local government had disbursed $5.25 million from its reserve wallet to support a rental assistance program.

While the governments have benefited from the partnerships, the user/investor side of things appears to share mining rewards, and a supposed 9% annual BTC yield from “stacking” (essentially staking) the assets on the Stacks blockchain is not enticing enough to drive strong demand.

People will stop mining the coin if they can’t make money off of it.”

17 May

“Her Majesty’s Treasury has reportedly decided to go ahead with regulating stablecoins as legal tender.

Economic Secretary JohnGlenUK announced today that stablecoins will be brought into UK payments regulation. This places the UK financial services sector at the forefront of technology, creating conditions for stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and invest.

While the recent crash of the Terra ecosystem — which saw an unrecoverable downfall of LUNA and UST — was expected to raise red flags among the regulators, the U.K. Treasury maintains its course ‘to ensure the U.K. financial services industry is always at the forefront of technology and innovation.’

However, the Treasury’s plan does not involve legalizing algorithmic stablecoins and instead prefers 1:1 fully-backed stablecoins.”

See Also: UK Court recognizes NFTs as ‘private property’ — What now?
See Also: German Regulator Calls for New DeFi Laws
See Also: ECB’s Panetta: Digital Euro Could Come Out Within 4 Years

“B3, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, confirmed that within six months it intends to launch its first official product aimed at the cryptocurrency market — Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading. In addition to BTC and ETH futures, B3 also intends to offer services to national cryptocurrency exchanges and to be a kind of “centralizer” of custody and settlement operations.

We are identifying points of friction that we can help resolve to face up, such as helping our customers provide the best access to their end customers.

Currently, in Brazil, institutional and retail investors can trade 11 ETFs through B3 with exposure to cryptocurrencies. In addition, there are more than 25 investment funds approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) that offer different types of exposure to the crypto-assets market.”

See Also: Grayscale Investments to List Its First ETF in Europe
See Also: Oasis Pro Raises $27M for Crypto Securities Trading Platform

“LFG notes that it has almost entirely depleted its BTC reserves from around 80,000 bitcoins to 313. The remaining assets [roughly $80M], which mostly comprise the crashed UST and LUNA tokens, will apparently be used to compensate investors.

LFG denied accusations that it bailed out whales with the bitcoin trove: ‘there was never any deal for ‘insiders’ to exit. LFG funds were merely used squarely within its mandate to help protect UST peg.‘ LFG said it sold off most of the BTC in its reserves for UST as Terra’s ecosystem was beginning to collapse early last week.

Monday’s statement from LFG comes amid criticism that Terra’s reserve funds, which were supposed to belong to the “decentralized” Terra community, were handled with a lack of transparency by Terra’s centralized leaders and investors.

UST’s price plummeted further in response to Monday’s announcement – from 15 cents to 7 cents.”

See Also: What Happened to the $3.5B Terra Reserve?

See Also: Kwon Proposes Forking Terra, Nixing UST Stablecoin in ‘Revival Plan 2’
See Also: CZ: “This won’t work.”

“Portuguese Minister of Finance Fernando Medina said cryptocurrencies will be subject to taxation in the near future, according to comments in the nation’s parliament on Friday. While she confirmed the new policy will include a capital gains tax, the government has not yet explained how staking or yield farming might be affected.

The government has said that [it] will move forward with the taxation of crypto.

Portugal was previously considered a tax haven for cryptocurrency investors, in part due to an effective capital gains rate of zero.”

See Also: Nigeria’s SEC Affirms All Digital Assets Are Securities in New Rulebook
See Also: Indian Central Bank Says Cryptos Could Lead to ‘Dollarization’ of Economy: Report

“Bitcoin (BTC) has had seven straight weeks of losses for the time first in its history amid a downturn in broader markets, stricter crypto regulations, waning retail interest and systemic risks in the crypto sector, data shows.

Adding to the downside is the bleak outlook for U.S. monetary policy, where no light at the end of the tunnel with rate hikes can be seen yet.

In April, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note that the Fed’s aggressive measures to control inflation could result in a recession. The investment bank put the odds of an economic contraction – a phase of the business cycle in which the economy as a whole is in decline – at about 35% over the next two years.

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein reiterated that sentiment over the weekend, stating the U.S. economy was at a “very, very high risk.” Such an environment could cause a drawdown in U.S. equities, which may spread to bitcoin and cause further sell-offs in the coming weeks if the current correlation continues.

See Also: Analysts flag Bitcoin price levels to watch after LFG sells 80K BTC

“The joint U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council will collaborate on the research and development of technology to track carbon emissions, and will look at blockchain technology as a potential tool for measuring and utilizing lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) assessments.

The working group will examine the potential of several “emerging technologies,” including blockchain technology, to track emissions more reliably.”