25 June

“Option expiries can influence market direction via a process known as “pinning” in which option traders try to move the spot price to avoid sharp losses.

Skew CEO Emmanuel Goh said that ‘with big quarterly expiry, you tend to see some pinning and then the market moving post-expiry.’ Open interest is concentrated at $10,000 and $11,000 strike prices. As a result, $10,000 may act as a stiff resistance heading into expiry.

This is definitely the largest BTC option expiry by a country mile.”

See Also: Veteran Commodities Trader Chris Hehmeyer Goes All In on Crypto
See Also: Low Exchange Reserves Suggest Futures Traders Are Over-Leveraged

“Decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens from Balancer, Ren, Aave and Swissborg have all made huge gains, in the wake of excitement generated by the distribution of Compound’s governance token.

Less than twelve hours after Balancer announced its protocol governance token BAL was live on the Ethereum mainnet, and the price jumped from $6.65 to $22.28. It’s following in the footsteps of COMP which more than tripled in value this week.”

See Also: DeFi-Nitely a Bubble? Seller Blamed as COMP Crashes 45% on Coinbase
See Also: Compound Token Suffers Heavy Losses But Still Dominates DeFi Rankings

“The sale was for the governance token of a decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem called the DeFi Money Market. The interest rates are backed by real-world assets, mostly cars.

Termed the DMM, it’s an Ethereum-based yield farm that claims to offer consistent interest rates of 6.25% on Ethereum (ETH), decentralized US dollar stablecoin DAI and centralized US dollar stablecoin USDC.”

Brazil’s central bank has ordered Mastercard and Visa to suspend processing money transfers on behalf of Facebook’s WhatsApp.

The Central Bank of Brazil (BC) took action against WhatsApp Pay ‘to preserve an adequate competitive environment‘ and allow the central bank to assess the risks posed by the firm to the country’s existing financial sector.

Despite taking swift action against WhatsApp, Brazil’s central bank also announced that the payments feature will likely be integrated with PIX — the central bank’s forthcoming blockchain-like digital payments system.”

Recommended read.

“The world’s oldest central bank presents four models for supplying a digital version of the Swedish krona (e-krona) as well as outlining how well the different models would fit its policy goals.

The four models under review include a “centralized e-krona provision without intermediaries,” “a centralized model with intermediaries,” “decentralized solutions with intermediaries” and “a synthetic e-krona.”

The Riksbank concludes that both the centralized and decentralized model featuring intermediaries, as well as the centralized e-krona provision without intermediaries, would incur substantial change and cost. A synthetic digital version of the Swedish krona, the paper says, could prove to be viable but may not even classify as a CBDC.”

The History of (Yield) Farming

“A bill that would outlaw end-to-end encryption for technology companies was proposed by three Republican senators. The proposed legislation ‘would bring an end to warrant-proof encryption in devices, platforms, and systems.

It is not clear why Graham and his colleagues felt the need to propose a bill that, on the surface, seems to have similar goals to the EARN IT Act — stripping the individuals of the right to use privacy-preserving technology while forcing technology companies to become even more responsive to the state’s whims.”

“Braintrust launched out of stealth mode Wednesday, backed by a $6 million seed round. The tech startup aims to cut the middleman (think: ZipRecruiter, Indeed) from the employment decision.

In the current environment of massive economic uncertainty, it is our responsibility to share our expertise in managing a distributed workforce.

Braintrust has already sourced hires for firms such as Porsche, Nestle, Blue Cross Blue Shield, TaskRabbit and even NASA.”

24 June

“LibertyX, the firm that launched one of the early Bitcoin ATMs, has just made purchasing Bitcoin in cash possible at more than 20,000 retail locations across the United States. Customers of retailers including 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, and Rite Aid [can now] buy Bitcoin (BTC) with cash.

Users need to have the LibertyX mobile app installed, select which retailer location they will visit in advance, and scan their barcodes at the time of purchase. Crypto holders can buy between $20-$500 with transactions processed in minutes for a small fee.

Now, everyone is only a few miles away from owning bitcoin.”

“KPMG has built a suite of tools designed to help both traditional financial companies and fintech startups provide tightly managed crypto-asset services.

Targeting institutional clients, the new KPMG Chain Fusion product lets customers manage their data in compliance with regulations around financial reporting, security and processing needs. The suite allows these customers to collect and organize data from both traditional systems as well as blockchain databases.

This allows these entities to run “advanced analytics” on the data.”

See Also: In Banking First, ING Develops FATF-Friendly Protocol for Tracking Crypto Transfers

“Balancer’s core function is it allows users to make pools of tokens that automatically rebalance, and to tokenize those pools. So if a pool was built so that the value was 50% WBTC, 25% WETH and 25% BAT, for example, it would sell some of its WBTC for WETH and BAT if WBTC shot up in value, so that the proportion of value went back in line. In short, it automates crypto indices.

The dapp can offer the same DEX functionality as Uniswap. The big question for BAL: Can it catapult Balancer into Uniswap’s place as the AMM of choice on Ethereum?

The smart contract governing BAL provides for 100 million tokens with no inflation. So far, 35 million have been minted. Of those, 25 million are designated for the team, advisers and investors. The remaining 65 million tokens mint at a rate of 145,000 BAL every week, which means it would take about nine years to fully distribute.

I think we will see that Balancer builds a very successful brand quickly.”

Ja Rule has inked a deal with Roll, an Ethereum-based protocol that allows content creators to control their own platforms using cryptocurrency’s native digital scarcity.

The concept of social money allows artists to have birth-to-death control over their content. Tokenizing access to personal work such as music or writing enables an artist to be paid in their own currency, letting them set the monetization rules.

If someone can create their own social network online, they should be able to create their own social money. This really allows them to give users a stake in their community and create this deeper sense of belonging.

Founded in 2019, Roll launched into private beta this week backed by a $1.7 million seed round led by BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes.”

See Also: Social Money (On a Roll) – Single (Audio)

“New Solidity deposit contract formally verified and added to the bounty program.

The time is almost here for the first public, multi-client testnet of v0.12 – Altona with an expected launch date in the next seven days.”

“The Status Keycard now works with Android smartphones to make mobile apps more secure. It also enables a user to both authorize the spending of crypto and acts as a form of two-factor authentication (2FA) for logging into applications.

Now we are working on developing an open payment network. It would be particularly interesting in countries where it is difficult to open a bank account.”

See Also: Handshake Goes Live With an Uncensorable Internet Browser

Baseline Protocol

“SmartContract, the company behind the Chainlink oracle network, will help the state-backed Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN) with sourcing of reliable information about the real world. Meanwhile, Iris Foundation Ltd., an “inter-chain” services firm that integrates businesses with the Cosmos network, will assist BSN with interoperability, or allowing different systems to work in conjunction with each other.

Our users will be able to obtain outside data such as stock prices and financial transactions through Chainlink while getting cross-chain services between blockchains adapted in the network with Irisnet.

We have been on-boarding two to three public chains every month.

BSN aims to deliver a demonstration of its cross-chain services as early as September.”

See Also: Chainlink (LINK) Near New All-Time High — Here’s 3 Reasons for the Rally

“The Police Accountability Now (PAN) Protocol is designed and built on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and the Ethereum blockchain, so it can’t be shut down by any central entity. The aim is for civilians and police officers to file misconduct reports in an anonymous and searchable way.

Police misconduct reports are hard to obtain for journalists, much less members of the public. Reports are rarely seen by people outside of the police department. Only 12 states make the records public.

This protocol is meant to enable anyone to create a gateway/front end and let anyone log complaints.

We highly encourage someone to build a follow on adjudication process/protocol that verifies/vets any claim put into the database.”

See Also: Microsoft, EU-Based Universities Say Blockchain Could Help Meet Paris Agreement Carbon Goals

“A federal judge ordered Eran Eyal, the founder of the Shopin cryptocurrency, to pay $450,000 in fines last week as a result of allegations he committed fraud.

He paid the $450,000 fine in 3,105 ether, according to an SEC press release.”

See Also: What the Supreme Court ruling on SEC penalties means for crypto

23 June


Fintech giant PayPal plans to roll out direct sales of cryptocurrency to its 325 million users.

My understanding is that they are going to allow buys and sells of crypto directly from PayPal and Venmo. They are going to have some sort of a built-in wallet functionality so you can store it there.

The service could be expected ‘in the next three months, maybe sooner.’

Crypto is increasingly seen as an obvious way to bolster user numbers on fintech apps and create new revenue streams.”

“DeFi “yield farming” is the latest meme exciting investors in the crypto universe.

One of the first mainstream DeFi use cases is high-yield interest income in which users deposit their crypto to earn a high rate of return, often 100 times higher than the typical commercial bank savings account (i.e. 10% vs 0.1% APY). DeFi yield farming takes this basic concept and compounds returns by utilizing leverage to gain additional exposure to various crypto assets.

Considering the average bank saving account interest rate is 0.1% and DeFi products can yield 100%+ annualized yields, are these products inherently 1,000 times riskier? Probably not, and thus savvy investors and traders are cashing in on these arbitrage opportunities.

These rates will naturally decline over time as the space grows in size and volume and DeFi products become battle tested and hardened. Until then, DeFi yield farming will serve as a catalyst increasing user adoption and acclimating users to the notion of “unbanking” themselves.

See Also: 3 Reasons Why DeFi Tokens Are Outperforming Bitcoin Price

“Wang made the announcement during the online 2020 Fin­tech Fo­rum organized by Ten­cent Fin­tech Re­search In­sti­tute and the Fin­tech 50 Fo­rum in Beijing.

China’s CBDC is currently in its testing phase, Wang said during the forum. The country has also started drafting laws that will help the launch and implementation of its digital currency.”

See Also: Italian Banks Are Ready to Trial a Digital Euro
See Also: Chinese City Issues Post-Pandemic Consumer Vouchers on the Blockchain

“The pair modeled a so-called basket-backed stablecoin in a hypothetical scenario, evaluating the likely impact that stablecoin would have on the economy as well as the likelihood of it being adopted.

Our model shows that although the basket may have the potential to become important and globally demanded, [the regular ebb and flow of fiat value and trade] make it such that the basket never dominates either of the component currencies.

Although the basket currency will never dominate the sovereign currencies it comprises, we find that there can be substantial gains in world welfare if many sellers accept the basket as payment.”

“The company will use the investment to spread cashless solutions to businesses across Asia.

In times of social distancing, fintech infrastructure such as payment gateways are key tools in performing day to day financial transactions in a fast, secure and convenient manner.

Our subsidiaries are developing new and improved technologies and financial infrastructure to enhance customer experiences with seamless value transfer systems that would also accommodate a cashless society.”

See Also: Anthony Pompliano Continues Push for Pension Fund Crypto Allocation
See Also: $10M Investment From Tether Won’t Change Celsius’ Mission of Sharing

“Ebang will reportedly get listed on Nasdaq on June 26, becoming the second crypto mining company to go public in the United States.

Notably, Ebang’s sales have been decreasing since 2018. In 2019, Ebang’s annual revenue was $109 million, which constituted a 66% drop in growth from $319 million in 2018.

This is great for the Bitcoin mining industry because as more ASIC manufacturers go public we have more transparency and accountability.”

“On a relatively new exchange like the Antigua-based FTX, the order book depth now matches the depth seen on industry leader BitMEX.

As of Monday, the daily average bid/offer spread for bitcoin perpetual swaps for $10 million quote size on FTX is 0.32% compared to 0.28% on BitMEX. A small spread implies a highly liquid market and vice versa.”

“Honeywell has announced that its newest quantum computer has reached a quantum volume of 64—twice that of IBM and Google’s rival machines. Honeywell aims to increase the quantum volume of its machine by a factor of 10 every year, reaching a score of 640,000 by 2025.

According to a June 2017 paper, a quantum computer would need to have around 2,500 qubits of processing power in order to break the 256-bit encryption used by Bitcoin, although the crypto industry is preparing defenses.”

The Disrupt: Weekend

Recommended read.

“Peter Thiel is always on the lookout for billion-dollar ideas hiding in plain sight. Well, DeFi is a trillion-dollar idea hiding in plain sight. Maybe even a few hundred trillion depending on how you want to measure it.

DeFi (Decentralized Financial Services on Ethereum) is a programmable fintech platform. Ethereum’s smart contracting capabilities and token standards combine to enable an incredibly powerful (and open) set of developer tools for building new financial technologies.

Every assumption about fintech today assumes SWIFT’s continuing role as the dominant global financial router. Visa sits in the middle of a powerful multi-sided network among banks, merchants, and consumers.

Once a job is done — and credit cards do their jobs very well — it takes a 10x improvement to get users to switch, and, in a three-sided network, that 10x is 10^3.

In the DeFi economy, Ethereum addresses replace both SWIFT codes and bank accounts. The DeFi stack re-routes the value that traditionally accrued to the Visa network and banks back to the merchants and consumers. The best part? Merchants and consumers get better banking and financial services. Banks become unnecessary middlemen.

That’s just the sort of 1,000x improvement that can break even seemingly well-entrenched network effects.

With infrastructure adoption beginning now but direct user adoption not yet here, it’s clear that the DeFi platform is still in its gestation phase on the Perez Curve. And you don’t need to be on the Midas List to figure out what comes next.

So when will the institutional capital show up in DeFi? Could it be as simple as institutional capital returns to the industry when the retail price of ETH rises again? Many crypto VCs think so.”

Andreas on the Dissolution of the Status Quo and the Rise of Blockchain-based Governance (Good Watch!)

“There are many DeFi projects that are flourishing this year. Lets take a look at the 7 DeFi projects that have grown the most in these first months of 2020, and are performing better this year.”

It’s an open question whether the blockchain platform and its enthusiastic community can take the wider world into the next era: the decentralized equivalent of the industrial revolution.

By most measures, the Ethereum ecosystem is undergoing an impressive growth spurt.

According to analysis by Glassnode, the majority of ether transactions are now used to pay for a variety of smart contact commands rather than simple monetary exchanges between so-called externally owned accounts. That, along with a reduction in large-scale “whale” ether accounts, suggests transactions on Ethereum are now more connected to utility than to speculative activity.

Despite all this progress, the Ethereum economy is still just a tiny dot within the $88 trillion global economy. If it is to change the world, scalability and adoption need to happen. If the Ethereum community is to achieve its sweeping goal to create a decentralized economic system, it must function at scale. All hinges on Ethereum 2.0.

See Also: Eth2 Development Update – Onyx Testnet

“On June 15, Compound users began earning the application’s new governance token, COMP, for all cryptocurrency lent to others on the app and also for all borrowed. Users rushed to get the first disbursements of COMP because the liquid supply on the market is so limited.

This drove many users to supply Compound with considerably more capital, and in most cases, for those users to turn around and borrow against that capital, so they could earn COMP both for borrowing and lending.

See Also: The COMP Rush Explained (Video)
See Also: Ivan on Tech on COMP Yield Farming (Video)

“In 1996, there were over 8,000 public companies listed on exchanges in the United States. Fast forward to 2020 and there are only approximately 4,400 — a drop of 46% despite the fact that the S&P 500 quadrupled in value.

The additional scrutiny that comes with being a public company, and byzantine U.S. equity market structure are all partially to blame. Fortunately, the pace of formation of private companies is at a record high and entrepreneurism is alive and well.

While we champion the formation of new innovative companies, the shift from public to private ownership has had the negative side effect of locking out most public investors from the rewards of ownership. With large companies going public later, private investors reap most of the financial gains by the timeshares that are available on a listed exchange.

Security token exchanges would allow blockchain technology to simplify the complexities of custody, clearing and trading. The outcome is a simple exchange listing venue with price discovery that has the potential to encourage more issuers to go public to reach new investors. In turn, investors would benefit by gaining access to previously closely held assets — a virtuous circle for capital markets.”

Zerion has spent almost two years building an interface that can track your entire DeFi portfolio from one place and show you complete transaction history.

At the click of a button, you can export a CSV of your entire portfolio history, categorized by the kind of transaction taking place – such as lending, borrowing, or adding liquidity – and then further sorted into an accounting type for taxation purposes.”

“Today eight technology companies from seven different emergent economies will receive an investment of Ethereum cryptocurrency from the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund.

UNICEF’s crypto-enabled investment vehicle has given these companies 125 ETH, worth approximately $28,600, to use in scaling or prototyping their respective technologies over the next six months.

We are seeing the digital world come at us more quickly than we could have imagined – and UNICEF must be able to use all of the tools of this new world to help children today and tomorrow.”

See Also: Ethereum Foundation Makes Second Crypto Donation to UNICEF

20 June

Recommended read.

“Ethereum’s consensus algorithm is not the only thing changing with the launch of Eth 2.0. The underlying cryptography itself is getting an overhaul based on leading research out of the Electric Coin Company.

Called BLS12-381, the new elliptic pairing curve will securely coordinate transactions on the proof-of-stake (PoS) Eth 2.0 network, while opening up opportunities for data savings and privacy-tech solutions.

Currently, the ins and outs of that curve are being baked into the [Eth1] network with Ethereum Improvement Proposal 2537. That EIP is slated for delivery with the protocol’s 10th hard fork, Berlin, tentatively scheduled for July.

If we have that, then an eth2-in-eth1 client is actually not that hard, which opens the door to applications that use eth2 as an availability engine (ie. things like Plasma but waaay more powerful). [Vitalik]”

Singapore’s central bank is looking to join forces with China in exploring central bank digital currencies.

Singapore, which is also actively exploring blockchain-based CBDCs, is looking to exchange related knowledge and expertise with China, noting that Singapore and China’s central bank are discussing various CBDC development scenarios.

The main goal of Singapore’s CBDC project is to cut cross-border payment and settlement costs, reduce settlement time, and ensure transaction security. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been working on its blockchain-powered interbank payment project since late 2016.”

See Also: Bank of Thailand Launches Digital Currency Pilot Project
See Also: Cambodia Plots a Dollar-Free Future With Blockchain-Based Payments
See Also: The Queens Politician Who Wants to Give New Yorkers Their Own Crypto

“More than 40 companies including [Bitstamp, Blockchain.com, BitGo, BitPay, Crypto.com], Ripple, Brave and Huobi have joined forces to form the Open Payments Coalition and launch universal payments system PayID.

Reaching more than 100 million consumers, the new payment process will allow users to send or receive money anywhere in the world across any payment network in real time.

Payments will need to be interoperable between fiat and cryptocurrency, and easy to send and receive across the globe.

PayID is already in wide use in Australia, where it was progressively introduced over the last three years.”

See Also: PayID Explainer (Video)

“The #Ethereum miners are voting to increase the Block Gas Limit from 10,000,000 to 12,500,000. In theory, this means that the Ethereum network now has the capabilities to handle ~44 transactions per second, instead of ~35.

On the other hand, increasing the number of transactions per block makes the blockchain bigger—and more difficult and expensive to run. This could reduce the number of people who run Ethereum nodes and help to keep the network secure.

Ethereum’s blockchain capacity was similarly expanded by 25% last September.”

“Dharma CEO Nadav Hollander explained the implications of opening up governance of Compound for a company like his. ‘It’s like being a bank and getting to vote at Federal Reserve meetings – only any user of the protocol can do it.

In fact, Dharma has already been actively taking part. It has a proposal in now to increase the amount of interest earned on tether (USDT) deposits on Compound.

PoolTogether contracts are earning COMP and currently, the value of that COMP is actually greater than the value of the interest accruing to the prizes!

We’ve seen user demand for ocUSDT (protection on USDT deposits in Compound) as lots of DeFi users have been attracted to the COMP incentives for USDT. [Opyn]”

See Also: How to Maximize Earning $COMP By More Than 5X Using Instadapp (Video)
See Also: Tether’s Supply on Compound Jumps to Over $224M in a Week

“The network is meant to allow IoT devices to access a wireless network. It also acts as a gateway to the internet. Devices on the network can also send transactions through the Helium blockchain.

The hotspots are both low-power wireless access points accessible from up to 10 miles away and nodes on the Helium blockchain. Node operation is rewarded using the firm’s Helium (HNT) tokens.

Helium CEO and co-founder Amir Haleem previously founded the P2P file sharing internet software, Napster. Helium’s network currently covers over 700,000 miles across North America in 1,000 cities.”

See Also: French Fintech Firm Announces $78.5M Paris Real Estate Tokenization Deal

“The world’s best digital artists and platforms descend on Genesis City for the first ever Art Week in Decentraland.

Kicking off with a launch party in Genesis Plaza, Art Week features a huge array of gallery viewings, roundtable discussions, art showcases, podcasts and more.”

“Alarm bells started ringing in early March when Factom Inc. told investors it faced liquidation unless it received further funding by the end of the month. Factom Inc. has now opted to go the Chapter 11 route, which allows it to restructure the business and pay creditors over time.

Factom Inc. Chairman David Jevans [stated] the company’s closure will have no impact on the running of Factom Protocol, a trustless data provenance layer built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.”

19 June

Reddit is anticipating big demand for its Ethereum-based “Community Points” system only one month after rolling out the product.

Posted in the r/Ethereum subreddit Thursday, Reddit announced a partnership with the Ethereum Foundation to find a Layer 2 (L2) scaling technique for the site’s 430 million users.

Applicants are asked to submit proofs-of-concept by July 31 with reviews concluded by September.”

See Also: Reddit Post

“zkSync is built using Matter Labs’ zkRollup technology: a combination of cutting-edge research in zero-knowledge proofs with on-chain data availability.

zkSync massively reduces [transaction] costs while gradually enabling VISA-scale throughput of up to 2,000 TPS. Fees [are] payable in the token being transferred. Instant confirmations on transactions and finality within minutes.

While zkSync v1.0 scales crypto payments on Ethereum today, it also lays the technological foundation for the next steps on our roadmap: enabling smart-contract functionality, privacy, and cryptographically secured censorship-resistance.”

“In a terse exchange about imposing sanctions and tariffs with China, Trump reportedly told Mnuchin: ‘Don’t be a trade negotiator,’ ordering him instead to: ‘Go after bitcoin [for fraud].’

If you don’t want me on trade, fine, your economic team will execute whatever you want,‘ Mnuchin retorted. The exchange comes from an excerpt from Bolton’s new book.

The conversation is said to have happened in May 2018, around the time investors were cheering bitcoin on after it rose 33% against the dollar. It’s unclear from the excerpt what specifically led Trump to order Mnuchin to crack down on bitcoin.

Trump made his own thoughts on bitcoin abundantly clear last summer. ‘I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,’ he tweeted.”

Traders may now be able to hedge the risks they face from interest rate payment fluctuations in perpetual contracts. And it could also help those lending and borrowing in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Thus, companies that borrow MakerDAO’s dai and need to pay the volatile stability fee as interest can also hedge.

In traditional finance, interest rate derivatives are the largest traded contracts on organized exchanges as well as in the over-the-counter markets globally.

Interest rate swaps will give sophisticated traders an opportunity to more easily access, hedge, and arbitrage floating interest rate markets like Compound – leading to more stable, and less volatile financial products.”

See Also: Crypto.com enters Bitcoin derivatives market to rival OKEx, Huobi

The nation’s Ministry of Justice opposed the draft new regulation Tuesday, a week after the Ministry of Economic Development also criticized it. The bill was introduced by lawmakers in March but is broadly believed to be the brainchild of the country’s central bank.

The justice ministry pointed out it’s not clear what courts would be able to do with confiscated crypto. Normally, marshals would sell seized property at auctions, but if all crypto transactions are illegal in Russia this wouldn’t be possible.”

See Also: Russia Officially Lifts Its Two-Year Telegram Ban
See Also: DoJ Backs Trump’s Challenge to Section 230 and Social Media Platform Neutrality

“PieDAO has launched USD++, a hedged basket of USD-denominated Ethereum (ETH)-based stablecoins.

PieDAO USD++ contains four stablecoins which have been weighted in such a way as to minimize price volatility for holders. Weightings are determined according to which stable tokens have the strongest peg, largest market, and greatest trust from the community.

At present the USD++ basket comprises 47.22% USD Coin (USDC), 28.58% TrueUSD (TUSD), 20.42% Dai (DAI), and Synthetix USD (sUSD).

Stable coins are not created equal, they have trade offs in security models, centralization, and divergence to the $1 peg.”

“It’s not unfair to say the DeFi market has been completely overtaken by Compound this week. The question, of course, is why.

Coinbase Pro announced Thursday it will list COMP next week. The total amount of tether (USDT) on Compound is up almost 8,000% since June 11. Compound is the only DeFi market besides MakerDAO to break $200 million in TVL [total value locked].

Given that COMP represents a potential claim on future interest paid, as more collateral onboards to Compound, this should make COMP more valuable as more lenders/borrowers show up. (In the short term though, most of COMP’s price fluctuations are a function of the tiny float. Think Zcash early days. I wouldn’t read too much into the current price.)”

See Also: FTX Releases COMP Derivatives to Keep Up With DeFi Frenzy

Andreas on DeFi and KYC/AML

See Also: DeFi Explained (Video)

“The trial, which ran between Dec. 2018 and Jan. 2020, was part of the RENeW Nexus Project, which investigated the potential of localized two-sided energy markets and blockchain technology to improve the energy system.

As part of the project, Power Ledger’s blockchain platform — which tracks energy consumption and allows users to sell their surplus solar energy to other residents — will in future be combined with a microgrid that uses a 670 kilowatt hours community battery in order to support inter-household trading.”

See Also: Tokyo Power Company to Use Blockchain for Trading Electricity Surplus

“MyEtherWallet, a well-known Ethereum wallet app, is releasing a feature named “Host Your Own Site” that provides an easy interface for its users to upload a website to the InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS.

The websites are hosted on a decentralized network of peer-to-peer computers, which makes them resilient to most censorship tools available for the traditional web.

[We are] slowly taking the first step towards a fully decentralized future.”

“The newest release of the Bancor decentralized exchange appears to be vulnerable to a very serious bug that can result in a significant loss of user funds.

Hex Capital speculated that the team was “too late in many cases” to save funds.

The Bancor team rescued $409,656 in total and spent 3.94 ETH for gas, while automatic front-runners captured $135,229 and spent 1.92 ETH for gas. Users were charged for $544,885 in total.”

18 June

“According to the results of Deloitte’s 2020 Global Blockchain Survey conducted from Feb. 6 to March 3, 2020, 39% of 1,488 senior executives and practitioners in 14 countries said they have already incorporated blockchain into production at their companies — a 16% increase on last year’s figures.

The survey revealed many firms are increasingly prioritizing blockchain technology and the potential of digital assets. 82% of respondents said they will be hiring staff “with blockchain expertise” within the next 12 months.

Nearly 89% said they believe that digital assets will be very or somewhat important to their industries in the next three years.”

Chinese officials are reportedly planning to create an East Asia digital currency to assert more independence from the United States dollar and foster trade relations within the region.

10 members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body, proposed creating a digital currency that would be backed by a basket of currencies including the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won and Hong Kong dollar. The article does not specify which blockchain the projected cryptocurrency would be based on.

They suggested that the new regional cryptocurrency should be developed by the private sector.”

“I do think this is something that the central banks have to design. The private sector is not involved in creating the money supply, that’s something the central bank does.

Emmer was asking specifically about a recommendation from the Digital Dollar Project, which suggested a digital dollar be issued by the Fed but designed in partnership with the private sector and accessible through a two-tiered banking system similar to the one in place in the U.S. today.

Powell said the idea of a digital dollar – a blockchain-based version of the current world reserve currency – is complex, and one that the Fed takes seriously, but also that the idea needs to be studied further before one can be created and implemented.”

“Global investment bank Nomura, hardware wallet company Ledger and crypto investment fund CoinShares today launched a long-awaited crypto custodian service, called Komainu.

Komainu will service institutional investors and support a range of cryptocurrencies. It is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Komainu’s advantages over other systems are, it claims, that it can integrate with the technology systems of large financial institutions. Nomura is the latest large financial institution to offer custody services.”

Governments collectively spend approximately $9.5 trillion on procurement contracts worldwide, and up to 30% of that is lost due to corruption.

The aim of the project is to apply a high level of transparency to the procurement corruption use case in the context of the country’s system of government contracting.

WEF partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Office of the Inspector General of Colombia to develop a proof-of-concept (PoC) using the Ethereum public blockchain.

See Also: Chainlink, MakerDAO Honored as World Economic Forum ‘Tech Pioneers’

“Starting next week, its users will be able to store and convert bitcoin to the company’s RydeCoin with zero transaction costs. As a technology firm, accepting bitcoin is only the first step in Ryde’s long-term plan to turn its RydePay wallet into a decentralized electronic ledger and open it to more cryptocurrencies.

I have been watching the developments of this particular space and increasingly I’m sanguine about the prospects of cryptocurrency and its usage.”

“Ubisoft is launching around 55 Rabbids collectibles as tokens on Ethereum’s blockchain.

The collectibles have their own properties, design, value, and can be traded like trading cards. Ubisoft will donate all proceeds from the sale of these collectables to the UNICEF fund.

Rabbids tokens are utilizing an “always-for-sale” model. This means that other would-be collectors may purchase the tokens from their current holder at any time, so long as they’re willing to pay the collectable’s current inherent price in Ether (ETH). Former Rabbid’s owners will receive a special token certificate in order to prove that they once owned the tokens.

The gaming giant also explains that Rabbids tokens transform every time they get a new owner.”

See Also: South Korean Soccer League Tokenizes Players for Fantasy Football Game

“The 200 million baht bond issue [is] a pilot project to further financial inclusion by making it easier for people to subscribe to government issued bonds. The ministry said the bonds carry an extremely low face value of 1 baht ($0.032) each and would be sold through the state-owned Krung Thai Bank’s blockchain wallet.

The statement said distributing the bonds through the blockchain e-wallet was a step towards increasing the efficiency of the government system and an investment in the true digital economy.”

“The New York City-based asset manager filed on Tuesday for an ETF that may invest up to 5% of its net assets in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin futures contracts.

The move casts bitcoin as a perhaps normalized investment opportunity for a fund that more generally seeks exposure to commodity markets at large.

The “WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund” would invest the rest of its net assets in energy, industrial metals, precious metals and agriculture commodities.”

“Crypto startup CurioInvest is selling tokens for a rare supercar valued with a $1.1 million hard cap. The tokens represent a limited-edition 2015 Ferrari F12 TDF.

The token is built on Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard, which Verboonen says will mean it can practically be traded on any exchange. Each token represents a share of whatever the car’s ultimate sale price. During the first five years, CurioInvest will only consider offers at a minimum 20% above the $1.023 million present valuation. If, after that time, the car still hasn’t been sold, it will go at auction to the highest bidder.

When you look at these assets, you see that rare collectibles have outperformed the S&P 500.”

“China has long dreamed of turning the Greater Bay Area—comprised of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau—into a unified economic hub, but competing legal systems have stymied its ambitions.

China Guangfa Bank, one of the biggest commercial banks in mainland China, recently launched the first cross-border blockchain-based financial system, allowing for seamless payment settlements throughout the Greater Bay Area.

Ultimately, Beijing sees the Greater Bay Area competing with overseas rivals like the Bay Area in San Francisco and Tokyo Bay in Japan. EY estimates that the GDP of the region would be close to $2 trillion, coming just under California.”

Good read.

“In the 1950s, each dollar of debt drove nearly 70 cents of economic growth. It has fallen ever since. Recently, each dollar of debt bought less than 30 cents of growth. That number has deteriorated further in the last few months.

As the ratio of debt to GDP increases, even more debt is needed tomorrow just to maintain current economic activity. For a Fed overly concerned about short-term economic activity, this dilemma creates a self-reinforcing problem. The situation is akin to a Ponzi scheme that needs constant feeding.

Surging debt levels means the Fed will have to become even more creative and active in managing interest rates.

The Fed is now considering an enhancement to the way it manages QE. The “upgrade” is called yield curve control (YCC). YCC essentially allows the Fed to do unlimited amounts of QE with no time restraints. Embedded in YCC is the specific goal of targeting particular interest rates across the entire yield curve.

For example, assume the Fed set a 0.75% target yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note. They can then employ QE in any amount needed to buy 10-year notes when the rate exceeds that level. If successful, the rate would never exceed 0.75% as traders would learn not to fight the Fed.

YCC is a euphemism for price controls. Price controls are government interference and regulation, establishing prices for specified goods and services.

In this instance, we are talking about the most fundamental component of any economic system, the price of money. Historically, in every case, the implications of price controls have been unfortunate.

The problem with these actions is they engender anemic rates of economic growth. Equally concerning, they directly contribute to income inequality, a driving force for social unrest.”

“BlackBerry Optics leverages CPU telemetry from Intel Threat Detection Technology to provide enterprises with advanced malware software. This software’s main purpose is to detect cryptojacking attempts.

The software works across all types of workloads executing on the Windows 10 operating system.

With our new cryptojacking detection and response capabilities, we’re looking to make this practice a thing of the past.”

“Civic Wallet has formed a partnership with Circle Medical, a San Francisco hospital. Together, they will act as a Covid-19 vaccination-proofing tool for Circle Medical’s employees.

According to Civic, its technology is designed to protect individual identity privacy first. Users can control what information they do and do not want to share.

Civic Wallet users may share their Health Key but not provide their name or address to a requesting company.”

“Known as “fine-grained control,” the new update means entities such as exchanges can set specific conditions for each and every digital asset traded on their order books.

Stellar-based exchanges can already block investors from prohibited countries, such as Iran or North Korea, but they could now fulfill other regulatory requirements. The update might make it easier for security tokens to operate in the U.S.”

17 June

“Revealing its plans in a June 11 job posting, the central bank said it was ‘reinventing central banking‘ and radically rethinking the nature of Canada’s cash.

The Bank of Canada is embarking on a program of major social significance to design a contingent system for a CBDC, which can be thought of as a banknote, but in digital form.

According to the job posting, Canada’s CBDC should protect user privacy (though not to the degree that cash does), remain accessible to those without bank accounts or mobile phones, work when the power is out and rival banknotes in their security.

Further, the bank wants its CBDC to live on an architecture ‘with a potentially multi-decade evolving lifespanthat can grow in tandem with policy goals. The bank did not state what technology its CBDC might run on, whether it would follow a token-based or account-based model, or how it could create a digital currency that works where electricity does not.

The move casts Canada as a serious contender in the race to develop CBDCs.

“ConsenSys is being backed by heavy hitters like Binance and Huobi to test its new “staking-as-a-service” offering, designed to make it easy for institutions to earn income from the next iteration of the second-largest public blockchain.

This first batch of participants will provide feedback and feature requests to Codefi as it builds out its Eth 2.0 staking API, which is targeted at large exchanges, wallet providers, custodians and crypto hedge funds.

We have also been talking to some of the newer banks, the kind of challenger banks in the space, and they are definitely interested.

Codefi Staking was built using Teku, an Eth 2.0 client written in Java by PegaSys, a Consensys engineering team with a sharp focus on enterprise.”

“The Bitcoin (BTC) mining ASIC manufacturing industry is expected to further consolidate due to tightened competition, geopolitical pressures and slower returns on investment after Bitcoin’s recent halving.

Researchers wrote they ‘think it is likely that only 2 to 3 players will survive into the longer term.‘ Notably, BitMEX’s report expects that not only will ASIC manufacturing continue to consolidate, but the mining farm operating sector will as well.

Customers are now larger funds, and no longer small businesses or individuals.”

See Also: Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Makes Biggest Jump in 29 Months

“I don’t think that the balance sheet at anything like its current size presents any real threat to either inflation or financial stability.

He [also] revealed that it is unlikely that the Fed’s balance sheet will be de-leveraged following the crisis.”

See Also: Bitcoin Rises to $9.6K as Stocks Cheer Additional US Stimulus Plans

“Analysts say the growth of both transactions and the cost to process them is being driven by an increase in stablecoin usage and DeFi applications. Ethereum’s transaction count recently hit a 27-month high of 938,265 and was up nearly 45% from lows seen in January.

Ethereum-based Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) such as Kyber, Uniswap and IDEX have all experienced solid growth in transaction volumes this year. ‘Almost $6 billion of USDT’s total supply is now on Ethereum, up from $1.5 billion in the beginning of 2020.'”

“People started putting USDC as collateral on Compound, taking USDT, swapping on Curve to USDC to put as collateral on Compound [and] doing that up to 30 times to earn COMP with leverage.

In other words, users put in USDC, borrow as much USDT as they can, switch it on Curve for more USDC, put that in Compound as well so they can borrow more, take out additional USDT and repeat until they have capped out their leverage. This allows them to absolutely maximize their activity on Compound as both a borrower and lender, which earns COMP on both sides.

See Also: Orchid’s decentralized VPN will price bandwidth using Chainlink

“SIMBA Chain, a blockchain-as-a-service company with deep ties to the Department of Defense, has two years and $1.5 million to research and develop a blockchain for supply chain logistics for the U.S. Air Force.

The firm will “stand up” a node running Hyperledger Fabric at Oklahoma’s Tinker Air Force Base – a hub for Air Force supply chain logistics – with a special focus on risk management: knowing the what, where, who and how of parts that may one day go through the USAF’s $62 billion procurement machine.”

See Also: Tokensoft Teams With Signature Bank to Launch Real Estate Security Token Platform

16 June

WhatsApp has premiered fiat electronic payments on its platform, with Brazil becoming the first country to experience a nationwide release. Users that have Visa and Mastercard debit or credit cards from Banco do Brasil, Nubank or Sicredi can now attach instant payments to their messages.

Payments are implemented via Facebook Pay, a payment system developed in 2019 for Facebook-affiliated apps such as Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook Pay ‘is built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships‘ and is not related to the Novi (ex. Calibra) wallet that will run on the Libra network.

“Chairman of the CFTC Heath Tarbert calls for principles rather than rules to dictate the government’s handling of digital assets. The argument for principles is that the approach entails less red tape and, ideally, encourages innovation.

It is my view that the United States must lead the world in this technology, and applying overly prescriptive rules could stunt the development of this important market.”

“The Bank of Korea (BOK) said the six-person panel, comprised of legal experts in the financial and IT sectors, as well as one specializing in fintech, would provide guidance and advice to the bank as it develops and tests a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

We established the advisory group to discuss legal issues surrounding a CBDC and figure out which laws need to be revised or enacted for smooth progress in the BOK’s possible issuance of digital currency.”

See Also: China Could Roll Out Its CBDC Without Anyone Realizing

“Over a recent 30-day period, the total open interest for CME bitcoin options increased more than tenfold, from $35 million on May 11 to $373 million on June 10.

CME now represents over 20% of the global bitcoin options market behind Panama-based Deribit.

Growth in CME’s bitcoin options market is a strong signal that regulated institutions are exposing their books to bitcoin.”

See Also: BTC Futures Volume Posts 2020 Low, ETH Open Interest Surges
See Also: Someone Is Buying Shares in Grayscale’s Ether Trust for More Than $2,000

“The survey, which polled 4,852 participants across 17 countries, found that 47% of respondents trust Bitcoin over big banks. Over 45% of respondents preferred Bitcoin over stocks, real estate and gold.

While millennials may be leading the way in Bitcoin adoption, the survey found ‘increased knowledge of, and growing confidence in, Bitcoin among all age and gender groups surveyed.'”

See Also: Turkish Real Estate Firm Antalya Homes Now Supports Bitcoin Payments

“In Outlier Ventures’ Blockchain Developer Report for the second quarter of 2020, the firm notes that development fell by half for top markets Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Eos (EOS), and Tron Tron (TRX).

Eos saw the fastest drop in development, with the project’s mainnet launch precipitating an 86% fall in building taking place. Polkadot and Cosmos (ATOM) were the only projects to exhibit an increase in total development, increasing by 15% and 44% respectively.”

“Nexus Mutual, an alternative insurance provider for a variety of Ethereum-based DeFi protocols, has seen its risk pool double over the past 90 days to more than $4 million.

The way Nexus works is members of the mutual join by purchasing NXM tokens that allow them to participate in the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). All decisions are voted on by members, who are incentivized to pay genuine claims.

DeFi users want the returns available, but want to avoid the smart-contract risk. More professional users take out Nexus cover to access yield safely.”

See Also: Crypto Lending Platform Compound to Start Distributing Tokens

“The Dash Investment Foundation, which claims to be the first ownerless and memberless investment fund in the world, recently bought its first shipment of physical gold.

The DIF allocates 10% of the Dash block rewards to support the Dash network in the form of loans or investments. While the capital is waiting to be deployed, the rebalancing strategy is supposed to ensure that it keeps growing.

Any money made on our investments can be used to buy Dash off of the open market, which we then burn. Burning Dash reduces the supply, and theoretically should increase the price of the Dash.”

Users ‘can’t transfer cryptocurrency to anyone who is not a Revolut customer,’ the updated terms and conditions read.

Revolut is also ending crypto card payments, one of the few ways its users could use their crypto outside the ecosystem.”

13 June

“In separate announcements, the Algorand and Tezos Foundations said they had linked up with two analytics companies, Chainalysis and Coinfirm, respectively, to help bake regulatory compliance into their eponymous blockchains.

In Algorand’s case, Chainalysis will provide a know-your-transaction (KYT) solution, allowing its foundation to monitor large volumes of on-chain activity for the native ALGO token and report any suspicious transactions to the authorities.

Tezos’ tie-up with Coinfirm’s is broader, allowing its foundation and commercial entities such as exchanges to monitor activity on the protocol. Soon after the Travel Rule guidance was announced, Coinfirm inked a deal with Ripple to tag transactions on the XRP ledger that may have been laundered through mixer services.”

Three months after the Supreme Court ruling to lift the banking ban, India’s Ministry of Finance has proposed to ban cryptocurrencies by law.

While much enthusiasm was seen in the crypto space in the past three months as new startups sprouted to push crypto adoption across the nation, this proposal could be a hard blow to all businesses and individuals involved in the space.

The proposal will first be sent to the Union Council of Ministers and then be forwarded to the parliament for final review.”

“The Ethereum Layer-2 scaling ecosystem has become tricky to navigate for builders as an increasing number of scaling solutions have seen the light of day.

We’ve put together a list of questions to help builders evaluate different scaling solutions and adopt the one most suited to their needs. Alongside these questions, we’ve put together a comparison table.

“Wilshire Phoenix, an asset manager which tried to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) last year, has filed to launch a new Bitcoin Commodity Trust.

The trust may be looking to compete with Grayscale Investments’ $3.6 billion bitcoin trust. Fidelity Digital Asset Services will serve as the trust’s bitcoin custodian, while UMB Bank will serve as the cash custodian.

The Shares will provide investors with exposure to bitcoin in a manner that is accessible and cost-efficient without the uncertain and often complex requirements relating to acquiring or holding bitcoin.”

Everyone seemed to agree that they could improve financial inclusion by giving people more direct access to FedAccounts, which may operate using a digital dollar. What exactly a digital dollar looks like will probably be more controversial.

Davidson was especially concerned that what everyone is talking about when it comes to a “digital dollar” did not include some of the key advantages of the existing dollar, including privacy and autonomy:That’s the strength of cash, you have to have that characteristic that you’re not really filtering transactions.’

I think there’s still a long way to go until [there is] a shared vision of what this would look like.”

See Also: Digital Dollar Competing with more Prosaic but Proven 20th-Century Methods
See Also: Blockchain Firm Pitches CBDC Operating System to Bank of England
See Also: National Science Foundation Funds Research Into Crypto Dollars

“Protesters in Lebanon have set fire to the central bank in Tripoli in a show of anger with the country’s deepening economic crises and stagnant political orthodoxy.

The Lebanese pound (LBP) is trading for more than 5,000 per $1 in spite of the country’s official peg of 1,507 per dollar— a 20% depreciation since April, and over 230% since the peg was respected in January.

An increasing number of protestors are embracing Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of bypassing Lebanon’s failing monetary system.

“A new paper examining transactions on EOS, Tezos and XRP Ledger (XRPL) over a seven-month period ending in April found the overwhelming number of transactions on these three networks either have no value attached or are passing it back and forth within one entity.

96% of the transactions on EOSIO were triggered by the airdrop of a currently valueless token; on Tezos, 76% of throughput was used for maintaining consensus; and over 94% of transactions on XRPL carried no economic value.

In short, the authors write, ‘The massive potential of those blockchains has thus far not been fully realized for their intended purposes.‘”

“The publisher built a prototype to provide reliable metadata on various pictures found online. Often, pictures taken in a different location at a different time will be used in connection with unrelated events. Through the platform, readers and social media users will be able to know who took the picture and when.

The new prototype follows similar efforts by Italian news agency Ansa, which uses blockchain to “certify” its news stories.”

“Craig Wright’s legal team appears to alleged that he controls one of the Bitcoin addresses affiliated with an old Mt. Gox hack.

Just so we’re clear, Craig Wright has just openly admitted (via his lawyers) to be the guy that stole 80k BTC from Mtgox.”

“In the last few days, three Ethereum transactions have paid $5.7 million in fees. A new report explains that it might be a blackmail attempt on an exchange.

In short, the researchers claim that the hackers have gained access to an exchange’s funds. They are able to send money to certain whitelisted accounts that are marked as reliable in the exchange’s database to—but not to their own. So, they are sending the funds with excessively high transaction fees to sap the exchange’s accounts, and they’re demanding a ransom if it’s going to stop.

See Also: 500 Estonian Crypto Companies Lose Permits After $220B Scandal
See Also: Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Clusters Cryptojacked to Mine Monero