January 8

“The South Korean Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR) has recommended the government to allow financial institutions to launch cryptocurrency-based financial products.

The committee recommended products such as Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives to be allowed as part of a strategy for the institutionalization of cryptocurrencies. The committee also noted that Bitcoin should be listed directly on the Korea Exchange — the country’s sole securities operator.

The Korean government has to gradually allow institutional investors to deal in crypto assets and promote over the counter (OTC) desks dedicated to institutional investors’ trade.”

PBoC reports that it is “progressing  smoothly” with its development of a government-backed digital currency.

As a form of digital legal tender — and unlike a private, decentralized cryptocurrency —  the CBDC will be controlled by the PBoC and 100% backed by the reserves commercial institutions pay to the institution.

Chinese internet giant Baidu launched on Monday a blockchain-based service for developers and small and medium-sized businesses to build decentralized applications.

To simplify the process to build applications, the new service allows customers to use smart contracts templates and other functional components designed to increase efficiency. 

The Xuperchain network has nearly 3.5 million users and has processed over 450 million transactions. The network has seven masternodes including Tsinghua University and streaming services giant iQiyi.”

See Also: Massive BSN blockchain network in China will go live in just three months

“The [soon to be] world’s biggest bitcoin mine is said to have signed up two top corporate customers, SBI Holdings and GMO.

The Japanese corporate giants will be renting mining capacity at the facility in Rockdale, Texas, recently put into construction by Whinstone Inc. The firms are to begin mining ‘within coming months.'”

“Bitcoin as an asset class has proven that mathematical scarcity can support an incredibly exciting asset. It’s not a means of payment. It just isn’t.

I’m not convinced that a council of self-interested companies can do money better than a decentralized system,’ Akin Sawyerr, a strategy lead on the Decred project, said on the Tuesday panel. ‘The only way to really get there is to empower the individuals to have some base-level sovereignty.'”

“Gita Gopinath, who took over as the IMF’s chief economist in January 2019, wrote that although cryptocurrencies represented “intriguing possibilities,” they lack the infrastructure and global acceptance needed to supplant the dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency.

Advances in payment technologies do not address fundamental issues of what it takes to be a global reserve currency.”

“As of Tuesday, community members will be able to exchange the project’s ANT tokens for newly minted Aragon Network Juror (ANJ) tokens that will be used for staking on its dispute resolution platform.

The court system will handle ‘subjective disputes that require the judgment of human jurors.‘ Jurors deliberate and rule on the dispute, earning a token reward for doing so.”

We keep a constant watch on all coins that are being traded on BITBOX. If a coin does not meet our standards based on its performance, reliability, liquidity, or law and regulatory requirements, it will be delisted from our exchange.

“The court has denied an application by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ‘compel the production of defendant’s bank records.’ 

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov is expected to give a deposition in the case on Jan. 7 or 8, 2020.”

“The thin plastic wallet uses biometrics to temporarily unlock the device in order to display a QR code for deposits along with current crypto balances. AuthenTrend makes devices for bank security and this is its first cold crypto wallet.

The device, called the AT.Wallet, will be available in the U.S. in February.”

January 6

“A single Burger King branch in the Sambil area of Caracas now accepts Bitcoin, along with altcoins Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Dash (DASH), as well as stablecoin Tether (USDT).

A total of 40 locations will follow suit in 2020, according to a blog post from Dash executives about the move.”

Block times normalize after ‘ice age’ is pushed back.

“From Jan. 1 to Jan. 4, the daily average block time on the blockchain decreased from 17.16 seconds to 12.96.”

“Bitcoin’s (BTC) smallest denomination is now worth more than an entire unit of altcoin Hex (HEX) after the controversial token lost over 50% in a day.

Put in different terms, the price of a single HEX token has become so small that many price calculators cannot measure its value. That number, of course, is far below a single U.S. dollar cent, and roughly translates as $0.000058.”

Deep dive into making eth1 stateless.

Interesting read.

“The artificial boundary we have put in place in our minds between “public chains” and “private chains” is fading rapidly.

We have the opportunity to build a set of technologies in the next few years which could have similar societal impacts as the Internet. Diversity of viewpoints, a broad spectrum of use-cases to mature the base technology, and an open and inclusive attitude and environment of collaboration will help us achieve our shared goals.”

“Coinshares revealed those who grew up with Bitcoin will soon benefit from savings worth over three times the United States’ GDP. Coinshares suggests, $68.4 trillion will transfer to Generation X, Millennials and Post-Millennials over the next 25 years.

Low time preference generations produce prosperity, which produces high time preference generations, who bring ruin, which produces low time preference generations.”

January 4

“The European Central Bank (ECB) remains open to the idea of a digital euro equivalent but would want to stop citizens holding too much of it. 

Specifically, Bindseil proposes a two-tier interest rate system, which would offer “unattractive” rates to holdings above a certain threshold. This, he says, would reduce the likelihood of savers selling fiat for the CBDC in times of crisis.

Savers could potentially move funds out of the ECB’s jurisdiction much more easily than they could via the banking system under such circumstances.

“Iran-based sellers on peer-to-peer trading platform LocalBitcoins are currently asking for around 1 billion Iranian rials or over $24,000 per Bitcoin (BTC) — well over its 2017 all-time high — as tensions reach a boiling point between Washington and Tehran.

The premium may be due to Iranians looking to exit Iran’s depreciating national currency, particularly amid the rising prospect of war with the U.S.”

The SEC is scrutinizing how ICO investor money was spent. Telegram has refused to hand over ICO allocation records relevant to the “efforts of others,” part of the Howey Test used by the SEC to determine if a financial product is a security. 

The requested bank records are highly relevant to the issues in dispute in this case, including how much money Telegram has spent, and in what manner, in developing the TON Blockchain.

The SEC said the investment information is necessary ahead of next week’s deposement of three Telegram employees, including founder and CEO Pavel Durov.”

See Also: Telegram Refusing to Tell SEC How It Spent $1.7 Billion of ICO Cash

January 3

“A former MakerDAO contributor and Carnegie Mellon alumnus has committed 10,000 MKR — valued at just under $4.3 million at press time — to his alma mater to develop a research program for decentralized applications.

His goal for the donation is ‘to establish a research program for decentralized applications/protocols and game-theoretic mechanisms.’ Mushegian said he was troubled by profiteering in the industry, including what he called ‘the increasing rent-seeking behavior from some of the big players in this space, and also from existing banks and tech giants.‘”

The Muir Glacier update was activated at Block number 9,200,000 on Jan. 2, 2020, with only one improvement proposal, EIP 2384.

The proposal aims to delay the difficulty bomb, a built-in algorithm of the Ethereum blockchain that would drastically increase the difficulty in mining a new block if left unaccounted for. The update is designed to delay the difficulty bomb for another 4,000,000 blocks, or approximately 611 days.”

A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

While Facebook has remained pretty quiet following congressional hearings about Libra, the Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance proposal would empower the federal government’s financial regulators to assess fines up to $1 million per day for violations.

Based on the drafted legislation and penalty that follows if rules are not met, large technology companies will most likely think twice before launching their own currencies and/or performing bank functions.

[Further], ‘it is appropriate for Congress to provide clarity by amending statutory definitions of the term security to include managed stablecoins.’

Assuming the “Stablecoins Are Securities Act” bill does pass, all of the laws that apply to stocks and bonds will also apply to stablecoins like Libra.”

“Google has now reversed its short-lived ban on the browser add-on.

Google has permitted The MetaMask mobile app back on the Google Play (Android) store! Thanks to all the believers in an open web for speaking out in our support!

Ubisoft is going to become a block producer on Ultra’s associated UOS blockchain, a DLT-driven gaming platform that might be fairly described as Steam on the blockchain.

This move is purportedly about lending UOS more trust since Ubisoft is such an established company, and its hardware is now part of the ecosystem that approves transactions in UOS tokens that are confirmed by other block producers.”

“We use Escrow to establish 55 contracts of 1 billion XRP each that will expire on the first day of every month from months 0 to 54. As each contract expires, the XRP will become available for Ripple’s use.

Prior to the scheme beginning, Ripple was selling around $300 million in XRP each month. However, in 2019, sell-offs noticeably intensified, with Ripple disposing of more tokens last year than any other. 

The escrow movements have further failed to stem a dramatic decrease in the price of XRP relative to both Bitcoin (BTC) and the US dollar.”

“China has formally implemented a law governing cryptographic password management. It divides passwords at large into three distinct categoriespasswords, common passwords, and commercial passwords — and aims to facilitate China’s transition to blockchain technology.”

“Turkish Takasbank launched BiGA Digital Gold to provide banks with a blockchain-based system for the issuance, repayment and transfer of digitized gold. Each asset represents a gram of gold that is physically stored in vaults of the Borsa Istanbul (BIST) Turkish stock exchange.

“In the U.S., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported that cash ‘represented just 30% of all payments in 2017.In a digital banking and monetary system without a cash equivalent, individuals would not be able to have access to a last resort of public money. As cash is eliminated, citizens must be guaranteed access to a form of public money.

[Further, banks will] have an even bigger problem on their hands when certain other countries’ central banks decide to issue their own digital currencies, go cashless, and then internationalize their payment systems to penetrate other countries’ economies with their new currency.”

  • “Bitcoin never failed
  • Coinbase didn’t fail
  • Competition emerged
  • Surviving the bubbles and crashes
  • App adoption took longer than expected
  • The ICO boom and bust
  • Exchanges saw most value
  • Stablecoin adoption increased
  • Institutions grew
  • Cryptocurrency is [now] a regulated industry”

See Also: What happened in crypto over the last decade

December 31

“The consensus is that [China’s] token will be a private blockchain, a peer-to-peer network for sharing information and validating transactions, with the People’s Bank of China in control of who gets to participate. 

It may start small, but the digital yuan can disrupt both traditional banking and the post-Bretton Woods system of floating exchange rates that the world has lived with since 1973.

These are early days, but if blockchain technology shows promise in handling a large number of transactions simultaneously, then digital currencies could become substitutes not just for physical cash but also for bank reserves.

As Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff notes, technology ‘is on the verge of disrupting America’s ability to leverage faith in its currency to pursue its broader national interests.’

A roller-coaster decade — not just for for banking and money but also for privacy and politics — may just be beginning.”

DLive, which is currently built on the Lino blockchain, will migrate to the TRON blockchain as a result of the collaboration. TRON acquired BitTorrent in July 2018.

While the Lino blockchain technical infrastructure will be integrated into BitTorrent, the LINO coin cryptocurrency used by DLive to pay content creators will no longer be the fundamental unit of value in the new ecosystem.

DLive will also use BitTorrent’s new service for file storage, known as the BitTorrent Filesharing System (BTFS).  The BTFS network will launch in Q1 of 2020.

As long as they use the BTFS network, it will be impossible to delete content, as everything is distributed across BitTorrent users’ computers globally.”

The proposed ETF aims to track and reflect the performance of Shenzhen-listed public stocks that have businesses in the blockchain industry.

If the application received final approval by the CSRC it would be the country’s first completely blockchain-themed ETF open to public investors.”

“Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex has forced a password reset for all customers due to a leaked list of email addresses and passwords on Twitter.

While almost all of the [leaked] email addresses listed do not belong to Poloniex accounts, we are forcing a password reset on any email addresses that do have an account with us.”

“Griffith is now slated be released to his parent’s Tuscaloosa home under a $1 million bond.

We are very pleased the district judge sided with us and ordered Virgil to be released pending trial.”

December 30

“After Google removed Ethereum-based decentralized application (DApp) browser MetaMask from its Android application store, Coinbase warned its users that in order to comply with Apple’s mobile App Store policy, it might be forced to remove the DApp browser feature from its wallet application.

Coinbase CEO here. This is really unfortunate to see. Apple seems to be eliminating usage of Dapps from the App Store. […] Presumably this would extend to other wallets as well (Trust, Argent, Metamask) it’s beyond Coinbase and IMO a very big threat to the ecosystem.”

2020 may see crypto’s most consequential fork yet: A split between regulated exchanges and privacy-focused users.

Late last week, Binance’s Singapore arm threw crypto Twitter into a frenzy with reports that it had allegedly suspended one user’s account. The problem? That user, @bittlecat, had tried sending their bitcoin to the hash-scrambling Wasabi wallet in an apparent violation of Binance SG’s anti-money-laundering (AML) policies. 

I think the exchanges are slowly coming to a crossroads. The big picture is more regulation is coming.

Users of privacy-enhanced wallets may find it ever-harder to move coins to and from regulated exchanges. Observers see this as one battle in the larger war to determine crypto’s direction.”

“Guterres believes that blockchain should be among the technologies used by the UN. 

For the United Nations to deliver better on our mandate in the digital age, we need to embrace technologies like blockchain that can help accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.”

See Also: UN Moves Towards Handing Dictatorships Power To Control The Internet

“Central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it.”

“KeeperDAO allows participants to earn passive income in a game-theory-optimal fashion whilst ensuring decentralized finance applications remain liquid and orderly.

At a high level, KeeperDAO enables users to pool capital into Ethereum smart contracts to collectively profit from on-chain arbitrage and liquidation opportunities. Capital staked in these pools, such as USDC and DAI, is then used to exploit on-chain profit opportunities.

By having a large pool of liquidity, KeeperDAO is able to capture opportunities much larger than what could be captured by individuals.”

“While the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is the leading blockchain-based naming infrastructure project, there are now several competing projects, many of which are run by VC-backed for-profit companies. 

The creation of a new paradigm is a time of critical social importance, because it is an opportunity to set the ground rules for the new era.

As a community, we have the opportunity right now to choose to embrace an open source non-profit community model, or else allow a for-profit company to capture the new system.”

2019: The Year in DeFi

December 28

Great read.

“Ethereum’s ambition is to be world-changing. It has to be global, distributed, inclusive and empowering. Unless our development process is equally global, distributed, inclusive and empowering, then Conway’s law – that systems reflect the structures of the organizations that design them – says we’re going to fail. To an extent, our approach resembles that of Linux, which has come to dominate much of the world’s computing.

Ethereum’s superpower is the engagement this approach inspires. The sense of a shared endeavor draws in brilliant people who we might never otherwise have found. No fewer than eight independent client teams have delivered working Proof of Stake implementations.

The real proof of our open, organic development approach will come in the first months of 2020. We are on track to go live with ethereum 2.0’s beacon chain, and the transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake will be officially underway.

I can’t offer you a detailed roadmap. But the brilliance and energy of our ever-growing community makes me confident that by early 2021 we will have a platform fit for one million devs.”

“MetaMask stated that its Android client was suspended “in the last week” with Google citing its policy of banning mobile mining apps from its app store. MetaMask, as an Ethereum application browser, however, does not offer mining activities.

It’s unclear whether the reviewer doesn’t understand the policy, or whether they are enforcing an unwritten policy.”

More crypto-related content is being re-enabled on YouTube after several days of unilateral deletions and non-communication from the video giant.

This was an error on our side during the review process – your video should be reinstated and strikes resolved.

Although crypto-related content is being reinstated, many YouTubers have expressed interest in moving to blockchain-based social media platforms to share content. While content is reinstated, trust is lost.

The biggest thing I have learnt as a Youtuber is to not trust Youtube.”

See Also: YouTube Crypto-Related Content Not Fully Restored, YouTubers Say “Nothing Has Changed”
See Also: YouTube Calls Crypto Purge a Mistake But Many Videos Still Missing
See Also: What’s Next For YouTubers Impacted By Crypto-Related Content Ban?

“Bankers insisted that “Sand Dollar” is a “digital fiat currency” – not a cryptocurrency, stablecoin or competitor to the Bahamian Dollar. Instead, it is simply a digital version ‘equivalent in every respect to the paper currency.’

But it is also a step toward the Bahamas’ long-term goal of launching a fully-fledged central bank digital currency (CBDC). Also called the sand dollar, that larger project would link domestic residents and businesses across a seamless digital payment infrastructure.”

See Also: South Korean Central Bank to Organize a CBDC Task Force
See Also: Russia’s Central Bank Is Now Testing Real Asset-Pegged Stablecoins

Verified users were apparently asked to share information on the source of — and use of — funds, along with proof of residential address.

It is uncertain whether this latest tightening of KYC procedures has been spurred by any particular event. However, the company has been subject to an ongoing investigation by the New York Attorney General since April.”

“The upcoming Ethereum Classic (ETC) Agharta hard fork will include features of the Ethereum (ETH) Constantinople fork and intends to make ETC fully compatible with Ethereum.

This update is a signal that we want to be compatible with Ethereum. We believe in the success of public blockchains, because they are built on the strength of the community.”

“Ethereum Foundation researcher Virgil Griffith has reportedly been denied bail in New York. Currently detained, Griffith is appealing the action. 

Griffith allegedly disowned his status as an American national via text messages to family members, according to texts quoted by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Griffith’s texts also allegedly included intent to facilitate money laundering activities in North Korea.”

“Chinese mining application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturer Canaan will launch new, improved mining machines with 5-nanometer chips in Q1 2020. The new firm’s 5nm manufacturing process is expected to improve performance, power and area scaling.

Canaan is one of the few cryptocurrency-related companies that managed to go public with a $90 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) held in November. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the firm’s shares have seen a 40 percent drop in value since the IPO.”