20 February

Bitcoin has gained nearly 80% year to date, and the bullish market cycle isn’t showing signs of peaking. Bitcoin had a market value of $178 billion a year ago.

Sure there are speculative excesses, like in all bull markets. But the bitcoin tide is rising on the back of it becoming a global digital reserve asset.”

See Also: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency: Why I DO NOT think we are close to a market cycle peak (Video)

The cryptocurrency is up 172.5% year-to-date. Ethereum-based applications create a natural utility for ether as the cryptocurrency is required to settle transactions. DeFi coins have followed lockstep with ether as shown by the DeFi Pulse Index (DPI), up 83% in the last 30 days.

Staking on the Ethereum 2.0 network is also creating a supply shock of supports for the digital asset. Some 2.7% of ether worth $6 billion has been deposited on the Eth 2.0 blockchain.

Lastly, large investors such as investment funds may be interested in gaining some exposure to the cryptocurrency. CME launched cash-settled futures contracts for the digital asset on Feb. 8. The contracts surpassed $160 billion in aggregated volume within the first week.”

“The fund has seen huge interest, trading well over $100 million shares on its first day, and by the end of Friday it had collected $421.8 million AUM. Bloomberg Intelligence ETFs analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted the Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF could reach $1 billion in assets by the end of next week.

On Friday, another bitcoin ETF, the Evolve ETF, started trading on the TSX under the ticker EBIT.”

“Ethereum developers have scheduled the Berlin hard fork for April 14 at block height 12,244,000. The update, which includes at least five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP), will be shipped on four test networks before deployment

The hardfork includes various optimizations for contracts including gas efficiencies, updates to how code is read by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and other changes to protect against denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.”

“OKCoin is delisting bitcoin cash (BCH), a fork or “clone” of bitcoin, as well as its own fork, bitcoin sv (BSV), both as a way to protect neophyte clients who are trying to buy bitcoin and as a statement of principle. Craig Wright’s most recent legal crusade against developers who host Bitcoin’s white paper was a breaking point.

We wouldn’t have changed that if it weren’t for Craig Wright posting these threats to the open-source dev community. We think these threats are very destructive to development and Bitcoin as a whole.

Additionally, these coins bear bitcoin’s name and that has ‘caused a lot of confusion about what is the real bitcoin among new entrants.'”

“An age-old question of how to monetize memes appears to have found an answer. This afternoon, the storied internet sensation, Nyan Cat, sold for 300.00 ETH (about $590,000). Chris Torres, who created the meme 10 years ago, confirmed the sale and his role in it.

I’m very surprised with the success, but I think I’m most glad knowing that I’ve basically opened the door to a whole new meme economy in the crypto world.

I am still relatively new to crypto in general, but I see its full potential.

Torres’ sale represents the latest permutation of the NFT industry: codifying and selling bits of the web that seemingly belong to everyone.”

Polygon(Matic) L2

See Also: Ethereum L2’s Incoming! (Video)

“Raghu Yarlagadda cited three reasons for the recent institutional interest in crypto: inflationary hedge, geopolitical risk and a 24/7, always-on trading desk. Yarlagadda believes the Bitcoin price is more sustainable now than it was in 2017 thanks to the ‘the number and quality of institutions that are coming in.’

The first and foremost reason is the inflationary hedge.’ The second reason is less obvious—less publicly known—but all the last ten institutions that came to FalconX mentioned this: the geopolitical risk hedge.

With the new US administration coming in, there are a lot of people who say that the trade war between the US and China is going to aggravate just a little bit more.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin also said that any conflict between China and the US is good for crypto, even though it’s an overall negative-sum for humanity.”

“According to analysts at JPMorgan, the bitcoin market could face severe liquidity shock if traders were to lose faith in tether (USDT).

If any issues arise that could affect the willingness or ability of both domestic and foreign investors to use USDT, the most likely result would be a severe liquidity shock to the broader cryptocurrency market, which could be amplified by its disproportionate impact on HFT [high-frequency trading]-style market makers which dominate the flow.

USDT’s market capitalization has increased from $4 billion to over $33 billion in the past 12 months [and] around 50%-60% of bitcoin traded was for USDT since 2019. Hence, a sudden loss of confidence in tether could end up triggering the crypto version of a bank run, destabilizing exchanges and causing a panic drop in bitcoin’s price.

The JPMorgan analysts did say, however, that they believe bitcoin is here to stay as an alternative currency.”

“BitMEX co-founder and former CEO Arthur Hayes has returned from exile with a post on the derivatives exchange’s official blog calling for a boycott of legacy platforms following the GameStop drama. Hayes urged retail traders trader to “opt-out” of the legacy financial system in favor of “Crypto Capital Markets”.

The game masters just didn’t like how the game was being played, so they jacked up margin to force a course correction.

The post did not provide any indication as to his current whereabouts, and did not address any of the accusations levied against BitMEX. However, he apparently has BitMEX’s permission to post on its official blog as he noted that he intends to post on a fortnightly basis.”

“Binance had a hiccup with its withdrawals for Ether (ETH) and all ERC-20 assets on Friday, with users being unable to access any of their Ethereum-based assets for about one hour. The community showed skepticism at such a [vague] explanation.

It would appear that the exchange would have no reason to actively undermine the Ethereum blockchain, but the lack of clear communication is letting speculation run wild. Curiously, Binance Coin (BNB) price spiked from $260 to a brief peak of $350 immediately after the pause was announced.

Whether it was simply scheduled maintenance or intentionally timed, the fact that any exchange can decide when someone is able to use their tokens with little to no warning is antithetical to the spirit of decentralization.”

19 February

“Data published by statistics firm Statista has revealed Nigeria is the leading country per capita for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption, with nearly one in three survey respondents indicating they used or owned crypto assets in 2020. The pre-existing prevalence of mobile phone based peer-to-peer payments has led many Nigerians to explore cryptocurrency.

On Feb. 17, BTC was trading at a 36% premium in Nigeria. Nigeria also dominates search traffic for the keyword “Bitcoin”.

Crypto adoption is also strengthening in South-East Asia, with 21% of Vietnamese and 20% of Filipino participants responding they had used crypto last year. Turkey and Peru were found to be the third and fourth-ranked nations for adoption, with 16% of respondents from each country directly engaging with crypto.”

“RAI, a new type of stablecoin that is not pegged to any specific fiat currency, has gone live on the Ethereum mainnet.

You don’t need to peg to anything in order to be stable. The most important thing to understand is that DeFi can and should be detached from the fate of the US Dollar.

If RAI fulfills its purpose within DeFi and starts to earn global adoption, it could prove to be a viable solution to the Triffin Dilemma, and bring credible neutrality to the administration of a stable global reserve asset, a global public good.”

See Also: China-US Conflict Gives Opening for Crypto, Suggests Vitalik Buterin

The NVIDIA CMP (cryptocurrency mining processor) is purely focused on computing power, and isn’t built to handle graphics. A lack of display outputs is meant to improve airflow, and lower core voltages will supposedly increase efficiency.

The company is also lowering the computing power of its RTX 3060 graphics drivers, making them less efficient for mining.

By intentionally lowering the computing power of the RTX 3060, and launching a new processor designed specifically for pro miners, NVIDIA is hoping to address those shortages.”

“The Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance (TRISA), one of the better-known solutions being proposed, is launching a testnet that includes a directory of virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and scenario testing for inevitable contact with non-compliant firms.

The TRISA testnet begins to address that looming challenge by including a dummy version of an “evil VASP” that will provide false authentication, attempt to steal data and so on.

The solution leverages battle-tested certificate authority infrastructure that allows VASPs to mutually authenticate one another. Post-testnet, TRISA will be issuing know-your-VASP certificates, validated by a registration authority.

“The spotlight was definitely on the gamified trading app, rather than the traders on r/WallStreetBets.

That lack of scrutiny towards Gill and Huffman does much to quell widespread fear that the events surrounding explosive trading in GameStop (GME) shares at the end of January would kick off probes into social media platforms’ role in potential market manipulation.

The nature of Robinhood’s revenue model, which is based on the sale of order flow, while advertising itself as commission-free, fell under mass scrutiny, as did it’s dependence on a $3 billion injection of capital to meet collateral requirements.

I believe a vulnerability was clearly exposed in your business model. We just can’t live in a world where my constituents can have their shares liquidated if you can’t make a capital call.”

See Also: Robinhood to Allow Deposits, Withdrawals for Cryptos Including Dogecoin

Most institutions favor a two-level model for a digital ruble in which banks open wallets on clients’ behalf on the central bank’s platform. Banks had feared being drained of liquidity under the original concept for the digital currency.

The new model will be presented for discussion with the public and stakeholders at the start of this summer.”

18 February

Shares in the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. are changing hands on the Nasdaq Private Market at $303 a piece. That implies a total company value of about $77 billion – greater than Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.

The first week it was 200 bucks a share, the second week it was $301 a share, and the third week it was $303 a share. So you can kind of see price discovery happening.

Coinbase pre-IPO futures contracts were trading on crypto derivatives exchange FTX at about $386 at the time of writing.”

Traditional finance is going further down the crypto rabbit hole than you might think. Goldman Sachs, ICAP, JPMorgan, and UBS have bought the first exchange-traded product (ETP) that offers exposure to Polkadot’s DOT cryptocurrency for clients.

These banks and brokerages purchased small amounts of shares in Switzerland-based 21Shares’ ETP. The shares debuted Feb. 4 on the SIX Swiss Exchange at a price of $22-23 and have since climbed to $30.

The purchases suggest institutional investors’ appetite for crypto exposure in the current bull market goes beyond the market bellwether bitcoin, or even its closest rival ether. To be clear, these clients are not investing in DOT itself, but rather a security that tracks its performance.”

See Also: BlackRock has started to ‘dabble’ in crypto, says CIO

It remains to be seen if the latest move above $50,000 is sustainable, given that U.S. bond yields are rising and pushing gold lower. Bitcoin is widely considered a hedge against inflation, like gold. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note clocked a 12-month high of 1.33% early today and has risen by over 20 basis points this year.

Momentum funds who bought bitcoin as a hedge against inflation might sell if real yields rise.

However, yield rises may be limited, with the Federal Reserve running an open-ended bond purchasing program and inflation likely to get a lift from rising oil prices.

“The fund bets on 10 Ethereum-based protocols angling to shape the future of finance.

At launch, the fund’s top holdings include tokens backing an Ethereum-based lending protocol and a decentralized exchange – AAVE and UNI – which each carry an initial weighting of around 25%. Lending protocol token MKR (+5.59%) and derivatives protocol token SNX come in around 10%.

You’re seeing the initial flicker of a new technology that could significantly disrupt a lot of what traditional Wall Street makes money on, making it more efficient, more open, more accessible and more functional.

The fund, which also includes COMP, UMA, YFI, ZRX (+2.05%) and LRC (+10.03%), is the first such offering for accredited investors.”

See Also: DJ 3LAU to Auction Full Album Tokenized on Ethereum Blockchain

Revenue from crypto-related crime dropped by more than half in 2020 according to Chainalysis’ annual report on the subject. Cybercriminals netted around $5 billion less than the $10 billion plus they got away with in 2019, representing a 53% fall.

Transactions involving illicit funds have decreased even more rapidly than the total volume of those funds, falling from 2.1% of all transactions analyzed in 2019 down to just 0.34% last year.

The good news is three-fold: Cryptocurrency-related crime is falling, it remains a small part of the overall cryptocurrency economy, and it is comparatively smaller to the amount of illicit funds involved in traditional finance.

But it’s not all good news and possibly the most alarming part of the report is the finding that ransomware-related theft rose 311% from 2019 to 2020.”

“The biometric hardware wallet enables easy identity verification for users via fingerprint sensors on the card. Consumers participating in the CBDC trials in Beijing are also able to use the card to access healthcare services.

With this card, it is much more convenient to enter and exit public places, and you can pay with just one touch. It is especially suitable for the elderly who have difficulty using smartphones.”

See Also: The Bahamas gets a card for its sand dollar national digital currency

The code for the fully primed-and-ready Taproot upgrade will be deployed sometime between March 17 and March 31 (or April if necessary), but the actual signaling that kick-starts the activation process probably won’t start until July.

If everything goes as planned, then Bitcoin’s “economic majority” (miners and node operators who run Bitcoin’s code) could update within two weeks of the signaling period’s start. Come August 2022, Taproot’s activation period will reach its timeoutheight and signaling will end.

But what happens if the mining pools don’t signal to activate Taproot? Well, that’s where the hang-up is in discussion right now. At the heart of the matter for activating Taproot is whether to give node operators an option to force activate the upgrade if a supermajority of miners fail to support it before the timeout.”

See Also: SecretSwap Is the Secret Network’s Answer to DeFi Privacy

“Stargate represents an important milestone for the Cosmos project on the way to launching its inter-blockchain communication (IBC) protocol that will allow the 200+ Tendermint-based blockchains to interoperate easily. The era of cross-pollinating blockchains is very nearly here.

Many blockchains that will be familiar to denizens of the crypto community are part of the larger Cosmos ecosystem, including the stablecoin protocol Terra, collateral-backed stablecoin Kava and location verification network FOAM.

The key reason I chose Cosmos to drive technology at my company was because of the planned interoperability between different Cosmos zones.”

“Cryptocurrencies are now accepted as a form of payment at the KIKLABB free trade zone in Mina Rashid, Dubai. The free zone is allowing customers to pay for Dubai trade licenses and visas with bitcoin, ether and the tether stablecoin.”

17 February

Recommended Read.

“When everyone becomes overly bullish, the market enters ‘euphoria’. And it generally indicates a ‘top-signal’ in a market cycle. However, today let’s indulge. I want us to take a stroll down Bull Street—because big things are happening….and they’re happening fast.

Here’s my case for why the exuberance today might be…rational.

  1. Elon Musk is in
  2. Institutional FOMO
  3. The Coinbase IPO
  4. The Bitcoin ETF
  5. DeFi is Here To Stay
  6. Celebrity NFTs
  7. The Money Printer
  8. Full Penetration

See Also: Bitcoin Sets Fresh Record Above $50K Pushing Yearly Gains to 69%
See Also: MicroStrategy Files to Offer $600M in Notes in Order to Buy Yet More Bitcoin
See Also: Coinbase Opens Waitlist for Ethereum 2.0 Staking

“Evolve’s bitcoin ETF was conditionally approved on Tuesday to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

It’s a promising sign if there are no issues with launching a bitcoin ETF in Canada. … The U.S. regulatory framework tends to be a lot more in line with things that happen in Canada.

The approval follows the OSC’s approval of Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF on Thursday. Both ETFs have a management fee of 1%, falling just shy of Europe’s cheapest bitcoin exchange-traded commodity from Wisdom Tree, which charges 0.95%.”

See Also: NYDIG Files for Bitcoin ETF, Adding to Firms Hoping 2021 Is When SEC Finally Says ‘Yes’

The rebranded Libra network aims to come out with an initial product around the end of this quarter, with help from Fireblocks and First Digital Assets.

Fireblocks and First are providing the digital plumbing to allow financial service providers such as banks, exchanges, payment service providers (PSPs) and eWallets to plug into Diem on day one. It will be integrated, via Fireblocks and First, with Diem Association members like Spotify, Farfetch, Lyft, Uber and Shopify.

The streamlined project has bent to the will of regulators and operates on a strict permissioned basis with a specific onboarding process to become a diem virtual asset service provider, or VASP.”

See Also: ING Bank-Backed Crypto Trade Platform Pyctor Is Raising Money
See Also: Japan’s SBI Investing ‘Eight-Figure’ Sum in Swiss Crypto Bank Sygnum

For the first time in its 250-years long history the renowned auction house Christie’s will be auctioning a digital artwork on its own. Christie’s will be selling “THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” by prolific digital artist Beeple.

This historic event marks a significant inflection point for both the digital art and the fine arts industry, bridging the apparent gap in the global recognition for digital art.

Christie’s is proud to be in the vanguard of this exhilarating movement.”

See Also: Cult Toy Brand Superplastic Launches NFT Collection on Nifty Gateway
See Also: Kakao to Record Private Securities on Its Own Blockchain as NFTs

“The roadmap is divided into three main stages. The current phase is the Rococo testnet environment, where developers can test mechanisms to communicate between various Polkadot parachains, its analog of shards.

The Rococo testnet was launched in August 2020, but the component features have yet to be fully completed. Once details like dispute resolution and approval voting are completed, the Polkadot codebase will finally reach feature completion.

The next stage will be holding a vote to enable parachains on Kusama, Polkadot’s “canary network.” Kusama can be considered as a middle ground between a testnet and a mainnet. Once the parachains on Kusama are stable, and all audits are completed, an on-chain vote will be triggered on Polkadot to introduce parachain auctions.

There are no indications of the precise timelines for these milestones. There also appear to be issues with the Rococo testnet’s stability. For example, one of its parachains has been stuck on block 1036, which suggests that there has been a significant stability incident for the testnet.

The latest updates to the Rococo testnet are indicating the necessity of further amendments to the technology.”

Nexus Mutual has a very aggressive roadmap for 2021, Karp said, aiming to sell over $1 billion worth of cover spread across at least 30 protocols.

Nexus started out focused on providing protection against risk and potential bugs in the smart contract code of decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. Recently, the startup announced it was extending its community-based offering to cover users for hacks and losses incurred at centralized exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken and Gemini.”

See Also: Unstoppable Domains Brings .Crypto Addresses Directly to Web Browsers

16 February

Germany’s largest bank says it plans to create a trading and token issuance platform, bridging digital assets with traditional banking services, and managing the array of digital assets and fiat holdings in one easy-to-use platform.

The Deutsche Bank Digital Asset Custody prototype aims to develop ‘a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.’ The bank says it would also provide ‘value-added services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and provide an open-banking platform to allow onboarding of third-party providers.’

Deutsche said it has completed a proof of concept and is aiming for a minimum viable product in 2021.”

See Also: Morgan Stanley Unit Considers Bitcoin Investment: Bloomberg
See Also: Japan’s SBI in Talks Over Joint Venture to Make Crypto a Core Revenue Source

The Asian session drop was likely a ‘funding reset’ needed for a sustained move above $50,000.

Indeed, the cost of holding long positions in bitcoin (BTC, -1.59%)‘s perpetual futures market, also known as the funding rate, rose to a 12-month high of 0.109% on Sunday, indicating excess bullish leverage, or overheating, in the market.

Bitcoin’s latest price slide is typical of pullbacks observed during the previous bull markets, and the path of least resistance remains to the higher side. At press time, the perpetual funding rate has normalized to 0.05% and the Coinbase premium has recovered to $50.”

See Also: Crypto Market Cap Breaks $1.5T as Buyers Show Up for the Dip

“Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published a plan on Monday for the first hard fork of the new Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain, tentatively named HF1. The hard fork would allow the developers to introduce several key upgrades to the recently launched Beacon Chain, which would also serve as a useful test for deeper changes in the future.

The biggest practical change is the support for light clients — nodes that would have minimal resource requirements and could run on mobile devices. This would allow for “trust-minimized wallets” that are able to verify the blockchain on their own instead of relying on external service providers.”

“When the world’s largest custodian announces that it will provide custody services for digital assets, that feels like a tipping point in the market.

Once their crypto offering is available later this year…it could soon prove [to be an] inflection point as it will fundamentally change how asset managers view Bitcoin and other digital assets.

Even only one half of one percent of the $41 trillion BNY Mellon oversees is committed to crypto, we may see prices approach the targets that have been mentioned by JP Morgan, Guggenheim and others.”

See Also: Mark Cuban on blockchain: ‘It’s like the early days of the internet’ when ‘a lot of people thought we were crazy’

A new report on the exploding market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) reveals that transactions tripled in 2020. Virtual worlds are the most popular segment with 25% of the market, but art is quickly catching up and sales grew by 2,800% in 2020.

2020 has been a historic year for NFTs, and we’ve seen healthy growth across many metrics.

Traditional brands like Nike, Louis Vuitton, and Formula 1 are already spearheading the first generation of commercial uses for NFTs. We expect to see more brands entering and investing more resources in this space as they find new ways to engage virtually, and profitably, with their customers via NFTs.”

See Also: NBA Top Shot, CryptoKitties Firm Dapper Labs Raising $250M+ at $2B Valuation: Report
See Also: ConsenSys Grants Help Iranian Women Learn Solidity

Connext is a crosschain routing network that enables seamless communication between the Ethereum mainnet, L2 systems, and shards. Today, we’re excited to announce that the first user of Vector, Decentral Games, is live with instant transfers of $DAI and $MANA from Ethereum to Matic and back!

Before integrating Connext, our players had to wait 5–7 minutes for deposits and up to 2 hours for withdrawals, which was awful for user experience. Connext changes the game with their instant, trustless deposits to and withdrawals from Matic. Connext is a no-brainer for any dapp building on L2.

In the two months(!) that it’s been live, DG has grown to an astounding $9.45m in monthly betting volume and $1m in DAO treasury value!”

See Also: On the Road to StarkNet: A Permissionless STARK-Powered L2 ZK-Rollup
See Also: Ren Ecosystem Update
See Also: DeFi Trading Platform, Parsec, Goes Live
See Also: Ethereum L2’s

“Alpha Finance announced its Alpha Homora V2 product was the root cause. The company confirmed that it is working with DeFi guru Andre Cronje and Cream Finance to investigate the incident, and that the loophole had been fixed. It also said that they “have a prime suspect” in mind.

13 February

“The City of Miami’s governing commission today passed a resolution that it will look into the possibility of investing government funds into Bitcoin, an idea spearheaded by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who wants to the city to be on the bleeding edge of fintech.

The resolution has two other important goals. One is to allow local government employees to receive some or all of their wages in cryptocurrency. The other is to allow citizens to pay property taxes or city fees using cryptocurrency.

I think we’re on the cusp of seeing a major titanic shift on this.”

See Also: Andrew Yang says he’ll transform NYC into a Bitcoin hub if elected mayor

Bitcoin (BTC) is looking increasingly like it is in a “supercycle,” not just a bull cycle, statistician Willy Woo suggests.

Retail has arrived. The last 4 weeks. Welcome to the middle phase of the bull market. This one is like no other.

With Bitcoin poised to tackle $50,000 resistance next, longer-term price indicators continue to point upwards even after the heavy upside of the past few months. Bitcoin so-called “thermocap” is one such metric suggesting that the gains are only getting started.”

See Also: Bitcoin Starting to Lead FX Markets, Analysis of Tesla Reaction Shows: Report
See Also: Wall Street Embrace of Crypto Grows Closer as Employees Argue on Its Behalf: CNBC

The deposit contract for the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain – the epicenter of Ethereum’s new architecture – now holds over 3,000,000 ETH, worth over $5.5 billion at current prices.

The amount deposited represents 2.67% of Ethereum’s total supply.”

“The addition of a synthetic TSLA asset was first officially proposed on Feb. 2. The vote was put in motion on Feb. 10.

With the addition of synthetic Tesla stocks, Synthetix users will now be able to trade on one of the biggest corporate stocks from a DeFi app rather than a retail trading app such as Robinhood. The synthetic TSLA stock will be listed with the ticker sTSLA.”

“The firm, based in Tysons Corner, Va., put out calls on LinkedIn Friday for a Blockchain Data Analyst and Blockchain Data Engineer, explaining in job postings they will join a team ‘building an analytics platform with advanced metrics and insights for Bitcoin.’

Saylor has been vocal about perceived deficiencies in bitcoin’s data. He declared last October that “garbage” market data was holding bitcoin back.

[The product] could eventually become a commercialized intelligence offering for digital assets beyond just bitcoin. MicroStrategy wants analysts experienced with public, private and permission blockchains.”

BitPay’s U.S. cardholders can now add their prepaid Mastercard to their Apple Pay wallets. Apple Pay functionality will allow cardholders to use their mobile devices to make purchases in store and online using the crypto held in their BitPay wallet.

Support for Google Pay and Samsung Pay will be added later this quarter.”

The airdrop looks to entice active Uniswap traders to try 1inch.

The project distributed 6 million 1INCH tokens to particularly active Uniswap traders. To receive the airdrop, the traders must have interacted with Uniswap in at least 20 separate days, and have done at least three trades in 2021. In addition, the wallets must not have interacted with either 1inch or Mooniswap in the past.”

See Also: 0x takes initial steps towards decentralizing governance

India’s draft bill to put a complete ban on cryptocurrency transactions will likely be passed, according to a senior Finance Ministry Official speaking to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity.

The official said that, when the bill gets passed, cryptocurrency holders and companies will have a transition period of between three to six months in order to wrap up their activity.”

12 February

BNY Mellon (NYSE: BK), the world’s largest custodian bank with some $41 trillion in assets in its safekeeping, is moving into crypto. Announced Thursday, BNY Mellon will roll out a new digital custody unit later this year, to help clients deal in digital assets.

We are starting with the anchor in this space, which is custody. Then it comes down to what our clients need from us. So that’s not just safekeeping of these assets, they want to leverage them for lending purposes, they want to leverage them for collateral. Then we are also looking at issuing digital assets like tokenized securities, real assets.

There has been some discussion among large crypto exchanges, trading desks and custody businesses about which financial institution will provide white-glove prime brokerage services, currently lacking in crypto. BNY Mellon’s plans would seem to be looking in that direction.”

“The first publicly traded bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in North America has been given the go-ahead by Canada’s financial regulator. The fund seeks to replicate the performance of the price of bitcoin minus the ETF’s fees and expenses.

Senior analyst at Bloomberg, Eric Balchunas, believes the fund in Canada is a “good sign” for a U.S.-sanctioned bitcoin ETF.

Either way, U.S. usually follows shortly after.”

See Also: 4 top universities submit CBDC designs to the Bank of Canada

“Khosrowshahi said the company will look into such options if it can identify a benefit or a need to do it. Uber has been a member of the libra (now diem) stablecoin association since October 2019.”

PayPal could be to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) what private banks are to physical dollars.

You think about how many [digital wallets] we’re going to have in the next two, three or five years, and we’re a perfect complement to central banks and governments to distribute those digitized forms of currency.

Schulman also revealed that PayPal is looking into smart contracts and tokenizations of other non-crypto assets.”

See Also: PayPal’s Crypto Products Coming to the UK in Months

TSLA Going Live on Synthetix!

Microsoft has launched a browser game that rewards players with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for use inside Minecraft, one of the world’s most popular games. NFTs acquired by playing the game will allow players to unlock a new “quest” inside the MyMetaverse Minecraft server.

Microsoft says the new initiative demonstrates a viable interoperability between multiple platforms, applications and games.

Enjin is proud to work alongside Microsoft to generate innovative opportunities for merging virtual worlds, bringing digital communities closer together and celebrating powerful women in science and tech.”

See Also: NFTs take center stage at ETH Denver 2021

“Grayscale Investments has registered an LLC for a prospective Yearn Finance (YFI) Trust. Grayscale now has 33 registered trusts in the state, though only nine are active.

Registering a corporation doesn’t mean that the new business entity is operational. In this case, the LLC is a placeholder for a future fund offering that may or may not come to fruition.”

“RAI tracks longer term gains and losses of ETH without the gigantic movements by taking advantage of control theory from traditional engineering.

The most important thing to understand is that DeFi can and should be detached from the fate of the US Dollar. RAI is a first step in that direction.

Many stable assets in use today are pegged to fiat currencies, a design with many limitations. These networks have limited economic incentives that can be used to influence the market price of their native stablecoins. Reflexer is opening up a completely new design space in the realm of ‘stable’ cryptoassets.”

“A cross-section of Nigerian senators have reacted to the recent Bitcoin ban enacted by the country’s central bank.

For Senator Musa, Bitcoin (BTC) and not mounting foreign debt, decades of poor economic policies, and corruption are to blame for the naira’s decline. Meanwhile, Bitcoin adoption has been on the rise in the country amid questionable monetary policies adopted by the CBN.

Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless.

Other senators who made their voices heard during the plenary session argued against the CBN ban.”

See Also: ECB’s Lagarde says central banks holding Bitcoin is ‘out of the question’

11 February

The functionality will see Mastercard customers’ digital currency payments settled in crypto at participating merchants, a first for the financial giant. The company has not yet disclosed which digital currencies it intends to support, or where.

Previously, Mastercard supported limited cryptocurrency transactions through its cryptocard partners Wirex and Uphold. But those programs only cover payment, not settlement; the coins are converted to fiat currency well before reaching the merchant.

The new initiative promises to upend that dynamic. The payments giant plans to support digital currency transactions directly on network. [Merchants] will be able to conduct their business beyond the bounds of the fiat ecosystem.

The payments space is rushing to support blockchain-based currencies at a pace not seen since Bitcoin pioneered the concept of stateless, peer-to-peer immutable transactions in 2009. PayPal intends to roll out bitcoin payment functionality later this year. Visa’s CEO said the rival company may add crypto payments in the future.”

Twitter is considering adding bitcoin to its company reserves, according to chief financial officer Ned Segal. The social media giant is also looking at payment options involving the top cryptocurrency by market cap.

We have done a lot of the upfront thinking to consider how we might pay employees should they ask to be paid in bitcoin, how we might pay a vendor if they asked to be paid in bitcoin and whether we need to have bitcoin on our balance sheet.”

See Also: Grayscale CEO: Firms race to buy Bitcoin as mood shifts from ‘why’ to ‘why not?’

Job postings describe a walled garden-type digital currency that could roll out in emerging economies. The yet-to-be-announced project, which Amazon sketched out across a series of recent job posts, appears to be an effort to keep lucrative Prime customers eternally plugged into Amazon’s platform.

This product will enable customers to convert their cash in to digital currency using which customers can enjoy online services including shopping for goods and/or services like Prime Video.”

Since mid-January, the Ethereum token swap service within MetaMask wallet has been bringing its developers between $170,000-$440,000 per day in fees. Users have been swapping between $22 million and $30 million worth of Ethereum-based tokens on a daily basis.

The service allows users to swap their Ethereum-based tokens at current exchange rates directly in their wallets. To support these swaps, MetaMask has integrated the largest liquidity pools, such as Uniswap, AirSwap, 0x API, 1inch.exchange, Paraswap, Totle, and dex.ag. For each swap made this way, MetaMask takes 0.875% in fees.”

Never mind bitcoin on the balance sheet, a subsidiary of Europe’s biggest telco is taking a stake in DeFi.

Deutsche Telekom AG, Europe’s largest telecommunications company by revenue, has begun staking on the Flow Network, the ultra-scalable proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain from CryptoKitties creator Dapper Labs, and has plans to begin staking on several other chains in the near future.

We started roughly five years ago, like everyone else, doing all those enterprise blockchain proofs of concept. But we gradually began to feel we were not focusing enough on public blockchains.This is where digital value will be moved in the future, and it’s really where a telco should be active.”

“A recent report on decentralized finance is bullish about its potential.

DeFi offers exciting opportunities and has the potential to create a truly open, transparent, and immutable financial infrastructure.

The availability of historical (and current) data is a vast improvement over traditional financial systems.

In terms of accessibility, Schär believes that DeFi can level the playing field for access to financial services. Second, the technology allows the quick transfer of tokens using smart contracts, a game changer for efficiency. Composability—the ability to create multiple products and fuse them to create something new—’allows for an ever-expanding range of possibilities and unprecedented interest in open financial engineering.’

“Today, Bitcoin-on-Ethereum yield vault project BadgerDAO and fellow yield vault platform Yearn.Finance announced a partnership designed to bring Yearn’s sustainable vault expertise to Badger.

Badger will migrate their current synthetic Bitcoin vault balance to Yearn’s, and the Yearn vault will display in Badger’s app. Additionally, the two protocols will work together to build a new WBTC vault. The fees from the vaults will be shared between the Badger and Yearn protocols.

The partnership between the yield vault projects accomplishes two goals: ensures sustainable yield for Badger vaults, and grants Yearn strategists meatier compensation.”

10 February

The CNBC host said it’s almost irresponsible not to include bitcoin on balance sheets following Tesla’s buy.

Every treasurer should be going to boards of directors and saying, ‘Should we put a small portion of our cash in bitcoin?’ It seems to be an interesting way to hedge against the rest of the environment.”

See Also: Bitcoin Could Rally Further as Tesla Leads Corporates on Treasury Investments
See Also: As Tesla Shareholders, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs Are Now Exposed to Bitcoin

Institutions were aggressively accumulating ETH in the lead up to the launch of CME futures, with Ether products representing 80% of last week’s institutional crypto inflows.

We believe investors are looking to diversify and are growing increasingly comfortable with Ethereum fundamentals. Bitcoin had its lowest inflows (US$42m) since the all-time highs were achieved in the week ending 8th January 2021.

Total inflows into digital asset investment products for 2021 so far now totals $2.6 billion — equating to 39% of the $6.7 billion in institutional capital that was invested in crypto funds during 2020 in just six weeks.”

See Also: CME’s Ether futures drove more than $30M volume on first day

Loopring cuts transaction costs to just 0.1% of those on the Ethereum mainnet.

When the gas gets going, Ethereum L2 gets rolling. More Loopring zkRollup transactions yesterday than any day before.

The developers added that around 1.23 million transactions were conducted on the Ethereum mainnet during the same time period, thus Loopring’s transaction count was equivalent to 3.25% of that figure.”

Ethereum startup Matic Network is rebranding to Polygon as it goes all-in on further Ethereum layer 2 scaling solutions. Version 1 of the software development kit (SDK) for layer 2 aggregation will be ready in March.

Polygon will support multiple layer 2 solutions such as Optimistic Rollups (OR), zkRollups (ZKR), and Validium, effectively making it an L2 aggregator. This approach, implemented via Polygon’s modular SDK, will enable projects to select the scaling solution that best suits their needs rather than being bound by any one option.

Polygon will also be able to launch whole blockchains, similar to Parity Technologies’ Substrate. Blockchains launched on Polygon inherit the security assumptions of the underlying Ethereum blockchain, just as Substrate-based chains can plug into Polkadot’s ecosystem to gain security.”

“Major decentralized finance protocol Yearn.Finance (YFI) has restored its yDAI vault in the aftermath of a $11 million exploit by hackers.

Yearn announced Tuesday that they opened a Maker vault with YFI tokens from the treasury and minted 9.7 million DAI tokens from the vault to keep the yDAI vault intact. Using borrowed money allows the project to reimburse users without taking a hit to the treasury.”

“ConsenSys introduced the new AirSwap on Tuesday, culminating “Phase II” of its development roadmap. Beginning Tuesday, exchange users will also be able to participate in governance by staking their AirSwap tokens on Codefi Activate.

The upgraded exchange will protect traders from both front-running and price slippage by leveraging the request-for-quote, or RFQ, protocol and atomic swaps for settlement. The company expects RFQ models will capture roughly 40% of decentralized trading volume in the future. It also presents a better use case for over-the-counter, or OTC, trades.

Some of the largest trades in DeFi have been on AirSwap OTC.”

See Also: TORN soars 200% as Tornado.Cash’s governance token becomes tradable
See Also: AWS Marketplace Is Selling Origin’s Decentralized Ecommerce Service
See Also: DeFi’s Curve Finance Is Branching Out to Polkadot

“The eye-popping 888 ETH virtual land sale is said to mark the largest NFT transaction of all time.

What we’re witnessing is a historic moment; the rise of digital nations with their own system of clearly delineated, irrevocable property rights.”

The fund will focus on global early- and growth-stage companies that will shape the next generation of financial services and digital systems, the venture capital arm of Thailand’s oldest bank announced.

The firm’s chief venture and investment officer said blockchain-enabled financial services have the potential to spur financial inclusion, enable open access and encourage innovation.”

See Also: Hashdex to Launch the Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF
See Also: New $50M Venture Fund Aims to Bridge East-West DeFi Investment Divide

9 February

“The announcement that much of the crypto world has been hoping for is here: Tesla has invested in bitcoin. Tesla joins publicly traded companies including Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy that have steered corporate money into bitcoin.

According to Tesla’s annual report, the investment policy was updated in January to provide ‘more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash.’ Tesla also expects to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its products “in the near future.”

We think this is just the start to a much wider adoption from household institutional names, finally ready to make the crossover into the crypto space.

Bitcoin’s price shot up more than 14% after Tesla’s disclosure to a new all-time high of $44,801.”

See Also: Will Apple be the Next Company to Adopt Bitcoin?
See Also: Rising Bitcoin futures funding rate signals traders expect $50,000 BTC
See Also: Top Crypto Exchanges Experience Difficulties as Tesla News Prompts Trading Frenzy

The world’s first regulated ether futures product may draw more institutional demand for the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, boosting the recent price rally.

The earliest traditional financial institutions that bought BTC are already looking at ETH, if not bought already. And rightfully so. The most used crypto network + future of finance + a potential deflationary monetary policy narrative make it extremely compelling.

Patrick Heusser, head of trading at the Swiss-based Crypto Finance AG, foresees ether leading the broader market higher. Wang foresees ether rallying to $5,000 and higher in the long run.”

See Also: CME ETH Futures

The debasing of global currencies is why companies like Tesla (TSLA) and MicroStrategy (MSTR) are investing in bitcoin and that should be troubling for the rest of the world, former acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks said Monday.

The former acting comptroller noted the U.S. money supply has risen 25% since the start of the pandemic and will be up 40% compared with a year ago once the most recent round of stimulus is done in the next few days.

“The app – to be updated this week – will let Ledger wallet users connect to decentralized apps (dapps) via an integration with open-source protocol WalletConnect.

Ledger Live mobile users will be able to use their device to manage transactions without relying on external gateways and browser-based Ethereum wallets.

See Also: Which Crypto Projects Are Based on Ethereum?
See Also: Anon-powered options: DeFi platform Premia goes live

The proposed Index will be comprised primarily of companies that derive more than 75% of their revenue from the crypto sector or that have more than 75% of their net assets held in cryptocurrency. The remainder includes large-cap companies that have a “dedicated business initiative” focused on crypto.

Notably, the proposed ETF will not invest in crypto assets directly or through derivatives.”

“A Chinese banking institution has completed the development of a hardware wallet for the country’s central bank digital currency, the digital yuan. The new hardware wallet supports dual offline payments without an internet connection.

In late 2020, local tech giant Huawei announced that its upcoming Mate40 smartphone series will feature an integrated hardware wallet for the digital yuan.”

See Also: China releases final anti-monopoly rules targeting major tech and payments firms

“Cardano’s successful testnet integration of smart contract functionality and plans to enter the DeFi space back ADA’s 139% rally.

ADA rose from $0.35 on Feb. 1 to its current price of $0.71, a move which has elevated Cardano to the 4th ranked cryptocurrency by total market cap.”

Starting today, CoinDesk TV is rolling out three daily and three weekly shows with a lean team of 11, focused on delivering high-quality production and booking top-notch guests. Plus, we’ll be showcasing the deep bench of incredible talent in CoinDesk’s global team of reporters, editors, analysts and researchers.

We view CoinDesk TV as an opportunity to bring to life the people and personalities who are disrupting digital finance and revolutionizing the way we use technology and the future of money.”