“Ethereum is often depicted as traditional finance’s adversary in a Manichean struggle for decentralization. In reality, there isn’t any conflict at all. Rather than subverting the traditional financial sector, Ethereum is improving it. Soon, the two systems will be inextricably entwined.
Ethereum’s core value propositions — self-custody, transparency and disintermediation — are enormously relevant to financial institutions, and they can be realized within existing regulatory frameworks. Ethereum has already taken the first steps toward institutional adoption, and with its unmatched network decentralization, it is all but destined to become the primary settlement layer for the world’s financial transactions.
Ethereum isn’t here to deliver a stateless alternative currency or an anonymized shadow economy. What it offers is simple: neutrality.
Ethereum is the global financial system’s first truly unbiased referee, and its arrival couldn’t be more timely. The geopolitical stability afforded by the United States’ preeminence is eroding, and domestic politics in major economies have become increasingly volatile. In a multipolar world, the financial system urgently needs to maintain reliable rules of the road.
Ethereum’s system for settling transactions and storing data is practically incorruptible. That is largely because of the unrivaled decentralization of its consensus layer, which spans more than 500,000 validators distributed among more than 10,000 physical nodes in dozens of countries. Despite concerns to the contrary, Ethereum is trending toward greater decentralization over time, not less.
Soon, Ethereum and its scaling chains will permeate traditional banking and asset management. From savings accounts to retirement portfolios, virtually every investor will self-custody their assets in trustless smart contracts, and carefully regulated on-ramps will render the tokenization of fiat currencies virtually frictionless.
The technology now exists to create a wide array of disintermediated markets and tokenized financial instruments. What is missing is connectivity with the broader financial system. That is the focus of an emerging class of regulated fiat-to-crypto on-ramps and custodians, such as Circle.
In the coming years, expect to see a proliferation of tokenized securities, starting with risk-off fixed-income assets. There will also be heavy investment in Ethereum staking pools, which will emerge as a critical strategic asset in the institutional crypto market. Other areas of focus will include on-chain financial reporting, streamlined user flows for regulatory compliance and institutional-grade tokenized derivatives.”
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“The study, conducted between July 2022 and January 2023 and published on April 28 by cryptocurrency exchange Bitget, featured approximately 255,000 adult respondents from 26 countries, with around 10,000 respondents per country. The confidence interval for the study is 95%, with a margin of error of ± 0.1%.
The survey revealed that 46% of millennial respondents owned cryptocurrencies, compared with 25% of Gen X, 21% of Gen Z and 8% of baby boomers.
[B]y the beginning of the next decade, demographic processes may lead to a dramatic shift towards increased acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a higher proportion of younger generations continue to exhibit strong demand for crypto, despite the slowdown in population growth.”
“The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the region’s central banking institution and regulator, has required the institutions to help virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in getting banking services. Additionally, the statement encouraged lenders to train staff and form dedicated divisions to support the crypto industry while avoiding a ‘wholesale de-risking approach” that turns away new industries or certain nationalities.’
Authorized institutions should endeavor to support VASPs licensed and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission on their legitimate need for bank accounts in Hong Kong.
The news comes amid Hong Kong preparing to adopt new crypto regulations that will officially allow retail investors to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). As previously reported, the new crypto licensing regime is scheduled to be enforced on June 1, 2023.”
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“The European Central Bank wants its centralized financial settlement systems to better interact with distributed ledger technology. The central banks that use the euro currency, known collectively as the Eurosystem, are ‘to look into how wholesale financial transactions recorded on DLT platforms could be settled in central bank money,’ according to a statement issued by the ECB on Friday.
We are now assessing whether the technology, which we use, the centralized technology operated by the Eurosystem, needs to be updated to be more easily interoperable with intermediaries that might be adopting distributed ledger technology.
The announcement reflects mounting interest in the technology from traditional financial markets, including for post-trade infrastructure that completes deals struck in trading venues. Euroclear, a Brussels-based firm that specializes in clearing and settlement, is set to release a new platform for DLT-based bond trading shortly, and Forge, the crypto arm of French bank Societe Generale, has introduced the CoinVertible stablecoin (EURCV), pegged to the euro, to settle transactions that involve digital assets.”
“The team behind Lens, a Web3 social media protocol, has announced the launch of a new “layer 3” network to scale blockchain social media apps. Called “Bonzai,” the new network processes and stores posts, comments and shares, taking this data off the Polygon network and thereby increasing scalability for Lens.
Introducing Bonsai, an Optimistic L3 scaling solution, that will process transactions at hyperscale, and is designed to support the next generation of web3 social users.
Lens is a blockchain protocol that allows users to form a portable “social graph,” or digital set of connections, between themselves and others. When users form a connection with another person on one Lens app, they can transfer those connections to any other app built on the protocol. There are 17 different Lens-based social media apps listed on the protocol’s official website, including Buttrfly, DumplingTV, Lenster, Lenstube and others. Lens runs on the Polygon network, a layer 2 of Ethereum.”
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“U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index data, tipped as the macro event of the week, failed to deliver a performance catalyst as numbers broadly conformed to what markets had already priced in. Attention increasingly focused on the macro events of the coming week, these headlined by the Federal Reserve interest rate decision. Already strong odds of a further rate hike only gained momentum on the back of the PCE print.
Bitcoin has already broken its Downtrend. Now it’s all about continuing the new Uptrend. Whether a retest is needed or not is the question. But history suggests the mid-term to long-term outlook looks bullish.”
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“CEO Jonathan Steinberg discussed his company’s soon-to-launch crypto wallet for trading tokenized real world assets such as gold. Blockchain brings democratization to traditional finance, he tells CoinDesk Editor-in-Chief Kevin Reynolds.
We thought through tokenization and blockchain-enabled finance that you could add functionality … When you put tokenized, physically backed gold with peer-to-peer exchange and payments, gold now becomes currency, like it was hundreds of years ago.
WisdomTree, which announced this month that it cracked the $90 billion asset-under-management mark, currently has nine crypto funds approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that invest in traditional assets such as U.S. Treasuries. Users will be able to access these funds through the WisdomTree Prime wallet once it launches.”
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“The United States House of Representatives was abuzz with talk about crypto on April 27, as both the Financial Services Committee and the Agriculture Committee held hearings with nearly identical titles and covered nearly the same ground with many similar conclusions.
We’ve all heard the siren’s call to ‘come in and register.’ It sounds enticingly attractive. But this is an oversimplification that conflates registration, which may theoretically be possible, with compliance, which is not.
Of the top 15 digital assets traded, two have been identified by the SEC as securities, and seven have been identified by the CFTC as commodities, leaving considerable confusion even in the most actively traded assets.
Several witnesses gave examples of the shortcomings of the current SEC regulatory framework when it is applied to crypto. FalconX deputy general counsel Purvi Maniar said mandatory SEC disclosures would make peer-to-peer transactions impossible. Regulatory gaps made such market issues as the FTX collapse possible, former CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad said.
The two committees will hold a joint hearing next month.”
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