February 15

The governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB), has reportedly confirmed that the Bahamian digital dollar initiative will be introduced across all islands in the second half of 2020. The Bahamas already rolled out the pilot project on the island of Exuma in December.

The governor noted that the Sand Dollar is originally targeting domestic use only. However, it’s also possible that it could be linked with ‘explicit buying and selling of foreign exchange.'”

“KyberSwap’s dashboard allows you to view a convenient breakdown of your crypto wallet allocation across different ERC20 tokens (including ETH). If you have previously transacted through KyberSwap or any DApp or platform that uses Kyber Network for their liquidity needs, your transactions history (with details) will be shown.

To complement our current tools, we are now introducing ‘Market Signals’ that will be sent to you via push notifications.

See Also: Celer’s Lyra Mainnet Launches

“The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) wants to sponsor a post-doctoral researcher to study what would happen if the U.S. dollar lost its status as the world’s reserve currency.

The agency said the research could help the U.S. prepare for “black swan” events that would threaten the dominance of the dollar. The listing cites predictions that a global cryptocurrency or national digital currency could undermine the U.S. dollar.

If either of these scenarios or others come to pass, the U.S. would lose both its status in the world and its global authorities. The U.S. should prepare to identify potential ‘black swan’ events that could revolutionize the financial playing field in ways we do not yet understand.”

See Also: MIT Wasn’t Only One Auditing Voatz – Homeland Security Did Too, With Fewer Concerns

“The companies announced Friday that Tron and Steem developers will jointly be looking into migrating Steem products and users to the Tron network, and ultimately swapping the STEEM token for a new Tron-based version.

No timeline for this migration was presented.”

“Users can now purchase cryptocurrencies with a longer list of supported fiat currencies through its integration with Israeli fiat payments processor Simplex.

The new integration provides gateways for currencies including the Swiss franc, Korean won and Australian dollar, as well as the Polish zloty and South African rand.”

“These marketplaces are highly fragmented and remarkably inefficient.

ExOne will reach across the marketplaces to generate a consolidated quote, a “global best bid and offer” that secures the most optimal bid for the system’s users.

That’s similar to the “national best bid and offer,” a Wall street term referring to a broker’s Security and Exchange Commission-mandated responsibility to get their clients the best possible price.”

“As the world shuns crypto, major blockchain companies take their business—and huge profits—elsewhere.

  • Binance: Cayman Islands
  • Bitfinex: British Virgin Islands
  • ShapeShift: Switzerland
  • BitMEX: Seychelles
  • Huobi: Singapore
  • OKEx: Seychelles
  • Praxxis: Cayman Islands”

February 14

“This could open doors to over 800,000 stores and 3 million web shops on Shopify and WooCommerce, as well as anyone else seeking a way to accept decentralized stablecoins as payment.

Shop owners can also currently earn a DAI savings rate of 7.5%.”

Status version 1 is live—combining a peer-to-peer messenger, cryptocurrency wallet, and Ethereum-enabled browser into a single decentralized, private and secure communication and payment tool for both iOS and Android.  

With Status, we’re building not just a tool for private and secure communication, but a gateway into an emerging ecosystem of distributed applications that embodies what is possible with decentralized technologies today.

We believe apps like Status represent the future of the web—enabling an internet that can uphold human rights, and providing a path toward more open and equitable systems.”

See Also: Torus Launches to Bring One-Click Login to Web 3.0

“In addition to the crypto media site Coin Ninja, Harmon created the bitcoin mixer Helix. In its indictment, Department of Justice prosecutors refer to Helix as a ‘money transmitting and money laundering business.’

Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski made the department’s views on bitcoin mixers clear. ‘This indictment underscores that seeking to obscure virtual currency transactions in this way is a crime.’

Harmon’s case raises pressing questions about developer liability in the crypto industry. Many bitcoin experts are concerned this could establish a precedent where simply creating a bitcoin mixer is seen, in itself, as a money-laundering conspiracy.”

See Also: ‘Full Transparency Not Ideal for Cryptocurrency’ Says Chainalysis Exec
See Also: Could a Digital Dollar Compete on Privacy? Fed Chairman Powell Hints It Might

Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and The Sandbox all together have seen a total trading volume of 944.506 dollars. In terms of trading volume Decentraland is absolutely the biggest player out there. This virtual world will launch on February 20th and is getting lots of traction from investors and gamers alike.

User generated content is getting a new meaning, as ownership will break users free from the traditional ‘consumer role’. No longer are players merely consumers, but they are contributors to a virtual world in which creation and contribution has real value.

“The investment is partly geared toward a recently launched product that helps crypto exchanges win banking relationships.

The product, Elliptic Discovery, provides a bill of health for over 200 crypto exchanges worldwide, covering everything from how they conduct know-your-customer (KYC) checks to whether they’re regulated in the first place.

Previously, a bank just didn’t know much about the exchange that was wanting to open an account with them. This will give them insights into how risky or otherwise a given crypto exchange is.”

IOTA Foundation recommended users close their Trinity wallets Thursday after multiple reports of fund theft. IOTA said that it is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to investigate a coordinated attack, resulting in stolen funds.

Most evidence is pointing towards seed theft, cause still unknown and under investigation.”

Over 6.9 million Britons were tracked by a company formerly associated with Cambridge Analytica.

Because of the nature of these sites, this can reveal very sensitive characteristics about a person’s financial circumstances, and health. It is inexcusable that people seeking help for addiction, disability, and poverty on council websites can be profiled by private companies.

Brave notes in its report that Google ‘owns all five of the top embedded elements loaded by UK council websites,’ which gives the tech giant the power to know what virtually anyone in the UK views on council sites.”

“The GAO recommended the IRS add a note saying its 2019 FAQs are not binding guidance, clarify third-party reporting requirements and clarify the reporting requirements around FATCA.

Part of the 2019 guidance is not authoritative because it was not published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB). IRS has stated that only guidance published in the IRB is IRS’s authoritative interpretation of the law. IRS did not make clear to taxpayers that this part of the guidance is not authoritative and is subject to change.”

See Also: IRS Does Not Consider Fortnite Money as Virtual Currency After All

February 13

Status prepares for Launch!

“2019 cemented the shift in thinking from Status as a standalone product to The Status Network as a whole open source peer-to-peer tech stack, building decentralized technologies ranging from protocol-level infrastructure to consumer apps.

  • The final countdown is on, with v1 of the mobile app due for launch by the end of Q1.
  • Users can register their desired ENS username seamlessly and directly in the app, with the ENS name now appearing as the display name in chat.
  • dap.ps is a curated list of DApps that relies on a unique economic mechanism to rank information without any centralized authority benefiting.
  • Teller is our DApp allowing people to exchange fiat for crypto in their locale.
  • Sticker Market offers a marketplace for artists and creators to upload and monetize their sticker design work.
  • Keycard is a secure, contactless, open source, hardwallet. We also developed a prototype of a simple Android app that bridges Keycard with WalletConnect to connect to a mobile wallet.
  • We’re also laying the foundations for an open source payment network. Any phone running Status will become a permissionless point of sales accepting payments with crypto debit cards. The first demo of this will drop in Q2 2020.”

See Also: Optimistic Virtual Machine Alpha

“Speaking during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Mnuchin said FinCEN, the nation’s financial crimes watchdog, is preparing to roll out some “significant new requirements” around cryptocurrencies, though he did not provide any further detail.

We want to make sure that technology moves forward but, on the other hand, we want to make sure that cryptocurrencies aren’t used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret number bank accounts. You’ll be seeing a lot of work coming out very quickly.”

See Also: North Korea Is Expanding Its Monero Mining Operations
See Also: A Million EPayments Accounts Frozen Due to Regulation Control

“Tether will apply Chainalysis’ “Know Your Transaction” tool for token issuers, allowing the stablecoin firm to monitor activity and ‘quickly understand the risk profile of each token holder.’

This solution allows us to ensure a secure compliance program that fosters trust with regulators, law enforcement agencies and users. This is achieved without sharing our user’s identifying information, as such data is only kept on our servers.”

Opyn’s product will offer a hedge, what financial types call a “put option,” which will guarantee that users can recover most of their lost capital if Compound has a disaster. The advantage for insuring these deposits is guaranteed free money in exchange for staking ETH as collateral.

Compound has been stable since launching in late 2018, but no one disagrees that this world of DeFi is still tiny and hasn’t really been tested in the fires of true panic. If more serious investors are to start using Compound, they will want a way to hedge.

Powell on FedCoin @ FSC Hearing

“The team behind the project aims to eliminate ‘traditional artificial barriers such as national jurisdictions or the borders of a single country‘ when it comes to adjudicating disputes. Aragon Court uses a game theory method known as a Schelling Game in order to provide a subjective outcome to the dispute.

DAOs need to grow outside of their blockchain and machine-powered smart contracts. DAOs need subjective agreements. DAOs and their users need an equivalent of the legal system, but fully native to them.

Any person around the world can become a juror, upon condition that they possess at least 10,000 staked and activated ANJ tokens. Once a dispute is raised, the system singles out jurors to adjudicate it.”

“Forbes listed Axoni, Chainalysis, Coinbase, Everledger, MakerDao and Ripple amongst its top 50 fintech list for 2020.

A couple things all our Fintech 50 2020 picks have in common: they’re private companies with operations or customers in the U.S., and they’re making it easier, faster and cheaper to use financial services.”

Good explainer re the consensus mechanism for eth2: LMD-GHOST + Casper FFG.

“Poloniex, which was recently acquired by an investment group including Tron founder Justin Sun, has been forced to roll back trading activity after it introduced an error in its system.

Due to possible accounting errors arising from the bug it had to undo 12 minutes of platform activity, affecting trades between 17:53 UTC and 18:05 UTC on Monday.”

February 12

Activate sets standards for the purchase, distribution and use of utility tokens. Its “proof-of-use” protocol requires tokens to be usable at or immediately after selling tokens to participants. Activate also requires tokens reach maturity – either decentralization or token functionality – within 28 days of the first token sale.

Activate announced it was going live with SKALE, an ethereum scaling project, as its first partner. SKALE CEO Jack O’Holleran said that after a Dutch auction his token will go live on the ethereum mainnet and tokens will not be able to be transferred for a 90-day proof-of-use period. 

SKALE is a proof-of-stake platform designed to boost the scalability of the ethereum blockchain. It will enable dapps to conduct millions of transactions per second at a much lower cost than transactions currently conducted on ethereum. More than 35 dApps are building on SKALE, including games, DeFi, audio streaming platforms and more.

See Also: Plasma Became Optimism and It Might Just Save Ethereum

While the terms of the deal currently under discussion are still not set, the merger might happen within the next six months.

Quorum is used as the basis for JPM’s Interbank Information Network, which now has over 365 banks on board.”

“On the heels of new Anti-Money Laundering laws, several German banks are reported to be seeking regulators’ go-ahead to offer digital assets services. As of Jan. 2020, new legislation has permitted banks to extend their offerings.

Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is dealing with a cascade of applications from 40 banks seeking to become regulated cryptocurrency custodians.

See Also: German Bank to Offer Tokenized Securities Based on Stellar

“Vermont regulators will track hemp production on the ethereum mainnet. Beginning in March, farmers and processors will begin putting all associated crop data into the Trace system, which runs on ethereum.

Everyone is deriving value from innate blockchain tech – namely the security that comes with public permissionless blockchain technology.

Vermont’s regulators said this is the first full-scale government registration and licensing system that pairs blockchain with the nascent hemp industry. It is [also] one of the first times a state regulatory agency has decided to run with the ethereum mainnet.

“Ether will face more volatility than bitcoin over the next six months, according to how options have been priced in recent weeks. The recent spike in the ETH-BTC six-month implied volatility spread shows investors are expecting bigger percentage moves in ether (in either direction) than in bitcoin over the next 180 days. 

Volatility has a positive impact on options price. The higher the volatility (uncertainty), the stronger the hedging demand is for both call (bullish bet) and put options (bearish bet).”

“Canada Stablecorp announced Monday it was issuing the “QCAD” stablecoin for “mass market,” including foreign exchange remittances and other financial products. QCAD is being described as both a means of payment and a settlement solution.

The ethereum[-based] ERC20 coin is backed by Canadian dollars and will be issued by Canada Stablecorp and traded on DVeX, Newton, Bitvo, Netcoins and Coinsmart – five Canada-based crypto exchanges. These platforms will be responsible for conducting their own KYC/AML checks in compliance with relevant regulations.

“Beginning in WWII, Swiss company Crypto AG operated as a seemingly neutral party that developed encrypted communications solutions for over 120 different countries over much of the past century, The Washington Post revealed in a Feb. 11 exposé. 

Behind the scenes of the seemingly Swiss company sat CIA and German secret service group BND, the true owners of Crypto AG, monitoring all communications as a hidden third party. The CIA continued the Crypto AG operation until 2018, when technological advancements rendered the endeavor unnecessary.”

Hedera is set to use Google Cloud to host its public testnets and Hedera Consensus Service ecosystem. As part of its commitment, Google Cloud will operate a Hedera network node.

Hedera has used Google Cloud since the inception of its network, choosing to run its ledger through Google Cloud Platform’s premium product offerings. Now, with Google’s endorsement of Hedera’s using its publicly available software, Google also announced that it has become a member of the Hedera council.

See Also: Dell Among Founding Members of IOTA Working Group

February 11

Chainalysis is, right now, doing millions of dollars worth of business each year with the U.S. government, dwarfing its competitors in the young industry of blockchain surveillance. Federal agencies have spent at least $10 million in American tax dollars on Chainalysis’ tools, services and training since 2015.

The company is by far Uncle Sam’s leading crypto analysis contractor by spending and has become the go-to firm for 10 federal agencies, departments and bureaus.

“[Peirce] has clearly really thought through the opportunities and challenges of people building these systems in America. … Ultimately she doesn’t want to see innovation leave America’s shores.

We are going to see some sense of comeback of higher quality teams into the market willing to create financial assets knowing that there’s a path for them to do so safely. This will probably take at least a year to play out before we start to see the comeback of the token.”

“BitGo, a United States-based firm that claims to process over 20% of all Bitcoin (BTC) transactions, has established new custodial subsidiaries in Switzerland and Germany.

As the two new entities are regulated by different financial authorities, BitGo intends to allow its clients to choose the jurisdiction that is best suited to their business.

Switzerland and Germany have both become important European centers for digital assets as well as for forward-thinking regulatory frameworks.

“Enterprise blockchain is a catalyst for further spending at Big Blue, according to Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s vice president of blockchain technologies. The blockchain part of a blockchain application only accounts for about 20 percent of the overall solution, said Cuomo. That leaves 80 percent in other tech for bringing the network to life. 

For every dollar spent, $15 is spent on other cloud services.”

“Italy’s securities regulator has shut down six foreign exchange websites and two crypto investing and derivative trading sites. 

The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has accused these 8 FX sites of violating the Mifid2 and the Consolidated Law on Finance (TUF) for providing illegal trading products and services.

See Also: Crypto Mining Does Not Require Governmental Oversight, Ukrainian Regulator Says
See Also: Trump’s 2021 Budget Proposal Seeks to Optimize Crypto Policing

Ethereum Classic will only function as collateral on the Fantom platform. The stablecoins will live on Xar Network’s blockchain-agnostic stablecoin protocol, named Collateralized Stable Currency Tokens (CSCT).

Fantom primarily targets enterprise and governmental use cases.”

See Also: Litecoin Foundation Partners With Cred to Let Holders Earn Interest

February 10

What is DeFi?

See Also: DeFi + NFT-backed Loans (Video)

“In contrast to centralized cloud storage, decentralized ones brag of being more secure and private. They do not store user data on a single centralized server. Instead, they divide files into multiple pieces and send them to different servers or nodes, thereby reducing the possibility of external control over user data.

Blockchain-based decentralized cloud solutions have learned from their predecessors and aimed for improved security, privacy and users’ control over their data. One of their distinguishing features is encryption. When you upload a file to the network, it automatically encrypts the file.”

See Also: Mysterious ‘Binance Cloud’ Launching in 10 Days, CEO CZ Hints

For the first time in three months, bitcoin’s price is being quoted in five digits to the left of the decimal. With the surge above $10,000, the cryptocurrency’s year-to-date gains have risen to 41 percent.

This breakout is the real deal. Fundamental investment activity is backing this $10k breakout.

A majority of top alternative cryptocurrencies (or “altcoins”) are outperforming bitcoin, leading bitcoin’s dominance of the overall cryptocurrency market to fall to 64 percent, the lowest level in seven-months. Ethereum’s ether token (ETH) is currently trading at a 78 percent gain on a year-to-date basis.”

See Also: Anthony Pompliano Believes Bitcoin Price Climb to $100K Has Started

tBTC: Trustless BTC/ETH Bridge Coming Soon!

“Bitcoin may enhance the risk and return reward profile of institutional investment portfolios.

A small allocation to Bitcoin significantly enhanced the cumulative return of a 60% equity and 40% bonds portfolio allocation mix while only minimally impacting its volatility.

An in-depth comparison of the features of the United States dollar, gold and Bitcoin contained in the report also suggests that Bitcoin has more of the features that are desirable from an asset that serves as money than gold itself.”

FTX plans to launch a Bernie Sanders (BERNIE) futures trading product, as well as futures on Joe Biden (BIDEN), Elizabeth Warren (WARREN), Pete Buttigieg (PETE) and Mike Bloomberg (BLOOMBERG). They should go live within the next several days.

FTX prohibits numerous regions from trading TRUMP, including Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and even the United States — the country hosting the elections on which these products are based.”

February 9

If you’re going to read one article this weekend, make it this – very highly recommended read (in full)!

Big Web companies tend to expand their platforms and monopolize information by locking users into proprietary interfaces. Cryptonetworks, on the other hand, tend to provide single services, and can’t “own” the interface because they don’t control the data.

Consumer applications in crypto/Web3 are independently built on top of multiple “composable” protocols using what we could call a cryptoservices architecture. In Decentralized Finance (DeFi) people call this “money legos”.

[Developers] are building similar crypto-finance apps using many of the same protocols, like Ethereum, Compound, Maker, and Uniswap. This allows them to deliver a complete suite of financial services (transactions, borrowing, lending, trading, investing, etc.) without building all that functionality, infrastructure and liquidity in-house. The protocols provide specific services across many interfaces and the apps on top share resources and data with no centralized platform risk.

A cryptoservices architecture is great for startups. Entrepreneurs can launch new applications quickly and cheaply by outsourcing a lot of the functionality to various networks. As a network, thin applications can scale more effectively across markets. Every piece of digital art minted on Rare Art indirectly increases the utility value of OpenSea, etc.

Fat Protocols suggests crypto protocols will “capture” more value than the application interfaces. A common mistake is to conflate the idea of value capture with investment returns.

Cryptonetworks may scale to store trillions in value but, eventually, flatten in growth. Then, most of the market’s value may be stored in the protocol layer, while outsized returns on investment move to wherever there is more growth. But today we’re far from that state of equilibrium and we’re finding high-return opportunities in both layers.”

See Also: Uniswap is Infrastructure

Mattereum creates digital identities for the world of physical goods. The Mattereum Asset Passport uses blockchain technology to help buyers, sellers, and experts work together to create a doubt-free environment for trade in luxury goods, art & antiques, and other items where authenticity means everything.

The Mattereum Asset Passport rewards truth in trade by incentivising good information and compensating victims of bad information. Companies looking to securitise, collateralise, or tokenise physical assets are better assured of the authenticity and quality of goods if those goods carry a Mattereum Asset Passport.”

“Ethernal is a multiplayer dungeon generated entirely from the blockchain, inspired by classic text and grid-based MUD games. Items, equipment, coins, and elements that you collect are all tokens that you can freely trade outside of the dungeon.

You explore the dungeon to discover (generate) new rooms. In these rooms, you’ll find items and monsters. You can collaborate with other players to defeat monsters, or race against them to be the first to discover new room and rare items.

Your character will level up to explorer the deeper, more dangerous parts of the dungeon. But remember, if you die you will lose everything that you carry and others can scavenge your remains.”

“In a public call of ethereum 2.0 devs, Nimbus revealed a multi-client testnet Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is due by February 28th.

The testnet genesis block itself will hopefully launch perhaps by the end of next month.”

See Also: Rocket Pool Launches Staking GUI

“Arcade City is a decentralized network that enables riders and drivers to connect directly with each other; drivers can charge what they want, work when they want and build up their own base of repeat customers.

Drivers self-organise in peer-to-peer “guilds”, tokenized using the ERC-20 Arcade Token (ARCD); they keep 100% of fares booked on a peer-to-peer basis, or pay a 10% fee on fares booked through the gamified Arcade City app. Arcade City also plans to offer ride-sharing insurance and payment processing.

We view this as the one stop shop for peer to peer everything.”

“Charting the rise, fall and disappearance of Ignatova, New Regency Television will turn the podcast into a full-fledged television drama. 

Hope it continues to get word out about OneCoin around the world.

Ignatova is currently in hiding as prosecutors indict her and her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, on multiple counts of fraud and money laundering. Konstantin has already plead guilty to the charges and faces up to 90 years in jail. OneCoin defrauded investors of around $5 billion in total.”