8 June

“A wide-reaching, bipartisan crypto bill emerged Tuesday from U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who are seeking to extend a comprehensive set of regulations across digital assets in the U.S.

The legislation attempts to tackle the biggest questions hanging over digital assets. It would set new federal law for stablecoins, taxes on small-scale payments and the jurisdictions of regulators – answering the uncertainties that have kept the fledgling financial sector from maturing.

These are some of the main features of what Gillibrand described as a “landmark bill:”

  • It would define the terrain between crypto securities and commodities, allowing token issuers to know beforehand what they are launching based on the “purpose of the asset and the rights or powers it conveys the consumer.” The market envisioned in the bill is dominated by commodities, including most of the big names in crypto, such as bitcoin, ether and dozens of the other tokens with significant market share that would fall into a definition as “ancillary assets” overseen by the CFTC.
  • The lawmakers would give the CFTC authority over the spot markets in crypto commodities.
  • 100% reserve, asset type and detailed disclosure requirements for all payment stablecoin issuers.’ There would be a new framework for banks and credit unions to issue stablecoins. The lawmakers insist that ‘existing stablecoin issuers and new entrants into the market have an adequate opportunity to compete with existing banks and credit unions.’
  • The bill would liberate small-scale purchases of goods and services from the mire of tax implications by making transactions of less than $200 tax-free – potentially clearing a path for a cryptocurrency that acts more like a currency.
  • The senators also suggest an industry “sandbox” in which regulators let crypto firms test new products on a limited scale and duration.
  • The Lummis-Gillibrand proposal also adopts language from a bill last year that sought to clarify the meaning of a crypto broker, especially hoping to protect wallet providers, software developers and others from being snagged by certain tax reporting requirements.

The effort from Lummis and Gillibrand, however, is seen in Washington as a starting point for a dialogue that won’t lead anywhere significant before next year. Still, with Lummis on the Senate Banking Committee that oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission and Gillibrand holding a spot on the Agriculture Committee that oversees commodities and the CFTC, the lawmakers are well placed to help shepherd key portions of the legislation.”

See Also: Human Rights Leaders Urge Congress to Take ‘Open-Minded’ View on Bitcoin
See Also: US Justice Department Urges More Coordination to Combat Crypto Crime

U.S. electronic trading giant Citadel Securities is building a “cryptocurrency trading ecosystem” with the help of high-frequency trading and market-making firm Virtu Financial, as well as venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Paradigm.

This marketplace is intended to create more efficient access to deep pools of liquidity for digital assets. So a group of industry leaders are working closely together to facilitate the safe, clean, compliant and secure trading of digital assets.

In January of this year, Sequoia and crypto VC firm Paradigm invested $1.15 billion in Citadel.”

See Also: Metaverse-Related Economy Could Be as Much as $13T: Citi

PayPal is finally allowing cryptocurrency holders to transfer their digital assets off its platform to other wallets and exchanges, the feature most often requested since the fintech giant’s crypto buy, sell and hold service went live in October 2020.

The move away from regimented custodial platforms towards more open systems is a trend being followed by other large fintech players to enter crypto, such as popular trading app Robinhood, which is rolling out a new crypto wallet focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

We are a payments and commerce company, and we think that our role in the ecosystem is about increasing access.

We want people on our platform acquiring digital currencies to be able to then use them to do something, whether it’s buying NFTs or interacting with games or other things, and stablecoins are a component of that and really important for the commerce and payments aspect to grow.”

“Verrilli’s career includes previously serving as a solicitor general for the U.S. from 2011-2016 under the Obama administration. During that time, Verrilli was the top lawyer representing the government’s side in dozens of U.S. Supreme Court cases, and he’ll now work as additional counsel for Grayscale.

For Grayscale, the move comes as the firm approaches a July 6 deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make a decision on Grayscale’s application to convert GBTC to a spot bitcoin ETF. The firm said in May it had a “productive” meeting with the SEC in which it made its case for an approval.

It’s paramount that Grayscale has the strongest legal minds working on our application to convert GBTC to an ETF, and we are thrilled that Verrilli will join our outstanding legal team.”

Checkout.com will now be able to offer merchants instant fiat-to-stablecoin conversion for customer payments by using Fireblocks’ crypto payment tech. The move comes as various payment firms seek to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto payment options.

Traditionally, merchant payouts are limited to 9-5 on weekdays excluding public holidays and are further delayed through batch processing over several business days. Merchants are no longer restricted by arbitrary settlement times.

In a beta run, Checkout.com “successfully” tested ways for customers’ fiat transactions to utilize payments for merchants through USDC. To date, Checkout.com has facilitated settlement of more than $300 million.”

See Also: Circle to Support Polygon USDC on Payments Platform as Adoption Grows

Ethereum Merge: Ropsten Upgrade Livestream (June 8)

Energy Web & US Gov’t

7 June

From April 2021 to April 2022, Web 3 users sent $224 billion in on-chain value to DEXs, outstripping centralized exchanges like Coinbase, which combined for $175 billion over the same period, according to a new report from Chainalysis.

Chainalysis Economist Ethan McMahon told CoinDesk that the move from CEXs to DEXs began in 2020’s DeFi Summer and carried through the non-fungible token (NFT) boom of 2021. DEXs first cleared 50% market share in September 2020, according to the report. In June 2021, this number hit its peak at 80%.

While decentralized exchanges are noncustodial and offer a wider range of currency pairs, according to McMahon, they aren’t as easy to use and do not offer the same regulatory assurance that centralized exchanges do. If DEXs continue to increase in popularity, a regulatory crackdown might be on the way.”

See Also: Weekly Bitcoin Inflows Totaled $126M as Institutions Keep ‘Buying the Dip’

Exploring Web3 Social Media with Lens Protocol

The SEC is looking into whether the crypto exchange should have registered the initial coin offering of Binance coin as a security.

The SEC is also investigating market-making companies owned or partially owned by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao that do business with Binance.US, a U.S.-based affiliate of the global exchange. According to the report, one of the SEC’s focuses is on whether Binance.US is wholly independent of the global exchange and whether employees may be involved in insider trading.

Binance is currently under investigation in the U.S. by the Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Internal Revenue Service.”

See Also: At Least $2.4B in Crypto Has Been Laundered Through Binance: Report

“Illuvium, an upcoming Ethereum-based role-playing game, sold more than $72 million worth of digital land plots as NFTs during a sale that ended on Sunday.

The sale, which began Thursday, ultimately saw nearly 20,000 digital land plots sold to investors and prospective players. Illuvium’s land NFTs run on Immutable X, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum that enables cheaper, faster, and more energy-efficient transactions.

Illuvium’s game world ultimately will feature 100,000 total land plots, holders of which will receive access to various in-game benefits, such as extracting fuel that can be sold to other players for a potential profit. Illuvium is set to launch later this year.

“The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Discord server was hacked on Saturday, with the attacker making off with 200 ETH ($360,000) worth of NFTs, according to Yuga Labs. The hack took place after the project’s community manager, Boris Vagner, had his Discord account compromised, which the attacker then used to post phishing links.

Discord isn’t working for Web 3 communities. We need a better platform that puts security first.”

Introducing DESK, CoinDesk’s New Social Token

4 June

The Biden administration is crafting policy recommendations aimed at lessening the energy consumption and emissions footprint of Bitcoin and other proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies.

It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions.

We need to think about what would be the appropriate policy responses under a world that shifted to proof-of-stake, or a world that has some continuous mix of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.”

See Also: New York State Senate Passes Bitcoin Mining Moratorium

The impoverished country has launched an ambitious crypto project that includes using Bitcoin as legal tender, attracting investment and creating its own metaverse. Creation of a legal framework for resource tokenization is a key element of the Sango Project, along with establishing e-residency for investors, crowdfunding infrastructure and the founding Sango—the so-called Crypto Island metaverse.

The next step for us, the Central African Republic is the democratization & tokenization of resources, a new chapter with tremendous possibilities.”

“Co-founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen has issued a new monumental proposal to push the project into its final form called The Endgame Plan.

Central to Christensen’s Tuesday plan is the formation of MetaDAOs designed to tackle specific governance issues within the Maker ecosystem and alleviate congestion on the “slow and single threaded decision making process” that exists now. Each MetaDAO can be thought of as a subsection of MakerDAO, which would issue its own token and be governed by Maker participants interested in its particular goal.

Christensen also proposes Maker launches a synthetic ETH token called MATH to take advantage of the Merge. MATH fees could initially be set to 0% in order to incentivize its use, but eventually, it could generate revenue for the protocol as synths have done for THORChain.

The lowest hanging fruit of the Endgame Plan Launch is the acceleration of the existing roadmap milestone to quickly launch a simplified version of Synthetic ETH.”

“Bitcoin (BTC) was struggling to find direction Friday after a U.S. government report showed that the pace of jobs growth slowed in May – potentially a sign that the Federal Reserve’s recent moves to cool the economy might be starting to have an impact.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers added 390,000 jobs in May – a modest slowdown from April’s 436,000 gain, but above economists’ expectations of 325,000.

We are now entering into a ‘bad news is good news’ phase with regard to growth and employment data. The market would trade positive on negative news as that would reduce Fed hawkishness.”

See Also: Bitcoin’s move to $32.4K was a fakeout — Here’s the price level most BTC traders are waiting for
See Also: Are Exchange Layoffs the First Sign of Crypto Winter, or Is It Already Over?

“Japan is one of the first major economies to pass a law specific to stablecoins even if the legislation comes into effect in a year.

The bill provides clarity around the definition of stablecoins, which will now be considered as digital money and must be linked to the yen or another legal tender, guaranteeing holders the right to redeem them at face value.

Stablecoins can now only be issued by licensed banks, registered money transfer agents and trust companies. The bill does not address existing asset-backed or algorithmic stablecoins. However, exchanges in Japan do not list stablecoins.”

“Fabio Araujo, an economist at the Central Bank of Brazil (CBB) who is also responsible for the country’s central bank digital currency work, revealed that the monetary authority will have greater control over the population’s money once its CBDC is rolled out.

Through the so-called Real Digital, the central bank will be able to halt bank runs and impose other restrictions on citizens’ access to money. In other words, the central bank will have the power to control the flow of money within the system.

Large conversions could only be available if scheduled in advance and constraints on daily conversions could be set. In addition to that, circuit breaker mechanisms could be automatically applicable when the continued draining of tokens from any specific institution would render it vulnerable.”

3 June

“BTC/USD is below the two-year SMA for the first time since March 2020, having crossed the line around one week before the Terra LUNA, now known as Luna Classic (LUNC), debacle sent Bitcoin to ten-month lows. While Bitcoin bulls are hardly out of the woods at $30,000, the Investor Tool’s readings strengthen a narrative that is only just beginning to emerge among analysts.

Arthur Hayes, former CEO of derivatives giant BitMEX, this week suggested that May’s Terra-inspired trip to $23,800 may in fact mark a long-term BTC price floor after all. The Terra episode, itself, in which nonprofit the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) liquidated 80,000 BTC, could have cemented solid support, Hayes wrote.

To puke 80,000 physical Bitcoin is quite a feat. After contemplating the nature in which these Bitcoins were sold, I am even more confident that the $25,000 — $27,000 zone for Bitcoin is this cycle’s bottom.”

See Also: 11% of US insurers invest — or are interested in investing — in crypto

“The Graph – a service that helps applications collect and interpret blockchain-based data – announced Thursday that it will be sunsetting its centralized Hosted Service early next year. The news also accompanied a proposal to expand The Graph’s decentralized network to Arbitrum.

App developers using the platform will be encouraged to migrate over to the pay-per-query Graph network, which relies on a distributed community of Ethereum-based “indexers” to handle data rather than the Hosted Network’s single operator.

This big vision that we’ve been trying to fulfill for years is now possible, and the big piece of that is you can make data decentralized.”

See Also: Balancer launches on Ethereum L2 network Optimism

Crusoe Energy, a U.S. firm that specializes in using excess natural gas for bitcoin mining, will begin deploying generators and mining equipment to capture flared gas in Muscat, Oman as the Middle East looks to cut its emissions.

Crusoe’s CEO, explained in the report that the company felt it was important to have a presence in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region as the location accounts for 38% of the world’s burning of excess natural gas from oil wells. The Oman Investment Authority was part of a $505 million funding round for Crusoe this past April.

Having the buy-in from nations that are actively trying to solve the flaring issues is what we are looking for.”

“The cost-cutting measures will see Coinbase rescind “a number of accepted offers” to prospects yet to start, and extend the two-week hiring pause “for as long as this macro environment requires.”

The cutbacks come “in response to the current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts.” The Coinbase news follows an announcement of layoffs at fellow exchange Gemini earlier today.

Adapting quickly and acting now will help us to successfully navigate this macro environment and emerge even stronger, enabling further healthy growth and innovation.”

See Also: Winklevoss-Led Gemini Cuts 10% of Staff, Citing ‘Turbulent’ Crypto Market
See Also: CFTC Sues Gemini Over Bitcoin Futures Case From 2017

The Solana network suffered its latest outage Wednesday, felled for over four hours by a bug in how the blockchain processes a niche type of transaction.

Those transactions will remain nixed until developers identify and patch the exact culprit that threw Solana’s consensus mechanism off-kilter. That may have ramifications for offline custodians whose transactions fall under this category, perhaps even freezing their ability to move funds until the patch is in.

At press time Wednesday a number of exchanges were reporting problems with Solana deposits and withdrawals. Among them: Binance, Coinbase and Crypto.com. SOL was already trading lower Wednesday when the outage began around noon Eastern time; it continued its 24-hour slide and was down nearly 13% around 8:30 p.m. ET.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is warning investors away from casual crypto speculation by using mock videos. “Investing is not a game,” says the voiceover in each of the public service spots released by the SEC on Wednesday.

In one spot the mock host invites contestants of “Investomania” to choose from a classic game show board of options that includes a range of dubious investments. The possible selections include one square labeled “crypto to the moon,” mixed among others such as “stock tips from your uncle,” “meme stocks” and “tulip bulbs.”

In another, a contestant says, “I’ll take celebrity endorsements,” with a mock celebrity responding, “You should buy crypto, trust me – I’m an actor.””

See Also: Community fires back at anti-crypto letter sent to US lawmakers

2 June

“Most people see these machinations through the lens of price, but price is ephemeral. Prices fluctuate wildly in the short run because sentiment trumps fundamentals, and many projects don’t have any. But like any other startup, what matters in the long run is whether a project delivers something useful.

Not in terms of transactions per second, clean user interfaces or efficient governance, that’s what Big Banks and Big Tech are for. Crypto projects should be measured by the unique attributes of decentralization, features like trustlessness, censorship-resistance, transparency and — as a direct result — resilience. Given the many downsides of decentralization, these attributes should be priority one for every project. On a long enough timeline, they will determine price.

Those who claim that UST was the victim of an attack — which it probably was — should remember that the entire point of this technology is to achieve resilience in the face of constant attack. Projects that can’t handle attacks shouldn’t exist.

We’ve heard this story before. The short history of crypto is filled with examples of projects that raised a lot of money, sacrificed first principles to steal the limelight, then faltered. The original DAO was hacked. Tezos devolved into a governance crisis almost right away. Block.one thrashed from one pointless endeavor to another.

On the other stride of the spectrum is Bitcoin, which never raised a penny, took its time to grow, and is now worth half a trillion dollars. Similarly, Ethereum only ever raised $16m — one tenth of the amount raised recently by Tom Brady’s NFT platform — and almost all of it came from the public. Insiders never controlled more than 15% of the token supply, and being Proof of Work diluted them further. It too has been painfully slow to evolve, but is well positioned to survive a bear market. If the merge succeeds and rollups continue to evolve then it can come out more useful than ever.

Now consider the case of the latest generation of smart contract platforms like Solana, Avalanche, Polygon, BSC and Fantom. Instead of trying to develop their own communities in an organic fashion, most have focused on siphoning Ethereum’s by adopting the Ethereum Virtual Machine. That strategy makes it easier for users and developers to port over, but also diminishes what made these protocols special in the first place. Being clones, the only way they can distinguish themselves is by increasing capacity via greater centralization. Good for lower transaction fees, bad for why you need a blockchain in the first place. To make matters worse, most of these platforms have a great deal of insider ownership.

Welcome to the world of decentralization theater, the fastest way for insiders to get rich in crypto, at least on the way up. Impatient crypto investors love chasing the next hot thing, and the market tends to reward projects that abandon first principles for short term gain during bull markets. But the fundamentals — or lack thereof — often lead to a reckoning during the bear.

As I argue in my new book, the most likely outcome of the crypto revolution is a hybrid future, one where the core protocols are decentralized but the ramps and interfaces that most users rely on are not. Foundations and corporations will still have important roles to play, and there will be plenty of value creation to go around. But the one thing the market will not tolerate is inauthenticity, particularly at core. The more centralized the blockchain, the less antifragile the community.”

“Goldman Sachs has been in talks with FTX over regulatory and public listing help, and aims to expand into offering crypto derivatives by leveraging its own derivatives tools and services, reported Barron’s. The integration of Goldman Sachs derivatives services would offer ‘trading futures directly, introducing clients and acting as an on-ramp to the exchange.’

FTX is currently seeking to offer brokerage services for its derivatives offerings. This would allow the crypto exchange to handle the collateral and margin requirements internally rather than depending on futures commission merchants (FCMs).

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has sought public comments on the requested amendment from the crypto exchange. The chief regulatory body also believes that FTX’s proposal warrants scrutiny as it would lead to a monopoly by large investment banks such as Goldman.”

See Also: Mastercard CEO: SWIFT Payment System May Be Replaced By CBDCs In Five Years

“The United States Federal Reserve is starting the process of paring back its $9 trillion balance sheet that ballooned in recent years in a move called quantitative tightening (QT).

The Fed plans on shrinking its balance sheet by $47.5 billion per month for the next three months. In September of this year, it plans on a $95 billion reduction. It aims to see its balance sheet reduced by $7.6 trillion by the end of 2023.

Financial advisory firm deVere Group CEO Nigel Green believes market reactions to QT will be minimal because “it’s already priced in.” Green said there may be a “knee-jerk reaction from the markets” because of the unexpected speed with which QT is being rolled out, but he sees it as a little more than a wobble.”

“Chastain was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with trading on confidential information about which non-fungible tokens were about to be featured on the OpenSea homepage. The two charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The Justice Department alleged in the release that Chastain flipped “dozens of NFTs” after choosing to feature them on the website, selling them for two to five times what he initially paid.

Today’s charges demonstrate the commitment of this office to stamping out insider trading – whether it occurs on the stock market or the blockchain.

It’s the first time they’ve pursued an “insider trading” charge involving digital assets. Attorneys believe Chastain’s arrest signals the onset of a new wave of enforcement actions related to NFTs.

See Also: DeFi Ledgers Can Help Regulators Oversee Sector, BIS Official Says

“The Digital Assets Committee, which could be launched this month, will provide criteria for the listing of coins by exchanges, introduce investor protections measures and monitor unfair trading.

We need to make exchanges play their proper role, and toward that end it is crucial for watchdogs to supervise them thoroughly.”

See Also: Polygon Increases KYC Scrutiny of Potential Investments and Grants in India

1 June

“Ethereum’s oldest proof-of-work testnet is transitioning to proof-of-stake, with two more to follow “before focus shifts to mainet.” Ropsten will be Ethereum’s first public test network to transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism as part of the blockchain’s “Merge” event.

A new beacon chain has been launched today, and The Merge is expected around June 8th on the network.”

“The business is planning to add 110 employees in tech roles, including engineers and developers with blockchain experience. The expanded headcount will be used to build infrastructure to offer trading of ether. Fidelity Digital Assets has hitherto offered only bitcoin (BTC) support.

It [also] aims to provide faster transactions and 24-hour trading support as well as compliance and tax-reporting tools. Growing its tech team and providing support ether (ETH) support would signal Fidelity’s intent to expand into the crypto industry.”

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the republic’s central bank, is starting a pilot program alongside financial heavyweights DBS Bank, JPMorgan (JPM) and Marketnode to explore use cases of digital assets in tokenization and decentralized finance (DeFi).

The first stage of “Project Guardian” will see the MAS explore DeFi applications in wholesale funding markets through the creation of liquidity pool of tokenized bonds and deposits to carry out borrowing and lending on a public blockchain-based network.

Both DBS and JPMorgan have track records of building digital assets and blockchain technology into their wholesale banking operations. Building on these developments in step with the central bank of a major financial center could provide fresh impetus to the adoption of digital assets and blockchain by mainstream financial institutions.”

See Also: India cooperates with IMF on crypto consultation paper
See Also: Binance to launch Africa crypto awareness tour as adoption ramps up

“First deputy governor of the Russian central bank Ksenia Yudayeva stated Tuesday that the bank is open to using cryptocurrency for international payments, adding that the bank was reconsidering its position on crypto mining as well.

We have changed our position on mining, and also permit the use of cryptocurrency in foreign trade and outside the country.

The bank official’s statement seems to be a concession to legislators preparing a new version of the law “On Digital Currency.” The Finance Ministry unveiled the draft of the law at a discussion hosted by the United Russia Party on May 27. The provision to allow international trade in cryptocurrency is an innovation in the law.”

The government recommends changing existing legislation to give the Bank of England power to appoint administrators to oversee insolvency arrangements with failed stablecoin issuers.

Regulators across the globe have shifted focus to stablecoins following Terra’s implosion, with the European Commission favoring a large-scale ban of the asset class.”

See Also: Crypto Banking Rules Now Due This Year From Basel Committee
See Also: Terra’s Mirror Protocol Allegedly Suffers New Exploit

Dai was never going to die. Here’s why.

31 May

“Bitcoin (BTC) added 5.6% in the past 24 hours to rise over $30,000 during Asian trading hours on Monday in a brief show of strength amid a record losing streak. Monday’s run comes on the back of a bump in Asian equities amid reports that major Chinese cities have started to ease coronavirus restrictions after months of strict lockdowns.

The asset has slid for nine straight weeks for the first time in its history, falling from the $48,160 level in late March to last week’s close of $29,600. The drop came alongside inflation concerns in the broader economy, a move away from risk assets, and systemic risk from within the crypto industry.

Price-charts suggest bitcoin saw strong support at the $29,000 mark, a level that has been tested several times in the past weeks. Closing below this level could mean that the cryptocurrency could drop to its 2017 high of nearly $20,000, charts show. Resistance at $30,500 continues to exist, however, and a daily close above that level would show strong signs of recovery.

See Also: Argentines turn to Bitcoin amid inflation worries: Report

“MoneyGram International, one of the world’s largest cross-border transfer services, is partnering with the Stellar blockchain to create a stablecoin-based platform for money transfers. The new service will allow Stellar wallet users to send Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) to recipients, who will be able to cash them out for fiat currency through the MoneyGram network.

We’re trying to be a bridge from the crypto world to the fiat world.

If a country like El Salvador is going to make Bitcoin seamless with US dollars in country, I think that consumers, through MoneyGram, should be able to transfer Bitcoin to El Salvador or transfer dollars and convert them to Bitcoin. If that’s where the world is going, let’s participate in that world and let’s see how we can help fulfill that opportunity.”

The move comes as part of a government-led effort to revitalize consumer spending as a zero-COVID policy has devastated the countries’ economic hubs.

The airdrop is a joint effort between the city of Shenzhen and Meituan Dianping, China’s leading food delivery app. As per instructions, users would need to first login to the Meituan app, sign up for the incentive, and then potentially receive the e-CNY rewards as part of a lottery draw. If chosen, the e-CNY is then dispensed to users and can be spent at more than 15,000 in-app merchant terminals that accept the state-owned digital currency.”

South Korean authorities have reportedly summoned all employees at Terraform Labs as part of a full-scale investigation of the collapse of UST and LUNC.

According to the report, the probe is being conducted by the joint financial and securities crime investigation team of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office. The authorities are looking for signs of intentional price manipulation and whether the tokens went through proper listing procedures.

As previously reported, Terra investors filed a class-action suit against Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon and co-founder Shin Hyun-seun in mid-May, demanding a record of user accounts, marketing materials and UST-related communications. The investors reportedly lost up to $44 million worth of deposited funds after LUNC tanked 99% and UST lost its 1:1 peg value to the United States dollar.

According to some reports, Terraform Labs dissolved its South Korean branch days before the LUNC and UST collapse, with some speculating that Kwon closed the local division to evade taxes.”

The Disrupt Weekend

The EVM is an emergent structure produced from thousands of developer contributions. Forking the EVM limits the ability to access these contributions.

Open-source code is like a city. It’s emergently created, bottom up, from the contributions of many developers who see problems and build solutions. Over time, the city becomes optimized, robust, and efficient. EVM-ish chains are like the Las Vegas version of Paris; they’re trying to artificially replicate something that came organically.

EVM equivalence allows for copy+pasting DeFi code across all EVM equivalent rollups. Anything new of value discovered on one rollup is immediately reproducible on all other rollup. EVM equivalence [also] allows for individual rollups to implement an EIP upgrade before the main Ethereum L1, allowing for a live production testbed for experimental EIPs, before safely and securely implementing them on the L1 layer.

EVM equivalence enables L2s to merge EIPs asynchronously and independently from the choices of other L2s. Each L2 will adopt the EIPs that its community desires. Ethereum will adapt to the signals of its L2 users; each L2 represents an antenna of data for user preferences. L2s adopting a common EIP signals to Ethereum: It’s desired by the community; and it’s safe to adopt.

Every L2 can progress in its own unique direction, specializing on whatever it wants to specialize in. Successful L2s that onboard many users and lots of value will signal to the other L2s that it’s discovered something of value. As soon as an L2 finds a new source of value, that source of value can be replicated and shared across the entire ecosystem, and eventually brought back to the center of the ecosystem.

Ethereum becomes an organism that can respond and adapt to its environment, even as its environment changes over time.

[Further], Retroactive Public Goods Funding (RPGF) will take Ethereum from a system that responds to its users, to a system that can take proactive action. Optimism is pioneering a new model for funding public goods, one that injects Silicon Valley-type financial incentives into projects building public goods.

Revenue generated from L2 blockspace fees gets directed towards innovators and founders who build something useful for the Optimism L2. RPGF commit money towards the future, giving public goods builders the ability to build with assurances that there is money waiting for them if they build useful public goods.

The one-two punch of RPGF and EVM equivalence gives us the first promising path towards solving the tragedy of the commons, not just for Optimism, not just for L2s, not just for Ethereum, but for the entire planet.

EVM compatibility is dead. Either optimize for generalizability by adhering to the Ethereum standard (and therefore pick the same standard as everyone else), or build something completely different that’s highly optimized for your use case (see ZK-rollups).”

See Also: Delphi Research: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ethereum (In-depth Roadmap – Recommended Read)

“Blockchains are a monumental step forward in liberating the ownership rights of creators.

But there’s one caveat: That immutable ownership only exists in the digital realm. Blockchain ownership cannot govern real world markets, because NFT companies can still restrict the rights of their holders to extend their digital ownership into a real world market, such as using their brand imagery on physical merchandise or events.

The American non-profit Creative Commons issued in 2009 the licensing standard CC0 which allows creators to declare their work as belonging in the public domain. Creators who flag their work under the CC0 label give up ownership in a legal sense, making it free for anyone to creatively remix it for commercial purposes. It embodies “no rights reserved”, the opposite of the redundant “all rights reserved” disclaimer.

Slapping the CC0 license on the project is an additional guarantee by private companies to holders that ownership is intact even when they step off the Internet. But more than that, it’s a radical promise to give up that last bit of control over real world markets to the masses and create a wholly decentralized brand.

CC0 has been referred to as open-source intellectual property – It transcends the intellectual property debates around Larva and Yuga Labs. To modify, use or profit from the intellectual property of a CC0 project in any way, you neither have to be a holder or ask anyone’s permission.

CC0 aligns neatly with the libertarian ethos of Web3, providing the additional layer of real-world ownership for our NFTs that are out of the blockchain’s reach. In the name of free speech and information, CC0 thwarts the attempts of corporations to wall off a public good and reap private profits from it.

By allowing the public to freely build and adapt their existing work, NFT creators can harness the commitment of their “100 True Fans” and propel their work into recognition.

Perhaps the best example of this is the 8 months old CC0 NFT project Nouns which has already inspired 130 derivative on-chain projects (and counting) and real world merchandise that all serves to buttress its brand value.”

“Attendees at this week’s Oslo Freedom Forum, a 13-year-old annual gathering for human rights and pro-democracy activists, might have wondered at times if they’d mistakenly wandered into a cryptocurrency conference.

A crypto conference, of course, would not normally feature human rights activists recounting their first-hand experience of political oppression, investigative journalists sharing how they fight propaganda and cybersecurity specialists checking phones for traces of spyware.

While for many crypto is a way to get rich, for others it’s a human rights tool, providing sometimes clumsy but still serviceable ways to route around financial censorship and surveillance, especially in those parts of the world where such measures are prevalent. Bitcoin can serve as an underground payment channel in regimes with abusive financial surveillance, when receiving money from abroad puts activists in the authorities’ crosshairs.

And that use case is not going away, no matter which direction the price of bitcoin (BTC) goes. ‘Many organizations are already using it.’

I can not send my mom any money using my name because the authorities in Eritrea are after her for her human rights advocacy.’ So bitcoin became a remittance channel for her. For activists from Russia whose work has sent them into exile, bitcoin also became a lifeline connecting people to the ones they left behind at home.”

“Hot off a splashy February rebrand, Ignite (formerly Tendermint), the company originally behind the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem, has announced that it is splitting into two entities: Ignite and NewTendermint.

According to a statement from Ignite and NewTendermint, the two companies will ‘hold complete independence from each other, with their own team, equity and funds.’ Kwon’s NewTendermint will focus on the development of core blockchain infrastructure.

Jae Kwon’s return to Ignite/NewTendermint comes as he claims his former colleagues are conspiring against him – and the network. Kwon co-founded Tendermint and created Cosmos with Ethan Buchman in 2014, though Kwon’s relationship with Buchman and much of Tendermint’s early team soured around 2020. It was around this time Kwon’s behavior, according to some early employees, spurred an exodus of several Tendermint staffers – many of whom have continued to contribute to the network through other projects.

To this day, Kwon contends that Manian, Buchman and other Cosmos community leaders are secretly plotting against the network – potentially as part of a broader conspiracy.”

“Terraform Labs early Saturday launched a new version of the Terra blockchain, “Terra 2.0,” with freshly minted LUNA tokens. Out of 1 billion new LUNA tokens, only 21 million were airdropped on Saturday and added to the circulating supply. The rest of the tokens will be airdropped in phases.

Roughly 12 hours later, LUNA (labeled LUNA2 on some exchanges) had shed almost 73% of its initial value, trading as of this writing for $5.18. It peaked earlier at $19.54.

Credibility is the ultimate currency.

Currently, LUNA is traded across seven different exchanges—Bybit, Kucoin, Kraken, MEXC, OKK, Bitrue, and BingX.

28 May

The Moscow-based Interfax news agency and Reuters reported Friday that Ivan Chebeskov, who heads the Financial Policy Division within Russia’s Finance Ministry, is actively considering the possibility of incorporating crypto payments.

The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed.

The Finance Ministry is considering adding the proposal on international payments to an updated version of a crypto law that’s still under construction.

Support for cryptocurrency legalization appears to be coming from all segments of the Russian government. According to trade minister Denis Manturov, Moscow plans to legalize crypto payments “sooner rather than later.” In April, the country’s Finance Ministry supported legalization in a bill titled On Digital Currency.”

Bangkok-headquartered Siam Commercial Bank (SBC), the oldest and one of the biggest banks in Thailand, has entered the decentralized finance (DeFi) realm via Compound Treasury. Compound Treasury, a kind of institutional wrapper that leverages custody firm Fireblocks, converts U.S. dollars into fiat-backed USDC on Compound, which allows institutions to earn fixed annual yields of 4%.

We think Compound has created a regulated instrument that’s very easy to understand: U.S. dollar in, U.S. dollar out with a fixed 4% interest rate.

Large institutions including banks have been eyeing the DeFi space, with services like Compound Treasury and Aave Arc offering a serviceable entry point.”

See Also: JPMorgan trials blockchain for collateral settlement in after-hours trading

“Three ​​Republican senators, Tom Cotton, Mike Braun and Marco Rubio, introduced a bill on Wednesday, aiming to limit the use of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the United States. According to the bill, app and software distributors in the U.S. shall not support or enable transactions in e-CNY or support any app that features such transactions in the country.

The senators reasoned that banning China’s digital yuan in the U.S. would help the nation avoid “direct control” and surveillance of users’ financial activity.

The Chinese Communist Party will use its digital currency to control and spy on anyone who uses it. We cannot allow this authoritarian regime to use their state-controlled digital currency as an instrument to infiltrate our economy and the private information of American citizens.”

Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos traded lower on Friday despite another move upward in stocks. Crypto traders are still in risk-off mode after experiencing almost nine consecutive weeks of negative returns. BTC is on track for a 27% decline this month, although it is up 10% from its recent extreme low at $25,840 on May 12.

Over the short term, however, prices could stabilize. On the macro front, MRB Partners, a global investment research firm, expects equity markets to rebound should global growth conditions prove resilient. The firm is ‘[a]ssuming interest rate expectations and bond yields stay calm for a period of time, which is probable as inflation will temporarily decelerate, first in the U.S. and then elsewhere. Central banks, in turn, likely will briefly cool their newfound hawkishness.’

The short-term rise in stocks could be a tailwind for crypto, assuming the high correlation between both assets remains intact. In contrast, perhaps the decline in cryptos signals limited upside in stocks as risk-off sentiment prevails.”

See Also: Ether Accounts for Almost Half of $520M Liquidations Amid Weak On-Chain Data
See Also: UK Crypto Hedge Fund Weathers Market Storm With Arbitrage Strategy

“In a Wednesday blog post, Buterin noted that the increased amount of scrutiny placed on crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) since the Terra crash is “highly welcome,” but he warned against writing off all algo-stablecoins entirely.

The Ethereum co-founder offered two thought experiments to determine if an algorithmic stablecoin is “truly a stable one.”

In Buterin’s view, if the market activity for a stablecoin project “drops to near zero,” users should be able to extract the fair value of their liquidity out of the asset. Buterin highlighted that UST doesn’t meet this parameter due to its structure in which LUNA, or what he calls a volume coin (volcoin), needs to maintain its price and user demand to keep its United States dollar peg.

Buterin also feels it is vital for an algo-stablecoin to be able to implement a negative interest rate when it is tracking “a basket of assets, a consumer price index, or some arbitrarily complex formula” that grows by 20% per year.”

Terra’s most valuable asset – the loyalty of their developers – is being challenged. With the launch of Terra 2.0, projects must decide whether or not they will stay loyal to the Terra ecosystem or choose another path. Competing blockchains are offering up major perks for them to develop on greener pastures.

Terra’s failure shouldn’t punish [the decentralized applications] built on it.

Kadena, a layer 1 blockchain founded in 2016, announced a $10 million Terra relief fund Thursday in an attempt to court projects into its ecosystem. Polygon, an Ethereum sidechain, has also announced a multimillion-dollar fund to assist Terra projects looking to build in the Polygon ecosystem.

These developers are also facing poaching efforts from Terra’s competitors, with some blockchains even launching eight-figure funds to help sweeten the deal.

Project founders are really exploring other options, even more than I was anticipating. Terra 2.0 has too much up in the air, the path forward is being questioned.”