Crypto News

Michael Garcia - TIMM Tech
  • Binance launches ‘initial DEX offering’

    Binance DEX is running an initial DEX offering of Raven Protocol, a blockchain/AI startup, on June 17th. 300 million of the total 10 billion Raven will be sold at $0.0015 per token. Raven's IDO was supported by all 11 Binance DEX validators, although Raven said in its blog its still unsure what an IDO fully is.
    Source: Decrypt — Published: 2019-06-16

  • [Analysis] Design principles of Ethereum 2.0 - Raul Jordan

    ETH 2.0's $ETH development should be contextualized within the youthfulness of the market, according to Raul Johnson. ETH 2.0 is built upon design decisions from the beginning of the protocol, particularly Proof-of-Stake's 'weak subjectivity' which forces new nodes to trust old nodes for chain verification. The possible cartelization of the PoS network is the largest concern facing ETH 2.0 today. Upgradability is a core feature of ETH 2.0 and if ETH 3.0 is needed, the whole project has been in vain.
    Source: Token Daily — Published: 2019-06-15

  • J.P. Morgan seeking job candidate with bitcoin scaling tech knowledge, but asserts it’s doing nothing with actual Bitcoin

    Banking giant J.P. Morgan has posted a position calling for extensive Bitcoin $BTC technical knowledge, particularly with scaling options likeLighting, according to The Block. J.P. Morgan says the position will have nothing to do with public cryptocurrencies, reaffirming its pro-blockchain position.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-15

  • Two startups are partnering to enable Amazon purchases with Ethereum

    Crypto payment firm CLIC Tech in conjunction with B2B firmOpporty is launching a browser extension to transact with Ether $ETH on Amazon, according to CoinDesk. The extension is based on Layer 2 scaling option Plasma Cash first put forward by Ethereum'sVitalik Buterin last spring. CLIC Tech is looking to add ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens in the future.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-15

  • A protocol for issuing tokens launches on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

    Spectrum, an open source project building on top of the Lighting Network, is trying to bring DIY ERC-20 style tokens to Bitcoin $BTC through a Layer 3 development. Sponsored byFulgur Ventures, Poseidon Group,Bitfrefill,Chainside, andBitfinex, the project complements sidechains like Liquid and cross-currency swaps with Lighting. AirSwap's $AST Robert Paone added that "Lightning is a long way off from being competitive against ERC-20."
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-15

  • Facebook hires standard chartered bank lobbyist for crypto project: report

    According to a report firstpublished in the Financial Times,Facebook will be hiring a senior bank lobbyist from Standard Charter, Edward Bowles. CoinDesk comments that neither party has confirmed the position and the FT did not reveal its source. If Bowles is hired, he joins former U.K. deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as the foundation of a regulatory and lobbyist platform.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-15

  • Bitfinex is starting to buy back and ‘burn’ its LEO exchange token

    Bitfinex has launched a dedicated dashboard for public tracking of Unus Sed Leo $LEOT token burns from its gross revenue. The tokens will be purchased at market rate by parent companyiFinex. Bitfinex launched a token sale of LEO following NY AG court action pertaining to a loan from sister firm Tether $USDT
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-15

  • [Analysis] Jack Dorsey answers our questions about Square’s plans for Bitcoin - Matthew Hughes

    The Next Web recently sat down with Twitter andSquare CEO Jack Dorsey to discuss Square Crypto, his latest effort to support the Bitcoin $BTC ecosystem. Repeating similar past sentiments, Dorsey said that the internet needs a native currency and that Square has an opportunity to act more like an internet than finance company by adopting Bitcoin. Dorsey also remarked on the hiring process at Square Crypto, noting how the U.S. is not setting the pace on innovation, leading Square to search elsewhere for candidates. Square Crypto will focus on "step changes" to the ecosystem with Dorsey specifically citing currency efficiency and security. The project is at the top of the companies to-do-lists, Dorsey finished, as the team will report to him directly in no small way to educate him about the space further. 
    Source: The Next Web — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Facebook’s cryptocurrency partners revealed

    The Block has procured the entire list of inaugural backers for Facebook's cryptocurrency project,Libra. An initial list was also released recently by Wall Street Journal including finance giants MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa. ! \s\s
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Blockchain says crypto price surge has increased its number of wallets by 4 million

    Crypto wallet provider and info serviceBlockchain say the recent price surge is responsible for the creation of 4 million new wallets on its platform, according to The Block. Blockchain says its support for stablecoin Paxos Standard Token $PAX and alteration of in-wallet crypto-to-crypto swap policies are also reasons for high adoption over the last two months.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Storecoin announces a $4.97 million security token offering

    Storecoin has announced a token sale for $4.97 million$STORE tokens in a security token offering. The project, which has early backing from Ari Paul of BlockTower, Anthony Pompliano, Matt Ocko, AlphaBit Fund, and Ari Nazir of Neural Capital aims to build a zero-fee payment and peer-to-peer cloud computing platform. Planned use for the proceeds include releasing an alpha network for the consensus engine, conducting security audits, releasing papers for peer review, and hosting meet-ups and conferences.
    Source: StoreCoin — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Binance to block US customers from trading

    Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange byReal 10 volume has announced that it will review customer accounts on its site to ensure they adhere to the exchange's KYC and terms of service policies. As part of its updated terms of service Binance will not provide services to "any U.S. person." Previously Binance only restricted access to six U.S. states, including New York. The move comes one day after Binance announced a new U.S. based exchange. 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Block.one to use “inflation tax” on Voice tokens to recoup $150 million investment

    According to a recent note in EOS' $EOS Telegram channel, CEOBrendan Blumer says an inflation tax may be a method to fund the development and maintenance ofBlock.one's new social media site Voice. “Without committing to the model," Blumer wrote, "Block.one will take a small cut of ongoing inflation or another aligned way that allows us to preserve the utility status of the token.” 
    Source: Decrypt — Published: 2019-06-14

  • [Analysis] What Facebook's cryptocurrency means: 6 predictions - Caitlin Long

    Wyoming Blockchain Task Force member and Wall Street Veteran Caitlin Long believesFacebook'sLibra cryptocurrency will have six direct effects on the current financial system: 1. Libra will be used as a store of value, particularly in underdeveloped countries with notoriously bad central banks. 1. Facebook will issue interest on holders of the crypto which will also add pressure to current agreements between central banks, banks, and corporations. 1. The foundation appointed by Facebook will yield real power internationally, becoming a key player in global capital markets. 1. The regulatory hurdles Facebook is about to set out on will shed light on the current state of defunct and troublesome models used today. 1. The number of actual Facebook users will be called into question as Libra users are forced to go through KYC practices. 1. Libra is a Trojan Horse for Bitcoin $BTC, the only ledger with real scarcity.
    Source: Forbes — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Reuters, Bloomberg Terminals, TradingView add AI-powered crypto index for top 100 coins

    Reuters, Bloomberg, and TradingView users will have access to 33 terabytes of data for the strongest 100 cryptos, according to CoinTelegraph. Dubbed 'CIX100,' the AI powered index fromCryptoindex takes into account 200+ factors including trade data and news.
    Source: CoinTelegraph — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Facebook reportedly brings on Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal as backers of its cryptocurrency

    Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal have all backed Facebook's stablecoinLibra, according to the Wall Street Journal. Each participant will invest around $10 million into a foundation to run the network as well. Uber, among other companies, has also backed the project. 
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Circle is shutting down its Circle Pay app by the end of the summer

    Circle is shutting down its Circle Pay app by the end of the summer, according to The Block. Circle Pay sits at number 121 on the app store, falling behind competitors Cash App and Venmo, number one and two on the app store. Circle is scrapping the program is favor of other products, particularly through its USD Coin $USDC and exchangePoloniex.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Binance says it’s launching a US exchange with a FinCEN-registered partner

    Binance has launched Binance U.S. in cooperation with BAM Trading Services. BAM received a FinCEN license to work in California and will facilitate operations using Binance's engine, although no start date was issued. As Binance CEOChangpeng Zhao said in a statement, "we are excited to finally launch Binance US and bring the security, speed, and liquidity of Binance.com to North America." 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-14

  • Ampleforth raises $5 million in an 11-second IEO

    "Ideal money"Ampleforth finished its recent sale onBitifinex's token launchpad exchangeTokinex, raising $5 million in 11 seconds. Commenting on the sale, Ampleforth CEO Evan Kuo said “The success of this raise is a strong indicator of the market needing more diversified assets other than what currently exists."
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-14

  • [Analysis] Statechains: non-custodial off-chain Bitcoin transfer - Ruben Somsen

    Statechains provide a unique Layer 2 approach to scaling Bitcoin $BTC transactions, according toRuben Somsen. As part of a multi-sig transaction, a statechain governor signs off on transactions in coordination with the holder of the real private key, not dissimilar toBlockstream's Liquid federated sidechains. The statechain governor's nature decreases fault risk while allowing off-chain transactions. Statechains are also highly agreeable withLighting, permitting users to interact with channels in a more dynamic fashion than ever before.
    Source: Medium — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Circle and Coinbase open CENTRE stablecoin network to new members

    Circle andCoinbase are opening their "membership-based framework" stablecoin network CENTRE for participation, according to CoinDesk. CENTRE facilitates the use of the USD Coin $USDC on both public and private blockchains. Members can gain returns on reserve asset holdings in return for protocol compliance and other membership duties.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Bitcoin startup Bitrefill raises $2 million funding for global expansion

    Gift card and Lighting serviceBitrefill has raised $2 million in a funding round led by Coin Ninja. According to Bitrefill CCOJohn Carvalho, the startup plans on bringing its Bitcoin $BTC services worldwide by years end.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-13

  • [Messari Research] Uniswap: The People’s DEX

    *This was originally sent to subscribers of Messari's Unqualified Opinions. Click****here**** to become a subscriber and access all of our historical content. * **Jane Wang**- February 26, 2019 As you probably know by now, we're fans of decentralized exchange in general. One project in particular, Uniswap, has taken the entire ecosystem by storm. Chart reminder from last week: ! Source Centralized exchanges 1) pose risks as potential hacks or unexpected loss of keys see yesterday’s post, 2) may be easily targeted by sovereign states as they’re at the mercy of authorities , 3) frequently exhibit rent seeking behavior or are just shadily run , and 4) often aggressively surveil customers and collect sensitive personal data. The problem with DEX, on the other hand, has been volumes. AndQiao’s written about their limitations several times already. But there’s a new player in town. **Hey Uniswap, Vitalik Buterin is a Fan!** Uniswap is a decentralized protocol built on Ethereum consisting of two smart contracts, a Factory and an Exchange. The contracts seek to eliminate rent seeking behaviors of middleman and allow for fast and efficient execution of exchange for anyone looking for a trading counterparty. What’s unique about Uniswap is that orders aren’t matched to an order book. Instead, Uniswap uses an “Automated Market Maker” to allow trades to execute immediately in exchange for slippage - a dirty word in trading circles that indicates poor market depth, but a perfectly fine thing for retail investors who may only wish to move small positions. Uniswap is founderHayden Adams’ first Ethereum project and was inspired byVitalik Buterin’s reddit posts and founded by an$100,000 Ethereum Foundation #buidl grant. Hayden Adams introduces the Uniswap via atweetstorm, which hints at why the DEX has become so popular : *`There is no central token or platform fee. No special treatment is given to early investors, adopters, or developers. Token listing is open and free. All smart contract functions are public and all upgrades are opt-in.`* In a nutshell, Uniswap uses a “constant product”, which they call the invariant as a substitute for the spot price. The market making formula sets the invariant as the product of two available liquidity pool reserves, the ETH reserve vs a given ERC20 reserve.  This invariant is always held in constant, so the “slippage” you get on a large trade increases exponentially as a percentage of the system’s total liquidity pool. Scalar Capital’s Cyrus Younessibroke down the example of trading ETH/DAI: ! So this is great for small purchasers , and gets progressively worse for larger traders. Two years ago, Vitalik originally wrote aboutthese dynamics : *“The market contains an internal state, PRICE, which is the current market price. It would also have two parameters, FEE, and DEPTH. If a user wants to buy ORDER_AMOUNT coins, they would raise the price to PRICE + ORDER_AMOUNT / DEPTH, and pay ORDER_AMOUNT * * . Essentially, this constitutes buying an infinitesimal number of coins at every price point between the old price and the new price.* *Users have the ability to "invest" in the market. Investing and divesting are proportional: for example, if the market currently contains 2000 ETH and 400 tokens, then an investor would need to provide 2000 * p ETH and 400 * p tokens, which would increase DEPTH by a factor of 1 + p and give the investor a 1 / "share of the market". When the investor wants to divest, they are entitled to take out a 1 / share of whatever ETH and tokens are in the market out at that time . The theory is that in most cases, the fees collected will be larger than any losses from front-running attacks against the market maker, and the specific mathematical structure of the market maker ensures that risk of loss, while present, is strictly bounded, and in any case investors are the party that will bear the risk.* *The advantage of this scheme from an efficiency perspective is that it offers very low spreads, but at the same time only requires a blockchain transaction for actual trades, not placing or cancelling orders. The design is also relatively simple to understand and implement.”* Here’s how the Uniswap turned that vision into a slightly-more-digestible reality: ! And Vitalik seems to haveapproved. **Pros/Cons of Uniswap** *Pros:* - Transaction and liquidity pools are entirely on-chain and provides secure end-to-end . -  Fees are cheap -  It’s relatively easy to understand *Cons:* - Liquidity providers may not be properly incentivized to continue to provide liquidity to the Uniswap liquidity pool, as their rewards are fixed by the protocol. - Uniswap has slippage. Using a constant product, larger orders tend to move the market significantly and create cause huge price slippage. Uniswap is likely to emerge as “the people’s exchange”, not the professional trader’s exchange. It is to the trader’s advantage to always size orders with respect to the size the of liquidity pool. - Front running **Comparing Uniswap to DEX alternatives** *0x - Why a token?* 0x uses a “governance” token that, in theory, allows ZRX token holders to vote on any changes to the underlying 0x protocol. The goal is to use a token as a coordination mechanism that keeps the ecosystem banded together. The issue there is that it very wellcould be just as effective to fork as to vote. ZRX token can also be used to cover some fees when trading using the 0x protocol, but in practice it’s probably easier to just use ETH for fees. *Bancor - Why a token?* Bancor forces all conversions to go through $BNT, the base trading pair for every liquidity pool users tap to perform token-to-token swaps. You could argue that the BNT token is unnecessary and could simply use ETH based on its much larger monetary base and liquidity. But one pro that Bancor offers , is cross chain token swaps . Time will tell whether that presents a sustainable competitive advantage, but it seems to be a short-lived feature. *Uniswap - Cheaper fees, no token?* Uniswap demonstrates a simpler way of implementing a decentralized exchange using just Ethereum and ETH as a base trading pair. This simplicity extends to the smart contract design which costs significant less gas to use, versus other DEX designs. So the poor man’s synopsis of Uniswap is that it’s Bancor without the $150 million ICO. No cross-chain functionality, but a similar Automated Market Maker mechanism, no trading counter-parties, and continuous liquidity. The billion dollar question is whether Uniswap can continue to scale the size of its liquidity poor, and extend support to other chains. It’s off to a good start.
    Source: Messari's Unqualified Opinions — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Bakkt begins testing physically-delivered bitcoin futures on July 22

    Bakkt, the institutional cryptocurrency platform created in 2018, will begin testing physically-delivered bitcoin futures on July 22, according to an announcement from the company on Thursday, CoinTelegraph reports. Bakkt has faced multiple delays over regulatory compliance since its original announcement in August 2018, but has finally announced a date to being testing its first product. 
    Source: CoinTelegraph — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Square hires an ex-Google director as the first member of its new crypto team

    CoinDesk reports that the payments company Square hired former Google director Steve Lee as the first member of its new crypto team. Lee left Google in 2015 and has since been a Bitcoin Optech contributor. 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-13

  • TenX becomes world’s first ICO funded company to be granted an e-money licence

    Singapore crypto firm TenX $PAY has been granted a fully passportable e-money license by the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority, becoming the first crowdfunded regulated financial institution in Europe, according to a press release. TenX allows consumers to shop with crypto seamlessly in over 200 countries at 42 million Visa payment points.
    Source: TenX — Published: 2019-06-13

  • [Analysis] Crypto exchanges are facing their biggest regulatory hurdle yet - Olga Kharif

    The coming Financial Authority Task Force measures will force an entire restructuring of the current system or the creation of a new parallel system, according toBittrex's John Roth. The FATF rules force crypto merchants of all stripes to collect identification for transactions over $1,000 or risk being blackballed from the global financial system. Most crypto exes believe transactions will merely be pushed offline. Crypto exchangeKraken is exploring options to adopt the FATF guidelines, but told Bloomberg "this is a case of trying to apply 20th-century rules to 21st-century technology." 
    Source: Bloomberg — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Block.one files lobbying registration, working with Trump’s former congressional go-between

    According to a disclosure document obtained by The Block,Block.one may be interested in lobbying after signing on with Holland & Knight LLP, a lobbying firm. Block.one filed under the FIN status meaning financial institutions, investments and securities. Holland & Knight lawyer and Block.one lead lobbyist Scott D. Mason was a former Trump administration member who directed congressional relations.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Visa launches new network to facilitate b2b cross-border payments in 30+ countries

    Visa has launched Visa B2B Connect, an international corporate client payment system that covers 30 trade corridors now with plans to expand to 90 by end of the year. Visa B2B Connect tokenizes user information and utilizes the distributed ledger Hyperledger Fabric platform.Bottemline,FIS, and IBM are teaming up with Visa to help scale the product.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-13

  • FATF crypto rules hit industry in nine days

    New regulations from the Financial Authority Task Force will be implemented in nine days, forcing merchants to verify the identities of anyone conducting business in over $1,000 in crypto. The FATF guidelines will touch some 200 countries and are expected to increase payment delays, operating costs, and perhaps shut down businesses.
    Source: The Next Web — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Ethfinex is planning to switch from human to software governance with a DAO

    In whatEthfinex co-founder Will Harborne calls "a regulatory play," Ethfinex is planning to switch from human to software governance with a DAO followingBitifinex's recent NY AG fiasco. The DAO, EfxDAO, is being built by DAOstack $GEN and should be operational in the next few months. 
    Source: Decrypt — Published: 2019-06-13

  • Coinbase extends crypto-to-fiat Visa card to 6 more European countries, following UK launch

    Coinbase has added Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands to its crypto-to-fiat Visa program, Coinbase Card. The program allows users to spend Coinbase crypto holdings using a Visa card at a 2.49% charge. The program has not extended to the United States due to regulatory concerns.  
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-13

  • [Analysis] (In)Stability for the blockchain: deleveraging spirals and stablecoin attack - Klages-Mundt, et al

    Non-custodial stable assets like MakerDAO's Dai $DAI face two inherent risks: market collapse or Oracle/governance manipulation. In this theoretical study of non-custodial stablecoin risk out of Cornell University, Klages-Mundt and Minca focus on the stable and unstable domains of stablecoin markets and ways to solve price pegging issues with coins like Dai. Klages-Mundt and Minca propose a theoretical system for correctly pegging Dai based on Ether $ETH price movements. The duo also analyze governance risks for stablecoins and find that stablecoin market failures are triggered by feedback loops and volatility in non-stablecoin crypto markets. To the last point, Klages-Mundt and Minca propose capital infusions as a possible solution to crisis volatility.
    Source: Twitter — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Iranian architects designed a water-cooled mining facility hidden in a skyscraper water park

    A group of Iranian designers have submitted designs for a cryptocurrency mining facility hidden in a skyscraper water park in Tehran, The Next Web reports. The idea behind this design was to build an off-grid, glass-encased water park that secretly mines cryptocurrency all day, every day, all year long and uses the facility to cool, power, and store the equipment, energy, and cryptocurrency. These designs were submitted to a skyscraper architectural competition in response to U.S. sanctions on Iran, the cited report explains.  
    Source: The Next Web — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Former US Senator Rick Santorum supports new crypto for Catholics

    Former U.S. Presidential candidate and Senator Rick Santorum has thrown his weight behindCathio, a fintech and blockchain solution for transferring funds within the Catholic church and outside of traditional payment networks. “Millennials don’t carry cash, they date on apps and watch on-demand entertainment," Santorum said, "We have to be there, we have to learn from successful tech companies." 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-12

  • [Messari Research] Looking Sharpe

    *This was originally sent to subscribers of Messari's Unqualified Opinions. Click****here**** to become a subscriber and access all of our historical content. * **Eric Turner** - February 21, 2019 We’re big on adding context to crypto, which is why we have nearly 80 metrics you can measure, track and sort for each of the 450+ tokens on OnChainFx. We’re particularly interested in adding metrics that help us transition from the “when moon?” phase of investing to one that’s more mature and sustainable One of those metrics is risk-adjusted return. Unlike pure return measures , risk-adjusted returns try to get people apples to apples comparisons of performance. Apple is a less risky investment than a seed stage start-up, so even if a given startup returned 30% vs. 10% for Apple, the latter is the better pick. For the non-initiated this is Finance 101 stuff…measuring your “cost of capital” is all about measuring the relative risk you’re taking. In crypto, in other words, if you’re actively managing assets, you had better be outperforming a traditional index fund or it’s simply not worth HODLing through the volatility? One of the most commonly used risk-adjusted return metrics isSharpe ratio, which measures the *excess* return for a given level of risk. Sharpe is useful because unlike other risk-adjusted return metrics it *does not require a benchmark*. The only inputs needed to calculate Sharpe ratio are the returns of an asset or portfolio, and a risk-free rate, usually a U.S. Treasury with a similar duration to the asset’s holding period. For this reason it has become popular for asset classes that lack well established benchmarks, like hedge funds. If you’re a mathlete, here’s the actual formula. ! Put more simply, the equation asks “is what I made over a risk-free rate greater than the risk I took ?” If you earned excess return greater than the amount of risk you will have a positive Sharpe Ratio. Likewise, if you had a negative excess return, or a positive return with higher volatility, you will have a negative Sharpe ratio. That second point is important because it means that even if you 10x an investment outsized volatility could lead to a negative Sharpe ratio, making the investment less appealing on a risk-adjusted basis. It depends on the asset class, but generally A Sharpe ratio greater than 1 is “good.” As an example we can look at the top 10 assets ranked by 90-day return. ! But if we sort by Sharpe ratio we see the positioning of assets change, and some disappear all together. ! So what does this mean? Well, despite having higher absolute returns, some assets experience significantly higher volatility, or put differently were more risky. From a practical perspective, an investment in BNB would have been more prudent than PAI . **)* If you HODL’d over the past three years, despite the volatility and numerous “deaths” of crypto you did pretty well for yourself, not just in absolute terms but in risk-adjusted terms as well. ! Where is Bitcoin you ask? It is in 16th place with a still impressive Sharpe of 1.39. Now, some caveats about the Sharpe Ratio: - Sharpe Ratios are not comparable across asset classes. Because different assets exhibit varying amounts of volatility it wouldn’t make sense to compare cryptoassets to equities or fixed income. - Sharpe is an easy starting point and is widely used in investment management but there are better measures for cryptoassets. Things likeModified Sharpe Ratio orSortino Ratio are better suited for the non-normal distribution seen in crypto. We are working on adding these metrics too. - Sharpe ratio is generally a portfolio level metric, but in the case of crypto HODLing a single asset over a period of time makes Sharpe a useful measure. Caveats aside, the Sharpe ratio can provide some interesting insights and is one step towards a more holistic and contextual approach to understanding cryptoassets. If you have suggestions on what we should add next let us know here or ontwitter.
    Source: Messari's Unqualified Opinions — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Italy proposes tax on savings, analyst argues it improves the merit of Bitcoin

    According to Reuters, Italy has proposed the imposition of taxes on cash and other valuable goods held with banks in safe deposit boxes, which may affect hundreds of billions of euros. "Money that is substantially hidden," Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini reportedly said. Global markets analyst Alex Krüger suggested that if Italy moves forward with its plans to target billions of euros held by investors, it may allow bitcoin to be portrayed as a more attractive store of value. "This is bullish for bitcoin Italy could end up being the best thing to ever happen to bitcoin," he said. The tax proposal of Italy comes after the eurozone has demonstrated plateauing growth as the European Central Bank explores potential stimuli that could revitalize the eurozone economy. On June 6, The WSJ reported that the ECB has raised the prospect of a benchmark interest rate cut, acknowledging the instability in the economy primarily triggered by growing uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade war that has raised geopolitical risks in the global economy.
    Source: Reuters, Alex Krüger — Published: 2019-06-12

  • dOrg launches the first legally established limited liability DAO

    The first legally established Decentralized Autonomous Organization was announced today by dOrg, a blockchain development cooperative. The dOrg DAO deployed to the Ethereum blockchain and then formed a Blockchain-Based Limited Liability Company in Vermont, which enacted an enabling law for BBLLCs in 2018. According to a statement from dOrg, they want to make the same process "accessible to anyone in the world. Ultimately, the process of configuring and deploying a legally registered DAO will be as easy as creating a social media account.”
    Source: Gravel & Shea — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Standard Tokenization Protocol raises $750,000 in an eight-second Bittrex IEO

    Standard Tokenization Protocol conducted a public Initial Exchange Offering on Bittrex for its token this week, and raised $750,000 in eight seconds, according to CoinTelegraph. A total of 75 million STPT tokens were sold. Standard Tokenization Protocol previously raised $7 million through two private rounds. 
    Source: CoinTelegraph — Published: 2019-06-12

  • [Analysis] Facebook’s Libra coin will drive faster and better crypto regulation - Tim Copeland

    Facebook is looking to dump loads of money on Washington DC and other governments for Libra, an effort that benefits the entire crypto community according to Tim Copeland. Per a 2018/19 Deloitte survey, regulation is the largest hindrance to crypto growth. With Kik's $KIN recent thrashing by the SEC, crypto needs a David to the government's Goliath more than ever. Last quarter, Facebook spent $3.4 million on lobbying DC alone, a number sure to grow with reports of international bribery and investment withholdings circulating. The social media giants efforts are heroic and sure to benefit the entire crypto community.
    Source: Decrypt — Published: 2019-06-12

  • BitMEX says unauthorized attempts to access user accounts on the rise

    BitMEX, the digital asset industry's largest derivatives platform by volume, says that unauthorized attempts to access BitMEX users accounts are on the rise. According to BitMEX, perpetrators have adopted increasingly sophisticated tactics in taking over and moving funds from compromised accounts, The Block reports. To counteract these attacks, BitMEX now mandates email verification for all withdrawals and strongly encourages setting up 2FA verification.  
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Reddit's most popular cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero

    The most popular cryptocurrencies according to chatter on Reddit are Bitcoin $BTC, Ethereum $ETH, and Monero $XMR, according news from The Next Web. The article cites a new research paper by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which analyzed three years worth of discussions on Reddit from January 2015 to January 2018. As part of this study, the researchers sought to measure the speed and scale at which discussions about these cryptocurrencies spread. Bitcoin was the winner with an average of 3,600 comments posted per day, while Ethereum and Monero received 500 and 380 daily comments respectively.
    Source: The Next Web — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Beaxy opens new crypto spot exchange after hacking attempt scuttles launch

    Beaxy Digital Ltd. joins over 200 crypto exchanges with its launch on June 11th. The exchange's June 4th launch date was delayed following a SIM swap hack of an employee. Beaxy will offer crypto-to-crypto trading on 26 for 16 cryptos and has filed a CTFC application for a crypto futures platform, although the firm acknowledged the application is a long shot. Beaxy plans to distinguish itself in a crowded field with its customer experience and partnership with OneMarketData for data surveillance. 
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Ripple starts moving into South American markets with Brazil launch

    Ripple is moving into South American markets with the hiring of Luiz Antonio Sacco to spearhead Brazil's market. The firm says they have inked 2-3 new financial institution contracts per week on RippleNet and had more transactions in Q1 2019 than all of 2018. Ripple is looking at Peru, Chile, and Argentina for further growth and has invested in Brazilian universities like the University of São Paulo and Fundação Getulio Vargas.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-12

  • Fidelity-backed OTC desk Fireblocks completes $16 million Series A

    Fireblocks, a crypto firm focused on OTC desk transfers, has completed a $16 million Series A funding round backed byTenaya Capital,Eight Rounds, andCyberstarts. Fireblocks purports to be a "secure highway" for crypto transfers between wallets, particularly for OTC desks. The firm uses multiparty computation , an unhackable private key transfer system.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-12

  • [Analysis] I tried to gauge what percentage of cryptocurrency developers are female. The answer: not enough - Corin Faife

    A recent study of code contributions by Corin Faife of the top 100 cryptocurrencies found an alarming disparity between gender code contributions. Faife used the Github API, Messari'sOnChainFX, a custom Python script, and Genderize.io, an analytics tool which determines gender on a given first name, to scan 1,026,804 lines of code. Of the code, 691,134 was male, 47,678 was female, and 287,992 was unknown for an average of 4.64% code commits coming from females. Of the million lines, males made an average of 13 more contributions than females and ten more than unknown contributors. In Faife's view, the disparity aligns with other studies and points toward systemic issues within the nascent tech market.
    Source: Medium — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Korea’s biggest bank is preparing to custody digital assets

    KB Kookmin and Atomics Labs are teaming up to create a digital custody solution. Through Atomics' Lime technology and the bank's infrastructure and tech capabilities, the firms are aiming for a world class custody service for both smart contract applications and digital assets.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Aon lines up insurers for hot and cold wallet custodial service Metaco

    The second largest insurance broker in the world by total revenues, Aon, has lined up insurers for Metaco SILO, a hot and cold wallet custodial solution. Metaco will offer crime insurance covering natural disasters to third party hacks, although the dollar coverage was not disclosed.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • [Messari Research] The value of (Air) $BNB

    *This was originally sent to subscribers of Messari's Unqualified Opinions. Click****here**** to become a subscriber and access all of our historical content. * **Qiao Wang** - February 20, 2019 Our friends at Multicoin Capital published avery bullish investment thesis on BNByesterday. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about Binance as well as the crypto exchange landscape in general. While I’m dazzled by how well the Binance team has executed so far, I’m unconvinced by Multicoin’s conclusion that their native token$BNB “is dramatically undervalued”. *If this feels like a déjà-vu, it’s because I**wrote something similar about Maker a week ago**.* For context, BNB has been one of the best performers of the past month, quarter, and year. In fact, amongst the “large cap” assets , it’s not even close. Binance is up nearly 70% this month alone. ! .) Multicoin went long BNB recently, but are they buying the top? The MCC thesis is basically three-fold: 1. Binance will continue to generate solid returns from its centralized exchange, and has committed to return 20% of its net profits to BNB holders through buybacks . In the past eighteen months, they bought back and burned $125M worth of BNB. 1. BNB is also used as a “discount token,” where traders use the BNB currency as payment for on-exchange trading fees. Although this discount is expected to phase out, it could be reapplied at any time…potentially as an incentive to entice users to try out… 1. The newly introduced Binance *decentralized* exchange will unlock new value that will flow directly to BNB holders. Fine thinking from MCC in terms of the BNB resting on *any* sort of fundamentals. And CZ isn’t on our short list of entrepreneurs in this industry to bet against. But let’s look into the underlying assumptions so we can get a bit more concrete about BNB’s current fair value. Even great companies and assets can be bad “buys.” Let’s first look at BNB’s unique buyback program, which makes the token extremely hard to price. The current buyback program is intended to end when 50% of all BNB has been repurchased. As such, this isn’t a perpetual stream of cash. Even if Binance continues to be wildly successful, there’s a terminal value on that value driver. But throw that out for a second. Let’s assume that Binance decides to distribute 20% of its net profits to BNB holders in perpetuity. Right now, the market is pricing BNB at $1.5B, implying a $7.5B value to the Binance centralized exchange’s cash flow stream. That’s roughly 50% of Nasdaq, but in this hypothetical scenario, holders would need to believe they had equity-like claims on cash, and the crypto market would have to be comparable to the US stock market liquidity-wise. Maybe that will happen in a decade, but it seems wildly ambitious to assume crypto markets will overtake their legacy counterparts much earlier than that . As far as the DEX is concerned, I had previouslyargued that, due to latency constraints, it’s physically impossible for DEXs to become as liquid as their centralized counterparts. My hunch is that at equilibrium the largest DEX will be at best 1 order of magnitude, probably 2 orders of magnitude, less liquid than the largest centralized exchange. These ultimately lead to an even more important point: BNB’s governance, or the lack thereof, means that BNB holders don’t have any type of power whatsoever. In a traditional company, there’s strong checks and balances between management, the board, and shareholders. If management doesn’t act in the best interest of shareholders, they can get fired by shareholders through the board. Yet if the leadership team of Binance decides to let most, if not all, of the value accrue to equity holders rather than BNB holders, there isn’t much BNB holders can do. In fact, the only thing that incentivizes Binance to accrue value to BNB is if equity holders also hold a lot of BNB. That’s a risk many investors seem willing to take. In terms of unofficial “checks and balances”, BNB does look promising, as some 90% of employees take part of their salaries in BNB, and the company still controls65% of the circulating supply. In addition, CZ has been adamant that the company will transition to a fully decentralized entity over time. That may be why Multicoin concluded: *“After dissecting Binance’s activities and strategy, one unintuitive but profound thread has become clear: Binance will be the first company to start out centralized, achieve scale, and then decentralize itself, migrating value capture from Binance equity to the BNB token. We believe that the Binance Chain is the future of Binance and expect that the majority of trading volume will eventually migrate to the BinanceChain’s DEX, though this transition will take years…As Binance executes on this strategy to decentralize itself, Binance will become the first internet sovereign organization, and the largest decentralized autonomous corporation .”* That still seems like a leap of faith.
    Source: Messari's Unqualified Opinions — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Gram Asia to sell a portion of its Telegram Gram tokens to the public on Liquid

    Gram Asia, the largest Asian holder of Telegram Open Network's TON Gram token, is conducting a sale of some of its holdings on July 10th prior to the planned October launch. The Simple Agreement for Future Token Sales is "above board" and part of the TON road map according toLiquid CEOMike Kayamori whose platform will host the sale.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-11

  • FBI charges NiceHash founder over a plot to create and distribute malware through the dark web

    The FBI is pursuing a team of hackers, including the fonder of the easy-use mining software NiceHash, over an alleged plot to create and distribute malware via Darkode, a major dark web forum, The Next Web reports. Matjaz “iserdo” Skorjanc, creator of NiceHash, has already served almost five years in prison for creating the *Mariposa* botnet of more than one million infected machines, and was released in late 2017. 
    Source: The Next Web — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Michael Ford named newest Bitcoin Core code maintainer

    Following an invite-only Bitcoin $BTC Core in-person meeting, longtime contributorMichael Ford has been named a code maintainer. Ford joins four other maintainers includingWladimir van Der Laan,Jonas Schnelli,Marco Falke, andSamuel Dobson.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • [Analysis] Solving identity for the new decentralized economy - Imran Khan

    The identity solutions need to be designed with the future in mind not the present according to Imran Khan. Network effects and data collection have transformed the sharing of digital identities, with most services paying to use your identity. Nakamoto's consensus algorithm has given rise to a host of new systems, including decentralized ID management. From Microsoft's Identity Overlay Network built on top of the Bitcoin $BTC state toCoinbase's Decentralized Web Attestations, which allows user authentication without losing data sovereignty, multiple firms are competing to undercut today's data hoarding giants like Facebook or Twitter.
    Source: Token Daily — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Retail giant Target is quietly working on a blockchain for supply chains

    Target, the eighth largest retailer in the U.S., has entered the blockchain space with a supply-chain management system dubbed ConsenSource. Target has also supported Hyperledger since mid-2018 using Sawtooth Supply Chain codebase, the main competitor to IBM's Fabric run on the same blockchain.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Coinbase earn now supports Ethereum-based Dai stablecoin

    Coinbase Earn has added its first stablecoin with DAI $DAI. Users can watch videos and take quizzes and earn DAI rewards in the process. DAI was added to Coinbase's crypto product listings May 23rd.
    Source: CoinTelegraph — Published: 2019-06-11

  • US Realtors Association invests in blockchain startup Propy

    The U.S. National Association of Realtors has invested an undisclosed amount via its VC arm Second Century Ventures intoPropy, a blockchain real estate firm. Propy allows users to buy and sell real estate online and completed a 2017 ICO for $15.5 million. 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • 100 Bitcoin users perform what might be largest ‘CoinJoin’ transaction ever

    In conjunction with Reddit users,Wasabi Wallet performed perhaps the largest CoinJoin transaction to date with the bundling of 100 transactions recently. CoinJoin allows users to bunch Bitcoin $BTC transactions together to provide anonymity and efficiency. zkSNACKS CTOAdam Fiscor says the 100 transaction count hit the upper end of practicality due to the difficulty of roping 100 separate transactions together. 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • Employers can pay in Ether via crypto startup Bitwage

    Bitcoin $BTC firm Bitwage has added Ethereum $ETH to its direct deposit and payroll services, according to CoinDesk. Founded in 2014, the firm serves some 30,000 workers with Bitcoin wages. Bitwage has been tinkering with Ether-based payments since 2017 and acknowledged a lot of 'behind the scenes work' was needed to move over from a predominantly Bitcoin system.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-11

  • [Analysis] The DeFi Series — A closer look into user community - Alethio

    A graphic of the DeFi market exposes real data on not only the interactions between DeFi products, but also how users migrate between systems. The four largest markets areCompound, Maker $MKR, Augur $REP, andUniswap. Maker and Compound, Maker and Uniswap, and Compound and Uniswap have between 30-40% common share users, the highest shared interactions out of the all DeFi products. ! As both the largest and oldest market, Maker should ostensibly be the starting point for most DeFi users, but the data indicates users are more likely to start on Augur and later move onto Maker and other DeFi products.
    Source: Medium — Published: 2019-06-10

  • BitMEX, CryptoCompare and Refinitiv to jointly build real-time crypto futures dataset

    BitMEX is teaming up withCryptoCompare to build a real-time futures data set for institutional investors, according to CoinTelegraph. The data will go to Refinitive to be packaged in Refinitiv Eikon, a tool for professional investors. A target date was not issued.
    Source: CoinTelegraph — Published: 2019-06-10

  • CCN shuts down after major Google search update

    Crypto news siteCCN.com is shutting down following a change to Google's search algorithm restricting traffic. What was once a competitor with bothCoinDesk andCoinTelegraph, CCN's mobile traffic dropped by 71% after the Google update. 
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-10

  • [Messari Research] Maker Valuation Thoughts

    *This was originally sent to subscribers of Messari's Unqualified Opinions. Click****here**** to become a subscriber and access all of our historical content. * **Qiao Wang** - February 14, 2019 I was abig fan of Maker before it was cool. The idea is sound, and the team executes really well. That said, as far as investing is concerned, the quality of the project is only half of the formula. The other half is how much you are paying for that quality. The nice thing about MakerDAO, as well as many other DAOs, is that DAO holders have rights to cash flow**. With Maker, the holders earn “stability fees” with each newly created collateralized debt position and Dai issuance. As such, you can make certain assumptions and use a discounted cash flow model to get a sense for how much the token is “worth”, relative to the price you’d be paying. This contrasts with, for instance, base layer tokens which are incredibly hard to value. As a former trader, I have strong opinions on valuation, and truth be told, almost none of the valuation frameworks on base layer tokens I’ve seen so farmakes any sense. I recently did some back of the napkin valuation work, and it looks like MakerDAO is fairly priced at best. Probably overpriced. But certainly no bargain. ! What assumptions am I making here? - A very aggressive assumption of a 2.5% stability fee, which is the reward that’s paid to MakerDAO for governing the protocol. Currently the stability fee is 0.5%, but there are chats about raising it to 2.5%. A 5x increase would be a meaningful move from baseline assumptions, indeed. - A very aggressive assumption that the DAI supply will increase by 5x YoY over the 5 years and stabilize afterwards. This will put the DAI’s terminal supply at a whopping $65B. That’s over 30 times the supply of Tether. That’s also 5 times the current market cap of Ethereum, which means that in order for this assumption to become a reality, the market cap of Ethereum will have grow enormously in order for the network to be secure. - A VC-style discount rate of 50%. Despite these aggressive assumptions, the fair price implied by the DCF model is way below the current market price. More than 40% lower, actually. When I first posted this analysis on Twitter, one of the most interesting pieces of feedback I got was that, in 2018, DAI holders paid a lot of liquidation penalties to PETH holders, which were in fact way larger than the stability fees they paid to MakerDAO holders. When the multi-collateral version goes live, the liquidation penalty will go to MakerDAO holders. As such, MakerDAO holders will earn a larger cash flow in the near future. But a fair counter to that is that the 2018 liquidations cascaded during a 90% down bear market. CDPs get liquidated when the value of Ether falls too quickly. But, if and when the aggressive assumptions we laid out above become realities, we will probably be in a massive bull market. Just some food for thought. ** To be rigorous, MakerDAO uses a burning mechanism rather than cash flow mechanism. More precisely, instead of $1 worth of cash flow is distributed to DAO holders, $1 worth of DAO tokens are burned. The two mechanisms arealmost mathematically identical, though.
    Source: Messari's Unqualified Opinions — Published: 2019-06-10

  • BlockTower Capital to host Bitcoin investment competition with 3.5 BTC prizes

    BlockTower Capital is searching for top Bitcoin $BTC analysts through an open investment competition. A total Bitcoin or cash reward of 3.5 BTC will be broken between the top three finishers, with the top receiving 2 BTC, the second 1 BTC, and third 0.5 BTC. The winners will not necessarily receive offers but will help the firm find top talent in the field.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-10

  • Zilliqa passes ‘milestone’ with addition of smart contracts to its blockchain

    Zilliqa $ZIL is "open for business" with the launch of its smart contract system to its blockchain, according to CoinDesk. CSO Amrit Kumar says the smart contract deployment has been in the works for the past two years and has several developer features to increase ease-of-use. The launch comes four-months after the mainnet launch on Jan. 31st.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-10

  • Maker data shows Dai’s growth is reaching new heights

    According to data from MakerDAO $MKR andBeneath.Network, 1.4 billion DAI $DAI was transferred during the month of May, continuing continuing a month-over-month trend of 20% increase in usage begun in March. Decentralized lending of the stablecoin was up to 13% of total usage with 325 million new DAI created. 16,300 wallets sent or received DAI in May, doubling January's count.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2019-06-10

  • [Analysis] A note on the Bitcoin rally - Tuur Demeester

    The young Bitcoin $BTC bull market is riding on Chinese capital flight, according toTuur Demeester in a note toAdamant Capital investors. While Chinese crypto markets are difficult to monitor, historical similarities, particularly Cyprus in 2013, reveal telling similarities. This point goes without mentioning a healthy OTC market and search spikes on China's Google, Baidu. As Demeester writes, the volume of Bitcoin sold compared to the current market cap points toward excessive short term sentiment, a bullish position. 
    Source: Medium — Published: 2019-06-10

  • Vancouver saw the first-ever Bitcoin ATM. Now its mayor wants to ban them

    Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has proposed a total ban on Bitcoin $BTC ATMs in the city, according to CoinDesk. A police report filings show a 350% increase of crypto-related crimes in 2016-17 and 250% from 2017-18. Vancouver hosts 76 ATMs currently and is home to the first Bitcoin ATM ever in 2013.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-10

  • Bitcoin trade volume on Coinbase hits a 14-month high in May

    Total volume traded on popular crypto exchangeCoinbase hit a 14-month high last month with 738,959.42 Bitcoin $BTC traded worth $5.9 billion. Similar volumes were seen in March 2018 with May being the sixth largest volume to date.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2019-06-10