Crypto News

  • Maker outlines plan towards full decentralization by dissolving the Maker Foundation

    In the weekly governance call, CEO of the Maker Foundation Rune Christensen presented the Self-Sustaining MakerDAO Initiative that would result in the dissolution of the Maker Foundation, the key entity leading development and governance of MakerDAO. As part of the new Governance Paradigm, Rune discussed three core pillars: Elected Paid Contributors (EPCs) and Domain Teams EPCs and Domain teams would effectively replace the various functional groups within the Foundation which has been funded through various token sales, but going forward will need to be paid through the protocol itself. Maker Improvement Proposals (MIPs) MIPs will look similar to other improvement frameworks and are designed to standardize the upgrade process from both a technical and social perspective. Vote Delegates Delegates will have the ability to vote on behalf of MKR holders who don’t wish to actively participate in the governance process allowing them to have a say in governance without needing to stay informed enough to make decisions on complicated matters. Why it matters Open Finance teams have often been criticized for operating under the guise of decentralization while in reality, a central entity maintains near full control. Dissolving the organization that has maintained substantial power of the protocol would be another major step towards the goal of fully decentralizing. The Maker Foundation has operated like a traditional startup with legal, accounting, marketing departments, etc. all funded through money raised from venture capital. Once it's dissolved, all of these functions will have to continue to serve their respective functions in a more decentralized manner which could create substantial operational hurdlers and couple prove to be unsustainable in the long run.
    Source: Jack Purdy — Published: 2020-04-02T19:00:00Z

  • Keep Network development team Thesis raises $7.7 million in token sale

    Thesis, the blockchain development firm behind the Keep Network and TBTC app, has raised $7.7 million by selling its KEEP tokens. TBTC allows users to "trustlessly" exchange Bitcoin for Ethereum-compatible tBTC tokens and access Ethereum's decentralize finance (DeFi) sector. The app is still only available on Ethereum's Ropsten testnet, but Thesis CEO Matt Luongo said that both Keep and TBTC could go live in a matter of "weeks not months." Paradigm Capital led the funding found, with participation from Fenbushi Capital and Collaborative Fund, among others. These investors join the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and Draper Associates, who led Keep's first fundraise back in Dec. 2018. Why it matters: There is a considerable amount of skepticism as to whether Bitcoin holders, especially the self-described maximalists, would want to use Ethereum-based finance apps. But Matt Luongo believes that "the silent majority of most bitcoin and ETH people aren't maximalists," and thus wouldn't dismiss the notion of using BTC in DeFi. TBTC's design contrasts that of the currently live wBTC (wrapped Bitcoin) system, which relies solely on custodian BitGo to manage the Bitcoin collateral and print wBTC tokens. Instead, the app uses Keep's network of nodes to facilitate the BTC to tBTC exchange and manage the collateral funds. Participants must stake KEEP tokens on the network as collateral to run a node.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2020-04-02T18:30:00Z

  • Ready to Die?

    Good morning!  The only thing I know for sure about the coronavirus is that we are all born with a death sentence, anyway. This is going to be an accelerant for many, but the probability is 1 that we’re all gonna take a good ‘ole dirt nap at the end of this game. So we might as well enjoy the ride while we can. If that sounds callous, it’s because “how else are we supposed to respond right now?" I’ve been thinking a lot about “what if” and “what are my odds” and “fck I don’t want to think about that with 2.5 boys right now in my otherwise healthy 30s.” I'm sure many of you are in the same camp, but maybe I’m particularly prone to these thoughts because my typical domicile is in New York City, and because I’ve gotten easily eerily winded from workouts this past week. (Seriously, this is a wild coincidence if so many people are experiencing the same symptoms.) The thing that helps me sleep is playing the percentages. I’m not in love with feeling like I’m a pocket aces hand away from an early departure. But a 1 in 200 chance at dying early (maybe that’s an order of magnitude too high or too low) isn’t high enough to register as real. I found this article helpful for answering the probabilities question, as it clearly outlines why the “infection fatality rate” is likely in the 1% maximum range in the near-term (even with some assumed healthcare system overwhelm), simply because of our lack of testing to date, and because there may be so many asymptomatic cases that will resolve without testing or even concern. What would be really helpful, and what I haven’t yet seen is something that breaks down the conditional probabilities ("I have mild symptoms and I’m 50, now what?”), as it’s something that could a) help free up headspace for people worried about their mortality and keep focused at work, and b) help us understand how and when we should restart the economy. Probably (knock on wood), I’m not going to die this year, and you aren’t either. With that as a probabilistic baseline, it’s fair to start thinking about mitigating the horrific second-order effects of this health crisis, which I’m increasingly convinced is going to throw us into depression, unprecedented civil unrest, and maybe even global conflicts. It's probably not a coincidence that two security minded crypto entrepreneurs (i.e. second order thinkers) are so closely aligned on this front. Read these threads from Ted Rogers, former President at Xapo, and Mike Belshe, CEO at BitGo, about the irreparable damage we might be doing to the economy. And indeed, we're now at 10 million newly unemployed in the U.S. in just two weeks. Our leaders and media have now swung seamlessly from "the health crisis is fake news" to "the economic destruction is fake news, we'll bounce right back with stimulus." Wrong then. Wrong again. Again it seems the probabilities are conditional: Will “leaders" actually, ya know, lead? If so, maybe we’ll have a Nike Swoosh shaped recovery (I think V is off the table), and avoid a once in a lifetime depression. Probability: 10-20%. Will our leaders continue to do exactly what they’ve been doing? Act reactively, and incompetently? Well, then we probably need to think about how we might start a peaceful tech-driven, decentralized revolution and overthrow the incompetent and corrupt via a "digital exit." Probability: 80-90%. Not building, not having courage for what comes next will lead to a lost decade / generation, and a violent "Fourth Turning” that could prove worse than the coronavirus trigger. In spite of the stacked probabilities, I remain aggressively optimistic about our ability to prevent the Mad Max scenarios. It will simply take more courage than most (outside of frontline healthcare workers) have been willing to muster so far. I hope we get passed the “gun to our head” moment of terror soon, and move on to more useful, veterinary aspirations. The world needs leadership and courage badly right about now. More vets.  The odds are low you’ll get that from on high. Salvation lies within. -TBI P.S. Qiao breaks down more about how he’s thinking about the macro markets in a Pro piece below. And don't worry, there's lots* of crypto content in tomorrow's above the fold.
    Source: Ryan Selkis — Published: 2020-04-02T17:20:00Z

  • Factom to be liquidated

    According to a London Stock Exchange announcement, Factom, announced it would liquidate after failing to receive additional funding. FastFoward, Factom’s largest backer, is now receiver and is currently seeking to appoint a receiver to take control of Factom’s assets. A timetable for Factom’s liquidation has not been disclosed. FastForward, is an advisory company listed on the London Stock Exchange that invests in emerging technology companies. It previously entered into a $6 million SAFE with Factom in 2018. In its near-six-year history, Factom raised more than $18 million from investors. Factom was one of the first projects to raise money through an ICO when it raised $140,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2015, for its blockchain protocol designed to assist businesses in storing their data. Why it matters: For many blockchain protocols, development is nearly entirely dependent on a company backing it. When the founding teams backing those protocols face financial difficulties, project development goes down with them. Factom is the latest in a series of the 2015 batch of ICOs facing difficulties. Just weeks ago, Iota finally came back online after shutting down for nearly a month following an attack on users of its Trinity wallet software.
    Source: Coindesk — Published: 2020-04-02T16:00:00Z

  • Federal judge denies Telegram’s request to distribute tokens to non-US investors

    A federal judge has rejected Telegram’s request to carry out the distribution of GRAMs to non-US investors, stating the company failed to explain how it could effectively fence off US investors or “lawfully modify” the sales agreements. The decision comes less than a week after the same judge ordered Telegram to refrain from issuing GRAMs, the native asset of the TON blockchain, later this month, claiming the current distribution plan violates securities laws. This event is just the latest stage in the prolonged court battle between the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Telegram. Why it matters: While not unexpected, the ruling marks another significant setback in Telegram’s effort to launch the TON blockchain. Telegram is not out of legal moves just yet, as it appealed the order banning the issuance of GRAMs earlier this week. But it is looking likely the company won’t receive the legal clearance to hold up its end of the token sale agreements, which would allow investors to recoup their initial investments. Crypto-focused attorney Gabriel Shapiro said the judge displayed “admirable technological savvy and skepticism.” Gabriel specifically pointed to the judge’s ability to recognize that US investors could circumvent Telegram’s offer to geo-block participation because the code for TON is open-source.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2020-04-02T03:00:00Z

  • Coinbase deploys capital from its Bootstrap Fund into Uniswap and PoolTogether

    Coinbase has invested 1 million USDC into the ETH/USDC Uniswap pool and 100,000 into PoolTogether as part of its effort to provide more liquidity in DeFi. Coinbase is a part of the Centre Consortium along with Circle that launched USDC in 2018. Last fall, they announced the creation of a Bootstrap Fund to increase the reach of USDC and to support various DeFi protocols. To date, they have invested $1 million into both Compound and dYdX. Why it matters The total capital deployed in DeFi has been decreasing as a result of various hacks and general market sentiment. Coinbase’s efforts are intended to reverse this trend and make these protocols more attractive, particularly as it relates to USDC’s use in them. USDC has been rapidly increasing in supply over the last two weeks from 460 million to nearly 700 million. This is still well below Tether’s supply of 6.8 billion, but as USDC becomes more entrenched into open finance applications, it could gain market share on the market leader.
    Source: Coinbase — Published: 2020-04-01T20:00:00Z

  • Does the percentage of total tokens staked have an impact on price?

    Staking has been a trending theme over the last few years. The high-profile launches Cosmos and Tezos, the rise of staking services, and the noise generated by Ethereum’s long-awaited upgrade have all helped drive the narrative that proof-of-stake (PoS) could be the next evolution of consensus mechanisms. Some investors have acted on this narrative by not only placing bets on specific networks but also staking their holdings in search of inflation rewards (a commonly misunderstood concept). Since staking incentives and token use cases vary across protocols, the total number of tokens staked on a network at any given time can vary as well. But does the percentage of tokens staked have an impact on price? Our analysis shows the correlation between the percentage of liquid supply stake and price return YTD is fairly weak. Despite the lack of a definitive trend, all of the staking protocols that have less than 40% of its liquid supply staked are down in price this year. On the other end, the two networks with the highest staking totals experienced the most significant price drops YTD. In some cases, staking can reduce token velocity (the rate at which funds are exchanged), which can have the secondary effect of lessening sell pressure. But the price movements observed here are more closely related to project-specific announcements as well as the general direction of the overall market (which has been decidedly down due to a tumultuous last month). Dash, for instance, announced it is aiming to increase network utility with the upcoming launch of on-chain data contracts. In contrast, Cosmos has dealt with some internal team issues as core contributor Tendermint Inc. shifted company priorities and opted to “part ways” with a few developer teams.
    Source: Wilson Withiam — Published: 2020-04-01T18:30:00Z

  • Going for a Random Walk

    From the Messari daily newsletter - subscribe here Happy April Fools Day! Have fun with your pranks today, and please don't be a jerk.  Why am I going for a walk? Practice what I preach I'm trying to practice what I preach, and going for a walk this morning with the kiddos in lieu of our daily livestream, which has gotten off to a terrific start with expert guests like Qiao Wang and Dan Matuszewski (verteran crypto and macro traders), Drew Hinkes (crypto and constitutional legal), Harry Sudock (U.S. based mining enterpreneur), and more. It was a successful beta, and I'm working to standardize the format, and get to a M,W,F (sustainable) production schedule. These will all be posted to our YouTube channel soon, but if you want to join the live sessions M,W,Fat 11am ET, then subscribe here. All of our podcasts are also pushed to YouTube, but we work hard to make them available in every podcast player you can think of. Doctor's orders  Dr. David Price, Director of Pulmonary & Critical Care at Weill Cornell Medical Center in NYC gives a must watch session on the coronavirus. If you watch one thing today, let it be this. It will put your mind at a bit of ease: "I work at probably the premier hospital in NYC. We do [riskiest operations] like lung transplants, heart transplants. We do none of that right now, and are exclusively a COVID-19 hospital. This is a video about how to protect yourself and your family when the coronavirus hits your town. And it is in your town right now.”  Punch lines: The overwhelming majority of people who get this disease are those who touch someone with the disease, and then touch their face; wear masks to avoid touching your face, and become a "hand washing Nazi."  You don’t need to be scared of your neighbors and people you interact with at a safe distance. The delivery people are heroes, not pariahs, and your social circle need not be eliminated, but rather contained. The way that this virus spreads is largely within family. "That’s incredibly empowering." If you get it, self-isolate in a separate room, with a separate bathroom if possible, and wear a mask / wash hands whenever you come out. Don’t have family members physically check on you. If you’re short of breath, come to the hospital to be evaluated. A lot of people who come to the hospital, come home. For cases, about 10% need to go to the hospital, 1-3% require critical care, majority of those that go on ventilators recover in 7-10 days. This isn’t a death sentence. Go for a walk. Clearing my head I'm so angry right now that the new estimate is 100,000-240,000 U.S. deaths. White House economists published a study last September that warned a pandemic disease could kill a half million Americans and devastate the economy, and it was flat out ignored. The U.S. and Europe may be in the “Hammer” phase of the pandemic (extreme lockdowns), but Asia has entered "the dance” as a second wave of the pandemic makes it clear that it's going to take a lot longer to restart the global economy than we all hope. Mentally prepare yourselves for year long (or longer) structural changes to our economy and a severe recession. Walks help. From WaPo: “They’re trying to turn the industrial engines back on as quickly as they can,” said Ryan Hass, a China expert at the Brookings Institution. “But it’s a bit of a challenge because 60 percent of the Chinese economy is the service sector. And even if they wanted people to go to movie theaters and restaurants right now, I don’t think there’s a lot of demand.” Crypto seems like it's in no man's land right now, and startup funding / runways are in flux. I'm still long bitcoin, but fearful for all experiments that aren't absolutely essential for industry growth. It's a good time to dust off your "crisis strategy" and nuclear scenarios. I feel Messari is prepared, and we want to be part of the solution. But it won't make it less painful.  It's funny, but, March Madness would have just wrapped up last night in a normal year. The theme there is often "survive and advance." I'm optimistic about survival, but advances will be a struggle for a while. -TBI
    Source: Ryan Selkis — Published: 2020-04-01T16:05:00Z

  • Federal Reserve announces new repo facility to provide dollars to foreign central banks

    Today the Federal Reserve (Fed) announced the establishment of a temporary repurchase agreement facility (repo) for central banks and other international monetary authorities. The facility will allow participants to exchange their US treasury securities held with the Fed for US dollars, which can then be made available to institutions in their jurisdictions. The facility aims to further alleviate stress in dollar funding markets, opening dollar access to central banks that do not have currency swap arrangements with the Fed. The facility will also reduce the need for central banks to sell their treasury holdings to raise dollars, ensuring smoother functioning of US treasury markets, which have also experienced dislocations in recent weeks. Why it matters: The world runs on dollars and dollars are scarce amidst a massive coronavirus induced liquidity crunch and reduction in global trade. The Federal Reserve is acting as the world’s central bank flooding the world with liquidity to shore up global dollar funding markets.
    Source: Federal Reserve — Published: 2020-03-31T17:30:00Z

  • Binance is set to acquire CoinMarketCap for up to $400 million

    Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges, is planning on announcing an acquisition of CoinMarketCap in a cash-and-stock deal worth up to $400 million later this week. The deal would be one of the largest acquisitions in the crypto industry, on par with Circle's $400 million acquisition of Poloniex in early 2018. The deal will be the first outside investment the company has taken on, having been entirely bootstrapped up until now. Why it matters Binance already drives more traffic than any other exchange according to SimilarWeb, albeit Coinbase is a very close second. With the help on CoinMarketCap, which has driven over $200 million viewers in the past 6-months, Binance could take a decisive lead. This deal marks at least the 10th acquisition Binance has made since the start of 2019. CZ announced in his 2020 message that there were two future acquisitions he was specifically excited about that would be announced in due time. This is likely one of them with the next yet to come.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2020-03-31T14:30:00Z

  • Returns vs. BTC in March: Bitcoin remains strong but a few small cap assets shine

    March was not a kind month to…well, anyone, let alone the crypto markets. The anticipated repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic led investors in crypto and stocks alike to flee to the safety of the dollar. Bitcoin was not immune to the downturn, falling almost 25% in the last 30 days. While Bitcoin did not quite act like an uncorrelated, safe-haven investment under severe market stress, which should not come as a surprise, its price has seen a significant recovery since it dipped below $4,000 on Mar. 12. This recovery is more apparent from an intra-class perspective, as Bitcoin has held up better than most other large-cap cryptoassets. But there were a few small-cap coins that have outperformed Bitcoin (and the dollar) significantly over the last month. Considering their relative obscurity, it’s hard not to question why the price of assets like Streamr and Numeraire has doubled (and in Steamr’s case, quadrupled) in terms of satoshis. While not discounting a potential increase in real user demand, both projects are amid major product releases, which tend to have a positive impact on token price. Streamr is close to releasing the first stable version of its product, a decentralized marketplace for data streams. Numerai, the project behind the asset Numeraire, launched its long-awaited marketplace for information, called Erasure Bay, on Mar. 10. Numeraire is also relatively illiquid with less than $200,000 in Real Volume over the last 24 hours and, therefore, modest market movements can have an outsized impact on price, at least compared to most large and mid-cap cryptoassets. Click here to see how other assets performed against BTC over the last 30 days and more.
    Source: Messari — Published: 2020-03-31T03:00:00Z

  • Publicly traded Canadian miner doubles its capacity through strategic acquisition

    HIVE Blockchain Technologies, an Ethereum miner listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has announced its acquiring 30MW of hydroelectric power at a leased facility from Cryptologic Corp for $4 million CAD, or around $2.8 million USD. The acquisition will be used to diversify the companies revenue by mining Bitcoin with the facility's approximately 14,000 Bitmain S9 miners, which will more than double its total available power capacity globally. The firm also has facilities in Sweden and Iceland and plans on increasing its operation in Sweden by 20% over the next two quarters. Why it matters As Bitcoin's halving approaches, there are concerns over miner profitability with the mining reward being cut in half and prices down around 40% from its local high 6-weeks ago. Some miners have been forced to shut down operations recently which has led to one of the largest difficulty adjustments in history. In light of this, HIVE believes mining bitcoin will still be a profitable endeavor, in part due to their cheap electricity costs of $0.04 kWh. The company's stock (TSX: HIVE.V) increased with the rest of the equities market as it closed up 5.41% on the day.
    Source: HIVE Blockchain Technologies — Published: 2020-03-31T01:00:00Z

  • Great Thinkers Steal & I’m Stealing Some Balaji Insights

    Balaji Srinivasan (formerly a16z, 21/Earn, Coinbase, and previous genomics entrepreneur) has been living months and years into the future since January. He was early to warn anyone who would listen about the coronavirus (including me and other former colleagues who were early and attentive to the threat, like Marc Andreessen and Brian Armstrong). And he hasn’t let up since, unleashing a torrent of threads and possible solutions for the challenges that lie ahead. For those of you who aren’t paying close attention to his twitter feed, and all the content he’s been putting together recently, I recommend you fixthat and follow him. Here are some of the most incisive comments he’s made in the past several weeks: Inflation expectations: This is the trillion dollar question for crypto investors: will stimulus lead to long-feared mass currency debasement and inflation? Balaji responds to Joe Weisenthal: "We already face a combination of: supply chain disruptions, producers at home, soaring prices for masks, etc, trillions in stimulus. When checks hit, people will spend on consumer staples. Thenprices rise. "Gouging" may be banned, shortages can ensue and markets may go dark." The "viral funnel": One way to think about segmenting our virus containment strategy is analogous to a customer funnel. "Healthy: masks, social distancing, vaccines, tests; Exposed: more advanced tests; Infected: isolation, drugs; Sick: hospitalization, drugs, PPE for MDs/nurses; Recovered: serology tests. A first cut way of organizing different interventions at big picture level.”  He elaborates on all of these points elsewhere in the thread and in his general coverage. Rise of the citizen journalist & decentralized media: This is one I agree with strongly! We need to accelerate the decentralization and quality control of information businesses, as it is simply irrational to expect journalists to be "experts" in a variety of subjects. The role of a journalist should either be that of a signal curator (what I aim to do), or a very narrow expert. "If there’s one silver lining to this disaster, all can see that corporate media operations are not self-correcting enterprises. We need to build a new decentralized media, staffed by citizen journalists. The principles of decentralized media: 1) Build your own distribution to avoid distortion. 2) Every company a media company. After content marketing comes full-stack narrative. 3) Don’t casually give information to your competitors. And media corporations are your competitors. 4) You are an expert in something. You have a responsibility as a citizen to do citizen journalism, to share that with the world 5) The media should not be “guardians of democracy” nor “enemies of the people”. Neither guardian nor enemy, just the people. All citizen journalists." As I preach to anyone who will listen: BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE! The importance of keeping score: It’s impossible to pretend the media and state (our “trusted institutions” haven’t failed catastrophically. Why should we give them a mulligan? As Balaji says: “A list of the official misinformation from press & state: Flu is more serious; Travel bans are overreacting; Only Wuhan visitorsat risk; Avoiding handshakes is paranoid; Virus iscontained; Tests are available; Masks don't help; etc. The reason this is important is that the people who made these mistakes haven't retracted - indeed, many have pretended they didn't happen - and are now pushing for censorship of "misinformation" But without social media, it seems clear the US would have been even slower to act. Official misinformation appears to be international, and we need to document this because the folks that failed are now pushing censorship." The potential balkanization of Europe and the U.S.: This is one of the most frightening thought experiments, and I hope he's wrong (obviously). But it's impossible to analyze our current state of affairs and not be petrified that we're watching the fall of Rome (or at least, the European Union). "Temporary bureaucratic things (like state border controls) have a way of becoming permanent. This could be similar to the sudden breakup of the USSR and Eastern Bloc. From one USA to 50 states, from one EU to 27 memberstates? All through the 1980s the USSR & Eastern Bloc tottered, and then suddenly fell from 1989-1991. Just broke up into member states. All through the 2010s the USA & EU tottered. And the EU is now arguably de facto broken up. Will the USA follow? The future of the world may be a decentralized West and a centralized East. If the virus breaks incompetent states, then any centralized government that isn't competent enough to fight off the virus gets decentralized. Because each constituent region will defect & erect its own borders." Some of these thoughts may seem extreme, but I'd remind you that so did his initial look ahead on January 30, a mere two months ago: "Going viral: What if this coronavirus is the pandemic that public health people have been warning about for years? It would accelerate many pre-existing trends: border closures, nationalism, social isolation, preppers, remote work, face masks, distrust in governments, etc." It's wild and terrifying how correct he’s been proven in such a short amount of time. How quickly will his other theses be proven (or disproven)? I'm following his evolving thoughts closely. -TBI Join 15,000+ investors and professionals and sign-up for Messari's daily newsletter
    Source: Ryan Selkis — Published: 2020-03-30T14:38:00Z

  • Trump signs $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

    Late Friday afternoon, President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act the bill will provide relief to individuals, small businesses, and corporations in the form of loans, tax breaks and direct payments. Combined with Federal Reserve measures, it will provide around $6 trillion in stimulus to the economy, according to chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. About $454 billion of the $2.2 trillion dollars will go towards facilities established by the Fed. Specifically the Treasury will capitalize SPVs associated with Federal Reserve facilities, backstopping all the loans the Fed makes under the facilities to prevent losses. Each dollar of backstop from the treasury is enough to support $10 of loans giving a 10-to-1 ratio. Why it matters: At $2 trillion, the bill would be the largest stimulus bill ever in nominal terms and the 5th largest ever relative to GDP. At $2 trillion the amount represents 9.3% of GDP and would provide weeks of relief while the economy remains on pause due to the coronavirus.
    Source: Bloomberg — Published: 2020-03-30T14:25:00Z

  • Telegram seeks to issue tokens to non-US investors despite recent court ruling

    Telegram has reportedly asked a court for more clarity on a recent order that banned the issuance of GRAM tokens to private investors. The messaging platform provider hopes the ban does not apply to non-US investors, which, if cleared, would allow Telegram to issue about 75% of the tokens sold during its 2018 ICOs on the condition these investors do not resell GRAMs in the US. The request comes less than a week after a federal judge ordered Telegram to refrain from launching the TON network and distributing GRAMs, a decision that Telegram is appealing, on their expected release date next month (Apr. 30). Why it matters: If the order does not prevent the distribution of GRAMs to non-U.S. investors, Telegram would be able to launch its platform by the contractually obligated deadline. Otherwise, TON's launch is in jeopardy, and investors may have the option to reclaim their initial investments. Meanwhile, a group of TON developers, collectively called the TON Community Foundation, could seek to unite some GRAM investors and launch the TON blockchain without Telegram's participation, according to a report from CoinDesk. The initiative "underscores the limits of government powers to regulate open-source technology." Other developer groups can make the project their own once the code is in the public domain.
    Source: CoinDesk — Published: 2020-03-30T14:15:00Z

  • Justin Sun announces Djed, a MakerDAO lookalike built on Tron

    Over the weekend, Tron founder Justin Sun announced a loan platform called Djed that is nearly identical to MakerDAO but built on Tron. Similar to its predecessor, Djed will be creating a crypto-backed stablecoin through the opening of a Collateralized Debt Position (CDP). The protocol will also focus on community governance with JED holders retaining the ability to set parameters and institute a Global Settlement in the event of an attack or system-wide failure. Why it matters The remarkable similarities to MakerDAO have raised questions over potential plagiarism. This is not the first time Tron has been accused of copying other projects as its client, Java-Tron, had instances of code copied verbatim from EthereumJ and its whitepaper had multiple pages directly taken from that of Filecoin and IPFS. MakerDAO has had problems as of late which has opened up the possibility of a new decentralized crypto-collateralized stablecoin to compete with Dai. However, the more centralized architecture of Tron inherently limits its ability to compete on this front since the likelihood of competing interests influencing the limited validator set is higher than that of Ethereum.
    Source: Justin Sun — Published: 2020-03-30T14:00:00Z

  • Huobi adds perpetual swaps to its futures platform

    Huobi, the largest exchange by volume trading almost $1 trillion this year, announced they will be adding perpetual swaps offering up to 125x leverage. Huobi DM will initially trade a BTC swap but plans to add additional assets in the future. Why it matters Perpetual swaps have risen to prominence in the last few years by offering traders easy access to excessive leverage. As we saw with the recent market sell-off, this can create structural problems in the crypto markets as large drawdowns lead to liquidations en masse which only creates additional sell pressure. With one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world now offering perpetual swaps, this issue may only get worse. Huobi has taken steps to alleviate this problem by becoming the first exchange to implement a "'circuit breaker" to help calm markets in times of distress. Unlike circuit breakers in traditional exchanges, this won't pause trading. Instead, it halts the liquidation mechanism which can help prevent mass liquidations similar to what happened on BitMex as their perpetual swap traded below 20% of the actual spot price.
    Source: Huobi — Published: 2020-03-27T21:00:00Z

  • Binance is working on a crypto Visa debit card

    According to the Block, Binance is working towards launching a crypto Visa debit card. According to a new website, GetBinanceCard.com, Binance will allow users to load cryptocurrencies into their Binance card wallet and spend them at any VISA merchants worldwide. Why it matters: The initiative will open crypto debit card payments to Binance’s 15+ million user base, providing a boost to cryptocurrency payment use cases. Coinbase launched their crypto visa debit card offering for their UK and EU customers last year. The Coinbase card currently serves customers in over 29 european countries.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2020-03-26T18:10:00Z

  • Block.one invests $150M in its social media app Voice to fund independent operations

    Block.one has invested $150 million into Voice, the social media app it launched last summer to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. The intended goal is to solve for many of the problems that plague existing social media platforms such as inauthentic bots and the promotion of fake news stories. Voice will be requiring users to be verified through KYC procedures and will be boosting content based on usage and allocation of the Voice tokens. Initially, Voice was going to be built on the EOS public blockchain, however, they changed course opting to put it on its own purpose-built chain. Why it matters From large-scale manipulation like the Facebook news stories during the last elections to the smaller scale issues such as the ones we faced at Messari as our twitter accounts were shadowbanned, the need for decentralized alternatives to large social media platforms is abundantly clear. While projects such as Steem have looked to tackle this issue, there has not been any serious competitor. With this fresh infusion of capital, Voice looks to scale its operations to hopefully provide the first alternative to gain widespread adoption. As the main company behind EOS, Block.one is tasked with developing and promoting the EOS network. However, since Voice will not actually be built on EOS it remains unclear how the investment will provide value to the blockchain itself. But given this fresh infusion of capital along with the $150 million already spent (which included $30 million for the domain name itself), Block.one evidently believes there is a way to integrate with EOS down the line or through some other means add value to the overall ecosystem.
    Source: The Block — Published: 2020-03-26T15:00:00Z

  • A Historic Difficulty Adjustment

    At around 11pm tonight Bitcoin could undergo its 2nd largest negative difficulty adjustment in history. After a brutal past 2 weeks that saw the price of Bitcoin drop nearly 50% in one day, and estimated hash rate drop as much as 40% from its March 1st peak, Bitcoin’s difficulty level is expected to adjust downwards by about 15% - 16%. At the upper end of the range that would place tonight’s negative difficulty adjustment at the 2nd largest ever. At the bottom end of the range it would be the 3rd largest. The adjustment will provide much needed relief to remaining miners, who have taken much longer to mine blocks following the hash rate drop off. A self-readjusting system While severe hash rate drops appear catastrophic on the surface, having provoked calls for “mining death spirals” for 9 years now, the game theory underpinning why this is not the case is simple. If the price of Bitcoin falls, marginal miners will go offline, and Bitcoin will readjust mining difficulty within the next 2016 blocks to ensure stable block times. Source: Nic Carter The key nuance skeptics fail to grasp when thinking about Bitcoin mining, is that the set of Bitcoin miners consists of numerous independent entities with their own cost structures and balance sheets. Miners don’t rise and fall as one, they rise and fall as individuals. Mining is a competition, and the miners that are least competitive simply just lose. With the halving coming up within the next two months, expect mining death spiral fears to re-emerge. As I’ve discussed previously, we could see another dramatic decrease in hashrate due to the upcoming block reward halving and continued uncertainty about the coronavirus. Such a scenario may damage the halving narrative (which is nonsense anyways), but is far from damaging Bitcoin. The Bitcoin blockchain will keep trucking along producing blocks every 10 minutes - a beacon of stability in unstable times.
    Source: Ryan Watkins — Published: 2020-03-26T00:00:00Z