Top Stories of Last Week

Regulatory

  • New York State Department of Financial Services issued greenlist of 8 virtual currencies for sale and trade, and 10 coins approved for custody by licensed entities. Tokens include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Binance USD, Gemini Dollar, Pax Gold, and Paxos Standard Token. NYDFS also greenlighted same coins for custody as well as XRP and Ethereum Classic.
  • DCEP project will reportedly be rolled out for testing in Hong Kong’s Greater Bay Area, consisting of nine cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, as well as Hong Kong, and Macau, in coming weeks. News comes after China’s central bank reportedly completed final stages of DCEP beta testing in Shenzhen last week.
  • Chairman of National Republican Congressional Committee Tom Emmer announced he will lead first cryptocurrency town hall to celebrate innovators leading development of virtual currencies and encourage politically-engaged voters to take part in digital asset transformation. Event organized in partnership with Chamber of Digital Commerce PAC and will be held virtually on Aug. 20. 
  • Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance released draft bill on introduction of electronic securities (eWpG), which includes a blockchain solution to digitize securities. Bill would revamp both German securities law and corresponding supervisory law with focus on blockchain. Draft bill also provides greater regulatory clarity in that Federal Financial Supervisory Authority will track launch and upkeep of decentralized registers as new financial services in agreement with eWpG, German Banking Act and key securities depository rule. 
  • UpBit received approval from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission to operate digital asset exchange in the country after approving four provisional licenses that allow company to operate as cryptocurrency exchange, digital token exchange, cryptocurrency broker, and digital token broker.

Project Development

  • MicroStrategy disclosed purchase of 21,454 bitcoin in SEC filing, pouring $250 million of planned inflation-hedging funds into BTC. CEO Michael Saylor said “investment reflects belief that bitcoin…is a dependable store of value and attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”
  • Facebook launched Facebook Financial, focused on all payments and commerce-related opportunities. David Marcus will head up payments project in effort to reorganize commerce strategy, including Facebook Pay, Facebook’s universal payment feature that company intends to integrate within all apps. 
  • New York Digital Investments Group raised just under $5 million for its new NYDIG Bitcoin Fund in a private placement. Per its Form D filing, 56 investors committed to Bitcoin Fund, which will allocate combined commits into series of investments. $5 mil is initial raise and fund still open to additional commits.
  • BBC Studios issued exclusive global license to mobile game publisher Reality Gaming Group to develop digital trading card game for sci-fi show, Dr. Who. Fans will be able to collect and trade digital versions of characters and battle friends in Doctor Who: Worlds Apart game. Trading cards will be tokenized into non-fungible tokens and limited edition cards will be available from October while game is set to go live in 2021.
  • Anchorage will provide direct custodial support for Arca’s ArCoin U.S. Treasury Fund token and upcoming INX token from digital asset exchange INX Limited.
  • Elliptic joined forces with Fireblocks to automate AML compliance for shared institutional clients via partnership that will see Elliptic’s solutions for screening of transactions and wallets incorporated into Fireblocks platform.
  • Blockstack transferring 100 million STX tokens, currently worth $27 million, to Stacks Foundation. Foundation will have complete control over Blockstack assets, including tokens and I.P. rights for Stacks 2.0 blockchain software, and discretion over subsequent administration, development, and deployment.
  • U.K.-based crypto debit card provider Wirex expanding in U.S. after receiving its first money transmission license from Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Permit will allow firm to offer services in state.
  • KB Kookmin Bank partnered with blockchain venture fund Hashed and Cumberland Korea to establish a “strategic technology cooperation” on the custody of digital assets.

Exchanges

  • Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority rejected application for Union Bank to bring on Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao as a major shareholder. Investment in Union would have saved bank from closure after recent financial and legal troubles, and bank had plans to relaunch as crypto banking platform but is now in process of liquidating. Report added that deal was complicated by fact that CZ wanted to conduct transaction with crypto through entity called CL1 Foundation. Binance CFO Wei Zhou stated reports are unfounded and denied claim of application, saying they had not tried to acquire Union Bank nor put anything in front of FMA for approval.
  • Coinbase has withdrawn from industry lobbying group Blockchain Association a day after Binance.US joined group. Spokesperson stated “recent decisions made by association and its board seem at odds with association’s mission” as to reason for withdrawal. Though Coinbase refused to name Binance.US publicly, a board resignation letter indicates disagreement stems from membership disputes.
  • BitMEX announced mandatory identity verification for all users beginning Aug. 28, when verification will be mandatory for all users. Policy change comes with six-month grace period ending in February 2021 to accommodate unverified users.

Fundraising

  • JPMorgan reportedly set to lead $50m convertible note raise for Ethereum infrastructure firm ConsenSys with $20 million investment, according to TheBlock citing two people briefed on deal. Report also repeats previous mention of deal in works in which ConsenSys will take on JPMorgan’s Quorum assets.
  • Chia Network raised another $5 million in equity round led by Slow Ventures. Latest equity round included Collab Crypto, IDEO and Naval Ravikant.
  • 1inch, a liquidity aggregator connecting multiple decentralized exchanges, raised $2.8 million in funding round led by Binance Labs. Other investors also included Galaxy Digital, Greenfield One, Libertus Capital, Dragonfly Capital, FTX, IOSG, LAUNCHub Ventures, Divergence Ventures, and Loi Luu of Kyber Network.

Things to Watch This Week

  • Ethereum 2.0 Testnet
    • Ethereum 2.0 testnet Medalla experienced instability this weekend as Prysmatic’s client did not correctly deal with a Cloudflare outage and then local storage was deleted in an emergency hotfix. It is currently unclear if this issue will delay Eth 2.0 Phase Zero launch, although some indications show that it could lead to another potential 3 month delay if the problem is not resolved quickly. Although the purpose of testnets are to experience these types of issues before actual launch, the consequences of an issue reappearing when Eth 2.0 fully launches are a great risk, as validators could experience real loss of staked Eth. We’ll continue to monitor the outcome of these issues and whether delays are forthcoming. 
  • Ethereum Gas Fees
    • Coupled with the aforementioned testnet issues, Ethereum has been experiencing extremely high gas fees as of late, with an average transaction requiring at minimum a 100+ gwei fee to get confirmed and some transactions having reached more than 300 gwei last week. Transaction fees reached over 20k ETH per day compared to 13k ETH in block rewards. The progress of Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559, which suggests the implementation of a flat rate for Ethereum transactions as well as the implementation of a process to burn some ETH for every transaction sent, will be important to keep an eye on throughout the next week, as Defi and stablecoin activity continues to grow with no end in sight. 
    • Charles Edwards@caprioleio

      Proof that Bitcoin is digital Gold. When market risk is highest (since yield curve inversion 2019), BTC-Gold correlation is highest. Nearly double prior ATHs. Suggesting prices move together >50% of the time. Correlation growth also matches gold’s >45% rally from inversion.

      ฿ully @BullyEsq

      Securities rules still apply to uniswap you guys lol this is just 2017 all over again

      Launching a pre-product token where you get capital from unaccredited investors in the US was a bad idea in 2017. And it’s a bad idea now. Just be careful out there, frens. Don’t let the hype cloud your judgment.

      Here’s a primer from the SEC on some of these issues. The tl;dr is that if you’re planning on accepting money, you better understand the rules before you do it.
      sec.gov/corpfin/framew…

      Andrew Kang @Rewkang

      .@Mainframe_HQ had a very interesting pivot to fixed-rate lending/borrowing earlier this year. Fixed rate borrow/lend is a major opportunity area that hasn’t been capitalized on yet in DeFi. This financial primitive will become the foundation for a new wave of DeFi products

      The design space for fixed rate, fixed term products are huge, so definitely room for more than one player here Recommend giving Mainframe whitapaper a read mainframe.com/static/Mainfra…
      Ceteris Paribus@ceterispar1bus

      Take out 405k loan.
      Use 45k + 405k loan to swap 450k usdc for 492k usdt.
      Pay back 405k loan.
      Profit 42k – 2k transaction fee.
      Nice start to the week.
      twitter.com/musatheredguar…


      READ MORE

      Blockchain Association@BlockchainAssn

      The crypto industry is still young. To amplify + protect the good work being done to increase financial inclusion, spur tech innovation & build open crypto networks, we formed @BlockchainAssn to pursue pro-growth, pro-consumer policies.

      @coinbase was a founding member & we’re disappointed to see them leave at a critical time for the industry. However, we believe that it is important to abide by our established neutral membership criteria + honor majority Board opinion.

      We’ve made real progress over the past 2 years: helping to curb legislation that would have harmed stablecoins + working to support the intro of policy proposals such as the Token Safe Harbor & Token Taxonomy Act. And there’s more to come.

      The Blockchain Association believes that bringing all of the major companies, investors, and innovative projects together from this young and growing industry is the only way to achieve meaningful and lasting policy and regulatory goals.

      @BlockchainAssn members remain active and engaged in the policymaking process. We’ve come this far as a group & we look forward to building on our recent wins, welcoming new + established pro-crypto voices to the DC conversation.

      Ari Paul   @AriDavidPaul

      When it comes down to it – this is all I care about in cryptocurrency: Crypto as a tool against oppressive regimes, as a desperately needed alternative to the coming surveillance states.

      Ari Paul   @AriDavidPaul

      Crypto fiat (i.e. government controlled permissioned cryptocurrencies) will be the biggest battleground globally for human rights over the next decade. China is leading the way, many other countries, including some big western democracies, will follow.
      twitter.com/NeerajKA/statu…
      READ MORE

      TOP 7 ICO@top7ico

      Top 7 Upcoming DeFi Tokens The #DeFi field is currently experiencing an incredible surge, with TVL of more than $4.6 billion. There is still a space to grow and develop. We compiled a list of promising DeFi projects, that going to introduce their own utility tokens.

      Top 7 Upcoming DeFi TokensThe DeFi field is currently experiencing an incredible surge, with TVL of more than $4.6 billion. The amount of the projects aiming (at least on words) to reshape financial services through blockchain technology is enormous. But there is still a space to grow and develop. We compiled a list of promising DeFi projects, that going to introduce their own utility tokens and about to enter the market soon.

      Charles Edwards@caprioleio

      More than 40% of Bitcoin hasn’t moved in over 2 years. The last time this much supply had built up and was locked in Bitcoin was January 2016. Despite the recent price rises, no one wants to take profits. Demand is increasing and supply is reducing.

      Santiment@santimentfeed

      1) $YAM‘s fall from grace was even quicker than its rise. Our metric illustrated in this chart computes the average P/L of the coins that move on-chain. For each coin that move on-chain we take the price at which it was moved and assume this is its acquisition price and assume it was sold at the moment it moves.

      Larry Cermak @lawmaster

      Man what a dissapointment the Curve launch has been. Nearly 80,000 tokens, $2.4 million at current prices, were premined while the team was “checking”. Handled terribly by everyone involved.

      “Oh look, someone just deployed our contract” is obviously threatre. This was planned and they should have at least informed the community what would follow if this happened. They of course didn’t and it advantaged the most technical people that disregarded all warnings

      What’s really weird is that @FrankResearcher found the contract super early before everyone else and it was aready blocked in Curve’s Discord. When he tweeted it, one of Curve’s team members almost immediately came out and said it was a scam. I’d not trust the team at all now

      I don’t necessarily want to jump to conclusions but if this was really all orchestrated by the Curve team then that’s one of the shadiest things I’ve seen in a while. twitter.com/frankresearche…

      If you saw my tweet before I deleted it (because of scam accusations), I said that there were strong rumors about Binance listing right after launch. I even doubted the rumor myself because where the hell would you get the tokens for initial liquidity? That turned out to be true