Tue. Apr 13th, 2021

Australia’s stock exchange may delay its blockchain overhaul, thought leaders are meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the digitization of money and Ethereum devs have a proposal to pump the brakes on high gas fees. Here’s the story:

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Top shelf

Digital Dollars
The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on “The Digitization of Money and Payments.” The witnesses include former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo and Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla, suggesting a focus around central bank digital currencies and stablecoins. Elsewhere, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) will establish four additional “Innovation Hub” branches – in Toronto, Stockholm, London and a joint location for Paris and Frankfurt – to further study the adoption of digital monies and distributed ledger technologies. Finally, the Bank of Canada has published a note saying blockchain privacy solutions, like zero-knowledge proofs, aren’t ready yet for use in a CBDC. (The Block)

Tech Solutions?
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has come under pressure to postpone the launch of a blockchain replacement for its decades-old settlement and clearing system. One of the main share registry companies in Australia, Computershare, told the Financial Times on June 25 it was seeking a two-year delay to the implementation of the ASX’s new blockchain-based system because the new project “lacked clarity.” Meanwhile, a new technical proposal is addressing Ethereum’s growing gas fees by implementing a dynamic pricing system. Called EIP 1559, Ethereum users would now pay a set “base fee” to the network plus a tip to miners.

Crime and Punishments?
Alexey Andryunin fakes volumes to get coins listed on exchanges. He didn’t think his services were needed after the collapse of the ICO market, but has found business growing again during the COVID-19 pandemic as token promoters pay him to pump their projects so they’ll be accepted on crypto exchanges. Meanwhile, Sergey Medvedev, a Russian national who operated a digital currency escrow service for the $568 million payment card fraud forum he founded in 2010, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in what the U.S. government called its largest-ever cyber fraud case. Elsewhere, a hacker has attempted to disrupt a blockchain voting system currently being used in the Russian Federation while hackers have extorted $1.14 million in bitcoin from the University of California. (The Block)

​​​New Metrics
Coin Metrics announced a free float supply methodology for digital assets Tuesday to improve and standardize the industry’s liquidity and market capitalization data. The metric excludes issued cryptos that don’t provide liquidity to get a better sense of a token’s supply. Independently, blockchain analysis company Elliptic has added two privacy coins – zcash (ZEC) and horizen (ZEN) – to its monitoring platform, which provides exchanges and institutional investors insight into when a transaction trail ends so they can take additional due diligence measures.

Fresh Capital
Blockchain data startup The Graph has raised $5 million in a token sale with Framework Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group (CoinDesk’s parent) and others. The funding round follows a $2.5 million VC round early last year and used the “simple agreement for future tokens” (SAFT) format for accredited investors. That is as miner Hut 8 raised a total of $8.3 million from selling a 6% equity stake, it said, approximately $800,000 more than the original $7.5 million target. Finally, The Block’s Michael McSweeney reports crypto exchange giant Binance will acquire a majority stake in Swipe.io, a crypto card startup. “The move paves the way for the crypto exchange giant to move ahead with its plan for a branded payments card,” McSweeney reports.

Quick bites

  • Wuhan Kingold Jewelry collateralized 83 tons of counterfeit gold to secure approximately $2.8 billion in loans to institutions. (Decrypt)
  • Balancer will compensate victims of the $450,000 flash loan attack (The Block)
  • The largest known non-exchange bitcoin wallet address recently moved 101,857 BTC (~$933 million) to two separate addresses. The transaction cost $0.48 in fees. (Decrypt)
  • Crypto.com’s and TenX’s Visa debit cards are back online. (The Block)

Market intel

Leading the Pack
Bitcoin is still outperforming the top traditional financial assets so far in 2020 – even after a dour performance this month. Bitcoin is trading around $9,170, representing a 27.8% gain on a year-to-date basis, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. Meanwhile, gold and the U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the greenback against major currencies, are reporting 16% and 5.4% gains for 2020, respectively. 

Read Full story at www.coindesk.com

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