Notes 8/9: Tornado Cash Gets Sanctioned, Ether Price Surges As Gas Prices Fall

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a unit of the Treasury Department, has sanctioned crypto mixing service Tornado Cash. This means that it cannot be used on American soil. Tornado Cash is a decentralized app on the Ethereum blockchain that enables anonymization of transaction data. According to the Treasury department, it has been used by hackers, notably the North Korea-linked Lazarus group, to launder … Continue reading Notes 8/9: Tornado Cash Gets Sanctioned, Ether Price Surges As Gas Prices Fall

Notes 8/5: Blackrock and Coinbase, A New Ethereum Chain

Blackrock, the world’s biggest asset manager, announced a partnership with Coinbase yesterday that enables the former’s institutional customers to purchase, trade, and custody cryptocurrencies at the latter exchange using Aladdin – the software solution for managers at Blackrock. Blackrock, as I mentioned earlier, is the world’s biggest asset manager with over $9 trillion assets under management. Coinbase share prices, which have been hammered by the … Continue reading Notes 8/5: Blackrock and Coinbase, A New Ethereum Chain

Notes 7/5: Vauld Acquisition Talks, Regulatory Action, and Celsius Disclosures

Another domino fell in the crypto ecosystem over the weekend. Singapore-based lending firm Vauld stopped operations in response to “financial challenges” due to a flurry of customer withdrawals due to a crash in crypto markets. More than $197.7 million has been withdrawn from the platform since June 12. Interestingly, Three Arrows Capital, the hedge fund that seems to have spread its tentacles far and wide … Continue reading Notes 7/5: Vauld Acquisition Talks, Regulatory Action, and Celsius Disclosures

Tether Plans to Launch GBP-Pegged Stablecoin. No Details, As Usual, On Reserves.

Tether, the world’s biggest stablecoin, has faced relentless questioning over reserves backing for USDT, its stablecoin pegged to the dollar. But that hasn’t stopped it from launching stablecoins pegged to various currencies. Its latest is a plan to launch a sterling-denominated stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain. Called GBPT, the coin will be launched in early July according to a press release issued by the company. … Continue reading Tether Plans to Launch GBP-Pegged Stablecoin. No Details, As Usual, On Reserves.

Magic Eden, Solend, and Saylor

These are strange times in cryptoland. On the one hand, the number of projects and businesses that have either crashed or are in danger of crashing has multiplied. But that increasing list hasn’t stopped investors from throwing money at startups in the sector or bidding up their valuations. Magic Eden Achieves Unicorn Status   Magic Eden, an online NFT marketplace, recently received an infusion of … Continue reading Magic Eden, Solend, and Saylor

Carnage Continues In Crypto Markets

The bad news keeps piling up for cryptocurrency markets. There was little respite for investors as the rout in bitcoin price, which began over the weekend, continued this morning. Bitcoin price dipped below the key $22,000 support level though it managed to stay above $20,000. The cryptocurrency is down by roughly 66% from its high last November. Other cryptocurrencies also witnessed significant downdrafts. Ethereum’s ether, … Continue reading Carnage Continues In Crypto Markets

New York’s Bitcoin Mining Bill May Not Affect Many Crypto Miners

How will New York’s proposed two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining affect miners? While crypto advocacy organizations have labeled the bill’s contents as ‘draconian’, its actual impact on crypto mining operations in the state might be limited. This is mainly because the bill restricts denials to miners who generate electric power away from the grid. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are very few such miners in … Continue reading New York’s Bitcoin Mining Bill May Not Affect Many Crypto Miners

Terra Proposes Fork In Revival Plan

The crash of TerraUSD (UST), Terra’s stablecoin, continued to reverberate in the crypto ecosystem on Monday. Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon outlined a new revival plan, after detailing one on Friday, for his beleaguered stablecoin UST. The coin became unhinged from its peg to the US dollar last week and continues to trade at prices far below its 1:1 intended value. Kwon’s plan envisages a “reconstituting” … Continue reading Terra Proposes Fork In Revival Plan

More Drama On Terra Blockchain

The drama continued in the TerraUSD (UST) ecosystem this afternoon, when its operations were halted this morning to prevent governance attacks. “Terra validators have decided to halt the Terra chain to prevent governance attacks following severe Luna inflation and a significantly reduced cost of attack,” Terra’s official Twitter account tweeted. The blockchain began producing blocks a few minutes later and its block explorer showed that … Continue reading More Drama On Terra Blockchain

Bitcoin Price Suffers Double- Digit Decline

Bitcoin price and crypto markets tumbled to a new low for this year as investors, spooked by sell-offs in equity markets and the prospect of an economic recession, sold off their crypto holdings. At 19:23 UTC, the price of Bitcoin was $30,752.28, down by more than 11% from its price a day ago. Ethereum’s Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was also … Continue reading Bitcoin Price Suffers Double- Digit Decline

Algorithmic Stablecoins In The Spotlight

Stablecoins are unlikely cryptocurrencies – a bridge between the established world of fiat currencies and its emerging decentralized challengers. Algorithmic stablecoins take that paradigm a step further by eliminating the fiat component and replacing it with token economics on the blockchain. The challenge of creating a free-standing currency to bridge the fiat and crypto worlds has attracted many developers and the number of algorithmic stablecoin … Continue reading Algorithmic Stablecoins In The Spotlight

IMF Calls For Capital Controls and Regulation In Crypto

With an acceleration in “cryptoization” of emerging market currencies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is calling for capital controls for cryptocurrency businesses. The agency issued a report Tuesday that outlined measures for instituting regulation on the emerging asset class. Crypto: A Threat to Global Financial Stability As a result of the “cryptoization,” trading volumes for cryptocurrencies against those for emerging markets spiked following Russia’s invasion … Continue reading IMF Calls For Capital Controls and Regulation In Crypto

SEC Climate Disclosures and Bitcoin Mining

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday released a 534-page proposal for climate change disclosures for comments. The wide-ranging proposal requires publicly traded companies to disclose their business’s greenhouse gas emission numbers. It asks them to identify climate risks, conduct scenario analysis, and transition away from business processes harmful to climate. The environmental impact disclosures will help investors, institutional and retail, who have recently … Continue reading SEC Climate Disclosures and Bitcoin Mining

Web3: More of Web2?

In 1996, American poet John Perry Barlow set out an ambitious manifesto for Cyberspace, the worldwide web’s first iteration. As Barlow envisioned it, cyberspace was a place unsullied by commercial transactions, legal jargon, and government interference. The manifesto’s idea was grand and the language simple. How times have changed. The advent of Web3, the worldwide web’s third iteration, is marked by confusion and mild debate. … Continue reading Web3: More of Web2?

Coinbase Expects Record Revenues and User Numbers in Bumper Quarter

On the cusp of its initial public offering, North America’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has released projections of its performance for this past quarter. They look good. In a press release issued earlier this week, the company stated that it was expecting revenues of $1.8 billion for the first quarter of 2021, a number that is roughly 57% greater than all of its reported revenue … Continue reading Coinbase Expects Record Revenues and User Numbers in Bumper Quarter

India’s Supreme Court Quashes Central Bank’s Virtual Ban on Crypto Trading and Services

India’s Supreme Court has lifted a virtual ban on crypto trading instituted by its central bank in 2018. The court ruled in favor of cryptocurrency exchanges, which had filed a case against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and questioned the “proportionality” of RBI’s actions in its ruling. “RBI needs to show, at least, some semblance of any damage suffered by its regulated entities. But … Continue reading India’s Supreme Court Quashes Central Bank’s Virtual Ban on Crypto Trading and Services

UK Plans To Make All Crypto Businesses AML Compliant By Jan 2020

The UK Government plans to make the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) responsible for enforcing regulatory practices, such as anti-money laundering (AML). It made this announcement in an “Economic Crime Plan” released last week. The plan is intended to tackle “fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption.” According to the plan, all relevant cryptoasset businesses will be brought under AML/CTF regulation by January of next year. The … Continue reading UK Plans To Make All Crypto Businesses AML Compliant By Jan 2020

Blockchain-based Social Media Platform Steemit Lays Off 70 Percent Of Its Staff

The slump in cryptocurrency markets is catching up on startups in the space. Steemit, the first social media and blogging platform launched on blockchain, laid off 70% of its staff recently.  “While we’ve been building out our team over the last six months, we’ve been relying on projections of a higher market bottom,” said Ned Scott, co-founder of Steem. “Since that’s no longer there, we’ve … Continue reading Blockchain-based Social Media Platform Steemit Lays Off 70 Percent Of Its Staff

Bitcoin Price Falls

After registering a sudden bump last week, bitcoin’s price is on a downward roll once again. At 16:30 UTC, the original cryptocurrency’s price is trading at $6,372.01, a decline of 5% from less than 24 hours ago. Bitcoin’s swoon has had a domino effect on prices for other cryptos. Ether, the second most-valuable crypto in the market, is down by 10% from its price yesterday … Continue reading Bitcoin Price Falls

Goldman Sachs Confirms Bitcoin Trading Plans

A New York Times report this morning confirms that the Wall Street bank, which has a storied history, plans to begin trading the newest investment instrument on the block in the next few weeks. According to the report, Goldman will use its own money to trade bitcoin futures contracts and is working to develop a new type of derivative – non-deliverable forward (probably named so because bitcoin futures are cash-settled) Continue reading Goldman Sachs Confirms Bitcoin Trading Plans