Daily Reads 10-27-2018

Product News

WBTC – Fully BTC Collateralized ERC20

Wrapped BTC, is an ERC20 backed by 1:1 holding of Bitcoin by Bitgo. Users should be able to validate the amount of BTC stored by looking at a public list of addresses and comparing that to the amount of WBTC on any ethereum based blockexplorer. The post also says minting of new WBTC by bitgo will happen with approval from community members.

This is a collaborative effort by Bitgo, Kyber Network and Republic protocol.

Why? The claim is that users get the benefits of Bitcoin and the usability of dApps. How this will play out, will be interesting to see.

Sources – Wrapped Bitcoin, BItgo Medium blog, Kyber Network Announcement, Republic Protocol Announcement

There is an EVM package version of OpenZeppelin contract library

Source – Open Zeppelin Blog

uPort Libraries 1.0 with new features

uPort connect – drop in library for client side applications, preconfigured with transports, ideal for dapps.

uPort credentials – core identity library for creating identities and signing messages client or server

uPort transports – for transmitting messages between uPort clients; client and server.

Source – uPort Blog

Bidirectional payment channels debut on Stellar – Starlight

Analogous to the lightning network on bitcoin, this acts as a layer 2 protocol ( or an IOU ) on stellar.

Source – Interstellar Blog

Dharma announces Lever, a margin lending product

Dharma.io has announced a new product that claims to offer instant ,margin loans for crypto traders. Based on smart contracts for counter-party risk minimization, lever matched borrowers and lenders on its platform.

Source – Lever.dharma.io

Blockstack creates a 7 member advisory board for the Blockstack Token Fund

Following the procedures they set out in their token sale, Blockstack announced the creation of a 7 member advisory board for the token fund. 4 are independent members and three are “stacks” token holders who invested in the fund. They will evaluate progress on milestones set and make the final decision.

Source – Blockstack Blog


Regulation Watch

The RiksBank e-krona project

Sweden’s Central Bank, citing a decreasing usage of cash, increasing electronic payments, explored the creation of an e-krona. They look at a central, “register based” e-krona and a local “account based” version. They assert that a e-krona would have a claim on the assets at riksbank and they are currently studying how interest accrual will be handled. This report came out in September 2017 and makes for an interesting read.

Source – e-Krona project [pdf]

IRS Public Report by the Information Reporting Advisory Committee

The IRPAC recommended that the IRS issue further guidance on tax consequences of cryptocurrency transactions.This is in addition to the IRS Notice 2014-21, which provides that virtual currency is treated as property for US. federal tax purposes

Source – IRS Report [pdf]

Thai SEC warns public about ICOs

The nine digital tokens and ICOs have been identified as Every Coin, Orientum Coin (ORT Coin), OneCoin and OFC Coin, Tripxchain Coin (TXC Coin), TUC Coin, G2S Expert ICO, Singhcom Enterprise ICO, Adventure…

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1565406/. View our policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip. © Bangkok Post Public Company Limited. All rights reserved.

Source – Bangkok Post

CSBS Sues OCC Over Fintech Charter

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS)  filed a complaint against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) seeking to prevent the OCC from granting national bank charter to fintech companies. They argue that granting such charters exceed the authority granted by congress.

Key point being entities that fintechs that do not take deposits operate as non-banks at the state level.

Source – CSBS Wesbite

Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) arbitrates a crypto contract with interesting result

The case involves an Equity Transfer agreement – 5% of the shares of a company for 550,000 yuan (250,000 in yaun and 300,000 in crypto )

some interesting conclusions –

SCIA cannot label crypto as a virtual network property, but can however identify that it is neither currency issued by the monetary authority, or electronic legal tender and generates interest.

Civil Law, Contract law and principles of good faith remain and can be used to arbitrate issues in crypto

Source – SCIA Wechat report

Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority puts out a list of bad actors and releases PSA against crypto scams

They outline some common methods employed by scamsters and warn people to be critical of information provided.

Source –FSMA , FSMA list of Companies acting unlawfully

German Central Bank and Exchange complete tests of Digital Asset Platform and Hyperledger Fabric

Source – Deutsche Bundesbank Press release

Spaniards must disclose their crypto holdings and operations if a new draft bill passes

Source- ABC.es

IBM Blockchain World Wire and Official Monetary and Financial Institutes Forum release a Central Bank Digital Currencies Report.

IBM and OMFIF did a survey of 21 central banks, between July and September 2017, on Central Bank Digital currencies. They talk about potential policy issues,who the issuers should be and what are the technology options.

Source –OMFIF


Other

Bitcoin Designed

Here is a resource with multilanguage infographics that explain concepts in crypto. A fun way to learn about key concepts

Source- BitcoinDesigned

Binance announces the launch of a Charity Portal to help in donations to the charity arm of binance.

Source – Binance Charity

A comparison of scaling solutions

Interesting look at the myriad scaling solutions and projects implementing them.

Source – Google Sheet

Greyscale releases a report on asset allocation changes with crypto

Matthew beck from Greyscale, looked at how correlated different crypto assets are and how they are changing the asset allocation mix.

Sources – Report [pdf] , Prequin Insights Article

 

Daily Reads 10-25-2018

Tether to destroy 500MM USDT from its treasury wallet

This they say is because tether has redeemed a significant portion of USDT from the circulating supply. This should be visible on the Omni blockchain.

Sources : Tether Release , Omni Blockchain

Air Canada has signed a Letter of Intent to participate in a blockchain based platform developed by Winding Tree.

Keith Wallis Director of Global Product Distribution for AirCanada -” We plan to integrate Air Canada’s Direct Connect API with Winding Tree’s public blockchain platform, giving blockchain-savvy users the ability to access our content directly from the source”
Questions: Isn’t that what the API is for? To access AirCanada’s product from the source?
What exactly does the blockchain component do?

Sources : Air Canada Newswire Release

Oracle launches Blockchain Applications built on Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service(implementing Hyperledger Fabric)

Applications for traceability of goods(Intelligent Track and Trace),managing the lifecycle of serial numbers(Lot Lineage and Provenance), and auditable verifiable asset tracking(Warranty and Usage Tracking).

Sources : Oracle Release

Binance details their 2018 West Japan Donation Effort

They worked with local charities and people to distribute funds.
Kudos to them for helping during a time of need. They have released the following infographic
Isn’t the point of blockchains to do away with intermediaries and have direct value transfers?

Source: Binance Medium

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has accredited The Japan virtual currency exchange Dealers Association as a Industry self regulatory body.

Both the FSA and the JVCEA cite  Article 87 of the Law on Fund Settlement.
JVCEA also says it has started enforcing these regulations from October 24th.

Sources : JVCEA Announcement , FSA Website

Infosys Finacle announces partnership with R3 to implement two blockchain based solutions

Finacle Trade Connect (for full suite trading) and Finacle Payments Connect (for real time payment on a permissioned payments network)

Source : Infosys Release

Taiwanese financial authority Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is working on a national standard for ICOs to make virtual currencies as easy to access as stocks.

Source : Taipei Times

Japan’s SBI and Sepior group announce at Money2020, an integration of sepior wallet technology with their exchange platform VCTRADE.

Source : Sepior Release

Novatti launches a stablecoin on the stellar network, pegged to the Australian dollar.

The funds are to be held in a trust by Novatti( via licensed subsidiary Flexewallet Pty Ltd).
Source : Finextra

NASDAQ gets a patent from USPTO to “secure and disseminate time sensitive information using a blockchain”

Source : USPTO Database

Decentraland to hold the first open poll on version 2 of their off-chain voting app, Agora.

People can cast a weighted vote on agora.decentraland.com and the results will “inform” their development team.
You must have MANA to vote.

Sources : Decentraland Blog, Agora

Spedn – a smart contract language for Bitcoin Cash

It is statically typed – detects many errors at compile time
It is explicitly typed – no guessing what the expression is supposed to return
It is purely-functional – free of side effects, the common source of bugs
It has a familiar C-like syntax

Source : Tendo Pein Blog, spedn docs

Daily Update 10-24-2018

  • Coinbase also adds USDC (its first stablecoin) to the list of coins available for trade. Coinbase and Circle form CENTRE (currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Circle) a framework to create fiat backed stablecoins.
  • New York State Department of Financial Service (DFS)  approved the application of Coinbase Custody Trust Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coinbase Global, Inc., to operate as a limited purpose trust company.This allows Coinbase Custody to offer services as a custodian for virtual currencies.
  • Square Open sources the following
    • A Hardware Security Module backed tool for Bitcoin Cold storage called “Subzero”. 
    • A tool written in GO to audit wallet balances, called “Beancounter” with abilities to calculate balances at any date in the past,mapping dates to block numbers and handle large transactions.
    • Sources : Square Corner BlogBeancounter git repoSubzero git repo
  • Representatives from CBOE, VanEck and  startup SolidX presented their case to the SEC commissioner Elad L. Roisman about their ETF application. The report also notes how current industry scenarios remove the objectives stated. It also contrasts the SEC’s decision regarding ICOs vs the ETF
  • Blockstack announces a program to pay founders who build using their apps. App.co and the Blockstack PBC currently administer the payouts. App reviewers currently are ProductHunt and Democracy.Earth This is one way to incentivize people to build on their platform. App mining based on its outputs is like a Token Curated Registry.
  • Accenture announces an interoperability technology between Digital Asset (DA Platform) and R3 and also Hyperledger Fabric and Quorum to securely run business processes.
  • Capital Markets and Technology Association of Switzerland published AML standards as the first step to improve tokenization of financial assets.
  • Trezor announces integration with Shapeshift and Changelly to allow trades from the Trezor Model T and connected software.
  • Only 39% of people who sat for the VFA’s exam set by the Malta Financial Services Authority and administered by the Institute of Financial Service Practioners. This comes as the Virtual Financial Assets Act to be enforced in November.

Bitgo raises USD 57.5 MM from Goldman Sachs, Galaxy Digital Ventures & others

BitGo raises USD 57.5 million from Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments group and Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC, a
venture investment firm founded by Michael Novogratz, Valor Equity Partners, Craft
Ventures, DRW, and Redpoint Ventures.

Source: Bitgo Press Release [pdf]

US SEC Launches New Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology

The US SEC launches a strategic hub for innovation and financial technology led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.

The FinHub will:

  • Provide a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with SEC staff on innovative ideas and technological developments;
  • Publicize information regarding the SEC’s activities and initiatives involving FinTech on the FinHub page;
  • Engage with the public through publications and events, including a FinTech Forum focusing on distributed ledger technology and digital assets planned for 2019;
  • Act as a platform and clearinghouse for SEC staff to acquire and disseminate information and FinTech-related knowledge within the agency; and
  • Serve as a liaison to other domestic and international regulators regarding emerging technologies in financial, regulatory, and supervisory systems

Ms. Szczepanik said, “By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas.”

The SEC also has a form to engage with them here

Sources :

 

Glassdoor report shows growing demand in talent for blockchain

Despite regulatory uncertainty, Glassdoor reports a 300% growth increase in blockchain related jobs in August 2018 (1775) as compared to the same period last year.

  • The median salary for blockchain-related job openings is $84,884 per year.
  • 19% of the jobs listed were for software engineers
  • New York City , San Francisco and San Jose are the top accounting for 51% of the jobs

Source : Glassdoor Economic Research Blog

 

Civil ICO fails, ConsenSys committs $3.5 MM to Civil Foundation, Founder plans a simpler token sale

  • The CVL token sales fails to raise 8MM minimum, nearly 3000 people were wiling to participate.
  • Another much simpler token sale is planned.
  • Buyers in the initial sale can opt into this sale, request an immediate refund or be automatically refunded by October 29.
  • ConsenSys committs USD 3.5MM to the civil foundation.

Planned Products

Source : Civil Blog