The Weekly Hash – July 15-19

This digest is prepared for informative purposes only and does not represent an investment recommendation or investment advice. Please see our full disclaimer at the bottom for more information.

See below all the important happenings this week in the world of crypto, presented by the experts at Kraken:

  1. Reuters: U.S. Proposes Barring Big Tech Companies From Offering Financial Services, Digital Currencies
    • A proposal to prevent big tech firms from functioning as financial institutions or issuing digital currencies, dubbed “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” has been circulated for discussion by the Democratic majority that leads the House FSC
    • The draft legislation, which proposes a fine of $1M/day for violation of such rules, describes a large tech firm as a company mainly offering an online platform service with +$25B in annual revenue, “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System”
  2. Agence France-Press: Chinese Police Crack Down On Bitcoin Miners Over $3M of Stolen Electricity
    • Police in eastern China confiscated ~4,000 BTC mining rigs from an illicit mining operation that stole ~$3M worth of electricity, “In value, it is the largest case in the amount of electricity stolen that Jiangsu has cracked since the founding of new China, and a rare sight in the whole country”
    • The authorities were originally tipped off by a local power company, which reported abnormal electricity usage
    • Police have taken “compulsory measures” against 20+ criminal suspects, and the case is under investigation
  3. Bitcoin.com: Georgia Exempts Bitcoin From VAT to Become the Next Country to Affirm Its Currency Status
    • Georgia has exempted crypto-fiat txs from VAT, a decision that affirms BTC’s status as a currency
    • The bill states, “Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are exchanged electronically and based on a decentralized network. Their exchange does not require a reliable intermediary and they are managed using distributed ledger technology”
    • The Georgian lari will remain the legal tender in Georgia and, just like foreign currencies, the country won’t allow using cryptos for payments
    • Georgia-based mining firms still must pay VAT unless they are registered abroad
  4. Pundi X: Pundi X Successfully Completed Its Integration Support for Verifone X990 to Enable Crypto Payments in Traditional POS Terminals
    • Pundi X integrated its XPOS module into the X990 made by Verifone, one of the largest providers of traditional POS terminals worldwide, “With this integration, shops and retail outlets using the VeriFone X990 with XPOS module activated will now be able to process cryptocurrency payments alongside traditional transactions”
    • The XPOS-enabled devices will support payments in BTC, ETH, BNB, KCS, KNC, XEM and NPXS
    • The device will automatically exchange between fiat and crypto during the txs, which can be made with Pundi XPASS cards or the XWallet app
  5. The Block: Washington insiders and Waters’ memo – Here’s what Congress wants to know about Facebook’s Libra next week
    • Facebook (FB) will address Committees in the Senate on July 16th and House of Reps on July 17th about Libra
    • The WSJ reported that Libra’s structure, and how it will be regulated, are currently being examined by the SEC to see if it will be categorized as an ETF (because it is backed by a basket of currencies and other securities)
    • Congressional staffers on Capitol Hill are also examining whether or not Libra might fit the definition of a security, equity derivative, or ETF
    • Libra’s reserves will be managed by a consortium of companies, called The Libra Association, each of which will receive a percentage return for their role as “validator node operators”; Coincenter Executive Director Jerry Brito commented, “That sounds a lot like a fund…I don’t know what type of fund exactly — maybe it is a mutual fund. But it’s a question Facebook is going to have to address Tuesday…If it is a mutual fund, then how does that work as a currency…How do you buy things with mutual fund shares. Think about the tax implications”
    • There are concerns over whether Libra or The Libra Association would qualify as a bank under current law, a question that U.S. President Donald Trump raised last week
    • The memo states, “There are several uncertainties surrounding Libra’s development that make it difficult to determine its status as a bank or nonbank under Dodd Frank”; those uncertainties include, how Libra is secured, how dramatic shifts in the currency are prevented or responded to, and whether or not authorized sellers should be deemed broker dealers
    • FB will point to the Libra Association as support over privacy concerns that there will be checks and balances to FB’s power over the coin, thereby preventing any single actor from pursuing nefarious behavior; while this is understood on Capitol Hill, most in the Capitol aren’t moved by this point
    • Blockchain Association’s Kristin Smith added that Congress is wants to know why the Libra Association is based in Geneva, Switzerland, as some speculate that this will bring innovation outside of the U.S. and others are concerned it will limit U.S. oversight over the project
  6. CNBC: Mnuchin – US has ‘very serious concerns’ that Facebook’s Libra could be misused by terrorists
    • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Dept. is concerned that Facebook’s (FB) Libra “could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers” and that it was a “national security issue” 
    • Mnuchin noted, “Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs and human trafficking,” adding that he is “not comfortable today” with FB’s launch
    • The Treasury is focused on virtual currencies, not just Libra
    • Digital asset service providers will be required to follow BSA and FinCEN registration requirements
    • The Treasury is also concerned about the speculative use of BTC, noting it is based on “thin air”
    • Mnuchin said that FATF’s adopted measures last month are a major step towards harmonization of global crypto regulation; this will continue to be a focus for G20 and G7 participation, where there is general agreement
    • The department’s position is that they won’t target single entities, that this is a “non-political issue,” and that the dept. and presidency have serious concerns about cryptos and BTC
  7. Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin Cash – a short-term data availability layer for ethereum?
    • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed to use the BCH blockchain as a temporary scalability solution for the Ethereum network while devs continue working towards Ethereum 2.0
    • Buterin said the BCH blockchain is a perfect match for scaling as it provides a data throughput of ~53 KB/s, as opposed to Ethereum’s 8 KB/s
    • He outlined three other reasons for using the blockchain, including low fees, the readiness of necessary machinery and the BCH community’s openness to people using the blockchain “for whatever they want as long as they pay the transaction fees”
    • Buterin noted BCH’s 10-min block time as the main impediment to becoming a good Ethereum scalability solution, however, he added that this problem could be solved by zero-confirmation payments using techniques like Avalanche pre-consensus
  8. Cointelegraph: UK Royal Mint to Provide Custody for New Cryptocurrency
    • Royal Mint, a gov’t -owned manufacturer of coins in the U.K., will provide crypto custodial services for the first time ever
    • The 1,100 year-old financial institution is participating in the launch of new crypto temtum (TEM), which is expected to go live on July 17th
    • Royal Mint will act as the storage for TEM genesis privkeys and currency reserve, while the original privkeys will be stored in the Royal Mint vault forever
    • Tx data will be written on TEM’s Temporal blockchain, and TEM will be initially launched for trading on CoinAll
    • Temtum’s website describes temtum as a zero-fee P2P crypto supporting Temporal Blockchain network to create a “new world of financial freedom away from centralised institutions”
    • TEM has a block confirmation speed of 12 seconds and is mined at a rate of five blocks per minute
  9. Coindesk: Samsung Teams With Banks, Telcos for Mobile ID Network Based on Blockchain
    • Samsung is joining six other major South Korean firms to develop a blockchain-based certificate and ID authentication network; the other founding firms include mobile carriers SK Telecom, LG Yuplus and KT, two banks – KEB Han and Wooriand – and gov’t-founded securities infrastructure provider Koscom
    • The service will provide a “self-sovereign” authentication solution that removes middlemen and allows users to verify their ID or qualifications over a blockchain, keeping more control of their own personal info
    • Individuals can store their data on a smart device and submit only the data they choose when certification is required
    • The firms will develop the service based around a consortium blockchain model, with participating companies operating network nodes using their own servers
    • The system will see a beta test by EOY and a decision on whether to commercialize the offering will be made in the next year
    • Initially, the service will be applied to the issuance and distribution of graduation and other certificates from major universities in Korea, as well as to Koscom’s platform for unlisted startup stocks
    • A plan is being considered for the three telcos to use the system for their career recruitment process
    • The firms may expand the service to other areas by encouraging more companies to participate, with potential use cases across digital signatures, user authentication for telecom and banking, healthcare and insurance certification, club memberships, notarization, proof of content and online logins
  10. U.S. Senate Banking Committee Hearing: Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations
    • The U.S. Senate Banking Committee overall had a politically anti-Facebook (FB) stance at today’s hearing 
    • The core focus of the hearing resided around Facebook, there was little mention of “cryptocurrencies” or “bitcoin” 
    • A minority of the legislators agreed that Libra is a healthy initiative, while others proceeded to question the integrity of Facebook in conjunction with the Libra offering
    • One lawmaker noted that the difference between BTC and Libra is that BTC will fail because of its volatility
    • FB is working with the IRS for a de minimis exemption with respect to taxation
    • One Sen. commented that there will be a “great deal of time” required to work through the details and ensure that Libra/Calibra is upholding the highest standards, which FB’s head of blockchain David Marcus agreed will be a gating factor for the launch of Calibra 
    • Ahead of the hearing, Marcus clarified that FB has no intention of competing with sovereign currencies, and plans to work with the Fed to ensure it won’t affect monetary policy
    • Senators including Republican John Kennedy expressed concerns about FB banning individuals who hold certain political views
    • Ohio Sen. Mike Crapo said, “It’s pretty hard to trust you with a worldwide currency that you are setting up in Switzerland…You’re the only one with 2 billion people”
    • Marcus confirmed that other wallets built on Libra would be interoperable and have equal access to the blockchain as Calibra’s wallet
    • Marcus offered minimal details about how the Libra Association would handle conflicts of interest between its members, as well as the emergence of factions 
    • Marcus claimed he trusted Libra so much that he would accept 100% of his pay in Libra
    • Link to The Block’s report 
  11. Coinberry: Coinberry to Provide Bitcoin Payment Solution to City of Richmond Hill Following Recent Council Approval
    • The City of Richmond Hill Council in Toronto partnered with Coinberry to allow residents and businesses to pay property taxes in BTC
    • The partnership represents Coinberry’s second municipal foray in <6 months, with the firm previously implementing a crypto payments service with the Town of Innisfil in addition to the Greater Toronto Area
    • Coinberry converts crypto into CAD to settle property tax payments with Innisfil, meaning that the municipality itself doesn’t hold crypto directly; the same solution will presumably be implemented in Richmond Hill
    • While still in process, the partnership will have municipal staff report back on the likelihood they will be able to implement Coinberry’s tech for additional payments of other City fees and charges as soon as Sept. 30th
    • The Council’s vote means that the City of Richmond Hill’s City Manager is legally authorized to enter into a contract with Coinberry as soon as negotiations are complete
    • The municipality’s deputy mayor Joe di Paola stated, “We believe that the demand for a digital currency payment option is only going to grow in the coming years, especially amongst millennials. Our Council was aware of Coinberry’s successful implementation of a digital currency payment service with the Town of Innisfil, and since there was no cost and no risk to […] do the same, it made the decision that much easier for us”
  12. The Block: UK regulator looking to hire series of cryptocurrency specialists
    • The FCA is looking to hire a Crypto Intelligence Associate to join its Intelligence Services Team, as well as a Crypto-asset Specialist Supervisor as part of its efforts to build “a new team” dedicated to digital assets within the Financial Crime dept.
    • The UK regulator has been working on a number of crypto-related projects and is set to issue extensive guidance on the space this summer
    • The regulations aim to provide “regulatory clarity for market participants,” to instruct “whether the cryptoassets they use are within the regulatory perimeter,” and will help the companies see what regulations apply to their business and whether they require any regulatory authorizations
    • By concentrating its hiring efforts in intelligence and crime divisions, the FCA may be looking at hardening the relatively laissez-faire stance it has hitherto adopted in the UK
    • The FCA will maintain a “strong AML regime” for crypto firms, following new laws set out by the UK gov’t, scheduled for Jan. 2020
  13. Coindesk: Traditional Money Could Be ‘Surpassed’ By E-Money, Stablecoins: IMF Paper
    • The IMF published a Fintech Note, titled “The Rise of Digital Money,” warning that cash and bank deposits “will face tough competition and could even be surpassed” as crypto and stablecoins see greater adoption, “Digital forms of money are increasingly in the wallets of consumers as well as in the minds of policymakers. Cash and bank deposits are battling with so-called e-money, electronically stored monetary value denominated in, and pegged to, a currency like the euro or the dollar”
    • The note added that forms of e-money like stablecoins “may be more convenient as a means of payment,” but the authors question the stability of their value, “It is, after all, economically similar to a private investment fund guaranteeing redemptions at face value. If 10 euros go in, 10 euros must come out. The issuer must be in a position to honor this pledge”
    • The IMF states that banks should be able to stage a fightback against such payment upstarts, offering better services or similar e-money products, but policymakers are warned that some disruption is likely within the banking industry
    • The paper addresses different types of new payment mechanisms, including “i-money”: an “equivalent to e-money, except for a very important feature – it offers variable value redemptions into currency; it is thus an equity-like instrument”
    • The note addresses Facebook’s Libra – which will be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies and gov’t bonds – as an example of i-money saying, ”Libra coins could be exchanged into fiat currency at any time for their share of the going value of the underlying portfolio, without any price guarantees…The transfer of Libra—essentially shares of Libra Reserves (though potentially without a legal claim) – would comprise a payment”
    • Central banks will have an “important role” in shaping the future of e-money, with the ability to set rules that would have a strong influence on their adoption, and on how much they exert pressure on commercial banks, “One solution is to offer selected new e-money providers access to central bank reserves, though under strict conditions. Doing so raises risks, but it also has various advantages. Not least, central banks in some countries could partner with e-money providers to effectively provide ‘central bank digital currency (CBDC),’ a digital version of cash”
    • The paper proposes a different public-private solution, dubbed the “synthetic CBDC” (sCBDC), whereby a central bank would offer settlement services to e-money providers, including access to central bank reserves; however, “all other functions would be the responsibility of private e-money providers under regulation”
    • The sCBDC would allegedly be a less costly and less risky model, and would still allow the private sector to “innovate and interact with customers,” while the central bank brings “trust and efficiency” to the mix
  14. CNBC: ’I like bitcoin,’ says House GOP leader McCarthy while bashing Facebook’s Libra coin plans
    • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he likes blockchain, as well as the decentralized nature and security of Bitcoin, while criticizing Facebook’s Libra plans ahead of hearings this week on Capitol Hill, “I want to see decentralization because Libra concerns me that they’re going to control the market”
    • McCarthy added that BTC isn’t where it needs to be yet, alluding to the risks of crypto being used by criminals and money launderers
    • He stated, “When I’m on Facebook, I’m not the customer, I’m the product…Facebook is free because they sell your data to make money. Now they want to get into the business, and they’re not bitcoin, in this Libra. They’re not decentralized”
  15. The Block: R3 rolls out developer toolkit to create tokens on Corda blockchain
    • R3 launched “Token SDK,” a developer toolkit to create native tokens on its Corda blockchain platform
    • While Corda already allows devs to build out tokens, the kit will help them with a common way to create, issue and trade tokens (similar to what ERC20 did for Ethereum)
    • R3 added, “Emerging digital asset exchanges and businesses looking to securitize real-world assets, are already using the Token SDK to represent debt, equity and cash instruments on Corda, as well as exploring the tokenization of other goods, commodities and services”
  16. U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Hearing: Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System
    • Committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters opened the hearing with an indictment of Facebook’s (FB) past behavior, noting a “demonstrated pattern of failing to keep consumer data private on a scale similar to Equifax”
    • Waters added that FB, “allowed malicious Russian state actors to purchase and target ads,” which purportedly influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential elections
    • CEO of FB’s crypto wallet Calibra David Marcus claimed FB won’t launch Libra before they address all regulatory concerns, in which Rep. David Scott followed up, “Neither your white paper nor your subsequent Facebook post offered any concrete details as to how you plan to implement or enforce strong AML, how you plan to enforce KYC, and most important, to ensure the safety — and that’s what all of us are concerned with — of our financial system”
    • In response to Scott’s concerns, Marcus stated that “blockchain gives additional information to law enforcement and regulators compared to our current system”
    • Marcus believes they can improve the current system in order to prevent wrongdoers from using Libra for illicit activity
    • Rep. Jim A. Himes noted that “users will have the profoundly unfamiliar experience of assuming foreign currency risk” and asked Marcus how the company is going to make foreign currency risk transparent, in which Marcus responded that FB will have educational tools built into the product
    • Link to Coindesk’s report
  17. Cointelegraph: Coinbase Deposits for UK Users Now Take 10 Days, Must Be Over £1,000
    • Coinbase (CB) abruptly imposed a 1,000 GBP ($1,240) minimum deposit amount and removed the “Faster Payments” option for UK account holders; UK users must now use SWIFT, the standard int’l transfer option, which generally takes up to five business days to clear and ten days if the transfer is from the U.K.
    • Coinbase support staff didn’t disclose the motivation for the sudden change, which ends an agreement in place since Aug. 2018, “We’ve temporarily suspended Faster Payments and added support for GBP Swift payments in the interim”
    • Staff claimed that Faster Payments would resume “within the next few months”, but didn’t specify an exact timeframe, “For your account’s security and to prevent any potential fraudulent activity, you will be unable to withdraw these funds or send the value of this deposit from Coinbase for 5 calendar days after deposit”
    • UK’s exit from the EU will end the chances of crypto investors using SEPA payments, a cheaper bank transfer system, in the future
  18. Tether: Tether Coming To “Pure PoS” Blockchain, Algorand
    • USDT will be launching on PoS blockchain Algorand, which will allow traders to have a USDT option on Omni, Ethereum, Tron, EOS and Algorand blockchains
    • Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino said Algorand is trying to develop a “public, permissionless proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain with an open-source approach…Extending Tether into the Algorand ecosystem is a fantastic opportunity for us to further contribute to blockchain interoperability and collaboration. […] We are very excited about the potential this enables for other projects in the decentralised ecosystem and we eagerly await working closely with many of them in the future”
  19. Bloomberg: Anybody Can Now Bet on Bitcoin $100,000 With New Call Options
    • LedgerX listed a $100k BTC call option with expiry in Dec. 2020, implying BTC’s current valuation could increase +10x and hit a $2T market cap
    • The option will be the first derivative available to retail investors after LedgerX won approval in June from the CFTC, while the firm has offered BTC derivatives to institutional clients for 2yrs
    • LedgerX CEO Paul Chou said the firm’s institutional customers with assets of between $10M-$1B have expressed interest in the new derivative, “Often what happens is the first trade is the most important, and everybody else watches it…Dozens and dozens of these institutions got back to us saying we’d be interested in trading a contract like this…I understand $100,000 is a large number, but a lot of us who’ve been in this space remember Bitcoin at $1, and then it hit $10 and $100 and $10,000. A $100,000 contract doesn’t even make us blink”
    • Link to The Block’s report
  20. The Block: Over 94% of daily BSV transactions come from a weather app: CoinMetrics
    • Blockchain analytics firm CoinMetrics reported that, as of July 14th, +94% of BSV network activity comes from a weather app called WeatherSV
    • The firm studied OP_RETURNS, a BTC script that allows users to write arbitrary data onto a blockchain
    • Cointelegraph reported a slightly different estimation of +98%, while one twitter user claimed the actual figure was 85.4%
  21. Grayscale: Grayscale Investments Report Assets Under Management of $2.7B
    • Grayscale hit an ATH of $2.8B in AUM in 2Q19, tripling from $926M in 1Q
    • Quarterly inflows increased from $42.7M to $84.8M, despite Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust not being open to new funds in the last two months and its holdings staying relatively flat since April
    • In 1Q, Grayscale Products excluding the BTC Trust accounted for just 1% of all inflows relative to 24% today
    • Institutional investors comprised 84% of Grayscale’s inflows, up from 73% in 1Q
    • While trailing 12-months data shows the dominance of U.S.-based investors, two-thirds of all inflows came from offshore funds in 2Q
    • All of Grayscale investment vehicles generated positive performance net of fees
  22. Campaign: Nestle, McDonald’s and Virgin Media enter blockchain media pilot
    • Nestlé, McDonald’s and Virgin Media are the first brands to take part in Jicwebs’ 2019 blockchain pilot, an initiative focusing on resolving trust, transparency and inefficiency problems within the online ad industry 
    • The brands are joined by their respective media agencies (i.e., Zenith, OMD UK and Manning Gottlieb OMD)
    • McDonald’s senior media and budget manager Kat Howcroft said that the media agencies will also see whether blockchain can boost operational efficiency and ROI, “This technology offers us the opportunity to see a truly transparent picture of our investment across the digital supply chain. We are also eager to understand the potential impact that this may have on our ROI and efficiency”
    • The trial is supported by London-based tech firm Fiducia
    • Jicwebs will consult the industry on how to incorporate blockchain solutions for the digital ad industry if the test shows successful results
  23. Reuters: France to approve first crypto-issuers as new rules loom
    • France’s financial regulator is poised to approve a first tranche of crypto-related firms under new rules on digital coins
    • Financial Markets Authority executive director for legal affairs Anne Marechal said, “France is a precursor. We will have a legal, tax and regulatory framework…We are in talks with three or four candidates for initial coin offerings (ICOs),” as well as several other crypto exchanges, custodians and fund managers
  24. CoinDesk: Lawmakers Amp Up Pressure on Facebook to Halt Libra Cryptocurrency Development
    • At the U.S. House FSC hearing on Facebook’s (FB) Libra, lawmakers asked FB’s David Marcus to halt Libra until regulators’ concerns were addressed; while Marcus promised that they’ll work with regulators, he didn’t promise to cease technical work of Libra nor did he agree to conduct a pilot of <1M people overseen by the Fed and SEC prior to launch
    • Rep. Brad Sherman (D.-CA) suggested that Libra was more dangerous to America than 9/11, while other colleagues wondered if the project would become “systemically important” (i.e., too big to fail)
    • Rep. Sean Duffy (R.-WI) asked if Libra would ban controversial speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos or Louis Farrakhan from using the platform as FB has done in its flagship social network; Marcus responded, “Personally, I believe we shouldn’t be in the business of telling people what they can do with their money,” adding a caveat that such policies would be up to the Libra Association consortium
    • Referring to Marcus’ claims that he was willing to receive 100% of his salary in Libra, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggested that Libra would be a digital version of scrip – a type of private money that corporations once used to pay employees (e.g., coal miners and loggers were paid in scrip they could use to buy goods at the company store)
    • Marcus noted that Libra will be backed 50% by USD, with EUR, GBP and JPY also included in the collateral
    • Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) asked to Marcus to differentiate Libra from the wildcat banks of the early 19th century, which issued their own notes redeemable for gold and often failed to deliver on their promises to pay note-holders; Marcus replied, “A very important difference is the one-to-one reserve”
    • Porter then asked what’s to stop the Libra Association from swapping out the reserve from 50% USD to, for example, 100 VEF; Marcus answered that the Libra Association would be regulated by an oversight group of the G7 nations
    • Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) referred to the slang term “shitcoin,” when asking what differentiated BTC from low-quality altcoin
    • Link to Cointelegraph’s “Key Comments” from the hearing
  25. Reuters: Japan to lead development of SWIFT network for cryptocurrency – source
    • A person familiar with the plan said Japan’s gov’t is setting up an int’l network for crypto payments, similar to SWIFT, to fight money laundering
    • Tokyo aims to have the network in place in the next few years
    • A team related to FATF will monitor its development and Japan will cooperate with other countries
    • FATF allegedly approved the plan in June, which was proposed by Japan’s Ministry of Finance and the FSA
    • Link to report (video)
  26. Cointelegraph: NEO and Ontology Partnership Eyes Global Cross-Chain Blockchain Platform
    • Chinese blockchain platforms Ontology and NEO partnered to create an open, global cross-chain platform based on an interoperability protocol to spur development of the next-generation internet
    • NEO will develop protocols and components that can support a full spectrum of digital assets, and Ontology will continue to build out its decentralized ID framework
    • There are four fundamental aspects of the firms’ interoperability push: the development work will aim to establish an “eco-friendly approach to member chains” (i.e., to protect member chains from “cannibalization,” the protocol won’t issue tokens, nor will it include a dedicated smart contract system); an ambition to establish a low barrier for entry (i.e. to not require existing blockchains to develop new protocol layers or other mods to streamline their perspective integration); the protocol will seek to achieve finality and atomicity in cross-chain txs and will expand the scope of DApps by supporting cross-chain smart contract interactions; and the firms will focus on optimizing security for cross-chain txs and interactions but haven’t yet revealed specific details of the technical and operational security mechanisms that are planned for implementation
  27. Bloomberg: U.S. Regulator Probing Crypto Exchange BitMEX Over Client Trades
    • According to people familiar with the matter, BitMEX is being investigated by the CFTC to see if the exchange broke rules by allowing U.S. traders on the platform
    • Link to Coindesk’s report
  28. Cointelegraph: China Ruling Bitcoin Is Property Again Is ‘Major Milestone,’ Says Investor
    • According to investor Dovey Wan, BTC has been legally recognized as a legal virtual property with monetary value (i.e., a commodity, not a currency) in China by the Hangzhou Internet Court, “the cryptocurrency meets the virtual property requirements because it has value, is scarce and disposable”
    • While this isn’t the first time that BTC has been called a legal asset in China by judicial bodies, it adds credence to previous claims that it is legal to hold BTC in China (not trade)
    • In 2018, the Shenzhen Arbitration Commission declared that “the asset should be protected in accordance with law” and is legal to own and transfer
  29. Cointelegraph: Bitcoin an ‘Unstoppable Force,’ US Congressman Tells Crypto Hearing
    • During Facebook’s Libra hearing on July 17th, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) stated that attempts to stop Bitcoin were futile, “The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force”
    • McHenry added, “We should not attempt to deter this innovation; governments cannot stop this innovation, and those that have tried have already failed”
  30. Longhash: 1 AM UTC Is the Most Volatile Hour for Bitcoin
    • According to findings by Crypto Data Download, the price of bitcoin on Coinbase has been most volatile between 12AM- 1AM UTC since 2017
    • Crypto Data Download examined the hourly highs and lows for each hour of each day before then comparing each hour to the other 23 hours of each day; 1AM UTC was found to have the greatest number of daily highs and lows than any other hour of the day
    • 1AM UTC is the beginning of the evening in North America and the beginning of the workday in Asia; Western and Asian traders are more likely to be active simultaneously as Asia’s traders may be waking up and reacting to the news of the day, and North American traders are still awake to react to the reaction of the Asian markets
    • The data also found that there is no “right” time of day to buy BTC
    • Over the last 2yrs, one would have been slightly more likely to hit a daily low than a daily high when buying during the morning hours (3am to noon UTC), but the differences are minuscule

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