An old-fashioned SWOT analysis of the proposed new Libra coin and network by Ria Bhutoria and Wilson Withiam.

If you’re a close follower of the crypto industry, you’ve probably consumed a significant amount of content on Facebook’s announcement of its cryptocurrency and blockchain by the same name — Libra — that could go live as soon as 2020, the not-for-profit Geneva-based Libra Association created to govern the project (with over 25 of the targeted 100 members already announced), and Facebook’s new wholly owned and regulated subsidiary, Calibra. In case you haven’t had the chance to catch up, there are a plethora of articles and threads to help you get up to speed. …


Curated reads, listens, views by Wilson Withiam and Ria Bhutoria.

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Weekly Spotlight 🔦

Blockchain fees are broken. Here are 3 proposals to fix them. By Haseeb Qureshi

Blockchain fees play a key role in incentivizing miners to include transactions into blocks and in helping secure PoW protocols long term. Haseeb Qureshi argues, however, that the current fee structure designed by Satoshi Nakamoto is “fundamentally broken.” In the case of Bitcoin and most PoW blockchains, fee markets resemble first-price auctions: the highest bidder wins the right to coveted block space and pays the exact amount of the winning bid. …


Curated reads, listens, views by Ria Bhutoria and Wilson Withiam.

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Weekly Spotlight 🔦

On Abstraction and Risk by Rocco (Alpine Intel)

Rocco, Strategy Lead at Alpine Intel, introduces an abstraction stack framework for crypto assets, thought process regarding different levels of abstraction for each layer in the stack and associated risks with each approach. Rocco suggests that, at the moment, most blockchain platforms and applications appeal to a technically savvy or privacy focused population. But in order to reach a larger audience, the technical complexities of managing crypto assets and interacting with dapps need to be abstracted away. However, increasing abstraction often comes at the cost of decentralization, and the more data and information gateways are centralized, the more risk is passed on to end users. …


Curated reads, listens, views by Ria Bhutoria and Wilson Withiam.

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Weekly Spotlight 🔦

Bitcoin’s Security is Fine by Dan Held

Dan Held recently published a piece exploring the evolution of Bitcoin’s security model over time. Bitcoin’s security is driven by proof-of-work, which funds miners doing computation, or “work”, to confirm transactions with block rewards and transaction fees. There has been increasing skepticism that transaction fees alone won’t provide adequate security as block rewards go to zero. Dan suggests this concern is overblown, providing empirical evidence that as economic on-chain transaction volume rises, fees rise in tandem. As the Bitcoin network grows, demand for scarce block space will grow in conjunction. Thus, willingness to pay transaction fees will increase, even as the block subsidy wanes out, bolstered by the price elasticity of Bitcoin transactors. As Alex Sunnarborg highlights, “ As more users buy into more secure chains, their buying pressure will push up the price. The increased price will lead to increased security. …


Curated weekend reads, listens, views by Ria Bhutoria and Wilson Withiam.

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Weekly Spotlight

Bitcoin’s Gravity by Gigi

Gigi’s piece explores the polarity present between competing crypto networks and their respective communities and why an increasing number of people have gravitated towards Bitcoin. According to the essay, Bitcoin’s core set of ideas — fixed supply, no central point of failure, public validation, etc. — are unchangeable (“set in stone”), and fixed systems tend to shape the set of beliefs held by potential participants. In other words, people must align their ideologies with those of Bitcoin since Bitcoin’s cannot be altered, strengthening the bond between user, network, and community. Those that hold opposing ideologies and want to play by different rules (i.e. change Bitcoin’s core ideas) are forced to create competing networks. And as long as people hold different sets of ideas, people will flock to new projects. …


Read the full weekly recap here.

“The only way that blockchains deliver upon their true promise to the world is if public blockchain networks are the preferred path for enterprises and investors.” — Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader

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This week, Ernst and Young (EY) announced that it will deploy it’s zero knowledge proof technology (dubbed Nightfall protocol) on the public Ethereum blockchain as soon as May 2019. EY intends to make it easy for businesses and corporate clients to protect sensitive and competitive information and also take advantage of public blockchains. EY first announced this project during Devcon in October 2018. Nightfall solutions will run on Microsoft Azure’s cloud environment and be integrated with SAP’s enterprise software. The technology will support ERC-20 and ERC-721 token standards. …


Read the full weekly crypto recap here.

“[Dharma] helps achieve our mission of creating a borderless, permissionless, and generic credit market by bringing liquidity to our ecosystem projects.” Brendan Foster

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Crypto lending has become sought after by holders who want access to liquidity without having to sell their coins at depressed prices, by holders looking to offset dilution from protocol inflation, and by traders and investors who want to take on leverage or borrow coins for short selling. …

About

Ria Bhutoria

Director of Research at Fidelity Digital Assets

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