Official Newsletter of 1/21

Bitcoin and the correlated cryptocurrency markets struggled again over the weekend, falling 5% on Sunday after a relatively stable week. XRP once again leapfrogged Ethereum for the second-largest market cap currency, partially due to the delaying of the Constantinople hard fork (see below). Early last week much ado was made of Bakkt’s first acquisition, namely of commissions merchant Rosenthal Collins Group, in part to make use of their compliance and treasury services. But the broader picture is more negative for those awaiting Bakkt’s Bitcoin custody service, with the SEC and CFTC both affected by the US government shutdown and restricted to critical functions the launch is now delayed indefinitely.

Recently, the Chinese government realized that they were wrong with their lunar calendar. 2019 was previously thought to be the Year of the Pig, but government officials corrected the calendar and appropriately marked 2019 as the Year of the Bitcoin!

Fake news aside, here’s to hoping that 2019 will be Bitcoin’s best year yet (clink)

(Taken on 1/21/2019 at 00:06:20 AM US East Coast Standard Time from CoinTelegraph)

Monthly Pivots

(Taken on 1/21/2019 at 00:09:41 AM US East Coast Standard Time from DailyFX)

Weekly Pivots

(Taken on 1/21/2019 at 00:09:41 AM US East Coast Standard Time from DailyFX)

The US government’s “Token Taxonomy Act” isn’t dead yet, but with the 2nd longest US govt shutdown in history, it’s unlikely to be introduced anytime soon and even more unlikely to make it to full adoption. The “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” was reintroduced to Congress on Friday. This would provide clarity on how to report gains from crypto forks to the IRS as well as more crucial regulatory framework. As the Bitcoin user base continues to grow, these technologies are increasingly gaining attention in lawmakers’ eyes.

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Ethereum

‘Constantinople’ update delayed

Ethereum had planned to launch their Constantinople upgrade on Thursday January 17th, but reports emerged two days beforehand that a delay should be expected. Indeed, the rollout has been pushed back to February 27th while improvements are made. The news seemed to adversely affect the price of ETH — in part because the upgrade was set to reduce Ethereum mining rewards by one third. Ethereum sees considerable supply inflation — around 15% in 2017, so a reduction of mining rewards is seen as a positive step in slowing the currency’s devaluation. The security flaw in question was a potential for “reentrancy attacks” exploiting code in EIP 1283 allowing attackers to steal funds in a worst case scenario. As we might expect, defenders of Ethereum rushed to explain why the delay is actually good for Ethereum, but there’s no evidence for that to be the case.

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Business

Indonesia $1 Billion Unicorn ‘Go-Jek’ Partners with Crypto Wallet

Since 2011, Go-Jek has ramped up to 5 million users and 6 million monthly transactions. Although Singapore-based direct competitor ‘Grab’ has snapped up a fair market share, regulatory change has limited foreign companies owning more than 40% of ride-hailing services. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world so rise in adoption of crypto technologies would also hopefully continue to support the 2018 rise in bitcoin users worldwide.

BitMEX to Shutdown US and Quebec Services

The Hong Kong based crypto exchange “BitMEX” is ending operations for trading accounts in US and Quebec due to government crackdowns on unlicensed crypto exchanges. After Canadian regulators informed the company that they were operating illegally, the company began shutting down accounts across Quebec and the US.

OKCoin Lists ‘Tron’ on Exchange

OKCoin CEO Tim Byun believes that Tron is “not a security” and thus should be listed on their exchange. As a US-based company, the company is hyper cautious in their listings. Tim Byun went on to say that he thinks that dApps show promise in the gaming industry, but a recent crackdown exposed illegal money laundering in the popular video game “Fortnite” through their Dash-compatible platform, the future remains uncertain for crypto application in gaming.

BitTorrent is also boosting Tron’s appeal.

With last summer’s acquisition of file-sharing platform BitTorrent, Tron gained access to BitTorrent’s 100 million-plus active users.

Coinbase Stablecoin ‘USDC’ Passes Third Audit

On January 16th Circle released another audit attestation showing their stablecoin is sufficiently backed by USD. Like their previous attestation in December, the audit was completed by auditing firm Grant Thornton LLP and states there is fiat backing for every USDC in circulation. To date USDC has been the most transparent stablecoin, with audits taking place and being publicized roughly every six weeks.

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Daily Debunk

How Do Ethereum ‘Smart Contracts’ Work?

This week we want to highlight some common confusion surrounding smart contracts.

Bitcoin has smart contracts too, but they are limited to currency. With ethereum, developers can build their own smart contracts. Coindesk author Alyssa Hertig lists out a few of the functionalities of these contracts below:

  • ‘multi-signature’ accounts, so that funds are spent only when a required percentage of people agree
  • Manage agreements between users, say, if one buys insurance from the other
  • Provide utility to other contracts (similar to how a software library works)
  • Store information about an application, such as domain registration information or membership records.

A simple example showing the beauty of the system would have one user send another some Ether (ethereum’s currency). They would draw up a smart contract that would outline the date and terms of the agreement that would automatically execute the agreement when the terms have been met.

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Further readings we found interesting!

  • More from our team

Identity on the blockchain doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be better than Yahoo

  • Crypto Asset Manager LedgerX launches Bitcoin Volatility Index

https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-asset-manager-ledgerx-launches-bitcoin-volatility-index

  • Unpacking Bitcoin’s Assurances

https://medium.com/@nic__carter/unpacking-bitcoins-assurances-a3c98824d3f0

  • Bitcoin ‘Lightning Network’ growth remarkable, but there’s a catch

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/01/15/the-growth-of-the-lightning-network-has-been-remarkable-but-theres-a-catch/