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Bitcoins and Pieces: Mid-Week Edition

Blockchain News

  • Ethereum (ETH) 2.0, Phase 0 Zinken testnet, was fortunately launched on October 12, and it achieved the finality threshold within several minutes of its release, as shown in the launch video. It’s considered “a dress rehearsal” before the Phase 0 launch, following the failed Spadina dress rehearsal.
  • The Ethereum Classic (ETC) community has introduced a potential solution to prevent future 51% attacks. Called MESS (Modified Exponential Subjective Scoring), a version suggested by Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin in 2014, the solution works on the assumption that small chain reorganizations that go back a few blocks are standard. Still, large ones are going back; hundreds of blocks are suspicious.

Stablecoins News

  • The Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation – South Korea’s biggest local stablecoin and local government, blockchain-powered gift certificate operator – is set to make 36 more hires before the end of the year, as announced by Fn Today. The new hires will include several blockchain specialists as the firm. Initially, a cash minting and banknote printing firm look to step up its blockchain-powered local currency operations yet further.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto marketplace Paxful has debuted a stablecoin pegged to the Turkish fiat lira. According to a press release, the token, named bilira (TYRB), will allow Paxful users to buy and sell BTC and tether (USDT) using the new token. The firm said that the “listing of the Turkish stablecoin comes amidst the Lira struggle” – and would “help the locals secure their assets” with inflation starting to skyrocket in the nation.

CBDCs News

  • Nearly 2 million people in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, or 15% of its population, signed up to take part in the latest trial for China’s central bank digital currency, out of which only 2.61% were successful, as announced by AsiaOne. Fifty thousand digital “red packets” (gift envelopes), containing 200 yuan (USD 30) each, are being distributed, making it 10 million yuan worth of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in total, which can be used to make purchases at 3,389 designated shops in Luohu from Monday until Sunday but can’t be transferred to other people or into a regular bank account.
  • The central bank of Russia issued an advisory report on CBDCs, saying that while it’s early to discuss a possible timeline for the digital ruble, it is necessary to start discussing it.

Investments News

  • Last week, the New York Digital Investment Group, a subsidiary of US-based investment company Stone Ridge Holdings Group, raised another USD 50m in an investment round led by the Fintech CollectiveForbes announced. Moreover, the Group revealed that NYDIG is in the custody of 10,000 of the parent company’s bitcoin (BTC) (USD 114m), the report added. However, this position is not the largest NYDIG is managing, it said. According to Stone Ridge Co-founder, Robert Gutmann, their investment thesis believes in “the long term growth of an open-source monetary system—in assets like bitcoin.”
  • Aave (LEND) said it raised USD 25m from Blockchain CapitalStandard Crypto, and Ventures in a recent investment round. Aave raised funds from strategic investors to bring DeFi closer to institutional use and expand the team size to serve Asian markets’ growth, the company said.

Exchanges News

  • A VC firm created by Serena Williams has removed any mention of Coinbase from its website, even though it invested in 2018, Business Insider announced, speculating that Serena Ventures has divested its stake in Coinbase, that’s now entangled in controversy.
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group), a central financial derivatives marketplace, said that bitcoin (BTC) futures open interest averaged a record of over 10,500 contracts per day in Q3, up 32% compared with Q2 and up 127% vs. Q3 2019. Furthermore, institutional flow grew as well, with 692 new accounts added, while the number of large open interest holders averaged 79 in Q3, up 64% compared to Q3 2019.
  • Coinbase said that its Wallet users could sign-up for and purchase most of the cryptoassets supported on within their Wallet apps. The announcement added that the feature is available on Android devices in the US, with iOS and more countries coming in the future and more payments method besides the currently available debit card support.

Trading News

  • Fintech platform COTI said it developed a decentralized version of the stock market’s Volatility Index (VIX), Market Fear Index, cVIX, that should be launched this year. “cVIX is a first-of-its-kind innovation that brings this capability to the digital sphere, enabling traders to determine the market’s expectation of future volatility,” the company said, adding that the index has been designed specifically for the DeFi market.
  • Hedge fund Numerai has announced its data clearinghouse Numerai Signals, which lets Numerai source and reward stock market signals. According to the announcement, the hedge fund has offered USD 50m of its numeraire (NMR) token rewards to quantitative analysts, researchers, and others who can provide the new product with “the most original” stock market signals.

Regulation News

  • The Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international organization that monitors the global financial system, has issued “high-level recommendations for the regulation, supervision and oversight” of global stablecoin projects for G20 member nations. According to a news report, the FSB said that to “enhance cross-border payments,” the G20 commissioned will aim to issue international standards and create global cooperation arrangements by December 2021. It then plans to have national frameworks in place by July 2022, with a follow-up in 2023.
  • Spain’s government is preparing a bill to oblige cryptocurrencies owners to disclose their holdings and any gains booked on the assets, Reuters stated.
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