November 27,2023

New Cosmos Proposal Could Put An End To Infighting

Jae Kwon, the founder of Cosmos, is rallying community members to initiate a split in the network. On November 25th, Kwon called on his followers to unite and orchestrate a division in response to Cosmos governance approving a proposal to decrease inflation in the staking rewards of the ATOM token.

Dealing with inflation

Cosmos employs a dynamic inflation mechanism, which increases the overall supply of ATOM by 10% to 20%, depending on the amount of staked tokens. Presently, with 65.7% of ATOM staked, inflation is growing at a yearly rate of 0.45%. According to Proposal 848, ATOM inflation will be capped at 10%. Additionally, staking rewards will decrease to an APR (Annual Percentage Yield) of 13.4%.

The proposal argues that the historically higher inflation of ATOM compared to its peers has negatively affected its monetary premium and led to constant sell pressure, impacting its price performance. However, key players in the Cosmos ecosystem express dissatisfaction with the outcome. Kwon expressed the need to coordinate a split following the passage of Proposal 848.

Resolving conflict

The aforementioned move by Kwon to fork the network comes after prolonged internal conflicts within the Cosmos ecosystem. John Galt, a Cosmos focused crypto influencer, suggested that a chain split could potentially resolve years of political tension within the network.

Kwon proposes the creation of a new network, informally named AtomOne, which would fork the Cosmoshub4 code to run the latest Cosmos software. He advocates for support for the fork to benefit ATOM, emphasizing the improvement of tokenomics.

Galt speculates that a fork could lead to the most substantial airdrop for ATOM holders. It would end up distributing a majority of a new ATOM1 token to Cosmos stakers, but those wallets favoring Proposal 848 would receive a reduced allocation.

Cosmos utilizes a delegated PoS (Proof of Stake) consensus, allowing ATOM holders to delegate their tokens to a select pool of validators for staking. Galt also speculates that a chain split could potentially benefit the original chain by removing dissidents and unsavory entities. He references the failure of the infamous 2022 ATOM 2.0 proposal, and how Proposal 848 has to do better.

November 27,2023

New Plan Unveiled By Polkadot As Parachain Model To Be Phased Out

Polkadot (DOT), the layer-1 Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol that has flourished with parachain auctions since its inception, has revealed plans to phase out this scheme in the future. The intention to replace parachain auctions with a new system has been confirmed by Pierre Aubert, the newly appointed VP of Engineering at Parity Technologies, the startup behind the Polkadot protocol.

Time for change

Pierre expressed alignment with the overall vision of the protocol, set to be encapsulated in what might be referred to as Polkadot V2. According to the outlined plans, the new initiative will be substituted with Agile Coretime or Bulk Coretime, paving the way for Polkadot to establish a genuine connection with Ethereum (ETH).

Additionally, the protocol will create a direct link with its canary chain, Kusama. Aubert detailed that the next six month roadmap for Polkadot aims to introduce features enhancing the user experience through the Agile Coretime.

Moreover, the emphasis for Polkadot now revolves around improving the developer experience, with one approach being the proposed Polkadot API. This tool is anticipated to simplify the process for developers in the creation of dashboards going forward.

A slow but necessary process

The aforementioned auction model, responsible for the introduction of networks like Moonbeam Network and Astar Network to the platform, is recognized as a groundbreaking and highly practical method for managing sidechains. The system involves community members supporting protocols vying for inclusion, rewarding their involvement with the relevant native token upon launch.

However, according to Pierre, the time for change is now if Polkadot wishes to keep up with its competitors alongside new technologies and practices. Notably, the precise details of Agile Coretime and Bulk Coretime are still in the design phase, but upon launch, they are expected to exemplify the seamless evolution characteristic of Polkadot.

 

November 26,2023

Cardano Delves Further Into AI Via Introduction Of Girolamo

Cardano (ADA) has just introduced Girolamo, its inaugural Internet-generated chatbot, marking a noteworthy progression in the convergence of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI). The beta launch of Girolamo, named in honor of the Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano, signifies a major milestone in Cardano venturing into the AI realm.

Understanding Girolamo

Girolamo represents a frontier in the intersection of AI and blockchain, showcasing both the dedication to innovation and practical application in the AI sector that Cardano is trying to foster. Engineered to respond to diverse queries, Girolamo addresses both industry specific and everyday questions, distinguishing itself with the ability to create and interpret images, thereby incorporating a visual dimension into its functionality.

Cardano began engaging with AI in 2021 through the introduction of Grace, an AI robot developed in collaboration with Awakening Health, Hanson Robotics, and SingularityNET, a blockchain partner of Cardano. This marked the initiation of a series of initiatives aiming to integrate AI with blockchain technology.

Steady progress

Alongside its AI endeavors, Cardano has also been making significant progress in other areas. The update of its lightweight wallet, Lace, to version 1.7.1, addresses various issues, particularly enhancing dApps connectivity within the Cardano network, crucial for improving user interactions and streamlining experiences in the Cardano ecosystem.

Additionally, the ecosystem was recently reinforced by the completion of the Mithril relay prototype, a crucial development for enabling P2P signature broadcasting which is a core aspect of decentralized networks.

Elsewhere, the Cardano community is gearing up for a special ballot vote under CIP-1694, evaluating advancements in both on-chain and off-chain governance. This initiative, with the snapshot for participating wallets taken on November 21st and the voting process scheduled starting on December 1st and lasting till December 11th, exemplifies a keen dedication to community involvement and the evolution of governance.

November 25,2023

Wallet Of Satoshi Is No Longer Available For US Customers

The notable Bitcoin Lightning wallet provider, Wallet of Satoshi (WoS), has declared its removal regarding US Apple and Google App stores. Nevertheless, the popular wallet provider expressed optimism about future advancements that could facilitate a return and potential resumption of operations in the country.

Lightning Network experienced a surge of 1,200% in the last two years. Now though, the fact that Wallet of Satoshi is indeed leaving the US market behind can be viewed as a major setback for the crypto sector in the United States.

US customers left behind

In a message to the community, Wallet of Satoshi clarified its decision to stop serving customers in the country. Speculation arose that this move might be connected to increasing regulatory scrutiny by US authorities towards the cryptocurrency industry.

This development follows reports stemming via several crypto users noticing the absence of Wallet of Satoshi when it came to app stores in the United States. This coincided with the app reaching a milestone of over a million transactions this month.

On November 24th, various users and members of the crypto community shared their experiences on X, attempting to find the WoS app. They reported either receiving no search results or being redirected to alternative wallet applications. Notably, the app remained available for download on both Apple and Android devices in several other countries.

Strict regulations are to blame

Wallet of Satoshi explained its actions, stating that they have dedicated themselves to providing the best Bitcoin experience while simultaneously being at the forefront of Lightning usability and adoption. However, the team had to make the difficult decision to not serve customers residing in the United States going forward.

While the Bitcoin Lightning app did not disclose specific details about whether external forces compelled the decision or if it was a voluntary choice, some crypto users have linked the removal to the stringent regulatory environment in the US. Recent legal actions against Binance and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, have heightened concerns about potential regulatory actions.

In an effort to reassure existing users in the United States, Wallet of Satoshi confirmed that customers still maintain full access to their Bitcoin funds. Users can still withdraw and transfer their funds to another wallet, addressing potential concerns about losing access to their crypto holdings.

November 24,2023

Jim Cramer Backtracks On His Stance Regarding Cryptocurrencies

Markets commentator Jim Cramer has tacitly acknowledged the inaccuracy of his previous stance on Bitcoin (BTC), admitting he was premature in advising investors to sell the cryptocurrency. In the past, Mr. Cramer has openly stated that he believed crypto to be a scam, going as far as to say that he would not touch it in a million years.

Bitcoin succeeds despite naysayers

During a segment of his CNBC Mad Money show which aired on November 22nd, 2023, Cramer responded to a caller interested in investing in Bitcoin miner CleanSpark. He suggested that those who favor Bitcoin should enhance their exposure to it, openly telling everyone to buy the digital asset. He also admitted that he was wrong about his previous notions about BTC and that what he said was premature.

Cramer acknowledged that, despite not consistently making accurate calls on Bitcoin, he had still generated substantial profits via his investment in it. On December 5th, 2022, when Bitcoin was priced at $17,150, Cramer advised investors to liquidate all their crypto holdings regardless of the cost, asserting that it was never too late to sell an awful position. Since then, BTC has surged by more than 120%.

Slowly coming around

Cramer and his fluctuating relationship with crypto have become a popular meme in investment communities, highlighting his tendency to make incorrect calls at crucial moments. He is not the only one to backtrack on this either, as many other notable names such as Warren Buffet have gradually started purchasing Bitcoin despite adopting a very anti-crypto sentiment in the past.

In August 2022, a crypto trader claimed to have doubled the size of their portfolio by trading in the opposite direction of what Cramer had recommended. Two months later, on October 6th, an investment fund filed for an inverse Cramer ETF, a financial instrument designed to yield results on trades that are essentially contrary to the investments recommended by television personality Jim Cramer, before fees and expenses.

November 24,2023

Bitcoin Gains Momentum As Binance Drama Unfolds

This week, Bitcoin (BTC) rebounded fully following the settlement involving Binance and the Department Of Justice (DOJ). Altcoins are also on the rise, according to information provided by CoinGecko. During the week, BTC managed to reach above $37K, showing a 2.5% increase within a 24 hour period. In other markets, there was a generally positive trend being experienced, particularly in Asia.

Crypto wins but CZ leaves

BTC made attempts to breach the $38,000 level but faced resistance, leading to a market rollercoaster. The initial positive response to the settlement regarding Binance, which involved the crypto exchange agreeing to pay over $4 billion to the United States DOJ, turned negative causing a $2,000 drop in BTC, which later recovered to over $36,600.

Elsewhere, the altcoins were able to piggyback off of the momentum generated by Bitcoin. Notably, Uniswap (UNI) rose by 16.6%, and PYTH Network (PYTH) surged by 25.7%. Despite the overall positive trend, Binance Coin (BNB) remained an exception, most likely because of the controversy surrounding Binance and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao. Zhao has since left the company and Richard Teng has been named his successor.

Asian markets are improving

In the broader market, Asian stock futures exhibit a mixed outlook, with stability in Japan and an uptrend in Australia. Hong Kong and China are experiencing property market rallies. Additionally, crude oil is facing a decline due to issues, and the Hong Kong dollar is strengthening against the US dollar. Meanwhile, the equity market of South Korea anticipated increased volatility following a recent short-selling ban.

Furthermore, after Beijing lifted punishing tariffs that had halted trade for three years, Australian barley is making a big comeback in the Chinese market. According to customs data, China imported nearly 314,000 tons of grain through Australia last month, the first purchases via that country since late 2020 and the most since May of that year. Imports of barley through Russia and Kazakhstan have also increased as part of efforts to diversify suppliers.

November 23,2023

Early Ethereum Advisor Allegedly Being Targeted By FBI

Steven Nerayoff, who served as an early adviser to the Ethereum (ETH) network, has recently made some serious accusations against U.S. law enforcement and regulatory bodies. Nerayoff alleges systemic corruption within these agencies, citing his own three and a half year legal battle with the DOJ, SEC, and FBI, accusing them of fabricating charges against him.

Conspiracy theories

In a direct response to Senator Warren, Nerayoff advocates for robust crypto regulations but highlights his prosecution as a victim of government pressure due to his knowledge of high level SEC corruption. He claims to have been coerced into revealing information about other crypto players, resisting the demand.

The legal battle, initially involving extortion charges related to a 2017 ICO, ended with the dismissal of criminal charges in May 2023. His defense portrayed him as a target for insider knowledge, accusing the FBI, DOJ, and SEC of collaborating to exploit industry connections. Nerayoff firmly believes his case being dismissed is indicative of the apparent fact that the aforementioned agencies are indeed guilty and have colluded to fabricate charges against him.

More than meets the eye

Despite the seriousness of the citation, in an astonishing turn of events, a New York judge dismissed the criminal extortion charges against Steven back in May of this year, bringing his multi year long legal battle to a close. This dismissal came shortly after federal prosecutors admitted to acquiring exculpatory evidence and admitting they were unable to prove the charges beyond any reasonable doubt.

As of this moment, the claims made by Steven are rapidly gaining momentum with Nerayoff recently revealing an SEC letter admitting the discovery of over 14 gigabytes of relevant data, contradicting earlier denials. This, coupled with delayed responses, fuels allegations of misconduct. Notably, Nerayoff is also preparing fraud charges against Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin after a 2015 revelation.

November 23,2023

CrvUSD Introduces New Proposal To Try And Restore $1 Peg

The Curve community is presently engaged in voting on a proposal aimed at increasing interest rates for its decentralized stablecoin, CrvUSD, in an effort to restore its peg. CrvUSD is currently the 16th biggest stablecoin with a $156 million market cap.

A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency whose value is supposed to be pegged to a reference asset, which could be fiat currency, exchange-traded commodities like precious metals, or another cryptocurrency.

Increasing interest rates

The proposal, initiated on November 21st, suggests elevating the interest rate multiplier of the protocol for both ETH and BTC tokens as well as for staked ETH. The anticipated outcome is a range of borrowing rates between 0.1% and 15% for staked ETH and between 0.07% and 11% for ETH and BTC.

This adjustment is intended to counteract crvUSD's price decline that CrvUSD has been experiencing when it headed towards $0.99 earlier in November, with the goal of pushing it back to $1. The recent trading value of the token was $0.9927. The voting process began two days ago and will continue until November 28th. As of now, the proposal has received unanimous support, although the number of votes is limited.

Fierce competition

The proposal coincides with changes in the decentralized stablecoin sector. DAI, previously the third largest stablecoin with a $5.3 billion market cap, has faced criticism for its reliance on centralized collateral assets, creating opportunities for other stablecoins with decentralized backing. Curve introduced CrvUSD back in May, allowing users to mint the token against assets deposited in the protocol.

Aave also entered the arena with its GHO stablecoin in July, enabling users to mint the token against deposits. However, any chances of adopting GHO were hindered by poor price performance, trading near $0.96 in recent weeks. Other stablecoins like FRAX, LUSD, mkUSD, and ALUSD are also part of the decentralized stablecoin landscape, each facing unique challenges and opportunities.

November 22,2023

Jack Dorsey Gets Rid Of Performance Reviews And Names New CTO

In an effort to reshape the company culture, Block Inc CEO Jack Dorsey has introduced a novel approach to performance management and appointed a new CTO (Chief Technology Officer). The company intends to eliminate the practice of conducting annual performance reviews and implementing PIPs (Performance Improvement Plans).

Time to step up

Dorsey communicated his objective to cultivate a culture of excellence at Block through a staff memo. Following the upcoming review cycle, the company will abandon its customary annual assessments for employees. Jack has also named Dhanji Prasanna, a seasoned professional at Block and the current Chief Scientist, as the new CTO.

This decision follows the recent announcement made by Dorsey regarding an anticipated 10% reduction in the workforce over the next few months. Instead of annual reviews, regular employee evaluations will take precedence, aiming to dispel the perception that Block allows its workforce to rest and vest throughout the company, according to Dorsey. Employees falling short of expectations may face immediate dismissal, bypassing formal feedback or performance enhancement strategies.

Fairness is key

Beginning next year, Block will introduce performance ratings categorizing employees as meet, exceed, or fall below, with each employee having access to their respective rating. Dorsey believes this shall facilitate a fair two-way conversation which holds everyone accountable to always raising the bar.

These modifications come at a time when Block has demonstrated outstanding performance in the market. The company witnessed a 37.5% growth in Bitcoin revenue, reaching $2.42 billion compared to the previous year, and generated a gross profit of $44 million through Bitcoin in Q3. This exceptional performance led to a substantial increase in the share price of the company.

November 22,2023

Everything You Need To Know About The New Binance CEO

Singaporean industry veteran Richard Teng, recruited by Binance in 2021 to enhance its global compliance efforts, has assumed the role of CEO (Chief Executive Officer) at the largest crypto exchange in the world, succeeding Changpeng Zhao (CZ) who recently resigned.

Zhao, stepping down as CEO, endorsed Teng as a highly qualified leader and expressed confidence that he would steer Binance through its next phase of growth, emphasizing the commitment to security, transparency, compliance, and overall expansion.

A wise choice

Teng initially joined Binance as the CEO of Binance Singapore and, most recently in May this year, took on the position of head of regional markets, following roles such as head of MENA. Binance made a statement which highlighted the various responsibilities Richard had in terms of covering the MENA and European regions and eventually overseeing all regions outside of the United States.

Before his tenure at Binance, Teng served as the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market and as the Chief Regulatory Officer at SGX, leading the regulation division overseeing policy frameworks related to listing, trading, and clearing activities.

Working alongside regulators

Teng has extensive regulatory experience that spans 13 years at the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), where he held many roles including Director of Corporate Finance. During his time at MAS, he played a significant role in regulatory matters across banking, insurance, and capital market segments, contributing to the rapid transformation of the financial services sector in Singapore.

In a statement on X, Teng expressed his commitment to leveraging his three decades of financial services and regulatory experience to guide his new team, emphasizing a focus on ensuring that users remain confident in the financial strength, security, and safety that Binance provides. He also emphasized collaboration with regulators to maintain globally high standards that encourage innovation while ensuring consumer protections.

 

November 21,2023

Crypto Crackdown Continues As Kraken Gets Targeted By The SEC

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated legal action against the cryptocurrency exchange known as Kraken. The regulatory agency filed a lawsuit, asserting that Kraken engaged in running an online crypto trading platform without registering with the institution beforehand.

Getting sued

The lawsuit, directed at Payward Inc., which is commonly referred to as Kraken, and Payward Ventures Inc., contends that Kraken operated an online trading platform for buying and selling crypto assets since 2013. The SEC claims that many of these assets were investment contracts under U.S. securities laws.

According to court documents, Kraken functioned as a broker, dealer, exchange, and clearing house for these crypto asset securities without SEC registration. This led to the accumulation of substantial fees and trading revenue, bypassing compliance with U.S. securities laws designed to safeguard investors.

In response to the allegations levied against it, Kraken insists that these claims are baseless and that despite what has been said, the exchange has always prioritized the safety and satisfaction of the customers above all else. Kraken stated that it intends to vigorously defend its position as one of the top exchanges in the United States.

Bad to worse

The SEC further alleges that the aforementioned business practices, inadequate internal controls, and deficient record-keeping pose additional risks. For instance, Kraken reportedly held over $33 billion worth of customer crypto assets at times, commingling them with its own assets, creating a significant risk of loss for customers.

The agency asserts that Kraken also held over $5 billion in cash on behalf of customers, occasionally blending it with its own cash. Notably, Kraken allegedly covered operational expenses directly via bank accounts containing customer cash.

In addition, the legal case is grounded in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, enacted to regulate national securities markets. The SEC contends that the activities of Kraken fall within the purview of U.S. securities laws due to its operation of a platform where crypto assets are offered and sold as investment contracts.

November 21,2023

Binance Must Pay $4 Billion To End Criminal Case

United States authorities are reportedly pressing for $4 billion as part of a resolution for the criminal case involving Binance, the biggest crypto exchange in the world. Charges are anticipated for Binance and its founder, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), with experts believing that a final decision is likely before this month concludes.

Following the announcement, the value of Binance Coin (BNB) surged by more than 7%, reaching its highest point since June. Nevertheless, it remains notably below its peak in May 2021.

A necessary compromise

In ongoing negotiations between Binance and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), it is being considered that CZ might face criminal accusations in the US as a part of a settlement to address allegations related to money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations.

Although Zhao is presently residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which lacks an extradition agreement with the United States, he could still voluntarily appear in the US. The demand by the DOJ amounts to over $4 billion, potentially resulting in one of the largest settlements in the crypto realm. While facing the prospect of criminal prosecution, an agreement might permit Binance to sustain its operations in the US, averting significant disruptions in the market.

A case for the history books

If finalized, this settlement could rank among the most substantial in the entire history of the cryptocurrency industry. As of now, Binance is yet to provide a response, but various industry analysts view the ongoing situation as an opportunity for the exchange to enhance compliance and foster investor friendly practices.

In addition, the development follows a recent conviction related to cryptocurrency fraud in which, notably, the accused was also residing in the UAE, with no extradition ties to the US. This adds a unique dimension to the case involving Binance as it is largely distinct compared to other lawsuits filed by US regulators against the exchange in the past.








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