If you’re not one of the many crypto people at Burning Man, I commend you for not giving in to FOMO. It was a busy week on the Libra front, in more ways than one. Last week, there was chatter that some Libra Association members wanted to leave, but this week, crypto companies (save Coinbase) reaffirmed their commitment. Then, the SEC raised the possibility Libra would be considered a security, the Bank of England’s Mark Carney suggested a global reserve currency made up of several central bank digital currencies and Binance threw shade on Libra as it talked up its Venus plans. But, with the impact of Facebook’s cryptocurrency rippling out to the wider world, Forbes reported that China will issue a state-backed cryptocurrency within months, to a slew of Chinese giants such as Alibaba and Tencent, along with two of the world’s largest banks and others.
On Unchained this week, Decred announced its new privacy feature, which it had been developing for years. (This was the second time the podcast broke news.) Jonathan Zeppettini, aka Decred Jesus, went into detail on how governance works in Decred, and how many of these ideas were born out of the team’s bad experience trying to collaborate with Bitcoin core developers, plus why they developed the privacy tech in secret. On Unconfirmed, Ryan Zurrer, formerly of Polychain and the Web3 Foundation, explained why he wants to revive the DAO — yes, you read that right — and how he thinks he can do so without violating U.S. securities laws.
This Week’s Crypto News…
It’s certainly missing a catchy astrological name like Libra or Venus, but the DC/EP (digital currency/electronic payments) looks likely to launch before stablecoins that will launch on a similar scale, with Alibaba, Tencent and other Chinese corporate titans receiving it. It can accommodate 300,000 transactions per second, as opposed to Libra’s 1,000, because it is a permissioned, centralized system, not “a pure blockchain architecture,” as one source describes it. Still undecided: whether it will be used outside China.
Is Libra an ETF? Bloomberg, which had two interviews with SEC chief Jay Clatyon, writes, “Though Clayton avoided commenting directly on Libra, he noted that if something looks like an ETF and operates like an ETF, the law says it should be regulated like an ETF. That holds true no matter what it’s called, Clayton added.”
OK, so he didn’t call it a stablecoin, but a “synthetic hegemonic currency.” Still, he envisages a virtual reserve currency created from a network of digital central-bank currencies, not too dissimilar from Libra, that would reduce the dominance of the U.S. dollar.
“Unlike Libra, Venus will focus on partnering with governments and companies in non-Western countries,” writes Bloomberg, saying she called Venus a “Belt and Road version of Libra.”
“In the last 30 days, Tether paid computers which process transactions on Ethereum’s digital ledger $260,000 in fees, according to data researcher Ethgasstation.info. That’s about 17.5 times more than CryptoKitties,” reports Bloomberg. But as Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin points out in an emailed comment, “The Ethereum blockchain has been ‘almost full for years.”
Meanwhile, Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures asks whether Ethereum will end up being the AOL of crypto.
FT’s Alphaville writes an amusing piece on the outcome of the Craig Wright/Ira Kleiman case, in which Wright was ordered to pay $5 billion in Bitcoin. You kind of have to read the whole thing to get to the hilarious run-on sentence at the end noting the various contradictions in Wright’s statements, or just read their fitting hashtag for the whole affair: #ftalphavillepresentsvaudevillethefyrefestivaloffinance.
“Earn 10.9% interest from anywhere in the world,” the new website proclaims; Dharma 2 is built on Compound.
This Bitcoin.com (read: Bitcoin Cash-supporting publication) post roasting some Bitcoin maximalists who invested in crypto exchange INX, which will be doing an IPO using an Ethereum-based security token, gave me a good laugh. The block size debate keeps on giving.
I felt for this guy: “HELLO @ethereum !!! Please email me over at email@example.com I’m a reporter looking for some answers for a viewer regarding your Company? Your press people do not respond.” Then, a bit later: “Good morning @VitalikButerin Could you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org We are doing a story about a family here in Washington, DC that is having an issue with their ethereum coins. Maybe you can help. Thanks!” At least he was able to laugh at his notifications …