The CoinDesk 50
Congratulations to the inaugural CoinDesk 50. This new list features the most important, innovative and viable projects in the crypto and blockchain industry. In just 11 years, cryptocurrency and its underlying technology has made serious in-roads, promising to reinvent how the world transacts, how the internet will function and how to more equitably distribute resources. CoinDesk has been covering this varied space for seven intense years. Today, we’re honored to present the first 10 protocols, companies and projects we believe have or will have the greatest impact, not only on the industry, but the world at large. This includes billion-dollar corporations like Binance and Coinbase, but also aspirational projects like Cosmos. We will be releasing the full CoinDesk 50 leading up to, and during, Consensus:Distributed, our free virtual event that starts May 11. (See how we made the choices.)
Your Guide to Consensus: Distributed
Speaking of Consensus, Blockchain Bites will be your guide as the crypto industry’s largest and most ambitious conference goes distributed. For the five days of Consensus: Distributed, your trusted source of daily crypto updates will double its output. Beginning May 11, Blockchain Bites: Consensus Edition will hit your inbox by 7:30 a.m. ET and then reappear at 5.30 p.m. ET, providing an agenda settings schedule as well as recap of the daily happenings.
Every morning edition will feature a special guest appearance from CoinDesk journalists, who will highlight the panels they’re excited about and reflect on what they’ve learned so far. With 300 speakers, 10,000+ attendees and content streaming 24/7, there will be a lot to talk about.
For starters, there will be a keynote address by influential economist Carlota Perez, performances from Akon, Haley Smalls, and Skip Marley as well as interactive workshops where you can get your hands on some cryptocurrency. You can also take a walk through Decentraland and tune into CoinDesk TV, a round-the-clock live programming event streaming on CoinDesk.com, YouTube and Twitter from Monday, May 11, at 8:30 a.m. ET to Tuesday, May 12, at 9 a.m. ET.
We hope to see you online, happy, healthy and ready to get engaged at Consensus: Distributed. Register here.
Now to the news:
Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives have proposed launching a blockchain voting pilot for overseas military voters registered in the state. The bill was introduced Tuesday as part of the Democrats’ elections law overhaul. If passed, it would see military members transmit their ballots to election officials via “encrypted blockchain technology” that “protects the security and integrity of the process and protects the voter’s privacy.” The receiving board of elections would then print out that ballot “for counting purposes.”
HSBC to Libra
The Libra Association has named HSBC Chief Legal Officer Stuart Levey as its first chief executive. Joining late this summer, Levey will oversee the association’s efforts to “combine technology innovation with a robust compliance and regulatory framework.” He has been at HSBC since 2012.
Cash App: Revenues and Profits
Cash App saw first quarter revenues from bitcoin of $306 million, a quarterly high for the firm, surpassing all other revenue streams. Profits on its Bitcoin business, however, are minimal at $7 million in Q1, and $8 million through the whole of 2019.
Enter New York
Eris Clearing, the clearing and settlement arm of ErisX, has been awarded a Virtual Currency License from New York’s Department of Financial Services. Colloquially known as a “BitLicense,” having received one, the company is licensed to operate in the state.
TokenSoft is bringing its security token issuance platform to Europe through a Switzerland-based counterpart, TokenSoft International AG. The regulated STO platform announced Wednesday that it struck a licensing deal with its eponymous European partner, who now has exclusive continental distribution rights for TokenSoft’s tokenization software.
Despite recent surges in price and mining power, Bitcoin’s total node count fell below 47,000 on Monday, a three-year low, according to developer Luke Dashjr. This trend is confirmed by Bitnodes’s data, which also a spike in nodes using onion services that may make node operators more difficult to locate. Peaking at over 200,000 in January 2018, node operators validate new transactions and store copies of the network’s shared transaction history.
There is a new messaging standard designed to help cryptocurrency firms comply with anti-money laundering regulations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The standard, called IVMS101, defines a uniform model for data that must be exchanged by virtual asset service providers alongside cryptocurrency transactions. The standard will identify the pseudonymous senders and receivers of crypto payments, with such information “traveling” with each transaction.
Polkadot Designs a Launch Plan
The Polkadot network is “very near launch,” founder Gavin Wood said. Guided by the Web3 Foundation and Parity Technologies, Polkadot, an interoperable blockchain that will allow transactions across multiple chains, will roll out through five or six phases.
Former Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler reportedly received $9 million worth of stock and other awards from parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) when she was appointed to the U.S. Senate from Georgia.
The Stellar Development Foundation is pumping $5 million into Abra, a crypto financial services app. The foundation’s largest enterprise investment yet precedes Abra’s integration with the Stellar blockchain.
Researchers at Cambridge University’s business school have created a Bitcoin Mining Map to visualize global hashrate data by country, and more granular data for Chinese provinces. The map shows China provides 65% of Bitcoin’s total mining hashrate, while the U.S. and Russia lag behind at 7%.
One of Asia’s largest crypto exchanges by trade volume, OSL, has teamed with enterprise startup Monsoon Blockchain. The partnership may allow for an eventual US expansion.
The nonprofit Zcash Foundation is building a way to bring the privacy coin Zcash onto the interoperable Cosmos ecosystem. (Decrypt)
Zooko Wilcox hired the Rand Corporation to suss out whether the privacy crypto zcash he shepherds is really the darkweb’s go-to currency. The report says it isn’t, bitcoin is. But there is room for skepticism. Europol and Chainalysis have previously released reports showing Zcash gaining in popularity among criminal elements. You can read the report here, and about the debate here.
Ethereal Goes Virtual
The Ethereal Summit, a free virtual conference, has kicked off today. One hundred speakers will stream over the course of two days. Watch here.
CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition
CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition continues its popular twice-weekly virtual chats via Zoom and Twitter, giving you a preview of what’s to come at Consensus: Distributed, our first fully virtual – and fully free – big-tent conference May 11-15.
Register to join our seventh and final session Thursday, May 7, with speaker Felipe Duarte from DAOCanvas to show you how to roll your own DAO, hosted by Consensus organizer Bailey Reutzel. Zoom participants can ask questions directly to our guests.
It’s Bitcoin, Not You
Bitcoin looks to have decoupled from traditional markets as investors refocus on the network’s imminent mining reward halving. Bitcoin gained nearly 5.9% so far this month, while gold has declined by 1% and the S&P 500 is down 2.2%, on a month-to-date basis, as of Wednesday.
Bitcoin’s halving is now predicted to come hours sooner. The cryptocurrency’s price rally above $9,000 has caused some miners to switch to more efficient mining machines, thereby accelerating the speed at which new blocks of data are confirmed and pushing up the time of the anticipated halving event. Read the full First Mover newsletter here.
Bitcoin’s options market may be underpricing cryptocurrency’s future volatility. Analysts say the data is being distorted by “Black Thursday’s” 40% drop. The spread between bitcoin’s three-month implied volatility (IV), the market’s expectation of how risky or volatile an asset will be in the future, and historical or realized volatility (RV) fell to -47% on Wednesday.
CoinDesk Monthly Review: April 2020
CoinDesk Research’s monthly review of crypto markets overviews returns, volatility and correlations of bitcoin, ether and other crypto assets – all in a macro context. Plus, we track growth in stablecoins and look at what past halvings can tell us about the upcoming one. The report is free to download.
Surveying the Carnage
NLW examines how real estate, travel and music are faring during the COVID-19 crisis on the latest episode of The Breakdown.