Blockchain Bites: Digital Dollars, Ethereum's Gas and ASX's Blockchain 'Lacks Clarity'

Thought leaders are decending on Washing to talk digital money while the Australian Securities Exchange may delay its blockchain settlement solution.

AccessTimeIconJun 30, 2020 at 4:14 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 10, 2022 at 9:42 p.m. UTC
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Australia's stock exchange may delay its blockchain overhaul, thought leaders are meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the digitization of money and Ethereum devs have a proposal to pump the brakes on high gas fees. Here's the story:

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Top shelf

Digital Dollars
The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on “The Digitization of Money and Payments.” The witnesses include former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo and Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla, suggesting a focus around central bank digital currencies and stablecoins. Elsewhere, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) will establish four additional “Innovation Hub” branches – in Toronto, Stockholm, London and a joint location for Paris and Frankfurt – to further study the adoption of digital monies and distributed ledger technologies. Finally, the Bank of Canada has published a note saying blockchain privacy solutions, like zero-knowledge proofs, aren’t ready yet for use in a CBDC. (The Block)

Tech Solutions?
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has come under pressure to postpone the launch of a blockchain replacement for its decades-old settlement and clearing system. One of the main share registry companies in Australia, Computershare, told the Financial Times on June 25 it was seeking a two-year delay to the implementation of the ASX’s new blockchain-based system because the new project “lacked clarity.” Meanwhile, a new technical proposal is addressing Ethereum’s growing gas fees by implementing a dynamic pricing system. Called EIP 1559, Ethereum users would now pay a set “base fee” to the network plus a tip to miners.

Crime and Punishments?
Alexey Andryunin fakes volumes to get coins listed on exchanges. He didn’t think his services were needed after the collapse of the ICO market, but has found business growing again during the COVID-19 pandemic as token promoters pay him to pump their projects so they’ll be accepted on crypto exchanges. Meanwhile, Sergey Medvedev, a Russian national who operated a digital currency escrow service for the $568 million payment card fraud forum he founded in 2010, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in what the U.S. government called its largest-ever cyber fraud case. Elsewhere, a hacker has attempted to disrupt a blockchain voting system currently being used in the Russian Federation while hackers have extorted $1.14 million in bitcoin from the University of California. (The Block)

​​​New Metrics
Coin Metrics announced a free float supply methodology for digital assets Tuesday to improve and standardize the industry’s liquidity and market capitalization data. The metric excludes issued cryptos that don’t provide liquidity to get a better sense of a token’s supply. Independently, blockchain analysis company Elliptic has added two privacy coins – zcash (ZEC) and horizen (ZEN) – to its monitoring platform, which provides exchanges and institutional investors insight into when a transaction trail ends so they can take additional due diligence measures.

Fresh Capital
Blockchain data startup The Graph has raised $5 million in a token sale with Framework Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group (CoinDesk’s parent) and others. The funding round follows a $2.5 million VC round early last year and used the “simple agreement for future tokens” (SAFT) format for accredited investors. That is as miner Hut 8 raised a total of $8.3 million from selling a 6% equity stake, it said, approximately $800,000 more than the original $7.5 million target. Finally, The Block’s Michael McSweeney reports crypto exchange giant Binance will acquire a majority stake in, a crypto card startup. “The move paves the way for the crypto exchange giant to move ahead with its plan for a branded payments card,” McSweeney reports.

Quick bites

  • Wuhan Kingold Jewelry collateralized 83 tons of counterfeit gold to secure approximately $2.8 billion in loans to institutions. (Decrypt)
  • Balancer will compensate victims of the $450,000 flash loan attack (The Block)
  • The largest known non-exchange bitcoin wallet address recently moved 101,857 BTC (~$933 million) to two separate addresses. The transaction cost $0.48 in fees. (Decrypt)
  •'s and TenX’s Visa debit cards are back online. (The Block)

Market intel

Leading the Pack
Bitcoin is still outperforming the top traditional financial assets so far in 2020 – even after a dour performance this month. Bitcoin is trading around $9,170, representing a 27.8% gain on a year-to-date basis, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. Meanwhile, gold and the U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the greenback against major currencies, are reporting 16% and 5.4% gains for 2020, respectively. 

COMP Returns?
Compound’s governance COMP token has dropped 40%, after surging to $400 per token last week. (Decrypt)


Valuing Bitcoin
Nearly half of investors in a recent survey said a lack of fundamentals keeps them from participating. In a 30-minute webinar July 7, CoinDesk Research will explore one of the first and oldest unique data points to be developed by crypto asset analysts: Bitcoin Days Destroyed. 

We'll be joined by Lucas Nuzzi, a veteran analyst and a network data expert at Coin Metrics. Lucas and CoinDesk Research will walk you through the structure of this unique financial metric and demonstrate some of its many applications.  Sign up for the July 7 webinar "How to Value Bitcoin: Bitcoin Days Destroyed." 


Humility Before a Fall: Your Crypto Startup Hasn’t Done Anything Yet
Dave Balter, CEO of Flipside Crypto, has a message for crypto startups: “Dig a hole, throw your ego into it and pour concrete on top. Find humility instead.” Failure precedes success, he said, a notion often absent from the crypto conversation. “Many leaders think just being in the blockchain space makes them untouchable. They count an easy ICO raise as validation of success. They’re proud of developing something so technically complex their team barely understands it.”

Why Bitcoin Will Take a Long Time to Dethrone the Dollar
Byrne Hobart, a CoinDesk columnist and New York-based investor, consultant and writer, takes a look at the concept of hyperbitcoinization, the theory that bitcoin will become a global reserve currency, and thinks it’s a ways off. The same forces that one might assume lead to a crypto future are those that are keeping the U.S. dollar in its throne. “Ironically, the same factors bitcoin advocates point to as evidence the fiat system is broken – high leverage and a financialized economy – make it durable, too. With so many forces arrayed in favor of the status quo, even the inevitable can take a long time,” he writes.

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