This Week in Blockchain

This Week in Blockchain on 8th March 2021

March 08, 2021 Season 1 Episode 4
This Week in Blockchain
This Week in Blockchain on 8th March 2021
Chapters
Show Notes Transcript

Hi, I'm Conor Svensson, Founder and CEO of Web3 Labs and this is your Week in Blockchain on Monday the 8th of March 2021. Goldman Sachs have announced they plan to reopen their crypto trading desk dealing Bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for clients. The last time that Goldman announced that they were going to set up a crypto trading desk was back in 2018, just before prices collapsed so the inevitable question is, is the high being called again? Given the activity that's currently happening in DeFi and NFTs, it does seem unlikely at present. On the subject of NFTs, Jack Dorsey, Co-founder and CEO of Twitter, has listed a blockchain version of his first ever tweet on the Cent Valuables platform. It enables people to put their tweets for sale on the platform, creating a version of the tweet on the blockchain that can then be assigned ownership to someone. At the time of recording, this listing for Jack Dorsey's first ever tweet is currently at $2.5 million. PayPal CEO, Dan Shulman has said that they plan to have much bolder plans for crypto beyond just buying and holding assets for their users. They plan to create more of an ecosystem to support blockchain. It's quite experimental at this point in time but expect to see some big things from them in the future. The Ripple chairman, Chris Larson, has written to the SEC Court requesting that the SEC dismiss their lawsuit alleging the securities violation in December of 2020. The SEC sued Ripple over unlicensed security offerings. Larson claims that the SEC cannot substantiate these claims. This has had a significant effect on Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, which has dropped in terms of market capitalization to number 6 behind Binance's coin, Cardano's ADA and Polkadot's DOT token. Additionally, venues such as Coinbase are no longer listing a Ripple token for trading. John McAfee has been charged again, this time with crypto fraud, alleging that he made $13 million from his "coin of the day"or "coin of the week" schemes that he ran during late 2017 and early 2018 where he'd promote coins such as Dodgecoin. He's already being held in Spain on tax evasion charges but this adds to his woes. The London Stock Exchange listed crypto mining company, Argo, have announced that they're going to start paying their CEO, Peter Wall in Bitcoin. It's the first public company CEO to do this so it'll be interesting to see if other companies start to follow suit. The Ethereum network is on track to settle $1.6 trillion this quarter. In the last 12 months it's settled just $2.1 trillion in transactions. So, we can see that there's been a huge growth in usage of the network during this period. This number is actually based on the amount of Ether that's being transferred, their cryptocurrency, and the stable coins that run on top of it such as Circles, USDC and DAI. Additionally, EIP1559 that I discussed last week, has now been given the green light by the Ethereum community for July which will increase the value of the Ether for holders of Ether cryptocurrency. Currently, when new blocks are created and transactions are created on the network the fees associated go to miners. What's going to start happening is that the majority of these fees will be burned which will result in a more consistent transaction fee for users. It will also mean that with these fees being burned, the value of the remaining Ether in the network goes up for holders. Amazon have announced their general availability of Ethereum on the Amazon Managed Blockchain. Amazon Managed Blockchain was first launched over 2 years ago where they supported Hyperledger Fabric deployed blockchains. This support now for Ethereum enables anyone to use Amazon's Web Service platform to actually spin up Ethereum nodes. ING have published a paper on the considerations for managing DLT networks. We spoke last week about HSBC using Google's cloud to make it easier for their clients to onboard onto their blockchain platform, this paper is testament to the importance of this for enterprises given the challenges that they face with these blockchain networks. The paper itself has 9 core considerations. These include looking at what the existing projects are that you currently have using the technology, what the broader strategy is, vendor and employee lock-in associated with the different platforms and the overall cost. JP Morgan have released a survey of almost 3,500 institutional investors that they created. It shows that the majority do not plan to invest in or trade cryptocurrencies. However 58% of those surveyed did say that cryptocurrencies were here to stay. They also recently announced that they've taken blockchain into space with a proof of concept where they made blockchain payments between satellites. The car maker VW have announced the partnership with the Energy Web Foundation. The intent here is for VW and Energy Eeb to work together to integrate the Energy Web's decentralized operating system into VW's existing electric car charging software. It's been a challenging week for some people in DeFi this week, with the Meerkat DeFi project having $31 million drained from the platform. It is alleged this was from a hack. However, shortly after this was announced on the group's Telegram channel, the website for the project and the Twitter accounts vanished. There might be some light at the end of the tunnel, on a Telegram channel during the past day, a developer has said that this was all just a test and they plan to give the funds back. Who knows?! Again, it reiterates some of the risks associated with recently launched DeFi projects. Continuing onto NFTs, we heard earlier about Jack Dorsey auctioning off his tweets as NFTs. The musician 3LAU has set a new NFT auction record. He managed to lock in $11.6 million in NFT sales for the 33 NFTs that he listed. It looked like the total was going to get around about $1 million. However, the auction itself is set it up so that if a bid is received before the end, the auction extends by another 3 minutes. This happened over 40 times and ultimately the bidding managed to get up to this point becoming the highest grossing NFT going for $3.6 million. The winning bidders all receive digital downloads and physical vinyl copies of some of the artists records. The bidder who paid for the most expensive one got some additional things such as platinum plated vinyls and unreleased music from the musician. 3LAU's not the only musician getting in on the NFT act. The well-known band, Kings of Leon, are releasing a special edition of their new album as a NFT with perks for the token holders including a digital version of the album, as well as a physical vinyl copy and a limited edition moving album cover. They're also going to be having some very limited NFTs which provide a similar sort of thing but, each of them will be a one-off and come with a concert ticket too. The DeFi lender Aave has decided to get in on the NFT act. They launched their Aavegotchis which managed to sell out in under one minute! Aavegotchis are based on Tamagotchis, which you may remember as the craze that emerged out of Japan a number of years ago. They've taken idea and created these cute little digital pets that live on top of a blockchain as NFTs. We'll have to see if more projects decide to create similar side projects. Finally, the artist Beeple's NFT listed on Christie's the auctioneers website is currently at $3.75 million. It's got less than a week to run so we'll see where it finishes up next week. In terms of the crypto market indicators, the Crypto Market Cap is up almost 15% at $1.6 trillion. The assets locked in DeFi are up 12.5% at almost $40 billion. Finally the NFT volume over the last 7 days was $42 million, with an average price per sale of just over $1000. That's all for this week. If you like what you hear please subscribe to our podcast and our YouTube channel. Links to all items discussed are available in the show notes on our website www.weekinblockchain.com. We're hosting a weekly Clubhouse room every Monday at 12 pm eastern 5 pm GMT, if you'd like to discuss any of the items we cover here. That's all for this week and I'll see you next week.