This Week in Blockchain

This Week in Blockchain on 29th March 2021

March 28, 2021 Season 1 Episode 7
This Week in Blockchain
This Week in Blockchain on 29th 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 29th of March 2021. Highlights this week include the leading decentralized exchange Uniswap have announced their v3 release, Time magazine and Tesla are now accepting crypto and Microsoft is considering it for their xbox platform. There's been another large Beeple NFT sale, this time the funds going to environmental innovation and also real world NFTs with William Shatner. Uniswap have announced their v3 platform which will be going live next month. One of the big changes they're making is a new type of licensing. With the existing Uniswap platform they license the code using what's called GPL which means that other companies were able to take the code and spin up their own equivalent versions of Uniswap, which is what we saw happen with SushiSwap late last year. In order to protect themselves from this, Uniswap are changing their licensing to use what they call a business source license which means that their code will be protected for a period of time to prevent people from being able to take it and use it on other platforms. In terms of the big features that are coming with Uniswap v3, they're looking at their liquidity provisions so that people have got more control over the price ranges of the pools where they're allocating their capital. They're also starting to provide multiple fee tiers which will allow people when they pool their assets in Uniswap to be appropriately compensated for taking on different levels of risks. The way in which Uniswap is going, it's moving away from how SushiSwap, one of their main rivals, is going about it. Uniswap's more focused on some of the underlying technical issues and making the experience better for the end users. Being the lead decentralized exchange it makes sense for them to be on the cutting edge with the innovation. In other news, following a $6.5 million fine from the CFTC which has recently been settled, Coinbase hasn't confirmed when their IPO is going to be going ahead. It's likely to be in April, as we mentioned last week. What's come out this week though has been a bit more information about what caused this fine. There were two core underlying items. One of them was that there was trade activity on their gdax trading platform where there was allegedly washed training by a Coinbase employee back in 2016 and also the CFTC claims that Coinbase had delivered false, misleading and inaccurate reports concerning transactions in digital assets during a historical period between 2015 and 2018. In other news, Elon Musk has said that you can buy a Tesla using your Bitcoin and the payments that are processed in Bitcoin will not be converted into fiat. Microsoft are now polling their xbox users to see if they'd be interested in being able to pay for xbox titles using Bitcoin as a payment option. In terms of legislation, in India there's been changes whereby Indian companies now have to disclose their crypto holdings and their financial statements. India is also said to be banning the usage of cryptocurrency. This is one area which is somewhat controversial but it will certainly be fascinating to see if more regulators follow suit in terms of companies having to explicitly disclose what their crypto holdings are versus other assets because in a lot of jurisdictions the holdings are kind of bundled into reserves that they don't have to necessarily be differentiated from cash if they don't want to disclose that information. A crypto social network called Bitclout has been launched which has a number of high-profile investors behind it as well as skeptics. The whole idea here is that it's a social crypto exchange where users can buy and sell tokens based on people's reputations including tokens for people who are not on the platform. For those of you who have read Accelerando by Charles Stross, there's certainly some parallels there with people being able to trade in their reputation online. In the Ethereum two network news, the eth2 team, Lighthouse, have succeeded in demonstrating an eth1 and eth2 merged transaction. This means that an Ethereum one i.e. the current public Ethereum blockchain, they demonstrate one of those transactions taking place on the eth2 network using eth2 validator nodes. This will ultimately provide a 99.98% reduction in power consumption by the Ethereum network and there's a huge push happening at the moment in Ethereum to get onto the new eth2 platform which is going live as soon as possible. Then all of these criticisms about Ethereum and NFT power consumption would no longer be a thing and sources say that it could happen within the next 12 months which would be a huge achievement given how much value there is on the Ethereum platform. In scaling news, the Optimism network, one of the leading scaling layer 2 scaling technologies for the Ethereum network, have announced that they're going to be delaying their network launch until July. Unfortunately they had been talking about April but it looks like they've had to give themselves a bit more time with the work. Also, the Ethereum developer, Vlad Zamfir, who was very involved with the Casper proof of stake consensus mechanism, has filed a lawsuit against the blockchain company called Casper Labs with their usage of the name. Many people, Vlad obviously included, feel that this company's kind of piggybacked on the name of this Casper technology to get a lot of attention rather than being people that were involved in the original development of the Casper proof of stake technology. In enterprise news, Ernst and Young have launched their cryptocurrency tax calculator for their US customers. This enables companies to calculate their capital gains on crypto transactions. Also, the Danish Red Cross has launched a $3million blockchain based volcano disaster relief bond. Finally in enterprise, Microsoft have announced the completion of their ION v1 which is launched on the Bitcoin mainnet. This is their decentralized identity platform that we spoke about briefly last week but they actually run these nodes that store data on the Bitcoin network to provide a fully decentralized identity platform. So another huge innovation coming out of Microsoft. In DeFi, a project that emerged on the Binance Smart Chain recently pulled the rug from underneath investors taking more than $2.4 million in funds which were drained from trading pools on exchanges running on Binance Smart Chains. They were on ApeSwap and Pancake Swap. The Brave browser has said that they plan to integrate a dedicated Binance Smart Chain DeFi wallet and one of the funny things about the press release here is where you read the names of some of the Binance Smart Chain based projects. You've obviously heard of Pancake Swap before but you also have Bakery Swap, Beefy Finance and many more such as Venus and Autofarm so it's great to see all the names that people are coming up with for these real platforms running on top of Binance Smart Chain and some of some of the other blockchains. In the NFT world, Time magazine has been making a lot of noise in a few different areas. First of all, they're looking to hire a new CFO who is comfortable with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies they say on the job description. They've also auctioned four special edition NFTs which managed to sell for just under $450 000. Three of these were magazine covers from previous editions of Time magazine and they also included an NFT which was all three of those. The other thing as well is that the magazine's also starting to accept payment for subscriptions in crypto too. We've mentioned previously about Jack Dorsey auctioning off his first ever tweet as a NFT and that sale has now completed. He sold for $2.9 million and he's donated all of the proceeds to an African relief charity. The buyer was someone called Sina Estavi who's the CEO of Bridge Oracle which is a public oracle system that runs on the Tron blockchain network. In other NFT news, Tron's Justin Sun also paid $6 million for a Beeple that was sold as part of Nifty Gateway's carbon airdrop where all proceeds went to the Open Earth Foundation. The Open Earth Foundation, its motivation is to scale proven technologies to build climate solutions but with a commitment to collaboration with the global community of innovators which includes international universities, organizations, government agencies and not for profits. They've worked with the World Bank, Yale University, MIT, and the Linux Foundation. It's great to see these prices going to an organization that has got so much focus on being able to help address climate change with innovative approaches. The cryptocurrency exchange crypto.com has just launched an NFT platform and they're going to be including content from some big names including people like Snoop Dogg, Lionel Ritchie and Boy George. John Cleese has also created his first nft which is basically a sketch of the Brooklyn Bridge which is listed on OpenSea currently with the bidding $36000. William Shatners Third Millennia company has teamed up with London firm Mattereum to launch a crypto tech and anti-counterfeit venture to safeguard digital commerce in their cultural markets. The idea here is that you have real world asset nft, not digital NFTs, in the respect of these digital artifacts, but you have NFTs that are tied to real world assets. He's got a lot of memorabilia and props from his very historic roles including Captain Kirk and Star Trek and Danny Crane from Boston Legal so it's fun to see these these two areas starting to merge together in terms of real world as well as digital NFTs.In terms of the metrics, the crypto market cap has stayed relatively static this week it's at $1.77 trillion, the assets locked in DeFi have dropped slightly by 5% down to $41.17 billion and the values of NFTs sold and exchanged in the last seven days is down almost 40% to $36 million. This might be that there hasn't been as many high profile exchanges of valuable assets in this last week and the sales average price is back down to $1000 on average. That's all we have 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 also hosting a weekly Clubhouse room every Monday at 12 p.m eastern 5 p.m BST if you'd like to discuss any of the items we've covered here. Thanks and I'll see you next week.