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Crypto && Coffee 013 | FATF Releases the Results of its February Meeting

Technology Recap: 

Bitcoin: 

  • The bitcoin-dev mailing list heated up this week with posts regarding how a Bitcoin transaction can leak protocol usage. Full message here. 
  • Developers are starting to weigh in on Taproot versus alternatives for enabling a Merklized Abstract Syntax Tree (MAST) and Schnorr signatures. The debate is also growing around how they will actually activate these Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs).  

BitcoinCash: 

  • The Bitcoin ABC v0.21.0 release has been made available three months in advance of the scheduled upgrade activation on May 15th, 2020. The protocol upgrade, once activated, will enable: 
  • Increased transaction chain limit, from 25 to 50 
  • OP_REVERSEBYTES opcode support in script 
  • Improved counting of signature ops using the new SigChecks method 
  • Support for a miner-activated infrastructure funding plan 

Ethereum: 

  • There is work on a new EIP aiming to add pre-compiles to the EVM for arithmetic operations on the elliptic curve BLS12-381. Support for this curve enables interoperability with ETH2.0, ZcashFilecoin, Chia, Dfinity, Algorand, and more. This change also aids in zk-SNARK applications.  
  • In the last Ethereum AllCoreDevs call, they discussed the proposed fork schedule: 
  • Berlin: includes BLS pre-compile upgrade sometime in June 2020. This upgrade will prep for the ETH2.0 Deposit Contract. 
  • Standalone Prog-PoW upgrade will take place the following third Wednesday after Berlin. 
  • The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterinshared his plan for ETH2.0 from the Stanford Blockchain Conference. 

Other Chains:  

  • Loopring’s DEX Exchange, a non-custodial exchange built on top of Ethereum with both the Loopring protocol and zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) for scalability, will launch its public beta in roughly two days. The total balance of their exchange currently can be seen here. 
  • Cosmos core contributor Tendermint Inc. announced the restructuring of their company with Directors Zaki Manian, Jack Zampolin, and Jesse Irwin resigning. Departing engineers are looking to form a new Germany-based company backed by Interchain Foundation.  
  • On Monday, February 24, 2020, Coinbase Pro launched the KNC/USD and KNC/BTC trading pairs which launches Kyber Network (KNC) onto the Coinbase order books. 
  • IOTA Foundation released an in-depth post-mortem of the Trinity wallet attack. The attack took place via code injection into a third-party SDK library which was accessible via the CDN config. 
  • The XAG/USD Chainlink price feed was incorrect for over six hours on February 20, 2020. During that time someone made substantial profits. A total profit of $37K was made on just three transactions. The Chainlink team responded. 
  • On February 21, 2020, there was a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) SIM hack that was worth ~$30M. The initial movement of funds is here. 

Mainstream Recap: 

  • Coinbase announced it has become the first pure-play cryptocurrency company to be approved by Visa as a Visa principal member.  
  • Ripple’s open developer platform Xpring sponsored three challenges at ETHDenver, aiming to add Interledger support for ERC-20, ETH on layer-2, and an XRP-ETH bridge over the Interledger protocol. Full details here. 
  • Shopify joined the Libra Association, aiming to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere. 
  • Sweden has begun a pilot program that will be testing an e-Krona. This program will last one year and bring them closer to a potential release of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).  
  • Paxos, in conjunction with Credit Suisse and Instinet, has claimed the first live blockchain-based settlement of US equities.  
  • The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a statement on Friday, February 21, 2020, denying it has ever regulated Binance. People started posting that Binance is primarily based in the Cayman Islands with OKEx based in Seychelles.  
  • FATF shared the outcomes of the meeting held between February 19-21.  
  • OKEx has added 19 new assets to Spot Margin Trading and Savings Markets. These assets include ZEC, ATOM, XLM, XMR, and more. 
  • Representatives from G20 financial institutions pressed countries that have not done so already to align with global cryptocurrency standards as outlined by FATF. 
  • Bank of England’s Chief Cashier, Sarah John, stated that  it is crucial central banks research digital currencies. Full report here. 
  • Binance now supports deposits and withdrawals in Hong Kong dollars.  

This Week’s Cup of Coffee: 

This week, we are chillin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco after hitting up Andytown Coffee Roasters. Their Wind & Sea Blend is a favorite to rejuvenate after a surf session. With notes from both Colombia and Ethiopia, this coffee is a wellrounded, full bodied roast. 

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