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Crypto && Coffee 009 | Binance Launches P2P Merchant Program

Technology Recap: 


  • Bitcoin had a stale block on January 26, 2020 at height 614,732. The legit block size was 0.97MB at 05:37:37 UTC and was mined by The stale block at 05:37:56 UTC was 0.98MB in size and was mined by Poolin. This was the first stale block found by BitMEX Research since October 16, 2019.  


  • Jiang Zhuoer, the leader behind the BTC.TOP mining pool, published an Infrastructure Funding Plan for BitcoinCash that would direct 12.5% of BCH coinbase rewards to a fund that will support BCH infrastructure. The post states, “To ensure participation and include subsidization from the whole pool of SHA-256 mining, miners will orphan BCH blocks that do not follow the plan. This is needed to avoid a tragedy of commons.” This announcement has taken the community by storm. 


  • Software analysis firm Runtime Verification has successfully completed a formal verification of the eth2.0 deposit contract. This contract is responsible for handling the locking of ETH on the eth1.0 (current) chain and then minting ETH on the eth2.0 chain to allow for staking. 

Other Chains:  

  • The Handshake Naming System, looking to be a decentralized naming and certificate authority, will be launching at the 615,817th Bitcoin block height (~5 days). The blockhash will be committed into the Handshake genesis block. 
  • Stellar is issuing a test network reset today, January 29, 2020 at 09:00 UTC. 
  • Aragon v0.8.7 is now live on Ethereum mainnet at This release features an experimental version of Aragon Fundraising, which introduces a novel way to onboard members to Aragon organizations. 
  • Harmony Protocol announced its token swap process, asking holders of its ERC-20 and BEP-2 ONE tokens to switch to its own native asset. Once on the Harmony chain, users can participate in staking and other activities.  
  • BitcoinGold was 51% attacked between January 23rd, 2020 at 18:01 UTC and Friday January 24th, 2020 at 00:24 UTC. This was detected by two deep re-orgs on BTG which contained double spends. Full deep dive here. 
  • Grin issued a draft proposing a new security sub-team as well as timelines for the scheduled v4.0.0 upgrade which is scheduled for July.  
  • Two separate security assessments have been completed on Zcash ZIPs that specify changes in the upcoming network upgrade (“Heartwood”) which is expected later this year. The two ZIPs assessed were ZIP 213 “Shielded Coinbase” and ZIP 221 “Flyclient Zcash SPV.” Both were completed by firms NCC Group and Trail of Bits.  
  • Zcash’s second round of dev fund voting has been posted 
  • 0x Protocol announced 0x API. The API is designed to make it easy for DeFi developers to tap into both off-chain and on-chain DEX liquidity fast and reliable. 
  • The Zcash Foundation published an overview of the network stack for Zebra, their Rust implementation of Zcash 


Mainstream Recap: 

  • Square Crypto, led by Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, announced they are building a Lightning Development Kit (LDK) which gives wallet and app developers a convenient way to create custom experiences.  
  • Paxos announced the rollout of Auto-Transfers. This enables the transfers of funds via wire transfer – from their bank accounts into either Paxos Standard or Binance USD stablecoins. 
  • Square Crypto has been granted a U.S. patent regarding a payments system allowing users holding different asset types to transact with one another in real time. Read the full patent here. 
  • BitMEX announced the new XRP USD Swap and delisting of BitMEX UP and BitMEX DOWN contracts on January 23rd. This swap is via quanto swap which will launch on February 5. Quanto swap in fiat terms is a cash-settled, cross-currency interest rate swap, where one of the counterparties pays a foreign interest rate to the other. Contract details are available on testnet as of January 24.  
  • Gemini completed SOC 2 Type 1 examination conducted by Deloitte & Touche LLP. This achievement makes Gemini “the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange and custodian to demonstrate this level of security compliance in protecting customer data and funds.” 
  • Binance launched the global Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Merchant Program. Binance global P2P merchants can earn revenue by providing fiat currency payment solutions and enjoy zero transaction fees as well as professional service support for Binance. 
  • IBM has received a U.S. patent for a type of “self-aware token” which is designed to record all transaction data when not being used on a payments platform. Read the full patent here. 
  • U.K. court has ordered Bitfinex to freeze BTC worth ~$860K after the funds were traced to a ransomware payout. The full filing is here. 


This Week’s Cup of Coffee: 

This week, we are staying in California with Sacramentobased Temple Coffee Roasters. Temple’s Three Pillars coffee is a medium roast with notes of milk chocolate, nuts, and cocoa. It’s a blend of coffee from their direct trade partners in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Colombia. This is a great full-body coffee to start your day. I prefer to brew it via pour-over with a Chemex or drip. 


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