Rosetta


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Fred Wilson. The original is [linked here]

Our portfolio company Coinbase released an open source framework for crypto asssets to make it easier to list them on crypto exchanges. It is called Rosetta. Coinbase is encouraging blockchain projects to integrate Rosetta so that they can more easily list new assets on the Coinbase Exchange.

But as this Coindesk post outlines, any crypto exchange can adopt Rosetta so this could be something that levels the field for everyone.

Coinbase is putting Rosetta out to the broader community under an Apache license in the hopes that other exchanges will kick the tires on it. “All the code is available, it can be forked, it can be edited, so if there’s another exchange or another project that wants to put their code on it they can do that and also suggest their own changes,” Dalal said. “In a perfect world there are people building on top.”

https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-open-sources-technical-standard-to-streamline-token-listings

Because different blockchains work differently, each crypto exchange needs to build their own interfaces to the blockchains in order to list them. That takes time and slows down listing new assets.

An open source middleware framework like Rosetta should make it much easier for exchanges to list new assets and allow them to support new assets more quickly. This would be great for innovation in the blockchain sector.


USV TEAM POSTS:

Nick Grossman — Jun 11, 2020
The 1k Project

Albert Wenger — Jun 10, 2020
Meet Clarity

Rosetta


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

Our portfolio company Coinbase released an open source framework for crypto asssets to make it easier to list them on crypto exchanges. It is called Rosetta. Coinbase is encouraging blockchain projects to integrate Rosetta so that they can more easily list new assets on the Coinbase Exchange.

But as this Coindesk post outlines, any crypto exchange can adopt Rosetta so this could be something that levels the field for everyone.

Coinbase is putting Rosetta out to the broader community under an Apache license in the hopes that other exchanges will kick the tires on it. “All the code is available, it can be forked, it can be edited, so if there’s another exchange or another project that wants to put their code on it they can do that and also suggest their own changes,” Dalal said. “In a perfect world there are people building on top.”

https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-open-sources-technical-standard-to-streamline-token-listings

Because different blockchains work differently, each crypto exchange needs to build their own interfaces to the blockchains in order to list them. That takes time and slows down listing new assets.

An open source middleware framework like Rosetta should make it much easier for exchanges to list new assets and allow them to support new assets more quickly. This would be great for innovation in the blockchain sector.


USV TEAM POSTS:

Nick Grossman — Jun 11, 2020
The 1k Project

Albert Wenger — Jun 10, 2020
Meet Clarity

Meet Clarity


This post is by Continuations by Albert Wenger from Continuations by Albert Wenger

Today Algorand and Blockstack are announcing that they are collaborating on the Clarity smart contract language. Clarity is a decidable (i.e. non-Turing complete) language inspired by lisp. I am extremely excited about this development and have spent a few hours this week writing a smart contract in Clarity.

I have long argued that Turing complete smart contract languages are problematic because the only way to really understand the system as a whole is to run it and see what happens. Still this is the route most projects have chosen and even more odd to me has been the embrace of WASM as an execution environment which optimizes for speed over safety and analyzability. Given that the key point of decentralized systems is censorship resistance that has long struck me as the wrong order of priorities. After all, there is no-one you can call to just unwind a mistake (modulo the DAO hack reset, I suppose).

Clarity instead is all about safety. Avoiding costly mistakes long before they can cause millions of dollars in damage. Decidability is one key aspect of that. To give just one example of the power of decidability: with Clarity you can know the precise gas fee of a contract in advance. Another key aspect is making actions such as issuing non-fungible tokens, which are a critical component of many applications, completely straightforward. There are many more aspects of Clarity that are a delight, such as the simple and clear type system. And being inspired by Lisp, Clarity naturally lends itself to building up code out of short functions (if you have never seen Lisp before, the language may strike you as odd at first – but I promise that learning it will make you a better programmer).

Now some people may think that you lose a lot by giving up Turing completeness, so I wanted to write a non-trivial example. One came to mind easily: an all-or-none funding mechanism. There are many possible use cases for such a contract, including a system such as Kickstarter, or my personal favorite, the second coming of Kitchensurfing (I hope). For readers who may not remember Kitchensurfing, it was a wonderful service where a chef would come to a home and cook there. The key missing feature though was the ability to get everyone to split the payment upfront, so that meant the host had to put up the entire bill and then collect from guests which is more than a bit awkward.

I won’t post the (nearly) complete contract here, you can find it on github. There is a bit more argument checking I need to add in one of the functions and I also have been remiss in writing a test harness (yes, I know I should have written that first, but I was too damn excited).

Here are some key things I would like to call out. How do you define a non-fungible token in Clarity?

    (define-non-fungible-token event-pass uint)

That’s all there’s to it. Later, when you want to issue an event-pass to someone who has paid, all you need to do is

    (unwrap!
        (nft-mint? event-pass event-pass-id tx-sender)
        (err "unable to issue event pass"))

Again, that’s it. Three lines of code and that includes the error handling!

Let’s look at a different part of the code to show another elegant feature of Clarity. With asserts! I can easily check if a condition is met and if it is not met issue an error. Doing so will abort execution and leave all blockchain state untouched

    (asserts! (< (get expires-at event) block-height)
              (err "event still funding"))

There is a lot more to discover and I encourage everyone who is interested to check out Clarity. The tooling is still growing but there is already a Clarity LSP for VS Code (which helped me find a number of mistakes). A full blown REPL running against a chain instance is in the works and will be a great way to interact with Clarity contracts during design.

Over time Clarity will become an independent project. It would be wonderful to see other chains support Clarity as a development language (possibly even the only one). In the meantime there are many amazing opportunities to contribute, from just writing contracts in Clarity (and providing feedback) to working on the virtual machine or on development tooling.

Tencent to Invest $70 Billion in New Technologies Including Blockchain


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Julia Bahr. The original is [linked here]

Chinese Internet-based company looks to move past Covid-10 impact

How does a blockchain-type Distributed Ledger system work?


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by James Woods. The original is [linked here]

TheMerkle Celer Network Blockchain

In order to explain the operation of blockchain-type Distributed Ledgers, it can be useful to refresh the mind on how traditional Ledgers operate, ie the “old” “Ledgers “.

How old ledgers work

Companies, but above all banks and public administrations have used Ledgers to manage the accounting and archiving of data and accounting transactions. The Public Administrations, in turn,  based on the Ledgers the registrations and transfers of properties for land, buildings and real estate assets .

With every change, for example in the ownership of a property and every time a transaction took place, a change was made to the Ledger through a central authority in charge of managing the Central Ledger . With this organization, by acting on the Central Ledger, the public administration offices or credit institutions could at any time know and identify the owner of a property or certain resources . This control allowed the banks themselves or the public offices to verify that any passages related to new transactions on certain assets were actually possible and above all legitimate. In other words, with the Central Ledger it was possible check whether the subject X about to sell the property Y was actually in possession of that property or had not already sold it to a subject Z. The bank, in turn, could check that the person H about to buy the property Y from subject X was actually in possession of the necessary sum and had not already used it for other acquisitions, or that the same sum was not used for multiple transactions.

The basis of the Central Ledger is all in trust in a central entity

The basis of the Central Ledger is all contained in the trust that each, indeed, everyone, must have in the manager of the Central Ledger. Banks and public administrations must have that authority capable of instilling this trust. If there is this trust, people can buy and sell even without having met before and in the absence of mutual trust. Because, precisely there is a third party that guarantees for everyone. The Ledger manager – Ledger – also controls access to the information contained in the Ledger and has the power to decide who can access the identity of a building owner and who can check the balance of a checking account. All defining the rules that make up an overall design of guidelines is that establishes the Governance of the Central Ledger.

In the case of banks, only current account holders have access to and visibility of their current account. But when these owners are engaged in the purchase of an asset (for example a property) it is the bank that guarantees, during the acquisition procedures, that these subjects actually have the amount necessary for the acquisition without that other subjects can have access to their Bank account. Click on Teekia Tiwari 5 coins to $5 million masterplan to know more.

The logic of the Central Ledger: the example of the Bank

Digitization has changed the Ledgers. The Ledger goes digital

With digitization, this process has undergone evolutions and accelerations. Digitization has changed the Ledgers, like many other elements of our professional and personal life, but the Ledgers have undergone a radical change, well before other work tools.

In a first phase, digitization made the Ledgers faster, easier to use, more performing and allowed to add many features. Digitization did not change the logic of the Ledger, however. The old Central Ledger has not been questioned. The Ledgers remained in the hands of a central structure that took advantage of the digital opportunities for management and above all remained closed and reserved .Governance has not changed, access and management rules have remained with the central operator of the Ledger, even when the relationship with this manager taking advantage of digital opportunities, ceased to be personal and physical and became virtual by going over the Internet.

The big change comes with the blockchain

The big change comes with lab Blockchain which allows guaranteeing the same functionality in the management of the Ledger, but without having to refer to a centralized structure, it is possible to authorize the legitimacy of a transaction.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

The post How does a blockchain-type Distributed Ledger system work? appeared first on The Merkle News.

Buzzy Ethereum wallet app Argent comes out of stealth


This post is by Romain Dillet from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Argent is launching the first public version of its Ethereum wallet for iOS and Android. The company has been available as a limited beta for a few months with a few thousand users. But it has already raised a seed and a Series A round with notable investors, such as Paradigm, Index Ventures, Creandum and Firstminute Capital. Overall, the company has raised $16 million.

I managed to get an invitation to the beta a few months ago and have been playing around with it. It’s a well-designed Ethereum wallet with some innovative security features. It also integrates really well with DeFi projects.

Many people leave their crypto assets on a cryptocurrency exchange, such as Coinbase or Binance. But it’s a centralized model — you don’t own the keys, which means that an exchange could get hacked and you’d lose all your crypto assets. Similarly, if there’s a vulnerability in the exchange API or login system, somebody could transfer all your crypto assets to their own wallets.

At heart, Argent is a non-custodial Ethereum wallet, like Coinbase Wallet or Trust Wallet. You’re in control of the keys. Argent can’t initiate a transaction without your authorization for instance.

But that level of control brings a lot of complexities. Hardware wallets, such as Ledger wallets, ask you to write down a seed phrase so that you can recover your wallet if you lose your device. It requires some discipline and it’s hard to understand if you’re not familiar with the concept of seed phrases.

Even Coinbase Wallet tells you to back up your seed phrase when you first create a wallet. “We see them as advanced tools for developers,” Argent co-founder and CEO Itamar Lesuisse told me.

That’s why a new generation of wallets tries to hide the complexity from the end user, such as ZenGo and Argent. Creating a wallet on Argent is one of the best experiences in the cryptocurrency space. Your wallet is secured by something called ‘guardians’.

Trust your friends

A guardian can be someone you know and trust, a hardware wallet (or another phone) or a MetaMask account. Argent also provides a guardian service, which requires you to confirm your identity with a text message and an email. If you lose your phone and you want to recover your wallet on another phone, you need to speak to your guardians and get a majority of confirmations. If they can all confirm that, yes, indeed, your phone doesn’t work anymore and you want to recover your crypto assets, the recovery process starts.

Let’s take an example. Here’s your list of guardians:

  • Argent’s own guardian service
  • Two friends who are also using Argent
  • A Ledger Nano S hardware wallet

In total, there are five different factors involved, you including. If you lose your phone, you can recover your wallet by downloading Argent on another phone (factor #1), asking Argent’s guardian service to send you a text and an email to confirm your identity (factor #2) and confirming your identity with the Ledger Nano S (factor #3).

You have reached a majority and the recovery process starts. You’ll get your funds in 36 hours so that you have enough time to cancel it it’s a hijacking attempt.

But you could also have downloaded the Argent app on another phone (factor #1) and pinged your two friends (factor #2 and #3) directly. If they can confirm the same sequence of characters (emojis in that case), the recovery process would start as well.

“I’m interested in social recovery, multi-key schemes,” Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said in a TechCrunch interview in July 2018. It’s not a new concept as social media apps already use social recovery systems. On WeChat, if you lose your password, WeChat asks you to select people in your contact list within a big list of names.

In Argent’s case, social recovery adds an element of virality as well. The experience gets better as more people around you start using Argent.

In addition to wallet recovery, Argent uses guardians to put some limits. Just like you have some limits on your bank account, you can set a daily transaction limit to prevent attackers from grabbing all your crypto assets. You can ask your guardians to waive transactions above your daily limits.

Similarly, you can ask your guardians to lock your account for 5 days in case your phone gets stolen.

Betting on Ethereum

Argent is focused on the Ethereum blockchain and plans to support everything that Ethereum offers. Of course, you can send and receive ETH. And the startup wants to hide the complexity on this front as well as it covers transaction fees (gas) for you and gives you usernames. This way, you don’t have to set the transaction fees to make sure that it’ll go through.

The startup plans to integrate DeFi projects directly in the app. DeFi stands for decentralized finance. As the name suggests, DeFi aims to bridge the gap between decentralized blockchains and financial services. It looks like traditional financial services, but everything is coded in smart contracts.

There are dozens of DeFi projects. Some of them let you lend and borrow money — you can earn interest by locking some crypto assets in a lending pool for instance. Some of them let you exchange crypto assets in a decentralized way, with other users directly.

Argent lets you access TokenSets, Compound, Maker DSR, Aave, Uniswap V2 Liquidity, Kyber and Pool Together. And the company already has plans to roll out more DeFi features soon.

Overall, Argent is a polished app that manages to find the right balance between security and simplicity. Many cryptocurrency startups want to build the ‘Revolut of crypto’. And it feels like Argent has a real shot at doing just that with such a promising start.

The Remote Work Renaissance Will Demand Decentralized Technology


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Cointelegraph By Noam Levenson. The original is [linked here]

The world’s digital migration driven by the COVID-19 pandemic requires more transparent and trusted technology such as blockchain

Bitcoin: Resilience in Crisis


This post is by jlk from The Barefoot VC

As investors try to navigate the COVID-19 world, they’re taking a hard look at their portfolios and solving for the new normal. In the midst of highly volatile traditional financial markets, savvy investors are searching for new avenues for not only higher returns, but the best risk-adjusted ones as well.

I’ve been investing in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors since 2013. I’ve often faced questions from institutional investors who considered Bitcoin a passing fad and too volatile for any serious consideration. Those in countries that have previously experienced massive inflation (Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Argentina) or capital controls (China, India) have long seen relative value in an asset that is independent of government financial manipulation. In the past month however, I have fielded an increasingly number of inquiries from investors in more developed countries who want to enter the sector.

This pandemic seems to be a catalyst that has led investors to rethink their strategies and warm up to the idea of crypto and its underlying blockchain technology. To put it simply, the high volatility in equities, credit, and oil have made the relative volatility of bitcoin more palatable for the typical investor and redefine what is a risky investment during these times.

For example, crude oil prices are down nearly 19% since 2015. On the other hand, bitcoin is up over 3,000% in the past five years, and over 58% in the past year alone. Bitcoin is up 25% from January 1 through April 30, and has seen less volatility on many days than the equity markets, with the major exception of its Black Thursday on March 12, when it crashed over 50%. That day the S&P 500 was down 9.5% and the DJIA was down 10%. While the future is still uncertain, Bitcoin has been living up to its narrative as a store of value, especially in the financial environment of today. As I write this it is close to $10,000 once again.

With central banks across the globe committing to cushion the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, low and even negative interest rates have driven investors to look for higher returns elsewhere. This macro environment has dovetailed with an upcoming event for bitcoin – the halving.

Roughly every four years, the Bitcoin reward for miners – those who work with high-powered computers to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate Bitcoin transactions – are halved to keep inflation in check. Currently, the reward for miners is 12.5 Bitcoin per block mined, but next week the reward will decrease to 6.25 new Bitcoin, leading to a decrease in supply. The low interest rates, high volatility of traditional financial markets, and upcoming halving event have together spurred an interest in the sector that I haven’t seen since 2017. Just like other technologies such as telemedicine and video conferencing that have been around for the past 10 years but have seen a boost given their relevance in today’s times, Bitcoin and blockchain will be part of the new normal.

The post Bitcoin: Resilience in Crisis appeared first on The Barefoot VC.

COVID19 and the Decentralization of Money


This post is by Continuations by Albert Wenger from Continuations by Albert Wenger

One key lesson from COVID19 is that we need a lot more decentralization. This is especially true when the center is as inept at managing the crisis as the US federal government has proven to be. For example, the power of agencies such as the CDC and the FDA has turned out to be problematic, e.g. in giving guidance on mask wearing or trying to increase the availability of testing (both central to the road back). This is not just a critique of current leadership but rather of the accretion of excessive federal power more generally.

The size of the economy of New York State is roughy $1.7 trillion as measured by the equivalent of GDP (an admittedly bad measure). That is about 150 times the GDP of the entire United States in 1800 (assuming I did my math right on that).  Or if New York were a country, it would rank 11th in the world, ahead of over 150 other countries. California is even bigger coming in 4th in the world (and ~275 times the size of the United States in 1800). It is completely unclear why outside a few crucial topics — that can only be regulated at the federal level — states of this size should not be making independent policy decisions. For example, why shouldn’t New York and California approve their own at home tests?

COVID19 may, however, turn out to be a catalyst for the ultimate decentralization, that of money. The dollar’s role as a global reserve currency has for many years put the US in a position of strength. But dollar dominance has proven to be a massive problem in this crisis — everyone who has dollar denominated debt, which includes not just US corporations and states, but also foreign sovereigns and corporates was relying on economic activity, including international trade, to produce the dollar necessary for debt service. With the COVID19 lockdowns that source of dollars has suddenly dried up which has forced the Federal Reserve to step in, producing an extraordinary 2.35 trillion dollars in the space of 6 weeks. For a super clear explanation of this see Jill Carlson’s great post.

The Fed is effectively making a last ditch attempt to prevent a massive global debt collapse. Even if we can stave that off in the near term, the crisis will make many entities around the world accelerate their search for an alternative to the dollar. This isn’t just idle thinking as the extraordinary speech by then Bank of England governor Mark Carney shows and is further illustrated by the massive freakout that central banks had over Libra’s plan for a stable coin based on a currency basket (the search for an alternative clearly does not include one that was feared could be controlled by Facebook).

One of the most interesting ways the decentralization of money could really pick up steam is with community currencies. US States cannot print money but will find themselves with massive budget holes from a combination of increased crisis response spending with a massive loss in tax revenues (footnote: there may be a way for states around this, but it is likely complicated and might result in an ugly fight). But there is a long history of community currencies in the US. And of course there is the famous “Miracle of Wörgl” in which a town helped lift itself out of economic depression by creating its own currency.

This is also an opportunity for crypto technology to really come into its own. For example we have been spending time upstate New York in Columbia County. It would be fantastic to have a local digital currency that is created on and settles via a blockchain. The county, or even a single city like Hudson, could issue it. Or better yet, citizens could create it for themselves. If anyone is aware of such experiments, I would love to learn more about them.

H/T to Tamar and Pete for getting my thinking on this going earlier today with an email exchange starting with this post by the Schumacher Center.

Universal Income — Its time has come


This post is by Keith Teare from Stories by Keith Teare on Medium

The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated a trend towards a workless society

Arweave’s permaweb stops coronavirus censorship, raises $8M


This post is by Josh Constine from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

The Chinese government has been removing criticism of its coronavirus response from apps like Weibo, the local equivalent of Twitter. But before it can, that content is being saved, decentralized and highlighted thanks to Arweave’s permaweb. Today it’s announcing another $8.3 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Coinbase Ventures.

Arweave has developed a new type of blockchain based on Moore’s Law of the declining cost of data storage. Users pay upfront for a hundred years of storage at less than a cent per megabyte, and the interest that accrues will cover the dwindling storage cost forever. More than one million pieces of data are now stored on the permaweb, and nearly 200 apps have been developed.

That includes perma-apps like WeiBlocked, which crawls Weibo for content likely to be censored. It indexes these posts and decentralizes them in the storage of hundreds of Arweave nodes operated around the world. WeiBlocked later checks back to see if the content has been censored, and then highlights them on its permaweb site you can access from a standard web browser. “By censoring it, it puts it out of the control of the censor,” says Arweave founder Sam Williams. 

It’s like the Streisand Effect in product form. The act of censorship actually causes the sensitive content to become increasingly visible. The more the Chinese government tries to hide information about Dr. Li Wenliang, an early coronavirus whistleblower who was pressured into silence by Chinese police and later Continue reading “Arweave’s permaweb stops coronavirus censorship, raises $8M”

Flow Playground


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

Our portfolio company Dapper (creator of Cryptokitties among other crypto games) has been developing a new blockchain designed for high throughput consumer experiences (like crypto games). That blockchain is called Flow.

Today, Dapper is opening up the Flow Playground so that developers can start building things on Flow.

The Flow Playground is the first taste of what building on Flow feels like: it is an interactive web environment where developers can write Cadence smart contracts and run them against the Flow Emulator being hosted by Dapper.

Cadence is the smart contract programming language for Flow and it uses resource-oriented programming concepts to deliver a faster, safer, and better user experiences when it comes to writing smart contracts.

Here are some screenshots of what it is like to develop in Cadence in the Flow Playground:

If you are a developer who likes to create fun consumer experiences and wants to build something on a blockchain, you should check out Flow and the Flow Playground. You can get started here.


USV TEAM POSTS:

Nick Grossman — Mar 2, 2020
Forcing Change

Albert Wenger — Feb 28, 2020
Sanders over Trump

The Digital Marshallese Sovereign


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

I’ve learned over the years that many of the most important things start out looking like little things or even laughable things. So if you want to laugh at this news, that will make me very bullish on it.

The Marshall Islands announced today that they will be issuing a digital version of their national currency, The Marshallese Sovereign, built on top of our portfolio company Algorand‘s blockchain.

The Marshall Islands claims that theirs will be “the world’s first national digital currency.” I suspect it won’t be the last.


USV TEAM POSTS:

Nick Grossman — Feb 24, 2020
Bird by Bird

Albert Wenger — Feb 24, 2020
Coronavirus and World After Capital

Thought Machine nabs $83M for a cloud-based platform that powers banking services


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

The world of consumer banking has seen a massive shift in the last ten years. Gone are the days where you could open an account, take out a loan, or discuss changing the terms of your banking only by visiting a physical branch. Now, you can do all this and more with a few quick taps on your phone screen — a shift that has accelerated with customers expecting and demanding even faster and more responsive banking services.

As one mark of that switch, today a startup called Thought Machine, which has built cloud-based technology that powers this new generation of services on behalf of both old and new banks, is announcing some significant funding — $83 million — a Series B that the company plans to use to continue investing in its platform and growing its customer base.

To date, Thought Machine’s customers are primarily in Europe and Asia — they include large, legacy outfits like Standard Chartered, Lloyds Banking Group, and Sweden’s SEB through to “challenger” (AKA neo-) banks like Atom Bank. Some of this financing will go towards boosting the startup’s activities in the US, including opening an office in the country later this year and moving ahead with commercial deals.

The funding is being led by Draper Esprit, with participation also from existing investors Lloyds Banking Group, IQ Capital, Backed and Playfair.

Thought Machine, which started in 2014 and now employs 300, is not disclosing its valuation but Paul Taylor, the CEO and founder, noted that the Continue reading “Thought Machine nabs $83M for a cloud-based platform that powers banking services”

Crypto-friendly Revolut is now UK’s most valuable FinTech company


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Robert Stevens. The original is [linked here]

Revolut has raised $500 million in a Series D funding round, making it worth a staggering $5.5 billion.

The post Crypto-friendly Revolut is now UK’s most valuable FinTech company appeared first on Decrypt.

Crypto-friendly Revolut is now UK’s most valuable FinTech company


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Robert Stevens. The original is [linked here]

Revolut has raised $500 million in a Series D funding round, making it worth a staggering $5.5 billion.

The post Crypto-friendly Revolut is now UK’s most valuable FinTech company appeared first on Decrypt.

Big Money Bets on Bitcoin (BTC) and Blockchain As $200,000,000 Crypto Venture Fund Reportedly Takes Off


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Daily Hodl Staff. The original is [linked here]

Blockchain innovators are drawing in rounds of venture capitalists who are betting big on cryptocurrencies and the rise of digital assets. Ratcheting up support for crypto-based startups, a flurry of high-profile investments from big players, such as Polychain Capital, Pantera and Peter Thiel are establishing the sector as a hot target.

While blockchain remains the most coveted skillset on the planet, developers worldwide are focusing on building sophisticated infrastructure and onramps that will give users an easy way to adopt digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and stablecoins, as well as introduce people to emerging platforms that use digital tokens for customer loyalty points and rewards.

Enter Polychain Capital. According to an investor slide deck, the crypto investment firm is gearing up for its second crypto venture capital fund, reports CoinDesk.

The company plans to raise $200 million through minimum investments of $1 million to launch a fund for crypto startups – with 40% of investments supporting existing blockchain tech and 60% targeting new solutions.

Polychain Capital counts among its co-investors a solid list of Silicon Valley and New York venture capitalists. Last year it joined Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a Series B round for AngelList spinoff and token sale manager CoinList, raising $10 million. Polychain’s portfolio includes companies that have completed investment rounds with participation from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.

Polychain, which invested in Coinbase through its first fund, opened its second fund at the start of this year Continue reading “Big Money Bets on Bitcoin (BTC) and Blockchain As $200,000,000 Crypto Venture Fund Reportedly Takes Off”

In Foreshadowing Cryptocurrency Regulations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Prioritizes Law Enforcement Concerns


This post is by rainey Reitman from Deeplinks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin foreshadowed the Trump administration’s plans for greater surveillance of cryptocurrency users during his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. He noted that cryptocurrency was a “crucial area” for the Treasury Department to examine, and said:

We are working with FinCEN and we will be rolling out new regulations to be very clear on greater transparency so that law enforcement can see where the money is going and that this isn’t used for money laundering.

While we haven’t seen any draft proposals at this point, Mnuchin’s call for greater transparency—a euphemism for intrusive surveillance— definitely got our attention. One of the real risks of cryptocurrency is that it could become a technology of financial surveillance, especially in the case of open ledger protocols such as Bitcoin. These are cryptocurrencies that create unerasable, public lists of transactions that, should a pseudonymous wallet ever be associated with an individual person, can potentially link together a huge number of financial transactions. And those transactions can be deeply revealing, pointing to everything from your friend network to your sexual interests to your political affiliations. Indeed, researchers have already proven that this is not a theoretical risk.

Law enforcement has long been interested in having access to financial records during investigations. But law enforcement access isn’t the only value, let alone the most important value, regulators need to solve for. There are already laws that regulate financial institutions that hold and exchange funds (including cryptocurrencies) for consumers, and Continue reading “In Foreshadowing Cryptocurrency Regulations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Prioritizes Law Enforcement Concerns”

In Foreshadowing Cryptocurrency Regulations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Prioritizes Law Enforcement Concerns


This post is by rainey Reitman from Deeplinks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin foreshadowed the Trump administration’s plans for greater surveillance of cryptocurrency users during his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. He noted that cryptocurrency was a “crucial area” for the Treasury Department to examine, and said:

We are working with FinCEN and we will be rolling out new regulations to be very clear on greater transparency so that law enforcement can see where the money is going and that this isn’t used for money laundering.

While we haven’t seen any draft proposals at this point, Mnuchin’s call for greater transparency—a euphemism for intrusive surveillance— definitely got our attention. One of the real risks of cryptocurrency is that it could become a technology of financial surveillance, especially in the case of open ledger protocols such as Bitcoin. These are cryptocurrencies that create unerasable, public lists of transactions that, should a pseudonymous wallet ever be associated with an individual person, can potentially link together a huge number of financial transactions. And those transactions can be deeply revealing, pointing to everything from your friend network to your sexual interests to your political affiliations. Indeed, researchers have already proven that this is not a theoretical risk.

Law enforcement has long been interested in having access to financial records during investigations. But law enforcement access isn’t the only value, let alone the most important value, regulators need to solve for. There are already laws that regulate financial institutions that hold and exchange funds (including cryptocurrencies) for consumers, and Continue reading “In Foreshadowing Cryptocurrency Regulations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Prioritizes Law Enforcement Concerns”

A SEC Safe Harbor For Crypto


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Fred Wilson. The original is [linked here]

SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce proposed a “safe harbor” for crypto projects that raise money before they are sufficiently decentralized.

I am a big fan of “safe harbors”and wrote a bit a few years ago about why I like them so much and why a crypto safe harbor is such a needed and good idea.

There is a chicken and egg problem in financing crypto projects. These projects need investment capital and community involvement/buy-in to get to market and begin the process of decentralization. But the SEC views crypto-tokens as securities until the crypto-networks are sufficiently decentralized. And so crypto projects get stuck in this never never land and have to craft crazy frankenstein financings or risk getting sued by the SEC (and/or both) in order to raise money and get their tokens in the hands of community members.

I encourage the SEC to take Commissioner Pierce’s proposal seriously and adopt a workable safe harbor for crypto projects here in the US. We have seen the crypto capital markets and so much of the innovation in the sector move offshore and a safe harbor would be incredibly helpful in getting it back onshore (I couldn’t help the nautical metaphor).


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