China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Suggests a Government-Backed Blockchain Fund

The National People’s Congress (NPC) in China has proposed the creation of a government-backed blockchain fund in its ongoing annual meeting.

The Chinese legislative body began consultative meetings last week as part of its political advisory role. According to its Deputy Director, Jieqin Tan, a blockchain fund would help spur growth in the industry.

This milestone comes shortly after the People’s Political Consultative Conference (PPC), during which a regional stablecoin was proposed. Basically, the PPC operates as a lower legislative body compared to the NPC; proposals tabled by delegates of the latter are more weighty and likely to be considered.

However, going by the recent blockchain and crypto sunrise wave in China, a regional stablecoin would not be completely out of the picture.

The Government Blockchain Fund Proposal

Jieqin Tan suggested that the blockchain fund could be steered by the Chinese government. Once up and running, the fund would focus on nurturing innovations within the blockchain space. More especially, unicorns and startups with a promising outlook given the current state of blockchain integration and emerging challenges.

Should this initiative be successful, Tan is optimistic that it will improve China’s odds in capitalizing on a first-mover advantage. In addition, blockchain tech has the potential to push China’s oversight towards ‘smart governance’.

Tan, therefore, thinks that funding and supporting the industry would increase the security and sovereignty of the Chinese people. In his view, the industry should be consolidated based on a three-dimensional strategic plan:

“From the bottom technology standard, middle industry application development to the top-level system design, the national blockchain technology, industry and supervision three-dimensional strategic planning system should be well coordinated.”

Despite touting the proposal as a good initiative, Tan was keen to highlight that blockchain tech has had its fair share of challenges. Particularly, scaling issues have emerged as more players join existing ecosystems. Furthermore, the industry is still short of talent and operates on a huge knowledge gap making it hard for information to be impactful.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Former CFTC Chairman Giancarlo’s Digital Dollar Project Adds 22 Members to Advisory Board

Digital Dollar Foundation, an outfit that is pushing for the creation of a digital dollar in the US, has now announced its board of advisors. The foundation is led by ex-CFTC executives Chris Giancarlo (aka Crypto Dad) as well as Daniel Gorfine who has also roped in Accenture.

According to a press release, the new board of advisors was unveiled on Thursday and consists of 24 people who will work together towards the development of a US CBDC.

The advisory board brings together experts with broad backgrounds in both the finance industry as well as payment technologies. Some of the members include exCFTC commissioner Sharon Bowen, Usman Ahmed who is PayPal’s policy official, fintech law professor Chris Brummer, Sheila Warren who is the head of blockchain efforts in the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as DRW’s CEO Don Wilson. As well as the former Treasury Undersecretary in charge of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelkar and former President Trump’s adviser Tim Morrison.

The Digital Dollar Foundation looks forward to advocating for research as well as discussion on the possible benefits that comes with the use of a US CBDC. The new board will explore how a digital dollar will operate as well as scale. The group will also explore if a digital dollar can be utilized in private transactions.

Giancarlo explained that the board consists of individuals from different sectors who are experts in monetary policy, commercial and central banking, privacy law, KYC/AML, economics, tax and other relevant disciplines that are crucial in the exploration of how a digital dollar will be used and its impact on the US and the global economy. Giancarlo explained:

“The insights and expertise of the new advisory group members will be invaluable as we work together to help make the dollar a more effective and smarter currency in an increasingly digital global economy.”

The developments come as legislators are haggling on how a digital dollar which is non-crypto can help in the distribution of funds to US citizens at a time when the world is fighting the Corona pandemic.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

WEF’s New Global Consortium To Focus On Cryptocurrency Governance Framework

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the creation of a global consortium which will come up with a governance framework for all cryptocurrencies comprising stablecoins.

In a blog post, WEF announced that after extensive consultation among the global community members, an international consortium which will work closely with financial institutions, representatives of governments, developers as well as other global community members to analyze the type of crypto governance which can enhance financial inclusion.

Klaus Schwab, WEF founder who is also the chair, said that virtual currencies are critical area of interest which needs input from different sectors, geographies as well as functions. He said:

“Building on our long history of public-private cooperation, we hope that hosting this consortium will catalyse the conversations necessary to inform a robust framework of governance for global digital currencies.”

According to CoinDesk, the new consortium will aim at providing solutions to the current fragmented regulatory regime in different countries. The consortium will also advocate for innovative regulatory approach in order to enhance technological advancement. The consortium is also expected to come with principles that will encourage the public and private players to work together in exploring the various prospects which comes with virtual currencies.

The international consortium has the backing of various central banks basically from the developing countries and different non-governmental entities. The consortium also has backing from Mark Carney of Bank of England who has previously argued that digital currencies have great potential.

The initiative received support from industry players such as Libra Association’s David Marcus, ConsenSys’ Joe Lubin as well as Neha Narula from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. They all praised the efforts taken by the WEF.

The new developments come just a few days following the forum’s blockchain head, Sheila Warren together with Sumedha Deshmukh who came up with ‘Blockchain Bill of Rights’. Last week, various central banks stated that they will set up a working group which will analyze how the crypto technology can be used in the finance sector.

WEF also announced that an international technology governance summit will be held on April 21-22 this year.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Coinbase Earn a “Huge Success” for Crypto Projects

  • Coinbase Earn led to the creation of 10,000 CDPs on the weekend
  • The growth has been sustained one and not just new initial users effect
  • The exchange also tackled several challenges posed by the decentralized finance apps

According to Coinbase’s latest report, Coinbase Earn launching the Dai Advanced Task resulted in users creating more CDPs (Collateralized Debt Positions) than ever.

Coinbase Earn is a platform that allows users to earn cryptos while learning about them via educational videos and performing tasks. It also helps foundations like MakerDAO by helping them expand user participation and found new users to distribute their dedicated tokens.

Given that the US-based exchange pulled the traffic of more than 16 million in December, down from 28 million in July, it offers a huge opportunity for the projects to reach out to a much bigger audience.

MakerDAO is a decentralized app that allows users to use ETH as collateral to create CDP in its USD-pegged stablecoin DAI.

In the previous 11 months, Coinbase reports that about 9,000 CDPs were created with MakerDAO.

The crypto trading platform launched the service on Friday, July 26, 2019 and on the weekend more than 10,000 CDPs were created however, debt positions haven’t changed significantly.

The effect wasn’t lost right after that, Coinbase says, “It’s shown sustained growth for the network far past the initial new user effect.”

Tackling the Challenges

Coinbase finds that decentralized financial apps pose two major challenges to their users, fear of losing initial deposits and difficult to use.

Through Coinbase Earn, the exchange itself provides users with funds to complete the lesson such as in case of MakerDAO, a very small amount of ETH needed as collateral and to pay the network fee was given to the users wanting to learn about MakerDAO.

Coinbase also took the volatile gas prices into consideration and checked the ETH network for its users. If the prices are too high, it asks its users to come back later to complete the task.

In the case of MakerDAO, there has also been the problem of its UI not being designed for mobile. Here, Coinbase worked with the Maker team to make the Maker app mobile-friendly. As for determining whether a user has successfully created a CDP, they created a crawler that subscribes to all DAI events.

With this success, Coinbase provides the projects a bigger user base, with many of them being first time users.

“The DAI Advanced lesson has been a huge success for token development teams and for our community of users. By completing this task, many users directly engaged with a blockchain for the first time,” stated Coinbase.

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Author: AnTy

Web3 Foundation’s Polkadot Ecosystem Looks To Implement Kadena’s Pact Smart Contacts

The Web3 Foundation, known for the creation of its Polkadot protocol, is currently studying how to integrate the Pact smart contract programming language created by a startup called Kadena to it. Right now, the two organizations have started a partnership to find solutions for this integration together.

Pact was originally created as a way to make smart contracts easier to execute on different types of blockchains. When the language was created, Kadena hoped that it would be adopted as a standard in the future, just like USB is today.

The founder of Kadena, Stuart Popejoy, revealed the project to the world back in June 2019 and affirmed that it could be used in both private and public blockchains, making it a hybrid language. Also, the project is supposed to be the first smart contract technology that can be read by humans, not only machines, which is also something very important to make it more mainstream.

Kadena’s blockchain platform went live this month after the announcement of a $20 million USD token sale. At the moment, there are ten proof of work blockchains running it and they are supposed to allow data to be shared in several different networks.

As the project created by the Web3 Foundation has the goal of uniting proof of stake protocols, the two companies saw as fit the idea to partner and connect the services that they provide.

The Web3 Foundation was created by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Gavin Wood. The company has just recently launched its DOT tokens and has a network valued at around $1.2 billion USD but it is not being freely commercialized right now.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee Explains Why LTC Is Always Profitable for Exchanges

The creator of the Litecoin network, Charlie Lee, recently talked about his creation. He was interviewed by podcaster Dan Gambardelo, known as the founder of Crypto Capital Venture, and talked about the benefits of the cryptocurrency.

Gamberdelo asked his Twitter followers to come up with unique and original questions for him, so they did. One person asked a pretty interesting question: why Litecoin does not need to pay to be listed on any platform while most altcoins do?

Lee’s answer was, that it makes business sense, basically. Exchanges see Litecoin as a highly traded asset that can bring in a lot of revenue because people actually use it. The same cannot be said for many cryptocurrencies in the market.

The community also came up with several other questions. For instance, someone asked Lee if Binance charged him for listing the asset. He affirmed that they did not. When asked if he still mined LTC,  Lee confirmed that he had stopped to mine tokens himself around 2016 or 2017.

Someone also asked him if he ever talked to Satoshi. Charlie Lee affirmed that he did not have the chance to do it because Satoshi was already gone when he entered the crypto space.

Unfortunately, though, the situation is not looking good for Litecoin, despite what Charlie Lee states. The token is entering a bearish trend after losing some of its value recently and several LTC investors are already bracing for a long Winter ahead at this point. After the BTC sell-off, LTC went down together and it is now the 6th largest token by market cap.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Vega Protocol Gets $5 Million Led By Pantera Capital for Derivatives (Options, Swaps, Futures) Market

A company focused on the creation of a decentralized derivatives market called Vega Protocol was recently able to raise $5 million USD via it’s seed round. According to the official reports, the round was led by Pantera Capital, one of the largest crypto funds in the market. Other important investors were Ripple’s Xpring, KR1 and Hashed.

The goal of Vega Protocol is to create a platform in which people can trade in the derivative markets all around the world. The derivatives include swaps, futures, options and other investments.

According to the founder of the Vega Protocol, Barney Mannerings, there is a lot of value to be discovered on this platform. He also confirmed that the company would release more details about it’s token soon to explain how it would work.

Vega will work as a non-custodial layer 2 solutions. It is an ambitious project, but not properly an exchange, its founder affirmed, only a platform that will connect people who are interested in this market.

Mannerings also talked about how Vega is around 10 to 100 times faster than Ethereum. It is a newer network that uses better technology, so the results are pretty clear. He intends to create a platform in which people can create basically any kind of derivative product using it.

Many securities and other investments will be digitized in the future, so there is a lot of hype around this kind of project. Paul Veradittakit from Pantera Capital affirmed that the team has a good vision of the future. According to him, projects like this are integral to the development of the blockchain ethos and they represent what the company also believes.

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Author: Hank Klinger