1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Rallies Despite Cooler Inflation Data
The crypto reached its highest level since mid-May.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the consumer price index posted a 0.5% month-to-month gain, compared with a 0.9% increase in June. The price rose 5.4% from the year-ago level.
Despite cooler — but still high — inflation data in July and the U.S. Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that could impose certain taxes and restrictions on the cryptocurrency sector, bitcoin’s price climbed to $46,502 on Wednesday, its highest level since mid-May, with retail investors returning to the market. The cryptocurrency was trading at $46,433 as of press time, up 2.45% on the day.
“The market isn’t expecting the language in the Senate bill to progress as is through the House and into law, which I also agree with,” Jeffery Wang, head of Americas at crypto services Amber Group told. “I think once all is said and done, we will have more palatable rules for the crypto industry.”
Bitcoin (BTC) $46,566, +2.1%
Ether (ETH) $3255.7, +3.2%
S&P 500: 4447.7, +0.25%
Gold: $1752.4, +1.35%
10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.332%, compared with 1.347% on Tuesday
“Bitcoin has taken a major leg up in the last few weeks. In our past notes we had anticipated a rally till mid of August,” Pankaj Balani, CEO of Delta exchange told.
2. Returned Funds, Blacklisted Tokens Raise More Questions Than Answers in DeFi’s Biggest Hack
The Poly Network attacker has returned $342 million of their $613 million haul. Should token issuers freeze the rest?
Chatter about the largest attack in decentralized finance (DeFi) history has only elevated, after the attacker returned at least $342 million worth of drained funds back to the cross-chain DeFi platform Poly Network.
Now the crypto community is raising moral questions about how involved centralized players such as Binance and Circle should be when it comes to limiting monetary damage in the realm of DeFi exploits.
Others are asking whether attackers like the one in Poly Network’s case should be pardoned or even praised as they slowly return funds back to the protocols they preyed upon.
At press time, more than $342 million worth of tokens — including USDC, BUSD, SHIB and FEI — have been returned to Poly through Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum and Polygon, blockchain data shows. The attacker started returning funds at approximately 08:47 UTC on Wednesday and the latest return came at 19:06 UTC on the same day with roughly $84 million worth of USDC sent back to Poly on Polygon.
Centralization vs. decentralization
Despite the fanfare surrounding the Poly attack, some market observers said it showcased the advantage of having at least some degree of centralization in DeFi.
3. Blockchain File Storage and the Fight Against Ransomware
Let’s be honest: There would not be so many ransomware attacks if cryptocurrency weren’t a thing. Just ask the U.S. Secret Service.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on the epidemic of ransomware: hackers locking up data and making computer systems useless until they get paid a hefty fee. In his testimony, Secret Service Assistant Director Jeremy Sheridan listed three reasons why ransomware has gotten so bad. His first reason: “The swelling profitability of these attacks, in part as a result of the growth of cryptocurrencies as a form of extortion payment.”
Cryptocurrency is tough (definitely not impossible) to trace and it crosses borders with alacrity, and because of that, it gives cybercriminals a safer way to do bad things and get paid to stop. But what if cryptocurrencies’ handmaidens, blockchains, were also able to provide a new level of protection against this criminal industry?
We spoke to several leaders in decentralized data storage as well as a security expert to unpack ways in which distributed storage from projects like Arweave, Filecoin, Skynet and Storj might stymie ransomware attacks.
Large organizations tend to be “running on the zero-day patching treadmill,” said Federico Maggi, a senior researcher at TrendMicro, an international cybersecurity company.
4. Goldman Crypto Report Shows Exchange Tokens, Proof-of-Stake Assets Outperforming
The Wall Street firm analyzed “which network features investors are rewarding.”
Exchange tokens and digital assets associated with proof-of-stake blockchain networks have outperformed the broader cryptocurrency market since the end of 2019, while privacy-focused digital tokens have underperformed, Goldman Sachs wrote in a new report.
“As the market matures, monitoring crypto’s market segments may help determine which network features investors are rewarding, as well as the prospect for practical applications of the technologies,” Zach Pandl, Goldman’s co-head of foreign-exchange strategy, and analyst Isabella Rosenberg wrote Wednesday in the report.
The publication of the report represents the latest iteration of the Wall Street firm’s on-again, off-again flirtation with cryptocurrencies. As recently as June, one Goldman division panned digital assets as not “viable” for client portfolios, but the company’s analysts continue to cater to institutional investors with in-depth examinations.
Exchange tokens are digital tokens issued by crypto exchanges, such as binance coin, while currency-like assets are represented by bitcoin (BTC, +0.5%) (BTC). The report categorized chainlink (LINK, +5.61%) (LINK) as a token used in other applications, and monero (XMR, +2.09%) (XMR) as a privacy coin.
5. By Taxing Crypto, the US Government Has Accepted It’s Here to Stay
There’s a silver lining in Congress’ efforts to impose a tax on crypto transactions: The U.S. finally accepts crypto is part of the economy.
Crypto just experienced a major watershed — and it’s time to recognize the silver lining.
Crypto suddenly became part of the U.S. Senate’s debate over the infrastructure bill, and the outcome in my view is the greatest regulatory certainty crypto has ever had in the U.S.
Out of seemingly nowhere, the infrastructure bill introduced an estimated $28 billion tax on the crypto industry. Many in the industry expressed outrage and concern. The crypto-related amendments that were introduced and debated in the Senate focused on a battle over how tax reporting will work and whom it should apply to.
Here’s the silver lining — and for me a huge “Aha” moment. If the U.S. government thinks it is going to raise $28 billion in taxes from the crypto industry in the next 10 years, it means crypto is here to stay. It means crypto is going to be a new cornerstone of the U.S. economy.
Let me say this another way — the government is going into partnership with the crypto industry.
The government didn’t abolish tobacco — it taxes it. The government taxes alcohol. The government taxes capital gains and income, and all kinds of other things. It does not tax illegal narcotics, it does not tax prostitution (except in Nevada). And once the government gets used to receiving tax revenue, it is almost unprecedented for that to stop.
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August 12, 2021