September 28, 2023
Welcome to Morning Blockchain, where we’re serving up a refreshing blend of blockchain and cryptocurrency insights to kickstart your day. In today’s edition, we’ll dive into a $1 million fund incentivizing DeFi innovation, explore the expansion of infrastructure datasets for multiple blockchain networks, unravel the concept of flagged NFTs, and examine the financial incentives and penalties of Ethereum staking. Plus, we’ll sip on the possibilities of U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs and the importance of legal frameworks for CBDCs. We’ll also take a peek at tokenization in Hong Kong and the intersection of trading and blockchain technology. And of course, we’ll bring you the latest on regulatory debates, DeFi portfolio management, and the rise of alternative blockchains. So grab your energy drink and get ready to stimulate your neurons with this brain-teasing content. Let’s dive in!
Aptos and Thala launch $1 million fund to foster new DeFi protocols The Aptos Foundation and Thala Labs have partnered to create a $1 million fund called the Thala Foundry, aimed at incentivizing developers to create new decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on the Aptos L1 blockchain, with the fund expected to grow to $5 million as protocols launch and expand, resulting in the launch of at least five new DeFi protocols; this is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it highlights the ongoing efforts to foster innovation and development within the DeFi space, utilizing blockchain technology. Ethereum explorer Rated raises $12.89 million in Series A funding Rated Labs, a crypto startup that provides infrastructure datasets for Ethereum, has raised $12.888 million in Series A funding to expand its offerings to multiple other blockchain networks, such as Polygon, Solana, Cosmos, and Polkadot, and enhance its explorer and API with new features and real-time functionality. What is a flagged NFT? The article discusses the concept of flagged NFTs, which are digital assets that have been marked for suspicious activities or policy violations on NFT marketplaces, highlighting the importance of safety controls in platforms built on top of blockchains, as they can help protect buyers and sellers from engaging with potentially malicious NFTs and experiencing financial loss or legal consequences. This is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it addresses the challenges of copyright infringements, fraud, and theft that exist in the NFT market and emphasizes the need for measures to ensure a secure and trustworthy NFT ecosystem. ETH Staking Has a Bright Future, Despite Regulatory Uncertainty The article explains how compensation for staking in Ethereum comes directly from the network through consensus rewards and transaction fees, and highlights that neither validators nor the network can move or reinvest staked assets, which is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it discusses the financial incentives and penalties involved in Ethereum’s staking system. With All Eyes on a Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval, Don’t Sleep on ETH (or ETHE) If a U.S. spot bitcoin ETF is approved, it would pave the way for an ether ETF, as ethereum ETFs have already been launched in Canada due to the presence of a regulated futures market for ETH, and an ETF approval for ETH would likely follow a BTC approval, presenting a greater arbitrage opportunity and potentially impacting the price more significantly given the less liquid ETH markets and its position as the leading platform for Web3 development. BIS wants countries to set up legal frameworks to support CBDCs The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is urging countries to establish legal frameworks that support the deployment of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), as outdated or unclear legal frameworks could hinder their development; this is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as CBDCs are a significant application of blockchain technology in the financial sector, and the success and widespread adoption of CBDCs depend on the establishment of supportive legal frameworks worldwide. Hong Kong to issue guidance on tokenizing stocks ‘in near term’ Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is planning to issue guidance on the tokenization of authorized investment products, with primary dealing of tokenized products likely to be allowed first, while secondary trading would require more caution and consideration due to the increased risks involved; this development is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it demonstrates the growing interest and acceptance of tokenization as a means of financial innovation and investment in the traditional financial industry. Monad is solving the ‘most obvious’ setback for the DeFi market In Episode 84 of The Scoop, Frank Chaparro and Keone Hon discuss Monad Labs, a new Layer-1 blockchain aiming to optimize the Ethereum Virtual Machine for high-performance trading, and how Keone’s background in high-frequency trading inspired the development of this project; relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it explores the intersection of trading and blockchain technology. EigenLayer’s Sreeram Kannan on the Hot (and Risky) Ethereum Trend of ‘Restaking’ This article discusses the concept of EigenLayer and how it allows for the creation of various systems on top of the Ethereum trust network, enabling innovation to be integrated back into Ethereum instead of requiring separate systems for each new development, which is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it highlights the potential for increased efficiency and consolidation of innovation within the Ethereum ecosystem. Gensler takes heat from lawmakers over his approach to regulating crypto Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler faced criticism from lawmakers during a House committee hearing regarding the agency’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation, including questions about spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds and whether bitcoin is a security, highlighting the relevance of this article to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it discusses the ongoing debate and uncertainty surrounding the regulatory framework for digital assets. FalconX participates in $3M round for DeFi portfolio manager Bril Finance DeFi portfolio management startup Bril Finance raised $3 million in seed funding and launched its flagship product on the Sei Network blockchain, aiming to become the leading destination for yield-seeking DeFi users across ecosystems. This is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it demonstrates the growing interest and investment in DeFi platforms and their potential to disrupt traditional portfolio management strategies. Monad reveals token name in newly released technical documents Monad Labs has released technical documents outlining its upcoming proof-of-stake blockchain, which will have a native token called mon, and promises to significantly improve on the performance of Ethereum while remaining EVM-compatible and bytecode compatible, making it easier for Ethereum developers to migrate their applications; this development is relevant to the blockchain and cryptocurrency space as it introduces a potential alternative to Ethereum with increased throughput and scalability. Staking Risks Are Vastly Misunderstood This article discusses the risks associated with selecting a third-party validator for staking tokens, highlighting the importance of choosing a reputable validator to avoid potential penalties or loss of funds, which is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it emphasizes the need for trust and due diligence in the ecosystem. SEC’s Gensler Throws More Crypto Punches in Congressional Hearing The article discusses how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is being urged to reconsider its stance on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by a judge, indicating potential future developments in the regulation of cryptocurrency investments. Chainlink’s CCIP goes live on Coinbase’s Ethereum Layer 2 network Base Decentralized oracle network Chainlink has launched its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) on Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling platform incubated by Coinbase, allowing developers to build cross-chain applications and services across multiple blockchain networks, including sending messages, transferring tokens, and initiating transactions; this is relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency as it enhances the interoperability and scalability of blockchain networks, making it easier for developers to create innovative cross-chain applications and services. Shiba Inu Ecosystem Token Bone Jumps 10% as Developers Take Key Security Step This article explains the concept of renouncing a smart contract in the crypto world, which gives investors peace of mind by removing the control of the contract from its creator, protecting it from potential manipulation and making it relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Countries Should Set Up Legal Frameworks to Support CBDCs: BIS Chief Central banks worldwide are actively exploring the concept of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), with 93% of them engaged in CBDC work in 2022, according to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); this highlights the relevance of blockchain and cryptocurrency in revolutionizing the way central banks operate and issue digital currencies.