DDI Blockchain Weekly (August 13th-19th)

3 min read

Crypto markets briefly dived below $200 million to hit the lowest total capitalization since November 2017, before bouncing back to end the week virtually unchanged. And while Bitcoin followed a similar trend, Bitcoin dominance hit 54.4% on Tuesday, a level not reached since December, before retreating to 52% by Sunday.

It’s been a busy week for Coinbase…

DDI Blockchain Weekly

Having first announced its decision to add Ethereum Classic (ETC) to its list of supported cryptocurrencies in July, Coinbase finally unveiled its newest addition on Wednesday, and began trading the next day. The ensuing 24 hours saw ETC rally by 15%, hitting a peak of $14.91 before paring gains towards the end of the week.

The addition of ETC takes Coinbase’s token availability to five, with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash being the other four. What’s more, additional cryptos are likely to be added in the near future, with Coinbase recently revealing that it was ‘exploring’ an additional five tokens– Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar Lumens, Zcash and 0x.

Coinbase also published a patent filing on Tuesday that proposes a new mechanism to further secure Bitcoin payments. The patent explains that existing infrastructure does not “provide a solution for maintaining security over private keys while still allowing the users to checkout on a merchant page and making payments using their wallets.”

As such, the new proposal aims to create a “key ceremony” which would encrypt private user passphrases into “masterkey key shares.” The shares are then combined into an “operational masterkey” which is used for private key encryption during checkout, as well as for transaction signing when a payment is made. An API key is also included in the patent, so other websites can launch their own version of the portal.

Vitalik Buterin discusses the latest on Casper

In a thread containing some 75 tweets, Vitalik Buterin went into some detail on Wednesday about Ethereum’s proposed proof-of-stake project. The tweets provide a lot of information regarding Casper’s development and current status, detailing history going back to January 2014, and discussing Casper’s evolution “as an overlay on top of any PoW or PoS or other blockchain to add finality guarantees.”

Buterin ends the tweetstorm by discussing his version of Leslie Lamport’s 99% byzantine fault tolerant algorithm, which he presented earlier this month. All in all, the information provides fascinating insight into one of Ethereum’s most anticipated upgrades, and is undoubtedly worth a read.

The Petro to become an official unit of account

On Tuesday, Venezuelan president announced that its national cryptocurrency will legally be considered a unit of account within the beleaguered country. The Petro, as well as a soon-to-be-released new fiat currency, will both commence their official accounting unit status from today (Monday, August 20th). And according to Spanish newspaper ABC, the Petro “will be a second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA [state-owned] oil industry.”

The oil-rich but cash-poor Latin American nation has suffered from disastrous economic mismanagement and hyperinflation, with Maduro attempting to solve the problem by introducing a new sovereign bolivar that effectively devalues the existing currency by a factor of 100,000. And with the petro also becoming an official unit of account, salaries and prices will reportedly be anchored to the oil-backed national cryptocurrency.

AT&T Sued for $224 Million by Cryptocurrency Investor

A U.S. crypto investor has filed a $224 million lawsuit against telecommunications company AT&T on Wednesday. The complaint accused the firm of negligence after investor Michael Terpin allegedly lost $24 million in cryptocurrency due to “AT&T’s willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory duties, and failure to adhere to its commitments in its Privacy Policy.”

Terpin was the victim of two separate hacks within seven months involving an impostor getting his phone number from an “insider cooperating with the hacker” without an AT&T store employee requiring him to show valid identification or provide a required password. According to the complaint, the phone number was then used to access Terpin’s cryptocurrency accounts, “What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner,” the complaint alleged. AT&T disputes the allegations.

Deloitte releases 2018 global blockchain survey

Having surveyed 1053 “blockchain-savvy executives” from Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, the US and the UK, leading consulting firm Deloitte recently published its findings as part of its efforts to discover more about the state of blockchain adoption and about attitudes toward the technology. Among its main conclusions are that 39% of respondents believe that blockchain is “overhyped,” with this figure rising to 44% for US-only respondents, up from 34% in 2016.

“Blockchain fatigue” is setting in among those who feel “its potential has been over-communicated, while its real-world benefits remain elusive.” Legacy concerns and an “uncertain” return on investment are also challenges firms currently face in attempts to integrate blockchain into an already existing business model. That said, Deloitte itself believes that “blockchain adoption is far more advanced in the United States than the Deloitte global survey indicates.”

Dr Justin Chan Dr Chan founded DataDrivenInvestor.com (DDI) and is the CEO for JCube Capital Partners. Specialized in strategy development, alternative data analytics and behavioral finance, Dr Chan also has extensive experience in investment management and financial services industries. Prior to forming JCube and DDI, Dr Chan served in the capacity of strategy development in multiple hedge funds, fintech companies, and also served as a senior quantitative strategist at GMO. A published author at professional journals in finance, Dr. Chan holds a Ph.D. degree in finance from UCLA.

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