Brazil’s largest private bank Launches Crypto Trading Platform in Brazil

A Step Into the Cryptocurrency Market

The biggest private bank in Brazil, Itaú Unibanco, has just made a substantial entry into the bitcoin industry. In a significant step toward the integration of conventional banking with digital assets, the bank introduced a cryptocurrency trading service on December 4, 2023. This event marked a significant milestone. This action is a response to the growing demand for cryptocurrencies from organizations and people with high net worth all around the globe.

Offerings Made Initially and Plans for the Future

Trading in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), the two most significant cryptocurrencies, is initially available via the site. Guto Antunes, who is the head of digital assets at Itaú Unibanco, said that this is only the beginning, and he indicated that there are plans to extend to additional crypto assets in the future. This policy is in line with the changing regulatory environment as it pertains to cryptocurrencies in Brazil.

The Environment of Regulation

The clarity of the regulatory environment in Brazil was a significant factor in the bank’s decision to provide services related to cryptocurrency trading. The Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) will be in charge of supervising assets that are classified as “securities,” while the Central Bank of Brazil will be in charge of overseeing crypto laws. Since July 2022, this legal framework has been under review, which has provided a strong platform for financial institutions such as Itaú Unibanco to go into the realm of crypto services.

The Landscape of Competition

The arrival of Itaú Unibanco into the cryptocurrency trading market positions it to compete with other local firms such as the cryptocurrency exchange MB and the digital assets subsidiary Mynt of the investment bank BTG Pactual. Itaú, on the other hand, is attempting to distinguish itself by providing crypto custody services, which are aimed at protecting the assets of its consumers. The one-of-a-kind strategy that it takes places it in a favorable position in comparison to global titans such as Binance.

The Currency Exchange Market in Brazil

In the year 2023, Brazil had around 37.72 million users of cryptocurrencies, making it a sizable user base. In accordance with Statista’s projections, this number is anticipated to increase to 54.46 million by 2020. It is obvious from these statistics that Brazilians are showing an increasing interest in cryptocurrency, which indicates that the market for Itaú Unibanco’s new initiative is likely to be quite lucrative.

Final Thoughts

The entry of Itaú Unibanco into the cryptocurrency market is a significant event that serves as a symbol of the growing awareness and acceptance of cryptocurrencies within the mainstream financial sector. The bank is well positioned to become a significant participant in Brazil’s rapidly developing cryptocurrency market because to its all-encompassing strategy, which includes securities trading and custody services.

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Ethereum Team Leader Critiques University’s Apathy Towards Crypto Education

The Ethereum team leader, Péter Szilágyi, recently expressed his dissatisfaction regarding his alma mater’s apparent disinterest in providing students with opportunities to engage with Ethereum technology. Szilágyi’s frustration was articulated through a series of tweets on December 3, 2023, where he recounted his efforts to foster genuine interest in Ethereum at his former university.

Szilágyi’s attempts to spark enthusiasm included organizing a grant that allowed nine students to attend Devconnect, with all expenses paid. Despite this, he found that the students were unaware of the grant’s source and showed little curiosity about it. His further efforts to initiate collaboration between students and industry professionals through university contacts also met with no response.

This lack of engagement from the university and students led Szilágyi to reflect on his own university experience, where there was a constant call for industry projects and funding, yet a noticeable lack of initiative to seize such opportunities.

Meanwhile, Ethereum’s price has seen a significant increase, with a 20.10 percent rise over the past month, reaching a current value of $1,698.72. This growth contrasts sharply with the tepid response from academic institutions to the burgeoning field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Contrarily, there’s an evident rise in demand for cryptocurrency and blockchain courses in educational settings globally. Large corporations drive this need, seeking professionals well-versed in blockchain technology. Companies like Oracle, Amazon, and Google are scouting for talent in this domain to develop blockchain-based solutions. Additionally, there’s an increasing interest among information systems students to learn about decentralized applications.

In a recent development underscoring this trend, France announced the establishment of the Institute of Crypto-Assets. This institution aims to conduct research and offer support in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, signaling a growing recognition of these fields’ importance in the contemporary digital landscape.

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Australian Taxation Office Clarifies CGT on DeFi and Crypto Wrapping

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided pivotal guidance on the capital gains tax (CGT) treatment concerning decentralized finance (DeFi) and the process of wrapping crypto tokens. This move is part of the ATO’s ongoing efforts to clarify tax obligations in the evolving domain of digital assets and blockchain-based finance.

DeFi, a form of finance leveraging blockchain technology to operate without traditional financial intermediaries, predominantly runs on the Ethereum blockchain. In DeFi, capital gains can occur, and the ATO has highlighted several CGT events (A1, E2, C2, H2) that might be relevant, depending on the specific arrangement’s nature.

A critical factor in determining CGT events is whether a trust relationship is established within the DeFi arrangement. This becomes significant in scenarios where the legal person holds the same type of asset for other beneficiaries, impacting the sole beneficiary status.

The ATO’s guidance clarifies that many DeFi lending and borrowing arrangements could trigger a CGT event, primarily when beneficial ownership of a crypto asset changes. This can occur through either asset exchange or a future rights exchange.

In DeFi, liquidity pools are mechanisms for pooling crypto assets to facilitate lending and add liquidity to trading. Providers who contribute to these pools receive new assets or rights, representing their pool share. The ATO clarifies that depositing into and withdrawing from these pools can constitute CGT events, determined by the market value of the assets involved.

Rewards or returns from DeFi platforms are treated similarly to interest income for tax purposes. The market value of any crypto asset reward at the time of receipt must be reported as assessable income.

Wrapped tokens, representing another crypto asset, are subject to CGT upon wrapping or unwrapping. This is based on the market value of the wrapped token at the exchange time.

Following the ATO’s clarification, there’s been notable industry response. Chloe White from Genesis Block and Blockchain Australia criticized the ATO’s stance for violating the principle of technological neutrality, potentially impacting the financial future of young Australians.

Adding to the complexities, CoinSpot, a local cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly experienced a security issue leading to a significant financial loss. This incident adds another layer of concern for Australian crypto users in the current regulatory landscape.

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$27M USDT Theft Linked to Binance Deployer Address

A significant cryptocurrency theft has been reported, involving the loss of 27 million USDT (Tether). The incident was first brought to light by a tweet from ZachXBT, a well-known figure in the cryptocurrency community, known for his investigative work on crypto-related frauds and scams.

According to ZachXBT’s tweet, the theft occurred on November 12, 2023. The stolen USDT was rapidly converted into Ethereum (ETH) and then dispersed through various services, including FixedFloat and ChangeNow. Subsequently, the funds were bridged to Bitcoin via THORChain, a decentralized liquidity protocol.

An intriguing aspect of this case is the connection of the victim’s address to the Binance deployer. Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has been known for its robust security measures. The involvement of an address linked to Binance’s deployer raises questions about the security protocols and the potential vulnerabilities that could have been exploited in this theft.

The transaction ID provided by ZachXBT for the theft is 0x0f2183c8e415e61b4ad7774bf1097019eb2d5b85798a2a229070495131d60321. This transaction can be traced on the Ethereum blockchain, offering insights into the movement of the stolen funds.

The rapid conversion of the stolen USDT to ETH and the subsequent transfer to various services highlights the challenges in tracking and recovering stolen cryptocurrency funds. The use of decentralized exchanges and cross-chain bridges like THORChain further complicates the recovery process, as these platforms often do not have the same level of regulatory oversight or user identification requirements as centralized exchanges.

Recent months have seen a surge in significant crypto hacking incidents, highlighting the persistent vulnerabilities in the digital asset sector. One case was the LastPass hack in October, where hackers siphoned $4.4 million from over 25 users, underscoring the risks associated with digital security and password management. This event was closely followed by a major breach at the Poloniex exchange, resulting in a staggering loss of over $100 million in crypto assets, believed to be due to a private key compromise. In a related development, the digital asset lender Hodlnaut faced liquidation amid the crypto winter, affecting numerous users and creditors. These incidents collectively underscore the critical need for enhanced security measures and vigilance in the cryptocurrency industry, as investors and platforms alike navigate the complexities of digital asset security.

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Vitalik Buterin Analyzes Ethereum’s Layer 2 Solutions

Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, delved into the intricacies of Layer 2 (L2) solutions on the Ethereum blockchain in a detailed post dated October 31, 2023. He acknowledged the rapid expansion of the L2 ecosystem, especially the ZK-EVM rollup segment, featuring notable projects such as StarkNet, Arbitrum, Optimism, and Scroll. He lauded the advancements in security, with L2beat mentioned as a good resource for tracking the progress of these projects.

A notable observation by Buterin is the growing heterogeneity within L2 projects. He foresees a continuous trend driven by key factors:

1. Independent Layer 1 (L1) projects seeking closer alignment with Ethereum, albeit cautiously to avoid compromising usability or losing momentum.

2. Centralized projects exploring blockchain for enhanced security.

3. Non-financial applications like games and social media, eyeing decentralization with a balanced approach to security based on the nature and value of activities conducted on-chain.

He emphasized that while current Ethereum L1 users might tolerate moderate rollup fees, newcomers from the non-blockchain realm are unlikely to accept any fee, especially when transitioning from a no-fee environment.

Buterin dissected the trade-offs among Rollups, Validiums, and Disconnected Systems, particularly focusing on the security and scalability aspects. The core question revolves around the assurance level of moving an asset from L1 to L2 and back to L1. He presented a comparative chart to explain the technology properties, security guarantees, and costs associated with each system type.

He also presented a spectrum of intermediate solutions like a validating bridge and discussed the cost of Ethereum’s native data availability versus an application’s needs, which would ultimately influence the choice between different L2 solutions.

An interesting concept introduced is “pre-confirmations,” providing a form of partial guarantee by attesting to the order and post-state root of transactions. This could be beneficial for low-value, high-frequency applications, offering a lower-security, low-latency solution within the same ecosystem accommodating high-security, high-latency applications.

Buterin highlighted the importance of a system’s ability to trustlessly read the Ethereum blockchain, and the security implications it entails. He proposed two solutions: ensuring the top chain reads only finalized blocks of Ethereum or allowing the top chain to revert if Ethereum reverts.

He further delved into the concept of transforming a separate chain into a Validium through a two-way validating bridge. However, he pointed out that several edge cases, like handling 51% attacks or hard fork upgrades on Ethereum, require a social commitment to address exceptional scenarios.

In conclusion, Buterin explored two key dimensions of connectedness to Ethereum: the security of withdrawing to Ethereum and the security of reading Ethereum. He acknowledged the value of projects across different regions of this design space, advocating for a potential transition from looser to tighter couplings with Ethereum as technology evolves over time.

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Solana’s SOL Price Predicted to Surpass $3000 in Bullish Scenario by 2030

A detailed analysis by VanEck, a major asset management firm, sketches various valuation scenarios for Solana (SOL) by the year 2030, amid the blockchain’s remarkable performance and its strive for scalability, dated October 27, 2023.

VanEck’s examination lays out three potential SOL price paths by 2030: a bearish $9.81, a bullish $3,211.28, and a base case of $335, driven by diverse market shares and revenue estimations across key sectors. This is part of a broader scenario where Solana emerges as the first blockchain to host an application with over 100 million users. Despite the envisioned lower monetization rate at 20% of Ethereum’s (ETH) and smaller market shares due to community philosophy differences, there’s a credible trajectory to $8 billion in revenues for SOL token holders by the end of the decade.

Central to Solana’s promise is its technical prowess, particularly in scaling blockchain operations. Through rigorous optimization, Solana achieves higher transaction throughput, surpassing many legacy competitors. This technical edge extends to its data throughput capacity, a critical metric for blockchain efficacy, which is slated for a tenfold increase with the upcoming Firedancer upgrade. The blockchain’s unique features like Local Fee Markets further refine the user experience by effectively managing transaction costs and system congestion.

Solana’s innovative spirit has birthed an array of ventures, such as blockchain-optimized mobile phones and consumer-centric applications like decentralized mapping. Its initial vision of becoming a “Decentralized Nasdaq” has broadened with the advent of intriguing non-financial applications, underpinned by partnerships with industry giants like Shopify, Visa, and Google, which augment its ecosystem.

However, sustainability concerns loom. A glaring discrepancy between Solana’s revenue ($1.26 million) and blockchain security costs ($52.78 million) over a recent 30-day period underscores the pressing need for a more balanced financial framework. The continuous influx of speculative capital to offset validator selling pressure, against a backdrop of minuscule transaction fees, paints a challenging picture for long-term economic viability.

Solana’s journey is also marred by technical instabilities, with notable network downtimes between January 2022 and February 2023. Despite subsequent improvements, the complexity of Solana’s design, coupled with a high bar of programming proficiency, hinders a broader developer engagement. The blockchain’s share of active crypto developers has stagnated around 6-7% over the last 18 months, which might impede its ambition to host tomorrow’s blockbuster applications.

Utilizing a standardized valuation framework, VanEck projects a base SOL token valuation of $335 by 2030, based on an expected real rate of return applied to the terminal year’s Free Cash Flow. The projection, however, is pinned on substantial growth in user and developer adoption, which presently trails that of Ethereum. The potential implementation of token-voting governance by 2030 could enhance SOL token economics, provided a vibrant ecosystem activity ensues.

Solana, with its relentless focus on user-centric innovations and blockchain efficiency, offers a compelling narrative. Yet, its path to significant valuation and ecosystem growth is fraught with technical, financial, and developer adoption challenges that require diligent addressing to ensure a robust and sustainable blockchain platform through 2030 and beyond.

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dYdX Initiates Token Migration Following Layer-1 Blockchain Inception

Antonio Juliano, the founder of dYdX, announced on Twitter on 28 October 2023, regarding impending substantial transfers of $DYDX tokens in the following days. This alert is in alignment with dYdX Trading Inc. and other locked token holders’ plans to migrate tokens to the dYdX Chain, which will be recorded as transfers on both Ethereum and the dYdX Chain. It’s pertinent to note that these tokens will remain locked and are not slated for sale.

Following Juliano’s announcement, the dYdX Foundation provided further details, anticipating large internal movements of the locked ethDYDX tokens held by investors and team members in the near future. The Foundation has outlined the process of bridging these locked tokens from Ethereum to other blockchains, inclusive of the dYdX Chain, via tweets dated 28 October 2023. Additionally, it is actively monitoring locked token holders’ wallet addresses to ensure compliance with legal agreements.

The dYdX Foundation has made it clear that it is prepared to take legal action against locked token holders who fail to adhere to the applicable requirements. The tokens involved in this migration will continue to be bound by the same transfer restrictions and release schedule.

Launch of the dYdX Layer-1 Blockchain

A subsequent media report shed light on the successful launch of dYdX’s layer-1 blockchain, heralded by the production of its genesis block. This blockchain will be powered by DYDX tokens native to the platform. The dYdX Chain is structured to compensate validator and staker fees in US Dollars, encompassing trading costs and gas fees for transactions denominated in either DYDX or USDC.

Empowered by CometBFT as its consensus mechanism, the proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain was developed utilizing the Cosmos software development kit. The launch was contingent on firms like Circle and Coinbase extending their services on Cosmos before the genesis block’s release, as emphasized by Juliano.

Community Accord and Augmented Token Utility

Before the dYdX’s native layer-1 chain introduction, the original DYDX operated as an ERC-20 token on dYdX’s initial Ethereum layer-2 protocol. The seamless transition to its own layer-1 chain was facilitated by community consensus which embraced DYDX as the L1 token of the dYdX Chain, established a one-way bridge from Ethereum to the dYdX Chain, and accorded wrapped Ethereum DYDX (wethDYDX) the same governance utility as ethDYDX in dYdX v3.

With the dYdX Chain operational, the utility of the DYDX token has been broadened due to community votes and governance decisions. It is now instrumental for staking, which enhances network security and aids in governance decisions. The Cosmos distribution module is tasked with distributing the accumulated fees to the validators and stakers within the dYdX Chain protocol.

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Ethereum Devnet 10 Testing Paves Way Towards Mainnet

On October 26, 2023, Ethereum protocol developers convened to discuss the recent results of devnet 10 testing. Initially, an update was presented by @parithosh_j and @BarnabasBusa regarding the successful launch of the network earlier in the week, according to Tim Beiko. The new validator churn limit was tested by activating Dencun, transitioning from 5 to 4 validators per epoch at the fork. A few bugs were identified related to sync with Prysm and deposit handling on Teku, which are currently being addressed. Additionally, some issues concerning builder-produced blocks were highlighted.

The testing of devnet 10 was executed in two phases. The first phase, which involved normal network conditions, exhibited a stable network able to handle approximately three blobs per block while mimicking real network usage. Every client combination could create blocks with blobs, some of which were run on ARM hardware. The second phase was a stress-test where the network was spammed to the extent that blocks had six blobs as often as possible. Although CPU and RAM usage on some clients increased noticeably alongside bandwidth usage spikes, the network maintained its stability, with only two out of around 100 nodes struggling to stay in sync.

Post-testing, @tbenr from Teku shared some performance numbers related to block processing time delays. The data, similar to what @Gajpower shared the previous week, posed challenges on how to extrapolate the findings to mainnet due to vastly different network conditions. Consequently, discussions around the next steps for testing and the possibility of forking testnets were initiated. The primary concern was the readiness of all clients, with Prysm requiring a few more weeks for deeper codebase changes.

A consensus on forking Goerli, a testnet, in the week of November 6 or 13 was sought but not achieved, mainly due to the varying levels of work needed across clients. The inability to finalize a date implied that the Goerli fork would likely happen in late November, pushing the mainnet transition to after the holiday season. The detailed plan for moving forward is expected to be drawn in the next ACDC meeting scheduled for November 9, 14:00 UTC.

Besides the primary agenda, @CarlBeek introduced RollCall, a new series of L2 coordination calls aimed at standardizing parts of the L2 ecosystem. Additionally, an update on the KZG ceremony was shared, allowing users to verify the outputs of the ceremony. Lastly, a discussion around EIP-7523 concerning the deprecation of empty accounts was initiated, with more deliberations to follow on EthMagicians forum.

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Coinbase’s Base Bootcamp Launches to Address Onchain Developer Shortage

Base, Coinbase’s Ethereum layer-2 network, has announced the beginning of Base Bootcamp, an eight-week, cohort-based program with the goal of converting experienced software engineers into smart contract developers. Base Bootcamp will focus on teaching participants how to build smart contracts. The blockchain sector is facing a large talent deficit, with less than 30,000 onchain developers compared to almost 30 million conventional software professionals. This endeavor comes at a time when the blockchain industry is facing a substantial talent shortage.

According to the official release, the program is geared for “mid to senior level software engineering individual contributors.” For the purpose of providing individualized instruction and practical experience to each student, each class will have fewer than twenty members. The deadline for submitting applications to be a part of the subsequent batch is October 27.

Applicants who are selected to participate in the program will be provided with specialized mentoring, and they will meet on a weekly basis with their mentors. They will also get access to a gated Discord channel that will let them to communicate with the other members of their cohort, as well as the Coinbase engineers and program mentors.

The material taught at Base Bootcamp expands upon the Base Camp curriculum that was made accessible to the general public earlier this year. The students will work their way through this curriculum, and in addition, they will get supplemental materials and tasks that will be graded by the Base team. Participants will create a decentralized application (dapp) for the real world during the course’s last two weeks and then show it to the other members of their cohort.

It’s interesting to note that there are no costs associated with participating in the program. However, in order to participate in the scheme, individuals are asked to provide a one-ether deposit as a kind of assurance. After completion of the course, you will get this money back.

Because there is now a dearth of onchain developers, the introduction of Base Bootcamp is quite crucial. This project, according to Base, is not simply a learning adventure but a step toward becoming an important contributor to the new internet, highlighting the need for more developers to participate in the ecosystem of decentralization.

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Long-term Dormant Ethereum ICO Participant Activates $3.2 Million Worth of ETH

A participant of the initial coin offering (ICO) for Ethereum has emerged from an 8.2-year hiatus, transferring their entire stash of 2,000 ETH, valued at $3.2 million, to four distinct addresses. This event occurred on October 21, 2023, as reported by Lookonchain via Twitter. The transaction showcases not only the price appreciation of Ethereum but also the potential market dynamics induced by long-term dormant cryptocurrency holdings transitioning to active status.

The participant acquired these 2,000 ETH during Ethereum’s genesis phase at an approximate total cost of $620, given the ICO price of approximately $0.31 per ETH. The tweet included a link to the Etherscan page showing the transactions from the address 0x6403d062549690c8e8b63eae41d6c109476e2588. The remarkable price appreciation highlights the enormous potential for early adopters in the cryptocurrency space, with the value of the assets skyrocketing from about $620 to $3.2 million over a span of 8.2 years.

Market Implications

The reactivation and transfer of assets from long-dormant cryptocurrency wallets to exchanges can evoke various reactions within the market and the cryptocurrency community. These transactions are often closely monitored and speculated upon, generating discussions and narratives that may impact market sentiment and price dynamics in the short term. Cryptocurrency exchanges may see an influx of ETH, which could potentially affect the asset’s price depending on the subsequent actions taken by the ICO participant

Large transfers from dormant addresses are sometimes perceived by the market as a prelude to selling, which could potentially put downward pressure on the price of the cryptocurrency involved. This concern may escalate especially in cases where a substantial amount of cryptocurrency is moved, potentially affecting market liquidity, more so if the cryptocurrency has a relatively smaller market cap.

Beyond the immediate market reactions, the reactivation of long-dormant wallets carries sentimental or symbolic significance. It highlights the patience and long-term vision of early adopters, reflecting the historical narrative of the cryptocurrency in question. Such events showcase real-world examples of significant asset appreciation over time, underscoring the potential rewards for long-term holders in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 43,977.78 0.25%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,246.90 1.83%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 72.66 0.90%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 244.86 2.11%