Showing you how to grow your bags – Stellar’s staking, Ripple’s XRP showes and EOS’s lawsuit (a classic in the making already)

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f933e95f-57b3-422a-a313-2d4aec5489b3.png October 5, 2020
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By Noelle Acheson
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Top shelf

The Australian government is investing big in modern technology.

Elsewhere, rewards are coming in for XRP and XLM holders, the forced EOS redistribution makes everyone happy except Block.One, and Venezuela built a national stock exchange on Ethereum.

Australia modernizes
Australia will commit A$800 million (US$575 million) to invest in digital technologies as part of its coronavirus recovery plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Tuesday. The federal plan will see US$256.6 million for a digital identity solution, $419.9 million to fully implement the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program, $22.2 million for small businesses training to utilize digital technologies and two blockchain pilot programs totalling $6.9 million. “The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy,” Morrison said in the announcement.

Ripple’s Community Comes Together
Taking the number one spot, as the fastest to respond to their member’s needs and requests, is Ripple, for pushing forward with its quantitative easing project, right when it was needed the most. In order to fight back the price decline and the world’s recent unfortunate series of events, XRP holders are being compensated for their consistency and loyalty to the network, in the most generous community program ever developed by Ripple.

Support for Staking
Back in 2018, the Stellar community proposed a reward program through the Stellar Community Staking Marathon, when the cryptocurrency market was witnessing a downfall, and now, here it is. While this initiative was recommended with the vision of attracting more users, it is an incentive payout program for both new and old users. Under this payout, users can claim up to 25% of the XLM balance as a bonus through a time-based staking algorithm that estimates a reward percentage and allots the additional Lumens automatically. You can claim the Lumens via Account Viewer.

The Rise and Fall
EOS has been one of the darlings of the blockchain industry, especially in Asia, ever since it has been launched – but not lately. The company raised over $4 billion in its year-long ICO, making it one of the most lucrative blockchain offerings. However, it has always had an off relationship with the SEC. In 2018 Block.one was charged for violations of the SEC’s security offering regulations, but the story didn’t end there. This time around, the probe is related to manipulation of its token prices. However, instead of paying off its outstanding tax liabilities and mounting penalties, the company has chosen to forfeit its digital assets. All EOS holders can qualify for redistribution. Check out the full story.

National and decentralized
Venezuela has launched a “decentralized” national stock exchange built atop the Ethereum blockchain. Enabled under a new law listed in the country’s Official Gazette on Tuesday, the exchange comes as part of new measures announced by Pres. Nicolas Maduro in a bid to sidestep tough U.S. sanctions. A draft of a wider “Anti-blockade Law for National Development and the Guarantee of Human Rights,” aimed to give the government tools to “defeat all mechanisms of persecution and international blockade,” was also announced Tuesday in a speech to the country’s National Assembly. The news comes soon after Venezuela legalized the cryptocurrency mining industry.

CoinDeskU
Universities are often key to getting new industries off the ground, providing the infrastructure to take paradigm-shifting ideas to the next level. But in blockchain and digital finance technology, how do they measure up?

Introducing CoinDesk U, a ranking of the top 20 schools identified in our research in collaboration with Mousebelt.

During a special CoinDesk Live episode on Oct. 6, we will release the results of the first CoinDesk U ranking. We are inviting students from around the U.S. as well as representatives from student club networks, the crypto industry and leading institutions to discuss traditional academia’s relevance and support for the financial technology poised to fuel Web 3.0.

Watch CoinDesk Live: Can Old Schools Teach New Tech on CoinDesk.com, Twitter and YouTube. Learn more.

Quick bites

At stake

Are DEXs better off?
The sudden takedown of BitMEX, an institutional part of centralized crypto trading, raises questions about the viability of decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

CoinDesk’s Will Foxley reports the value proposition of decentralized platforms is that they are – at least in theory – wholly owned by their communities, rather than their investors or a C-suite of executives.

However, they are founded by real, live humans who are subject to the whims of law enforcement agencies. Are they next?

It seems like BitMEX’s takedown was wholly its own doing, by allegedly serving U.S. customers without proper authorization from the CFTC, and eschewing proper know-your-customer (KYC) requirements up until earlier this year.

But without a figurehead like Chief Executive Arthur Hayes, can the same accusations be leveled against platforms like Uniswap – which create open markets without regulatory oversight that anyone can enter?

“For DeFi builders it might be relevant to have from the start a clear path towards decentralized governance similarly what Ethereum and Bitcoin is today, where there is no centrally controlled entity governing these protocols by design. In the end also remember who you are building for and make safe products for all stakeholders,” Stani Kulechov, co-founder of the Aave DeFi money market, told CoinDesk.

Others, like Robert Leshner, founder of DeFi lending platform Compound, even suggested regulators might find virtue in DeFi. Though time will tell.

For now, there could be apparent security in the limited size of the DEX subsector. The $11 billion DeFi market pales in comparison to the larger centralized exchange (CEX) market, Foxley notes. But the gap is closing.

CoinDesk’s Zack Voell reports September volume on DEXs recorded its third consecutive month of doubling. Aggregate trading volume on decentralized exchanges reached $23.6 billion in September up from $11.6 billion in August.

Join CoinDesk Research for the fourth and final episode of How to Value Bitcoin, our live webinar series covering Bitcoin fundamentals.

On Oct. 6, Delphi Digital head of research Yan Liberman will dive into collective profit and loss taking (CPLT), hodlwaves and the ins and outs of the money analysis. Register to join How to Value Bitcoin: UTXO-Based Fundamentals (Part 2).

Market intel

Coronavirus scare
The cryptocurrency and Asian stock markets sold off early Friday after U.S. Pres. Donald Trump announced he and his wife had tested positive to COVID-19. In a tweet on Friday, Trump said he and First Lady Melania Trump had begun their quarantine process. Bitcoin is also down by 1.9%, having fallen from $10,678 to around $10,400, at press time. The Australia ASX All Ordinaries fell 1.35%, while the S&P 500 futures fell about 2% on the news. “We will get through this TOGETHER!,” Trump tweeted.

invest: etheruem economy
The move to ETH 2.0 will bring the Ethereum network ever closer to fulfilling its original vision: that of a “world computer” that plays host to a parallel, decentralized financial system. Will it be the rocket fuel that takes Ethereum’s financial engine mainstream?

CoinDesk’s invest: ethereum economy virtual event Oct. 14 will address the ramifications for investors of the sweeping changes underway within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Keynote speakers and panelists including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman and CEO Heath P. Tarbert will offer deep dives into Ethereum’s adoption of a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, sharding and other elements of its impending 2.0 upgrade, as well how the new framework impacts the rapidly advancing business of DeFi, stablecoins and decentralized exchanges.

Register to join invest: ethereum economy on Oct. 14.

Internet 2030

This excerpted article is part of CoinDesk’s “Internet 2030” series. Read the full report here.

Self sovereign identity
In today’s internet, most of us have made the Faustian bargain of trading agency for convenience. We trust Facebook with our log-in credentials to countless other sites, the photos of our family, the contents of our private messages, and troves of personal details that can be repackaged, exploited, and weaponized – in just one tiny example, arguably tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

But most of us make that Faustian bargain. We hold our nose and click. We feel that unless we want to be an online hermit, there really is no choice.

But what if we “owned our data,” meaning that instead of trusting the Googles and Facebooks with our precious data – a resource more valuable than oil – we are the custodians of our data, and we only share it when we choose, in certain contexts, and perhaps we can sell it or license it?

“You’re re-democratizing the internet,” says Drummond Reed, chief trust officer of Evernym, one of the organizations trying to make SSI a reality. “You’re pushing the power, literally, out to the peers.” Reed is no Pollyanna, and he doesn’t expect the Facebooks to vanish in the next decade, but he predicts that “we will see a pretty dramatic reshaping of the power distribution.”

Okay, but what would that actually mean from a user experience? SSI can be an abstract concept, making even Bitcoin look simple and easy to explain. It’s tough to visualize or appreciate. So for this scenario, we’ll envision some ways that SSI – and ownership of your data – would change your (online) life.

Welcome to a better internet.

Have an idea for what the future of the internet will look like, reach out to daniel@coindesk.com.

Who won #CryptoTwitter?

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