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27
Feb
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2/27 News roundup: Satoshi Nakamoto, Ethena, Circle, Avalanche, Donald Trump

New emails related to Satoshi Nakamoto were released last week. Ethena is a new synthetic stablecoin. Circle will end USDC support on the Tron platform. The Avalanche blockchain crashed for several hours. Donald Trump’s position on Bitcoin is possibly changing.

New Satoshi Nakamoto Emails Revealed!

There is rarely new information about the early years of Bitcoin. The reason is that Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin creator, disappeared underground in the spring of 2011. Conversations and emails with Satoshi are well documented, but not all material has been made public.

This is why last week was exceptional. Martti Malmi and Adam Back released never-before-seen emails between them and Satoshi Nakamoto.

Finnish Martti Malmi was one of Satoshi’s first assistants and influenced the Bitcoin project in its early years. Adam Back has been a true cryptography pioneer for decades. Back was one of the first people Satoshi Nakamoto emailed.

Bitcoin historian Pete Rizzo has reviewed the published miles and their critical points in this tweet thread:

There aren’t any shocking revelations in the e-mails. However, they shed light on Satoshi’s thoughts about Bitcoin in its early years in a significant way. There are many exciting anecdotes for those interested in history.

The emails came to light last week as part of Adam Back and Martti Malmi’s testimony in the COPA vs. Craig Wright trial. Both Back and Malmi have given their written statements, and the men were also heard as witnesses.

COPA vs. Craight Wright is a trial that has lasted weeks in London. In short, it’s about Craig Wright, known as the founder of Bitcoin SV, trying to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

COPA stands for Crypto Open Patent Alliance. It is an influential organization whose members include e.g., Coinbase, The Block, and Microstrategy. In this lawsuit, COPA can be seen as representing the entire Bitcoin community

So far, the trial has gone as expected. The actual work was already done months before the trial, where Wright’s evidence has been found to have been manipulated. At the trial, Wright will have the opportunity to explain his evidence. In addition to this, witnesses from both Wright and COPA have been heard.

So far, Wright’s explanations of the origin of the forged documents have been relatively weak and, in some places, really confusing. There is also a lack of concrete evidence from the people who were Wright’s witnesses.

One of the most interesting pieces of evidence was seen last week when COPA representatives presented a video based on log data from the word processing software used by Wright.

The log data proves step by step how Wright tried to create a copy of the Bitcoin white paper in November 2023, just a couple of months before the trial. According to Wright, it was just a demonstration.

Perhaps the most incredible situation was seen yesterday, however, when Wright’s lawyer had to admit to the judge that the evidence they received last week of old e-mails was fake.

Here is Coindesk’s news about yesterday’s “bomb” if the topic interests you more.

The examples mentioned above are just a tiny scratch of the events of the last few weeks. We will discuss the trial in more detail when its outcome has been announced. The BitMEX Research account mentioned above reports daily events for those interested.

Ethena is a new and exciting stablecoin

There was a lot of buzz in the Ethereum community last week because of a new stablecoin called Ethena (eUSD). This coin made headlines by offering over 20% annual returns for its stakers.

Such high annual returns raise questions for a reason. Many still remember the UST stablecoin of the Terra Luna project, which offered 20% annual returns through the Anchor DeFi protocol. According to the founders of Ethena, the comparison with Terra is not reasonable

First, Terra UST’s 20% annual return was a marketing gimmick. The actual yield was less than 6 percent, but the financiers paid the rest to get users on the Anchor protocol. Secondly, the yield offered by Ethena is verifiable and consists of two different sources.

The founders of Ethena still want to call their currency a synthetic dollar instead of a stablecoin. Here’s a good X thread that goes through what Ethena does.

In short, eUSD takes stETH (staked Ether) tokens as collateral. These are synthetic Ethers that accrue Ethereum staking returns. Ethena uses these tokens to open a long position.

An Ethereum short is placed in the opposite position to neutralize it. Ethena creates a so-called delta neutral position, where Ether is longed and shorted simultaneously.

So, what does the interest income consist of? Staked Ether, on the other side of the equation, yields about five percent (APY). Since cryptos are now in a bull market, taking short positions pays around 20% annual interest.

Ethena uses crypto exchanges and their futures markets in its operations. However, the critical point is that the users’ funds are in a separate custody service, not the exchange. This way, they can also be verified all the time.

The setup is still not risk-free because, in a bear market, the yield paid for short positions goes negative. However, according to the founders of Ethena, these situations are short-lived, and the negative interest is rarely higher than Ethereum’s staking yield. A separate safety fund is also being accumulated for this situation.

There is a lot of buzz about Ethena because an airdrop is also coming soon. You can find Ethena at ethena.fi. We don’t recommend such investments for novice users.

Circle will stop supporting USDC on the Tron blockchain

Last week, there was significant news from the world of stablecoins. The news is about USD Coin and the Tron blockchain.

USD Coin (ticker: USDC) is the second largest stablecoin on the market. Its market cap is currently over 28 billion dollars. USDC almost became the number one stablecoin a couple of years ago, but its popularity fell drastically after the 2023 banking crisis in the US.

Circle, the company behind USD Coin, made a surprising announcement last week. Circle said it will end support for USDC on the Tron blockchain. It was the first time a primary stablecoin stopped supporting a significant blockchain.

The background seems to be pressure from the US regulators. In January, Circle announced its intention to go public, meaning to do an IPO. Circle’s operations must look spotless to the regulators for the process to go smoothly. This is where Tron comes into play.

Circle had to respond to a recent report that claimed that the company enabled terrorist financing using USD Coin. This is a report by the Campaign for Accountability (CfA) group, which states that terrorists favor the Tron blockchain.

According to the report, Circle would also have an unnecessarily close relationship with Tron founder Justin Sun, surrounded by negative rumors. Circle solved the problem by washing their hands off the entire Tron blockchain.

The event can have much more significant effects. Over half of the Tether (USDT) reserve is on the Tron blockchain. What if pressure from regulators also forces Tether to make the same move? This decision could cause quite a bit of chaos.

At the same time, the question arises of how much power stablecoin providers have. Stablecoins are the digital fuel of every blockchain. They are needed, e.g., in trading and DeFi applications. Decentralized options will become increasingly important in the future.

Avalanche’s blockchain crashed for several hours

The smart contract platform Solana has been in the headlines in recent years due to technical problems. Solana was in full swing for almost a year until the blockchain crashed for five hours about three weeks ago.

Last week, similar problems were also seen in the competing ecosystem. The popular smart contract platform Avalanche got stuck. The contract chain (c-chain) containing Avalanche’s smart contracts stopped producing blocks for several hours.

This is how one of Avalanche’s founders, Kevin Sekniqi, commented on the matter.

The Avalanche team was able to fix the bug in a few hours. The blockchain continued to function normally after the validators received the new node software patch.

Similar events will likely continue to be seen in popular blockchains. Although many scenarios can be tested on TestNet, the events of the MainNet will always surprise app developers.

Performance-related bugs only come to the fore when performance is tested. Many blockchains are still running at shallow usage levels. Performance limits will be met at the point if the ecosystem becomes popular.

Investors should, therefore, not be too afraid of Avalanche or Solana outages. These speak for themselves that the blockchain is being used. Bugs can be fixed, but attracting users to the platform is much more difficult.

Sure, the performance has to be high enough, or bugs will start driving users away at some point. The line between a few bugs and an unstable system is blurry.

Is Donald Trump’s opinion about Bitcoin changing?

2024 is an election year in the United States. As in 2016 and 2020, the Republicans’ number one candidate is Donald Trump. Trump has never disappeared from the public eye, but in an election year, the man is in the headlines more than usual.

Last week saw a rare incident, as Trump commented about Bitcoin in an interview with Fox News. Trump has not talked much about Bitcoin during his political career. At the time of his presidency, he was anti-Bitcoin.

The former president has always supported a strong dollar, and that opinion has not changed. However, last week’s statement on Bitcoin is more sympathetic than before. You can watch Trump’s comment in the embed below.

Trump is courting young voters before the election. Tens of millions of people invest in cryptocurrencies in the United States, so it is a significant population. It is too early to say whether Trump’s position on Bitcoin (and cryptos more broadly) is changing.

Trump’s phrase, “I can live with it one way or the other,” suggests that he has given up on trying to ban Bitcoin.

The ex-president has also entered the NFT world in recent years. Trump has launched his NFT collection, which was quite well received. In August 2023, the MAGA memecoin using the TRUMP ticker was also released. However, it has no official connection with Donald Trump.

AboutBitcoin Team

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