SEC Opens Digital Assets Office / Steve Wozniak Launches Efforce / Paxos & BitPay Filing To Be Banks

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

December 13, 2020

What a week for the landscape! We saw several 2020 End-Of-The-Year summaries (Electric Capital, Blockchain Capital, DApps) and 2021 predictions, notability Messari’s massive 134-page thesis (links). However, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and recent bank charters gave us all, even more, to think about for 2021. The SEC announced its Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, known as FinHub, dedicated to digital assets and blockchain. The S&P Dow Jones plans to launch Crypto Indexes in 2021. On the heels of BitPay’s filing, Paxos released its plan to become a federally-regulated bank in the U.S. Stripe announces embedded business banking service Stripe Treasury. MassMutual buys $100M in Bitcoin (BTC), and MicroStrategy decides to ups its BTC allocation as well! Spotify is looking into crypto payments. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is starting a second company, Efforce, attracting $950 million in 13 mins! Libra Rebrands to ‘Diem’ in anticipation of the 2021 launch. World Economic Forum (WEF) and Chainlink are proposing an open-source standard for Oracles.

We’ve got new funding rounds with M&A activity, DApps round-ups, research, and much more! Plus updates on Ethereum 2.0, MetaMask, Neon District, Brave, Gala Games, Atari, Theta Labs, and more! Enjoy!

🏢 SEC Announces New Standalone Office Dedicated To Digital Assets And Blockchain

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has announced that the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, commonly known as FinHub, will become a standalone office dedicated to digital assets and blockchain. Valerie A. Szczepanik will continue to lead FinHub as the office’s first director, reporting directly to the SEC Chairman. This organizational shift will facilitate the agency’s work to identify and analyze opportunities for emerging new technologies, especially financial technologies, engaging each market participant as technologies develop…read more

Related: 📊 S&P Dow Jones Indices to Launch Crypto Indexes in 2021

Related: 💸 DeFi and Eth2 are whole new convos for regulators, says SEC’s Hester Peirce

🏦 Paxos Becomes Latest Crypto Firm to File for Federal Bank Charter

Stablecoin issuer and crypto services firm Paxos has filed to become a federally-regulated bank in the U.S. According to a public document released Wednesday and dated Dec. 8, Paxos is seeking to create the Paxos National Trust, filing an application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). It joins crypto payments firm BitPay in seeking a federal charter to operate as a bank. The bank would operate out of New York…read more

Related: 🏦Bitcoin payments startup BitPay wants to create a national bank in Georgia

Related: 🏦Fidelity Digital to Hold Bitcoin as Collateral for Cash Loans

🚨2020 EOY & Industry Reports:

It’s the time of year again when we begin to recap the last year and prediction the next. Here’s a quick list of essential must-reads heading into the year’s end.

📚 Crypto Theses for 2021— Ryan Selkis of Messari

📚 Electric Capital Developer Report— ⚡Electric Capital’s Maria Shen

📚 2020 Year in Review — Blockchain Capital’s Kinjal Shah.

📚 Decentralized Applications (DApps) Q4 2020 — Me, Kyle Ellicott 🙂

More For Your Week:

🏦 MassMutual Buys $100M in Bitcoin

🏦 Stripe announces embedded business banking service Stripe Treasury

🇰🇪 Will the Next M-Pesa Be a Blockchain App?

👕 Spanish fashion brand Desigual launches blockchain supply chain solution

💿 Audio streaming giant Spotify is looking into crypto payments

🌎 Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is starting a second company, Efforce

🌎 Blockchain Coalition Launches Tradable Carbon Credit Token

Libra Rebrands to ‘Diem’ in Anticipation of 2021 Launch

🏦 China Construction Bank’s blockchain bond efforts take a new direction

💸 Lil Yachty Sells $375,000 In 21 Minute Token Sale for $YACHTY

🏦 Fidelity Digital to Hold Bitcoin as Collateral for Cash Loans

💸 Capital Update️:

Highlighting the recent venture announcements from investments to new funds to M&A all throughout the landscape.

💸 YIELD Raises $4.9M in Bid to Simplify DeFi — YIELD

💸 S&P, State Street Lead $15M Investment in Crypto Data Startup Lukka

💸 Core Scientific partners with Foundry, garners financing raise of $23 million for mining equipment

💸 Swivel Finance Closes 1.15M Seed Round, Bringing Rate-Derivatives to DeFi

DApps (Decentralized Apps) Watch:

🌐 Ethereum 2.0: ETH cryptocurrency’s network starts a major upgrade

The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency ‘’Ethereum 2.0’’ is getting a long-delayed upgrade to its underlying network, which is expected to make it faster and more secure. The proponents of the Ethereum stated that the planned upgrade could allow thousands of more transactions to take place every second. After the upgrade, the ethereum blockchain will transition to a ‘’proof of stake’ model. The other upgrade introduced is sharding, which will split the network into lots of parallel chains that can handle transactions to speed up the network…read more

Related: 💸Kraken Exchange to Offer First Grants for Open-Source Ethereum Projects

🌎 Chainlink, World Economic Forum Want to Standardize Crypto Oracles

World Economic Forum (WEF) and Chainlink, the decentralized oracle network, today proposed an open-source standard for connecting data sources to blockchain smart contracts. The paper, penned by Sergey Nazarov, the co-founder of the biggest decentralized oracle network, ChainLink, and Punit Shukla, the blockchain project lead for the WEF, outlines an open-source framework to help non-blockchain systems talk to smart contracts. The paper, “Bridging the Governance Gap: Interoperability for Blockchain and Legacy Systems”, argues in favor of services like Chainlink…read more

🎮 Gala Games paves path for blockchain games in a deal with Brave

Gala Games is paving the path for blockchain games in a deal with Brave. The deal shows an opportunity for blockchain-based game companies to survive and even thrive as they wait for their big audiences and big hits to come. Blockchain technology seems to be cool, but it comes with new gamers’ challenges as most gamers don’t understand how it works. The partnership is aiming to tackle the challenge by creating a balance between mass and impact.…read more

Related: 🦊Ethereum Wallet MetaMask Goes After Institutional DeFi Market

⚒️ DeFi on Polkadot: An Ecosystem Overview — Polkadot

🎮 Neon District: The Road to Season One

⚒️ WordPress adds official Ethereum ad plugin

🎮 Atari Wants Developers to Use Its Brand to Build Blockchain Games

🎥 Theta Labs Launches Its Blockchain Video Delivery Platform in Beta

🎙️ Research: State of the Blockchain & DApps 2020:

Available now, for free is my latest research on Decentralized Applications or DApp “Stack” Landscape Map— the Q4 2020 edition. This map provides a full overview and taxonomy of the emerging DApps industry highlighting 400+ global companies teaching playing a vital role in building next-generation applications. As a bonus, I’ve included some of the ecosystem players and groups you need to be familiar with as you prepare to release your applications. If this is the first version you’ve seen of the landscape, consider it your guiding roadmap to further understanding not only the industry but all the core technology required to build a full or partial Decentralized Application (DApp).

We are transitioning to a completely digitized economy and the activity in the blockchain industry during 2020 proves this more than ever. Now w/ 1,100+ companies building & funding ($30bn+!) the infrastructure layers that will make up this new economy. The full breakdown is now available including an in-depth overview of the landscape, new categories & business models, areas of opportunities, rising categories, use-cases, and view for the remainder of 2020 into 2021.

📣 Want to stay up-to-date with all the headlines, investments, in-depth research, and latest landscapes on the Blockchain, DApps, DeFi, and FinTech industries? Subscribe and follow me on Twitter for weekly updates and more!

Author’s note: Article originally published on Medium.