Bitcoin

Recent interest in DeFi applications has mostly been limited to those on Ethereum while upcoming BTC layer-2 applications have largely been overlooked. We review recent progress to RSK, a smart contract blockchain secured by the bitcoin network. 
Fox Business has reported that the Biden administration is developing a regulatory approach for the crypto space. Broad anxiety over new rules is likely overblown and another unlikely major contributor to last weekend's volatility.
A drop in the BTC hash rate occurred over the weekend with crypto news outlets pointing to coal mining accidents in China as the cause. We believe it was unlikely that the move was a major contributor to the weekend price decline.
In an interview with CNBC, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said he believes “there could be some [crypto regulatory] crackdown.” The CEO’s remarks come just ahead of competitor Coinbase’s Wednesday IPO. 
Last week, PayPal founder and tech investor Peter Thiel said he wonders “if at this point [BTC] should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.” Thiel’s remarks don’t reflect the reality of China’s current approach to BTC and crypto. 
Coinbase has published Q1 2021 estimated results and an outlook for 2021 as the exchange moves towards an April 14 listing. Coinbase's impressive results rely heavily on trading revenue, but normalized performance, accounting for bear & quiet markets, is unclear.
Despite the technical challenge, XLM’s price didn’t experience any obvious reaction to the news. The episode showcases the seeming propensity of crypto investors to ignore warning signs of technical risk.
Last week we highlighted the decreasing number of wallets holding over 10,000 and 1,000 BTC since November and February and have since fielded questions about whether the metric signals profit-taking. We feel the answer is more nuanced and in part highlights evolving characteristics of the asset, such as new custody solutions.
ION represents the most high-profile use of the BTC network for a non-financial purpose amidst a rally that has centered on the asset’s financial utilities.
The updates expand the definition of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to include those offering “non-custodial” platforms, often referred to as decentralized venues. The new rules add another layer to complex regulatory uncertainty faced by the DeFi space.