Last weekend, MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito stepped down for having taken numerous donations from Jeffrey Epstein but covering them up as anonymous, as revealed in this New Yorker article, which uncovered some damning emails. (Epstein was also referred to as Voldemort, and “he who must not be named.”) The MIT Media Lab is home to a number of Bitcoin-related people and organizations.

Libra continued to face regulatory skepticism, particularly from France, though Switzerland provided some clarity on how it would be regulated.

On the podcasts, we feature different views of Bitcoin’s path. LocalBitcoins’ new CEO explains his intentions and plans going forward, with regulation and business drivers making up most of his rationale, while Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures makes the case for why Bitcoin could disruptive to nation-states.

This Week’s Crypto News…

French Finance Minister Calls Libra a Threat to Monetary Sovereignty

“It would be a global currency, held by a single player, which has more than two billion users around the world. The monetary sovereignty of states… is under threat,” Bruno LeMaire said at an OECD event. He said France intends to block development of Libra on its soil. The Libra Association’s Dante Disparte said, “We welcome this scrutiny and have deliberately designed a long launch runway to have these conversations, educate stakeholders and incorporate their feedback in our design.”

The Libra Association announced plans to apply for a payments license in Switzerland, and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) released guidelines on stablecoins, as well as a provisional classification for Libra.

Meanwhile, OpenZeppelin discovered a vulnerability in the language Facebook is using for Libra, which would have allowed serious bugs. “For example, a digital wallet could look like it has frozen new deposits and would release them after a prescribed length of time. But those funds would never be released or worse, would be diverted,” OpenZeppelin wrote in a blog post.

Could $2 Billion in Lost Mt. Gox Money Be Recovered?

A Russian legal firm claims it has has identified Russian nationals who received stolen bitcoins from the Mt. Gox hacked and has offered to help them creditors some through legal action. (The coins hacked total about $8.5 billion today.) The catch: they will charge 50-75% of the bitcoins, plus an hourly rate. 😬

Lightning Nodes Hold $8.6 Million Capacity

The Block’s Larry Cermak has a tweetstorm with charts on Lightning: there are now more than 32,000 channels and 4,800 nodes with active channels but the number of channels has dropped 20% since the peak in March. Capacity has fallen as well — by 25% in BTC terms, and by 29% in USD. One node operator who said they earned $20 month max from routing fees had spent more than $1,000 to open and close channels.

Bitwise Makes a Case for Bitcoin as an Emerging Store of Value

“Bitcoin is behaving more like gold in the 1970s—after it ceased to be the peg of the U.S. dollar—than gold today,” Bitwise says in its investors letter. For that reason, the firm expects it to be trade less correlated to the rest of the market.

CME Bitcoin Futures Contract Limits May Be Raised to $100 Million Monthly

If the CFTC approves it, then traders can trade 10,000 BTC a month.

Gemini Offers Institutional Grade Custody for 18 Coins

CoinDesk writes: “The custodian, which already supported bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin and zcash, now provides support for 0z, Augur’s REP tokens, the basic attention token (BAT), bread (BRD), dai, maker, decentraland’s MANA token, enjin, flexacoin, the Gemini dollar, Kyber Network’s token, Loom Network’s token and OmiseGo.” Question: is there institutional demand for all these? 🤔

Coinbase Puts $2 Million of Stablecoin in to DeFi Projects

Called the USDC Bootstrap Fund, it will invest USDC directly into protocols to add liquidity, not allowing the money to be used for salaries or user acquisition.

Three Hours With Vitalik on the 80,000 Hours Podcast

I haven’t finished listening to this yet but I am looking forward to the section where apparently Vitalik says humanity may have to stop living in cities. Plus, L4 cofounder Josh Stark addresses two recent high-profile criticisms of ETH.