The story behind dForce getting the hacked funds back.

The big news in crypto this week was the attack on dForce’s Lendf.Me platform, in which a hacker got $25 million via the bug used to drain the DAO four years ago — but then returned all the money. 🤯 Haseeb Qureshi of Dragonfly Capital gave us the lowdown on all the craziness — and why the hacker returned the money. Definitely check out the links in the show notes to read more about the many underlying issues behind the attack. Also in the news this week, DC/EP launched its pilot, stablecoins grow apace, and new products are rolling out in DeFi. 

On Unchained, we had Cathie Wood and Yassine Elmandjra of ARK Invest, which spurred a debate on Twitter over whether ETH is money or tech. Listen to see what you think — and also to find out ARK’s thesis on how the coronavirus will impact the economy and the crypto markets. 

This Week’s Crypto News…

Probably the biggest news this week, aside from the dForce hack, which was covered in the episode, was the rollout of the DC/EP pilot in China, but since we covered that in last week’s news recap, we’ll make our main story today a coronavirus-related one: 

The Coronavirus Spurs Demand for Stablecoins

Coinmetrics reports the market cap for stablecoins is now $9 billion — up by $1 billion since the start of April, which Spencer Noon tweeted out as a handy gif that shows how quickly it’s grown, in particular Tether on Ethereum. Additionally, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire says his company is seeing demand from small and medium-sized businesses, telling CoinDesk, QUOTE “We are getting feedback from Asian market participants that there is more and more demand for USDC from SMEs seeking both the safety and utility of digital dollars.” And I also have a link for you from The Block, in which the site collated dynamic charts of stablecoins on Ethereum, which refreshes every 24 hours. Charts show Tether on Ethereum at more than a $5 billion market cap, with ever increasing market share, which has only accelerated in the last month.

In related news, Coinbase saw a spike in deposits for $1,200, which coincidentally is the max amount for coronavirus checks … 

Why Chinese Bitcoin Mining Farms Are Struggling — Less Than 3 Weeks Before the Halving

Spring is normally a profitable time for miners in China due to April showers making hydropower even cheaper. However, CoinDesk reports, the downturn in March and a Bitcoin price at about $7,000 all month has caused mining farms that offer hosting services to operate below capacity. Writer Wolfie Zhao says, QUOTE, “If bitcoin’s price remains at its current level of $7,000 after halving, older mining equipment is expected to shut down, which would lead to decrease of the network’s hashing power, making it even harder for farms that need customers to fulfill their capacity.” We’ll keep an eye on it to see how this affects the halving. 

Dharma Launches Social Payments

Dharma launched a new product called Social Payments, which seems cool — you deposit funds to your Dharma account, find the Twitter handle you want to send funds to, and then send your payment. Dharma says to also Retweet the Dharma Bot and tag your recipient so they see it. Hilariously, when I was looking into this to put it in the newsletter, I saw that Dharma sent me $5 via this app. But I never got notified by Twitter! I feel like notifications on Twitter don’t work well. Anyway, I will try to claim these funds and update you next week on how it went. 

Coinbase Launches BTC-USD and ETH-USD Price Oracles

Recognizing the growth in DeFi and the need for reliable price oracles, or trusted feeds of price data, Coinbase launched oracles that obtain price data from Coinbase Pro. As the company says in a blog post, “Anyone can publish the prices on-chain and since the data is already signed by Coinbase’s private key, there is no need to trust the publisher. Using the Coinbase Price Oracle public key, anybody can verify the authenticity of the data.”

dYdX Bringing Perpetual Contract Markets in BTC to DeFi

dYdX entered a private alpha for a perpetual contract market for BTC-USDC, which, surprise, surprise, is not available in the US. However, dYdX says QUOTE, “Perpetuals are the most widely traded product in all of crypto with daily trade volume in the billions of dollars, eclipsing spot trading volume in 2019 as the most popular way to gain crypto price exposure.” Given that BTC is the most widely traded crypto asset, this could be quite popular.

Renaissance Technologies Considers Trading Bitcoin Futures

Renaissance Technologies, a $75 billion hedge fund reputed to have “the best math and physics department in the world,” because of its focus on hiring from the science field as opposed to Wall Street, stated in a regulatory filing that is considering trading CME’s cash-settled Bitcoin futures. Richard Craib of Numerai told CoinDesk, “Renaissance and firms like it are very good at working with time-series data and already understand corn futures and oil futures and trade all those markets. So I don’t think it means they have any thesis on bitcoin. I don’t believe they are going to be ‘long bitcoin’ or something, but it’s definitely worth taking on.”

Binance Plans a Smart Contract Platform

Add it to the list of potential Ethereum killers: the Binance Smart Chain, as outlined in this white paper. Binance denied to CoinDesk that it was an Ethereum killer, but it plans to be fully compatible with the dominant smart contract platform, which CoinDesk says, QUOTE “would give the new smart contract layer direct access to an ecosystem filled with ‘relatively mature applications and community.’

Hello World: Meet SheFi!

There’s a new educational course to teach women about DeFi called SheFi. The group is also pooling funds that they agree to donate to a nonprofit at the end of the course. As a woman in crypto, I know I find myself wondering why there aren’t more women, because there isn’t anything about crypto that seems more inherently male than female to me, so this might be worth checking out to see if it would be helpful for you or anyone you know.

Crypto Twitter Bingo!

Speaking of women, She-256 tweeted out a hilarious Crypto Twitter Bingo Card — sadly, I had a bunch of squares like, “Have created or been on a crypto podcast,” “Have theorized who Satoshi is,” and “Have lost your seed phrase before,” but didn’t manage to get a Bingo. However, you should definitely look up this card in the show notes and play.