Pantera CEO: This crypto winter is different than any we've seen before | CasperLabs confirms Vlad Zamfir as lead architect

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“The best thing that happened to crypto was the bear market. A lot of hedge funds will go under, should go under.” — Cathie Wood, CEO ARK Invest

The Big Block

Ara, a peer-to-peer content distribution platform, announced that it has added Simon Morris, the former BitTorrent CSO and BitTorrent token designer as an advisor.

Regular followers of the crypto industry may know Morris from his Breakermag interview, in which he questioned the viability of BitTorrent’s token running on Tron’s blockchain. In the interview, Morris stated there was “no way” Tron’s blockchain could handle the transaction volume on BitTorrent.

Morris is now taking his deep knowledge of peer-to-peer content distribution networks to Ara.

Tony Mugavero, CEO of Ara, tells The Block that Morris joined the company because he wanted content creators to join in the success of distributed content sharing platforms, like BitTorrent. BitTorrent, Mugavero explains, “doesn’t incentivize people to be fans of the network.”

In a press release shared with The Block, Morris states that “the BitTorrent ecosystem evolved into a consumer-dominated insurgency which cut out not just middle-men but creators too,” adding that “Ara is aiming to leverage the power of blockchain and p2p technologies to build a more sustainable and equitable digital content ecosystem for everyone.”

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Around The Block

Pantera CEO: This crypto winter is different than any we've seen before

In a recent "Unconfirmed" podcast episode with Forbes' journalist Laura Shin, Dan Morehead, CEO at Pantera Capital, said that the ongoing crypto bear market has proven less worrisome than previous price plunges. 

"I would admit that in the previous crypto winter [of 2014-2015], I had more of a worry in the pit of my stomach. Was blockchain really going to work? Would it succumb to some of the real obvious regulatory risks that existed at that time? Today, the underlying fundamentals are much, much stronger."

The investment firm recently announced that it had already raised $125 million for its third crypto fund, hoping to close at $175 million. — More

CasperLabs confirms Vlad Zamfir as lead architect

R&D start-up CasperLabs has finalised its contract with Vlad Zamfir, who will support the protocol developer in building a new decentralized Proof of Stake blockchain, the firm announced Friday - confirming last month's report by The Block.

Zamfir is well known as Ethereum’s star researcher, but said in a statement this week that he was “not sure if the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain communities are going to be able to upgrade their protocols,” leading him to accept the role of Lead Consensus Protocol Architect at CasperLabs – aptly-named after the protocol itself. He added that he would continue his governance work with Ethereum. — More

Mapping out Pantera Capital’s Portfolio — More

University of Michigan endowment plans to continue investing in Andreessen Horowitz cryptocurrency fund — More

Malta-based exchange OKEx lists XRP and Bitcoin Cash on its fiat-to-cryptocurrency platform; delists three other currencies — More

Zcash Company rebrands to Electric Coin Company — More

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Ohio introduces cryptocurrency tax option; only two companies opt to use bitcoin to pay — More