The inside story of the Coinbase crypto OG and Wall Street guard power struggle | Analysis of cryptocurrency exchange wallets shows holdings are decreasing

Bitcoin $4,037                    Ethereum $150.69  
Crypto Mkt Cap $137B              BTC Dominance 51.50%  

“The problem they [Coinbase] have, and it is the single biggest difference between Silicon Valley and Wall Street, is that Wall Street has learned in financial markets that there is a need for a cooperative environment. Competing at all cost and giving no quarter to your competition to become the Facebook or Uber of this space is not a winning strategy.” David Weisberger, CEO CoinRoutes

The Big Block

For many crypto enthusiasts, mid-2018 feels like a lifetime ago.

In those heady days, crypto’s market capitalization stood at $300 billion; rumors swirled that bulge bracket investment banks such as Goldman Sachs were entering the market; and Intercontinental Exchange excitedly announced plans for Bakkt, lauded to be the New York Stock Exchange of crypto.

Since then, the market has effectively halved, Goldman’s exact plans for crypto remain unclear, and Bakkt’s launch date is up in the air.

Things at Coinbase, once a retail exchange powerhouse, also look different. In 2018, the exchange had big ambitions to lure Wall Street’s savviest investors and fastest traders to its marketplace.

But times have changed, and now the firm, which recently scored a $8 billion valuation, is returning to its roots, focusing on San Fran’s Market Street over Wall Street. That is to say, the firm is shifting its client focus away from the likes of Goldman Sachs and BlackRock to crypto-native funds like Pantera and Polychain.

Read More on The Block (8 Minutes)

Around The Block

Analysis of cryptocurrency exchange wallets shows holdings are decreasing

There are currently approximately 716,000 bitcoins (4.1% of circulation), 7 million ether (6.8% of circulation) and 1.2 billion tether (63.5% of circulation) held in the publicly known wallets of crypto exchanges according to research conducted by The Block (see the table). It’s important to note that: 1) the included exchanges could control even more wallets, which are not publicly known; and 2) some major exchanges including Coinbase and BitMEX, which hold significant amounts of cryptocurrencies on behalf of customers, do not have publicly known wallets so they are not included in this summary — More

A look at OP_RETURN and whether embedding arbitrary data into Bitcoin’s blockchain is spam

Bitcoin’s role as a data repository is often a topic of debate for many in the space. In the past, Bitcoin community members have argued the benefits of allowing arbitrary data unassociated with bitcoin transactions to be embedded into Bitcoin’s blockchain.

On one side of the debate, we have those that claim that as long as embedded data is paid for with transaction fees, any data should be accepted into the blockchain. On the other side, we have the purists who believe Bitcoin’s blockchain should only contain data necessary to validate bitcoin transactions and nothing else. Their argument stems from concerns of blockchain bloat. That is to say, because each node on the Bitcoin blockchain has to maintain and reference unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) sets, excess data produced by these arbitrary data points would create upward pressure on the size of the blockchain — increasing the rate at which it grows. — More

Parity progresses with $5 million grant from Ethereum Foundation — More

Tracking the rise in crypto-ransoms as Norwegian kidnappers demand payment in Monero — More

USDC now supported by nearly 100 companies; exceeds $300 million in market cap — More

StopSIMCrime warns about the dangers of SIM swapping — More

TenX co-founder Julian Hosp steps down as president — More

Beam team: “Critical vulnerability” found in Beam Wallet — More

The Block wants to understand who our readers are. Please take a few minutes to respond to our short survey. Your participation will give us a better understanding of our readers and what interests them! Please note that the survey results will be anonymized and aggregated. Please take the survey here.