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Market Cap: $ 268 940 767 312 / 24h Vol: $ 101 793 491 134 / BTC Dominance: 65.2335%

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Blockchain Bites: What the Bitcoin Halving Means for Miners and Prices

Predictions and price models proliferate ahead of Bitcoin's programmatic halving, expected in less than two weeks.

While some are turning to esoteric economic models to make the claim that the occasion will be bullish for the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, others believe it'll be a non-event. Still, the halving is already showing real-world effects, with major mining manufacturers slashing prices and small-time investors... investing. (To be fair, these trends could also be attributed to COVID-19-led market distortions.) Here's the story:

You're reading Blockchain Bites, the daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news, and why they're significant. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk's newsletters here.

Halving Predictions: Mining & Price

Messagin' Mnuchin In a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, 11 members of Congress, suggest blockchain and other distributed technologies could boost liquidity and help distribute federal stimuli during the COVID-19 crisis. “Such steps will ensure both that America retains its technological advantage and that relief is delivered quickly to the small businesses and individuals who need it most,” the letter reads.

See also: Bitcoin Halving, Explained

Silver Linings?Silvergate Bank added 46 crypto customers in the first quarter and saw fee income and deposits increase from its existing client base. COVID-19-led market volatility is cited by the bank as cause for an increase in deposits, according to the company’s earnings report.

Nasdaq Taps CordaThe Nasdaq stock exchange has partnered with R3 to offer a platform for digital asset marketplaces on the Corda blockchain. As of today, capital markets participants can use Corda to support the issuance, trading, settlement and custody of digital assets.

Skew & KyteSkew, a crypto derivatives data aggregator, has launched a trade execution platform and raised $5 million to help build out its new brokerage services. Partnering with UK-based Kyte Broking, skewTrading is focused on attracting institutional investors.

Stop, Stop. Stuttgart To Be Kidding MeThe bitcoin exchange arm of Boerse Stuttgart has added a “stop order” trading function to help customers deal with volatile market conditions. Stop orders help people automate aspects of their trading strategy and, rather than having to watch the market 24/7, let them establish points at which they want to buy or sell.

Lnurl Something New EverydayA new standard known as Lnurl is attempting to improve the user experience of Lightning, Bitcoin’s scaling layer. Lnurl aims to simplify Lightning transactions to just a click or a QR scan. Zap, Phoenix, Breez, Blue Wallet and Wallet of Satoshi, as well as dozens of other apps, have quietly integrated the standard.

Surveilling DronesThe U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a report advocating for blockchain to track the use of commercial drones. The distributed technology can be “used by stakeholders in the commercial drone industry, as it can ensure security and provide for identity management as well as providing a supporting role in aircraft traffic management, [drones] conflict management and flight authorization," according to the report.

Regulatory Shifts

Taking FlightAlexander Pack, managing partner of Dragonfly Capital Partners, has stepped down from the crypto investment firm, citing “a difference in vision on the direction of the firm.” Dragonfly launched in 2018 with $100 million under management and the mission to bridge investments between the U.S. and Asia.

Riding on BisonDecentralized finance protocol Keep Network has tapped Bison Trails, a Libra Association member, to provide non-custodial staking services for tBTC, an ERC-20 representation of bitcoin deposits. “Infrastructure is important because if your node is being asked to sign a message or it’s holding onto BTC as one of the shards, you ideally don’t ever want to be offline,” Bison Trails protocol specialist Viktor Bunin told CoinDesk in an interview.

Staking AheadThere are now at least 61,980 addresses with a balance in Kyber Network Crystal, an Ethereum token that fuels operations on the currency’s native exchange. This all-time-high comes ahead of a planned upgrade that would allow token holders to earn staking income on the decentralized Kyber Network.

Series ATaurus Group secured over €10 million in a Series A funding round led by Arab Bank. The firm now looks to expand its digital asset business and open offices in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Ripple Exec DeplatformedYouTube has suspended Ripple CTO David Schwartz’s channel. This follows quickly on Ripple’s lawsuit, which claims the streaming giant failed to redress XRP scams and Ripple impersonators in videos. "Weirdly, YouTube just decided to suspend my channel (SJoelKatz) for impersonation. I wonder who they think I was impersonating," Schwartz tweeted.

Little Guys Go BigThe number of network addresses holding at least 0.1 BTC (~$770) has continued to hit all-time highs, climbing to 3,010,784 on Monday, according to data from Glassnode. Beginning in February, exchanges have seen an increase in small purchases of bitcoin.

Coinbase of DAOsThe OpenLaw LAO, or “Limited Liability Autonomous Organization,” opened Tuesday for investors looking to compliantly earn returns on the next wave of Ethereum-based projects. Initially capped at 100 accredited investors, the LAO will pursue venture capital deals via a smart contract that automatically pays out returns. If Coinbase legitimized the model first put forth by Mt. Gox, Wright said, the LAO could do the same for DAOs, said OpenLaw CEO Aaron Wright.

Crunchbase for CryptoEverest, an Ethereum-based social registry for tracking crypto projects, launched yesterday with an index of 100 decentralized projects. The service is predicted to become a “crypto Crunchbase,” according to Coinfund founder Jake Brukhman. (Decrypt)

CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition continues its popular twice-weekly virtual chats with Consensus speakers via Zoom and Twitter, giving you a preview of what’s to come at Consensus: Distributed, our first fully virtual – and fully free – big-tent conference May 11-15.

Register to join our fifth session Thursday, April 30, with speaker Hudson Jameson from the Ethereum Foundation to discuss private transactions, client improvements and dealing with FUD, hosted by Consensus organizer Nolan Bauerle. Zoom participants can ask questions directly to our guests.

Bitcoin's price jumped above $8,100 on Wednesday, making an April gain for the fifth consecutive year all but certain, predicts CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole. The cryptocurrency is now up 26% on a month-to-date basis. “While a price pullback in the next 24 hours cannot be ruled out, a drop all the way back to levels under $6,428 looks unlikely, as technical studies are biased bullish and the speculative buzz surrounding the upcoming mining reward halving is likely to limit any losses,” he said.

Cambridge SurveyCoinDesk is working with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), an independent academic research institute at the University of Cambridge, on its 3rd Global Crypto Asset Benchmarking Study. To gather up-to-date information, the CCAF invites crypto companies to participate by completing one of the following surveys by May 1:

The resulting report will help us all get a better idea of where growth is happening, what it looks like, what barriers are in the way and what the short-term outlook holds. If you have any questions or feedback, you can contact the CCAF directly at [email protected].

Geopolitical CrisisBlockchain consultant Maya Zehavi joins The Breakdown to discuss how the COVID-19 health crisis is also a geopolitical event. On the docket is a review of how contact tracing apps are a battleground for mass surveillance, the mechanics of government intervention and the rise of localism.

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