12/11- Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin’s Path to $20K, Ethereum’s ‘Unannounced’ Fork and Biden’s Crypto-Friendly Picks

  • Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin’s Path to $20K, Ethereum’s ‘Unannounced’ Fork and Biden’s Crypto-Friendly Picks

Daniel Kuhn

Ethereum’s Infura went down, causing a chain split. The world’s second-largest bank will issue $3 billion in blockchain bonds. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team features some noted crypto commenters.

Top shelf

Chain split
Wednesday morning, around 08:00 UTC, Ethereum infrastructure provider Infura disclosed a service outage for its Ethereum mainnet API, related to one of the blockchain’s major clients, Geth. Industry participants began speculating over a possible “chain split,” or a type of unplanned and unannounced hard fork. The issue likely stems from the split between node operators who have and have not upgraded Geth. “Those who haven’t been upgrading their Geth nodes for a while (I presume several months at least) got split with those with new Geth versions,” Nikita Zhavoronkov, lead developer at Blockchair said, adding that his own services were restored after upgrading. As of press time, Infura has identified the root cause and has begun work towards recovery.

Blockchain bonds
The world’s second-largest bank (market cap), China Construction Bank (CCB), will issue $3 billion worth of bonds on a blockchain. These tokenized bonds (offered at the state-owned bank’s Labuan, Malaysia, branch) will be exchangeable for bitcoin and U.S. dollars on the Fusang digital asset exchange. Tokenization reduces the number of financial intermediaries and costs associated with issuance, meaning that CCB can offer the certificates for as little as $100 (rather than the typical $4,000 price tag) and offer yields of 0.75% (compared to the 0.25% industry standard).

Tokenization chill
Despite a DeFi cooldown, the number of tokenized BTC on Ethereum increased 21% since September. There are now well over 150,000 BTC, worth some $2.3 billion, on Ethereum. However, the trend has slowed significantly. Roughly $360 million worth of bitcoins was tokenized in October, compared to the $737 million tokenized in September, according to data from Dune Analytics. Notably, the pace of tokenization still outpaced the rate of mining issuance for the third consecutive month.