It’s all kicking off in the USA! For those who have not been following the press and Twitter, a new piece of law is going through the US Senate called the “US Infrastructure Bill”. The bill has support on both sides and is likely to pass, and overall isn’t really about Crypto.
However, stuffed deep into the bill, there are some rather sweeping new definitions of “broker”:
“The bill expands the definition of a "broker" to include "any person who (for consideration) is responsible for and regularly provides any service effectuating transfers of digital assets." Earlier drafts said "even if non-custodial" & explicitly included DEX & P2P markets. - Jake Chervinsky
This is so hilariously broad that it could also include node runners, open-source software makers, and non-custodial wallets. It’s a real risk to the US tech sector and is likely to have huge repercussions if it passed.
To add to this, ANOTHER bill is seeking to try to make issuing any kind of stable coin illegal without express approval from the federal reserve!
“It shall be unlawful for any person to issue a stablecoin or stablecoin-related product, to provide any stablecoin-related service, or otherwise engage in any stablecoin-related commercial activity, including activity involving stablecoins issued by other persons, without obtaining written approval in advance, and on an ongoing basis, from the appropriate Federal banking agency, the Corporation, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.” - CoinTelegraph
This puts stable coins like USDC squarely in the cross-hairs and would be a major setback for DeFi as centralized stable coins form such an important part of the DeFi sector’s liquidity.
This continues the uneasy relationship the US government has with its own tech sector as the lines between money, finance and technology continue to blur and what was previously a clear delineation of government responsibility and private sector responsibility continues to be eroded.
While these fireworks were kicking off, the Radix network has safely launched! I am immensely proud of the Radix team and community for ensuring that the first public network that Radix has put into motion after 8 years of R&D is finally out in the world.
I am not a poetic man, but Ben, our Head of Partnerships, is, so here is what he has to say:
Our ability as humans to coordinate is perhaps the key factor that allowed us to outcompete our fellow animals in the evolutionary competition for resources. Like ants, the power of our species comes not from the individual, but in the cooperation of many.
It started with language. But then, as Yuval Noah Harari puts it, we were able to create narrative, story, and imaginary concepts that allowed us to work more effectively in groups greater than that of a tribe.
Money is one such imaginary concept. It provides us a reference to more easily represent and exchange value. It allows us, as self-interested and sometimes irrational agents, to align incentives across barriers cultural, geographic, and temporal. One might consider money itself to be a form of language.
Following money, the invention of our imaginary legal and political systems, the limited company, complex financial markets, combined with the internet, have allowed us to scale human activity to levels unimaginable to our forebears.
But the invention of paper money in China, the roots of modern banking in renaissance Italy, the end of the gold standard, Bretton Woods, and electronic trading have all, to varying extents, been iterations on the same theme. While they each represent incremental improvements in efficiency, they are all part of a same paradigm. They have all required intermediation and trust in an ‘other’. And this allowed them to be captured, to varying extents, by special interests.
Bitcoin in 2008 fundamentally re-architected the art of the possible. It opened the eyes of the world to an alternative vision for money and for freedom. Ethereum demonstrated that the technology was capable of much more: anyone could build their own legal or political system, build their own allegories to the limited company, and participate in complex financial markets. The decentralised internet that was hoped for by the cypherpunks at the outset of their movement might now be actually possible. So long as we collectively believe in a concept, it can become real. But like the first plane or car, these systems weren’t ever going to be its final form. Whatever ‘it’ is.
Meanwhile, squirreled away in a quiet corner of Staffordshire, sat an unknown programmer. One who could see the potential of this technology as a force for empowering the everyday child, woman and man. One who had the skills, perseverance, foresight, and daring to aim for the pinnacle of what might be possible. One who had the moral compass to strive for what was right in the face of temptation.
And so it is now, after eight years, do one small band of hopefuls take a step forward. One small step in the arc of coordination between humans.
All in a circle that is endless and equal, for there is no centre to the shardspace: a home for humanity without end. A place to carve a new beginning. The root of an infinite meandering of branches of a flourishing human ingenuity. Radix. - Source
Thank you Ben!
Now over to the rest of the team.
What a difference 2-weeks can make. When I last wrote this, the Radix Public Network was not yet live - and now we have had over 1000 user transactions, 645 Radix accounts made, 30+ community nodes registered, and of course, 915 XRD already burnt in transaction fees - oh, and that was just in the first 24 hours!
While the Development teams were hard at work making this all possible, the strategy & marketing teams were pushing the awareness campaigns - so let’s take a look at how they were performing:
So what’s happened in the dev team over the last two weeks? Oh not much, just launched the Radix Olympia mainnet and its 1.0.0 Node, XRD token, Radix Desktop Wallet, Radix Explorer, Instapass, Radix Ledger hardware wallet app, and a few other bits like a token supply API.
Same old, same old.
In all seriousness – wow, what a couple of weeks. It was so gratifying to finally put so much that we’ve been working on for so long in front of the community and see people dig in.
The next two weeks will be nearly as exciting, with the launch of Instabridge for eXRD → XRD swaps, and the beginning of epoch2 which will bring the selection of the first validator node set and the beginning of XRD emissions.
The dev team isn’t standing still however. We have a raft of planned updates to Node, Wallet, Explorer, and more already in the works that we’ll be excited to talk about soon.
Welcome to the Radix Public Network, everyone!
Another two weeks in the media and community, and what a two weeks it was!
Here are the highlights:
*Updates provided by members of the Radix community. It may contain inaccuracies.