On this episode of the Unhashed Podcast, we talk Solana node troubles, Evergrande instability, Robinhood crypto withdrawals, how to pronounce Erdogan’s first name, and how Ryan Selkis hates when you don’t buy tickets to his events.
BREAKING NEWS Friend of the show Riccardo “Fluffy Pony” Spagni is out of Jail! Congrats Fuffy. In a tweet, Fuffy says “I am very pleased that the U.S. court has released me. I am actively working with my attorneys on a way to return to South Africa as soon as possible so I can address this matter and get it behind me once and for all. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
On September 14, Solana node operators are coordinating a “restart” of the high-speed blockchain Tuesday in an attempt to bring the stuttering network back online. “The validator community elected to coordinate a restart of the network” and is preparing a “new release” that will right the frozen blockchain, according to an afternoon tweet from the Solana Foundation. In Solana’s Discord server, developers distributed restart instructions at 3:21 p.m. Eastern time. The outage began early Tuesday after “resource exhaustion” on the network brought blockchain validation to an hours-long halt. On-chain activity froze across Solana’s multibillion-dollar ecosystem of trading, staking and lending projects.A source familiar with the matter told CoinDesk that the outage “impacts everything built on Solana, but the issue is the underlying [layer 1].”Tuesday’s outage came amid booming interest in Solana, a network seeking to attract Wall Street usage whose token has been on fire since late August. Investors have flocked to Solana as a low-fee platform for decentralized finance (DeFi). The disruption was caused by bot trading of Grape Protocol’s Tuesday token offering, founder Anatoly Yakovenko said on Twitter. It is the second time in two weeks that Solana’s mainnet cluster experienced “instability,” according to a Messari research note reviewed by CoinDesk. A flood of transactions pushed the network past its limits early Tuesday, Solana’s status account tweeted shortly after 3 p.m. Eastern time. The activity triggered a forking that knocked multiple nodes offline. Engineers tried and failed to triage the problem, according to Solana. It’s not unheard of for blockchain networks to experience service disruptions. Solana’s mainnet is still in beta mode; it last experienced an outage in December, another source said. Last week’s hiccup was also related to a resource exhaustion event. “It’s good for people to understand that Solana mainnet is still clearly in beta,” said a source building one of Solana’s popular DeFi protocols interrupted by the outage. “I have faith in the Solana core contributors and validators to resolve this issue promptly.” Engineers were rushing to push a patch to Solana node runners, multiple sources told CoinDesk. Once it’s ready and running across 66% of validators (a supermajority on the network) Solana is expected to come back online. Until then, the ecosystem with over $11 billion in total value locked (TVL) is in wait-and-see mode. Activity remains frozen at block #96538485. It is unclear what implications the Tuesday outage may have for Solana. One source in the developer community pointed out that some projects have time-sensitive operations, like liquidations and IDO launches. Those could become thorny the longer the network remains down. Colin put together a price quote sheet if you wanted to run a Solana node here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rc43ZdM7ocsGmxf7VgLlXubUyVlxyrj_vZpKNiHbuZU/edit?usp=sharing
Evergrande is China’s largest property developer and was up until recently one of the most valuable companies in the world. However, most analysts now believe Evergrande is on the verge of insolvency and won’t be able to meet its mountainous debt obligations without direct government interventions within the next few weeks as it struggles to pay its 4 million subcontractors and is unable to finish properties it is holding deposits on from 1.5 million properties. The crunch occurred because of changes made by the CCP in August of 2020 to the amount of debt Chinese developers could take on. Evergrande was accepting deposits from buyers and was then leveraging that money to borrow more money to expand ops and grow. But with the new rule change, they lost access to the spigot of money. In China, real estate is almost the only asset people invest in, and sometimes it takes generations to save up enough money to make a down payment. Many Chinese people may not get their money back if they invested and put down payments on properties under development by Evergrande. What does this have to do with Bitcoin? Well, the fallout of that collapse is so large that it is affecting large swathes of investors the world over. As Evergrande’s fallout affects debt markets, all other markets are affected, especially risky, speculative markets like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. At least, that’s the theory.
Robinhood is finally testing Bitcoin and crypto withdrawals, as well as a new digital hot wallet, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The update comes after the past year of broad criticism of Robinhood for, among other things, not allowing users to control their own Bitcoin private keys. The firm repeatedly hinted at enabling such features without delivering any evidence that such products were being developed. Robinhood’s new hot wallet and Bitcoin and crypto transfer feature announcement also comes after a mounting demand by customers. Bloomberg reported that evidence of such features has appeared in a beta version of the trading platform’s iPhone app. Rather than providing photos or other evidence of such features, Bloomberg stated that “The software includes a hidden image portraying a waitlist page” for users to sign up, and attributed the discovery of said features to software developer Steve Moser.
Recep Erdogan – the firebrand Turkish president – has declared war on Bitcoin. In the aftermath of a sweeping ban on the use of cryptocurrencies back in April, the leader is aiming to assert financial control ahead of launching the digital Lira. While the central bank was not opposed to the utilisation of digital currency, Erdogan believes it faces conflict with cryptocurrencies. “We are in a war against Bitcoin,” he said. “Because we will continue on the road with our money, which is our fundamental identity in this matter.” The president commented during a national youth meeting with representatives from 81 Turkish provinces, following questions about the central bank’s perceptions of cryptocurrencies. Many Turks have turned to cryptocurrency as a hedge on the volatility of the Lira in forex markets, and crypto has become a hot topic in Istanbul ahead of the proposal of new legislation aiming to regulate cryptocurrencies. Regulations will pave the way for the full implementation of the digital Lira, which Erdogan’s government is aiming to launch by 2023.
From ZeroHedge, “China’s War Against Crypto Is Officially Ramping Up (Again). In several Chinese provinces, inspections of companies have “intensified”, with an eye toward targeting illegal mining at places like colleges, research institutions and data centers, according to the report. One miner in China told Bloomberg that his operations “remain intact” because he “regularly switches to new facilities to house his equipment” which is made up of “no more than 100 machines at one location”. Hebei province has asked companies for a self-compliance check to ensure they are not mining by September 30. China has said that crypto mining would “seriously affect economic and social development and directly threaten national security.” The statement says it would “disrupt” financial order. This news follows tighter restrictions in China across the board, from ending most visa’s of foreign english teachers, limiting time on tiktok to 40 minutes per day and video game playing to three hours a week among teenagers.
Self proclaimed “TwoBit Idiot” Ryan Selkis is running for Senate. In a tweet he stated, “If you’re wondering when I actually decided to run for Senate, it was when these fuckers came to my event, didn’t buy a ticket, and served one of the speakers a subpoena. Enough talk. More war on our out of control regulatory state.