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Create a Slack Bot for Bitcoin Price Updates Using GCP Cloud Functions

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If you’ve grown comfortable using the gcloud CLI you can write code in your local IDE and deploy it from the gcloud functions deploy command.

Or, you could go to the cloud console and create an inline templated cloud function. Either way, the structure of your code would remain the same. Let’s go with the inline templated way for now.

Log in or sign up to google cloud console using a credit or debit card for a free trial. Create a project and enable billing for that project. Go to Cloud Functions and enable the API, also enable Cloud Build and Deploy.

Now, just click on create cloud functions on google cloud functions console.

Screenshot by author

In trigger, select the allow unauthenticated invocations and click on save and next.

Screenshot by author

Select any runtime you’re comfortable with, we’ll proceed with the Go 1.13 runtime for now.

As Slack will call the trigger URL with a request which has a challenge parameter, we’ll first take the request and decode the body into a map and write back the challenge parameter.

In the inline code template, replace the existing HelloWorld implementation with the one below.

Now just deploy the function. Go to the function name, the function’s trigger URL is the request URL you need to add in the events and subscription for slack.

Request URL should get approved if the app was able to successfully respond back with the challenge parameter. This basically meant slack sent your URL some request, and you needed to respond with the challenge parameter, which you did!

Ensure the bot events you need to subscribe to, are all selected. If not, then add and save them.

Screenshot by author

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Source: https://betterprogramming.pub/create-a-slack-bot-for-bitcoin-price-updates-using-gcp-cloud-functions-a672fc34287c?source=rss——-8—————–cryptocurrency

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DeFi: Who, what and how to regulate in a borderless, code-governed world?

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Hold onto your hats, boys and girls! It’s a new world — a financial system without intermediaries, that anyone can access 24 hours a day with only a mobile phone and a wallet! As Julien Bouteloup said to me: 

“In DeFi, what we are building is fully decentralised technology, fully transparent, run by mathematics. No one can beat that.”

He continued: “We are building on research papers, 40 years of research, fundamental research, discrete mathematics being built and put on-chain that no one can beat. You cannot beat that. GitHub didn’t exist in the ‘90s. First, the fact that we’re going at the speed of light, is because everything is open source, and everyone can participate.”

Related: DeFi literacy: Universities embrace decentralized finance education

A Novum Insights report stated back in August that since 2020, the DeFi market has grown by a factor 40, with the total value locked in DeFi at around $61 billion at the time (while the current TVL stands at around $165 billion). Stablecoins’ capitalization, an important part of DeFi, grew in the first half of 2021 to $112 billion.

Massive gains are being made but, at the same time, DeFi investors are also losing money because DeFi is not regulated, moderated, intermediated, hosted or validated by a central authority, only driven by smart contracts. So if a smart contract fails or is attacked, consumers have no remedy. Loretta Joseph, global digital asset regulatory expert, said to me: “Regulators protect consumers and investors. In DeFi, you don’t have any intermediaries to regulate, so it’s totally P2P. The question is how it will be regulated in the future. People are going to get scammed. When people start to get scammed, the first thing they do is complain to the regulator.”

Related: Will regulation adapt to crypto, or crypto to regulation? Experts answer

Indeed, since 2019, DeFi protocols have lost about $285 million to hacks and other exploit attacks. And as the experts stated, the majority of hacks were due to developer incompetence and coding mistakes. That’s significant when the sector is entirely reliant on the code.

Related: The radical need for updating blockchain security protocols

The challenges of regulation

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Hester Peirce said in an interview with Forkast.News about DeFi back in February: “It’s going to be challenging to us because most of the way we regulate is through intermediaries, and when you really build something that’s decentralized, there’s no intermediary. It’s great for resilience of a system. But it’s much harder for us when we’re trying to go in and regulate to figure out how to do that.”

Regulatory concerns tend to be around the volatility of crypto markets as contrasted with government-backed fiat currency, the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, the unregulated nature of the market, and the absence of recourse for financial losses. Nonfungible tokens are exploding, generating excitement, confusion, legal questions and massive gains. NFT markets are also attracting large crypto transactions, which will likely bother regulators, who may see the big money moves in NFTs as money laundering. At a macro level, the decentralization of the financial system and the ability to manage economic stability and protect consumer interests poses a further challenge to regulators.

Related: Nonfungible tokens from a legal perspective

DeFi decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are popular as a means of transferring cryptocurrencies across different blockchains. This supports crypto lending and yield farming. DAOs, by conservative estimates, oversee more than $543 million. In a DAO, information technology governance and corporate governance are one and the same. The organization is governed and operated by smart contracts, which are monitored and enforced by algorithms. The code both governs and executes. Should the algorithms fail, who then is responsible?

In a joint article, dubbed “Regulating Blockchain, DLT and Smart Contracts: a technology regulator’s perspective,” a group of researchers outline some key points to consider: (1) the importance of identifying central points which can be used to apply regulation to, such as miners, core software developers, end users. They even raise the potential for governmental or regulatory players to be potential participants; (2) issues of identifying liability — could core software developers be held to account?; (3) the challenges with the immutability and lack of update-ability of smart contracts; and (4) the need for quality assurance and technology audit processes.

It is expected that exchanges and wallet providers will be a focus for regulators. Decentralized exchanges allow users to trade directly from their wallets in a P2P manner without intermediaries. Global money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has exchanges in their sights. Christopher Harding, the chief compliance officer of Civic, noted that the FATF proposed guidelines which suggest that DApps will need to comply with country-specific laws enforcing FATF, AML, and Counter-Terrorism Financing requirements.

Related: FATF draft guidance targets DeFi with compliance

A recent review of 16 leading exchange platforms by the London School of Economics and Political Science found that just four were subject to a significant level of regulation related to trading, so there is a clear gap. Getting listed on any major exchange now requires a project to have passed auditing, but meaningful security doesn’t end there. Toby Lewis, CEO of Novum Insights, made the point:

“Also, remember that smart contracts can be attacked. Even if they are audited, it does not give you a guarantee that it will be exploit-free. Do your own research before you start.”

In an open-source environment where projects are developing at an average compound growth rate of 20% per year, finding just the right moment to regulate, wherein people are protected from risk but innovation is not constrained, is a classic problem to solve. Some governments have addressed achieving this balance by using regulatory sandboxes (U.K., Bermuda, India, South Korea, Mauritius, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Singapore), while some have gone straight to legislating (San Marino, Bermuda, Malta, Liechtenstein).

Far from resisting regulation, leading DeFi figures embrace it as part of the maturing of the industry. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Stani Kulechov, the founder of DeFi lending platform Aave, suggests that peer review will be the future: “Auditors are not here to guarantee the security of a protocol, merely they help to spot something that the team itself wasn’t aware of. Eventually it’s about peer review and we need to find as a community incentives to empower more security experts into the space.” In the same article, Emeliano Bonassi spoke about ReviewsDAO, a peer review forum for connecting security experts with projects looking for reviews. Bonassi sees potential for this to become a learning opportunity where people with specialized knowledge can contribute to improving the security of the ecosystem.

Tan Tran, CEO of Vemanti Group, suggested: “Going forward, I do see accelerated adoption of platforms with permissionless financial products and services that can be used by anyone anywhere, but each will be governed by a regulated-party with centralized control to ensure accountability and compliance. This is not about stopping innovation. It’s more about deterring bad actors from exploiting unsophisticated consumers.” Giving an expert opinion on DeFi to Cointelegraph, Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one, concluded: “The real winners in the digital economy will be those that think long-term and take the time to ensure their products meet jurisdictional and professional service requirements.”

It certainly looks like exchanges and software developers could be in the sights of regulators. We anticipate regulators will look for ways to improve technology quality assurance processes and DeFi governance, which can only be done in conjunction with the industry. Mark Taylor emphasized that regulators need to continue to work in partnership with crypto industry players to protect consumers.

Julien Bouteluop explained: “We are actually building, in DeFi, everything that traditional finance has, but faster, stronger, more transparent and accessible by everyone that’s here. It’s really different. It means that anyone in the world can access technology and doesn’t need to ask permission from anyone. I think it’s necessary to push for innovation, and to build a better world.”

Who, what and how do we regulate in this global 24/7, borderless market? This is a whole new ball game. Regulators and industry will need to work hand in hand.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Jane Thomason is a thought leader on blockchain for social impact. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland. She has had multiple roles with the British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association, the Kerala Blockchain Academy, the Africa Blockchain Center, the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, Frontiers in Blockchain, and Fintech Diversity Radar. She has written multiple books and articles on Blockchain. She has been featured in Crypto Curry Club’s Top 100 Women in Crypto, the Decade of Women Collaboratory’s Top 10 Digital Frontier Women, Lattice’s Top 100 Fintech Influencers for SDGs, and Thinkers360’s Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Blockchain.


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/defi-who-what-and-how-to-regulate-in-a-borderless-code-governed-world

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Deutsche Bank’s analyst says bitcoin will be ‘ultra violate,’ but it is here to stay.

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Marion Laboure, an analyst at Deutsche Bank’s research division, said she could envision Bitcoin taking the role of digital gold in the future: lasting for centuries and largely not controlled by the government. Laboure said she could “potentially see Bitcoin become the 21st-century digital gold” but warned investors against the crypto asset’s volatility. According to the analyst, most Bitcoin (BTC) purchases are made for investments and speculation rather than keeping the coins for a medium of exchange. 

The analyst expects Bitcoin to remain ultra-volatile in the foreseeable future.

“Just a few additional large purchases or market exits can significantly impact the supply-demand equilibrium,” said Laboure. “Bitcoin is too volatile to be a reliable store of value today. And I expect it to remain ultra-volatile in the foreseeable future,” the analyst noted. Though the Deutsche Bank analyst expressed concern about the lack of regulation over cryptocurrencies and their potential impact on the environment, she hinted that Bitcoin would likely remain the dominant cryptocurrency in the crypto space. 

“If Bitcoin is sometimes called ‘digital gold,’ Ethereum would then be the ‘digital silver.”

Ethereum may have more use cases in decentralized finance and with the rise in non-fungible tokens, but Bitcoin still enjoys its “first-mover advantage.” “If Bitcoin is sometimes called ‘digital gold,’ Ethereum would then be the ‘digital silver,” the analyst opined. Earlier, Deutsche Bank analysts described Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency “too important to ignore, ” suggesting that the crypto asset price would likely rise with additional asset managers and companies entering the market. In 2019, the financial institution predicted that digital currencies would replace fiat by 2030.

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Source: https://coinnounce.com/deutsche-banks-analyst-says-bitcoin-will-be-ultra-violate-but-it-is-here-to-stay/

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX registers in Bahamas as Hong Kong regulations turn hostile

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Earlier this week, crypto exchange FTX announced they successfully registered with the Securities Commission of the Bahamas as a digital assets business under the Digital Asset Registered Exchanges (DAREs) Bill.

Previously, FTX was headquartered in Hong Kong and was so since its inception in 2019, following CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s move there in 2018.

However, for digital asset companies based in the former British colony, an increasingly hostile stance towards crypto is forcing many to look elsewhere.

While neither FTX nor its representatives have gone on record to state this explicitly, others have come forward to describe a regime that is moving against cryptocurrency.

In June, Bankman-Fried chose to vent his frustrations with living in Hong Kong over its tough quarantine rules. There was no mention of anti-crypto sentiment within his tweetstorm.

The writing was on the wall for FTX

The FT states that Hong Kong is losing its position as an international business hub due to China’s tightening grip on the region.

“Beijing’s imposition of a national security law last year has prompted many multinational companies to rethink their commitment to the Chinese territory.”

On how that impacts doing business as a crypto company, the FTX boss said he’s aware that Hong Kong is bringing legislation that will require all exchanges operating there to be licensed.

It’s rumored that the upshot to this could see only wealthy professional traders allowed to participate in crypto trading. Which, if true, violates the primary purpose of cryptocurrency – that is, being open to all.

In July, Bankman-Fried said a ban on retail investors would force FTX to leave Hong Kong. While that hasn’t happened yet, his referral to Hong Kong in the past tense was telling in so far as him wanting to leave.

“I’ve loved my time here . . . but in the end, what’s important is that we’re in the right place for the business.”

A brief history of Hong Kong

The British annexed Hong Kong as an indemnity for fighting the Opium Wars as agreed under the Treaty of Nanjing.

They subsequently built infrastructure and brought free-market policies, which allowed the region to flourish, especially during the 1970s. Due to low levels of government inference, doing business in Hong Kong was easy, and the region became a gateway into Asia.

But in 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997. A condition of the agreement was the Chinese guaranteeing a 50-year extension on the existing legal framework.

Meaning 2047 should have been when Hong Kong finally reverted to full mainland control.

But as evidenced by enforcement of the national security law, which effectively put the region under martial law as a response to protests, Beijing has reneged on that agreement.

It’s well known that Beijing takes a negative view of cryptocurrency trading and mining. With that, it’s surprising FTX didn’t move sooner.

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Source: https://cryptoslate.com/sam-bankman-frieds-ftx-registers-in-bahamas-as-hong-kong-regulations-turn-hostile/

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