Here is your weekly dose of insightful market analysis and trending stories from last week.

The Highlight of the Week

A new smart contract language that will make bitcoin programming easier

Bitcoin's existing programming language known as Script, is not easy to use. Therefore, writing conditions for spending coins and verifying the written contracts is vulnerable to human error. As bitcoin gets more and more capital allocation, it is crucial to make necessary changes to the underlying language to make it easier to code and debug.

Pieter Wuille, Andrew Poelstra, and Sanket Kanjalkar have been working on Miniscript, a new smart contract language for bitcoin. Miniscript abstracts away the difficulty and makes programming on Bitcoin easier and thus safer.

Script is an 'untyped' language, which means that different outcomes of the computations are available for interpretation, which makes it difficult to reason about. Miniscript comes into the picture to tackle this very problem. It is a stripped-down version of Script. It selects a few tools from the Script toolkit and makes it easier to verify by humans. Straightforwardness and predictability of Miniscript allow us to visualize computations in the form of decision trees. One more attraction of Miniscript is the inclusion of 'policy language' design. Policy language is a programming language on its own, and it compiles the code into the most efficient version of Miniscript and then into Script.

Miniscript is being tested internally at Blockstream.

Top News From Last Week

Binance forays into the lending business

After IEOs, margin trading, and fiat on-ramps, Binance has decided to add a lending business to its portfolio. Given Binance's massive user base coupled with its aggressive expansion strategies, it seems that Binance will likely compete with the lending business incumbents such as BlockFi, Celsius Network, and Genesis Global Trading. There is no doubt that Binance has expertise with retail investors. However, it does not have a proven track record with the institutions. For lending businesses, institutions may be as important if not more than retail investors. It will be interesting to see how Binance takes care of the institutional aspect.

Ethereum announces foundation and co-funded grants

Sanctioning grants are an excellent way to incentivize development in open source projects such as Ethereum. However, a few weeks ago, there was an EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal) to increase the inflation for a fixed number of blocks to pay the devs who worked on Eth 1.0. Now, when the foundation has money for the grants, why doesn't it pay the devs as well? This contrast in behavior is a bit puzzling, and we hope that the Ethereum foundation offers some explanation in days to come.

Mark Carney reckons the crypto force

Carney said that a digital currency backed by government institutions and corporations are more worthy candidates to displace the dollar than another fiat currency. BoE chief's remark is another assertion to a growing belief that Libra-like digital currencies backed by governments and companies are better suited to replace the dollar. It remains to be seen whether this idea materializes. With China's announcement of its central bank-backed crypto being close to its release, it is undoubtedly clear that central banks around the world are pushing for ways to reduce their dependence on the dollar as the reserve currency.

Top Performing Tokens

Top performing tokens from AUG/17/2019 to AUG/23/2019 were:

Worst Performing Tokens

Worst performing tokens from AUG/17/2019 to AUG/23/2019 were:

ROI of Recent IEOs

ROI of recent IEOs until AUG/21/2019:

Tokens with Most Volume

Tokens with the most volume from AUG/16/2019 to AUG/22/2019 were:

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