State of the Market 59

7/20/2020 - 7/26/2020

Keith Asmussen, Joshua Ebedes, Preston Sledge


Market Summary

Dotted lines represent non-trading days (weekends, holidays, etc.)

Top Stories

Visa, Mastercard, And PayPal Are Changing Their Tune On Bitcoin And Crypto


In a statement released on July 22nd, Visa announced its outlook on new digital currency payment flows. Visa stated their belief is that “digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places”, therefore “want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money.” Emphasizing their work with crypto exchange Coinbase and Bitcoin rewards app Fold, Visa is working to integrate their global network of over 61 million merchants and digital currencies.

Bitcoin Meets Banking As U.S. Bank Regulator Permits Cryptocurrency Custody


In an interpretative letter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a new direction between cryptocurrencies and U.S. banks is being initiated. The OCC letter states that national banks now have the authority to provide bank accounts and custodial services to cryptocurrency businesses. This announcement will work against the lack of regulatory clarity that has historically hindered more institutional activity in crypto.

Under Covid-19 Emergency Powers, IRS Awards Elliptic Contract To Trace Crypto Transactions


On July 15th, the IRS awarded a contract to Elliptic Web Subscription-based Analysis Tools using the Emergency Declaration National Interest Action Code for Covid-19 under the Stafford Act. The contract will be used to “assist in the tracing and analysis of various types of cryptocurrency transactions and the entities involved in transacting them.” The declaration is most likely a response to the recent Twitter breach rather than the guise of public assistance during Covid-19. 

Chart of the Week

This chart, retrieved from, depicts weekly claims for unemployment over the past 53 years.  Shaded regions indicate economic recessions and have increased claims of unemployment. The massive spike seen at the end of the chart began the week ending on March 14th and peaks the week ending on March 28th. The current weekly unemployment claims (Though far from their march peak) are more than twice the highest prior recorded rates.

Top Tweets

@Crypto_Bitlord gives us the trick to getting rich quick.

@Excellion. I’m not sure who I have to tell this, but don’t take investment advice from Trump.

@phil_geiger makes a funny joke and a good point.

Video of the Week

When will the 200 billionth person be born - Lex Fridman. 

This short 4 minute video by Lex Fridman, a AI researcher at MIT, goes through population data to graph out when the 200 billionth person will be born. Although long term predictions will almost certainly turn out not entirely accurate, it is a really fun thing to think about and analyze. It ends with some related but separate speculation on the future. It's a quick and interesting watch. 

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Texas Blockchain’s ‘State of the Market’ is a student-led editorial. None of the views expressed by the authors should be taken as the view of the University of Texas at Austin or the Texas Blockchain organization. Furthermore, none of the views expressed should be taken as financial advice in any circumstance.