The state-run Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), one of the world’s largest such banks, has issued a stablecoin (!) with the express purpose of fighting the corruption that is famously rife in the country. Or, at the very least, to “bolster trust in state-owned banks.”

Normally, stablecoins are reserved for traders who want to keep a non-volatile asset on the blockchain. Yet the BNDES’s stablecoin is different, and arguably more practical. According to Coindesk, the currency will be used to advance the bank’s mission of funding long-term development projects, and will rely on smart contracts to “enforce rules” and ensure all obligations are fulfilled. The stablecoin’s blockchainified, fully public transaction data could also, possibly, help assuage concerns over the bank’s reputation for misallocating funds and taking bribes.

Disregarding the inevitable will-it-hold questions about stablecoins, it’s an appealing use case, and the bank is already working on a stablecoin fund for the Brazilian film sector. There’s still life in the old stable dog yet.

Bitmain IPO looking unlikely


The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to an anonymous source cited by Coindesk, is rather reluctant to approve mining giant Bitmain’s September IPO filing.

This reluctance, apparently, stems from doubts as to whether the crypto industry — which in the past year earned Bitmain $1.2 billion in profits — will survive its current nuclear winter. Coindesk’s well-placed “person” put it thus:

“The [Hong Kong Stock Exchange] doesn’t want to be the first exchange in the world to approve this and have one die on them.”

For its part, Bitmain claims to be more than just a purveyor of mining hardware. Indeed, it claims that its pilot AI chip BM1680 — which “functions as a tensor computing acceleration processor for deep learning, applicable to training and inference on artificial neural networks,” whatever the hell that means—makes it a “strong contender in the AI chip industry.” Again, Coindesk’s source demurred:

“Actually what they are is they are just manufacturers who focus primarily on bitcoin mining machines. If this whole mining thing tanks, these companies will probably tank as well.”

Seems like Bitmain’s a bit desperate, then. Next it will be claiming its power-chugging, heavy-duty ASIC rigs make wonderful throw pillows.

Cypherpunk legend Tim May dies at 67

Cryptographer, engineer, and writer Tim May has died at 67. Dubbed the Godfather of Bitcoin, May was a pioneer and co-founder of the late-eighties Cypherpunk movement, which, among other things, led the way in protecting open source code under the First Amendment.


May keenly followed Bitcoin—arguably the most significant by-product of the cypherpunk movement —though ultimately expressed disappointment with its straying from the values outlined three decades prior by the Cypherpunks movement.

Lucky Green, May’s friend, wrote on Facebook that May died of “natural causes,” and “did not die in a hail of bullets as so many who didn’t know Tim all that well and largely from his public writings had predicted.”

Rest in private.

Elsewhere on Decrypt

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.