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NEWS

Catch the latest that's happening with blockchain technology and cryptoassets

IOTA: 76 companies like Siemens and Intel reference tangle technology

June 2020Unlike Bitcoin, IOTA does not rely on the blockchain technology but on the tangle, whose data structure is based on the mathematical concept of the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). IOTA also has the vision of becoming the new standard for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine transactions (M2M). A new survey shows that many companies have already recognized the potential of IOTA and reference IOTA in their patents. Probably the best known investor and also patent applicant is the German tech giant Bosch. The company bought an unknown amount of MIOTA in 2018 and filed a patent for an IOTA-based payment system:

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XRP Isn’t A Security, Declares Former CFTC Chairman

June 2020. An eventual decision by the SEC to classify—or not classify—XRP as a security could impact the untold individual owners of the cryptocurrency, but also other clients using Ripple services that don’t rely on the cryptocurrency. Financial services institutions like American Express, Santander, and SBI Holdings could stand to be impacted positively or negatively depending on the decision. After all if XRP were to be rescinded it would be a huge cost to their software provider. If Giancarlo is right though, Ripple could end up being one of the most valuable startups in fintech. 

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Ethereum and Decentralised Finance (De-Fi) 

Jan 2020. The number of applications built on the Ethereum network is soaring as more people tap into the decentralised finance – or DeFi – trend. A report by Dapp.com reveals Ethereum had more than 1.4 million active decentralised application (dApp) users last year, up from just over 800,000 in 2018. Of these, 1.28 million were new users and 137,000 were returning users. The research also shows that of the 1,445 new dApps that were launched on the six largest smart contract platforms in 2019, a substantial 690 were Ethereum based. 

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UNICEF launches Cryptocurrency Fund

October 2019. UNICEF will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. In a first for United Nations organizations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world. Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in their cryptocurrency of contribution, and granted out in the same cryptocurrency.     

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JPM Morgan adopts blockchain technology

Feb 2019. The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it’s from J.P. Morgan Chase...J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, move to the blockchain. That’s the database technology made famous by its first application, bitcoin. But in order for that future to happen, the bank needed a way to transfer money at the dizzying speed that those smart contracts closed, rather than relying on old technology like wire transfers.

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Big Blockchain: The 50 Largest Public Companies Exploring Blockchain

July 2018. There’s more than one way to gain exposure to blockchain innovation. Beyond buying over-the-counter products or investing directly in blockchain startups some of the largest public companies in the world are already dabbling in the tech. In fact, a closer look at this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list of the largest public companies in the world reveals that not only are all ten of the largest public companies in the world exploring blockchain, but at least 50 of the biggest names on the list have all made their own mark on technology first inspired by bitcoin.

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Which FAANG Will Win the Blockchain Wars?

May 2018. For investors, blockchain and FAANG are two magic words that can move markets. Mere association of a stock with those two words can make a stock seem more attractive. Investor enthusiasm for blockchain and FAANG is due to their future bullish prospects. Even as FAANG dominates the internet ecosystem, blockchain is set to reinvent the internet and its associated services. Here is a brief primer on how each of the FAANG companies is preparing for the blockchain future. 

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JPMorgan Executes Its First DeFi Trade Using Public Blockchain

November 2022. JP Morgan completed its first live cross-border transaction on a public blockchain using decentralized finance (DeFi). The trade was executed on the Ethereum layer-2 network Polygon and using a modified version of the AAVE protocol.

Through this trade, JP Morgan marks a significant advancement in the company’s integration with the infrastructure that supports the cryptocurrency industry. Also, the trade was made possible by Project Guardian, a pilot program run by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to research possible DeFi uses in wholesale funding markets.

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Why the $2 trillion crypto market crash won’t kill the US economy

June 2022. Carnage in the crypto market won’t let up, as token prices plummet, companies lay off employees in waves, and some of the most popular names in the industry go belly up. The chaos has spooked investors, erasing more than $2 trillion in value in a matter of months — and wiping out the life savings of retail traders who bet big on crypto projects billed as safe investments.

However, according to Joshua Gans an economist at the University of Toronto, people don’t really use crypto as collateral for real-world debts. Without that, this is just a lot of
paper losses. So this is low on the list of issues for the economy,

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BlackRock Plans ‘Blockchain and Tech’ ETF Amid Crypto Meltdown

January 2022. The iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF would invest in companies involved in the “development, innovation, and utilization of blockchain and crypto technologies,” according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. If launched, it would be the first crypto-adjacent fund in the largest ETF issuer’s lineup.

The number of ETFs tracking crypto-linked equities has grown to 15 in recent years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data, as the SEC continues to demur on spot Bitcoin ETF approval.

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AWS’ latest outage, a stark reminder of the dangers of Big Tech and urgent need for Web3: IoTeX Co-Founder Xinxin Fan

December 2021. For years, cybersecurity experts have warned of the potential dangers of allowing a handful of Big Tech firms to monopolize the Internet. Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) latest outage that for hours saw some folks in the United States locked out their homes, crypto exchanges powered down, and many other regrettable incidents is a stark reminder of those risks.

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Why investors, corporations and high-net-worth clients are warming to crypto

December 2021. For many corporations, high-net-worth investors and progressive family offices, the huge intergenerational wealth transfer currently underway is seeing traditional asset blends move aside in favor of more innovative ideas.

Assets in funds invested in cryptos were below $5 billion a year ago. Now, they stand at almost $55 billion, supported by rising inflows and price appreciation of the funds’ underlying holdings, with this growth trend fueled further by recent ETF launches focused on the asset class. 

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German Law Allowing $415B Investment Into Crypto Takes Effect

July 2021. A new law in Germany that could theoretically prompt up to $415 billion to flow into crypto takes effect on 1st July. Germany’s Fund Location Act, introduced in April and approved by parliament shortly thereafter, permits Spezialfonds,” or special funds, to invest as much as 20% of their portfolios in crypto. 

 

Should every Spezialfond choose to allocate the full 20% in crypto, that would equate to €350 billion ($415 billion), based on the total assets under management of such funds in Germany.

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BlackRock to add bitcoin as eligible investment to two funds

January 2021. BlackRock Inc. is adding bitcoin futures as an eligible investment to two funds in a move to bring the world of cryptocurrency to its clients. The world’s largest asset manager said it could use bitcoin derivatives for its funds- BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities and BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc. The funds will invest only in cash-settled bitcoin futures traded on commodity exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission the company said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

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SEC V. Ripple: The Cryptocurrency Trial Of The Century

December 2020. The SEC has filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc., alleging that it raised over $1.3 billion through the sale and distribution of the digital assets of XRP without registering. Ripple operates the RippleNet and the XRP payment protocol, considered superior to bitcoin with its improved ledger, faster settlement speed, and digital wallet for international transactions across 55 countries. Ripple’s blockchain-like exchange network is claimed to be an efficient, inclusive, and low-cost supplement (some say alternative) to traditional payment networks like SWIFT and others.

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Two Fraud Allegations Against Ripple Dropped As XRP Lawsuit Moves Forward

October 2020. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled to dismiss two fraud allegations against Ripple stating that the cases filed against the company lacked merit, but gave the green light to proceed with the cause of action involving the violation of the California Corporations Code 25401 against Brad Garlinghouse's, Ripple's CEO, alleged misrepresentation regarding the “scope and character of his XRP holdings.” .

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Institutional investors to increase allocations to crypto assets says new survey

September 2020. New research amongst institutional investors who collectively help manage USD78.4 billion of assets, reveals that over the next five years 26 per cent believe pension funds, insurers, family offices and sovereign wealth funds will ‘dramatically’ increase their level of investment in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin  and crypto assets in general.  

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SEC chair: 'perhaps all stocks could become blockchain tokens'

October 2020. In a webinar on 3rd October, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), observed that all stock trading is now electronic, compared to twenty years ago. In the past, there were stock certificates, now there are digital entries. “It may very well be the case that those all become ''tokenized,” said Clayton. This he said alongside Brian Brooks, Acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), as they took part in a Digital Chamber of Commerce event.

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DeFi: The Hot New Crypto Trend Of 2020

August 2020. DeFi stands for Decentralized Finance, which aims to recreate the traditional financial system with less, well, middlemen. Many of the traditional actions in the markets such as lending, borrowing, structuring derivative products, and the buying and selling of securities, can now be done through a decentralized open-source network. The vast majority of these applications are currently created on Ethereum, but in principle, other platforms with smart contract capabilities could work too. 

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Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin to trade on public stock market for first time

July 2020. Grayscale Investmentsa New York firm that makes cryptocurrencies available in the form of stocks has received the go-ahead for the sale of two new cryptocurrencies to the public from regulators. 
One of the newly-listed stocks will represent shares of Litecoin, one of the oldest cryptocurrencies after Bitcoin, and the other is Bitcoin Cash, a controversial spin-off to Bitcoin launched in 2017. While cryptocurrency enthusiasts typically purchase Litecoin and other digital currencies directly on dedicated crypto exchanges like Coinbase or
Binance, Grayscale has found a niche selling them in the forms of shares.

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IOTA: 76 companies like Siemens and Intel reference tangle technology

June 2020. Unlike Bitcoin, IOTA does not rely on the blockchain technology but on the tangle, whose data structure is based on the mathematical concept of the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). IOTA also has the vision of becoming the new standard for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine transactions (M2M). Probably the best known investor and also patent applicant is the German tech giant Bosch. The company bought an unknown amount of MIOTA in 2018 and filed a patent for an IOTA-based payment system.

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XRP Isn’t A Security, Declares Former CFTC Chairman

June 2020. An eventual decision by the SEC to classify—or not classify—XRP as a security could impact the untold individual owners of the cryptocurrency, but also other clients using Ripple services that don’t rely on the cryptocurrency. Financial services institutions like American Express, Santander, and SBI Holdings could stand to be impacted positively or negatively depending on the decision. After all if XRP were to be rescinded it would be a huge cost to their software provider. If Giancarlo is right though, Ripple could end up being one of the most valuable startups in fintech. 

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Ripple partners with Ghana fintech firm Waya to bolster instant payments across Africa

May 2020. Ghana’s Waya Money has seemingly teamed up with Ripple to bring instant cross-border settlements to millions of Africans in three countries. Based in Ghana’s hip Accra region, Waya is a digital “challenger” bank working to bring financial inclusion to Africa where massive populations are under-banked. As of now, Waya operates in three African countries; Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. Others are in the pipeline, including South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast. Interestingly, the project also lists Stellar (XLM) as a partner.

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Ethereum and Decentralised Finance (De-Fi) 

Jan 2020. The number of applications built on the Ethereum network is soaring as more people tap into the decentralised finance – or DeFi – trend. A report by Dapp.com reveals Ethereum had more than 1.4 million active decentralised application (dApp) users last year, up from just over 800,000 in 2018. Of these, 1.28 million were new users and 137,000 were returning users. The research also shows that of the 1,445 new dApps that were launched on the six largest smart contract platforms in 2019, a substantial 690 were Ethereum based. 

Ethereum adoption.jpg

How Walmart And Others Are Riding A Blockchain Wave To Supply Chain Paradise

December 2019. Blockchain technology as a potential solution has been applied to all of the large ecosystems that have issues with real-time data access, partners privacy, traceability and auditability. The supply chain ecosystem is no exception to that, as typical product recalls cost $8 million per year and this number can be reduced with the improved track-and-trace features of blockchain. The key drivers for supply chain blockchain adoption are increased cost savings, enhanced traceability and greater transparency.

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UNICEF launches Cryptocurrency Fund

October 2019. UNICEF will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. In a first for United Nations organizations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world. Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in their cryptocurrency of contribution, and granted out in the same cryptocurrency.     

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Amazon Moves Towards DLTs, Blockchain and possible support for Ethereum

September 2019.  Amazon has created Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain. The former is aimed at cases where a full blockchain isn’t needed. One example presented is a state’s licensing system, for cars, businesses and other entities that needs to be registered with the state. Amazon QLDB runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and so is easily scalable and accessible to people in the cloud environment. Amazon Managed Blockchain will involve initial support for Hyperledger Fabric and support for Ethereum to follow. 

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Banks to invest around $50 million in a blockchain digital cash settlement project 

May 2019. Several of the world’s largest banks are in the process of investing around $50 million to create a digital cash system using blockchain technology to settle financial transactions, 

The previously disclosed project, known as the "utility settlement coin," aims to develop a system to make clearing and settlement in financial markets more efficient. Around a dozen banks (UBS, Banco Santander, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, State Street Corp, Credit Suisse Group AG, Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings Plc and Deutsche Bank AG) are investing in a new entity called Fnality which would run the project.

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JPM Morgan adopts blockchain technology

February 2019. The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it’s from J.P. Morgan Chase...J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, move to the blockchain. That’s the database technology made famous by its first application, bitcoin. But in order for that future to happen, the bank needed a way to transfer money at the dizzying speed that those smart contracts closed, rather than relying on old technology like wire transfers.

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Blockchain Deployments to Save Banks More Than $27bn Annually by 2030

August 2018 Banks that integrate blockchain will achieve cost reductions not just in payment processing and reconciliation but also in treasury operations and compliance. Indeed, in compliance, automation of identity/money-laundering checks, allied to capability of the blockchain to verify the digital identity of an individual, should enable savings of up to 50% of the existing costs base within a few years.However, the need to parallel-run blockchain-based services with legacy systems would mean that savings would not be realised for several years after initial deployment, with annual cost reductions not reaching $1 billion per annum until 2024.

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Big Blockchain: The 50 Largest Public Companies Exploring Blockchain

July 2018. There’s more than one way to gain exposure to blockchain innovation. Beyond buying over-the-counter products or investing directly in blockchain startups some of the largest public companies in the world are already dabbling in the tech. In fact, a closer look at this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list of the largest public companies in the world reveals that not only are all ten of the largest public companies in the world exploring blockchain, but at least 50 of the biggest names on the list have all made their own mark on technology first inspired by bitcoin.

Global brands.jpg

Which FAANG Will Win the Blockchain Wars?

August 2018 Banks that integrate blockchain will achieve cost reductions not just in payment processing and reconciliation but also in treasury operations and compliance. Indeed, in compliance, automation of identity/money-laundering checks, allied to capability of the blockchain to verify the digital identity of an individual, should enable savings of up to 50% of the existing costs base within a few years.However, the need to parallel-run blockchain-based services with legacy systems would mean that savings would not be realised for several years after initial deployment, with annual cost reductions not reaching $1 billion per annum until 2024.

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