Media Blockchain Pilot Welcomes McDonald’s, Virgin Media, and Nestle for Advertising Purposes

The cryptocurrency industry has brought blockchain industry to the masses, and there are many companies have already started running trials of their own. With the recent blockchain trial of Jicwebs, three new companies are joining in.

  • Jicwebs has a blockchain trial that is presently active, involving many major companies.
  • The goal of the pilot is to improve digital advertising.

Blockchain technology is being adapted to many different use cases, leading to the blockchain trial by the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards.

There have already been multiple major companies to be added to this trial, and it looks like the Jicwebs has added a few more. According to an article by The Block, which referenced The Drum, the trial will now include McDonald’s, Nestlé, and Virgin Media.

The three companies will be involved with the pilot to show exactly the ways that they can use the fintech as a way to improve their digital advertising side with more transparency and trust. The pilot is planned to go through the rest of this year, though the first phase will primarily look at how blockchain technology can impact advertising. Going forward, the trial will also touch on the way to “optimize the supply chain and gain operational efficiencies for all involved” with the tech.

Kat Howcroft, the senior media and budget manager for McDonald’s, explained that the use of blockchain

“offers us the opportunity to see a truly transparent picture of our investment across the digital supply chain. We are also eager to understand the potential impact that this may have on our ROI and efficiency.”

Along with Nestlé, McDonald’s and Virgin Media, their respective media agencies will be involved as well, which include Zenith, OMD UK, and Manning Gottlieb OMD. Other participants will be announced as the trial continues and further supply chain mapping is completed, which will end up including publishers and tech vendors. Right now, the Fiducia blockchain platform in London is supporting the trial.

Nestle has already ventured into the blockchain industry, and it has been using the tech to provide information about the condition and origins of their food since 2017. Head of media communications, Steven Pollack, commented that the brand was “excited” to be involved with the pilot. He added,

“Blockchain is a new technology being tested in many diverse industries. It’s great to be one of the first brands to gain insight into its potential in programmatic.”


Binance GBP (BGBP) Stablecoin Officially Gets Listed On Binance Jersey Crypto Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance has involved itself in an array of goals from listing, to launching and expanding. Earlier this year, the popular exchange revealed its plans for a fiat-to-crypto stablecoin, which they dubbed as BGBP. According to Coin Desk, said plans have been realized, as the stablecoin has officially been listed on Binance Jersey.

As per the claims made, Binance GBP (BGBP) will be pegged as the UK pound and this was the same period in which the Binance Jersey was officially launched. The reason for said endeavor was to attract European traders. According to The Block, the Jersey-based crypto exchange currently houses nine cryptocurrencies pegged against GBP and euro.

The Chief Financial Officer, Wei Zhou, previously shared the reasons for selecting Jersey as the exchange to list the stablecoin as being its

“highly developed digital infrastructure, robust regulatory framework and world-class financial services sector.”

As of Friday, July 19, 2019, Zhou shared the level of interest Binance community has had in stablecoins and how the pure demand alone was enough of a reason to list the BGBP. In particular, he shared that,

“There has been an overwhelming demand in the market and Binance community for more stablecoin diversification, including a GBP-pegged stablecoin, and listing BGBP is in response to it.”

A tweet made out today by Binance Jersey revealed that all UK users can instantly deposit GBP free of deposit and withdrawal fees as well as 10$EUR upon registration.

Bitcoin Consuming Fiat like a Black Hole, 1 Satoshi Now Worth More than Several National Currencies

  • Bitcoin’s smallest denomination now worth more than many national currencies
  • Several countries developing their own central bank digital currency
  • While the world’s leading cryptocurrency continues to grow, national currencies are being devalued by the governments.

Amidst the ongoing environment which has recession looming on the horizon, countries running amok with hyperinflation, trade wars, and geopolitical issues, national currencies are losing their value constantly.

However, sometimes governments devalue their own currency deliberately against another currency. It is basically a tool used by monetary authorities to boost exports, shrink trade deficits, and to reduce sovereign debt burdens.

This tool, however, can also have intended consequences that are self-defeating. These negative effects involve uncertainty in global markets that can spur even recessions.

Brazillian real is one such example that has plunged substantially since 20011 but this steep devaluation couldn’t’ offset problems like plunging commodity prices and crude oil, resulting in a sluggish growth in the country.

“Bitcoin Gives You Privacy, and Takes the Government’s Away”

On one side, we have national currencies that are controlled by governments, at times printed out of existence. On the other hand, we have Bitcoin, a deflationary digital asset that offers a way out of the crisis designed by governments by creating the fiat money out of thin air.

The leading cryptocurrency is currently trading around $11,600, this appreciation in price has its smallest denomination now worth more than several national currencies.

Iranian Rial, Vietnamese Dong, Indonesian Rupiah, Guinean Franc, Sierra LeoneanLeone, Laotian Kip, Uzbekistani Som, and Venezuelan Bolívar Soberano has much less value than 1 Satoshi that is 0.00000001 BTC.

As put by crypto enthusiast Rhythm Trader,

“Bitcoin is consuming fiat like a black hole.”

It won’t be long before Bitcoin takes over every currency out there.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the issues with fiat currencies and sanctions, various countries are also taking a special interest in cryptocurrencies.

We have already seen Sweden along with Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and lately China considering their own central bank digital currencies. Soon, every country will have their skin in the game.

“Digital fiat gives government privacy and takes yours away. Bitcoin gives you privacy, and takes the government’s away,”

points out Rhythm Trader.



Uber Health and Ethereum Startup Partner Up To Transport Patients with Solve.Care

The ride-sharing company Uber has recently decided to take an important step in order to connect with the blockchain technology to improve its services. Uber Health, a subsidiary of the company, has granted access to its fleet to a blockchain company called Solve.Care.

Solve.Care is focused on the Ethereum blockchain and its goal is to connect all the healthcare system together. The service is expected to go online later this year.

The main idea is that the clients of the platform will be able to take care of all the process of going to the doctor using the technology. For instance, they can schedule their appointments and book rides using the service.

Now, with the Uber subsidiary working together with them, this has opened Uber’s doors to crypto. Clients will not need to pay Uber drivers with their crypto, they can easily just use fiat instead if they wish to. Drivers will also have access to a range of payment options. The service will also help the patients to share the costs of the service easily with their insurance, too.

According to Dan Trigub, the Uber Health head, this is just the beginning of the change. He, who earlier worked on Lyft, affirmed that the partnership will be expanded soon.

Uber Health was originally created back in March 2018. Trigub affirmed that several companies are already using the API of the company and it was created in order to be fully compliant with the U. S. Health Insurance Portability.

The service is specialized in offering rides for people who do not want to miss their appointments and has been doing great so far.

Solve.Care works in a similar way and it shares an interest in not letting the patients losing their appointments. According to it, around $150 billion USD is lost annually due to missed appointments, a huge number that could have been avoided with a better structure surrounding this system.

The company was originally founded last year in Tallinn, Estonia. It had an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), just like many other blockchain-based startups that were created recently. While the all-time high of the tokens was $0.51 USD, their price has doubled since the beginning of the year and now it stands around $0.32 USD.

Solve.Care’s CEO Pradeep Goel affirmed that using an open-source platform such as Ethereum can be good in order to eliminate redundancies and to help clients to find doctors and reducing insurance fraud. The goal of the company is to eliminate most of the costs and issues that can get in the way of patients receiving their treatment.

Uber And The Blockchain

This is far from the only time in which Uber is linked to cryptocurrencies. Now, the technology that was popularized by Bitcoin is starting to be taken more seriously by companies.

For instance, the company is now focused on joining other 26 companies at the Libra Association. This association will be responsible for running Facebook’s Libra token, a global stablecoin that will be launched next year.


Celer Network’s Cygnus Alpha-Mainnet Goes Live on Ethereum, Targets Blockchain Gaming Space

The launch of Cygnus, an alpha mainnet has effectively opened Celer Network, a San Francisco-based blockchain startup, for business. According to the company, the market today craves for this “advanced layer-2 scaling platform” even as it takes shape.

With the launch of the Cygnus mainnet, Celer Network is unleashing Blockchain scaling solutions in a totally new dimension. For DApps on the mainnet, the network will offer real-time, zero-fee interaction coupled while allowing swift micropayments and low latency interoperability. This simply means that Celer will serve as a platform for developing user-friendly, responsive DApps for iPhones.

Cygnus’ launch also marks the start of the planet’s first Ethereum-based Generalized State Channel Network. The alpha mainnet is expected to be operational from the day it goes live whereby it will allow its end users to use it and earn free coins on the partner app, CelerX.

Dong, Celer’s CEO, sees it as a way of breaking down the benefits of Blockchain to gamers and app developers. He said that even with the ‘cutthroat’ level of competition in the gaming industry, the network is ushering a new method of building and monetizing apps and games. Players also rack in lots of cryptocurrencies in free in-game rewards, something that benefits them as well.

The network which, almost four months ago, amassed a whopping $4 million worth of startup capital, thanks to an IEO on Binance Launchpad, seems to have targeted Blockchain gaming. The platform’s off-chain solutions, smart contracts, and the new scalable “gateways” have clearly underscored its reputation.

Celer Network, in a post, stated that they are solemn in their quest to allow developers to code other aspects and leave the network handle all that pertains Blockchain, including matching and payment resolution. Integration is a breeze as it needs no prior coding experience. One only needs to add two new lines of code, the whole process taking just 10 minutes!

Meanwhile, Celer Network has Integrated Dai into its layer-2 app Network

The rollout of Eridanus is, however, coming at a time when the network is announcing the formation of a strategic partnership with MakerDAO. Celer Network has recently been growing tremendously, and the new partnership is a testament to that.

This new association will bring Dai, the world’s first Ethereum Blockchain-powered decentralized stablecoins to the network’s layer-2 scaling platform. Also, part of the partnership has seen Celer reward those who download its native mobile app, CelerX, with $10,000 worth of Dai tokens.

Further, integrating MakerDAO into Celer Network will automatically allow app users to conveniently send micropayments and play their favorite eSport games free of charge. As for those new users with no prior experience on how Blockchain works, they will “onboard” and use DApps and Blockchain games without even having first to buy Ethereum.

According to the co-founder of Celer Network, Mo Dong, having Dai at the heart of their operations simply means all their users will no longer have to battle rampant price volatilities. This, he says, will go a great way in pushing their adoption campaign even further.


Kakao Says Its Klaytn Blockchain Is 15x Faster Than Ethereum Per Its GroundX Subsidiary

Kakao, a South Korean Messaging application claimed that its recently launched Klaytn blockchain network is extremely fast, in fact, its 15x faster than Ethereum . Leading South Korean news outlet, the Korean Herald reported on July 9, that that GroundX, a subsidiary of Kakao organized a press conference in the capital city , Seoul claiming that Klatyn can successfully mine a block in as little as a second, while ethereum normally takes around 15 seconds.

A Whole New Blockchain

The new ‘lightening’ blockchain is said to provide a transaction throughput of 300 per second, which is way faster than ethereum’s 20 transaction a second output.

Commenting on the features of the new blockchain, Ground X CEO, Jae-sun stated in a statement many projects that were discarded and branded impossible, will not come into reality, he said:

“I believe it would be the initial version of a mobile blockchain version. With the reduced response time, many projects that we believed unfathomable could eventually come true.’’

The main purpose for the creation of the Klaytn mainet is to bring about the massive adoption of blockchain based services.

The whitepaper revealed that the Klaytyn blockchain is designed with a hybrid approach that adopts the concepts of consensus nodes (CNs) and ranger nodes (RNs) to achieve both scalability and the desired level of transparency.

A Private Blockchain

The Consensus Nodes are usually invited partners on the network, that form a private blockchain together to batch and confirm transactions by running a Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm.

However, it does not stop anyone from the public from joining and participate as a RN, who are generally assigned the duty of double checking blocks that have been duly propagated by CNs.

Furthermore, the new blockchain platform stated that established firms in South Korea, like electronic giant LG have teamed up with the firm in a governing council position, and also stated that new and exciting blockchain projects are also on the way, and will be released as early as the ending of July, 2019.

South Korea is gradually becoming a blockchain haven, as virtually all its major firms like Samsung, LG and other established firms and organizations are incorporating the blockchain technology into their services.

The stiff regulations and policies often meted out to established blockchain and start-ups in the USA is pushing most blockchain firms into Asia, especially South Korea and Singapore

Bitcoin Exchange Guide in December reported that most countries in Asia are now relaxing their anti-blockchain policies, and are now open to new and innovative ideas.

Singapore and Thailand are regarded by some crypto analysts as the new blockchain centers, as the regulations and policies in the country are considered crypto friendly, which highlights the reasons most blockchain start-ups are trooping in their folds to the countries.

The NEM foundation in Malaysia is also helping to educate the citizens about the importance of crypto, while citizens are urging the Chinese government to relax its stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain.


Shell Oil Partners With Blockchain-Based Startup LO3 To Enable Local Energy Trading Via Exergy

The world’s fifth-largest oil and gas firm whose net worth is $262 billion has partnered with a blockchain-based firm LO3 that is located in New York, Forbes reports.

Europe’s giant oil and gas firm has pumped in an undisclosed amount of dollars in LO3 Energy whose platform Exergy monitors energy using the blockchain technology.

In the recent past, Shell has been keen on exploring the blockchain technology in its operation and this partnership marks the fourth public investment in a blockchain-based startup, Forbes said. The other three platforms that Shell has invested in are Vakt, Komgo, and Applied Blockchain.

As per the report, the gas and oil company has the leverage to turn its investment in LO3’s native tokens referred to as XRG and this will help in incentivizing the platform and there will need to access the decentralized energy grid. Initially, LO3 had planned to fund its project using an initial coin offering (ICO) using its XRG token, however, it has halted the idea until further notice.

The LO3 platform or Exergy is developed to monitor the flow of energy as it is included to a shared energy network in a locality. This will allow the residents who buy their power in the locality to be absolutely certain that it was indeed generated from a clean source windmill, a solar panel or a gerbil operating on a treadmill.

If triumphant, LO3 and its rivals in the growing “transactive energy” sector, could alter the work of the conventional electricity transmission and distribution firms such as Con Edison in the United States and Western Power Distribution in the UK from just installers of underground cables, to administrators of more coherent, distributed local energy grids.

Shell Ventures investment director Kirk Coburn explained the partnership:

“As we move into a less carbonized future, Shell aims to invest in innovative companies that will help enable the energy transition. LO3 Energy fits right in that space.”

More Partners

The partnership also brings in other players in the energy sector from around the world like Sumitomo Corporation Group based in Japan.

Although the details of the investment were not disclosed Coburn was categorical that he will be part of LO3 board as an observer and could later become a full board member if there are future investments.

Lo3 is also reportedly developing another token apart from XRG known as Anergy to enable consumers to sell data regarding their energy usage to various third party firms in the future.

Currently, although LO3’s Exergy is developed on the Ethereum blockchain there are plans to design it to integrate with the EOS blockchain.

Cointelegraph reports that LO3 is not the only one to develop a peer-to-peer energy distribution network. A few weeks ago Power Ledger, based in Australia, said it will soon release its decentralized energy distribution network in Austria’s second-largest city, Graz. just like LO3, Power Ledger also wants to optimize energy management first before eventually moving to zero-carbon energy.


Philippines’ Central Bank Abandons Plans of Launching Own Cryptocurrency

Philippines’ Central Bank is reportedly ready to halt its planned launch of a digital currency and wait for at least five years. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, according to Phillstar Global, a local news outlet, is rethinking issuing its own digital currency as it monitors the global crypto space.

Benjamin Diokno, the bank’s governor, spoke about it, saying they chose to halt it after a meeting with experts from Switzerland’s Bank for International Settlements(BIS) last month. The outlet reported that he revealed the unexpected turn of events after consulting his Swiss counterparts.

The bank is reported to have shelved the decision even as it keeps its eyes on Bitcoin as well as the other Altcoins’ susceptibility to promoting illicit activities, including terrorism. Diokno, aware of the rampant volatility of these coins, seemingly knows that it could seriously hamper the bank’s native coin’s value once it’s launched.

According to him, even though the bank is open to innovations, it must remain responsible for the sake of the Filipinos. He, however, said they would wait for five years.

Spoke about Libra

The governor, however, gave his thoughts on the Facebook-backed cryptocurrency, Libra, and the divided opinion it has initiated across the world. Libra, although it is yet to be released, has created jitters among mainstream financial institutions, with its proponents backing it as an agent of revolution in the lucrative remittance market.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ department tasked with technology risk and innovation supervision has been closely monitoring the latest happenings in the crypto industry. It has in the past reported a more than double growth in the volume of transactions, rising from 2017’s $189.18 million to hit $390.37 million in 2018.

But it’s still interested in establishing a crypto economy

But even as the bank won’t be launching a native cryptocurrency, its participation in activities related to digital currencies in Philippines is still evident. It is only recently that the bank released a regulatory framework intended to manage all crypto-related activities in the country.

The circular stated that all ICOs would need to first seek permissions from the institution before operating.

A week ago, the bank also gave 11 crypto assets a go-ahead to operate in Philippines after Economic Zone Authority Cagayan had allowed 37 others to also operate. CEZA, as it is known, is a government-approved organization for tech-based organizations.



Financial Commission’s Blockchain Association to Launch Security Audit Certification

The Financial Commission’s Blockchain Association has today launched a new security audit certification targeting Blockchain operators. The commission which comprises of all business that transact using digital assets partnered with SmartDec, a cybersecurity-oriented tech consultancy firm in the initiative.

The duo embarked on developing a Security Audit Certification, knowing too well the need for reliable security checks and tests on the various Blockchain-powered systems. The group additionally expects to use it in smart contracts and ensure the businesses using Blockchain suitably meet the laid-down standards on security and data protection.

SmartDec’s Understanding of Blockchain and Smart Contracts is Unrivaled

For the Financial Commission’s Blockchain Association, having SmartDec at the heart of its operations helps meet its goals with ease. This is because, the cybersecurity-oriented agency’s focus on all-things research, security, privacy and auditing Blockchain, and smart contracts will greatly help.

It primarily deals with Blockchain-based projects and smart contracts on popular networks, including Ethereum and Tezos. The security consultancy company’s cutting-edge technology carefully analyzes the data before running the code based on the needs of the customer. It furthermore helps startups in the Blockchain space spot bugs and other hidden security loopholes.

Joining the Blockchain Association is Beneficial

Blockchain technology, together with all crypto-related products, has lately been a subject of a hot topic. In fact, countless companies are already looking at ways through which they can harness and implement it in their operations. For those that have already launched Blockchain-powered systems and applications, however, joining the Blockchain Association is a smart move, especially because of the benefits promised.

One of the merits of being a member will be the opportunity to meet, interact and even seen advice from the leading legal and compliance professionals. Also, the group promises to ensure that Blockchain firms iron out all issues relating to crypto exchanges, store of digital assets, as well as the whole topic of regulations and compliance.

The past two years has seen the Financial Commission (FinaCom) reveal its approach on ICOs and exchanges, especially how it will increase scrutiny. The commission sees it as of higher importance in the industry’s quest for increased overall security.

There’s a Blockchain Warning List in Place Already

Already, there’s an instrument that allows investors to scrutinize a project and tell whether it is a scam, courtesy of FinaCom. ‘Blockchain Warning List,’ as it’s called, gives crucial information, including that of asset providers with questionable behaviors.

For a platform to be listed on the ‘Blockchain Warning List,’ it doesn’t have to have been proven to be running fraudulently. Everything is based on customer reviews and complaints. Interestingly, those in the list include suspicious wallets and exchanges, as reported by traders.

Meanwhile, the commission could soon start accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum payments for regulatory services, having made the decision in 2018.



Korea’s Shinhan Bank To Scrutinize Crypto Accounts

The crypto industry faces a number of setbacks worldwide and one of these setbacks is the fact

that several banks across the world refuse to provide banking services blockchain and crypto related businesses.

This is a major setback because banking services are essential in the 21st Century for any business to succeed and by denying the services for the crypto industry, it stunts their growth.

Restrictions On Korea

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of many in the industry, these practices continue to grow and it has been reported on July 1, 2019, that one of South Korea’s biggest bank intends to put heavy regulations in place on accounts that have been linked to crypto exchanges. The bank in question is Shinhan bank and they intend to put special measures in place that will involve dedicated staff who will work on analyzing the transactions associated with several bank accounts.

“We have set up a comprehensive plan for the elimination of telecommunication and financial fraud… We will continue to implement preventive measures so that customers will not be harmed in the future,”

a bank official said.

The reason for this new development is that the bank is trying to distance himself from claims that have been floating around but they are supporting financial criminals. This is due to the fact that a number of cases have come up in the last few years that involve the exchanges and it is well known that the crypto industry comes under even more scrutiny than usual.

As part of these measures, the bank will, later in July, launch an artificial intelligence monitoring system that we use deep learning to identify fraudulent transactions in record time and with more accuracy.

While these may put the crypto industry under more scrutiny, there might be some benefits to this as crypto exchanges have recently fallen victim of hacks such as Bithumb and even Binance. By subjecting accounts to this sort of scrutiny, fraudulent transactions such as moving funds that have been gotten illegally can be tracked down and the industry can receive more protection as a result. Also, should the crypto industry comply with these regulations over time, not only will criminals be caught and shady activity is prevented but the industry will gain the trust of not only major financial institutions but the public as a whole.

It should also be noted that not all banks are quite equipped to deal with the crypto industry as it has been stated in previous reports that certain banks do not feel that the industry is significant enough that an entire department be set up or to review account on a case-by-case basis and instead they find it easier to implement a blanket ban.

In the case of this bank, it seems they intend to make use of both artificial intelligence as well as a review of accounts to track activity rather than implementing a blanket ban which shows that they are at least willing to give the industry the benefit of the doubt.

There is hope, however, that banks will worldwide have to begin putting measures in place to deal with crypto transactions in light of Facebook’s upcoming token. Because the token will be used so widely across the world due to Facebook’s influence many banks are already preparing themselves ahead of time by having discussions with people from Facebook about the matter. Hopefully, come out this will bring in a new dawn or acceptance of crypto by banks and other financial institutions across the globe.


Nordic Growth Market (NGM) Lists Mini Futures Cryptocurrency Contracts Backed by Vontobel

On Thursday, 4th of July 2019, Nordic Growth Market (NGM), a Swedish stock exchange, announced that it has listed Ether-based as well as Bitcoin mini futures.

Vontobel, an investment bank, which recently launched tracker certificates on LitecoinEtherBitcoin and Ripple will be backing the derivative products.

Per the listing, Tommy Fransson, the deputy chief executive at Nordic Growth Market said:

“It is with great pleasure we list Mini Futures on cryptocurrencies from Vontobel. It has a big interest among investors. This listing further strengthens the crypto products offering at NGM.”


Mini Futures, which are often called ‘e-mini’, are quite similar to the standard futures contracts in all things apart from its value, which is a fraction of the standard futures contracts.

E-mini NGM traders can benefit both from hikes or dips in performance of an asset because the exchange allows both long as well as short positions.

In addition, Nordic Growth Market (NGM) offers cryptocurrency derivatives traders with leverage.

A Very Lucrative Market

Due to the high volatility of crypto-assets, there has been a rise in the demand for cryptocurrency backed derivatives, hence the launch of the mini futures.

This high demand for crypto-backed derivatives can be seen in the statistics report by CME Group which recently hit 1.7 billion dollars worth of Bitcoin futures in a single day as well as an increase in new user registration for trading Bitcoin futures.

Many other platforms are looking to benefit from this highly lucrative market as they look into offering cryptocurrency based services.

ErisX and LedgerX License

ErisX, a cryptocurrency trading platform was recently issued a license from the United States commodities regulator to provide crypto futures contracts to its customers.

In June 2019, LedgerX, also got a license from the US commodities regulator to provide physically delivered Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives.

Vontobel Statement

In addition, Roger Studer, the head of investment banking at Vontobel, said

“The new Mini Futures on cryptocurrencies will give investors new instruments to trade cryptocurrencies in bullish as well as bearish market environments. They will also enable crypto investors to hedge long crypto positions, Vontobel underlines its claim to deliver innovative products, liquid market access as well as best services to its customers and confirms its position as one of Sweden’s leading providers of structured products.”


Fujitsu Labs Releases Blockchain ID Tool for Online Transactions

Online transactions, for all their benefits, have their downsides are one of these is a fact that sometimes they are not secure and are sometimes prone to breaches which could lead to the loss of funds on the part of those who make use of them.

Now, Fujitsu Laboratories is looking to combat this as they have unveiled a digital identity exchange technology which aims to increase the security that surrounds various online transactions.

To do this, the technology is built on blockchain and helps those who make use of it to confirm the identity of other parties that are involved in various transactions to make sure that they are dealing with the correct parties. Besides confirming identity, the technology also evaluates the validity and trustworthiness of the other party’s credentials.

This helps to address common issues that are found in the world of online transactions as people often claim to be other people in order to get their victims to hand over funds or make certain online transactions under false pretenses of the use of this technology the identity of those that the users are dealing with can be confirmed at any given time.

Also, the credentials that have been brought forward by the other party can be gauged for how trustworthy it is and this will reduce instances of fraud and users being taken advantage of by dishonest persons.

Confirmation of Identity

“The rapid advance of digitalization in recent years has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in the number of online transactions in which users cannot see one another face to face, making it difficult to judge the credibility of the other party and leading to heightened concerns around trust.

With reports of fraud and instances of people falsifying personal credentials like work history and professional qualifications growing increasingly prevalent, ensuring the circulation of high-quality, reliable identification data poses an urgent challenge to users and businesses alike,” the press release says.

The new technology also evaluates the parties that are taking part in the transaction and looks at their past transaction history in order to determine their relationship as well as other parties they have engaged in.

By doing this, it can determine the reputation of all parties involved and whether or not they have a history of fraudulent and dishonest behavior and should they have such a history, it will be reported to the other party who can choose not to engage with them.

Fraud takes place all over the world and all facets of life but across the internet, it is sometimes harder to determine but with the use of new technologies such as these, those who are known to be fraudulent in their dealings will have nowhere to hide and will likely be exposed.

“A trustworthiness score is attached to each user by weighting factors including how many trusted users evaluate them highly. Even if a user colludes with a third party to improperly raise their evaluation, the graph-structured relationships will reveal information such as the weakness of their relationships with other users, giving the system the potential to identify misrepresentations,” the release says.

Fujitsu has also said that the technology will help to secure more online services on also have user-friendly features such as graphics that will help visualize the relationship between various uses.



Cosmochain’s FitsMe Platform Looks to be Acquired by Kakao

Investment in crypto startups and blockchain technology is still on the rise as according to reports, Kakao might be acquiring a product called FitsMe from blockchain firm, Cosmochain. Kakao, the parent company for KakaoTalk which is South Korea’s biggest messaging app, already dominates South Korea’s messaging business by more than 90% and is looking to expand its empire.

FitsMe is a service focused on recommending beauty products and this means that Kakao is still marching forward in the beauty industry as well. This acquisition will be handled through the company’s venture division, Kakao Investment. At the moment, neither Cosmochain nor Kakao has announced any specific details regarding the amount being considered or how much of a stake in Cosmochain will be acquired by Kakao. Cosmochain has also said that a decision on whether or not Kakao will also be acquiring its management rights is yet to be made.

A while ago, it was announced that Kakao Investment was considering this acquisition because it was looking to put forward a new beauty service by connection Kakao Hairshop, a platform that lets you make a hair salon booking, to Cosmee, Cosmochain’s blockchain decentralized app (DApp) social media. Cosmochain has said that the investment is unconnected and has “nothing to do with Kakao Hairshop.”

Cosmochain has now officially announced that Cosmee will be discontinued as its major functions will be incorporated with FitsMe.

“FitsMe service that was newly launched on June has ranked on the top 10 of the beauty category at Google Play Store. We are shutting down COSMEE because we will incorporate its key functions into FITSME”,

said a Cosmochain representative.

The representative also explained that Cosmochain will not stick with the beauty sector alone but will also expand into fashion.

“Cosmochain will expand its business into women’s lifestyle data platform by collecting purchase and preference data on not only beauty, but also plastic surgery, skin care and fashion.”

FitsMe will be powered by Klatyn, Kakao’s blockchain platform.


Two GNT Co-Founders Resign To Open Non-Profit Golem Foundation

Two of the founding executives of the multi-million Golem Factory are leaving the startup to head up a new non-profit R&D effort known as Golem Foundation. The new foundation will pursue riskier yet ambitious research and development initiatives.

In a press release, Golem Factory CEO, Julian Zawistowski, stated that the goal of the foundation is to pursue fresh, innovative and experimental yet riskier opportunities as per the Golem proposition and to enhance the Golem Network Token (GNT).

The statement said that Julian Zawistowski and the immediate former COO in Golem Factory, Andrzej Regulski are set to leave the company leaving the reigns to CTO Piotr Janiuk and lead software engineer Aleksandra Skrzypczak.

Explaining the developments, Zawistowski said that the Golem project has reached a stable phase. In this regard, part of the team can easily diversify and research different business or tokenomics avenues.

Skrzypczak explained the new model in details to CoinDesk:

“After several years working together, we came to the realization that in order to keep the research and development of the Golem Network stable and focused, while not relegating the thirst that any technologist has for constant innovation, spinning off a new entity within Golem’s ecosystem is the best way to boost the efforts.”

The four men started Golem Factory in 2016 and managed to raise about 820,000 ETH or about $240 million as per the current market metrics, to develop a distributed computation platform on based on Ethereum blockchain.

Popularly known as Airbnb for computers, the project is basically an option to the cloud computing platforms where a user is free to buy or let out idle computational resources.

Golem was released on the Ethereum mainnet at the start of 2018 with a product beta launch that was referred to as Brass Golem. Currently, the team is poised to launch its next beta that will be released in the coming fall and will be known as Clay Golem. In addition, the developers are also developing Golem Unlimited that will enable the formation of subnetworks on Golem and will be run by data center-like setups so as to increase the network reach.

Although the team is pursuing the technical roadmap for the Golem community, the newly created Golem Foundation will be operating independently and will have its own goals.

Zawistowski explained the mandate of the new foundation:

“In the beginning, we want to start with thorough research of alternative approaches that contribute to the long-term vision behind Golem and create novel and out-of-the-box solutions useful for Golem and GNT. Exploring these options requires a limited period of time working in a semi-stealth mode.”

More Details To Be Announced Later

Currently the company has not yet announced the details or the areas of focus by the research and development team. However, Skrzypczak was categorical that privacy related tools will be part of the Foundation’s plans. The details will be shared in the near future in order to keep the Golem community updated.



Silk Road Drug Dealer And Vancouver Police Fight

You have probably heard that Bitcoin is great because no one can take it from you, right? Well, a new case involving a Silk Road drug dealer and the police of Vancouver will make you think twice about that.

The dealer, known only as “D.A.L.” on the deep web, has trafficked marijuana and made a lot of money from that using the old Silk Road platform, which enabled people to use a black market based on Bitcoin.

Now, the local police have seized the computer of the man after the arrest and they found some BTC in there. In fact, they were able to find 226 BTC, around $2.6 million USD at the time of this report.

The legal battle is happening now because D.A.L. is accusing the police of misleading justice in order to obtain his laptop, which contains the BTC.

D.A.L., who was already serving time before the BTC was discovered, affirmed that the investigators were not fully open on their investigation and for breaching his charter rights. Despite being ordered to return the hard drives, they applied to keep them and the money within. The drug dealer is defending his right to have the computer by saying that the police committed fraud in order to keep it.

On the other side of the discussion, the police believe that the Bitcoin was obtained by selling large amounts of cannabis using the Silk Road, so it is evidence of the crime. The police force is using the B. C.’s Civil Forfeiture Act, a law that affirms that if an item was linked to a crime or unlawful activity, the police has the right to seize it.

According to the local justice, if it is discovered that the police actually broke the law, the Bitcoin will probably be given back, what will not happen unless they are forced to do it.

The Case

The arrest happened back in 2013. The police raided D.A.L.’s house and found 14.5 kilograms of weed there, as well as scales and vacuum sealers. It was the response to a 911 call. They apprehended the drugs and a computer then.

On the Silk Road, D.A.L. used the MarijuanaisMyMuse alias and received BTC for the drugs he sold. He pleaded guilty on 2015 and he is currently in jail now.

The order to return his property was only signed back in 2017. The police gave the computer back but kept the hard drives, which prompted his brother to act. Initially, the police kept the drives for “forensic reasons”, but they soon found the BTC, which they believed came from crime, so they could not simply let this slide.

More Than A Single Person Used The MarijuaisMyMuse Profile

D.A.L. is not the only person being accused of using the MarijuanaisMyMuseaccount. An American named James Ellingson, which lives in the same city as the other dealer, is also accused of using the exchange’s profile to sell weed.

The judge of the case affirmed that the two were a part of a conspiracy in order to make money illegally and that there is no conflict in the fact that two people used the account. At the moment, Ellingson is not facing any charges in the U. S., only in Vancouver.


Clearway Energy And Power Ledger To Develop A Platform Using Blockchain Technology

One of the biggest clean energy developers and operators in the US, Clearway Energy has partnered with Power Ledger to develop a platform that will enable the trading of Renewable Energy Certificates within the United States.

According to BloombergClearway Energy is set to release an automated marketplace that will deal with renewable energy credits in efforts to encourage consumers to use renewable energy.

In the partnership, Power Ledger will create a blockchain based energy trading platform which will track and trade Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

RECs are tradable commodities that represent proof that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.

Enhancing Trading of Energy Commodities

Power Ledger executive chairman and co-founder, Dr. Jemma Green said that the company will use its expertise in the enhance trading of energy commodities in the digital space. He said:

“Power Ledger is applying our proprietary technology to the evolving market for trading digital energy commodities. This is a market that’s often criticized for being opaque, but blockchain technology will make it more efficient, secure, and provide greater transparency.”

Green said that his company will be able to track RECs using a blockchain ledger system which will start from the point of creation, sale as well as transfer to the buyer. The tracking will also continue to the retirement point of the certificate and the annual sustainability audit.

The inaugural piloting phase will involve a project based in Massachusetts which produces about 1 to 5 megawatts and another project in the Midwest where about 20 megawatts are generated.

Power Ledger’s partnership with Clearway will ensure swift entry into the environmental commodity trading market in the U.S. due to Clearway’s established footprint of renewable energy assets across the country.

Monique Menconi, Clearway Energy Group vice president of asset management, said that the use of blockchain technology in the REC market will significantly improve efficiency. She said:

“We believe blockchain trading technology can significantly improve the efficiency of the market for RECs in the U.S. by linking transactional functions within a common platform.”

Menconi said that Clearway was optimistic of the deal that will help in offering fully integrated, scalable as well as low-cost solution in the REC market.

The market for RECs in the United States covers both compliance and voluntary markets and is estimated to be worth over $3 billion annually and transaction costs can add another 3-10% of the total.

Although there are various digital alternatives for tracking RECs from generation to retirement, the presence of brokers within the system leads to high costs and make it hard to trade. However, the new trading platform will be cheaper than the alternatives already in the market.

Clearway plans to roll out the test for various months before expanding the platform to all parts of the country in early 2020.


Netflix-Like Firm TaTaTu Secured $575 Million on Ethereum, Only to Cut Out Blockchain Plans

In one of the biggest turnarounds ever witnessed in the crypto industry, video streaming platform Ta Ta Tu has ditched the cryptocurrency market, after raising funds totaling $575 million on Ethereum.

The million-dollar token is now a sort of a reward for watching videos on the platform.

A Massive Turn Around

The initial coin offering of the video platform was arguably one of the biggest in 2018. The token gained a lot of attention especially from celebrity figures who openly endorsed and participated in the token.

Worthy of note was the contribution of royals like Lady Monika Bacardi of the famous liquor family, who openly endorsed the token after its publicity by film producer Andrea Lervolino. Before this arise, Lervolino was best known as the producer of hit movies like ‘’Finding Steve McQueen’’ and not forgetting ‘’Bernie the Dolphin.’’

As the momentum of the token project started to finally gain enough attention and validity, Ta Ta Tu moved on and ditched cryptocurrency. This one act by the company has pinned the industry to the wall, unfortunately citing yet another company that used cryptocurrency to gather funds and leave at its own convenience.

Never Part of the Plan

While the crypto world was fuming and moaning about being used to gather funds, Lervolino was emphatic in declaring that Cryptocurrency was never really the point.

When asked if Ta Ta Tu is a blockchain business, he was very clear, stating:

‘’Not at all. We have one blockchain component in our system.’’

However, at inception, the Ta Ta Tu project was originally meant to offer a traded cryptocurrency, which attracted investment from Ari Paul’s Block Tower Capital and Oscar award-winning Actor/Producer Johnny Depp, both of which representatives declined to comment on the scenario.

A New Wave

The token sale and its publicity generally shut Lervolino into fame and popularity. Around the time of the sale, he was cited with stars such as Musician and Actor Selena Gomez on a yacht and also produced a movie for the Ta Ta Tu platform starring Hollywood greats such as Antonio Banderas and Alec Baldwin.

Crypto experts are of the stern opinion that the token sale was a form of exploitation on the crypto industry, but Lervolino is not buying the idea, stating unapologetically that the start-up was only creating a circular economy that rewards users with tokens for watching films, fashions shows and sporting events.

Initial coin offering for tokens is one of the fiercely contested topics in the crypto industry. While some of the experts claim its fraudulent, others are of the opinion that it’s a good way to crowdsource funds, only if regularly monitored.

Some Tokens, however, are looking for ways to protect users’ identity and maintain privacy in the crypto space. Bitcoin Exchange reported earlier in the month that a new project called Grin Project is determined to protect users identity by using the Wimblewimble technology to obfuscate the activity of the user so that the others won’t know what he/she is doing at the particular time.


Philippine Government Tech Department Signs Deal With Blockchain Firm

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the Philippine government has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with U.S.-based blockchain firm Monsoon Blockchain Storage, according to a report by GMA News Online on June 19.

The MoA reportedly stipulates that Monsoon is to act as a blockchain consultant and advisor to DICT, offering services such as cost-benefit and socio-economic analyses regarding blockchain solutions in the Philippines.

DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. commented on how the MoA will benefit the Philippines, saying it will “directly benefit our continuous effort to address the country’s issues on ease of doing business and cybersecurity.”

The MoA also purports to benefit Monsoon, by the DICT releasing education and awareness materials on blockchain tech and contributing to the firm’s “capacity-building activities.”

According to its website, Monsoon Blockchain Storage is a data storage company that has developed a blockchain solution for analyzing, storing, and optimizing cloud-based data sets. The firm is reportedly also developing an Ethereum-based blockchain with purported ideological similarities to Ripple.

As recently reported by Cointelegraph, the charity foundation associated with major cryptocurrencyexchange Binance recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Safe Future, a Uganda-based non-governmental organization focused on improving infrastructure for the country’s schools.

The MoU aims to provide Ugandan students with a variety of useful materials, such as solar panels, sanitary pads, school supplies, LED screens, as well as breakfast and lunch for students.


Crypto Hackers Implant LoudMiner Monero Mining Bot

By now, you must have heard of malicious crypto-hungry hackers who plant their malware using Adobe Flashupdates and legit Windows updates and reap the unsuspecting. But, their stealth operations aside, there’s an even more bizarre crop who seem a bit more sophisticated in their activities.

In what will probably shock many, cryptocurrency hackers have reportedly gone a notch higher and have resorted to hiding bots in the so-called “cracked” audio production software. This is according to security experts at ESET who discovered a Monero cryptocurrency mining bot known as LoudMiner.

Given that malware hidden in pirated software isn’t something new, the level at which this new bot could have gone is quite astounding. The bot is quite prevalent given that it has been in distribution since August 2018, and only started surfacing in the cracked versions of VST (Visual Studio Technology).

Lovers of freebies often dance with the devil without their knowledge and for many of them, nothing is worth worrying about so long as the computer is running fine. However, they have a real reason to worry given that LoudMiner isn’t just unique in its intentions, but also comes as a cross-platform.

This Monero mining bot is expertly developed to run on a Tiny Core Linux virtual machine. It basically hits across the board, running on both the MacOS and Windows devices.

Further, researchers who discovered it believe that hackers chose VST software over all the rest because of the PCs with it are powerful with high-end CPU. The software also uses a lot of resources on the CPU, which gives the bot a higher chance to operate without getting noticed.

There are a few people who, by good luck, noticed an abnormal behavior with their computers, especially after downloading a ‘dodgy plugin.’

LoudMiner – an XMRig Monero cryptocurrency miner, comes in at least four versions, according to the researchers. The bot operates in a virtual Linux ecosystem, installing itself at the root level. It then runs on its own whenever the computer is restarted.

Among those who suspected that their PCs were infected, one said he only had to reinstall the OS in order to completely get rid of it. The researchesr, however, couldn’t tell whether the hackers had earned any coins before the discovery.

On how one could stay safe from it, ESET researchers expectedly recommend not using any pirated software on one’s PC. This, they say, is the first and most important line of defense against them.

They also recommend that one keeps a close eye on their average CPU usage. If one notices something fishy on their computer’s list of programs installed, he/she should act quickly. Meanwhile, the whole ESET report can be accessed directly here.


Six Main Talking Points from London’s CryptoCompare Digital Asset Summit 2019

Finally, the 12th July 2019 CryptoCompare Digital Asset Summit went down. The event, attended by 700 crypto enthusiasts who included coin holders, institutions, crypto honchos and those from the regulatory space, happened at the famous Old Billingsgate market. It was a 6-session conference moderated by several individuals, all engaging different distinguished panelists.

Of course, coffee was in plenty and participants, keen on capturing all the essential information given out, couldn’t be separated from taking notes. But generally, it was worth remembering, mainly because of the lively discussion on pretty much everything in the cryptocurrency and the Blockchain industry.

The following are some of the major talking points during the meeting:

What’s in Store for Stablecoins?

This topic couldn’t have been ignored, especially with the head of CoinDesk as the chief moderator and Blockchain’s Garrick Hileman being among the panelists. Other in the list included Jennifer Senhaji from MakerDAO, Marcos Viriato from Parfin and Ekon Gold’s Simona Macellari.

They all spoke about Facebook and its GlobalCoin, the current Tether debate, the development that the MakerDAO platform is undergoing and the general need for stablecoins in the future. Basically, they talked about:

  • Why Facebook-powered ‘libra’ coin could mark another massive milestone moment in the history of the cryptocurrency industry. The team also touched on what the move could mean, especially with regards to moving all the Facebook’s 2.4 billion users into the crypto bandwagon. But although Facebook employees would get a part of their earnings in crypto, the team couldn’t help wondering if the coin would be tradeable. Further, the question they were asking was whether GlobalCoin would be a payment getaway and compete with PayPal or be another coin like Bitcoin.
  • If there’s a systematic risk in the crypto market presented by the ongoing Tether debate, especially at a time when it is getting even more explicit that there’s a need for greater transparency. Tether has greatly help stablecoins get more publicity, but as long as questions on auditing continue, regulators still have a reason to worry. Many of these institutional regulators believe that, even though a stable asset is essential, it is only through transparency that its adoption will grow.
  • The growing need for a trust-minimized stablecoin which would operate without a counterparty, and why MakerDAO is the best, most suitable candidate. DAI has been recording a 20% increase in its user base every month, which is great for its intended role. But even with that, the crypto industry hasn’t seen a solution which could extend evolution yet. Facebook’s Libra coin will most likely ‘compete’ with other stablecoins, although questions on whether everyone would accept GlobalCoin.
  • The fact that we should expect a stablecoins’ marketplace designed to smoothen the transition from the ‘traditional’ world of finance and the ‘new one.’ The market should also reach out to the underbanked.

Thoughts from Regulators’ Point of View

It was another important topic, moderated by Lawrence Wintermeyer of Global Digital Finance. Panelists internalizing the topic comprised of Martin Etheridge from the Bank of England, HM Treasury’s Gillian Dorner and Samantha Emery from FCA.

They covered diverse topic, including how institutions perceive cryptocurrencies, the role of the government-appointed Cryptoassets Taskforce, and the overall regulatory space. They mainly dwelt on the following:

  • A visible change in tune about cryptocurrencies in the mainstream world, especially amongst financial institutions; they used to see them as agents of ‘systematic risk.’ Today, they all sing a song about BTC being a hedge against traditional banking. This is clearly highlighted by major institutions creating their own digital assets, the way JP Morgan came up with ‘JPM Coin.’
  • The Cryptoassets Taskforce, which basically comprises of the Bank of England, the Treasury, and the FCA, is geared towards making the UK the go-to financial hub across the world. The task force has been reviewing risks as well as benefits associated with cryptos, especially with regards to:
  • The risks they have on average users
  • Their predisposition to aiding illegal activities
  • Chances they have in the market
  • How they could affect national stability.
  • The team also works to get rid of the risks and support the various benefits of cryptocurrencies. They are fighting to roll out EU’s anti-money laundering directive even as they haven’t noted down any benefits of the coins.
  • Some of the findings they have identified from their qualitative research were the minimal risks consumers across the UK face. They also noted that the general understanding of digital assets is still low.
  • The view of the Bank of England isn’t to perceive crypto assets as the alternative to money, primarily because of how volatile they are. Also, they pose no material threat to the country’s financial system, although the famous banking institution can’t dismiss the same happening in the future.

Challenges and Opportunities that Exist from Finance to Cryptocurrencies

Paul Gordon of Quantave moderated the talk, and panelists were made up of VanEck’s Gabor Gurbacs, Sam Chadwick from UBS, Pina Emirdag representing State Street and Pendo’s Ruth Wandhofer.

The discussion covered topics on how the mainstream financial institutions could be rallied to engage in cryptocurrencies, using Blockchain to settle stuff and the whole question of Bitcoin ETF. The talk mainly focused on:

  • Why the use of Blockchain in settlements is excellent for the industry’s progress. They talked about UBS and the whole Settlement Coin initiative, including its attempt to be a digital currency, but can’t quite guarantee both the liquidity and the velocity between parties. They also cited exchanges as places where the final value could be felt.
  • Blockchain and its role in creating the much-needed disruption in the traditional banking institutions – it is the new frontier. For them, however, the issue isn’t about adoption, but rather how they will find the balance between adopting it and maintaining their overall business operations.
  • According to the panel, all the accurate assets’ pricing, custody answers, and surveillance have to be in place if crypto ETF has to earn the approval. However, it might take a while since everything revolves around several service providers, mainly those whose reputation is unsurpassed in the traditional markets.
  • They also spoke about the crisis pitting Bitcoin and all it stands for and the various requirements of the corporate world. Bitcoin is self-sovereign and immune to censorship, which stops it from getting fully aligned to the needs of enterprises.

Investing in the Space and Getting Funded: what the VCs had to say

The topic was moderated by Teana Baker-Taylor from the Global Digital Finance and had Shane Kehoe from SVK Crypto, KR1’s George McDonaugh, Ami Ben David from Spice VC and James Roy Poulter from The Reserve.

They talked about the changing investment trends, advised cryptocurrency entrepreneurs as well as Blockchain growth labs. Some of the key points from the whole talk included:

  • They said that space is still open to all, only that VCs would need to be zealous with a track record of getting things done.
  • Even though space is still new to crypto, its essence couldn’t be underestimated. The new crop of talent has to significant on creating a reputation among them.
  • VCs are expected to take time while adopting new projects as this depends on how comfortable they get on a project, plus the fact that fewer VCs are already in place.
  • The next record-breaking IPOs will possibly come from a space-oriented investment, though it is hard to predict whether it will happen from the Silicon Valley, New York, London, or any other place.

The topic of Market Integrity and Protecting the Consumer

The talk also centered on the above-stated topic, with the moderator being FT Alphaville’s Jemima Kelly. The panel comprised of Binance’s Ted Lin, Ethfinex’s Will Harborne, Kraken’s Austin Alexander and Chen Arad from Solidus Labs.

They talked a lot about the whole issues of market manipulation, the essence of transparency in exchanges and well as ICOs and IEOs as they are today. The main points from the discussion, however, can be summed up below:

  • Fake exchange volumes, which less-established exchanges apply to give a false impression that they also trade high volumes and thus give investors a belief that they too have the liquidity. It is fraudulent activity, similar to wash trading and the only solution to it would be the use of data aggregation websites.
  • It is excellent to note that honest exchanges are pushing for the exposing of their dishonest counterparts, although regulators probably contribute to it. Data in the market hasn’t really pointed to where the problem is.
  • Traders also seem to be opting for exchanges they can only trust, a move which appears to be creating a competition between established exchanges. The popularity of IEOs further evidences this.
  • Crypto markets are a lot different and free more than the highly regulated traditional markets like equity markets. Tokens in the crypto space can be listed on multiple platforms, unlike the current market, and this enhances price discovery.
  • America isn’t doing much and only seem to be pushing exchanges offshore using the tight regulations it’s rolling out. Kraken and a couple of other exchanges located within the US seem to have felt it already.

What the Future Holds for the Crypto Assets Market, plus the whole Idea of Institutionalizing the Digital Assets

Isabel Woodford moderated the talk from The Block. Panelists selected were CoinShares’ Meltem Demirors, Max Boonen from B2C2, George Zayra from BeQuant and Caspian’s Chris Jenkins.

They spoke in depth about the infrastructure in the crypto space, the apparent institutional interests, Bakkt as well as BTC’s cypherpunk roots. From the discussion, the followed were the main highlights:

  • Who the “Big Guys” joining crypto are since a majority of prop traders, hedge funders and brokerage firms are already in it, even as the large asset management companies like the Schroeder’s are yet to. They, however, wondered if the industry needs them or whether there’s a retail opportunity beneath their involvement in crypto.
  • They said the big institutions’ involvement in crypto wasn’t due to the gaps that exist mainly in infrastructure or regulation and the risks involved. The panel called for an evolution, saying it should happen before the institutions become fully immersed into it.
  • There’s still an aura of doubt regarding Bakkt and its role as the ‘game changer’ is postulated to be. It even has a lot to prove, including whether its entry into space will be worth the hype or the whole move will damage the credibility of crypto future.
  • There are still questions on whether institutional involvement impedes on Bitcoin’s ‘anti-establishment’ concept. The panel argued that a more significant investment in crypto would benefit the community, even though the elephant in the room remains the coin’s self-sovereignty and its incompatibility.