Bitcoin has died yet again. It has dipped yet again. Yet, more and more innovations continue to flock to blockchain (and by token, to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies). This week’s news is anything but boring.
Follow the link to see previous week’s editions consolidated into one Crypto News compilation.
South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) is shutting down crypto-linked exchange accounts
First National Bank of South Africa has put all the crypto exchange linked accounts on notice about closing their accounts. We can confirm that FNB has decided to close our account with effect from end March 2020, along with other crypto exchanges in South Africa,” Luno Africa general manager Marius Reitz told the news.
Alibaba to bring film rights to blockchain
Alibaba will introduce blockchain to boost the film industry. Li Jie, senior vice president of Alibaba Pictures, believes blockchain has specific advantages that can be brought to film industry that has been slowing down because of online entertainment options, such as – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.,
Binance acquires WazirX to bring multiple fiat-to-crypto gateway
“The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money,” said CZ (Changpeng Zhao), Binance CEO, talking about WazirX’s acquisition that will bring Indian Ruppee onto the multi fiat-to-crypto gateway to the next most populated country outside of China. “The next phase of mass adoption for Crypto will arise from developing nations around the world. India with more than a billion people is primed for massive crypto adoption and this acquisition by Binance gives us the opportunity to not only cater to India but every developing nation where fiat on-ramps have to be built. The acquisition is yet another step towards achieving our shared mission with Binance of decentralizing the world,” said Nischal Shetty, WazirX CEO.
US is looking into the possibility of issuing its own CBDC
China’s recent foray into Digital Currency that could threaten the US Dollar primacy as the global reserve currency is getting the attention it deserves. Chair of The Federal Reserve System, Jerome Powell, has sent a letter to House of Representatives, stating that Federal Reserve is “carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of issuing general purpose CBDC.”
Bitcoin dies one more time, this time on the account of Google and Citi partnership
Pack up guys – Bitcoin has died, again. The lack of maturity in the space was once again evident when Forbes ominous “kill bitcoin” phrase made rounds. Forbes was referring to Google’s partnership with Citi to offer checking accounts. Last time market reacted with euphoria on the news of Facebook releasing its own cryptocurrency. Market was already beaten up with the ongoing war of words between Binance and The Block and Google’s partnership re-emerged to push the market to lower lows. Bitcoin maximalists who have seen Bitcoin die over 300 times seem unphased with the news.
Binance CEO, CZ, threatens to sue media outlet The Block
Fake news or not, The Block, a media news outlet, was subject of massive frenzy over the news it published about Binance offices being raided by police in Shanghai. CZ, who at the beginning seemed to be expecting an apology got further furiated when The Block doubled down on its ‘police raid’ claim with change in language from ‘raid’ to ‘visit from authorities’. In response, CZ tweeted “we will be suing them.” While CZ responded saying “Binance hasn’t had an office in Shanghai for more than two years.” To this, The Block followed up with an article stating “The Block subsequently verified the address of the first office with an industry source, who declined to comment on the record for fear of reprisal. The source confirmed the address of the one office, saying that the address was given to her on an occasion they needed to pick something up from Binance.” The consequences of this silly feud was felt by the crypto space with Bitcoin losing over $1000 in 24 hours (on 22nd) and shows how immature this whole space is from a market resilience perspective.
Oman Oil & Orpic Group uses blockchain with HSBC on R3 Corda’s platform
According to Oman Observer, “man Oil & Orpic Group and HSBC Bank Oman SAOG have successfully executed the first blockchain trade finance transaction in the country.” HSBC Oman issued a fully digitized Line of Credit on R3 Corda’s blockchain platform. Issuing the Line of Credit over Blockchain is safer and faster, in fact, according to the news, it took less than 24 hours to complete the transaction instead of 5-10 days in the traditional model. While the speed is enhanced significantly, the blockchain based transaction has not skipped any process steps that are followed in the traditional system. Nizar al Lawati, Chief Financial Officer of Oman Oil and Orpic Group said: “As an integrated Group, we are proud to be among the first in the region taking serious steps in digitising Trade Finance through exploring Blockchain technology and responding to the 4th Industrial Revolution. This wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of our team, our customer’s cooperation and the support we received from the Central Bank of Oman and HSBC Oman.”
Harvard University hosts “Digital Currency Wars: A National Security Crisis Simulation”
Is the threat to US Dollar real? Harvard University’s National Crisis simulation looked to address this and other issues surrounding China’s decision to issue digital currency to “bring more and more countries to use Chinese Yuan.”
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