Blockchain and cryptocurrency

Weekly roundup: September 22, 2018 to September 27, 2018

Here’s a weekly roundup of all the news that made headlines in the Blockchain and crypto world this week!

The week started on an exciting note with Unocoin launching the first ever Bitcoin ATM in Southern India in the city of Bengaluru by the cryptocurrency exchange, Unocoin Technologies Private Ltd. Unfortunately the move did not go well with the authorities as the city police sealed the ATM and arrested both the Co-Founders of Unocoin. The week was not a good one for the crypto community in India as the nation’s leading IT industry body, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) stated that the organization views cryptocurrencies as illegal. President Debjani Ghosh, mentioned, “It is the law of the land and hence, we have to work with it. If we do not agree, we have to go back to the government and speak about why cryptocurrencies aren’t correct [legal].”

China, on the other hand, seems to  be making progress when it comes to accepting Bitcoin as in a case, the Shenzhen International Court of Arbitration ruled in the favour of Bitcoin. According to the Shenzhen court, ‘Bitcoin should be protected by law because of its property nature and economic values’. Though the trading of cryptocurrencies is not legal in China but the arbitration body ruled in favour of Bitcoin.

Another Asian nation in news was Japan where the Bank of Japan’s Deputy Governor, Masayoshi Amammiya, spoke about his reservations about the use of central bank issued digital currencies, as according to him, such digital currencies were ‘highly unlikely to improve the monetary system that existed in Japan’.

All the way in Paris, The Financial Financial Action Task Force (FATF) stated that Anti Money Laundering legislations will be rolled out as soon as in the June of the next year to regulate the risky world of virtual currencies, crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs). In another news from Europe,  it was announced that the Royal Mint’s plan to launch a “digital gold” token that would be listed in crypto exchanges has been scrapped by the UK Government!

Deloitte, the multinational professional service network, announced that it is planning to deploy blockchain technology for its global clients. The firm already has three Blockchain labs around the world. Another global organisation to announce the implementation of Blockchain technology is the United Kingdom’s major commercial bank, the National Westminster Bank (NatWest). The bank announced that it will integrate blockchain technology to effectively streamline communication between agent banks and lenders in the syndicated loan market.

On the American shores, NASDAQ, the American stock exchange successfully patented a system which would release news as part of a wire service and would run on blockchain technology. Mastercard is not new to the world of Blockchain, the American financial services firm filed another patent application to apply the principles of fractional reserve banking to cryptocurrency. Interestingly, the CEO of Visa Al Kelly, another global payments services provider, in an interview with Mad Money‘s Jim Carter expressed an avid interest in supporting and using digital currencies provided there is a real demand and need to do so. “If it goes in that direction, we will move in that direction,” said Kelly.

Tether, the stablecoin, made a lot headlines this week with the news of USDT tokens flooding into a wallet address that is currently controlled by the Kraken exchange, which is one of the few places where the troubled stablecoin could be converted into US dollars. In another news Tether Limited, the company which has issued the stable cryptocurrency Tether (USDT) made a public announcement via the social networking site, Twitter that it has successfully destroyed over 500 million Tether or USDT tokens. These tokens were earlier stored in an account that was known as ‘Tether Treasury’. In the world of stablecoins, Huobi, the third-largest Singapore based cryptocurrency exchange in the world made news as it announced the launch of a new ‘“stablecoin solution” dubbed HUSD which will allow traders to convert between four UDS pegged stablecoins. Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges and brokerage giants, announced that effective immediately, their clients would be able to conduct transactions of USD Coin, a cryptocurrency that was launched initially by cryptocurrency unicorn Circle. This token is backed by physical dollars which are stored in bank accounts, controlled by the company. In another news Coinbase announced that it has got the approval from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to offer its cryptocurrency custody services in the State of New York.

In a recent announcement, Moneynetint, a UK based electronic e-money institution said that it had completed the integration phase of its cross-border payments and currency exchange services with American technology company, RippleNet. In an announcement Algorand, the Blockchain startup founded by Silvio Micali, said that it has raised as much as USD 62 million in a new funding round. The company said that the funds will be used to further expand the core engineering team. Alibaba, the Chinese multinational conglomerate on 24th October, officially announced their plans to extend their Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) product into the USA, Europe and South-East Asia, on their cloud-computing arms- Alibaba Cloud.