Reserve Bank of Australia Looks To Deny Cryptos Like Facebook’s Libra Until Regulations Are Met

When it comes to Libra and the viability of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced it has serious doubts.

RBA officials said in December last year they don’t believe cryptocurrencies will ever take the place of money issued by governments. While Libra and CBDCs are believed to promote financial inclusion, RBA has assessed their innovation in the global fintech space and concluded they’re redundant solutions.

RBA Has a Team Evaluating New Tech for the Country’s Payments System

Since 2018, the RBA has had their own research group that assess’ new payment structures and technology involved for the country. This team evaluated CBDCs and what a “wholesale settlement system” can do on a private Ethereum (ETH) network, as to attempt understand better if tokens could be efficient when it comes to commercial banks issuing currency.

CBDCs Encouraged by Some Central Bankers

There are some central bankers, Mark Carney and Christine Lagarde included, who encourage CBDCs, not to mention the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is currently testing the impact on the public of its future digital Yuan. However, RBA thinks an Australian digital currency would only disrupt the country’s financial system at this point, especially when it comes to the retail industry using it. It cites a research done by the accounting company EY and that discovered a CBDC wouldn’t be effective to promote Australia’s fintech sector.

The RBA Doesn’t Think Cryptocurrencies Have a Future

After watching the asset class for years, the RBA doesn’t see a future for cryptocurrencies, especially since these aren’t widely accepted or used as payment and their volatility is more popular among speculators, not among ordinary people. Philip Lowe, RBA’s governor, doesn’t see the role of Libra in a country that already has a very efficient electronic payment system like the NPP, which was introduced in 2018 and allows users to make transactions using their email or phone number. While backed by the RBA, many commercial banks didn’t support the NPP, with RBA describing it as disappointing in June 2019.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Chinese Tech Giant Baidu Has Rolls Out Its Open-Sourced XuperChain Blockchain Network

Internet giant Baidu has just released its own cryptocurrency called Xuperchain. The news comes as China is preparing for launching the Yuan digital currency.

According to finance.ifeng.com, Baidu’s Xuperchain has just been launched on January 6 with the Open Network, which is designed to empower SMEs and developers. The Open Network is a blockchain basic service network built on Baidu’s completely self-developed open source technology. It consists of masternodes distributed throughout the country and complies with Chinese standards. More than this, it provides users the proper environment for rapid deployment and operation of blockchain applications, and for computing.

Masternodes Indicate a Decentralized Network

Operating on masternodes, the Open Network is decentralized and can be included in the high-performance blockchains category. The network’s whitepaper says it can support over 10,000 transactions per second and that Baidu has developed 50 blockchain platform patents for it. The Xuperchain blockchain’s underlying code is available on GitHub, as it has been made open source back in May 2019. Besides, there’s also a Xuperchain block explorer, so the transactions made on the network can be seen by anyone.

Xuperchain Platform to Modernize China’s Governance Capacity

The Xuperchain platform is especially designed for blockchain-based apps like Ethereum. Its whitepaper says it’s meant to modernize the governance capacity of China by helping the country bring other nations into the process of developing blockchain technologies. The whitepaper also discusses to the 13th 5-Year National Informatization Plan, which talks about blockchain-based tech and has been elaborated in 2016.

Xuperchain is Flexible and Has a Low Threshold

Based on Baidu ’s completely self-developed and open-source XuperChain technology, XuperChain meets the Chinese blockchain standards requirements. It’s flexible and convenient as it has a low threshold. Besides, it offers reduced costs for flexible payments. With flexible payment capabilities for computing and storage resources, easier billing can be achieved on demand and by volume.

The Xuperchain blockchain has been launched rather soon after President Xi Jinping has held a speech in which it encourages blockchain development and expresses his hopes that China will be part of it.

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Author: Oana Ularu

US Congress Drafts Bill ‘Crypto-Currency Act of 2020’ To Bring Clarity To Digital Asset Regulation

A draft bill that will bring more regulatory clarity when it comes to the crypto sector has been introduced by an US congressman.

The bill named the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 and will help to determine which federal agencies should regulate in the crypto space. This newest draft comes after the US lawmaker Warren Davidson earlier this year was looking to make regulations clearer by reintroducing the Token Taxonomy Act.

SEC to Regulate Crypto Securities

As reported, the US lawmaker who introduced the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 bill was the Republican Arizona congressman Paul Gosar. This bill has cryptocurrencies divided into securities, cryptocurrencies and crypto commodities.

The draft has been proposed that for each of the mentioned categories above, to have a federal crypto regulator that provide updated announcements to the public on any required registrations and licenses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been proposed for the crypto securities category, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for the cryptocurrcey category, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the crypto commodities.

The Bill Defines Cryptocurrencies

What’s even more interesting about the bill is that it defines the cryptocurrencies types. According to the draft, crypto commodity represents “economic goods or services”, crypto securities are “all debt, equity and derivative instruments that rest on a blockchain”, whereas cryptocurrency stands for an US currency representation or “synthetic derivatives resting on a blockchain”.

The bill also says that acting via the FinCEN, the Secretary of the Treasury should issue rules for cryptocurrencies, synthetic stablecoins included, that make it possible for transactions in the crypto space to be traced, just like currency transactions of financial institutions do at the moment.

Market Participants and Lawmakers Have Been Long Looking for Regulatory Clarity

Regulatory clarity is something lawmakers and the crypto market players have been looking for. Through the Token Taxonomy Act, congressman Warren Davidson wants to help cryptocurrencies stand legally in the US.

Only recently, SEC, FinCEN and CFTC have issued together a statement in which they’re saying the cryptocurrency industry needs to comply with the US financial services and banking laws. All crypto players can do for the moment is wait and see if the bills introduced by Gosar and Davidson are going to bring regulatory clarity.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin: Proof of Stake (PoS) Will Make ETH More Secure than Bitcoin

“Ethereum is one of the hardest-hitting competitor’s when it comes to an altcoin that could compete against Bitcoin”.

Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, stated that after the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm is implemented into Ethereum, it will be more secure than Bitcoin.

Buterin stated this opinion during Devcon 5: An Ethereum developers conference that happened in Osaka from October 8th to October 11th. He pointed out, pragmatically enough, that the sheer cost of attack would make Ethereum a safer network as well. It works on the idea of deterring lower-tier criminals from trying their hand at it due to the computational power needed.

As is considered mandatory, Buterin started his presentation by paying homage to the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto: Creator of bitcoin and the father of cryptocurrencies as a whole. He stated that Nakamoto created crypto-economics as a way to encourage individuals to maintain the Bitcoin network.

The way that blockchain is designed is that you would need an incredible amount of resources to compromise the network effectively, and the cost only rises as the system expands.

Buterin makes an intriguing claim, however. He asks if every aggressive actor against blockchain is into it for the monetary gain, or if there are some people that “just want to watch the world burn.” It’s an interesting argument, implying that there are malicious actors out there that would be willing to waste excessive amounts of resources to see a blockchain collapse. He stated that it could be hacker groups, governments, anyone.

Ethereum’s PoS Based Security

When Ethereum implements PoS, users can lock an amount of Ether into a smart contract. This smart contract will allow them to validate new blocks, instead of relying on the energy consumption of heavy-duty computer power. If this staker misbehaves, their stake can be slashed as recompense.

The more Ether staked, the better chances you have of validating a block. This is similar to a hashrate for a miner, where the more computational power he has, the better chance he has of validating a block and, thus, earning money.

In Buterin’s envisioned PoS system, there is an active community regulation system. This can be done via challenging a validator’s new block when it’s created. The new block can be verified by investigating it for malicious code.

Whether or not Ethereum can stand up to Buterin’s claim remains to be seen, but this could very well be the next step in cryptocurrencies.

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Author: Ali Raza

Reserve and Chainlink Partner to Strengthen the Future of Decentralized Stablecoins

Reserve and Chainlink Partner to Strengthen the Future of Decentralized Stablecoins
  • Chainlink has been considered to be an industry leader when it comes to providing reliable data feeds that can be used for smart contracts.
  • Reserve will be utilizing Chainlink to help make the protocol that they rely on be more secure for users and also be able to accelerate the development timeline.

A Secure and Reliable Network is Needed for Success

Having a robust and dependable Oracle network is very important for any stablecoin design. These are smart contracts that have been incorporated with the stablecoin protocols, which become only as effective as the price data, that is used to regulate their behavior. Therefore, it is crucial for a company to get this step of implementation right as it aids in the success of the coin.

A reserve protocol requires to have reliable price data to ensure it can maintain the 1:1 peg against the US dollar, this is achieved by monitoring the reserve stablecoin constantly against the dollar. But this is not all as it will require adequate management of the portfolio of the current collateral tokens that have been used to back the Reserve Token.

“Natural” Industry Partners

The Co-founder and the CEO of the Reserve, Nevin Freeman, notes that he sees both the Reserve and Chainlink as being natural partners in the industry. As they are both able to build critical pieces that are needed for the decentralized infrastructure, making both part of the great movement.

Thus, without proper on chain price feed being offered, most dApps will not be able to work without them. He goes on to state the following.

“We’re very excited about stablecoins and their potential to make crypto a medium of exchange. Projects like Reserve are taking seriously the task of making crypto practical for daily transactions in the parts of the world that need it most.”

Since the launch of Chainlink, the Reserve team has been following very carefully, and from this, they considered the company to be the best option in using them as a reliable oracle solution.

Chainlink Considered A Community Leader

Chainlink has been established as a decentralized oracle network, that allows the smart contracts to access the off chain data feeds securely, traditional bank payments together with the web APIs.

A platform that is being selected as the top blockchain technologies by the leading firms within the community; the likes of Gartner.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Lorraine M

Big Banks Band Together To Launch Blockchain Trading Solution with Its Own ‘Bitcoin’-esque Token

Big Banks Band Together To Launch Blockchain Trading Solution with Its Own 'Bitcoin'-esque Token

While the banking industry has been one of the most hostile industries when it comes to blockchain technology and Bitcoin in the early stages – that hasn’t stopped them from taking over some sizeable corner of the market for their own.

An increasingly substantial number of financial companies, being headed up by the multinational UBS Group AG have been setting their sights firmly on the application of blockchain technology in the aid of creating a streamlined, low-cost and high efficiency cross-border trading solution, powered by its own blockchain and its own ‘Bitcoin’ token.

Among the financial institutions involved in this ambitious project includes – Barclays, Nasdaq, Credit Suisse Group, Banco Santander, ING, and Lloyds Banking Group. Each of these have since registered themselves as part of a collaborative entity, with more to potentially join.

Each of these organizations will be involved in the development of a unique token, known as a ‘utility settlement coin’ or a USC, according to an international news source.

More than just placing a tenuous interest in this cross border payments solution, these financial behemoths have since officially poured more than 60 million dollars into this international organization – known more broadly as Finality International.

It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering that this token has been in steady development for more than 4 years, and will serve as a joint payment device as well as a “messenger that carries all the information required to complete a trade,” according to the report.

This new kind of permissioned blockchain solution will attempt to significantly reduce the kind of risks associated with cross border payment solutions, while also increasing the speed in which they are completed. According to the UBS head of investment strategy – Hyder Jaffrey discussed the kind of benefits that this solution would provide –

“You remove settlement risk, the counterparty risk, the market risk,” Jaffrey continues. “All of those risks add up to costs and inefficiencies in the marketplace.”

Along with the more than 14 international financial companies previously mentioned, some of the newer partners to this cross-border solution include major national banks such as Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce , State Street Bank & Trust Co., Commerzbank AG, KBC Group NV, Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group Inc., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

Each of these major banking institutions has since announced that they will be making use of the USC token in the foreseeable future.

According to reports, this platform is forecasted to launch worldwide within the next 12 months, which is further substantiated by previous reports which suggested that it would be put completely into action as of 2020.

While this represents one of the more ambitious, globe-trotting projects from financial institutions – there is no inkling whether or not USC provides more utility and represents something resembling a cryptocurrency more than JP Morgan’s token does, however.

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Author: James F

Delphi Digital: Bitcoin Reigns Supreme in 2019, is the King of the Asset Class Hill

When it comes to any and all kinds of assets available to investors across the world, Bitcoin has managed to surpass in performance, any other kind of asset. according to the financial performance of BTC over the course of May, its value rose more than 60 percent – making for the highest monthly return in more than a year.

This increase of 60 percent represents the single greatest performance from the world of assets in the world over 2019 so far.

These statistics come from the speciality analytics firm – Delphi Digital – which went on to give the Bitcoin the honorary title as ‘the king of Asset Class Hill,’ a fitting description for a digital asset class which is constantly maligned by more mainstream individuals within the marketing world. Made even more of an apt description thanks to its consecutive months of solid returns.

Graph and Bitcoin performance relative to other asset classes and stocks courtesy of Delphi Digital. According to the team responsible for this research within Delphi Digital:

“The acceleration in BTC’s performance comes at a time when conventional risk assets, notably global equity markets, continue to see selling pressure […],” the team continues on to explain.

“May’s outperformance has been especially important given the broader weakness across many other asset classes.”

Investment Flight Takes Shape From Riskier Assets While Bitcoin is Unperturbed

The current landscape for mainstream investment markets as well as public equity are undergoing a phase of anxiety amid some continually bad news internationally. It’s because of this that it, the team concludes, is “riddled with concerns.” One of the more prominent examples that we have for this would be the New York Stock Exchange.

The ‘concerns’ and bad news in question is pretty ubiquitous whether you’re paying attention on the radio, TV or newspapers – with earnings expectations for workers remaining relatively stagnant, continuing macroeconomic concerns relating to the ongoing trade disputes between China and the United States as well as a broader discontent over the rate of economic growth has since resulted in investors retreating from more ‘risky’ assets in exchange for what we refer to as ‘safe haven assets’ such as US Treasuries, government bonds and Precious Metals.

Even with this investment ‘flight’ which takes place in a bearish climate, even against ‘safe’ assets like Gold, Japanese Yen, and WTI Crude, Bitcoin still managed to more than trounce these tenfold over May along.

Courtesy of Delphi Digital

Within the body of its research, Delphi Digital went on to explain that, while Bitcoin had managed to take some serious ground compared to its conventional rivals, investors cannot rest on these digital laurels.

“Contrary to its recent history, Bitcoin has remained largely unaffected by the sell-off in risk assets, though expectations for market volatility are trending higher,” its analysts continued. “It is still too early to claim victory yet, but BTC’s uncorrelated nature has so far proved true.”

The analysts of the team have since determined that, even if investors were to allocate small volumes of BTC within their more conventional investment portfolios – such as one made up of 60 percent stock assets and 40 percent fixed income) over the course of three years, served to dramatically boost the kinds of annual returns obtained by the investor.

When we take this into consideration, it makes a great deal of sense, especially when looking at the kind of Bullish charge that Bitcoin underwent over the course of 2017.

“Just a 3-percent allocation (which we acknowledge is still a sizable position for most conservative investors) would have generated a compound annual growth rate of 12 percent over the last 36 months, without raising the portfolio‘s volatility or maximum drawdown by much,” said the firm.

Bitcoin’s price is $8,193.17 BTC/USD exchange rate today. The real-time BTC market cap of $145.34 Billion currently ranks #1 with a chart dominance at 55.91%, daily trading volume of $6.62 Billion and live coin value change of BTC -6.56 in the last 24 hours.

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Author: James F