Cryptocurrencies seeing large sell-offs as total cryptocurrency market capitalization inches near USD$200 billion
Oct 29, 2018
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- A new report published on Nature.com finds that the carbon footprint of Bitcoin (BTC) and its potential future growth could have a significant effect on global warming. The report discusses that, even if BTC follows a lower-level, “median growth trend,” its energy output could equal that of the current total of global cashless transactions in, “under 100 years.” The report goes on to read, “60% of the economic return of the Bitcoin transaction verification process goes to electricity, at USD$0.05 per kWh and 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emitted per kWh, [resulting in an] estimate that Bitcoin usage emits 33.5 metric tons of CO2e annually, as of May 2018.”
- After the South Korean government initiated a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September 2017, Min Byung-doo, a member of the ruling Minjoo Party, has committed to end the country’s ICO ban. Min is currently the Chairman of the National Policy Committee, a committee which many consider the first hurdle in removing the country’s ICO ban. In an interview with CoinDesk Korea, Min discussed that a lot of ICO bubbles have already burst and that many people have learned not to rush into ICO markets. Min also cited other countries, like Switzerland, Malta, and Singapore, have recently made efforts to classify ICOs under existing institutional regulatory frameworks.
- Alrosa, a Russian diamond mining firm and the largest diamond mining firm in the world, is joining the pilot of De Beers’ diamond supply chain blockchain platform, dubbed, “Tracr”. Tracr is geared towards improving transparency and consumer trust in the diamond value chain. Tracr works by establishing a digital certificate for each diamond and recording important attributes about each diamond. The data is then stored on a blockchain where buyers can track all previous transactions involving a specified diamond, allowing buyers to verify that a diamond is natural and conflict-free.
- Fujitsu, a Japanese multinational IT equipment and services company, is building an interbank settlements platform that will use blockchain technology. With a goal to, “confirm the viability of blockchain technology,” the blockchain platform will be tested by the Japanese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network, which is comprised of nine Japanese banks. A press release by the Japnese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network details that Fujitsu, “will additionally leverage the P2P money transfer platform it developed in [the] fiscal [year] 2017 with three major banks to generate the money transfers to other banks that will trigger interbank funds transfer settlement.”
- Notable privacy coin and the 19th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Zcash (ZEC), has enacted its “Sapling” hardfork that will largely improve transaction speeds while reducing the size of transactions themselves. ZEC’s Sapling hardfork should allow all users to conduct shielded transactions, which are transactions that make it near impossible to track a user’s private information. The Sapling hardfork enables shielded transactions on ZEC’s blockchain to be 100 times “lighter” and up to 6 times faster. Prior to the Sapling hardfork, only users who ran full nodes were able to conduct shielded transactions.
- The State Bank of India (SBI) is partnering with Hitachi Payments to build and establish a digital payments platform. The SBI is partnering with Hitachi as part of the India Government’s, “Digital India,” campaign. Hitachi Payments is a subsidiary of multinational tech conglomerate, Hitachi, which reportedly has 55,000 ATMs and 850,000 point of sale devices in India. The SBI is India’s largest commercial bank with over 420 million customers and more than 6,000,000 point of sale devices in India. The joint venture between the SBI and Hitachi Payments, dubbed, Hitachi Payments-SBI, will accelerate the digitalization of financial services in India.
- The UK Government’s, “Cryptoasset Taskforce,” published its final report on Monday that details various regulatory steps concerning cryptoassets and distributed ledger technology. Three different UK Government groups make up the task force, including the HM Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority, and the Bank of England. The report details that the HM Treasury will work closely with HM Revenue and Customs to update cryptocurrency tax guidance by early 2019. The report reads, “While the authorities’ immediate priority is to mitigate the risks associated with the currency generation of cryptoassets, the Taskforce considers that other applications of DLT have the potential to deliver significant benefits in both financial services and other sectors. The authorities do not believe there are regulatory barriers to further adoption of DLT.”
- While interviewing with German business news outlet, Handelsblatt, Felix Hufeld, chairman of Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), called for global initial coin offering (ICO) regulatory standards. Hufeld said in the interview, “The number [of ICOs] and the volume per ICO are both getting higher. Investors have mostly minimal rights,” and added, “I can thus only recommend private investors keep away from such things.” Traditionally, Germany has taken a global stance on cryptocurrency regulation. Hufeld went on to add during the interview that international standards for ICOs would be “desirable” in the long-term and that conversations were underway in “multiple international forums”.
*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio