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Cryptocurrency Morning Brief

Jul 16, 2018

  • Crypto Finance Conference released a report ranking the US, Switzerland and Singapore as the top three most favorable countries for initial coin offerings (ICOs).  The rankings were developed by analyzing each country’s top 100 ICO’s, and ranking them by the number of projects that had been launched. The US is highlighted as the most favorable country for ICOs.
  • Peter Wuille, a well-known Bitcoin developer, released the technical framework of Schnorr.  If implemented, Schnorr would be the most significant change to the Bitcoin blockchain since SegWit.  Schnorr is a digital signature and would give users of bitcoin a new way to generate the cryptographic keys used to store and send bitcoin. Schnorr introduce several new benefits, including privacy and scalability – two of the biggest challenges facing Bitcoin’s mass adoption.
  • American Express applied for a blockchain patent last week that permits for a payment confirmation, including the ability to confirm the payment amount and identify the merchant.  American Express’s travel branch American Express Travel Related Services Col., Inc. filed the patent, citing uses such as hotel reservations, ticketless event access, and real estate rental. 
  • Swiss Infrastructure & Exchange (SIX) Group, parent company of Switzerland’s principal stock exchange announced it is open to the possibility of offering cryptocurrency trading services on its digital trading platform during an interview with Swissinfo.  SIX would like to launch a fully-regulated digital trading platform by mid-2019.
  • The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has released a framework for monitoring cryptocurrency assets to the G20. The FSB’s framework stresses monitoring crypto market volatility, the size and growth of ICOs, and crypto’s expanding use in payments and institutions. The FSB will also periodically produce qualitative reports on the cryptocurrency markets.
  • South African financial services provider, Purple Group, has added Bitcoin and Ethereum to its online trading platform as a response to customers’ strong demand.  Despite the recent sell-off in cryptocurrencies, Purple Group has seen significant interest in the ability to trade digital currencies on its platform from retail clients, especially since Purple Group is allowing the option for traders to short the large-cap coins.
  • Asset manager BlackRock has reportedly started taking an interest in the cryptocurrency industry, especially Bitcoin.  BlackRock is putting together a team to further research into the feasibility of involvement in Bitcoin futures.  Blackrock is already a multi-trillion dollar company and is the world’s largest provider of exchange traded fund (ETFs), so this news should prove beneficial for the crypto industry.
  • The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is reported to launch a new trade solution using blockchain technology with 21 banks in August.  The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has partnered with OneConnect, a fintech subsidiary of Ping An Group for this, and aims to substantially lower paperwork for participants, security risks, and costs.  Once in place, the blockchain platform should also be able to process and confirm certain transactions in one day, when some take up to two weeks.