Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- New York-based institutional trading firm Genesis has announced its acquisition of Vo1t, an insured digital custody service. Per the press release, the addition will supplement Genesis’s existing services, encompassing global over-the-counter trading and institutional lending, and it will also enable the firm to launch its Prime Services later this year, which Genesis describes as “a one-stop-shop for trading, lending, and securing digital assets.”
- The French central bank, Banque de France, said it has successfully tested a digital euro, its central bank digital currency (CBDC), operational on a blockchain, on May 14. Per the announcement, the bank cooperated with Société Générale Forge on this trial, while more trials are coming in the future in cooperation with other players, based on the applications received as part of the call opened in March to test the use of a central bank digital euro in interbank regulations.
- Cryptocurrency payments processor CoinPayments has announced a strategic partnership with global commerce company Shopify, bringing the payments processing platform to all Shopify merchants. According to the press release, CoinPayments will now be a visible payment option for merchants on the commerce company’s platform, making cryptocurrency transactions more accessible while reducing transaction fees. The partnership also enables cross-border payments, simplifying the work with multiple payment processors across different jurisdictions.
- Following a community approval of necessary contracts, UMA Project, a decentralized finance (DeFi) project, created its first ETHBTC. Per the announcement, this is a synthetic token created on the Ethereum mainnet, collateralized with DAI. It tracks the ETHBTC price ratio – if ETH outperforms BTC the token value will go up, an if ETH underperforms, the token value will decrease.
- Payments and cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com (CRO) is calling for partners. Per CEO Kris Marszalek’s tweet, as well as the official channel’s one, Crypto.com Debit Card White Label Program is calling for exchanges, wallets, and projects to join, stating that they can issue debit cards with the partner’s brand, provide the infrastructure, and ship in US, Europe, and Asia. The platform has also announced today that it is preparing to roll out the MCO Visa Card program in Canada, following launches in Singapore (2018), the US (2019), and Europe (2020).
- Even after the pandemic-caused lockdown ends, major crypto exchange Coinbase will allow its workers to work remotely. In an open letter to all employees, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that after the quarantine, the exchange will embrace being ‘remote-first’ – it will offer the option to work in an office or remotely for the vast majority of roles. Per their estimates, between 20%–60% of the company will work remotely once the restrictions of COVID-19 are lifted, and if this is a success, the remote population will likely grow organically.
- The Monex Group’s CEO Oki Matsumoto has taken part in a USD 1.8m investment in a blockchain startup named Toposware, per a press release shared on The Bridge. The Monex Group’s crypto and blockchain portfolio continues to diversify. As well as buying the Coincheck trading platform in 2018, the Japanese securities company has also launched an American crypto trade platform for its TradeStation operations and has invested in the ErisX crypto exchange. Fellow Toposware investors include Kenji Kasahara, the head of the social networking platform Mixi.
- Could 5G help improve blockchain functionality? Per Chinese media outlet Sina, Chinese telecom companies that are set to roll out “blockchain + 5G” solutions are attempting to answer this question now. They are looking to improve their blockchain offerings, which will likely make use of 5G’s distributed application protocols, as well as improved transaction speeds and traceability features.
- Several Chinese media organizations have formed what they are calling a “blockchain-powered news department,” reports China Email. The news department comprises at least 12 television stations, radio channels, local newspapers and web-based media outlets based around the country. The collective says it will make use of industry 4.0-powered solutions to distribute traceable and more dependable news stories, audio files and videos that are recorded as blocks on a blockchain network.
- American think tank Value Technology Foundation published a report supported by US congressman Darren Soto titled “Potential Uses of Blockchain By The US Department of Defense,” with a number of major companies as contributors, including Amazon, IBM, Deloitte, Accenture, CGI Federal, ConsenSys, SIMBA Chain, and Colvin Run Networks. The report provides ways in which cybersecurity efforts could benefit from distributed ledger technology, the use cases of blockchain and its potential benefits, as well as the specific use cases that are of interest to the Department.
- Russian bitcoin (BTC) miners are using old, Soviet-era infrastructure to mine crypto, per Forklog. The media outlet reports that the Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station, once the jewel in the USSR’s crown in Eastern Siberia, was sold as a commercial venture in 2018 – and now houses some 25,000 mining rigs, which are housed in what was once a nearby aluminum factory. The power station was built during the premiership of Nikita Khrushchev in the 1960s.