This post was last updated on September 28th, 2019 at 06:50 pm
Welcome to Issue 3 of Popular Crypto, a newsletter about the mainstream products and services taking crypto to the masses.
This week brought us several interesting developments – from Ballet, a new hardware wallet, to Japan and Singapore’s Libra warnings, to a new insurance policy service covering theft and loss of cryptocurrencies held online. And let’s not forget that from now on, you’ll be able to pay with cryptocurrencies for genome sequencing! But before you rush off to do anonymous genetic research, let’s take a look at the latest developments in the cryptoland.
- We recently added a data coverage tab to the crypto exchanges index page. This allows you to see the granularity and historical coverage available for each exchange indexed by Nomics.
- We now show narrative summaries for cryptocurrency markets. See, for example, the summary of trading activity on the BKEX exchange; or the statistics section of our XRP / Ripple page.
- We recently added Binance US to our crypto exchanges index and market data API.
- Coindesk’s “Invest:Asia” conference was the stage for the announcement of a new venture from Bobby Lee, the co-founder and former CEO of BTCC, China’s first cryptocurrency exchange. Ballet is a hardware wallet that offers multi-currency support and comes in the form of a stainless steel credit card.
- Bad news for the users of the Nigeria-based crypto wallet Satowallet as the owners have reportedly pulled off a $1 million exit scam. The clients have had issues accessing their funds since April 2019, but it was in late August when the wallet completely disappeared.
- Tech startup Nebula Genomics is now able to offer anonymous genetic testing. Clients can now use cryptocurrencies to purchase whole genome sequencing and provide saliva samples without having to share personal data such as name, address, or credit card number.
- Mastercard announced a partnership with the enterprise blockchain technology company R3 for the development of a new cross-border payment system. The aim is to achieve a better and more efficient payment infrastructure with banks, supported by Mastercard’s clearing and settlement network.
- This week also marked the first transaction of the automaker Daimler, on the blockchain-based Marco Polo trade finance network. After successfully exchanging payments with the engineering firm and parts builder Dürr, Daimler revealed that they plan on using the payment system regularly.
- SPEDN, a new cryptocurrency payment app, developed by Flexa, is about to be launched in a specially-designed demonstration store in the Mall of America. In a partnership with McKinsey, Flexa, backed by Gemini, aims to show the public how comfortable cryptocurrency payments can be.
- Pay for your Starbucks coffee with crypto? Now you can! The Fold App, a mobile shopping app that supports Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, has raised $2.5 million and added a fiat currency payment option to make it possible for users to pay with crypto in Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, Hotels.com, and others.
- Mexicans are on the course of getting a significant boost in the easing of cryptocurrency payments’ adoption by gaining access to a cryptocurrency debit card. Tauros, a banking company, claims that its new service will allow customers to keep money in fiat as well as tokens, including Bitcoin.
- Singapore’s Central bank’s managing director, Ravi Menon, joined the list of global leaders, concerned by the introduction of Facebook’s Libra and its potential implications. He urged for a coordinated and broad approach to regulating the cryptocurrency due to its “macro financial risks.”
- Japan wasn’t late to the party by echoing others’ concerns and stating that it doesn’t want to fight Libra on its own. Bank of Japan’s Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda urged for enforcing “the highest level of regulation possible.”
- Contrary to the warnings coming from Asia, IBM announced its support for Libra and revealed that it is open to working alongside with the media giant on its cryptocurrency efforts.
- In the meantime, Lloyds Bank announced a partnership with the blockchain platform Komgo, in a bid to streamline its commercial banking services. The goal is simple – to optimize the commodity trading process (which may sometimes take up to 100 days) and reduce the associated risks by taking advantage of the distributed ledger technology.
- The UK-based cryptocurrency insurance group Coincover launched a 24/7 insurance policy service covering theft and loss of cryptocurrencies held online.
- A survey, conducted by KPMG concludes that 63% of American consumers perceive blockchain tokens as a comfortable form of payment, while 82% also add that they are willing to use digital coins in existing loyalty programs.
- France is making significant steps towards cryptocurrency mass adoption. By early 2020, over 25 000 sales points of 30 major retailers, among which are Decathlon, Foot Locker, Sephora, Conforama, Moustache and more, will allow their customers to make purchases in Bitcoin.
- More good news for the American crypto community! After Binance.US was launched last week, BitFlyer announced the addition of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Litecoin (LTC) to its offerings. The exchange’s user base in Europe also gets access to these cryptocurrencies, alongside with Monacoin (MONA) and Lisk (LSK).
- Binance announced that it had earned an information security accreditation after meeting all requirements of the ISO/IEC 27001 standard, set out by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
- Boerse Stuttgart Group, the owner of Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, has launched a crypto trading platform, in partnership with Solarisbank. Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX), regulated under the German Banking Act, now allows customers to trade bitcoin against the euro without an intermediary.
- In an effort to increase its system’s security, Bittrex has adopted Chainanalysis’ real-time transaction monitoring solution to identify high-risk transactions.