|JP Morgan is launching its own cryptocurrency for payments
This week JP Morgan announced that it would be launching JPM Coin, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar that will be used to conduct international payments. While the stablecoin could pose a threat to Ripple on the remittances front, some are saying that the JPM Coin isn’t a cryptocurrency at all. This is because JPM Coin will be running on a private blockchain that runs on Quorum, developed with help from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. As a result, JP Morgan’s cryptocurrency will likely function more like a closed payments network.
Binance reports it’s still managing to remain profitable, despite bear market
Despite Bitcoin being down more than 80% from its all-time high in 2017, Binance recently reported that it’s still remained profitable despite the downturn. By one estimate, the crypto exchange netted nearly $500M in profit last year, and it also leaped ahead of its competitors to become the largest exchange in the world by trading volume (with more than $700M in trades conducted in the past 24 hours).
Bitcoin could turn out to be the ultimate hedge against the cashless society
Many herald the rise of digital payments and the transition to a cashless society, but these two trends are actually quite different. Having a cashless society is particularly more problematic, as it removes cash as the only P2P payment vehicle that doesn’t require an intermediary. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies still have the potential to fill this gap by providing a decentralized, untraceable method of payment.
The first US pension funds are starting to dip their toes into crypto investing
In a world first, a public pension fund has just invested in a crypto venture fund. This week Morgan Creek Digital announced that two Virginia-based pension funds would be leading the capital raise for its newest $40M crypto fund, which will be investing exclusively in blockchain and digital payments startups. The investment will be structured like a traditional VC fund, with a small amount of liquidity held in crypto.
Inside Nvidia’s wild ride on the crypto rollercoaster
Nvidia’s GPUs have been used for crypto mining since as early as 2014 – but the company didn’t acknowledge how exposed it was to crypto-related demand for its hardware until the downturn in the markets last year. This year is likely to see more of the same – this week Nvidia announced its first revenue decline in five years, in a clear reflection of crypto’s recent impact on its bottom line.
What’s the key difference between public and private blockchains? It all comes down to trust
Many blockchain advocates identify the technology’s trustlessness as a key value-add, but as security expert Bruce Scheier points out, this is a misnomer. The “trustless” nature of public blockchains inherently requires placing trust in the protocols themselves – but this can be a risky proposition, as recent hacks have illustrated. As such, businesses considering implementing blockchain on their own platforms should be careful to first assess how it changes their own systems of trust before moving forward.
Blockchain analysis has tied 5 addresses to missing Quadriga funds
After $190M in customer funds was lost by Quadriga last week due to the death of its founder, a massive search was started to find out where the funds went. This week, a forensic analysis discovered that the lion’s share of the funds were diverted to 5 addresses clustered together, meaning they likely belong to the same entity. It’s still not clear if Quadriga itself is in control of the funds, or if they’re now sitting under a third-party cold wallet.
Wells Fargo’s nightmare is Bitcoin’s dream come true
Last week, Wells Fargo’s banking systems went down entirely for nearly 48 hours due to a technical failure. The downtime illustrated Bitcoin’s technical superiority for some, as nodes can now even be deployed by satellite in the event of a network meltdown – but as this Forbes piece points out, crypto’s technical performance at the scale of global banking networks remains untested so far.