The top news in the last 24 hours are shown below:
Starbucks Unveils Key Detail about its Secretive Bitcoin Strategy
The company told The Next Web that rather than accept crypto directly, it will create more ways for customers to convert bitcoin and other assets into fiat, which can then be used at their stores (emphasis added):
“Our role as the flagship retailer for Bakkt is to consult and develop applications for customers to convert their digital assets into US dollars, which can then be used in our stores. We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks. As we continue to move forward with this work, we anticipate we’ll have more to share in the coming months.”
Billionaire Eugene Kaspersky: World Isn’t Ready for Bitcoin Yet
Kaspersky says he believes that digital currencies will eventually overtake paper money in the future. However, he thinks that will require a new world order, where there’s a single government instead of the many different nation-states that we have today.
“Cryptocurrencies are a great idea, but the world is not ready for them yet. The world must be united if we want to have encrypted currencies. At the moment, governments will want to control them.”
Israel Securities Authority Wants a Dedicated Token Exchange
An Israel Securities Authority (ISA) committee tasked with examining the regulation of crypto coin offerings has submitted its final recommendations today, March 6. They include the option of creating a dedicated platform for trading digital assets.
Onchain Stablecoin Transactions Remain Low Despite Surge in Trade Volume
Despite many stablecoins ranking among the top 20 most traded crypto assets by monthly volume, a recent report has shown that there are few onchain transactions conducted using these fiat-pegged tokens.
Swiss Stock Exchange Launches Trading for ETH ETP
Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange has announced the launch of an ETH exchanged-traded product. March 5 comprised the first trading day for the ETP, which is backed by Swiss company Amun AG. The launch comes one month after SIX announced its intention to launch a blockchain-powered exchange during the second half of this year.
Blockfi Launches Interest Bearing Savings Accounts for Cryptocurrencies
On March 4, cryptocurrency-backed USD lending platform Blockfi announced the launch of a new savings program called the Blockfi Interest Account (BIA). Having started as a private beta service, BIAs are now available to the public who can store bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) and receive 6 percent annual interest, paid monthly in cryptocurrency.
Global Blockchain Spending Will Grow About 89% in 2019, New IDC Report Says
Global blockchain spending will account for almost $2.9 billion in 2019, which is an 88.7 percent increase from 2018, according to a new report from United States-based market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Published on March 4, IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide provides analysis of blockchain developments in various segments. According to the report, the financial sector will be the leading industry in terms of spending in blockchain development this year. Banking, securities, investment services and insurance services are forecasted to invest more than $1.1 billion out of the total global blockchain spending.
Nasdaq-Powered EU Digital Exchange DX Adds Tokenized ETFs
Estonia-based digital trading platform DX.Exchange has added tokenized Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to its services, according to press release shared with Cointelegraph on March 6. The move involves the tokenization of popular ETFs, such as SPY, which represents the S&P 500, and QQQ, which backs the Nasdaq Composite at a 1:1 ratio. UWT (crude oil) and UDOW are among other ETFs offered on the platform. The ETFs offered can now be purchased both for cryptocurrencies and fiat during trading hours as well as after-hours.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Huobi Adds XRP Support to its OTC Trading Platform
The peer-to-peer (p2p), over-the-counter (OTC) branch of Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has added support for Ripple (XRP). The company announced the news in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on March 6. XRP joins Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Eos (EOS) and Huobi Token (HT) in the list of assets supported by Huobi’s OTC trading platform.
IBM Releases Security Testing Tool for Enterprise Blockchain Takers
IBM has launched an operational version of its in-house security testing tool for blockchain solutions, the company confirmed in a press release on March 5. IBM Security’s X-Force Red, the firm’s dedicated security task force, released the X-Force Red Blockchain Testing service in order to tackle remaining inefficiencies in enterprise blockchain deployments.
Argentina: Government to Co-Invest in Local Blockchain Projects Backed by Binance
The government of Argentina has agreed to co-invest in blockchain projects that are backed by Binance Labs and Latin American crypto exchange LatamEx, a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Wednesday, March 6, reveals. Binance Labs, the investment and social impact arm of top cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has recently chosen Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, as the Latin American hub for the next season of the Binance Labs Incubation Program.
Japanese Banks Unite to Launch Blockchain Finance Platform Services
Five Japanese banks have collaborated to launch blockchain-based financial services infrastructure, the finance platform confirmed in a press release on March 1. Bank of Iwate, Bank of Yokohama, Aomori Bank, Akita Bank and Yamanashi Chuo Bank will work together on the platform, dubbed “Fitting Hub.” The first service available on the platform — electronic delivery service — should launch in April, the press release notes.
MakerDAO Users Vote on ‘Stability Fee’ Increase as DAI Stablecoin Peg Wobbles
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) MakerDao (Maker) will let users vote on whether or not to raise a fee used within its Dai (DAI) stable coin, the organization confirmed in a blog post on Mar. 4. Dai, which is a USD-backed stable coin, is different from Maker’s utility token, MKR, which is trading at $678 by press time. The stable coin DAI is in part used for loans via a structure administered by Maker known as a collateralized debt position (CDP).
Blockchain Analytics Firm Chainalysis Outlines User Data Policy Amid Coinbase Allegations
New York-based blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis has published an official statement clarifying that it does not collect or sell users’ personal data when it provides its services to cryptocurrency exchanges. The statement was published in a company blog post on March 5. Chainalysis is one of the highest-profile firms in the blockchain intelligence industry, providing technology — such as its proprietary KYT (Know Your Transaction) tool — that enables firms, governments and law enforcement agencies to monitor blockchain transactions and track suspected illicit activities, such as money laundering or terrorist financing.
Malta Digital Exchange Relocates Operations to Malta Stock Exchange Premises
Malta Digital Exchange (MDX) is moving in with the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) in contemplation of the launch of its digital exchange division, the Times of Malta reported on March 5. MDX is reportedly in the process of obtaining a securities license to promote a multilateral trading platform that will introduce a secondary market for digital assets trading. MDX founder and executive chairman Rick Klink said that the “move to the Maltese Stock Exchange means that we are now physically positioned to be at the heart of the next wave of institutional financial innovation.”
New Partnership Allows TrueUSD Traders to Audit The Coin’s Backing Assets
A new partnership between stablecoin TrueUSD (TUSD) and accounting firm Armanino purportedly allows traders to conduct instant audits of the token’s backing. The news was announced by TrueUSD in a blog post on Mar. 5. The dashboard developed by Armanino purportedly enables traders to monitor TrueUSD token balances and collateralized funds. “Armanino connects directly to third-party escrow accounts holding the U.S. dollars that collateralize TrueUSD tokens, and runs their own ETH nodes to ensure accurate TUSD token supply,” the post details.
Report: ‘Free’ Electricity for Students Makes College Campuses Major Crypto Miners
College campuses are the second largest cryptocurrency miners across industry verticals, according to research by tech conglomerate Cisco published in PCMag on March 5. Cisco’s security researchers reportedly investigated cryptocurrency mining activity across various industry verticals. The research was carried out with Cisco’s security product Umbrella, which monitors clients’ network connections to screen malicious activity, including possibly dubious crypto mining.
Opera Web Browser Crypto Wallet to Expand Services to iOS Users
Major web browser Opera has announced the upcoming launch of Opera Touch for iOS, according to an official press release published Tuesday, March 5. Opera Touch is a Web 3 browser with an integrated crypto wallet and support for Ethereum (ETH) and interactions with decentralized applications (DApps). Back in December, Opera launched its “Web 3-ready” browser with a built-in crypto wallet for Android users. Opera explains the decision to expand its services to iOS as the result of the successful integration of the crypto wallet and DApp explorer for Android.
Report: Coinbase Hires Amazon Web Services Veteran to Develop Staking Solutions
Major United States crypto exchange and wallet service provider Coinbase has reportedly hired a veteran of Amazon Web Services to develop staking and governance solutions for its crypto custodial services. The Block reported the news on March 4. Citing an alleged internal memo, the report claims that Luke Youngblood — formerly a principal solutions architect at AWS — has been hired to develop new staking and governance products, which will reportedly “provide Coinbase Custody clients with the ability to interact seamlessly with crypto-networks while maintaining the utmost security of their assets in Custody.”
Three Swiss Firms Complete ‘First’ $3 Mln Real Estate Transaction on Blockchain
Blockchain property transaction platform blockkimo Ltd along with two other companies have jointly completed “the first” real estate transaction on a blockchain in Switzerland. The development was announced by blockimmo in a blog post on Mar. 1. Blockimmo, proptech company Elea Labs Ltd. and digital assets service firm Swiss Crypto Tokens Ltd. have conducted a blockchain-based real estate transaction — consisting of 18 apartments and a restaurant — at a cost of 3 million Swiss francs ($2.98 million).
Crypto Futures Provider Volumes Increase 500 Percent After Acquisition by Kraken
United Kingdom-based crypto exchange and futures provider Crypto Facilities has significantly increased its trading volumes after being acquired by crypto exchange Kraken, according to the information shared with Cointelegraph Tuesday, Mar. 5. Cointelegraph spoke to Sui Chung, head of cryptocurrency pricing products at Crypto Facilities, according to whom the platform’s trading volumes have increased more than 500 percent.
Mexico’s Central Bank Partnering with Amazon About New Mobile Payments
The CoDi payment system built by Banco de México will let users make online and in-person payments through a smartphone without an additional charge. A pilot of the system is expected later this month as it’s said in an announcement. More than half of Mexico’s population doesn’t have a bank account, which helps explain why online sales only accounted for 4% of retail sales last year. Jaime Cortina, Banxico’s director of operations and payments, said:
“Amazon and Argentine rival MercadoLibre have approached the bank about adopting the system. They have also said that they could implement it relatively quickly,”
Kraken Crypto Exchange Registers a Whopping $1 Billion In Futures Trading Volumes
Last month, U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken acquired the U-K.-based cryptocurrency futures provider Crypto Facilities in a $100 million deal. Since then, Crypto Facilities has witnessed an exponential growth with the futures trading volumes shooting over 500%. Kraken’s huge clientele base provided a significant trigger for Crypto Facilities’ growth registering a significant number of signups. Kraken said that it had registered $1 billion in futures trades over a 30-day timeline. Sui Chung, the subsidiary’s head of indices and pricing products, told CoinDesk that these futures trades were across all of its five products: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and XRP.