• Mike V.

Blockchain


Bloomberg: Bank of England Urges Libra-Like Reserve Currency to End US Dollar Dominance


Bank of England laid out a proposal for an overhaul of the global financial system that would replace the dollar as a reserve currency with a Libra-like virtual one. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the short term central bankers must deal with the situation as it is. He warned that “blithe acceptance of the status quo is misguided,” and dramatic steps will ultimately be needed. His most striking point was that the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency must end, and that some form of global digital currency -- similar to Facebook proposed Libra -- would be a better option. That would be preferable to allowing the dollar’s reserve status to be replaced by another national currency such as China’s renminbi.


Mastercard Joins Blockchain Trade Consortium


Mastercard has joined Marco Polo, a consortium working to simplify global trade with blockchain technology. Mastercard Track, will provide an access point to Marco Polo’s working capital finance platform, which operates within a $1.5 trillion market, as estimated by the World Trade Organization. The network promises real-time connectivity, greater visibility for trading relationships and lower barriers to accessing capital. Since launching in 2017, the network has attracted participation from major financial institutions such as BNP, Commerzbank and ING. It now has more than 25 members. Mastercard Track was developed with Microsoft’s Azure cloud service and launched in 2018. The platform provides identifying, vetting and onboarding services for more than 210 million registered entities worldwide.


VanEck, SolidX to Offer Bitcoin ETF to Institutions via

SEC Exemption


While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has so far blocked a number of proposed bitcoin ETFs, two firms aim to launch a more limited option. They will use an SEC exemption that will allow shares in their VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to be offered to institutions such as hedge funds, pensions and banks. The shares are to be sold from Thursday under the SEC’s Rule 144A, which allows privately placed securities to be traded among “qualified institutional buyers” with shorter holding periods and without the requirement to register with the SEC. “The shares will provide institutional investors access to a physically-backed bitcoin product that is tradeable through traditional and prime brokerage accounts. The Shares are the first institutional-quality, cleared product providing exposure to bitcoin and enabling a standard ETF creation-and-redemption process.”


PNC Starts Using RippleNet for Cross-Border Payments


PNC — the United States’ eighth-largest bank, with almost

$400 billion in assets — has become the country’s first to start using the RippleNet blockchain network for cross-border payments. PNC Treasury Management is now offering RippleNet-based cross-border payments solutions to its commercial clients, the blockchain solution will give them: “The ability to receive a payment from an overseas buyer against their invoices instantly, transforming the way they manage their global account receivables and allowing them to better manage their working capital.”


Alibaba, Tencent, Five Others to Receive First Chinese Government Cryptocurrency


China’s central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency and issue it to seven institutions in the coming months. Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the second largest bank in the world, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency.


Paxos gets U.S. regulator nod for gold-backed token, dollar-backed stablecoin


Paxos Trust Company launched the first regulated, gold-backed digital token, after getting approval from New York regulators on Thursday. Paxos said the gold-backed token launched on its platform on Thursday. “DFS is committed to encouraging innovation while providing regulatory oversight to keep New Yorkers and the rapidly evolving financial services market safe and sound,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda Lacewell in a statement. PAX Gold is built as an Ethereum token, to make it easier to integrate with exchanges, wallets, lending platforms and other crypto products.


Hong Kong Businesses Begin Adopting Bitcoin as a Form of Protest


The pro-democracy, anti-government protest movement in Hong Kong is spurring wider adoption of Bitcoin. The political upheaval in the city, which has now entered its 12th week, is prompting several local businesses and individuals to switch to using non-sovereign and decentralized digital currencies. This had a twofold purpose, serving both as preemptive protection of their personal assets and sending a sharp warning to Chinese authorities. Hong Kong’s tycoons, a city which counts 853 individuals worth more than $100 million, had begun to move their wealth offshore.


Marshall Islands Launches National Crypto With 'Fixed Supply'


The Marshall Islands has issued a national blockchain-based currency in a bid to “finally acquire monetary independence in a way that reflects Marshallese values.” “Connected to the global financial system on its own terms” The Marshall Islands had passed a Sovereign Currency Act in 2018, declaring its intent to release its new national digital currency. The nation, which has been independent since 1979, has until now been using the United States dollar as the official currency for all payments, debts, public charges, taxes and dues.

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