Ripple sues YouTube, Sony reveals a blockchain database, and more in this week’s crypto news roundup .
- Ripple, the blockchain firm behind the XRP token, sued YouTube for its perceived lack of action in preventing crypto scams.
- Zoom has enabled new payment management services that let business owners — such as psychiatrists or personal trainers — monetize their video sessions.
- Grayscale reports a growing interest in institutional investments during Q1 2020, enabling the firm to hold 1.7% of bitcoin’s entire supply.
- Sony unveiled its Blockchain Database Platform (BCDB), which anonymizes and analyzes data relating to a multitude of transportation systems.
Ripple, the blockchain firm behind the XRP token, sued YouTube for a perceived lack of action in preventing crypto scams. In a statement, Ripple claims that YouTube scammers are impersonating the company and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, to trick viewers into taking part in fake XRP giveaways. On a broader level, this lawsuit will challenge laws that protect internet companies from liability from content published on their platforms.
“For every scam, giveaway, fake conspiracy that is taken down, multiple more pop up nearly immediately,” Ripple said in a blog post. “YouTube and other big technology and social media platforms must be held accountable for not implementing sufficient processes for fighting these scams.”
[Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse], a long-time Silicon Valley executive, said he wants the case to be a “call to action” for the social media industry, arguing the law was written, “at a time when we didn’t understand how these platforms could be abused.”
He said he had seen similar impersonations on platforms including Facebook’s photo-sharing app Instagram, but targeted YouTube in the lawsuit because it was the “slowest to respond and least proactive.”
YouTube spokesman Alex Joseph said the company takes abuse of the platform seriously and acts “quickly when we detect violations of our policies, such as scams or impersonation.”
Zoom saw an influx of new business thanks to COVID-19, prompting its creators to enable blockchain-monetized calls. The popular video-conferencing platform is now integrated with SmartSessions, an ethereum-based payment platform. SmartSessions enables any Zoom users who are business owners — including psychiatrists, tutors, and yoga instructors — to monetize sessions without a third-party solution.
Clients will make payments in various cryptocurrencies. To simplify the buying process, 2key will allow digital asset purchases via credit cards directly from the platform.
Using cryptocurrencies means for business owners that they can avoid banking fees and even restrictions. Payments are completed rapidly and securely recorded on the blockchain. Since SmartSession links are fully decentralized, a professional session cannot be disrupted by unwanted parties trying to join the call. This, in other words, will fend off the so-called Zoom-bombing.
Despite the uncertainty around COVID-19, institutional investment in bitcoin and cryptocurrency is growing. According to a Q1 report from venture capital company Grayscale, 88% of investments into its crypto products come from institutions. This support enabled Grayscale to hold 1.7% of bitcoin’s entire supply and double its H2 2019 crypto trusts.
Grayscale was the first regulated crypto product to hit the market, having been launched in 2013. Since then, the company has expanded into a number of altcoin-based funds. However, the supply of options for institutional exposure has continued to grow, especially over the last couple of years.
Exchange-traded products like the physically-backed Bitcoin ETPs from Amun AG and from WisdomTree — both of which are currently trading in the Switzerland SIX stock exchange — are an example of readily available exposure for institutional players.
Most recently, 3iQ has announced the launch of its Bitcoin close-end fund on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which leverages price indexes by CryptoCompare and VanEck Europe subsidiary MVIS and custody services by Gemini. Cameron Winklevoss, Gemini’s president, recently told Cointelegraph: “This mirrors the growing appetite that institutional and retail investors alike are demonstrating for incorporating crypto assets into their larger portfolios.”
Sony took a significant step into blockchain this week by revealing a product for analyzing and sharing transportation data. The Japanese tech giant recently unveiled its Blockchain Database Platform (BCDB), which lets seven million users record anonymized travel histories each day. This platform will integrate usage data relating to trains, buses, taxis, car-sharing, on-demand mobility services, and even rental bicycles. BCDB is intended to act as an information-sharing platform that will support smart cities by analyzing movement and resource allocation for transportation services.
Last year, Sony participated in the Blockchain Challenge Program of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to test BCDB. According to Sony, it was the only participant whose solution met the requirements laid down by the Ministry.
“BCDB has made it possible to record and share information in a distributed ledger of the blockchain among various Transportation Operators, Transaction Processors and MaaS Service Providers involved in MaaS, thereby making it possible to utilize information with reliability and transparency and deploy it as a service,” Sony said in its statement.
Going forward, Sony plans to scale the platform for faster data processing for use by bigger cities. Additionally, BCDB could also be used for other applications that require recording and sharing of sensor data for the development of smart cities.
That’s the crypto news roundup for April 25, 2020. Check in next week for the latest news of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation around the world!
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