Bitcoin gets bullish. Libra scales back. And what does a wheat trade dispute have to do with blockchain? All this and more in your weekly crypto news roundup
- The Libra project is finally moving forward, albeit with more achievable goals.
- Digivault, a subsidiary of crypto firm Diginex, launched a security-focused custody solution.
- Bitcoin is bullish in anticipation of next month’s halving, and it’s taking Ethereum and Ripple with it.
- A $12M wheat trade was completed via blockchain, saving time and increasing security.
Facebook-Backed Libra Cryptocurrency Project Is Scaled Back
The New York Times
It’s no secret that Facebook’s proposed libra stablecoin has been met with tremendous resistance since its announcement in June 2019. Months of criticism culminated in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress late last year, which still didn’t satisfy regulators’ concerns. After nearly a year of turmoil, libra is finally moving forward — albeit on a much smaller scale than originally envisioned.
But on Thursday, Facebook and its partners rolled out a less ambitious design for libra after the effort encountered numerous hurdles and heavy regulatory scrutiny.
No longer is the group focused on making libra the basis of a new global financial system where Facebook could essentially play the roles of a central bank and Wall Street.
In a sign of the change, the libra project will now be focused on creating a more traditional payment network in which coins will be tied to a local currency, somewhat like the digital dollars in a PayPal account. While libra will also have a coin backed by multiple national currencies, which was the focus of the initial design documents, that will be less prominent.
Digivault Launches “Permanently Live” Cryptocurrency Custody
Digivault, a subsidiary of crypto firm Diginex, has launched a new custody solution designed to help protect users from theft, key duplication, and other digital hazards. The catch? This security-focused custody solution, which was designated with the moniker “Helix,” is “permanently live,” according to its creators.
As Digivault CEO Robert Cooper explained to Cointelegraph, “We have built a scalable platform that is capable of offering custody of a number of digital assets including payment tokens and security tokens (once the appropriate licenses have been sought).” The Helix launch coincides with Diginex’s plans to become a publicly-traded company pending “regulatory and shareholder approval.”
Cooper claims that the advantage of Helios over the solutions offered to competitors is higher security. According to him, the service “will enable Digivault to meet the tokenization needs of institutions as they expand their digital presence.”
Digivault calls Helios a “warm custody” solution, meaning that it allows online access to the crypto assets online much like a hot custody solution. Firm documents explain that the difference between the two is that in the case of warm custody, the keys are stored in a protected hardware device and not directly on the server.
Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin majestically steps above $7,000, Ethereum and Ripple explode
We’re just about a month away from the next bitcoin halving, and the anticipation is palpable. As traders rush to scoop up the token before the mining rewards are cut in half, bitcoin’s price shot above $7,000 this week, reaching a major milestone. This may just be the beginning of BTC’s bullish run; according to FXStreet, some experts project that the popular digital currency could hit highs of around $20,000 in the wake of the halving.
The bullish bitcoin run has had a ripple effect — pun intended — throughout the crypto industry. As a result, Ethereum and Ripple are also seeing boosts this week.
Bitcoin price is trading at $7,036 at the time of writing after adding more than 6% to its value at the opening ($6,621). An intraday high has been formed at $7,145 from an intraday low of $6,466. It is apparent that the region between $6,450 and $6,600 is key support for BTC/USD after being tested twice in the same week. More volatility is expected in the coming weeks as Bitcoin grinds into its third block reward halving. I expect Bitcoin to continue with a pre-halving rally towards $8,000. However, the most significant breakout could take place following the halvening process.
$12M Wheat Trade Between U.S. and Indonesia Settled on Blockchain
Here’s a sign that blockchain is becoming more mainstream: two agricultural giants thousands of miles apart used blockchain to trade $12 million worth of wheat this month. The transaction between Agrocorp and Cargill was made via Singapore-based blockchain platform dltledgers with help from a few friends: international bank Rabobank, shipowner Amarante, and shipping agent Transmarine.
The trade was officially settled on April 1, with participants reporting that this process not only saved time but also increased security and transparency. According to Rabobank reps, the time spent processing documents was cut in half using blockchain vs. more traditional means.
Dltledgers’ blockchain platform has so far facilitated more than $2 billion in trade for 400 companies, 45 banking partners, and thousands of other ecosystem partners. CEO Samir Neji said the major cross continent wheat trade had “proven our blockchain solution’s ability to go mainstream”.
Agrocorp has been working with blockchain-based trades for over a year. Jumpstart Magazine reported its Sustainability Manager Abhinav Vijay as saying:
“Considering the current world climate and the logistical challenges to move physical documents around the globe, this is just a start and we hope to execute more trades via the platform in the near future.”
That’s the roundup for April 18, 2020. Check in next week for the latest news of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation around the world!
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