Weekly News: Crypto Market Recovers, Mastercard Joins Crypto Playfield.

The surge of Bitcoin last week along with good news has brought us a more positive look for today’s crypto market. Remitano gladly brings you some of the most highlighted news, collected from July 15 – July 22.

  1. Mastercard: Patent for Speeding Up Crypto Payments

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Mastercard wins a patent for cryptocurrency and it could one day allow consumers to charge their purchases on their credit cards using bitcoin as a currency. The patent will protect a method that would manage “fractional reserves of blockchain currency.”

At present, Mastercard holders can only pay for things using currency that the government has declared as legal tender. The new patent can change everything. Mastercard has announced that by using the blockchain technology, the credit card and banking space will change as there has been “increased usage” in blockchain currencies by consumers who “value anonymity and security.”

Mastercard Vice President of External Communications, Seth Eisen, stated the importance of users privacy and security, “While blockchain currencies can often provide such safety and security for the payer’s information, such security may be limited for payees, particularly due to the limitations of the blockchain,” For example, digital coin transactions still take longer: about 10 minutes for blockchain transactions versus nanoseconds for traditional payments.

Bitcoin trading speed is of most crucial concern among consumers, merchants, retailers, service providers, and other purveyors of goods and services. However, accepting bitcoin as a means of payment in the retail market will be beneficial if a big player such as Mastercard joins the crypto space.

In an email to CNBC, Eisen wrote, “We’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders. Patent applications are part of that process, taking steps to protect the company’s intellectual property, whether or not the idea ever comes to market.

Details of the patent are currently being contructed. If MasterCard decides to quickly implement the new approach, it can help speed up blockchain transactions by allowing their cardholders to pay for their merchandise immediately with their credit card.

  1. Bullish Analyst Tom Lee: Mastercard’s New Crypto Moves Show Huge Financial Players Are Jumping In

Tom Lee says Mastercard’s interest in capitalizing on cryptocurrency shows big money is ready to back the emerging technology. “It’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction,” the head of research at Fundstrat told CNBC’s Fast Money.

The bitcoin bull pointed out that other countries, such as Japan, have “taken a much more positive view on digital money, or blockchain based money, being real transactions.”

Analyzing the current market trend, Tom Lee pointed out that Bitcoin is trading 30% below its 200 days moving average, which is, in fact a positive signal as this has happened a few times since 2009. In fact Bitcoin price has always been on a stable way up on the yearly chart.

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During 2010 and 2014, two large corrections occurred and bottomed within few months. What makes it significant is that the current market has also observed a big plunge at the beginning of 2018, found its bottom on July and is now recovering in price. The Managing Partner and Head of Research noted that the two previous corrections after 6-months rally have priced up and continuously reach the new peaks.

With an optimistic view, Tom Lee believes that the crypto market will ultimately stabilize in 2019.

  1. BlackRock: Bitcoin extends gains as BlackRock looks into crypto and blockchain

Bitcoin continued to edge higher on Tuesday, extending gains made on the previous day on news that asset-management giant BlackRock has set up a working group to look into cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the technology that underpins them.

The world’s most valuable virtual currency by market value was trading higher by more than 5 percent compared to where prices were on Monday, at around $6,720.84 as of 10:32 a.m. HK/SIN, according to industry website CoinDesk, which tracks prices from several exchanges.

London’s Financial News first reported the story. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink later confirmed the report in an interview with Reuters. “We are a big student of blockchain,” Fink said. He added, however, he does not see “huge demand for cryptocurrencies.”

Many industry experts believe that increased involvement from institutional investors in the cryptocurrency space will boost confidence in an otherwise dubious market.

It definitely is causing some excitement,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, said of the report on Monday. “The idea of big financial firms moving into crypto certainly isn’t new, and this is a trend we’ve been noticing gaining strength since November.

  1. Billionaire Investor Marc Lasry: Bitcoin Can Soon Hit $40,000 as Trading Becomes Easier

Avenue Capital Group co-founder Marc Lasry has said that Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is going to hit $40,000 n bullish comments to CNBC on July 18.

Speaking in an interview for the network’s Squawk Box segment, Lasry, whose debt management firm controls around $9.6 billion of assets, saw the increasing ease of crypto trading as a major motivator for Bitcoin to rise, noting.

As it gets more into the mainstream, and as more markets end up allowing it to trade where it’s freely tradable, to me that’s more of the bet.

Lasry added that he foresaw Bitcoin investors “making 5 to 10 times their money in 3 to 5 years”. His prediction came amid a rapid uptick in Bitcoin’s fortunes, with the coin suddenly rising up to 12 percent July 17 and maintaining new levels above $7,400 since.

  1. Singapore: Gov’t Owned CrimsonLogic Launches Global Cross-Border Blockchain Platform

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Singapore e-government service provider CrimsonLogic has unveiled its cross-border blockchain network for global trade.

Dubbed the Open Trade Blockchain (OTB), the platform is principally designed to boost the efficiency of trade corridors between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations.

Various operators have already signed up to join OTB, including the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co., TIFFA Group, and Singapore’s Commodities Intelligence Centre.

According to Eugene Wong, the chairman of CrimsonLogic and its subsidiary, GeTS, which will operate the platform, blockchain tech can “help create greater trust amongst cross-border traders,” adding: “Trade volume between ASEAN and China would become the single largest transaction between two regions and we hope to facilitate this.”

The move marks a further venture into the blockchain revolution for Singapore, CrimsonLogic being owned by a city-state governmental authority and port operator.

  1. China Sees Sixfold Increase in Companies With ‘Blockchain’ in Their Title

In China, the number of companies registered with the word “blockchain” in their names surged from January to July 16, 2018, surpassing last year’s number by nearly sixfold, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported July 16.

Citing figures from business and civil data aggregator Qixin.com, SCMP reported that the country currently hosts more than 4,000 blockchain-related companies. In the past six-and-a-half months, there were 3,078 firms with the word “qukualian” (the Chinese translation of blockchain) in their names, while last year there were 555.

In the past twelve months, 16,600 firms were set up with blockchain specified as part of their lines of business, while over 3,800 of them had registered capital of more than $1.5 million. Approximately 41 percent of startups that received funding in China in the first quarter of last year were blockchain-related.

SCMP reports that last year Chinese companies filed 225 blockchain-related patent applications, which is more than half of the world’s total. There are 817 companies in the U.S. and 335 in the U.K.with the word blockchain in their registered names.

Today, blockchain development received strong support from the deputy director of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Xin Guobin, who urged the country to “unite” forces to foster blockchain as a “core” technology for the new digital economy. He said that the “important role” of blockchain should be “grasped from a strategic perspective.”

  1. Global Investment Association CFA brings crypto and blockchain into 2019 exam

CFA Institute, the world-renowned Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) examination has reportedly prepared over 150,000 financial sector professionals through its intensive 3-tiered program, which is now set to include crypto and blockchain as part of its Level I and II curricula. The two topics have now been added as part of a new section called ‘Fintech in Investment Management,’ for which the materials will be released this August in preparation for CFA’s 2019 exams.

The financial and crypto world are increasingly connected to each other along with many great events last year: the bitcoin booms, Bitcoin futures being legally recognized and traded on Chicago exchange, well-known corporations such as Goldman Sachs eyeing on digital assets and an increasing number of Wall Street giants getting involved in startups that relate to cryptocurrency playfield.

We saw the [crypto and blockchain] field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable. This is not a passing fad.” – Stephen Horan – one of the leader on CFA Institute stated.

Horan told Bloomberg that further topics, such as the intersection of cryptocurrencies and economics, could be introduced in future. At present, the new section will also cover topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data and automated trading.

The Institute is also adding a discussion related to cryptocurrencies in its reading on professional ethics. Regulatory uncertainty about cryptocurrencies should make this an interesting topic of study for students who focus on financial regulation. The cryptocurrency industry’s numerous hacks and scandals should also provide fertile material for students to study the absence of ethics in cryptocurrencies.

The CFA Institute’s decision to include cryptocurrencies and blockchain in its curriculum represents a further mainstreaming of the industry. But this one might be one of the most important since it will help demystify cryptocurrencies to students. Ultimately the risks of scams and hacks will significantly reduce, creating more investments and the crypto market would become better.

Collected and compiled by Remitano