Weekly Spotlight: Bitcoin’s solid upswing as SEC promises to review recently rejected ETFs

Looking for what’s new this exciting week? Cryptocurrency leader Bitcoin had posted gains overall for the past seven days and now see stable growth after fluctuating months. Remitano gladly brings you some of the most highlighted news from 20th to 26th August.

1. Crypto markets see solid upswing as SEC promises to review recently rejected Bitcoin ETFs

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Saturday, August 25: Crypto markets are showing bullish sign of a persuasive recovery. Bitcoin (BTC) has seen solid growth, having surpassed the $6,600 price point, starting the day just over $6,400. The leading cryptocurrency is up around 3 percent over the past 24 hours, currently trading at $6,707.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin and VeChain (VET) are the only two cryptocurrencies among top 20 coins by market cap that have seen some gains over the past 7 days, with Bitcoin up just 1.43 percent.

The top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) is up about 2.6 percent today, currently trading at $275. Total market cap is slightly up today, mostly holding above the $210 billion mark over the past 24 hours.

US SEC to review rejection of nine Bitcoin ETF applications

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will review its decision to reject nine applications to list and trade various Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Reuters reported August 23.

ETFs are marketable securities that track an index, commodity, or basket of assets, that are proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are purchased or sold on a stock exchange.

SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce published a statement of official dissent from the agency’s disapproval of the Winklevoss fund appeal. Peirce argued that the SEC fundamentally erred with its latest decision and that the agency overstepping its “limited role,” when it focused on the characteristics of the underlying BTC market, rather than the derivative. She suggested that the disapproval order will likely “inhibit” the institutionalization of the BTC market.

Earlier yesterday, CNBC’s crypto market analyst Brian Kelly predicted that the first Bitcoin ETFs will start operating in February 2019. According to Kelly, the world is getting “incrementally closer” to the first Bitcoin ETF approval, pointing at the bullish “sentiment change,” despite the recent application rejections.

2. Blockchain-based encrypted crypto storage system patent applied by Bank of America

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The U.S.’s second-largest bank, Bank of America (BofA), has applied for another blockchain patent on the development of a secure crypto storage system, according to a patent document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) August 23.

The patent, entitled “Block Chain Encryption Tags,” describes a system of recording and storing cryptocurrency-related transactions that are handled by enterprises. In short, the invention offers a system of data security for blockchain networks by implementing encryption and linking data units to the blocks of a certain blockchain.

In the patent document filed on April 18, 2018, the North Carolina-based bank introduced a system that includes a device with a processor that first receives a set of data elements, and then acquires an encryption key prior to encrypting the elements within the first block on a blockchain.

The device further combines the encryption key with the generated encrypted element map in order to create and then encrypt the “creator tag,” which is then further embedded and published within the first block of the blockchain.

According to the document, the recent patent application by BofA is a reproduced version of a U.S. non-provisional application filed in 2014 by James G. Ronca and titled “Cryptocurrency Online Vault Storage System.”

BofA has previously taken steps for adopting blockchain technology, having filed nearly 50 blockchain-based patents as of June 2018, making it reportedly the largest holder of blockchain-related patents among all companies, even beating the tech giant IBM.

3. World bank and Australia’s largest bank issue bond exclusively through Blockchain

The world Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country’s largest bank, have issued a public bond exclusively through blockchain technology, reported on August 23. The World’s Bank official mandate for the project was first unveiled August 10.

The A$100 million ($73.16 million) deal entails two-year bonds that will settle August 28 and have been been priced to yield a 2.251 percent return, according a CBA statement.

The prototype — dubbed “Bondi” (Blockchain Operated New Debt Instrument, and a pun on Australia’s most well-known beach) — is being hailed by the participants as a milestone in automating decades-old bond issuance and sales practices.

“You’re collapsing a traditional bond issuance from a manual bookbuild process and allocation process, an extended settlement then a registrar and a custodian, into something that could happen online instantaneously.”

Word Bank bonds are classified with an AAA rating — the highest possible rating that indicates a high level of creditworthiness. The bank reportedly issues between $50 and $60 billion in bonds annually to foster economic progress in the developing world.

4. US Customs and Border Protection to test blockchain shipment tracking system

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One of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will launch a live test of a blockchain-based shipment tracking system, reported on August 24.

The test results will determine how the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is able to enhance the verification process of certificates of origin from the partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central America Free Trade Agreement, as well as reduce the time-consuming procedure of the resubmission of shipping data.

While testing, the agency also intends to establish standards of interaction between different blockchains in order to ensure that all firms and software will be easily connected to customs without the need for additional customization.

The CBP is also reportedly developing a proof-of-concept scheme for dealing with intellectual property rights. At this point, Annunziato stressed that the successful testing of the blockchain project will enable consumers to define if a certain product is authentic or not.

5. Apple’s Steve Wozniak plans to get ‘involved’ in Blockchain project for first time

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has announced that he plans to get “involved” in a blockchain project in what is a “first” for him. The statement was made at the ChainXchange blockchain conference and reported on August 19. In an interview, Steve Wozniak revealed that he plans to participate in a blockchain startup, praising the benefits of the technology. He said:

I’m involved with, very soon, my first time being involved in a blockchain company. […] Our approach is not like a new currency, or something phony where an event will make it go up in value. It’s a share of stock, in a company. This company is doing investment by investors with huge track records in good investments in things like apartment buildings in Dubai.

Apple co-founder further explained his fascination with the blockchain technology:

It’s so independent! It’s kind of like the internet when it was brand new… I was amazed at the technology behind it. […] I’ve encountered people working in real estate avenues, types of Uber systems, everything we’ve got in our life, especially involving transactions […] Every single one you hear about, to me, has value…. A few people can see the value, which reminds me very much of the early internet days.

Wozniak also compared the Ethereum (ETH) platform with the Apple’s App Store, as both allow thousands of companies and individuals to develop and run their own applications: “Ethereum provides the tools for a blockchain application of your own… I see more people using Ethereum that way.

6. Bitcoin Wallet Blockchain Says It’s Adding 50k Users Per Day

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Cryptocurrency wallet Blockchain is adding up 50,000 users a day amidst the ongoing crypto market downturn. Blockchain CEO and Cofounder Peter Smith posted on his Twitter account.

Smith tweeted that Blockchain is currently managing to sign up 50,000 new users daily, and that the service helps them to actually use and engage practically with crypto, rather than the trading and investment-heavy model that does not necessarily help the long-term adoption of crypto.

As the self-described “most trusted crypto company”, Blockchain certainly does not seem unwilling to take part in a little self-promotion from time to time. Smith’s statement, while difficult to verify is in keeping with the company’s aggressive growth mindset, which recently saw it hit the milestone of 25 million wallets.

The company offers its users the ability to send, receive, trade and store their cryptocurrency. So far it appears to be more than holding its own, since successfully closing a $40 million Series B funding round led by Google in 2017.

Once listed among Virgin UK’s Top Ten most disruptive businesses, Blockchain has designs on conquering both the retail crypto market and the investment market. CCN reported in July that the company launched a product aimed at institutional investors called Blockchain Principal Strategies.

The product offers institutions and family offices customized access to markets and research in the light of growing interest from endowments, pension, hedge and mutual funds in the crypto industry.

On the retail side, Blockchain has also been at the cutting edge of some of the most significant moves in crypto transaction engineering such as the introduction of Segregated Witness (Segwit) and the pioneering transaction fee estimation program that allows users to allocate fees on a Satoshis per byte basis.

7. Singapore Central Bank partners with Deloitte, Nasdaq on Blockchain asset settlement

The de facto central bank of Singapore announced it had signed a deal with multiple big name entities to ease digital asset settlements in a press release Friday, August 24.

Part of its ongoing Project Ubin blockchain integration scheme, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) partnered with Singapore Exchange (SGX), along with Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq to deliver the enhancements.

Together, the parties will create “Delivery versus Payment (DvP)… capabilities for settlement of tokenized assets across different blockchain platforms, with the latter three acting as technical partners.

This initiative will deploy blockchain technology to efficiently link up funds transfer and securities transfer, eliminating both buyers’ and sellers’ risk in the DvP process,” Tinku Gupta, head of technology at SGX and leading the project explained.

MAS has continued to make positive steps to creating a cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdiction in Singapore, expressing cautious optimism about the technology’s future while championing blockchain via Project Ubin, which it has worked on since 2016.

Blockchain technology is radically transforming how financial transactions are performed today, and the ability to transact seamlessly across blockchains will open up a world of new business opportunities,”

Collected and compiled by Remitano