BitPay Adds SegWit, BlockFi Doubles Revenue, 3 News From Cardano + More

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This is our daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Source: Adobe/pandaclub23

Crypto adoption news

  • Major crypto payments company BitPay added support for SegWit in their wallet as an optional feature, and enhanced integration with Coinbase to enable users to directly manage their Coinbase wallets from inside the BitPay App. Later this year, support for SegWit, which lets save around 30% in miner fees, will be a default feature. (Learn more: Bitcoin Users Could’ve Saved Half a Billion USD in Fees – Report)
  • Crypto lender BlockFi has said that since raising USD 30 million in Series B funding in February, they have doubled monthly revenue, and have posted 100% revenue increase in Q2. The gains were partially driven by the Bitcoin halving in May: during that week, BlockFi added more clients than any other week since its founding, with c. 7,000 new accounts funded, putting the firm at a 25% month-over-month growth rate. The recent release of a new BlockFi mobile app also resulted in a 37% week-over-week increase in funded accounts. BlockFi claims it is on track to generate USD 50 million in revenue over the next year.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto marketplace LocalBitcoins has reported annual revenue of nearly EUR 26.2 million (USD 29.6 million) for 2019. This is an increase of 10% from 2018’s 23.9 million (USD 26.98 million). Their annual operating income dropped 6%, to EUR 17.6 million (USD 19.9 million). They recorded 1.46 million new LocalBitcoin customers; 15.6 million trades; 913 thousand active traders on the platform; and EUR 2.48 billion (USD 2.8 billion) worth of trades.

Blockchain news

  • Cardano (ADA) and its developer IOHK confirmed three news today:
    – IOHK deployed the Shelley code on the Cardano mainnet on the 30th June, bringing the blockchain closer to achieving decentralization.
    – IOHK launched Atala PRISM, a decentralized identity system “to give millions of ‘unbanked’ people self-sovereign identities and access to a blockchain marketplace of financial and social services.” It will also enable users to access Cardano.
    – Cardano launched Project Catalyst, an experimental fund and toolset designed to enable holders ADA to propose and vote for funding proposals designed to develop the Cardano ecosystem.
  • A South Korean NGO named the Commons Foundation has unveiled plans for a platform for managing health epidemics using blockchain technology. Per Digital Today, the epidemiological solution would make use of public blockchain networks, in an attempt to let citizens retain control over their personal data – which may otherwise fall under the control of telecoms operators, government agencies or financial institutions as part of efforts to contain contagious pandemics.
  • A group of 22 Japanese securities companies says that it will launch a pilot for a blockchain-powered investment trust information-sharing network, reports Nikkei. The media outlet says the group comprises the likes of Nomura Securities, Mizuho Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ’s banking arm. Currently, information sharing is conducted using email.
  • The Chinese Chamber of International Commerce says it will team up with crypto exchange Huobi’s Chinese R&D research arm, the Huobi University, to launch a blockchain education program for enterprises. Per JRJ, the organizations say that they will provide professional training in blockchain policy, technology, industrial application, business models and more for China International Chamber of Commerce member companies, as well as non-member companies hoping to join the committee.

Regulation news

  • The US Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee plan this week to introduce legislation by which they would instruct the congressional watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), to study the role of virtual currencies in illicit online activity. If this anti-money laundering amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act passes, the GAO would be given one year to look into and report on how virtual currencies might be used in the human-trafficking and drug-trafficking industries.
  • The Monex Group, the operator of the Coincheck exchange, has joined the self-regulating Japan Virtual and Crypto assets Exchange Association, reports Fisco (via Gentosha). Coincheck is already a member of the association.

Mining news

  • China claims Kazakhstan intends to “double” the size of its crypto mining operations. Per an official commerce ministry release, Beijing believes Kazakh authorities will double their USD 20 million crypto mining investment by the end of 2020, and say that the country is also hoping to develop its own digital fiat.

Investment news

  • Cryptoasset data provider ByteTree is fundraising, with 109% subscribed and a hard cap of GBP 500,000 (USD 626,000). Per CEO Charlie Morris, the team is preparing to launch ByteTree Asset Management and premium data services.