. 6 min read

Competition Among Ripple, Visa and IBM Heats Up + 16 More Crypto News

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Crypto Briefs is your daily bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – keeping you up-to-date with under the radar crypto news from around the world.

Source: iStock/Adrian Black

Adoption news

  • Ripple, Visa and IBM are driving blockchain innovation in cross-border payments, a new study by digital commerce and fintech analysis firm Juniper Research claims. According to them, Ripple has led the market since 2012; capitalizing on its early mover advantage to grow to over 200 financial institution partners in 2019. “However, Ripple is facing increased competition from Visa B2B Connect and IBM Blockchain World Wire, which have already grown their presence in 60 countries and have high-profile partners in the financial ecosystem,” according to the researchers. They also estimate that the total value of B2B cross-border payments immutably stored on blockchain will exceed USD 4.4 trillion by 2024; up from USD 171 billion in 2019.
  • Vietnam-based TPBank (Tien Phong Commercial Bank) has joined Ripple’s blockchain-based payments network, RippleNet. The announcement says that RippleNet will enable the bank’s customers to transfer money from Japan to a TPBank account in a few minutes, comparing to a few hours it took before to complete these transactions.
  • Coke One North America, the technology firm that manages the IT operations for the bottlers that work with Coca-Cola, is using SAP‘s blockchain technology to improve the complex production process, Business Insider reported. The pilot program initially started with just two bottlers — Coca-Cola United and C.C. Clark — and is now being scaled across all franchises, according to the report.
  • China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has signed a blockchain cooperation deal with Huawei, per a social media update from the electronics conglomerate. No details of the sort of projects the parties have agreed to work on have yet been released. But the deal was sealed by the bank’s deputy governor Fan Yifei, who visited the company’s Shenzhen HQ in person.
  • One of South Korea’s biggest publishers, Yes24, has launched a mainnet. According to Newsway, the platform is named Seychain, and was co-developed by Israeli blockchain firm Orbs. The mainnet will make use of the Yes24-issued Sey token, based on the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol, which was released in August 2018. The company plans to use the network for its sales, e-learning, e-book and entertainment operations.
  • Samsung’s IT services arm Samsung SDS will upgrade its Nexledger blockchain platform per New Daily. The company will team up with Medium, the developer of a platform it says can perform at TPS (transactions per second) speeds of over 100,000 – to make speed improvements to Nexledger. Samsung SDS is hoping to expand its blockchain business operations in the finance, logistics and manufacturing industries, as well as the public sector.
  • The South Korean government has designated domestic blockchain firm Coinplug as an official military service exemption company. The ruling will allow adult males with appropriate technical skills who have been exempted from mandatory military service to work at Coinplug for around 18 months. Per DDaily, the company says it intends to treat conscripts just as it would full-time employees for the duration of their stay with Coinplug.
  • The Kadena network, led by JPMorgan blockchain veteran experts, is now live. The announcement says that mainnet Chainweb has been launched on November 4th alongside the Kadena token wallet Chainweaver. This now allows miners to participate in the Kadena public blockchain network and mine for Kadena coin. Additionally, the company has announced a USD 20 million token sale, which is to be held from November 5th to November 22nd.
  • Blockchain-based encyclopedia Everipedia and privacy browser Brave (BAT) announced a partnership, as the press release says “a co-marketing agreement.” Their first collaboration will be a campaign aimed at boosting both brands among their respective communities.
  • Microsoft has launched a platform that it says will let companies mint their own Ethereum-based tokens. Per Forbes, the solution is named Azure Blockchain Tokens, and will allow developers to use tokens on the public Ethereum blockchain or at “distributed ledgers created by some of Microsoft’s own competitors.” The media outlet also claims that “companies like General Electric are waiting in the rafters to create their own [coins].”
  • Three major hotels in Venezuela will begin accepting the state-issued, oil-backed Petro token, per the country’s cryptocurrency agency, Sunacrip. The hotels in question are the Hotel Hesperia in Valencia, the Paraguaná Mall in Falcón and the Posada Doña Carmen in the Los Roques resort city. Sunacrip also claimed the state-run university Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Telecomunicaciones e Informática will begin offering cryptocurrency diploma courses.

Regulation news

  • The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) states that stablecoins have “features that are typical of regulated securities,” and may thus need to be policed under securities legislation. Per an official statement, IOSCO states that while stablecoins offer benefits to market participants, consumers, they also pose “consumer protection, market integrity, transparency, conflicts of interest, systemic and financial crime”-related risks.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve is hiring a Retail Payments manager to oversee its traditional payments section, but also to research digital currencies. According to the job description, the person would be based in Washington, D.C., manage the Fed’s Retail Payments Section, and also look into the ways to integrate digital currencies, stablecoins and distributed ledger technologies.
  • A year after Hong Kong launched a pioneering scheme allowing fund managers to invest in cryptocurrency assets, barely any players have been approved, highlighting the difficulties the industry faces in its bid to become mainstream, Reuters reported, adding that they were able to identify only one fund.

Exchanges news

  • Huobi Global’s American customers will be forced to leave the platform, with the company advising account holders to use the services of its American partner HUBS. The company explained its reasoning in a post, stating it had made the decision “in line with the laws and regulations of the United States with respect to cryptoassets.”
  • The trial of an American lawyer, Mark Scott, who was accused of moving hundreds of millions of dollars from a cryptocurrency scheme to offshore accounts, started this Monday. According to the Register, the FBI accused Scott of acting as a money launderer for OneCoin, which has taken in an estimated USD 5 billion worldwide, and which was allegedly a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme, taking money from investors under false promises of future enrichment, and moving money offshore. The hearings are expected to take two-three weeks, the article claims, and are the first for the three executives charged for their alleged roles in this case.
  • The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ordered the creators of ATM Coin to pay USD 4.25 million to settle the case after they’ve been charged with fraud connected to a binary options scam involving ATM Coin, says the press release. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered an order of default finding that Blake Harrison Kantor and Nathan Mullins, and four companies – Blue Bit Banc, Blue Bit Analytics Ltd., Mercury Cove Inc. and G. Thomas Client Services – “had committed fraud and misappropriated client funds.”