🗞Daily Crypto News Alerts

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Daily crypto news alerts for 24th December, 2020

🗞Central Bank: digital ruble will allow the use of smart contracts for state payments

The new currency was conceived, among other things, in order to implement "smart contracts", said Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia.

The digital ruble “absolutely exactly” allows the use of different smart contracts, said Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank. At an online presentation by representatives of the Bank of Russia, she stressed that after the release of a new currency, smart contracts can be used in state payments, government and financial services.

“The digital ruble, among other things, was conceived in order to be able to implement smart contracts. The digital ruble is not equal to smart contracts, but the digital ruble definitely provides the ability to use different smart contracts. With state payments, with public services and with financial ones, ”Skorobogatova noted.

She added that some smart contracts will be clearly spelled out at the level of government programs or social benefits. But commercial players themselves will be able to use smart contracts with the digital ruble within the framework of their relationship, explained the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank.

Also during an online speech, Skorobogatova said that digital currencies could become a competitor for the SWIFT payment system. According to the representative of the financial regulator, now more than 30 countries are working on the release of national digital currencies, and on the horizon of 5-7 years, just a few of them will present a finished product. As a result, SWIFT “may not be needed, because these are already other technological interactions,” said the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank.

In mid-October, the Bank of Russia presented a report for public discussions, in which it announced that it would study the feasibility of issuing a digital ruble. It should become the third form of money and will deal with cash and non-cash rubles. The decision to issue the asset has not yet been made.


🗞End of an Era: Galaxy Digital and Jump Trading Halt XRP Trading, Bitwise Closes Position

The largest companies providing market-making services in the cryptocurrency market have notified clients of the termination of XRP trading. Writes about this The Block, citing sources.

Jump Trading is one of the most active participants in the cryptocurrency space and specializes in providing liquidity to exchanges. The company is distinguished by a lack of transparency in its activities and does not disclose information about itself. Jump has told counterparties that it will no longer provide liquidity in the XRP market.

Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital has also announced it is stopping XRP trading until further notice. “We do not trade, but will continue to assess opportunities as the facts emerge,” the company said.

“The end of an era,” said one industry executive, commenting on recent developments. Without liquidity, spreads in XRP markets can widen, making it harder for investors to enter and exit large positions.

Digital asset manager Bitwise Asset Management, for his part, today announced the liquidation of his position on XRP under his own cryptocurrency index fund. On Tuesday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Ripple, accusing the company and its management of selling $1.3 billion in unregistered securities.

Bitwise said they "do not invest in assets if there is reason to believe that they can be recognized as securities." The share of XRP in the Bitwise index fund was 3.8%, which is equivalent to $9.8 million. The proceeds were invested in other portfolio assets of the company, most of which are represented by Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Grayscale, which, according to the latest reports, holds $18.6 million in XRP, did not publish notifications on this matter.

Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, which has worked closely with Ripple in the local market, said the SEC's lawsuit has not yet affected their relationship with the XRP issuer. “As far as we know, the lawsuit process is ongoing, and no court orders have been issued against Ripple because of the XRP sale. The company continues with its usual business activities and expansion of the RippleNet product. Under these conditions SBI Holdings will remain a reliable partner of Ripple. We continue to work on expanding our business in Asia, ”SBI said.


🗞Hashed Raises $120 Million to Develop Blockchain Startups and DeFi

South Korean blockchain company Hashed has raised $120 million for a fund to support technology startups and projects in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

The investment will be distributed by Hashed Ventures. The company said that the fund was supported by large local IT companies, but their names were not disclosed.

“We believe that a society awaits us where people will work in different networks (protocols), and not in specific companies. Our mission is to find the best networks, ”said Simon Kim, CEO of Hashed.

Hashed has already invested in payments startup Chai, Vega platform, investment startup Set and DeFi project MakerDAO, according to the company's website.

We will remind, in August Hashed announced a partnership with one of the largest banks in South Korea KB Kookmin Bank in order to create a service for the storage and management of digital assets.


🗞Bitcoin Development Kit Developers Introduce BDK 0.2.0 Update

The developers of the Bitcoin Development Kit (BDK) open library have presented the BDK 0.2.0 update, which allows you to reduce the amount of data about transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain.

The Magical Bitcoin project, launched this year by Alekos Filini, has since been renamed BDK. The BDK is a set of tools for developing Bitcoin wallets that can interact with different platforms. BDK developer Steve Myers has announced that the update contains several new features, fixes and improvements.

The enhanced library will simplify integration with general and advanced wallet features. In version 0.2.0, the branch and bound algorithm was also added. It will allow developers to reduce the amount of transaction data on the blockchain, lower fees, and increase privacy by reducing output.

Myers explained that such an algorithm is aimed at wallets with a large volume of incoming and outgoing transactions. Its main task is to find a combination of transaction inputs so that the outgoing transaction does not need any changes. Thus, the amount of data about the transaction is reduced, which increases its confidentiality.

In addition, the update contains another feature - simplified creation of new seed phrases and private keys. Wallet developers will be able to use the BDK to easily generate random extended private keys based on BIP32 as well as BIP39 mnemonic phrases. They may be needed if the user is not using a hardware wallet mobile app.

A few months ago, startup pTokens also introduced an open source Javascript library called "LiquidJS" to make it easier for different networks to interact with the Liquid Network Bitcoin sidechain.


🗞Canadian company Mogo invests $1.5 million in bitcoin

Canadian fintech company Mogo, whose shares are traded on the TSX and NASDAQ exchanges, announced its intention to invest $1.5 million in bitcoin, calling the first cryptocurrency a reliable asset class.

Mogo President and Chief Financial Officer Greg Feller said this large investment could significantly improve Mogo's financial products, which the company has been working on for many years. For example, in 2018, Mogo launched the MogoCrypto app for buying and selling bitcoins.

Initially, it is planned to allocate a small part of the capital for investments in bitcoin. In the future, as the existing Mogo portfolio of $17 million is realized, the company plans to invest additional funds in bitcoin. The initial purchase of BTC was allocated around 1.5% of Mogo's total assets as of the end of Q3 2020.

“We see Bitcoin as a strong asset class and believe that investing in this cryptocurrency will make it available to all Canadians. We are confident that Bitcoin can be a profitable long-term investment for our shareholders as it begins to spread globally, ”added Feller.

Large investments by institutional investors fuel bitcoin's growth and boost its liquidity. Last week the rate of the first cryptocurrency exceeded the long-awaited $20,000 mark and continues to hold positions at $23,500.

Many large investors are beginning to think about the prospects for bitcoin. For example, the CIO of the investment company BlackRock Rick Rieder is confident that in the future bitcoin can become a full-fledged replacement for gold.

In addition, according to experts at JPMorgan Chase, in the coming years, institutional investors can invest up to $600 billion in bitcoin. For this, insurance companies and pension funds must invest only 1% of their investment portfolio in this asset.

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