1. Banking Consortium
6. Credit China Fintech
Current price: $920
1. Bitcoin as Compared to Digital Streaming: Bitcoin guru Andreas Antonopoulos explains that money, like pre-internet video, takes on the characteristics of its container. When it had to be contained on a TV channel with a schedule or a videotape that took up physical space, it didn't make sense to pass around a six second video. With the internet, any length of video can be watched at any time. Length and time no longer matter. We love videos today that people 30 years ago would never have suspected anyone would want to see. Antonopoulos predicts the same transformation coming to money. Cryptocurrency will make it feasible to stream value. The Lightning Network envisions a continuous flow of transactions, even ones worth far less than a penny. The first test bed for that network from Lightning Labs came online as an alpha release last week.
2. Japan and Bitcoin: Japanese Bitcoin popularity has soared over the last year. Exchange volume is up over 300% and merchant adoption is up over 400%. It is poised to keep growing as China has invoked new types of fees on their exchanges and Japanese internet giant, GMO is entering the Bitcoin space.
3. The Future of Cryptocurrency: In May of 2010, someone on a Bitcoin forum by the name of Lazlo claimed to have bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. It was the first time anyone had purchased anything with the new digital currency, which at that time was valued at practically nothing. Today the crypto currency market is valued at nearly $19 billion and the 10,000 bitcoins that were used to buy a pizza would be worth nearly $10 million dollars. So what does the future look like from here?
4. Bitcoin Options Exchange: The wait is almost over for LedgerX, a New York-based bitcoin swaps startup with a board boasting a who's who of financial sector bigwigs. After two years of building, the firm that had already raised $1.5m from Google Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and others, says it is now ready to push for it's final approval from the U.S. regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). If granted, LedgerX would be able to launch a federally regulated bitcoin options exchange and the first clearing house to list and clear fully collateralized, physically settled bitcoin options for the institutional market.
5. Intel and Bitcoin: BitPay, which is the world's largest processor of Bitcoin transactions, has partnered with Intel to help ensure the security of its digital wallet. One of the hurdles Bitcoin has yet to get over is creating a user friendly wallet that is both secure and simple.
6. Credit China Investment: A Hong Kong-based industry investment firm entered a $30 million agreement with Bitcoin industry giant BitFury. An announcement by BitFury reveals that Credit China Fintech will aid the industry firm to maximize "the adoption of the Bitcoin Blockchain and private Blockchains" into Credit China's various FinTech investments and platforms. A report by CNBC points to further details about the joint venture to be a storefront to sell BitFury's bitcoin mining equipment in China. "There is one Blockchain. It is the Bitcoin Blockchain" wrote BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov while opining that private blockchains do not provide the security of the Bitcoin Blockchain.
7. Bitcoin is the New Gold: Gold has traditionally been seen as a "safe haven" asset by investors — when uncertainty and risk is high, gold seems like a safe bet. Bitcoin, likewise, has attracted investor attention when uncertainty and risk is high. Whether looking back at Brexit or India's demonetization announcement, Bitcoin has seen large increases in volume when these geopolitical black swans take place.
1. Future Projections: The next eight years could see the blockchain marketplace grow to almost $8bn in value, according to a new research report. The report, prepared by Grand View Research, points to a combination of industry investments, enterprise interest in blockchain solutions and growing use of digital currencies among consumers as the lead driver of expected growth.
2. New Bank Consortium: Seven large banks are collaborating on a blockchain-based trade finance and supply chain platform called Digital Trade Chain (DTC), which aims to make domestic and cross-border commerce easier for European small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Société Générale and UniCredit have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Brussels to build the DTC, which is based on a supply chain proof-of-concept originated by KBC.
3. Alibaba and the Blockchain: Alibaba's payment affiliate Ant Financial is aiming to have 2 billion customers in 10 years, the chief executive of the $60 billion firm told CNBC, adding that the Chinese giant is exploring further uses of blockchain technology. Ant Financial runs the Alipay mobile wallet in China which has over 450 million users. But Eric Jing, the CEO of Ant Financial, said the aim is to more than quadruple that over the next decade.
4. Estonia and E-voting: Estonia based exchange Tallinn has partnered with Nasdaq in developing a new e-voting platform that utilizes the blockchain. This presents two opportunities for a new approach:
1) create an alternative solution that could potentially leverage blockchain's secure technology and improve voting transparency; and
2) partner with other blockchain early adopters in the industry to test the effectiveness of this technology as a medium for secure remote participation and voting at Annual Meetings.
5. A Rude Awakening: The finance world's attempt to build a white-collar version of blockchain — the shared-ledger technology that underpins rebellious virtual currencies such as Bitcoin — has generated Silicon Valley quantities of buzz. There hasn't been much genuine risk-taking, though, nor have we seen much of a result. This year will bring a needed dose of reality. It might even herald a shake-out of an increasingly over-hyped sector as the banking industry tries to get myriad projects out of the lab and into the real world.
6. Combining RFID Technology with Blockchain to Track Goods: Technology originally developed to help NASA communicate with deep space probes now lies at the heart of a new Microsoft blockchain project that would track products as they move around the world. But more than that, Microsoft's Project Manifest, unveiled today, could eventually help ensure the origin of the products used to create goods and the labor used to build them conform to a company's ethical standards.
7. American Express joins Blockchain Consortium: American Express has joined the Hyperledger Project in hopes of adopting blockchain technology. We're excited to join Hyperledger, as we're looking to take full advantage of blockchain to deliver new and innovative products for our customers and partners, while transforming existing business processes and applications, said Marc Gordon, Executive Vice President and CIO.
8. China's Central Bank testing a Digital Currency: China's central bank has reportedly tested a blockchain-based digital currency. According to a report by Caixin yesterday, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) completed a trial on 15th December in which it demoed how transactions and settlements might take place via a custom distributed ledger system.
By Philip Francis: Futurist, Bitcoin Enthusiast. Lover of all tech and markets. Swedish/US Dual-Citizen. Lets change the world together.