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Tech & Payment Giants Back Facebook’s Libra Project


Ethereum Stats

Ethereum Price: $272.00
Ethereum Price (BTC): 0.02954 BTC
Market Cap: $28.94B
ETH Network Dominance*: 80.77%
7 Day Candle**: $236.30 / $278.94 / $233.98 / $272.00

️ Nick’s Market Summary

Details on Facebook’s stablecoin are expected to be revealed tomorrow (Tuesday 18th June) but a few key points were leaked ahead of time, sending markets into a sharp rally. The project, which has become known as “Libra”, revealed in a blog post (not yet made public) that the coin will be governed by a consortium of founding members. This list of founding members is a who’s who of tech and payment giants which includes the likes of eBay, Uber, Lyft, Facebook, PayPal, Mastercard, Stripe and Visa to name just a few. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, these firms will invest around $10 million each in order to launch the currency (expected Q1 2020), which will be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies.

The project was also said to have been started just a year ago, which begs the question – which technologies were used to propel them forward? It’s unlikely that Facebook have “rolled their own encryption” and with a decade of open source blockchain code ready and available, is it possible that Facebook have built on top of Hyperledger or even forked a private chain of Ethereum?

There are a dozen questions on everyone’s lips, ranging from privacy and KYC through to fiat reserves and transparency, but the one most discussed is what impact Facebook’s coin will have on the value of our beloved cryptoassets and the network as a whole.

Is Facebook’s cryptocurrency a threat to Ethereum?

There have been numerous high profile investors and technologists on both sides of the debate who believe Facebook’s cryptocurrency will lure users away from Bitcoin and Ethereum, leading to an expected fall in the utility of these coins. Please allow me set the record straight:

The reality is that there are relatively few active users on Bitcoin and Ethereum to lure away in the first place, but 2 billion people to lure the other way. Users who buy into this new stablecoin will immediately be onboarded into the crypto-ecosystem, where they will be able to trade for other coins or interact with dApps on Ethereum. Equally, those already holding volatile assets like BTC and ETH will be able to move swiftly into and out of a regulated stablecoin. While the upside of a mainstream stablecoin is impossible to measure, it is most definitely massive. Facebook’s idea is not new, stablecoins have existed for years in the form of Tether (USDT), DAI, PAX, USDC, GUSD and others with many more expected to come in the future. These stablecoins have proven enormously popular, increasing in network value from zero to $5 billion in a few short years in-line with the rise of cryptocurrencies more broadly. Facebook’s stablecoin, which has a massive preexisting user base, is likely to be more transparent and more decentralized than the leading stablecoin, Tether; it is therefore difficult to see how one could argue that Facebook’s initiative would be detrimental to the ecosystem.

More details expected tomorrow.

– Nick, Owner

Earn While You Learn At Coinbase

Coinbase’s earn program, which allows users to earn different cryptocurrencies by learning about them, has just had a unique new addition in the form of the stablecoin, DAI.

DAI, a stablecoin built on the Ethereum blockchain, can be earned by watching tutorials and completing quizzes about DAI and its features on the Coinbase website. The stablecoin, which is managed by a “decentralized autonomous organization” (DAO) called Maker, has some interesting mechanics that are well worth getting to grips with. DAI is one of the first use-cases of “decentralized finance”, a term which describes a world of trustless lending, borrowing and more.

Credit where credit’s due, DAI competes directly with Coinbase’s existing stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), and its addition to the Earn programme goes a long way to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the ecosystem at large.

️ Ubisoft Aligning with the Ethereum Blockchain to Digitize In-Game Items

Ubisoft, the fourth largest publicly traded video game company known for Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Just Dance, is in the process of developing game features on the Ethereum blockchain. The development team at Ubisoft is in the advanced stages of creating a blockchain-based marketplace for in-game items, essentially enabling users to purchase game commodities using the blockchain. A translated report stated that:

“The idea is to give a digital existence on the blockchain to the ‘items’ (accessories) available in video games; content that publishers monetize. Ubisoft is considering working on the blockchain Ethereum, which allows to operate this kind of operation.”

Ubisoft began exploring the Ethereum blockchain marketplace for in-game items in mid-2018, and held a blockchain hackathon called Blockchain Heroes and created a prototype of a blockchain game.

Anne Puck, Ubisoft’s blockchain initiative associate manager said

“At Ubisoft, we think it’s crucial to be part of pioneering the ways players can benefit from what blockchain has to offer. We think that blockchain has the potential to transform the gaming experience and even maybe to empower players as true stakeholders in their worlds. That’s why our job is to accelerate the integration of blockchain at Ubisoft with this initiative.”

With the blockchain, Ubisoft could allow players to keep digital ownership of their accessories as opposed to the accessory being locked into the game and the investment being lost. This is a way of giving physical existence to a digital element and therefore the players become the true owners of their in-game items.

Fnality Develop Inter-Bank Blockchain on Ethereum Platform

After managing to raise $63 million from 14 shareholder banks, the interbank blockchain consortium, Fnality shed light on an Ethereum based project that will tokenize the top 5 fiat currencies US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen, and the Euro.

The token, known as Utility Settlement Coin (USC), intends to do more than simply represent fiat currencies on the blockchain. Instead the firm wants fiat currencies to exist directly on the blockchain itself (in the same way that Ether does on Ethereum). This would solve a major problem with existing implementations of similar ideas, where cash settlements still need to take place in the end.

The real story here is that a committed group of investors believes they have found the answer to the cash leg. Now that’s a giant marker for pushing the tokenization of wholesale markets.”

Fnality operates a private version of Ethereum called Autonity. It is a system whereby all participants on the chain keep a continually updated record of the blockchain’s full state, which is essential to ensure the system’s resiliency.

The partners for this project are UBS, Barclays, Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, CIBC, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, ING, KBC Group, Lloyds Banking Group, MUFG Bank, Nasdaq, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and State Street.

VISA’s Blockchain-Based Product Launched To Speed Up Global Commercial Payments

Visa’s blockchain-powered Business to Business (B2B) payments product has gone live after being in the making for almost three years. The Connect network is being made available in 30 markets, with plans to expand to up to 90 countries by the end of 2019. The Global Money Transfer Market is valued at around $125 trillion.

The payment product was created to help Visa’s corporate clients to circumvent existing banking networks and process cross-border payments using blockchain technology to expedite commercial payments moving around the world. Making them faster, cheaper and more transparent.

* calculated as: (ETH Market Cap / Ethereum Network Market Cap)
** open / high / low / close

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Nick Founder