This Week in Crypto: Bitcoin Narrative Strengthens Amid PayPal Debacle, Ethereum Istanbul Nears, Bakkt Swells
This Week in Crypto:
- RBC May Launch Crypto Asset Exchange: Reported by The Logic, a Canadian innovation-centric news outlet, Royal Bank of Canada — the country’s largest bank with $660 billion in assets under management — is exploring the creation of a cryptocurrency trading platform for investments in an array of digital assets, purportedly including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Citing four Canadian and American patents that can be found by the public, the outlet reported that the institution is “exploring the creation of a cryptocurrency trading platform for investments as well as in-store and online purchases.” Serving over 16 million customers, RBC’s platform could be a boon for the crypto industry at large. What’s interesting is that this comes after
- RBC announced last year that:
“Effective immediately, RBC will no longer be allowing the use of RBC credit cards for transactions involving cryptocurrency. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.”
- Chinese Government-Run Xinhua Releases Bitcoin Article: Earlier this week, Xinhua, China’s purportedly most-read news outlet, released an entire article on Bitcoin. The article, whose title roughly translates to “Bitcoin: The First Successful Application of Blockchain Technology,” was seen by many on Twitter as a ground-breaking development. Sure, it did raise awareness of the cryptocurrency, but it wasn’t as bullish as many painted it on Twitter. The article, per some translations online, calls the cryptocurrency “highly concentrated/centralized” phenomena, something that is bad for the climate, and is something “most importantly” used for black market transactions. It also touched on the hyper-volatile nature of the crypto markets.
- Bakkt to Launch Cash-Settled Futures: As Bakkt’s Bitcoin volumes have swelled to reach over $10 million per day, the company has revealed that it wants to launch cash-settled futures contracts. “We have the intention of offering a cash-settled contract as well,” said Bakkt executive Adam White at a New York conference.
- Compound Raises $25 Million from Andreessen Horowitz, others: On Thursday, Fortune revealed that Compound — a decentralized platform that allows users to lend out and borrow Ethereum-based assets like ETH itself, USD Coin, Basic Attention Token, and 0x — has secured a $25 million worth of investments from Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z (round leader), Paradigm, Bain Capital Ventures, and Polychain Capital. Compound CEO Robert Leshner explained that his company’s goals will be to be integrated “with crypto exchanges, custodians, and wallets by the end of 2020.
- Ethereum Istanbul Nears: Speaking of Ethereum, the blockchain’s Istanbul hard fork is slated to take place on December 4th, during the blockchain’s block 9069000. The Istanbul hard fork will introduce six key code changes to Ethereum. One change is EIP 1884, which will “increase the computational costs of recalling data about the ethereum blockchain for application developers,” according to a CoinDesk report. The other changes are focused on changing gas/price limits for blockchain users.
- PayPal Stops Pornhub-related Transactions in Move Bullish for Bitcoin: Pornhub recently announced that it will no longer be supported for payments by PayPal. This move will impact thousands of the performers that post videos on the site to garner income. Many have said that this is bullish for the cryptocurrency space, as things like Bitcoin are decentralized, digital, and censorship-resistant alternatives to PayPal.
- Unknown Fund Looks to Distribute $75 Million in BTC to Privacy Firms: Announced in a press release published to an independent website on November 13th, a group of “ordinary” though anonymous people (seeming crypto whales) plan to invest and donate some $75 million worth of Bitcoin to companies and non-profits looking to aid privacy rights. The group’s name is “Unknown Fund.”
- Abra Bolster Crypto App by Adding 60 New Digital Assets: Fintech startup Abra is bolstering its U.S. offerings in a move bolstering crypto adoption. According to CoinDesk, the app is adding 60 new cryptocurrencies — including things like Cosmos, MakerDAO’s DAI, and Bitcoin SV — and doubling users’ bank deposit limits. The new assets will eventually be activated for Abra customers outside of the U.S.
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