Another week, another influx of intriguing pieces of crypto news. This week saw an array of interesting industry happenings, as the Bitcoin (BTC) price kept relatively flat. While there were some harrowing pieces of news, developments in this space were arguably positive overall.
Comments issued to NewsBTC at Token2049 would confirm this sentiment. Like many others we spoke to, Justin Sun, the chief executive of Tron, expressed optimism, explaining that the growth of the Lightning Network, the impending arrival of the block reward reduction, and his company’s BitTorrent integration is why he expects for the coming year to be strong.
- Barclays Analyst Estimates Facebook to Net $19 Billion From Crypto Offering By 2021: Per CNBC, which cited research compiled by Barclays’ Ross Sandler, the Silicon Valley-based Facebook may stand to gain $19 billion in revenue by 2021 for the launch of Facebook Coin (FBCoin). Sandler explained that if worst comes to worst, the social media giant may ‘only’ net $3 billion revenues from the digital asset, a (centralized) cryptocurrency reported to be a USD-backed stablecoin for that social media ecosystem. This means that the Silicon Valley firm’s first consumer-facing blockchain product could be integral in the company’s future, which is now uncertain due to privacy concerns, executive departures, and the ever-present #deletefacebook movement.
- CBOE Puts A Pause On Bitcoin Futures: On Thursday afternoon, the CBOE made waves in the American cryptocurrency market. In a brief announcement, released to the trading platform’s clientele, the Chicago-headquartered exchange revealed that it would not be offering an XBT (Bitcoin) contract for trading in March 2019. This means that by June 2019, the company’s clients will have no open interest in any of the Bitcoin contracts the CBOE has to offer. No explicit reasonings were cited for this move, but it is believed that the platform’s competitor, the CME, was stealing much of its thunder.
- South Korean Tech Giant Kakao Raises $90M For Blockchain Platform: Per a report from Bloomberg, Ground X Corp, South Korean technology firm Kakao’s blockchain branch, has just finished (publicly announced) a $90 million raise, which flew under the radar of most in the public audience. The branch purportedly raised this nearly nine-digit sum in classic crypto startup fashion, through a private coin offering, and plans to raise a similar amount starting now. With the initial $90 million and the expected second cheque, the startup, whose parent company’s, Kakaotalk, has over 50 million active users, intends to prepare for a June launch of its blockchain platform. Klaytn will start its life as a blockchain platform for third-party applications, from games to travel apps, instead of a direct feed to Kakao. More specifically, Ground X purportedly has 26 partners, including gaming company Wemade, streaming service Watcha, and travel agency Zanadu, lined up for integration.
- Stellar Lumens Now Live On Coinbase Pro: XRP’s long lost brother, Stellar Lumens (XLM) has been added to Coinbase Pro. In an announcement made last week, the San Francisco-based exchange unveiled support for the popular cryptocurrency, backed by IBM and the recent victim of a logo redesign. Funnily enough, the cryptocurrency barely budged off this news, posting minimal gains following its addition to Coinbase’s professional-facing, order book-centric exchange.
Inbound transfers for XLM are now available in the regions where trading is supported. Traders cannot place orders and no orders will be filled. Order books will be in transfer-only mode for a minimum of 12 hours. https://t.co/NgCiWEkii8
— Coinbase Pro (@CoinbasePro) March 13, 2019
- Binance To Launch Next Fiat-To-Crypto Platform In Argentina: Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance, recently took to Twitter to quip, “guess where we will have a new fiat-to-crypto exchange next?” in response to a tweet regarding the Argentinian government’s stamp of approval of blockchain technologies. This, of course, heavily implies that the startup will be launching a fiat-supported exchange in the South American nation in the coming months. Binance Argentina, as the venture will most likely be known, will follow similar ventures based in Singapore, Lichenstein, Jersey, and Uganda.
- Tether Drops 100% Fiat Backing For USDT: Popular stablecoin Tether’s website once read that each USDT was backed one-to-one by “traditional currency,” namely the U.S. dollar and the Euro. Now, the official description of the popular crypto asset reveals that USDT isn’t solely backed by government-issued currencies, but by alternative assets too. Sure, the statement is rather nebulous, skirting around the details, but many industry commentators and investors are convinced that this means USDT could be utilizing a fractional reserve system. Others claim that Tether is looking to invest much of its reserves, as it sees potential in buying Bitcoin and other digital assets at such valuations.
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