Staying updated on the ever-changing cryptocurrency market doesn’t have to be as tough as keeping up with the Kardashians or Kanye’s philosophical musings on Twitter!
I’ve rounded up the latest set of news to help y’all stay in the loop.
Coinbase makes back-to-back acquisitions
The week was off to a running start as cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced its acquisition of Earn.com (formerly 21 Inc.) for a rumored sum of a little over $100 million.
Earn.com, which is one of the industry’s best-funded startups, rebranded to launch a social network that gives users incentives for completing tasks. If that sounds a little too Black Mirror for you, lemme tell you that the microtasks involved are pretty simple like signing up for email lists or answering surveys.
Prior to this, Coinbase also acquired Cipher Browser, which is a cryptocurrency wallet that lets clients store tokens based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Activity like these tend to shore up investor confidence in the industry, assuring that it’s business as usual even with ever-present regulatory jitters.
NY Attorney General looks into cryptocurrency platforms
On the subject of regulation, it was also reported this week that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an inquiry into the policies and practices of digital currency platforms.
Dubbed “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative,” this fact-finding mission involved sending out letters to 13 cryptocurrency exchange operations to request for information on consumer protection, the use of bots, and security measures, among many others.
The press release stated:
With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money. Yet too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms.
This didn’t seem to spook the markets all that much, though, as the office’s emphasis on promoting transparency and accountability would benefit the investing public and the industry overall. As long as they don’t shut down most of these exchanges of course.
IMF calls for even-handed approach to digital currencies
To the surprise of many, IMF head Christine Lagarde wrote in a blog post this week that central banks should be more open-minded about digital currency developments.
This marked a significantly different tone from her earlier statements on how cryptocurrencies are typically used for money laundering and other illegal activities.Lagarde listed several benefits, including fast and inexpensive transactions, “a diversification of the financial landscape, a better balance between centralized and decentralized service providers, and a financial ecosystem that is more efficient and potentially more robust in resisting threats.”
Contrary to the cryptocurrency ban by India and Pakistan earlier this month, Lagarde called for “an even-handed regulatory agenda, one that protects against risks without discouraging innovation.”
Batavia completes live trades
Ba-what now? Batavia is a blockchain-based trade finance platform founded by UBS in tandem with IBM, with the aim of conducting live cross-border transactions involving corporate clients.
The platform was able to complete its very first set of live trade transactions involving car sales from Germany to Spain and textile raw materials from Austria to Spain.
This project has also gained support from the Bank of Montreal, CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Erste Group to further develop its technical capabilities that promise to bring more transparency in the financial system.
Amazon wins patent for bitcoin data stream
Online retailing giant Amazon was finally granted a patent for a streaming data marketplace, and this has several implications for the cryptocurrency space.
First off, it would enable users to receive real-time cryptocurrency transactions data. It would also allow allow developers to “build real-time dashboards, capture exceptions and generate alerts, drive recommendations, and make other real-time business or operational decisions.”
Apart from that, Amazon also says that this could identify cryptocurrency users, something that regulators and tax collection agencies might find useful. Yay or nay?