1 pointI did not see this coming !! Both Std Bank and JPMorgan launching blockchain payment solutions....wow These events matter because it makes moving money around much cheaper and faster....it benefits us the consumer ultimately Standard Bank builds blockchain for international payments "The platform aims to increase the speed and transparency of international payments and trades by providing an instantly-available record of documents and settlements stored in the cloud. " https://mybroadband.co.za/news/banking/297786-standard-bank-builds-blockchain-for-international-payments.html JPMorgan's move into crypto puts the rest of the industry on notice "Blockchain is particularly appealing because it could allow banks to clear payments faster and more securely, using technology that CB Insights said would dramatically cut processing times and reduce the need for third parties to get involved with transactions." " With the launch of JPM Coin, JPMorgan has shown it wants to get out in front of this transition, despite its previous skepticism. That could push other banks to show they're in the game, too. Singh said banks that have a large number of institutional clients, such as Citigroup (C), will feel the most pressure." https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/19/business/jpmorgan-jpm-coin-banks-blockchain/index.html
1 pointNow this is very clever...Abra is a populat crypto platform but what they have now done is to link listed assets to a type of crypto ETF that tracks major listed assets....check out the story below. https://www.abra.com/ Since Abra runs on bitcoin, it automates all of its processes like asset holding, hedging, and user transactions with smart contracts. It supports 30 cryptocurrencies, 50 fiat currencies, and is led by crypto/finance leaders like Bill Barhydt/CEO (formerly a VP at Goldman Sachs and Technical Director at Netscape) and Daryl Puryear/CTO (formerly Director of Software at Mint.com and VPE at Motif.) How does their new product work? Essentially, Abra has taken its existing platform and extended it to support assets available on the NASDAQ, starting with the top 100 stocks and ETF’s. Once users invest capital into the platform, they can choose to “invest” in one of Abra’s 100 stock/ETF offerings, which represents stock investment exposure in corporations like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet/Google. As soon as a user adds money to the Abra app, the capital is immediately transformed to bitcoin. Then, using Abra’s crypto-collateralized contract, Abra keeps the notional value of that bitcoin investment tied to the current value of the stock. This is done with what’s called a multisig bitcoin address, where Abra and the user sign a contract to peg the amount of cryptocurrency to the value of the asset. Abra users then hold an asset that track the exact price and volatility of the given stock. While users don’t actually hold any shares in the company they still receive dividend payments because of the means by which Abra hedges itself on the contracts — super cool. The platform can also support short selling which Abra hopes to offer in the future. Why does this make electronic stock investing any different? The mechanism by which Abra enters into these smart contracts means that Abra can offer this investing service legally in 155 countries. That is a first for investing in US stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies via a single service. The SEC and CFTC have clarified that the definitions of the terms “swap” and “security-based swap” do not include forward contracts. These definitions exclude “any sale of a nonfinancial commodity or security for deferred shipment or delivery, so long as the transaction is intended to be physically settled.” These organizations later provided guidance on how this physical settlement exemption applies to Bitcoin. Abra operates under this exemption. This means that Abra’s investing tools are much less regulated than other trading mechanisms. Since other online stock trading platforms like Robinhood, TDAmeritrade, or Charles Schwab actually invest user assets in real stocks and act as a full broker and custodian, they do have to follow rules set by the CFTC, SEC, and other securities commissions. But Abra’s model means they can expand the market of pseudo-stock-investing globally, beyond these specific geographic boundaries. What are the greater implications? Abra’s company ethos is democratizing finance. Their entire value is built off of being a platform where a first-time investor from the developing world can make the same returns as the hot-shot finance guys from New York. Abra’s new offering helps accomplish that by introducing pseudo-stock-trading to hundreds of new markets, making it a feasible investment mechanism for people in 155 countries globally. Abra’s new tool might also affect the price of bitcoin. On Abra, all users become “hodlers,” crypto-speak for someone who holds onto bitcoin without regularly trading it for other currencies and assets. Past financial studies have found that hodling is one of the key driving factors behind bitcoin’s price fluctuations. Since Abra’s platform automatically converts user capital to bitcoin, all users become hodlers and thus could, at large scale, drive changes in the price of bitcoin. Depending on how many people hop onto Abra’s new platform, we might see a short- or long-term spike in the price of bitcoin as more people use bitcoin as the underlying means for their every day stock and ETF investing.
1 pointWith all the pain being felt in the crypto currency space its interesting to note how the market is maturing. The market for STO's is huge !! Security Token Offerings – the next Multi-Billion Dollar Market in 2019? Initial coin offerings (ICOs) were all the rage in 2017, raising a massive US$5.6 billion, but this year saw the emergence of the security token offerings (STOs), a market that’s predicted to be worth some US$10 trillion by 2020. In opposition to tokens offered in an ICO which do not give any rights or obligations and instead provide access to a specific network, platform or service, tokens offered in a STO are actual financial securities that are backed by something tangible like the assets, profits, or revenue of the company, and which offer legal rights such as voting or revenue distribution. A security token performs the same function as a conventional security, except that it confirms ownership through blockchain transactions http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/security-token-offerings-the-next-multi-billion-dollar-market-2019/23849/
1 pointBy way of an update market is now talking Block chain 3.0 some interesting startups in the space Stackr (https://www.gostackr.com/) What happens to your Crypto when you die ??? Stackr allows you to designate beneficiaries to receive your assets without going through a possibly lengthy and expensive probate process and estate taxes. In many jurisdictions, moving assets between crypto and traditional investments can trigger unnecessary taxable events. Stackr can be isolated from such events due to the trust structure, which means that it is only when you really need your money and remove it from the trust that you might pay any tax. Stackr is a secure long-term crypto and US$ savings solution that cuts out the middleman. Combining traditional finance with modern-day financial technology & expertise has enabled Stackr to pioneer this innovative, secure and flexible savings solution for the blockchain community. (These are South Africans that run a very cool shop !) Celsius Network (https://celsius.network/) Celsius is banking on the blockchain. Its borrowing and lending platform will allow users to earn up to 5% interest on their crypto while taking loans at 9% interest, using their crypto as collateral. Celsius Network’s goal is to bring the next 100 million people into crypto, ultimately becoming the first killer app in the space. Risky or not, this is one to keep an eye on. This FinTech startup is primed to disrupt traditional banking. Gameflip (https://gameflip.com/flp) is an online marketplace backed by Silicon Valley venture capital. It allows gamers to transact any type of digital goods, and currently has 3 million members. After successfully hitting its token-sale hard cap, the FLP utility token can now be used to transact digital goods within the Gameflip marketplace. In the coming months, pilot program partners and publishers will begin integrating the Gameflip SDK, which will enable the transactions of approved in-game goods via the Blockchain. (Basically trading gaming stuff...wow) ADBIT The ADBIT token will be the core function of CIINCH Media Marketplace, the world’s first blockchain-powered media planning and buying platform for traditional media (print, TV, radio and out-of-home) assets. CIINCH and ADBIT were created to help automate the multiple layers of manual processes that currently plague the industry. Traditional media has failed to innovate and adapt to the current state of our age. Highly fragmented and operating on legacy software developed in the 1990's, ADBIT and CIINCH aim to bring these processes into the present. (Here we are trading media space....trade everything !!! )
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