Welcome back to Max’s Corner, brought to you by Max Hasselhoff from Bytecoin. This week saw the release of some technology that could have an impact on the future layout of the crypto space, but first let’s start on the adoption front:
Nasdaq Adds Indexes for Bitcoin, Ethereum
New Zealand data firm, Brave New Coin, has partnered with Nasdaq to add Bitcoin and Ethereum to its list of over 40,000 indexes. Indexes for Bitcoin and Ethereum will be created and added to the database within the month. The indexes will be tailored to show real-time information regarding the two cryptocurrencies dating back to February of this year. The data will be displayed using the US dollar as a reference point, and refreshed every thirty seconds, to provide up to the minute accuracy.
This move comes as Nasdaq gets ready to expand its activities in the crypto market, preparing the introduction of its own Bitcoin futures platform, set for Q1 of 2019. Nasdaq has also acquired the Swedish company Cinnober, which provides crypto exchanges with trading solutions, and invested significantly in Eris X, a crypto exchange.
The addition of these indexes signifies progress on the adoption front. Nasdaq is the second largest stock exchange in the world. If Nasdaq is willing to give the green light to creating indexes, it could clear a path for institutional investors to get more involved with crypto.
Mt Pelerin Has Sights on “Bank of the Future”
Mt Pelerin, a Fintech company based out of Geneva, Switzerland, is trying to build the bank of the future, utilizing blockchain technology to facilitate advancement in financial digitization.
Crypto has been sitting at the threshold of wide-scale adoption for a while. There are a number of obstacles that are preventing this, among them: reliance upon traditional financial systems, the lack of regulation in the crypto space, and crypto’s volatility.
Often attempts at facilitating adoption are lead by singular projects trying to integrate their product into more traditional financial frameworks. Mt Pelerin, named after the Mont Pelerin Society, an intellectual organization founded by Friedrich Hayek, has taken a different approach. Instead of bringing crypto to the banks, Mt Pelerin is trying to bring the banks to crypto.
Mt Pelerin is looking to build an open source framework for financial institutions, consumers, and tokens to operate on based in Geneva.
The idea behind the bank stems from the difficulties inherent in trying to make a traditional bank compatible with new financial operations. Currently costs are too great for most traditional institutions to take the plunge and build frameworks to work with digital finance. By working towards a solution on the other end, Mt Pelerin’s vision could have ramifications across the industry.
Western Union Looking to Collaborate with Ripple, Other Cryptocurrencies
One of the most popular financial services in the world, Western Union, has said that they are currently working on blockchain gateways and incorporating Ripple into their cross-border payment system.
In a recent announcement the company has stated that they need to stay up-to-date in a field defined by rapid change and technological advancement. Right now Western Union is testing the services offered by Xrapid, which operates off of Ripples’ digital currency. Ripple is a platform designed to implement financial technology in cross-border payment solutions.
In addition to Ripple, Western Union said it would be open to exploring other cryptocurrencies, if the technology is right and the circumstances call for it.
This kind of application offers a tangible channel through which crypto can develop into an integral part of the global financial structure. This idea that Western Union is exploring, the idea of grafting their platform onto an existing blockchain network is similar in a way to our blockchain gateway project.
Bitfi Releases New Storage Tech
Bitfi, a cryptocurrency wallet, has introduced new technology that they believe will shake up the storage game. Like a few other platforms before them, Bitfi publicly offered to give hackers a large sum of money if they could succeed in gaining access to their wallet and the assets inside of it.
Although there were successful attempts to break into the wallet and implant faulty code, the Bitfi team maintains that no one successfully gained access to the funds inside of the wallet, proving that their new approach to storage works.
The Bitfi approach to cold storage is to eliminate storage altogether. Whatever device you use with Bitfi saves nothing. No private keys are stored on any medium whatsoever. You have to memorize a secret phrase and that will give you access to your wallet.
Although this might sound similar to a brain wallet, it differs from brain wallets in that it never needs to be connected to a computer, it only requires you to memorize one secret phrase, and it uses entropy to ensure that user-set passwords are secure.
Any increase in security is a great benefit at this point to the crypto industry. If this truly is an increase in security is the real question, and that remains to be seen.
Japan’s Largest Bank Readies Blockchain Network for 2020
With Mt Pelerin above, we looked at a blockchain project trying to solve the issue of getting banks to adapt to emerging financial technology. One of the biggest hurdles that prevents more integration from traditional financial institutions is the cost and effort required to implement newer tech. Japan’s largest bank, MUFG, considers the rewards that come from blockchain adoption to outweigh its costs and plans on introducing a new blockchain payment network in 2020.
MUFG has a rich history with cryptocurrency, launching their own coin, the MUFG coin, in October 2018. It is unclear if and how this payment network will be related to their coin. In a statement about the planned network, MUFG said that their goal from the project was to enable rapid innovation in digital payment services.
As noted above, the expansion of crypto into sectors of traditional finance is key to bringing about wide-scale crypto adoption. The investments that are being made and the projects that are being developed on this front tell a different story than the long bearish market would have you believe.