Cryptocurrency and finance world news on 01/18/2020
Central Bank of Australia tested the system on the Ethereum blockchain for interbank payments
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) submitted to the Senate a report on testing the system of interbank settlements based on the Ethereum blockchain, as a result, the advantages of state cryptocurrencies (CBDC) were revealed.
Despite the recent statement by the Central Bank of Australia that state stablecoins are unlikely to replace ordinary money, the bank still tested the system on a blockchain to determine the effectiveness of the cryptocurrency of the Central Bank in settlements with financial institutions and commercial banks. As a result of the study, RBA concluded that government cryptocurrencies can indeed reduce transaction costs, accelerate payments and provide customers with greater access to financial services.
“Using the blockchain, system participants can transfer funds around the clock in real time, without delays or using third-party payment systems,” the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a report.
RBA added that in the field of digital payments, more and more fintech companies and technology giants are appearing, and this suggests that blockchain is building capacity in the international financial system. However, despite these advantages, state stablecoins can still negatively affect the current financial infrastructure, especially the sphere of mortgage lending and the issuance of loans to commercial enterprises.
Nevertheless, this testing of the Ethereum-based payment system indicates that the RBA is beginning to realize the advantages of state digital currencies, and it is likely that over time the bank will soften its attitude and think about issuing its own cryptocurrency.
Six months ago, the president of the Reserve Bank of Australia said that he did not see the future with stable Libra from Facebook, given the large number of regulatory issues that arose.
36% of US SMEs accept payment in cryptocurrency
More than a third of US small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services, according to a survey published by Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), a division of Munich Re, the world’s leading insurance company. Young companies are twice as likely to accept payment in digital tokens.
A nationwide HSB survey conducted by Zogby Analytics showed that 36% of small and medium-sized enterprises in the United States have already accepted cryptocurrency, while 59% of these companies have also purchased digital currency for their own needs.
The benefits and risks of cryptocurrency for small businesses
During the survey, it turned out that the attitude of companies to digital assets depends on the time firms operate on the market: 47% of cryptocurrency companies have been in business for five years or less, compared with 21% of those that started doing business more than 20 years ago.
Despite the obvious advantages of cryptocurrency, such as lower processing fees and faster payments, the risks for cyber fraud and computer attacks may increase.
“Cybercriminals are monitoring money, and fraud can be a serious problem. Several currency exchanges were hacked or customer money was misappropriated. Millions of dollars are lost. Small businesses, especially start-ups, cannot afford to be cheated, ”said Timothy Zailman, vice president of HSB.
Fraudsters apply various schemes to small enterprises: from complex computer attacks to malware infection, distributed using simple phishing emails.
Small companies can also be targeted by hackers who infiltrate company data systems and divert computing power to record and verify cryptocurrency transactions.
“Small business owners, before accepting cryptocurrency, must find out everything that is available about technology. They also have to make sure that data protection is reliable and take out insurance to protect against cyber fraud and financial losses, ”said Zeylman.
British court rejects Craig Wright’s lawsuit against Hodlonaut user
A lawsuit filed by the odious Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright for defending honor and dignity against a Hodlonaut user was rejected by the High Court of London due to the lack of jurisdiction.
“The High Court of Great Britain today ruled on a suit for the defense of honor and dignity filed against me by Craig Wright. The judge decided that the UK has no jurisdiction [in this case] and the lawsuit will be rejected, ”Hodlonaut wrote.
At the same time, he added that Norway has the corresponding jurisdiction, of which he is a resident, and that the point in this matter will be put there.
The lawsuit against Hodlonaut, which in his tweets repeatedly called Craig Wright “a fraud”, posing as the creator of bitcoin, the Australian filed in April 2019. Last year’s events turned out to be a scandal when one of Wright’s supporters conducted his own investigation and, finding a person who wrote on behalf of Hodlonaut, made public his personal information, including his home address. Soon after, Hodlonaut deactivated its Twitter account.
The Bitcoin community then instantly reacted to such a development of events, not only expressing indignation at the fact that the user’s personal data were disclosed, but also starting to change their user names to “Hodlonaut” as a sign of support, and avatars – to the image of a cat in a spacesuit.
After some time, Hodlonaut, however, returned to Twitter, saying that he had filed a counterclaim against Craig Wright.
It is noteworthy that in the same 2019, Wright filed a similar lawsuit against the founder of Bitcoin.com Roger Vera, saying that he slandered him, calling him a liar and a fraud. This lawsuit was also rejected.
The same lawsuit was filed with the London High Court against Peter McCormack, a leading bitcoin podcast. This case is still under consideration and can be resolved in the UK, of which McCormack is a resident.
Grayscale cryptocurrency funds attracted over $ 600 million investment in 2019
Digital assets management services company Grayscale Investment raised more than $ 600 million from investors in 2019, according to a report released this Thursday.
In total, she managed to raise $ 607.7 million of investments, which exceeds the cumulative value for the period from 2013 to 2018 and gives an amount for the entire time of its existence of $ 1.17 billion.
In the fourth quarter, Grayscale raised $ 225.5 million. Of these, $ 193.8 million was invested in the Bitcoin Trust, which also marks the largest volume of injections since the creation of the tool.
The investment base of Grayscale in 2019 increased by 24%. New customers accounted for $ 146.9 million in total investment. 36% of all Grayscale customers invest in more than one company product.
In addition, in 2019 there was again a growth in the interest of institutional investors in the Grayscale proposal – their share, mainly hedge funds, accounted for 71% of the total investment compared to 66% in 2018.
“As the largest asset manager for digital currencies, we believe that our data can reflect the sentiment of a wider market and institutional flows. I think that in the fourth quarter there were a lot of events that helped to support the demand of investors, ”said a company representative.
In the report for the third quarter, Grayscale also noted new records in terms of investment.
Gemini Exchange opens cryptocurrency asset insurance company
Gemini bitcoin exchange owned by the Winklevoss brothers created Nakamoto, Ltd. for insurance of own custodial service for $ 200 million
Help Launch Nakamoto, Ltd. provided by large insurance brokers Aon and Marsh.
Gemini customers will be able to purchase additional insurance of their own assets to provide even greater coverage for them.
The new service is expected to enable Gemini to remain a secure custodial service and help institutional clients comply with regulatory requirements.
“Getting meaningful insurance in the cryptocurrency industry remains a challenge, so a new internal service will increase our insurance capabilities and move the industry forward,” said Gemini President Cameron Winklevoss.
For the first time, Gemini announced its plans for digital asset insurance for users in October 2018.
The custodial service Gemini Custody was launched in September 2019 and allows customers to trade assets that are stored offline through instant loans.
Members of the Zcash network contribute new coins to the blockchain during the Zcash mining process. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is used to determine if new currencies are suitable and to protect the integrity of the blockchain.
A project called Ergo was founded in 2019 and offers a programmable blockchain with a reliable and energy efficient mining process. The project also uses Ethereum-style smart contracts for its DeFi features and Bitcoin's Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm to secure the network.