Weekly Update 19#: Banks And Shoes

Dominik Olech
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We are near the end of the year – the time of summaries. But before we move to contemplate the last 365 days, let’s check current news.

In the previous Update, we talked about some new incoming stablecoins and blockchain projects. Let’s see what’s new happened in this week.

First blockchain bond

In one of our last articles, we have told you about this case – but it is worthy of being mentioned in Weekly Update too. Banco Santander, one of the leading banking institutions on the world, redeemed the first end-to-end blockchain bond – which was also launched by the same bank few months ago. It is a prominent example that the blockchain can be used in similar processes in the near future. You may read more about the relation between banks and the blockchain technology in our article.

Japanese banks join JPMorgan’s network

Another news related to blockchain banking comes from JPMorgan Chase & Co. This particular one is already famous in the crypto world because of its involvement in the blockchain technology and released stablecoin, JPM Coin. This cryptocurrency is a part of Interbank Information Network, an initiative designed to facilitate facilitating cross-border transactions, with the use of blockchain.

IIN will soon grow significantly, with more than 80 Japanese banks joining JPMorgan’s network. According to Bloomberg, it might be caused by the willingness to improve anti-money laundering measures. The infrastructure provided by JPMorgan may successfully help to achieve this goal.

Non-fungible shoes

In recent weeks, we were frequently mentioning examples of utilizing the idea of the non-fungible token (NFT). This time, the concept of unique, blockchain-based tokens came to Nike. The footwear giant has recently patented CryptoKicks. The project is meant to be strictly linked with physical purchases of Nike’s shoes. Buying a pair of footwear would result in acquiring a linked token. 

Such NFT could be kept, spend, or “breed” with other tokens, just like it happens in the famous non-fungible token game, CryptoKitties. The “offspring” created this way might be even custom made as a new, physical pair of shoes. The whole idea is still just a concept, but with the blockchain industry developing faster with every year, the final realization of the project seems to be only a matter of time.

Successful actions against crypto schemes

A few weeks ago, we told you about OneCoin, an infamous cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Unfortunately, such organizations are widespread in the cryptocurrency world. But from the more brighter side, they are being effectively shouted down. Last week brought us some good news on that matter.

First comes from Uganda. Local police have seized Samson Lwanga, who is responsible for the alleged Ponzi scheme Dunamiscoins Resources Limited. The company reportedly defrauded 10 billion Ugandan shillings. Another successful police operation happened in Brazil, where the law enforcers managed to shut down an unnamed scheme allegedly responsible for frauding about 5,000 victims.

California friendly for crypto?

The cryptocurrency situation doesn’t look bright in the USA. The ongoing regulatory dispute is effectively hindering the functioning of crypto-related institutions in the country. Among the authorities responsible for the regulations, many people are reluctant toward this industry – including the US president himself. Hover, some voices express support toward the blockchain. One of them comes from California. 

Ian Calderon, the Majority Leader of the California State Assembly, took the floor on the matter of crypto regulations. During Elev8CON in Las Vegas, he argued for providing a “consumer confidence” through the proper regulations. 

Calderon is a known supporter of blockchain technology. Previously, he introduced Assembly Bill 2658, which is intended to provide legal assurance and clearness in crypto-related cases. The bill enabled to create the California Government Operations Agency (GovOps), which is responsible for legislating blockchain in the state. One of the effects of its works is a proposed definition of this technology:

“Blockchain technology is used to build decentralized systems that increase the verifiability of data shared amongst a group of participants, which brings increased trust to the overall system.”

Darknet marketplace with worldwide ambitions

Do you remember the Silk Road? A notorious darknet marketplace offering illegal drugs in exchange for bitcoins was an infamous part of the crypto history. Although the website was shut down, the idea of selling drugs for crypto has quickly spread around the world. Now, one of such entities is announcing truly global aspirations.

Hydra, a darknet marketplace of Russian origin, is going to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) in the attempt to expand on the international scale. Gathered funds would be used for creating the service called “Eternos” for facilitating their operations. The current size of the project is already huge. According to investigative site Proekt, from the 2.5 million accounts on the marketplace, almost 400,000 made at least one purchase.

Libra is changing white paper

Last but not least for this week. An incoming Facebook’s stablecoin, Libra, has updated its white paper. In the quietly-made correction, the fragment about paying dividends for initial investors (i.e., the Libra Association) has been erased. The reasons behind this decision remain unclear. It might be a reaction for major contributors (like Visa or PayPal) leaving the project, or attempt to minimalize regulatory backlash as well.

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