HaoBTC is ending its exchange services and both JP Morgan and Banco Santander are said to be joining the Enterprise Ethereum consortium. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 7:
- The Chinese cryptocurrency platform, HaoBTC has announced its decision to stop offering Bitcoin exchange services following its recent meeting with PBoC officials. The decision to close the exchange is perhaps the first casualty of a bitcoin exchange the close scrutiny by the PBoC since the turn of the year. While notable, it has to be reiterated that the lesser-known bitcoin exchange is among the smaller platforms in China’s bitcoin trading market. HaoBTC will continue providing its primary services – mining and online wallet.
- New details have emerged about a soon-to-be-launched initiative focused on enterprise uses of the Ethereum protocol. Dubbed Enterprise Ethereum, the project’s founding membership is said to include major financial institutions, tech giants and natural resources companies. According to sources, participating firms include JP Morgan, CME Group, BNY Mellon, Banco Santander, Microsoft, Red Hat, Cisco, Wipro and British Petroleum, among others. Blockchain startups BlockApps, Brainbot Technologies, ConsenSys, Nuco and Tendermint – as well as the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit that oversees its code creation – are also said to be involved. More companies are expected to join the effort, sources suggest.
- The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulatory body of the UK government, granted local London-based Blockchain startup Tramonex a Small Electronic Money Institution (EMI) registration, effectively allowing the launch of a Blockchain-based currency within the UK. The approval of Tramonex marks the first case of a Blockchain technology company receiving an EMI authorization from the FCA. Once an EMI authorization is granted, a startup can begin to issue, distribute and redeem e-money.
- Fidelity Investments, the world’s fourth largest mutual fund and financial services group, is looking to patent a method by which a blockchain could be used for authenticating voters and processing fair elections. On 16th February, the US Patent and Trademark Office released an application for “Crypto Voting and Social Aggregating, Fractionally Efficient Transfer Guidance, Conditional Triggered Transaction, Datastructures, Apparatuses, Methods and Systems” (SOCOACT), originally submitted by Fidelity on 14th July, 2016. The application outlines the structure of Fidelity’s ‘crypto-voting apparatus’, the components of which include voter authentication, vote processing, a crypto user interface (UI), a blockchain oracle and a smart contract to direct all computational actions.
- Compared to the previous week the price of Bitcoin has increased by almost five percent, with the exchange rate currently at $1,058 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than twelve percent, taking Ether up to a rate of $12.79 per ETH. Ethereum Classic lost about two percent of its value, with the price decreasing to $1.22 per ETC. Zcash lost 6 percent of its value. One ZEC is now trading at roughly $31 per coin.