The week in crypto
“When the going gets tough, the tough turn bearish,” said reporter Tessa Dempster in her review of the week.
“That seems to be the case for ether’s Vitalik Butarin this week, given ether’s year price low and congested chains.”
On September 11th, the Ethereum founder hit back at rumours of his low confidence in crypto markets. In a tweet he wrote that “I never said there is no room for growth… I said there is no room for 1000x price increase.”
However, ether is not alone in its poor price performance. Other alt-coins, such as NEM and Dash, have seen an approximate price drop of 5% overall.
Looking at more positive news, Dempster noted the release of the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini stable coin. Gemini is backed by the US dollar and has secured regulatory approval by the New York Department of Financial Services.
Meanwhile in New South Wales, the government is testing a pilot scheme to put drivers’ licenses on blockchain.
And in Taiwan, the TWCX has launched a cryptocurrency exchange.
ScoMo is a crypto ally
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed himself as a blockchain fan in a doorstop interview conducted on September 7th.
“Let me be nerdy for a second,” he warned reporters, before describing the benefits of distributed ledger technology.
“What we have is a new payment platform in Australia, which provides 24/7 settlement. It is the biggest change in our payment system… in decades.”
This time last year, Morrison as Treasurer announced removing the double taxation of digital currencies in Australia.
The Future of Security Tokens
Are security tokens the next big thing? Zachary Reece says yes.
Zachary Reece founded BlockTrade Investments two years ago, building on his background in investment banking and stock trading.
Reflecting on the stock market trends of the 80s and 90s, Mr. Reece didn’t mince words. “People were taken advantage of,” he explained, citing the popularity of penny stocks and a belief that high interest rates would always steer the economy.
He hopes to learn from mistakes made by Wall Street, and created BlockTrade Investments as an alternative. The result is a blockchain-based investing service that is SEC compliant.
Mr. Reece expects to see a transition from utility tokens to security tokens in the near future, and believes the similarities between security tokens and equity in a company are too big to ignore.
“Security tokens flips that on its ear and turns things into a security in the same way as on the traditional stock market. What you will see occuring now is stocks being issued in the manner of a security token but they are going to pay dividends.”
Shanghai in the Spotlight
Shanghai hosted the fourth Wanxiang Global Blockchain Summit last week. Over the weekend, more than 2000 visitors gathered to hear lectures, attend workshops and participate in a hackathon competition.
The event attracted large mainstream media attention. Speakers included Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum and Chief Scientist at Wanxiang Blockchain Labs, and Eric Ly, founder of Linkedin and Hub.
Austrade and the Australian Digital Commerce Association sent a team of Aussie startups to Shanghai to capitalize on the learning opportunity.
Maddock’s employee Michael Zhang was on hand to describe the experience.
“[This] has been a fantastic opportunity to connect with Chinese companies who are investing and developing in blockchain technology.”
China’s tech giants Alibaba and Tencent have been among the first major companies to adopt blockchain into their services, and their government is eager to see the trend continue.
Reporter Dan Petrie was all about privacy coins this week as he took a closer look at Monero.
“Privacy coins often attract the ire of government authorities all over the world,” he said, explaining that “the coins are often suspected for money laundering and in some cases illegal activity.”
But there is a legitimate market for these coins in the private and confidential exchange of information.
Other privacy coins include Dash, ZCash, and NavCoin.
New smart contract platform Australian National Blockchain (ABN) has announced a soft launch in the legal industry.
Herbert Smith Freehills, Data 61, IBM and the CSIRO are in the midst of testing the technology ahead of its national debut.
Coincast TV spoke with Dr. Pip Ryan at the University of Technology Sydney to learn more about the challenges ahead.
“The automation of contracts is the future for business and banking,” Dr. Ryan predicts, “but what we really need is a network we can trust.”
The Australian National Blockchain network would take the place of existing platforms such as Ethereum and QTUM, and allow businesses to conduct deals and exchange data in a secure way out of third-party view.
But smart contract platforms have other uses. As Dr. Ryan explained, “then there are companies want to do physical activity in the marketplace. [They] need to track digitally and online their products.”
Clean Oceans Ahead
Coincast TV caught up with Toni Lane Casserly in Tokyo to discuss her latest project to reduce ocean pollution.
Ms. Casserly is well-known as the co-founder of CoinTelegraph, however the self-described ‘Joan of Arc of Blockchain’ is also an environmental activist and advocate. She wants to incentivize the public to take better care of the oceans.
“People who live on the beach and just want to surf could make money by going out, gathering data about the ocean, picking up trash, and cleaning the water… We could create an entire economy.”
She envisions a future where a person could actually make a living through this work.
While Casserly didn’t provide details on the feasibility of her project, or possible launch date, the blockchain enthusiast is hopeful.
“Blockchain is just a tool, but it is a powerful tool,” Ms. Casserly told Coincast TV. “The more you contribute to the health of the ocean, the more value you get back.”
Tune in next week to hear about the latest in cryptocurrency news, blockchain updates and global fintech events at Coincast TV.
For a quick summary of the weekly updates, check out Bitcoin Australia to read our review of the next episode.
Liz is a Canadian journalist and writer for Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on Twitter @Elizabeth_Utley, or on Linkedin as Elizabeth Utley.