Weekly Recap 29.07.2019. – 02.08.2019.

Huawei CEO Calls on China to Create a Rival to Facebook’s Libra

Telecommunications giant Huawei’s chief executive has said that the time is ripe for China’s government to preempt Facebook’s Libra.

CEO Ren Zhengfei remarked in an interview with Italian media outlet L’economia that China has the capability to pursue such an undertaking. He was asked a question about U.S. global hegemony and Facebook’s issuance of an international currency specifically.

Zhengfei was quoted as saying:

“Even China is able to issue such currencies, why wait for Libra? The strength of a state is greater than that of an Internet company.”

Furthermore, Zhengfei was not necessarily looking to take his company toe-to-toe with the social media giant. Though his firm has made significant inroads in the blockchain space – including joining the Hyperledger consortium and releasing a blockchain-backed cloud service – he instead pointed to the advancements in blockchain technology made by the Chinese nation-state.

In May, the People’s Bank of China hired blockchain experts in a move to widen its distributed network investments, useful for “large scale transactions,” bank representatives said at the time.

Additionally, while some members of China’s central bank have said that Libra’s deployment could negatively impact the country’ economy, head of the research bureau at the People’s Bank of China Wang Xin said the competition could propel the country to issue its own national cryptocurrency.

Moreover, a few weeks after Libra was announced, searches on the China’s web search giant Weibo skyrocketed. This is in spite of the fact that Facebook has been banned in the country since 2009. (Neutral)

Coinbase Pro Adds Tezos Trading

Coinbase Pro announced listing of the Tezos cryptocurrency to its institutional trading platform.

Tezos (XTZ), a multi-million dollar blockchain that officially launched in September 2018, offers the opportunity for its stakeholders to vote on-chain on proposed upgrades. Tezos was already added to Coinbase Custody, in March.

Before trading is activated, Coinbase Pro must build reserves of the coins in trading pairs with BTC and USD. Beginning on Monday, August 5, the firm will accept inbound transfers in advance of launch, according to a company blog post.

“Once sufficient supply of XTZ is established on the platform, trading on the XTZ/USD, and XTZ/BTC order books will start in phases, beginning with post-only mode and proceeding to full trading should our metrics for a healthy market be met,” the company states. (Neutral)

Samsung Integrates Pundi X’s Digital Currency Wallet

Smartphones manufacturer Samsung and cryptocurrency payments startup Pundi X’s new cooperation will allow users to integrate the XWallet app to their Samsung Blockchain Wallet.

Pundi X revealed that it has integrated its cryptocurrency wallet solution into the Samsung’s blockchain ecosystem, thus marking growing adoption of blockchain technology. The blog post published on July 29 reads:

“Samsung Galaxy S10 users can move cryptocurrencies stored in the Samsung Blockchain Wallet into the XWallet, which they can then use as a checking account for instant crypto transaction with Pundi X’s global payment ecosystem.”

Currently, the XWallet supports digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), KuKoin Shares (KCS), NEM (XEM), KNC, Qtum (QTUM), as well as Pundi X’s native tokens NPXS and NPXSXEM.

The app enables users to move cryptocurrencies stored in the Samsung Blockchain Wallet into the XWallet, which is also available with the XPOS, a blockchain point-of-sale device deployed across 25 countries. (Positive)

Kraken Improves Institutional Offerings With Acquisition of Interchange

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has just acquired a firm offering a way for institutional investors such as hedge funds and asset managers to better manage their portfolios.

The exchange announced that it has bought Interchange, an accounting, reconciliation and reporting service provider that it says offers an “institutional-grade” service.

Kraken’s new acquisition aims to provide institutional investors better tools to monitor and report their crypto portfolios.

According to the press release, Interchange is already providing services for at least 60 institutions, including digital assets accounting and administration company MG Stover.

Kraken says the added service will compliment its multi-exchange charting, trading and portfolio-tracking platform Cryptowatch, allowing it to offer products including historical and current data, advanced charting, multi-exchange trade executions, research and insights, critical accounting and portfolio reconciliation tools, and crypto indices. (Positive)

Crypto-Friendly Revolut Launches Stock Trading Service

UK-based Revolut app, which offers cryptocurrency trading, has now launched a stock trading service that allows buying fractions of shares.

The service is currently available only for over 300 U.S. stocks that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, only available for the “Metal” card customers at present.

Revolut said it plans to offer U.K. and European stocks, as well as exchange-traded funds or ETFs, and also cover its “Premium” and “Standard” card customers in the future.

Trading allows as little as $1 to invest in shares, especially those that cost thousands of dollars like Amazon and Google.

Beside fractional buying Revolut doesn’t charge any fee for Metal customers up to 100 trades per month. Any trade above that ceiling costs £1 (~$1.21) per trade and an annual custody fee of 0.01% of an investment portfolio value. (Positive)

Malta Business Registry Will Adopt Blockchain

According to the report July 31, Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation in the Government of Malta Silvio Schembri announced that the nation’s business registry (MBR) will employ blockchain, local financial service firm Zeta.

Allegedly, when making his remarks at the Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Muscat’s inauguration of the new premises of the MBR on June 28, Schembri also claimed that the initiative will create the first government agency to be run on a blockchain-based system and artificial intelligence.

The news has been seemingly confirmed by the official account of the Italian-Maltese Chamber of Commerce, which has published a link to the article.

According to a report by local news outlet Malta Independent, Schembri further explained that the goal is to increase the system’s efficiency and lessen unnecessary bureaucratic procedures through an extensive investment in information technology. The new MBR will also allegedly allow for new services that were previously not possible.

The country’s prime minister Dr. Muscat reportedly said during his inaugural speech that the development complements the broader modernization process that the Malta Financial Services Authority started. (Positive)

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