News of the Week

Facebook Looking for Partners for Crypto Payment Service

Facebook has been in talks with dozens of financial firms and e-commerce companies to support a cryptocurrency payments plan that it is currently developing. The social company has spoken with various companies, including Visa and MasterCard. The so-called Project Libra would include a digital currency, underpinned by blockchain technology and pegged to the U.S. dollar, which users of Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service could use to send money to one another.

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London Stock Exchange: Blockchain Will Revolutionize 300 Years of Stock Trading

The London Stock Exchange is weighing the benefits of using blockchain technology for issuing stock and settling trades. The LSE chief executive Nikhil Rathi said he was inspired by early blockchain initiatives at other stock exchanges, and sees the benefit of distributed ledger technology. LSE, the world’s sixth-largest exchange, has been surprisingly open to blockchain technology. Earlier in 2019, the exchange led a $20 million investment round in blockchain startup Nivaura.

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Former Ripple CTO Launched a Blogging Platform Where Content Creators Can Now Earn XRP

Coil, a San Francisco-based fintech firm founded by Stefan Thomas, the former Chief Technical Officer at Ripple Labs, has revealed that it has now launched the public beta release of its blogging website. Coil’s blogging platform allows users to earn XRP as compensation for writing and publishing content. In a manner somewhat similar to how Spotify rewards artists, Coil allows content creators to automatically earn XRP based on usage. Meanwhile, the consumers are able to access content for a monthly fee.

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Microsoft Launches a Fully Managed Blockchain Service

Microsoft launched Azure Blockchain Services, a fully managed service that allows for the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks. Azure will make JPMorgan’s platform, called Quorum, available on the software maker’s blockchain service. Quorum will be the first ledger available on the Azure blockchain platform. The partnership between Microsoft and JPMorgan will make it easier for customers, such as Starbucks and Louis Vuitton, to develop more applications for its blockchain network.

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Upgraded Hyperledger Fabric Sees 7-Fold Increase in Transaction Speed

Researchers from Canada’s University of Waterloo have re-engineered the Hyperledger Fabric to support almost seven times more transactions per second (TPS). A new series of optimizations increased the volume of data that the blockchain — used by financial institutions, IT giants and engineering companies — can process. Where it formerly maxed out around 3,000 TPS, the researchers claim they managed to achieve 20,000 TPS.

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50% Of Institutions are Crypto-Friendly

The Boston-based firm Fidelity revealed that more than 22% of institutional investors that they surveyed, which includes endowments, family offices, industry funds, traditional hedge funds, and so on and so forth, already have “some exposure” to digital assets, with many of said investments occurring within the past 36 months. What’s more is that 40% of the “more than 400” surveyed, which are all U.S.-based, intend to look into crypto-related investments over the next five years. And even more notably, 47% of those surveyed were amicable towards the idea of having cryptocurrencies or related vehicles in their current portfolio structures.

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