|MAJOR BLOCKCHAIN INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
Republic Of Georgia To Pilot Land Titling On Blockchain With Economist Hernando De Soto, BitFury
Excerpts: “Bitcoin mining company BitFury, the Republic of Georgia’s National Agency of Public Registry and renowned Peruvian economist Hernando DeSoto will announce Friday a partnership to design and pilot a blockchain land titling project.
“The experiment revives blockchain enthusiasts’ dreams of using the technology — a transparent and secure ledger — for managing land titles. While in the United States and Western Europe, it’s common to have legal title to property such as homes, cars, etc., in many parts of the world, people do not have legal title to their assets. De Soto, president of Lima-based think tank, the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, estimates that the value of this “dead capital” totals $20 trillion….” [Forbes]
Bitcoin’s Blockchain Technology Proves Itself in Wall Street Test
An excerpt: “Banks including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. have successfully tested the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin on credit-default swaps, a move that could help it gain a foothold in mainstream finance….” [WSJ]
Is Bitcoin Becoming More Stable Than Gold?
Excerpts: “…Since its inception several years ago, bitcoin has seen wild prices swings as advocates have tried to establish the nascent technology as a widely-used digital currency. But for the past three weeks, the price volatility of bitcoin has remained below or equal to that of safe-haven gold, according to data analysis from FactSet and CoinDesk.
“The last 24 days mark the longest period in which bitcoin prices have been less volatile than gold prices, going back to 2010. Some point to the drop as a sign that investor perception of bitcoin is drawing closer to gold as a safe store of value.
“Gil Luria, a managing director at Wedbush Securities who covers e-commerce and payments, said that as bitcoin has gathered steam, it’s taken on a similar role to gold. Holding bitcoin or gold can appeal to a coinciding demographic of investors, since both may be used as an alternative when investors lose faith in traditional asset classes.
“’It has a lot to do with the perception of value,’ Mr. Luria said. ‘Gold used to be the only refuge for those who have grave concerns over the global economy and monetary system….’” [WSJ]
MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative Announces a $900,000 Bitcoin Developer Fund
Excerpts: “…Amidst block size debates and proclamations that Bitcoin is dead, we’re glad the first action we took was to offer positions in a neutral academic environment at the MIT Media Lab to Wlad, Cory and Gavin to continue their open-source development work on Bitcoin.
“When we offered these positions, we heard from companies and individuals with offers of financial support, which led to the creation of the Bitcoin Developer Fund. The goal of the fund is to cover salaries, travel and overall support of Bitcoin protocol development efforts, including events like the Scaling Bitcoin workshop series.
“Together, we’ve raised $900,000. Donors include companies (BitFury, Bitmain, Chain, Circle and Nasdaq) and individuals (Jim Breyer, Jim Pallotta, Jeff Tarrant, Reid Hoffman and Fred Wilson)….” [Brian Forde on Medium]
Barclays Partners with Goldman-Backed Bitcoin Payments App Circle
Excerpts: “Barclays is linking up with Circle Internet Financial, a US mobile payment start-up backed by Goldman Sachs that uses bitcoin to transfer central bank currencies, as digital money increasingly moves into mainstream finance.
“It is the first time a European bank has allowed a digital currency company to use its infrastructure — enabling it to transfer sterling and euros — according to the two companies….
“…From Wednesday the payment app — which transfers dollars by first converting them to bitcoin — will also be able to transmit sterling between users of the app by linking to their debit cards.
“The tie-up with Barclays means Circle will be able to move sterling across the blockchain — a public ledger where bitcoin transactions are verified and recorded….” [FT]