Today on Altcoins This Week we discuss the latest news from South Korea and its less hostile approach towards cryptos, Venezuela’s announcement of a new housing project funded via Petro Coin and more.
Switzerland To Use Blockchain To Protect its Securities
In a move that sees Blockchain taking a major step towards mainstream financial adoption, Switzerland’s principal stock exchange has announced that it will use the technology to underpin its new digital exchange, which is due for roll-out sometime next year. The new initiative, called the Six Digital Exchange, will conform to the same rigorous standards of oversight and regulation as the principal stock exchange.
The Exchange was quick to point out that it would not be used as a platform to trade cryptos, but rather that traditional securities would be tokenized to be traded using the blockchain. Austria has already announced plans for a blockchain based exchange which hopes to go live in 2020, and other countries are likely to follow suit.
Pharmacy To Apply Blockchain For Unused Medication
Blockchain’s immutability attracts financial services, keen on eliminating fraud and cutting down their paperwork; and has been changing supply chains since its inception, with a number of high profile start-ups using the technology to cut down on the bureaucracy and delays that plague this arena; but the technology may have more life-saving properties if the example set by Good Shepherd Pharmacy of Memphis, Tennessee is followed elsewhere.
The pharmacy has partnered with FedEx Institute of Technology to use blockchain to act as a supply chain for cancer sufferers to secure unused medication which they otherwise couldn’t afford. As Good Shepherd’s CEO Phil Baker pointed out, “In Tennessee alone, over $10 million worth of perfectly good prescription medication gets flushed down the toilet each year.” Baker plans to use blockchain for the REMEDI Project to divert these drugs from the city’s waste pipe network to cancer sufferers who are struggling to pay for costly medication.
Venezuela Using Crypto As Foundation for Housing Project
Blockchain is being used to help the needy in Venezuela too, with the troubled South American country announcing that it will use its state-sponsored cryptocurrency Petro to fund a national housing program.
Petro, which is backed by the country’s oil resources, has been used on previous occasions to fund state initiatives, although the announcement that over 900,000 Petros had been set aside for housing represents a sharp increase from previous projects. The Venezuelan Minister for Habitat and Housing Ildemaro Villarroel was quoted by local media as promising an “injection of financial resources, which this year will be protected and established with Petro.” The State-backed Crypto has been controversial since its launch in February, with the United States forbidding its citizens to invest in its ICO, and international organizations accusing the Venezuelan State of duping investors into purchasing government debt.
South Korea Continues to Adopt Friendly Tone With Cryptocurrencies
Another country with a less hostile approach to blockchain is South Korea. Just a week after announcing changes to its regulatory codes placing crypto investments on a similar footing to other securities, the peninsula has now said that the risk posed by crypto investments is “insignificant.”
A report published by the Bank of Korea found that $1.79 billion of crypto is held in Korean accounts, representing around 8% of all deposits, a figure it seems happy to live with. The report concluded that crypto holdings have “a limited impact on the South Korean financial market.” Importantly, the document covered the period late last year when cryptos were at the height of the bull run that saw Bitcoin change hands for up to $20,000. It is hoped that the conciliatory language being spoken in Seoul will lead to full state regulation and a reversal of the ban on ICOs that has been in place since last year.
Markets Steady After A Week of Consolidation
There were no Friday shocks to send the markets into spasms this week, and the slow but steady progress of the previous week continued.
Ether (ETH) opened the week at $453, but rapidly gained ground, trading at around $480 midweek, breaking through the $500 mark on Sunday for the first time since the 22nd of June. XRP peaked earlier, climbing to $.51 on Tuesday from a Monday opening of $.46. It too saw the week out strongly, trading for just under the fifty cent mark for much of the weekend. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) gained more than $50 in value on Monday alone, from its opening $739 to $798; Tuesday saw its week-high of $819 but it was volatile at times toward the weekend, swinging back to $705 on Friday before stabilizing in the $780s. It was a better week for EOS too, gaining $1 in value in 24 hours from its opening of $8.14, before breaking through the $9 mark with a high of $9.39 midweek. There was steady but unremarkable recovery in the Litecoin markets too, opening at $80.27, peaking at $89 on Tuesday and settling in the mid-eighties by the weekend. See current prices here.
With regulators sending mixed messages and news breaking that Facebook had hired a blockchain engineer, it was a positive week on the markets, leaving us feeling that June’s madness may finally be behind us.