Thai Central Bank Set to Launch Own Cryptocurrency
The Governor of the Central Bank of Thailand has piqued the interest of the blockchain world by announcing that it may soon launch its own digital currency. The initial purpose of the coin would be to reduce the delays and fees involved in settling payment between banks. In his keynote address at the Nomura Investment Forum Asia this week, Veerathai Santiprabhob said the bank is working closely with the fintech industry to bring blockchain technology to “various banking applications”.
Central Bank Issued Digital Currencies, or CBDC’s, are also under consideration in Sweden and Norway and pose an interesting dilemma for the cryptocurrency enthusiast. While blockchain adoption by States is seen as a good thing, there are fears that countries launching their own cryptocurrencies may dilute the overall effect of decentralization at the heart of many blockchain endeavors.
‘World’s First’ Crypto Art Auction to sell Andy Warhol Painting
Blockchain platform Maecenas looks set to enjoy its ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ with the announcement this week that it will hold the world’s first “cryptocurrency art auction”. The sale of ‘Small Electric Chairs’ by Andy Warhol, will give investors the chance to purchase a percentage interest in the artwork, which is currently valued at $5.6 million.
49% of the painting will be available to token buyers through the Maecenas platform, enabling investors -who would never otherwise be able to afford a piece of fine art at auction- a stake in the future value of the artwork. The sale is being coordinated in association with the Dadiani Syndicate and will take place on June 20th.
EOS Mainnet Finally Launched
EOS holders and supporters will be relieved to hear that the project finally launched its mainnet this week after months of speculation and controversy. The project launched by Block.One, raised over $4 billion during its year-long ICO, but as recently as last month Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 notified EOS that it had discovered “a series of epic vulnerabilities” in the system and the Mainnet launch was pushed back several times to fix bugs.
To confuse matters further, the Mainnet has been launched but isn’t actually “live” yet. Why? Because EOS holders are voting to select the 21 block producers needed to mine coins and validate transactions on the blockchain. 15% of all tokens must be staked for the vote to take place, and as this is happening slowly, it’s anybody’s guess when EOS will be finally up and running. With a handful of ‘whales’ owning over half the EOS tokens, there is little doubt that the big guns are watching and waiting. And if there is one thing EOS supporters have learned over the year-long ICO, it is how to be patient.
Switzerland says no to “Sovereign Money”
Switzerland has gained a reputation as a Crypto Nation, thanks to its blockchain hub in Zug and attractive tax laws. However, Switzerland has voted not to adopt Sovereign money, which commentators have compared to Bitcoin. Sovereign Money was developed to end the issuing of loans by banks without the capital to back them up.
Under the plan, the Central Bank would have been the only institution that could produce money. While the decision to keep to the current system may seem like a setback to some, Emma Dawnay, board member of the group behind the initiative, told Forbes that “blockchain technology could be how the Swiss government could try to bring debt free new money into the economy.” So it looks like some variation of this system may be adopted in the future.
Altcoin Markets Take A Hit
Altcoins showed steady progress this week until Sunday when they suffered a sharp decline. Ethereum (ETH) opened the week at $617, before dropping to $580 on Tuesday. It climbed back to the $600 mark, staying there until Sunday, when the price suddenly plummeted to a weekly low of $520. Ripple (XRP) opened the week at $0.70, before sliding back to $0.64 on Monday. Although by Sunday it had dipped dramatically, reaching its lowest price of $0.58. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) had another rollercoaster week, opening on Monday at $1200, before sliding back to $1068 on Tuesday. It then showed some recovery on Wednesday, before dropping to $1092 on Sunday. EOS is still the fourth biggest altcoin despite a tumultuous week that saw its Monday price of $14.67 plummet to $12.97 by Tuesday but it then recovered to $14.69 on Friday, before closing the week at $12.10. Finally, Litecoin (LTC) began the week at $126 before it too dipped, dropping to $116 on Tuesday, but getting back up to $122 by Thursday. It remained steady before dipping to a low of $105 on Sunday. There is no doubt that the hacking of Coinrail on Sunday spooked the markets, making its presence felt across the board, but particularly affecting Ethereum. EOS might have expected to gain with its mainnet launch, but fears over vulnerabilities continue to cause volatility here too. Bitcoin Cash didn’t suffer quite as much as Ethereum this week, but appears to have lost some of the momentum it had in May.