February 21

Principal members of Visa are financial institutions authorized to issue some types of payment cards. In theory, Coinbase could issue cards to other crypto companies, though it’s not clear if it plans to use that power immediately.

Membership will enable us to offer more features for Coinbase Card customers; from additional services to support in more markets — all elements that will help to evolve and enrich the cryptocurrency payment experience.

The debit card allows users to spend cryptocurrency as cash anywhere Visa is accepted. The card has since been made available in 29 markets with 10 cryptocurrencies supported.”

“The Paxos Settlement Service has gone live, allowing for the simultaneous exchange of cash and a select number of U.S.-listed securities on Paxos’ own private version of ethereum. It’s also the first time since the formation of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) that U.S. equities are settling in an automated manner in an outside system.

Building on this, Paxos said it will apply to the SEC in 2020 to become a fully registered clearing agency. Only seven such licenses exist in the U.S., and attaining one means Paxos can offer the new blockchain service to all broker-dealers to settle U.S.-listed equities.”

“According to the Wall Street Journal, the consolidation will give Morgan Stanley an inroad with E*Trade’s 5.2 million retail investors in what will be Wall Street’s largest deal since the 2008 financial crisis. Despite lagging in assets, E*Trade’s client base is far larger than Morgan Stanley’s three million.

It may also bring the wealth management giant closer to cryptocurrency markets. E*Trade reportedly toyed with launching a bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) trading platform in April 2019. That service could now get wrapped into Morgan Stanley’s.”

See Also: HSBC to Drop 35,000 Jobs and Invest in Digital Finance

This is very cool!

Nexus Mutual – a decentralized insurance protocol – has officially accepted its first round of claims following the bZx flash loan attack from this past weekend. With Nexus Mutual paying out their first claims, the importance of insurance is being realized by the broader DeFi community.

At the time of the attack, Nexus Mutual had 6 members who took out covers on bZx. In total, there was around ~$87,000 in coverage on the bZx smart contracts. All accepted claims immediately received their payouts once the voting closed.

The paper concludes that lightning has an “unequal wealth distribution” with a smaller percentage of nodes on the network gradually accumulating a larger proportion of bitcoin.

Engineer Christian Decker, a lightning engineer at bitcoin tech startup Blockstream and one of the paper’s authors, said he is not worried about this state of affairs lasting. This trend toward centralization is “likely temporary.”

In a similar what-could-go-wrong exercise, Hebrew University researchers released a paper this week showing how to execute a “congestion attack” on the lightning network, making it tough to send payments. This hypothetical attack costs only about $4,000 at press time to significantly disrupt the network.”

The pilot program will be in operation for one year, until February 2021.

If and when the e-krona formally launches for use by the public, the idea is that this blockchain-powered currency would drive conventional payments and banking activities throughout the country. Instead of swiping a credit card or spending fiat currency, everyday transacting can move to the blockchain.

See Also: Brazil’s Central Bank to Launch Near-Instant Payments as a Response to Cryptocurrencies
See Also: Dubai Gov’t to Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium in Q1 2020

“As Libra is still a project, and thereby a moving target, the information provided remains insufficient for determining the precise nature of Libra and, by extension, its relation with existing EU law.

But he said the Commission wants to “act swiftly” in creating regulations for Libra, stablecoins and other EU crypto-asset projects.

Decentraland opened for gameplay on Thursday. For regular gamers, Decentraland may be a new kind of experience, what they call a “metaverse” where different game properties can meet in a shared virtual world. And since it’s on the ethereum blockchain, the “stuff” in that world is transferable (and sellable) beyond it.

Either way, there’s an estimated $100,000 worth of digital goods to be found for early explorers. There will be 15 intro games set up in the virtual world to introduce players to Decentraland’s mechanics. Players going through these games can get prizes and treasures from playing.

It’s the first virtual world that’s based on blockchain technology. I think you will be able to make a profit by playing. It’s something new in that regard.”

The SEC has forced crypto project Enigma to return the funds raised in a $45 million ICO in 2017 to harmed investors. It has also charged the project $500,000 for selling unregistered securities. Enigma will now need to register its tokens as securities, and file periodic reports with the SEC.

Enigma is a project focused on providing privacy for decentralized applications.

This settlement clears the way for our development team to focus fully on our original and continued vision.”

“Venture capitalist Tim Draper has taken a 1 million ANT stake in Aragon, a decentralized governance project on ethereum. The Switzerland-based Aragon Association is attempting to build a digital judicial system for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and its own Aragon network.

Aragon Association Executive Director Luis Cuende said Draper came on board after seeing the Aragon court go live.”

“Samsung Electronics’ newly launched Galaxy smartphone will come with the same crypto storage facilities found on previous models. Cryptocurrency private key storage will be available as standard across the entire S20 range.

The Korean tech giant said the phone’s security system includes a new ‘secure processor dedicated to protecting your PIN, password, pattern and Blockchain Private Key.‘”