Welcome to the weekly briefing presenting developments in blockchain and fintech industry from the Billon's point of view. This week we are focusing on Coinbase and its spectacular public debut. We have also however noticed digital currency developments in Sweden and Saudi Arabia, as well as some unsettling research by Microsoft-affiliated scientists. They believe that we all live in a self-learning computer - terryfying, right?! Let's go!
The Swedish central bank concluded the first phase of digital currency trials and presented the results from its early trials in a recently published report. The report detailing its experiences so far of using the system backed by R3 Corda platform. The bank said it was able to identify several key issues that need resolving before a wider public rollout could be sanctioned. According to the Riksbank, the main obstacle encountered during the trial was scalability, which it identified as a potential bottleneck to adoption.
In the meantime the Saudi’s national bank has entered into a blockchain agreement with Ripple. The deal is to help banks in the kingdom settle payments using the Ripple software as the Gulf regulator begin to explore new forms of financial technology. This becomes the first to be launched any country’s central bank across the globe. It will also will allow banks to instantly settle payments sent in and out of the kingdom using the Ripple blockchain software.
Meanwhile, the digitalization of the renminbi found its way to "Financial Times". The newspaper believes it will have a durable, transformative impact on the international economy. China's digital currency is a threat to dollar dominance. And what's more Beijing's ambitions could spur acceptance of the currency as a main rival to USD - "FT" notes.
Boom! Shares of Coinbase, US largest crypto exchange, skyrocketed nearly 60% within minutes of their public-market debut on Wednesday. This propelled the nine-year-old company’s market capitalization to more than 12 times its last private valuation of $8 billion in 2018. The soaring stock price boosted the firm’s market capitalization to roughly $105 billion. In result Coinbase became of the 100 most valuable publicly traded companies in the United States.
However, Coinbase had a long way to the top. When co-founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam first started the company in 2012, “a bitcoin was worth $6 and only known by a few nerds on the internet,” CNBC noticed.
Gearing up for Coinbase's public market debut, bitcoin nabbed a new record price above $63,250 Tuesday morning. However it managed to lose $10K in the following days. Meanwhile, Bank of America is warning an overwhelming majority of fund managers around the world think bitcoin is just a bubble. That is at least according to its monthly survey.
Collaboration is at the heart of business life. Nonetheless, a successful one does not come easily. There is, however, one tool that may fundamentally change how collaborations work and simplify partnerships: blockchains. In this article by "Harvard Business Review" its experts point out how savvy managers can leverage blockchain solutions to their advantage.
Finally, a team of theoretical physicists working with Microsoft published an amazing pre-print research paper describing the universe as a self-learning system of evolutionary laws. In other words: We live inside a computer that learns. Some deep read for Monday!
And that's all for now. See you next week!
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