A news digest of what happened in the crypto world this past month, September 2018:
- Major financial institutions are actively entering the cryptocurrency space. Morgan Stanley has been preparing to offer bitcoin derivative trading for its clients, Fidelity is working on releasing new crypto products by the end of the year, and JPMorgan expanded its blockchain payments trial by adding 75 new banks to it.
- Tech giants are also embracing cryptocurrency. Google partially lifted its ban on cryptocurrency ads, while IBM is showing active interest in blockchain by announcing a new payments network based on Stellar and joining the “yellow pages of blockchain” as a founding member.
Innovation and New Research
- Significant industry developments included the launch of a new stablecoin called “Gemini dollar” pegged to USD, the first regulated digital currency of its kind (Paxos then also launched a similar coin). The Ripple (XRP) price also surged to such an extent that it briefly overtook Ethereum (ETH) for the #2 spot by market cap.
- New research suggests that trading volume for cryptocurrency will grow 50% next year, and a famed investor said that developer activity in crypto rivals the early days of the internet. Other studies suggested the positive impact that blockchain can have worldwide: boosting trade by $1 trillion dollars, having a light environmental footprint, and providing solutions for global issues.
Government Interest in Crypto
- Lawmakers and industry leaders are pushing the federal government to develop smart regulations for cryptocurrency, even criticizing the IRS for its lack of guidance on the topic. A new Washington-based lobby group for the blockchain industry was established, and Congress introduced bills supporting crypto technology.
- Various sectors of the federal government are already actively testing blockchain to improve their own operations, tripling their investment in blockchain analysis firms this year. The U.S. Navy launched its own blockchain research project to help with the logistics of tracking aircraft parts.