This Week In Crypto is a weekly segment from the Live Coin Watch News team, providing readers with a fun, succinct, and pertinent summary of the most important Bitcoin-related events in the past seven days.
This Week in Crypto:
- Crypto Crisis: PayPal Leaves Libra Association: Libra, the crypto project founded by Facebook, has just suffered a heavy blow according to a number of sources. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal on Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the fintech giant, PayPal, said that the company has decided to “forgo further participation” in the project. Despite this, they added that PayPal continues to support Libra’s mission to democratize finance, and will thus keep its options open with Facebook in the future. This announcement comes shortly after sources to the Financial Times said that PayPal representatives did not make an appearance at a Libra-focused event in Washington.
- Mastercard, Visa, Stripe Also Skeptical of Libra: In similar news, sources told Bloomberg that Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe are currently hesitant to sign the Libra Association’s inaugural charter in fear of angering regulators, most of which have expressed heavy reservations about crypto, the people said. Bloomberg’s sources added that the four payment giants’ executives believe that Facebook “oversold the extent to which regulators were comfortable with the project” and are fearful about the social media giant’s historical handling of data privacy.
- Apple CEO Not Excited About Crypto Trend: In an interview with French publication Les Echos, Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, quipped that crypto assets are not something that Apple is pursuing at the moment. Cook argued that currency is something that should “stay in the hands of states.” The technology executive went on to say that he isn’t comfortable with “the idea of a private group setting up a competing currency”, seemingly referencing Facebook’s Libra. Cook’s assertion that Apple will not have its own crypto asset comes after an Apple executive told CNN earlier this year that the technology behemoth is “watching cryptocurrency”, as they believe it has “interesting long-term potential”.
- BitPay to Add XRP Support: Announced in a press release published on Wednesday morning, Atlanta-based crypto payments giant BitPay has partnered with Ripple’s developer initiative, Xpring, to enable XRP payments through “BitPay’s merchant processing and cross-border payments platform safely, securely, and compliantly.” This payment method will be activated by the end of the year. Speaking on the matter of the recent move, BitPay’s Sean Rolland remarked that XRP payments are important as they are “fast, cost-effective and scalable”. Ethan Beard, the Senior Vice President of Xpring, also expressed his excitement, quipping that this partnership with XRP will be “key in advancing the proliferation and adoption of XRP as a medium of exchange to help solve real-world problems.”
- ConsenSys Acquires Ethereum Infrastructure Provider Infura: Ethereum development studio ConsenSys has just fully acquired Infura, an infrastructure provider that is believed to handle a large portion of the code requests that are on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Ethereum “DeFi” DApp Bags $2.4 Million in Funding From Top Crypto VCs: Announced in a blog published at the turn of the month, InstaDApp, an Ethereum DeFi portal that aggregates major protocols “using a smart wallet layer and bridge contracts”, has bagged some $2.4 million in funding from investors like Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, Robot Ventures, and IDEO Colab, prominent Silicon Valley investor Naval Ravikant, former Coinbase executive Balaji Srinivasan, “amongst many others”. Coupled with the funding, InstaDApp brings on Edward Moncada, CEO of Blockfolio and “Ming Ng, who collaborates closely with prominent projects including Handshake, Kyber, and Blockfolio,” to its advisory board.
- German Bank Expects Bitcoin Price Appreciation: According to a recent report from Munich-based financial institution Bayerische Landesbank, Bitcoin’s block reward reduction in 2020 will give the cryptocurrency a fair valuation of $90,000 per coin, implying that “the forthcoming halving effect has hardly been priced into the current Bitcoin price of approximately USD 8,000.”
- Ripple Makes Large Acquisition: Last week, fintech upstart Ripple revealed that it had acquired Algrim, a cryptocurrency trading firm based in the Nordic country. This move marks the company’s latest expansion into Europe. According to the announcement, this new team, which formerly focused on developing a crypto trading platform, will be focused on leveraging their skills to develop Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity product, which uses the XRP token as a means to settle and process cross-border payments.
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