Well hello there, awesome people! I hope your journey through life is going well on this fine Friday. On my end, and as I usually do, I’ve been keeping myself informed of the happenings in the crypto world, and today have another installment of Crypto News for you.
So what’s been going on these last few weeks? Well, three big names are warming up to crypto: IBM, Steven Cohen, and Mastercard. Let’s dive in.
Mastercard Gets Patent for a Means to Speed Up Crypto Payments
I still remember the days when credit cards were processed analog-ly, when merchants used those big machines that had a roller that ran over the credit card, pressing the information into carbon paper. You know, one of these:
So a lot’s changed, including the fact that Mastercard has been granted a patent for a system to speed up crypto payments. If implemented, “…the company would be offering a new type of user account able to transact in cryptocurrencies through existing systems for fiat currencies. This account would link a series of profiles able to identify a user’s ‘fiat currency amount, a blockchain currency amount, an account identifier and an address.'” Moreover, “the transactions themselves would use the fiat currency’s payment rails and security features, but each transaction would represent a cryptocurrency.”
Ok, so I think this just goes to show that big, established companies see future potential for cryptocurrencies, and are willing to invest time and money into related technologies. A good sign, if you ask me.
IBM in Partnership to Launch a Stable, Dollar-Backed Crypto
This reminds of the gold standard, where my understanding is that you could technically exchange currency for gold. In a similar way, IBM has partnered with a company called Stronghold, which is launching a cryptocurrency featuring tokens that are backed by actual US dollars deposited in FDIC-insured bank accounts by a Nevada-chartered trust company. This means that the “coin”, called USD Anchor, will essentially offer the benefits of other cryptos, without the wild swings in value.
For example, you might be able to move money internationally without going through the hassles of foreign currency exchange, and without the need for intermediary financial institutions.
There is already a coin that is backed by dollars (called Tether), but the dollars behind it are not FDIC-insured and not under the control of a state-chartered trust company.
Might this be a “bridge” between monetary systems, in the same way that history brought us currencies backed by precious metals, and then the fiat system of today?
Hedge Fund Billionaire’s Venture Capital Firm Gets Involved with Crypto
When a hedge fund billionaire invests in something, it always piques my interest because, well, they wouldn’t be billionaires if they didn’t have investing chops. So my ears perked up when I heard that Steven Cohen is getting involved, since “Cohen Private Ventures, which was launched by Cohen’s family office in 2010, has invested [in] Autonomous Partners, a new hedge fund that is acquiring both cryptocurrencies and equity in blockchain-related companies.”
It seems as though this firm (Autonomous Partners) is putting its money mainly into companies developing the infrastructure around cryptocurrencies, rather than cryptos themselves. For example, it may invest in “…firms that seek to speed up financial transactions, those in the cryptocurrency infrastructure space, privacy coins which help anonymize ownership, and companies seeking to address the issue of blockchain scalability.”
Like other news, I view this as an encouraging sign, and one that shows that crypto is not just the realm of basement hackers, but is instead seeing lots of interest from very rich and powerful people.