This Week in Crypto:
- Bakkt Starts to Store Bitcoin for Institutional Clients Prior to Futures Launch: This week, Bakkt finally launched its Bitcoin custody product, giving institutions a way to securely store their BTC via the new platform. “Today our Warehouse opens for customer bitcoin deposits and withdrawals as we prepare for the Bakkt Bitcoin Daily & Monthly Futures, launching September 23. The availability of physical delivery brings more flexibility in managing bitcoin exposure,” the platform announced in a recent tweet. Analysts expect this new platform to revolutionize how institutional investors invest in Bitcoin; some even think that Bakkt will kick off Bitcoin’s rally to fresh all-time highs.
- Ethereum Istanbul Testnet Integration Pushed Back: Sorry Ethereum fans, Istanbul hasn’t happened yet. The upgrade (or at least the testnet iteration), which is expected to bring the popular blockchain a number of improvements and changes, was recently pushed back by the core developer team. According to CoinDesk, Hudson Jameson, a community manager at the Ethereum Foundation, told developers in a call on Friday that Istanbul’s testnet activation date will be pushed to October 2nd from the original tentative September 4th date. According to the developers, the later date is due to an influx of Ethereum Improvement Protocols submitted for review for the upgrade.
- VanEck Launches Institutional-Centric Bitcoin Product: On Tuesday, VanEck Securities Corp. and SolidX Management LLC, two pro-crypto firms that are behind a leading Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application, revealed that they were going to be proactive, launching a workaround product. According to Bloomberg, they said that by utilizing a certain rule of a historical securities act, the duo would be able to issue shares in the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to qualified institutional investors. VanEck’s head of ETF product, Ed Lopez, is hopeful that institutional demand for Bitcoin will materialize in demand for this new “clear” product.
- China Confirms ‘Deets’ About Centralized Crypto: Speaking of central banks, an official of the People’s Bank of China purportedly stated that the new centralized crypto will be supported across major e-payments platforms, including WeChat Pay and Alipay. Mu Changchun added that the tokens are effectively digital versions of the yuan.
- Apple Sees Potential in Cryptocurrency, Yet Unlikely to Take the Plunge Yet: Speaking to CNN, Apple finds cryptocurrency “interesting” — whatever that means. Jennifer Bailey, vice president at Apple Pay, explained in an interview that the topic has “interesting long-term potential”, but added that right now, Apple’s digital payments ecosystem is only focused on “what consumers are using today”. While this statement was short and seemingly forcefully nebulous, Bailey seems to be hinting that should digital assets gain enough traction, Apple may delve into the crypto game.
- Samsung Launches a Crypto-Centric Iteration of Galaxy Note 10: According to a Wall Street Journal Article published Thursday, South Korean technology behemoth Samsung is launching an iteration of its flagship smartphone — the Galaxy Note 10 — centered around crypto and blockchain. Dubbed the “KlaytnPhone”, a name attributed to the device in reference to social media firm Kakao’s blockchain, the Samsung phone will purportedly only be sold in South Korea. It, the report states, is effectively identical to the stock Note 10. But, it will sport a pre-installed crypto wallet and certain blockchain applications. Also, owners of the device will purportedly be sent some of the Klay cryptocurrency (too bad it’s not Bitcoin, eh?), the currency of Klaytn.
- Akon Talks Up Bitcoin In Front of Millions: “Cryptocurrencies are actually much more stable than fiat money” may read like any old tweet from a Bitcoin maximalist, but this was the opening declaration legendary artist Akon made in an interview with The Breakfast Club, a radio show followed by millions. As he explains, unlike government-issued fiat money, Bitcoin is “ultimately more controlled by the people” than the dollar, having a decentralized verification model and a transparent issuance/inflation schedule.
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