Category: unbankd

Unbankd: JP Morgan to Tokenize its Gold Bars on its Own Blockchain

JP Morgan has unveiled plans to tokenize gold bars on its blockchain Quorum. The bank is turning to blockchain to reduce the friction involved in commodities trading.

The tokenization of a commodity like gold reduces the costs and risks for traders. It also permits two parties to complete a transaction without the need of a third party, such as a broker. Quorum even allows people outside of JP Morgan to tokenize their gold.

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Unbankd: Happy 10th Birthday Bitcoin

10 years ago, Satoshi, arguably the most famous anonymous person (or group of people) ever, released a paper describing Bitcoin.

On that day – October 31st, 2008 – a beast was born that would aim to completely revolutionize the way governments, institutions, and individuals interacted with each other financially.

In celebration of Bitcoin’s 10th birthday, we’ve decided to share 3 of the most fascinating features of the world’s first cryptocurrency.

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Unbankd: Big Four Firms ‘Have No Choice’ But to Offer Crypto and Blockchain Services

Cue the Big Four
When it comes to tax audit and consulting, four firms come to mine. Nicknamed the “Big Four”, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Ernst & Young (EY) have dominated the professional services industry since the turn of the 21st century.

Now, with pressure on each firm to deliver or risk falling behind, they are beginning to focus on cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Not only is this a smart move, it’s necessary. According to Jeanne Boillet, global assurance innovation leader at EY, moving into the blockchain and cryptocurrency space is a “no-brainer” because “[they] have no choice.”

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Unbankd: MapleChange’s Exit Scam is Terrible, But It’s Nothing New

Yesterday, MapleChange, a small Canadian-based cryptocurrency exchange, tweeted that it was “hacked” but it seems that all signs are pointing to an apparent exit scam instead.

Allegedly, hackers exploited a bug on the platform and were able to withdraw user funds amounting to almost $6 million. Though MapleChange stated it was performing an investigation, it made sure to reiterate that it could not refund any user funds and that they are “extremely sorry that it has to come to end like this.”

However, despite MapleChange’s statement, the crypto community won’t buy it.

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Unbankd: Now is Your Time, Bitcoin

Mania is over
We all remember the ludicrous run-up Bitcoin had at the end of last year. During this time investors were filled with euphoria and thought that Bitcoin would never go down again… but it did.

Almost a year later, many of the investors that were caught up in the mania are left dejected and capitulated. Bitcoin had erased about 70% of the gains it made in just a few weeks. Bitcoin was a bubble and it popped.

This doesn’t mean it’s over for Bitcoin. The crypto market has endured these sort of price movements time and time again. The price is very much based on speculation right now. We probably got ahead of ourselves last December, but since then we have been able to recalibrate.

We now have a clearer image of Bitcoin’s role in our world. The ecosystem is growing and people are no longer looking at Bitcoin as a craze.

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Unbankd: Bitcoin is Coming to Ethereum Early Next Year

Introducing WBTC
Announced yesterday, a joint effort between BitGo, Kyber Network, and Republic Protocol has produced Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) – a token that runs on the Ethereum network, but is tied to the value of Bitcoin.

This means that for the first time, users will be able to have both the stability and value of Bitcoin while also utilizing Ethereum’s platform to unlock new applications for the world’s oldest cryptocurrency.

However, to make all of this happen, there are moving parts behind the scenes to bring WBTC full circle.

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Unbankd: Ripple Sold $163 Million XRP in the Last Quarter

XRP is a hot commodity (or security?)
In its quarterly report, Ripple Labs disclosed that it sold more than $163 million worth of XRP tokens to investors. However, these sales accounted for only a half of a percent of XRP’s total trading volume during the quarter.

During this period, XRP has been one of the top performing tokens. The price currently sits at around $0.457 which is very near to where it began the quarter. This was during a time when many cryptocurrencies lost a significant portion of their value.

Below is a graph comparing how XRP faired against the overall market during the quarter.

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Unbankd: Tether Burns 500 Million USDT

Burn baby burn
Crypto’s largest stablecoin, Tether (USDT), has just burned 500 million tokens. Tether Ltd., the stablecoin’s issuer, moved the tokens to a wallet where they can’t be removed from, taking them out of circulation.

🔥 What is a token burn? A token burn occurs when a specified amount of tokens are sent to an address where the private keys are unobtainable, thus “burning” the circulating supply and increasing the value of all outstanding tokens. In Tether’s case, this is happening because investors are redeeming their USDT for U.S. dollars.

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Unbankd: Coinbase Goes Two for Two on Announcements

Yesterday, Coinbase made two announcements that only further the platform’s strength in the cryptocurrency industry.

Coinbase received approval to launch custody services in New York
Coinbase will list the USDC stablecoin after announcing a new joint venture with Circle
The two milestones are notable in Coinbase’s mission to help cryptocurrencies reach mass adoptio

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Unbankd: Breaking Down Bakkt’s Upcoming Bitcoin Futures

Yesterday, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced that its new platform Bakkt will be launching Bitcoin futures trading on December 12th.

Previously, Bakkt was set to open up shop in November. Though there was no obvious reason given for the delay, ICE did note that the platform still has “pending regulatory approval.”

However, if all goes smoothly, expect to see yet another entry point for institutions to dip their toes in the crypto market.

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Unbankd: Fighting Centralization with Forks

Sia forks from ASICs
This week, Sia formally announced the code that will activate a hard fork, or rather, upgrade the blockchain to avoid ASIC miners from taking over the network.

The move doesn’t come as a surprise for the $264 million decentralized cloud storage protocol. Actually, it’s a path that multiple other coins in the industry have chosen to make sure that the mining process stays decentralized among participants.

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Unbankd: North Korean Hacking Group has Stolen More Than Half a Billion Dollars

Stolen crypto traced back to North Korea
According to research done by cybersecurity firm Group-IB, a North Korea hacking group is behind a majority of the crypto exchanges hacks that happened over the last couple of years. The group is known as “Lazarus” and is sponsored by the North Korean government.

Group-IB’s research of exchange hackings found that Lazarus is responsible for five exchange hacks since the beginning of 2017. In total, the group was able to steal a whopping $571 million spread between five different attacks on exchanges.

Below is a table displaying all of the exchange hacks of the last two years, noting the ones done by Lazarus:

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