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INSTITUTION

JP Morgan to Tokenize its Gold Bars on its Own Blockchain

Actual ‘digital gold’

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.

How the tokenization works

Umar Farooq, JP Morgan’s head of blockchain initiatives, described the process of bringing a physical gold bar onto the blockchain:

“They wrap a gold bar into a tamper-proof case electronically tagged, and they can track the gold bar from the mine to end point – with the use case being, if you know it’s a socially responsible mine, someone will be willing to pay a higher spread on that gold versus if you don’t know where it comes from. Diamonds is another example.”A little more about Quorum

Quorum is a fork of Ethereum developed by JP Morgan for enterprise use cases, such as tokenizing gold. JP Morgan could be considered an ‘Ethereum maximalist’. The company praises the protocol for its decentralization and performance.

Quorum may eventually be spun out of JP Morgan to its own entity. The company is researching numerous use cases for the blockchain network.


SPACE

ConsenSys Wants to Mine…Asteroids?

Turning toward space

According to a press release published yesterday, ConsenSys Inc. has acquired Planetary Resources Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2009, Planetary Resources is on a mission to collect the natural resources available in the solar system by exploring asteroids. The venture brings hopes that the newly found asteroid resources will bring “a new paradigm of travel and human presence in space.”

Since ConsenSys is traditionally a blockchain software company that invests in blockchain-related startups, it’s interesting that CEO Joseph Lubin has turned towards space exploration.

Enter Ethereum

According to the press release, Planetary Resources will help ConsenSys bring Ethereum’s capabilities to facilitate the next frontier’s commerce.

Speaking on the subject, Lubin commented:

“Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution.”Planetary Resources is only one project in a portfolio of ventures that have hopes to decentralize different industries.


INTERNATIONAL

Venezuela’s State Crypto ‘Petro’ is Now Available for Sale

Background on Petro

In December of last year, the government announced that they are establishing a national cryptocurrency to combat the hyperinflation problem. The government-backed coin is called ‘Petro’ and is claimed to be backed by the country’s oil reserves.

The hyperinflation has been caused by the country’s central bank endlessly printing more currency to pay for the massive deficit the government is running. The economic effect has been even more severe than the Great Depression and the impact of the falling of communism on Russia.

As a result of the hyperinflation, it now costs 1,000,000 bolivars to buy a cup of coffee (29 US cents) and rather than counting bills, merchants instead resort to weighing stacks of cash to estimate its value.

Now for sale

Months in the making, Petro is now available for sale to the public. Venezuelan citizens are able to buy the digital currency with either Bitcoin or Litecoin via a web portal controlled by the government.

Now that it is available to the public, we will finally see if this idea can complete its mission of slowing the hyperinflation. Some have been skeptical of how the government has managed this crypto issuance, but it will ultimately be the citizen’s decision if the crypto is trustworthy.


KNOW THE NUMBERS

Affluent Millennials and Crypto

In a new study released by Edelman, crypto seems to be popular among affluent millennials aged 24-38.

The study covered multiple different topics but most interesting was the demographics interaction with cryptocurrencies.

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Perhaps surprising is the trust that this demographic has in blockchain as 74% believe blockchain will make the global financial system more secure.

In addition, 31% of the group is interested in using cryptocurrency but only 25% actually use or hold cryptocurrency – showing possible room for growth.