This week the integration of blockchain and Bitcoin into everyday life comes into sharper focus. Employees can already get paid in cryptocurrency but Bitcoin 401 (k) pension plans have just arrived. Facebook’s Calibra has rebranded as Novi as it gears up to launch near-instant, fee-free payments for 2 billion users across WhatsApp and Messenger. Wall Street banks will take over crypto infrastructure in the next two years because so many customers want crypto in their portfolio. France declares its digital Euro pilot a success and US lawmakers consider the next regulatory stage with an Advancing Blockchain Act, as fears grow over China’s blockchain innovation and supremacy on the world stage.
facebook’s calibra stablecoin wallet rebrands to novi as launch nears [26 May 2020]
Facebook’s Libra stablecoin wallet has rebranded from Calibra to Novi as the social media and advertising giant prepares for launch. After months of regulatory wrangling Facebook is pinning its hopes on Libra as a giant new revenue source for the company. It promises sending money will be “as easy as sending a message”. Novi will work as a standalone app, as well as in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, connecting more than 2 billion users to fee-free payments that settle near instantly. User data is at its heart for AML and CFT protections, as all Novi customers will be verified using government-issued ID. Read more here.
household wall street names will take over crypto infrastructure [23 May 2020]
Global investment banks like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo will take over crypto infrastructure in the next two years, predicts LMAX Digital CEO David Mercer. “They’ll provide custody, they’ll provide credit to their customer,” he predicts. And the exchanges with the best liquidity will be in prime position to profit. More asset managers and fund managers will want access to crypto, driven by growing customer demand. Read more here.
US congressman pushes ‘advancing blockchain act’ on fears of china supremacy [20 May 2020]
Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie has put forward a pair of linked bills to advance America’s position at the forefront of blockchain and AI. At the heart of this is an existential fear over China’s blockchain advances. “We cannot let China beat us,” writes Guthrie. Read more here.
digital euro test a success, says france’s central bank [20 May 2020]
A test of what could become the digital Euro was “successful”, according to France’s central bank and Société Générale. The investment banking giant issued €40 million of covered bonds as security tokens which were settled in the central bank’s blockchain-based digital Euros. Central Bank Digital Currencies are the first major institutional finance application of blockchain and with China’s success, are already changing the way banks and governments think about money. Read more here.
bitwage rolls out bitcoin 401(k) pension plan with gemini [26 May 2020]
The integration of Bitcoin into everyday life continues as Bitwage rolls out a 401(k) plan for Bitcoin, something it calls a world first. Bitwage already offers employers the option to pay their staff in cryptocurrency. But employee pensions can now contain Bitcoin, with the San Francisco firm starting to offer the service to US companies. Read more here.