This week kicked off with a bang in the crypto world. Ripple reported record-highs, The Simpsons predicted the future again, and the Libra welcomed a new member. All this and more – let’s jump right in.
San-Francisco blockchain giant Ripple Inc. has been named among the top 100 most important cross-border payments companies globally by financial data provider FXC intelligence. It was the only crypto-related company to make the list.
Luno is in the process of adding Ripple’s XRP to our platform. More information about this addition is coming soon, but in the meantime, check out our announcement blog and keep your eyes peeled on our social channels to learn more.
Employers can spot lies on resumes using blockchain technology
EagleCheck, a Barcelona-based startup created by five students, has created a platform using Hyperledger technology that allows employers to check the backgrounds of job applicants. The technology is designed to spot inconsistencies on resumes, automating the process and saving employers time, money, and, of course, the hassle of erroneously hiring unqualified employees.
Lucas Gil Cantón, CEO of EagleCheck, explained that “CV fraud has become so commonplace that many dishonest applicants go unnoticed. This could be due to growing pressure to fill positions quickly, since a survey conducted by SimplyHired found that 85% of job applicants lie. Meanwhile, 46% of hiring managers don’t check references, and 65% don’t check a candidate’s education.”
EagleCheck was founded with seed funding from Mousebelt Accelerator, a Silicon Valley-based CV firm. Cantón explains, “Our decentralised platform helps background detection companies find information more easily and quickly. Our software uploads the resume information, performs a data integrity check, and once we check that what’s there is real, we give the green light.”
New Jersey lawmaker files new crypto bill
A lawmaker in New Jersey has introduced a new bill that, if passed and signed into law, would require cryptocurrency businesses to obtain a license to operate in the state. According to an official announcement, the “Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act” aims to strengthen consumer protection laws in the cryptocurrency space.
The legislation states that firms would need to obtain approval from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, or another state that has agreements with the New Jersey government.
To apply for a license, firms would need to submit their legal names, fictitious or trade names, licensing and legal history, as well as their anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing policies. They’d also have to disclose a schedule of fees, their compliance status with the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation, and information on potential market risks.
Assemblywoman and the bill’s primary sponsor, Yvonne Lopez said in a statement: “Throughout New Jersey, there are ATMs that dispense Bitcoins. People see and hear about it in their day to day lives, but most are not quite sure what it is. We must take steps to protect consumers looking to invest in cryptocurrency, while also allowing the sector to continue to develop and expand in New Jersey.”
The Simpsons is well known for being the longest-running animated television sitcom ever. They’ve also accurately predicted the future a couple of times, no big deal.
In their most recent episode, titled Frinkcoin, Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory appeared as a guest on the show to explain cryptocurrencies and how a blockchain works.
In a catchy song-and-dance segment within the episode, an animated ledger calls it the cash of the future, “not in your wallet, but in your computer”.
The crypto community welcomed the episode with open arms, while pointing out that this is likely to be another prediction they get right.
The Simpsons did it! Cryptocurrency explained to Lisa by the great Jim Parsons on #TheSimpsons! It's the money of the future!
— Altcoin Daily (@AltcoinDailyio) February 22, 2020
JPMorgan report mainstream blockchain adoption “at least three to five years away”
JPMorgan has published a wide-ranging 74-page report on blockchain, including the technology’s prospects for mainstream adoption and the viability of stablecoins. The JPMorgan Perspectives report asserts blockchain says they “see the long-term potential of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to transform banks’ business models by providing efficient and resilient information transfer and storage once sale has been achieve[d]…”. They also believe cross-platform integration to be one of the biggest blockers, along with legal and technical concerns.
A passage from the report continues to say: “While we see widespread implementation of blockchain solutions at least three to five years away, challenges such as the macro-economic environment, legal and regulatory frameworks and technical challenges–such as cross-platform integration–may decelerate further progress.”
The report also features a detailed analysis of Libra, the Facebook-backed stablecoin project that since its debut last year has attracted the attention of policymakers, particularly that of central banks.
"Stablecoins, and Libra in particular, have the potential to grow substantially and ultimately shoulder a significant fraction of global transactional activity. However, as currently designed and proposed, they do not take into account the microstructure of operating such a payment system. A lack of short-term liquidity facilities, particularly those relatively insulated from market forces, introduces the risk that activity grows faster than the underlying base of currency can safely support."
While the report’s authors believe “the world is absolutely ready for private money”, they’re cognizant that regulatory and compliance hurdles will be tough to get through.
Shopify join Libra, while Vodafone advertise Bitcoin on Facebook
It’s no secret Libra’s initially impressive, long list of supporters has dwindled over time. Among them was Vodafone, who announced their departure last month. The telecom giant reported uncertainty around their potential to positively impact financial inclusion with Libra. Vodafone announced their plan to shift focus inward to M-Pesa, their own digital payments platform, with huge success in a handful of African markets, like Kenya.
But it seems Vodafone is still into crypto. On Friday, they posted a Facebook ad in German displaying a Bitcoin and the following message: Will there be bitcoins instead of pocket money soon? What would grandma give you if everyone will pay with their smartphone in the future?
But, there was also good news for Libra. They received new support in the form of Canadian e-commerce platform, Shopify. The company offers services and solutions for over a million small merchants and online retailers. They announced their decision to become a Libra member late last week, pledging $10 million to the project.
According to a Shopify blog post substantiating their decision, they said: “We spend a lot of our time thinking about how to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better. As a member of the Libra Association, we will work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere.”