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Blockchain This Week – Kraken Bank, Sand Dollar

Kraken Crypto Exchange to Become a Bank

In one of its firsts, doors opened this week for the alternate finance firms to join the mainstream market. On Wednesday, the Wyoming Banking Board voted to approve the San Francisco-based crypto exchange, Kraken Financial’s application to become a Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI). Under this new regulatory framework, Kraken will be launching a bank headquartered in Wyoming and offer banking services to clients. Wyoming Division of Banking will regulate the works of Kraken Financial under the SPDI charter.

Bahamas to Have the World’s First Sovereign Currency

According to Bloomberg reports, the Caribbean nation of Bahamas is set to launch its sovereign digital currency, the Sand Dollar, from Oct 2020. The country’s monetary authority will be rolling out just US $48,000 worth of Sand dollars that will be valued 1-to-1 with the fiat Bahamian dollar. 

Single Set of Crypto Regulations Across Multiple U.S. States

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, a coordinating body for state regulators, agreed upon a new regulatory regime that is anticipated to help fintech and cryptocurrency firms to grow their businesses across 48 states of the United States with ease.  According to this new regime, these financial institutions have to undergo a single set of scrutiny by a joint group of regulators, instead of going through the laborious process of getting regulated in every one of the 48 states.

China’s Blockchain Service Network

There were two announcements this week regarding the largest Blockchain initiative of China, the Blockchain Services Network (BSN). He Yifan, CEO of Red Date Technology, the firm behind BSN, announced this week that BSN would add three more public Blockchains – Algorand, ShareRing, and Solana – into its ecosystem. Alongside, BSN will now support DAML, a smart contract language developed by Digital Asset. As per reports, the decentralized applications built on top of BSN will now exclusively use DAML.

Blockchain and the Nations of the World

The central bank of Thailand has launched a Blockchain-powered platform for issuing government savings bonds. As per the press release, the Bank of Thailand has so far sold approximately US $1.6 billion worth of bonds in over a week.

Meanwhile, the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank has settled its first letter of credit transaction using Contour Blockchain. This cross-border trade spanned across Vietnam and Thailand and involved Standard Chartered Bank and a Vietnamese bank.

In this week, a Swiss subsidiary of Sberbank, the largest bank of Russia, has joined a Blockchain-based commodity trade finance platform. It has entered into an agreement with the Swiss trade finance platform Komgo to use the Blockchain-driven finance service. 

In other news, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria has issued a statement on Friday clarifying its stance on crypto assets. As per the announcement, the SEC will treat all digital tokens as securities and will subject them to the corresponding regulations.

Yam Is Back!

After a disastrous start because of the unaudited smart contracts, Yam is back with its V3 release. The DeFi protocol, launched yesterday, has undergone a security audit from PeckShield. According to Yam Finance, all issues that resulted in the earlier debacle have been addressed. 

 #BuiltWithBitcoin

Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace Paxful announced on Thursday that it is has started constructing the fourth out of 100 schools planned as a part of its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative. The initiative focuses on bringing quality education to the underprivileged. This school, located in Sanga Local, Nigeria, will educate an estimated 100 to 200 children, aged three to six years, and also double as an adult education center in the evenings.

Libra Continues to Evolve

On Thursday, the Libra Association, the organization behind the Facebook-backed cryptocurrency project Libra, announced that it had hired former HSBC CEO, James Emmett, as the managing director of Libra Networks LLC. According to Stuart Levey, CEO of the Association, Emmett, who will be taking his new position on Oct 1, will help make Libra’s vision a reality.

Uniswap Launches Governance Token

The popular decentralized trading platform Uniswap has launched its governance token, UNI, purportedly in a bid to keep up with the rival SushiSwap. The platform is minting 1 billion coins that will be released to the public over the next four years. This liquidity mining program, started on Sep 18, will target Uniswap’s USDT, USDC, DAI, and wBTC pools.

Hedera Surpasses Ethereum Daily Volumes

Hedera Hashgraph, the enterprise-grade public distributed ledger platform, announced this week that the platform is now processing an average of 1.5 million transactions per day, surpassing the transaction volumes of Ethereum. Hedera, which opened the access to its mainnet a year ago, has since seen a consistent rise in the number of applications deployed on its platform. 

And Finally, Celebrities Continue to Embrace Blockchain

This week, the Russian music star Oleg Kenzov transferred the distribution rights to one of his songs to music service FONMIX using a Blockchain platform backed by the government. The historic blockchain rights transfer was held in the presence of the likes of Warner Music Russia, Sony Music, among others.

Next, the Italian soccer club SS Lazio, has signed a multi-year deal with cryptocurrency exchange, StormGain on Wednesday. According to StormGain, this deal will enable both the firms to boost fan engagement through unique giveaways.

Meanwhile, WarnerMedia has joined the Blockchain gaming ecosystem via its subsidiary Turner Sports. They have recently launched Blocklete Games, a platform that allows fans to collect, train, and trade their digital athletes. Each digital athlete, called Blockletes, is a non-fungible token or an NFT that can be bought or sold on this platform.

Alongside, now Hollywood enters the Blockchain space with the officially licensed NFTs representing The Godfather collectibles. Terra Virtua, a digital collections firm, has released a new set of NFTs based on the movie trilogy on Ethereum this week.

While books becoming non-fungible tokens is a norm, two of Britain’s successful fantasy genre authors are going this other way by turning an NFT-based game into a trilogy series. Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson will write a new trilogy – The Vulcan Verses, based on the tokenized collectible card game VulcanVerse.

Finally, Spencer Dinwiddie, from the professional Basketball team, Brooklyn Nets, is launching Calaxy, a Blockchain-based app for influencers. The app that will allow creators and influencers to sell digital tokens is expected to be available in late October. According to Dinwiddie, fans can redeem these tokens for interactions on the Calaxy network, such as virtual baseball camp or an online chat. He also revealed that several NBA players, two singers, and a WNBA player are already on board. This platform is being built on the Hedera Hashgraph network and will use Hedera’s native HBAR currency with CoinBase providing the custodian services.

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