Digital Currency Weekly Recap 6-26-2016
Colu Continues Focus on Central Bank Cryptocurrency Issues
Colored coins firm Colu has raised roughly $9.6 million in its Series A round of funding, and apparently plans to use much of that investment capital to continue its efforts in the area of central bank-issues cryptocurrency. That effort is currently focused on a project that will connect the blockchain to a private permissioned network that would be used by the banks. The goal is to combine the permanency and security offered by the Bitcoin blockchain with the Know Your Customer and AML features banking regulations require.
At the same time, company representatives have indicated that Colu is also examining the benefits of using Lightning code, and is apparently planning to take part in the Hyperledger Project at some point in the near future. Colu was one of the companies involved in the Barbados central bank digital currency tests, so the firm has already enjoyed some level of success in this area of innovation.
DAO White Hats Counter Attack to Prevent Additional Theft
After the successful theft of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Ether late last week, the DAO investment fund received a great deal of criticism from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and skeptics from outside the industry. Meanwhile, in the days following the initial heist, a series of apparent copycat attacks were launched against the fund. Eventually, another series of hacks was launched by so-called “white hat” hackers who were acting to prevent more of the cryptocurrency from being drained. Subsequent reports have revealed that this team of hackers was comprised of Developers from the Ethereum community. Their efforts were successful in recovering some 7.2 million ether – representing about $100 million of the DAO’s value.
Ethereum Foundation lead developer Alex Van De Sande offered some deeper insight into what actually happened in a post on Reddit, along with this simple warning:
“If you are the hacker, then all I can say is we are coming for you.”
Winklevoss Twins to Open Gemini Branch in UK
The Gemini digital currency exchange announced early this week that it will be expanding to the UK. The exchange’s latest international move comes on the heel of its expansion into Canada earlier this month. With the expansion, the UK’s digital currency enthusiasts will be able to trade ether and Bitcoin, and an option to add the US Dollar to that trading mix is already in the works. The Gemini exchange was launched eight months ago by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Despite Fears Over Brexit Impact on FinTech in UK, Reasons for Optimism Remain
The dust is still settling after the results of the recent British referendum on exiting the European Union, but one common theme has already emerged in much of that Brexit coverage: the UK is doomed. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but the fact is that a lot of the punditry and news coverage surrounding the British voters’ decision to depart the EU has been colored by a definite air of pessimism. According to some “experts”, the British have no hope of being successful on their own. Some are even suggesting that the nation’s status as a FinTech leader may suffer once the exit is complete, and a Reuters report from last month would seem to confirm that sentiment.
Despite that May report suggesting that FinTech companies would relocate outside the UK if the Leave vote succeeded, and fears that capital will flee the country as it charts its own path forward, such concerns are almost certainly overblown. London continues to be the foreign exchange capital of the world. In terms of nominal GDP, the UK has the fifth-largest economy in the world, and deep ties to the United States, many nations in Europe, and countries around the world. This is not some tiny, insignificant nation existing at the margins of economic success we are talking about here – it’s the United Kingdom. The British will manage just fine, thank you.
And FinTech will continue to be a large and growing part of that success. In an article on cityam.com, Lord Digby Jones offered his thoughts on how small businesses of that nature will fare in the aftermath of an exit from the EU. It’s well worth a read, if only to get a more optimistic and sober take on what Brexit may actually mean for the success of digital currency, blockchain, and other FinTech firms doing business within the UK. Though just a part of his overall message, this portion seems particularly relevant in light of the current panic over the UK’s future:
“A Brexit would free small businesses in particular from the shackles of the mind numbingly bloated EU regulatory landscape. Regulation in Europe is made for big business, not small business. Big business has lobbyists sitting in Brussels, it has a vested interest in getting regulation to work for them. For small businesses, the vast amount of regulation with which they must comply represents a gun to their head. It destroys creativity and entrepreneurship.
Sure, there are benefits; in complying you get to do the trade that comes with being a member of the club. But in the case of a Brexit, British business will continue to trade both inside Europe and with the rest of the world. Trade with the rest of the world will not be from a standing start either, as much of the UK’s trade is already with the world outside of the EU.”