Crypto Roundup: There’s No Shortage of Positive News in the Digital Currency Market

An outpouring of positive news from the blockchain community on Tuesday painted a very bright picture of crypto’s future in institutional settings and mainstream consciousness. Below is a roundup of the top developments over the last 24 hours.

Coinbase Aims to Unlock Institutional Capital

The Coinbase digital currency exchange announced on Tuesday the launch of four new products aimed at luring institutional capital: Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Markets, Coinbase Prime and The Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group.

According to Adam White, Coinbase’s vice president and general manager, the new products could unlock up to $10 billion in institutional funds currently sitting on the sidelines.

Coinbase is banking on institutions driving the next leg of the crypto revolution, arguing that the first push was driven by retail investors. The cryptocurrency market has gotten too big for banks and hedge funds to ignore, which means more players are looking to enter the space.

Goldman Sachs confirmed earlier this month that it will begin offering bitcoin futures contracts. The much smaller Nasdaq has also expressed interest in becoming a digital currency exchange once regulatory kinks have been ironed out.

Top-Five Bank to Experiment with Crypto

The banking enterprise behind Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is planning to trial its own cryptocurrency as early as next year, according to a Tuesday report by Japan’s NHK news agency.

MUFG Coin, as it has come to be known, could be tested by as many as 100,000 customers once rollout begins. Testing will involve the installation of an MUFG Bank app that converts user funds into fiat money. One MUFG Coin is said to be worth one Japanese yen.

Users will be able to spend the currency at retailing shops as well as transfer tokens to the accounts of other participants.

MUFG is currently the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets, which means its entry into the cryptocurrency market could push other financial institutions in a similar direction.

Upbit Did No Harm

South Korea’s Upbit has been cleared of any wrongdoing tied to allegations of balance sheet fraud after a local accounting agency concluded its audit of the digital currency exchange.

CCN reported Tuesday that one of South Korea’s largest accounting firms found no evidence that Upbit deceived investors with inflated balance sheets in the wake of a federal raid last week.

According to MoneyToday:

“Since early 2018, Upbit created snapshots of its multi-signature wallets and funds stored within them for auditing purposes. Yoojin accounting firm, a major accounting firm based in Seoul, confirmed that all of the funds on the Upbit platform match the cryptocurrency holdings of UPbit stored in its multi-signature wallets.”

The raid of Upbit triggered a massive slide in cryptocurrency prices, with the total market falling by as much as 17% from when the news broke on Thursday to Saturday.

The results of the raid, which was carried out jointly by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KIU) and local police, will be released this week.

IBM Partners with Environmental Startup to Launch Cryptocurrency

Technology juggernaut IBM has announced plans to develop its own cryptocurrency in tandem with Veridium Labs, an environmental fin-tech startup. The new token will be used to monetize carbon credits in an effort to bring about greater corporate social responsibility.

IBM and Veridium are planning to launch their token on the Stellar network, which is also home to Lumens, the world’s eight largest cryptocurrency by market cap. To put it simply, Veridium will utilize IBM’s vast infrastructure to create a carbon-credit backed token on the Stellar network.

According to IBM, the tokens are fungible, which means they can be exchanged for another asset of similar characteristics and value.

Carbon credits come much prescribed, but before blockchain technology, administering them was considered extremely difficult. That’s because there’s no generally agreed upon formula for deriving individual value, let alone a system that can serve as a central repository for the buying and selling of tokens.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi