Paper cheques are one of those anachronisms, like fax machines or COBOL (the programing language developed in the 50s and which provides the backbone for a lot of financial services today) which are inexplicably still in use in the 21st century. But now the People’s Bank of China is looking to update what are, essentially, fancy IOUs. One of the problems that banks and financial institutions in China face is that cheques are often passed around as a form of currency and not redeemed for cash by the people they are originally issued to. This leaves a lot of room for fraud to corrupt the system and undermind confidence in a key piece of financial infrastructure. Now, regulators will be able to see the entire life cycle of a cheque, with the transaction data stored on a blockchain. Passing cheques around to pay bills and settle debts is relatively quick and seamless. Di Gang, deputy head of the digital currency research lab of the People’s Bank of China, claimed that the new process would stick to this quick and easy method of transfer, with transactions taking approximately three seconds.
John McAfee is no stranger to publicity or publicity stunts. Whether it is lampooning the anti-virus software that bears his name or admitting to charging over $100,000 for a tweet endorsing an Initial Coin Offering or new cryptocurrency (though he has recently tweeted that he is stopping that practice), the ‘eccentric’ crypto evangelist does not remain out of the headlines for long. In his latest bid to spread the good news about digital currencies, the libertarian-minded McAfee has announced his plans to become President of the United States of America. It is not the first foray into US politics for the English-born software developer. In 2016 he sought to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate but lost out to New Mexico’s ex-Governor Gary Johnson. This time around he is running, with or without the Libertarian Party, on a platform of crypto evangelism. McAfee has been keeping a high profile lately, having announced a physical cryptocurrency, printed on paper, named, of course, after himself: the McAfee Redemption Unit. He has also gone ‘underground’ in a bid to outrun the SEC, after failing to answer a subpoena relating to him being an executive at crypto miners MGT Capital Investments. While McAfee says he has no chance of becoming President, not many expected that Donald Trump would be firmly ensconced in the White House this time four years ago.
Coinbase, one of the most prominent exchanges and the starting place for many wanting to get into crypto investing, is looking to become an SEC-regulated broker-dealer. This will enable the exchange to offer consumers the chance to buy and trade blockchain-based securities. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has recently expressed the opinion that nearly all tokens offered in ICOs are securities under US law. This means that they are subject to stricter regulation than those cryptos which are designed to act purely as currencies, such as bitcoin. Tokens which meet the requirements of the Howey Test are treated as securities. The main criterion of the test is whether or not an investor expects to make a profit from an investment, due to the actions of the party they invested in. Coinbase’s move has been made possible by acquiring companies that already hold licences from SEC as well as from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Coinbase currently only supports bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, and litecoin, but this move will open up the possibility of more tokens being traded on the platform.
The first week of June was relatively kind to the major crypto coins, after a May which wiped out most of the gains made in April. Starting out at $7,370.56, bitcoin (BTC) experienced two sudden surges over the weekend to lift the price to a high of $7,754.74. This rally could not be sustained during mid-week trading though, and by Tuesday it had fallen to $7,397.00. From that point, though it recovered overall, if not steadily, to close at $7,656.22.
Ether (ETH) started out at $553.28, from which it only went up. The weekly price peaked at $624.50, and it managed to sustain a price over $600, to close out the last seven days at $607.95.
Ripple (XRP) followed it the footsteps of ether. It began just below the 60c mark at $0.599 but went down initially to reach its low of $0597. Its climbed topped out at $0.703, but it fell from this Monday morning high to finish off at $0.675.
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