Up and Down and All-Around
After a positive start to the week, the market pulled a classic Bart Simpson chart pattern, leaving us down overall. On Sunday, the overall market jumped almost five percent in two hours to reach a weekly high of just over $138.5B.
The rally was short-lived, however, as the market then fell to a weekly low of $121.7B on Thursday and hasn’t recovered much since. We currently sit at a $123.2B market cap, a 4.5 percent drop on the week.
Most of the top cryptocurrencies saw red this week as well. One exception was Tron (TRX) which actually grew 23.71 percent. As for the big dogs:
Bitcoin fell 3.04% with a current price of just under $3,700.
XRP lost 6.04% over the week but regained the number two spot.
Ethereum got beat down, shedding 15.52% of its price.
Nevada Tests Blockchain Birth Certificates: Nevada. It houses Sin City, the Biggest Little City in the World, and now, several areas in the state deserve a Blockchain City nickname as well. Well, maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch.
Several Nevada counties have begun digitizing government certificates and storing them using blockchain technology. Washoe County, for instance, debuted a program in April 2018 that stores marriage certificates on the Ethereum network. As of December, they’ve processed 950 digital nuptials. Another county, Elko, is testing the technology with birth certificates.
Washoe County plans to move forward with the digitization of other government records. One project, in particular, is focused on doing so as a means of disaster recovery if (or when) physical records get destroyed.
NASA Proposes Blockchain Flight Data: On Thursday, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a proposal for “an open source permissioned blockchain framework to enable aircraft privacy and anonymity while providing a secure and efficient method for communication with Air Traffic Services, Operations Support, or other authorized entities.” Or, in simpler words, a blockchain for air traffic data.
The blockchain platform would use private channels on Hyperledger Fabric. The proposal is in response to the apparent problem of denial of service, spoofing, and other risks that appear in the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Starting in 2020, the FAA is mandating national adoption of the ADS-B, so these issues need to be addressed promptly. NASA believes that blockchain could be the solution.
People Saying Things
Szabo’s Sermon: One of Bitcoin’s earliest developers (and rumored Satoshi), Nick Szabo, spoke at the Israeli Bitcoin Summit this Tuesday. During his presentation, he made a bold claim, “There’s going to be some situations where a central bank can’t trust a foreign central bank or government with their bonds…a more trust minimized solution is cryptocurrency.” While some diehards see Bitcoin as a way to free themselves from banking shackles, it looks like there could be a place for both in the world.
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EBA Asks for Pan-EU Crypto Rules: The European Banking Authority (EBA) released a report on Wednesday requesting that the European Commission address the issues that cryptocurrency causes with current regulations. The organization argues that “crypto-assets fall outside the scope of EU financial services regulation and specific services relating to crypto-asset custodian wallet provision and crypto-asset trading platforms do not constitute regulated activities under EU financial services law.” With this lack of clear regulation, it becomes difficult to protect consumers best interests.
Therefore, the EBA is taking steps in 2019 to improve their monitoring of crypto financial institutions, specifically regarding consumer-facing activities. Hopefully, the European Commission will join the train and provide more clarity on how cryptocurrencies should be treated.