From more evidence of institutional interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to an imminent upgrade for Ethereum, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the world of crypto.
Goldman Sachs-backed Circle is reporting a whopping $24 billion in demand from institutional investors in 2018.
In a new blog post, the company says its over-the-counter (OTC) crypto business executed more than 10,000 trades throughout the year, with 36 different crypto assets.
“Our OTC trading business, Circle Trade, has continued to expand despite a tumultuous year for the industry: we onboarded a record number of new institutional clients (more on that below), grew our trading operations to 24/7 with coverage in the US, Europe and Asia, and added significant workflow improvements, including the launch of our RFQ Electronic API…
Circle Trade has become a core liquidity provider to the entire crypto ecosystem — including miners, exchanges, project developers, and founders — and to the new crypto asset investor base of VCs, crypto funds, hedge funds, and family offices all around the world.”
Our co-founders reflect on a transformative 2018 that included new products, customer growth, and learning plenty of important lessons about building an open, global financial system.@Poloniex @centre_io @circleinvest @ResearchCircle @jerallaire https://t.co/1sATjRn0xf
— Circle (@circlepay) January 3, 2019
Ripple and XRP
The National Bank of Kuwait is promoting its new Ripple-powered remittance service.
The platform, called NBK Direct Remit, is now live. It uses Ripple’s xCurrent to process instant cross-border payments from Kuwait to Jordan.
Send money instantly with NBK Direct Remit. Log in to NBK Online Banking using RippleNet’s Blockchain technology. NBK Direct Remit is currently available for Jordan. https://t.co/hrtKXF6nZA pic.twitter.com/yxlp7MkOM9
— National Bank of Kuwait (@NBKPage) January 3, 2019
Meanwhile, the XRP Community Price Watcher just added daily volumes for all of its fiat and crypto pairs.
The site is designed to track the price of XRP across multiple exchanges.
So far, about 10% of Ethereum’s nodes have upgraded in anticipation of the platform’s coming hard fork.
The Constantinople upgrade is set to go live on January 16th, and is designed to integrate a number of network improvements and reduce the block mining reward from 3 ETH down to 2 ETH.
Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb sat down for a quick interview with CoinDesk.
McCaleb, who was selected by the publication as the fifth most influential person in crypto, talks about what attracted him to cryptocurrency and blockchain in the first place.
What do you like about #cryptocurrency?
— CoinDesk (@coindesk) January 2, 2019
The community manager of the Litecoin Foundation just posted an extensive look back at Litecoin’s progress in 2018, along with a look ahead to the new year.
“The focus going into 2019 is to continue driving adoption. In terms of developments, we are aiming to grow the Lightning Network on Litecoin and incorporate Atomic Swaps as well as Privacy features. In some cases, we’ve already seen progress made in these specific areas…
In the long term, the Litecoin Foundation will be utilizing its stake in the German bank WEG to work on and build innovation solutions in the financial sector —services to do with remittance, lending and microfinance. We’re also looking to cover more merchant adoption across e-commerce globally and continue pushing for mass adoption in other parts of the sector, including sports, media, fashion and entertainment. We want people to pay confidently and easily with Litecoin knowing that they have full control over the information they are broadcasting in transactions.”
The peer-to-peer file sharing platform BitTorrent is preparing to launch its Tron-based cryptocurrency.
The coin, also called BitTorrent (BTT), will initially be launched on BitTorrent’s most popular application, the Windows-based µTorrent Classic client. Users who download files will now be incentivized to share those same files with other users. Users who participate and share files – improving storage, bandwidth and performance on the platform – will earn tokens.
— Binance (@binance) January 3, 2019
Emurgo, the venture capital arm of Cardano, just released a look back at the platform’s progress in December.
The video features Cardano’s roadmap, which has been updated for the new year.