Blockchain Bites: Google validates Theta, Coinbase and BitGo Eye Crypto Prime Brokerage

Top shelf

Base-Layer Tech
Google is working with Theta Labs to support the onboard video delivery network for users through Google Cloud. As part of the partnership, the technology giant Theta is supporting the launch of Mainnet 2.0 and will be the platform’s fifth validator. Polkadot is now live after its first “chain candidate” Genesis block was dismantled. Polkadot will initially be launched under a PoA (Proof-of-Authority) consensus algorithm controlled by the Web3 Foundation to become an interoperable blockchain for other chains and dapps.

Prime brokerage
San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is finally acquiring Tagomi, a premier brokerage platform that specializes in trading digital assets. As part of an all-stock deal, Tagomi will be integrated into Coinbase’s product suite and help the company complete its liquidity, custody and credit offerings. BitGo, a crypto custodian, has also announced its prime brokerage status with the launch of its new BitGo Prime entity. Earlier this year, London-based Bequant launched a prime brokerage service, while Genesis Trading (owned by CoinDesk parent DCG) recently bought crypto custodian Vo1t to become a prime broker.

Financial innovation
Brazilian retailer Via Varejo has bought Boston-based fintech startup Airfox to provide financial services to underbanked Brazilians. The company, with more than 1,000 locations across the country, plans to offer free bank accounts and gradually expand to other financial services, with Airfox acting as an innovation hub. Meanwhile, a senior figure from the International Monetary Fund said a digital currency backed by a central bank but issued by private companies would open the door to much greater innovation in retail payments. “This public-private partnership is intended to preserve the competitive advantages of the private sector: interface to customers and innovation as well as the comparative advantage of the central bank: regulation and confidence building,” said Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli from the IMF.

TradeLens was used by India’s largest port operator to digitize shipping supply chains across the country. will expand its Visa crypto debit card and a wallet app in cooperation with the digital payment company i2c Inc. (PYMNTS) to 31 European countries.

Open accounts
Kingdom Trust has created a single retirement account for traditional and digital assets called Choice. The self-service retirement plan enables investors to hold stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and digital assets in a tax-privileged account. Bitfury launched an investment opportunity that offers institutional investors “exposure to Bitcoin through the mining company’s data center,” reports The Block.

Real and virtual worlds
The Swiss government has rejected a coronavirus-related bailout worth 103 million US dollars for “Crypto Valley”. The Swiss Blockchain Association recently surveyed 203 companies in the region and found that 80% are on the verge of bankruptcy. ( The crypto startup Centrifuge is introducing a Dapp that users can use to secure real assets for use in the decentralized financial ecosystem. (The Block) Land parcel auctions in the virtual Somnium Space totaled $ 470,000 for the past 10 weeks. (Decrypt)

Compared to editorial

To see Libra’s potential, look at the Philippines, not the US
Leah Callon-Butler argues that the much derided Libra project could be of real benefit in countries where Facebook – one of the main players in the project – is essentially the internet. “Take the Philippines as an example. I’ve lived here since 2018 and it’s not hard to imagine how quickly the scales could become the tender of choice for Filipinos everywhere. To paint you a picture, while very few have a bank – only 22.6 percent of adults have an official account – the number of cell phone subscriptions is greater than the number of actual people who live here, “she said .

Pay attention to design, not laws, to protect privacy in the age of surveillance
Raullen Chai argues that privacy measures should be built into a product and should not be legally guaranteed if there is any hope of countering malicious surveillance. “In the last few years, data protection regulations have started, but these reactive measures simply cannot guarantee our privacy. We need to proactively develop and adopt new technologies with privacy by design to achieve a people-centered future, ”he said.

Market Intel

Macro movements
The yuan (CNY) fell to the US dollar at 7.1613 on Tuesday, its lowest level since early September. Bitcoin has historically seen gains when the Chinese yuan fell. “If China’s CNY continues to weaken against the USD, we could have a repeat in 2015 and 2016 where the strength of BTC coincided with the weakness of the yuan,” tweeted Chris Burniske, partner at venture capital company Placeholder.

In the past year, the price of the EOS token has fallen by 69%. This is the worst performing among digital assets with a market cap of $ 1 billion or more, based on Messari data. That’s more than double the drop in price for EOS’s biggest rival, Ethereum, over the period. Bitcoin has stayed flat for the past 12 months. According to industry experts interviewed by CoinDesk’s first mover team, things could get worse for cryptocurrency as ongoing concerns about its applicability and centralized structure have not yet been adequately addressed.

CoinDesk Podcast Network

“Narrative Violations”
Geoff Lewis, Founder of Bedrock Capital, joins The Breakdown podcast to discuss how alternative ideas and narratives challenge the media’s consensus-building function. These “narrative violations” change people’s understanding of the world.

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