The National Bank of Cambodia Will Launch a Digital Payments Network This Quarter

The National Bank of Cambodia’s new digital currency is called Bakong.  It’s effectively a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that was launched on a trial basis throughout Cambodia in July. Chea Serey, director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia, said the system will be operational within the present fiscal quarter. Serey described Bakong as “the national payment gateway for Cambodia.” Bakong will play a central role in bringing all players in the payment space in Cambodia under the same platform, making it easy for end-users to pay each other regardless…

Bitcoin Isn’t a Main Focus in Finance Anymore, Theismann Says

Former NFL player Joe Theismann thinks Bitcoin has drifted to the back burner, out of the public’s microscope.  “It’s sort of been pushed way on the back shelf,” Theismann told Bloomberg in a Jan. 30 podcast interview.  “I’m not saying that there isn’t a possibility for it to rise again at some point, but I think that has run its course to a degree,” he added, noting his brief past participation in the industry.  Financial interest In the podcast episode with Bloomberg, Theismann spoke on multiple topics, including stocks and…

Crypto Upstages Other Mobile Payments in US Congressional Hearing

Congress clearly has crypto on the brain, with the question of regulation being a matter of when. At a Jan. 30 hearing before the Fintech Task Force, a body within the United States House of Representatives, lawmakers were focused on bringing crypto into the conversation.  The basics The hearing — entitled “Is Cash Still King? Reviewing the Rise of Mobile Payments” — featured testimony from witnesses with backgrounds spanning payment providers, consumer advocates and financial inclusion non-profits.  While some of the written testimony provided by the witnesses before the hearing…

Virgil Griffith Pleads Not Guilty to Evading U.S. Sanctions in North Korea Jaunt

Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith entered a plea of not guilty Thursday afternoon in a Southern District of New York courthouse. Griffith is charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act after traveling to North Korea (DRPK) in April 2019 to attend a cryptocurrency conference.  If convicted, Griffth, who once called himself a “disruptive technologist” whose aim was to “make the Internet a better and more interesting place,” could face up to 20 years in prison. He traveled up from Alabama to attend the arraignment and appeared composed…

CME Bitcoin Futures Hit $100B in Volume Since 2017, Director McCourt Says

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or CME, has hosted over $100 billion in volume for its Bitcoin futures trading product.  “CME Bitcoin futures have surpassed $100 billion in total notional value traded since their launch in December 2017,” CME Group Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Index Alternative Investment Products, Tim McCourt, told Cointelegraph.   Institutions join crypto During the crypto boom of 2017, mainstream financial entities began moving into the industry.  In December 2017, at the peak of Bitcoin’s all-time price high, CME launched its cash-settled Bitcoin futures trading product.…

Few Banks Will Touch Crypto Firms, But Silvergate Wants to Touch Bitcoin Itself

Silvergate Bank is venturing even further into a field where few financial institutions dare to tiptoe. The La Jolla, California, lender made a name for itself providing hard-to-come-by U.S. dollar banking services for businesses that deal in cryptocurrency. But now Silvergate wants to handle digital assets themselves. While the bank has no such services in its roadmap yet, it has applied for the New York trust license with the aim of providing custody and settlement for crypto. One example of this might look like “providing settlement services for their bitcoin…

Bitcoin’s Taproot Upgrade Won’t Help Privacy Where It Matters

The activation of Bitcoin’s (BTC) Taproot upgrade is moving forward as official Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP) were submitted for review on Jan. 24. Even though Taproot is often hyped up for its privacy improvements, its true impact is likely to be very minor. What is Taproot? Taproot is the name given to a proposal coined by former Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell in January 2018. The actual implementation was later developed by a team of Bitcoin contributors led by Pieter Wuille. Taproot is a proposal that enhances Bitcoin’s scripts, a set…

US Rep. Emmer Unsettled by Stifled Crypto Innovation at Congressional Hearing

In a Jan. 30 congressional hearing on mobile payments, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer fears criticism of digital payment innovation may stifle progress. Emmer laid out his concerns over regulation smothering innovation: “There’s a whole environment out there of brilliant, genius, young people who are coming up with new ways to transfer value every single day,” he said. “I worry that we’re going to crush that entrepreneurial spirit and that advancement.” Digital payments hearing In a meeting of the minds, the Fintech Task Force gathered for a hearing on Jan. 30,…

Nomura Launching Benchmark for Japan’s Crypto Assets

Nomura Research Institute (NRI) will launch a benchmark rank and compare Japanese cryptocurrency assets on Friday. The Tokyo-based management consultancy and research firm said the “NRI/IU Crypto-Asset Index Family” – created in coordination with Intelligence Unit LLC (IU) – will be available through NRI’s financial information database, IDS, to domestic and overseas institutional investors, financial information vendors and crypto exchanges. The benchmark is intended to pull together information specific to the Japanese cryptocurrency market, including data on crypto-yen pairs and closing values, all in local time. A benchmark index is…

Bitcoin Price Climbs to $9,500 After Third Higher High in One Week

For the second time this week, Bitcoin (BTC) bulls have protested against any attempts to push the digital asset below the $9K mark. Earlier today, the price dropped slightly below $9,200 but the pullback stopped right at the Jan. 19 high at $9,198 before reversing to surge higher on a high volume spike. Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360 The move to $9,530 set a daily higher high for the third time this week and traders will note that purchasing volume is also rising higher each day which are all…