If you’re superstitious, then you might worry about the number 13, it’s considered as a number that brings with it a wealth of bad luck, from a western perspective at least, I’m not certain of the intricacies behind other connotations of the number 13.
Actually, on that point, is cryptocurrency a good or a bad thing for superstitious people? I’ve never really given it much thought, but I expect many aspects of the cryptocurrency industry may give some superstitious people a bit of a headache.
Back to the point. This weekend rumours erupted about a release date for Litecoin’s ‘smart contracts’, the 13th of April specifically which is just three days from now.
Remember that recently, we saw a marriage between Abra Exchange and Litecoin, in a move set up to help bolster the value of the currency. CEO of Abra, Bill Barhydt said:
“If Abra can attract a significant amount of users it will further drive demand for Litecoin which in turn could reduce the circulating amount of LTC, pushing the trading price up.”
Now unfortunately, many critics are calling the partnership a bit of a failure, generally on the basis that the partnership fizzled out of the news and didn’t really cause any significant changes in the value or perception of Litecoin. Recently, Cami Albert published an article on Crypto Globalist that refers to the Abra partnership as ‘Haunting’ Litecoin’s own Charlie Lee. According to Albert, Lee passed the following comments about the anti-climactic outcome of the Abra partnership:
“Like everyone else, we got too excited about something that was too good to be true and we optimistically overlooked many of the warning signs.”
At present, even since the partnership, and the media buzz around April the 13th, Litecoin stands at little below $114.00, in touching distance of a $120.00 target but still leaps and bounds away. Perhaps April the 13th will actually provide some much-needed luck to the Litecoin team and give the currency the kick it needs to reach $120.00?
The launch of smart contracts within Litecoin is innovative for Litecoin but we should remember that blockchain based smart contracts are not a new concept, so really, how incredible will this announcement be for Litecoin? Some sides are saying that the 13th of April is a huge day for Litecoin and that things will really start to take off, it’s value will his $120.00 and many new people will gain an interest in the currency through Abra. Others however are less optimistic and believe that the Abra ‘flunk’ serves as a demonstration for how Litecoin will behave after the update in a few days, in-short they believe nothing new will change.
Let’s face it, to truly understand the consequences of the smart contract rollout we just need to wait. The 13th of April is only a few days away, perhaps we will see some fluctuation in market value as a result of it, perhaps nothing will change. Let’s wait and see.
Opera’s Browser With Built-In Crypto Wallet Launches for iPhones
Users of Android phones and desktop computers have had the option to use Opera’s blockchain-friendly browser for months now, but iPhone owners have been left out of the fun.
That’s now changed with the launch of the latest version of Opera Touch for iOS.
As per a blog post from the firm, the new browser option is largely identical to the above-mentioned offerings, providing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet and the ability to run Web 3.0 and decentralized apps (dapps) without a third-party plugin.
“We believe that the Web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow (Web 3). With built-in Crypto Wallet, the browser has the potential to renew and extend its important role as a tool to access information, make transactions online and manage users’ online identities in a way that gives them more control.”
The wallet currently allows users to hold, transact and make payments in ethereum and all ERC-20 standard tokens and stablecoins, as well as collectibles such as CryptoKitties via the ERC-721 standard.
The Opera website says the wallet can automatically detect and list any ERC-20 tokens used in ethereum dapps, such as in-game currencies.
Dapps can be accessed by typing their address directly in the browser, avoiding the need to use third-party extensions
In order to start using dapps, users will need to purchase ethereum (ETH) and store it in the Opera wallet. Once there, a selection of dapps will be listed in the store in the app, the post says.
JPMorgan to Start Customer Trials of Its ‘JPM Coin’ Crypto
JPMorgan Chase is to start trials of its “JPM Coin” cryptocurrency in conjunction with corporate clients.
According to a report from Bloomberg Japan on Tuesday, Umar Farooq, the investment bank’s head of digital treasury services and blockchain, said that customers would trial the technology with the ultimate aim of speeding up transactions, such as payments between firms and bond transactions.
The trials are being conducted on the assumption regulatory permission will ultimately be granted, according to Bloomberg.
First revealed in February, JPM Coin initially runs on top of Quorum, a private version of ethereum developed by the bank.
JPM Coin will function as a stablecoin, with fiat cash being deposited at the bank in exchange for the token, which can then be transferred via a permissioned distributed ledger. The recipient can later redeem the token for cash from JPMorgan.
Initially linked to the U.S. dollar, the coin is expected to be extended to other fiat currencies in time. Real-world trials were expected in “a few months,” according to a report at the time.
Discussing JPM Coin’s state of development, Farooq told Bloomberg in today’s report: “The technology is very good, but it takes time in terms of licensing and approval. It must be explained.”
As well as inter-firm remittances, he said that the cryptocurrency could be used to settle bonds and commodities transactions. Clients in regions including Europe, the US and Japan have already shown interest, according to Farooq. He would not name any companies involved in the upcoming trials, the report states.
Russia May Allow Crypto Trading in Upcoming Legislation: Official
As Russia’s cryptocurrency bill slowly inches forward, a government official has hinted at what may lie ahead when the legislation is finally passed.
According to a report from local news source Interfax.ru, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told journalists on Friday that among the options currently being discussed is to allow the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments are not on the table, however.
Worryingly for the country’s crypto community, the bill could still see cryptocurrency use banned outright.
Moiseyev said that the finance ministry had met with the Russian central bank and the Federal Security Service, the nation’s security agency, to discuss the bill.
“There is a range [of possibilities] from prohibition to the possibility of purchase,” he explained. “Like with foreign currency, it would be possible to buy and sell [cryptocurrencies], but impossible to use them for payments. After a political decision is made on this issue, we will have the responsibility.”
Russia’s bill on digital financial assets was expected to be considered at the plenary session of the State Duma on March 19, but was postponed.
According to the report, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma Financial Market Committee, has said that Russia must adopt a bill on cryptocurrency before the end of this year in order to comply with recommendations from international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In related news, FATF announced new standards on Friday that include a controversial requirement that “virtual asset service providers,” including crypto exchanges, pass information about their customers to one another when transferring funds between firms. Its 37 member nations are not obliged to apply its guidance, but non complying countries can be blacklisted, which would be harmful financially.