The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is taking another shot at blockchain entrepreneurs and their supporters, calling cryptocurrencies “useless and unstable.”
While attending a breakfast lunch in London in the run-up to Swift’s launch of its latest end-to-end international payments pilot, designed to address concerns that the company’s tech is lagging, the company revealed development of a proof of concept for Europe.
The test pilot has reached sub-one-minute payment times between Singapore and Australia, reports FinTech Futures.
According to a Swift spokesperson at the event,
“[Cryptocurrencies] go down in value like a yoyo. They’re useless and unstable. And even if crypto companies do make it stable, it’s still a basket of currencies.”
Legacy leader Swift counts 11,000 banks and financial institutions among its global members, providing messaging capabilities that help move money daily around the traditional financial system, processing approximately millions of payment orders on the network each day.
But the 43-year-old, Belgium-based network has come under fire for being anything but fast, with crypto leaders comparing today’s banking system to the horse and buggy.
Crypto Wealth Distributions Suggest Bitcoin Use Greater than XRP, BCH and, BSV
A lot of proponents of so-called altcoins make a big deal about their favourite crypto project’s superiority to Bitcoin. Networks like BSV, BCH, and XRP have been especially tailored towards their associated assets’ use as a medium of exchange.
Being distributed and largely pseudonymous, actual usage of a cryptocurrency is difficult to assess. One metric that analysts can use to judge the level of a specific crypto asset’s usage is by looking at how wealth distributions change over time.
Bitcoin Wealth Becoming More Distributed, Others Less So
According to the most recent CoinMetrics report in a series titled “State of the Network”, the circulating supply of Bitcoin is becoming more distributed. This, the researchers conclude, suggests an increasing number of network users.
Purchases, gifts of crypto, salary payments, and investments all contribute to the widening of a digital currency’s total distribution. Meanwhile, trading at a centralised exchange, which involves funds deposited to the trading venue (likely already one largest “holders” of that digital currency), will decrease a coin’s distribution.
The Coin Metrics researchers looked at eight different sizes of wallet balances. The largest being those that held at least 1/1,000th of the total supply of the coin. The smallest group of wallets were those holding at least 1/10 billionth but not more than one billionth of the total supply.
As highlighted in the following tweet by CasaHODL co-founder Jameson Lopp, Bitcoin actually tops the list in terms of its overall distribution. Granted, it has had a head start, and didn’t launch with a pre-mine.
Meanwhile, the most prominent fork of Bitcoin, BCH, is seeing wealth concentration increasing. Although the network inherited its initial distribution from BTC, large addresses now hold around 29 percent of the BCH out there. This is an increase on the 14 percent distribution at the time of the 2017 fork.
BSV distribution has actually increased slightly from that reported at the time of its own hard fork in November 2018. From 26 percent held in the largest wallets, the figure now stands at 24 percent. However, for a network touted to be revolutionising the world of commerce, you’d expect a more rapid growth in distribution.
The researchers also highlight a huge lack of supply distribution in both XRP and XLM. A massive 95 percent of the XLM supply is held by addresses with at least 1/1,000th of the total supply.
Not quite as bad is XRP, which is seeing distribution widening faster. That said, the group of largest wallets still holds 85 percent of the total XRP supply today.
Coin Metrics attributes this concentration of wealth to the fact that both XRP and XLM have “official foundations”. The fact that these organisations hold such large percentages of the circulating supply has been justification for criticism of both platforms in the past.
What Can We Learn from Supply Distribution?
According to the Coin Metrics researchers, an increasing distribution, as is being witnessed in BTC, USDT, and to lesser extents, XRP and XLM, is a potential sign of growing usage of the asset. That usage still includes speculation but also includes the kind of economic activity newer digital asset networks strive to facilitate.
Interestingly, despite being an effort to make Bitcoin more useful as a medium of exchange, the above metric shows that BCH is becoming more concentrated in the hands of a few. This suggests that the wealthiest holders are accumulating more or that BCH is increasingly stockpiled by traders in exchange wallets.
Algo Affiliates the Leading Crypto/Forex Affiliate Network
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Affiliate marketing is a type of efficient based strategy in which pay commissions for each user or visitor brought by the affiliate’s company. In other words, crypto platforms hire a third for bringing customer for their software. There are number of affiliate programs working in the market, but it is important to choose which satisfy your demands in a more efficient way. Most affiliate programs have different business plans, which may include CPA (cost per action) affiliate programs. CPA is a method in which the affiliate company will get money for every user response.
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BitGo Acquires Harbor in Surprise Expansion Beyond Crypto Custody
BitGo is expanding beyond crypto custody with the takeover of a onetime poster child of the adjacent market for digital securities.
The crypto custodian announced Tuesday the acquisition of Harbor, a security token platform best known for a failed bid to offer tokenized shares of a South Carolina apartment building.
Harbor’s subsidiaries, which include a broker-dealer regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and a transfer agent supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission, are included in the acquisition, the companies said. The move allows BitGo to expand its services from custody, becoming what CEO Mike Belshe said is the first “full-stack” service provider in the digital securities space. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition essentially allows BitGo to recreate all parts of the traditional financial system, Belshe said, noting that BitGo itself is a licensed custodian through the South Dakota Division of Banking.
“As we build the market infrastructure for crypto there’s a lot of pieces to put together. At the end of the day the existing market has this huge advantage in having built up its structure over decades and we’re trying to replicate that in a short period of time,” Belshe said.
The acquisition marks the first time a single entity in the cryptocurrency space holds broker-dealer, transfer agent and a qualified custodian licenses, Belshe said (FINRA and the SEC must approve the broker-dealer and transfer agent transfers to BitGo, a process Belshe said is already underway).
Qualified custodians can store securities on behalf of clients, including institutions; broker-dealers can trade these securities for themselves or for clients; and transfer agents act as intermediaries who help record transactions, among other duties.
While Belshe did not say how much the company holds in assets under management, he said BitGo conducts some $15 billion in transactions each month, including through its international clients.
The firm will add Harbor’s products and services under the acquisition, though an exact roadmap has not yet been finalized.
Port of call
The sale marks a turning point for Harbor, which originally set out to help other companies issue security tokens before later focusing on facilitating the tokenization of existing securities. In September 2019, the firm created ethereum tokens representing shares of four different real estate funds, totaling some $100 million.
The company secured its broker-dealer license and transfer agent registration last autumn.
“One piece that we’ve been missing is custody. We’ve had a partnership with BitGo and so when you’re under the same roof things become possible, you make things more integrated than you could before, we’re exploring that now with BitGo, we’re trying to figure out what exactly the roadmap looks like,” said Josh Stein, Harbor’s CEO.
While Stein is also joining BitGo, his exact role has not yet been defined.
BitGo plans to expand the number of assets it supports, particularly with security tokens, but Belshe said he could not specify which tokens this might include, citing regulatory ambiguity.
“We’re significantly decreasing the barrier to entry by pulling all of these things together,” Belshe said. “This gives us full capabilities around issuing and trading and transferring of security tokens.”