JPMorgan Chase to Launch ‘JPM Coin,’ Using Crypto to Speed Settlements

United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is launching its own cryptocurrency in a U.S. banking first, CNBC reported on Feb. 14. In a move commentators may see as unlikely, the multinational lender will use its newly developed asset, dubbed “JPM Coin,” to increase settlement efficiency, initially within three of its operations. Speaking to CNBC, Umar Farooq, who leads JPM’s blockchain focus, appeared buoyant on blockchain technology’s perspectives at the bank. “So anything that currently exists in the world, as that moves onto the blockchain, this would be the payment…

XBT Provider Admits Knowledge Gaps as It Postpones Launch Of Cryptocurrency Basket

Swedish Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded note (ETN) operator XBT Provider has shelved plans to offer altcoin products due to market volatility, Bloomberg reported on Feb. 13. Speaking to the publication, XBT’s CEO Laurent Kssis revealed the company did not have an understanding of Bitcoin hard forks and related phenomena when Swedish regulators greenlighted its plans in May 2018. XBT launched the world’s first regulated Bitcoin tracker, Bitcoin Tracker One, in 2015, and has since added several related products. According to Kssis, XBT needs to better its knowledge about hard forks and…

Binance’s Decentralized Exchange Is About to Launch for Public Testing

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted trading volume, is about to release its decentralized exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing. The firm’s CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted Tuesday that the firm is targeting a date of Feb. 20 for the public testnet release of Binance Chain – the native public blockchain being developed to support the DEX. Last week, in a 45-minute live ask-me-anything (AMA) chat on Twitter, Zhao provided details of the coming DEX.  He said the firm has already given early access to a few “selected partners,”…

Moscow Gov’t to Launch Blockchain-Enabled IT Innovation Cluster by Summer 2019

The Moscow municipal government is planning to launch a blockchain-based city innovation cluster by summer 2019, Russian news agency TASS reports on Feb. 11. The upcoming platform for the city’s IT innovation cluster will enable participants to find potential partners, as well as learn about their products and equipment, according to Alexey Fursin, Head of the Department of Business and Innovation of Moscow. Fursin noted that the platform’s entrants will be also be able to receive financial support through grants from the Moscow government. According to the official, the upcoming…

Major Crypto Exchanges Launch OTC Desks Despite the Crypto Winter

Institutional investment is increasingly being seen as the future of crypto trading, with both Binance and Bittrex launching their own dedicated over-the-counter (OTC) desks in January. The desk launches come after Morgan Stanley published a bullish report in November, showing a strong pattern of institutional investment for Bitcoin. The latest developments indicate that some of the world’s largest exchanges are receiving increased demand from institutional investors, for whom OTC represents a lucrative opportunity. Cointelegraph takes a look at the latest launches and OTC news. Binance launches dedicated OTC desk On Jan. 23, the…

Bakkt Will Launch Later This Year

The CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) expects the firm’s digital asset platform Bakkt to launch later in 2019. The comment was made by ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher during an earnings call Thursday, Feb. 7. The call was dedicated to ICE’s financial results for Q4 and the full year of 2018. Sprecher explained that the company spent over $1 billion on strategic initiatives, including on the launch of the digital asset platform. ICE operates 23 leading global exchanges, along with the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s CFO, Scott Hill,…

‘Swiss Leaks’ HSBC Whistleblower Plans to Launch ‘Clean, Ethical’ Crypto Token

Frenchman Hervé Falciani, a whistleblower who has been convicted of the largest leak in banking history, plans to launch an ethical cryptocurrency that would combat money-laundering and fraud, Reuters reported on Feb. 8. In 2015, Falciani was convicted in absentia by Swiss courts for aggravated financial espionage after leaking the details of ~30,000 accounts, holding almost $120 billion in assets at HSBC’s Swiss private bank. The evidence — which was alleged to have exposed a web of clients’ tax evasion, money laundering, and illicit financing schemes — has since triggered…

Bitfury Partners With R&D Firm to Launch Crypto Mining Center in Paraguay

Blockchain firm Bitfury will develop a bitcoin mining center in Paraguay. The new mining operation is in partnership with Seoul-based research and development firm Commons Foundation. The collaboration is backed by the government of Paraguay, whose goal is to make the South American country a cryptocurrency mining hub. The new center, which is a part of Commons Foundation’s “Golden Goose” project, will help to facilitate the innovation of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies across Spanish-speaking countries. Bitfury will provide product and technical support for the project. The facilities used for the…

BitTorrent Partners with CoinPayments to Launch Support for Native BTT Token

Peer-to-peer (p2p) torrent client BitTorrent has announced that its native token, BitTorrent Token (BTT), based on the Tron protocol, is now supported by CoinPayments’ crypto payments gateway. The news was shared with Cointelegraph in a press release Feb. 7. As reported, BitTorrent launched its BTT token this January — its first full-fledged move to begin to tokenize its content sharing ecosystem, roughly six months after the company was acquired by decentralized internet startup Tron. According to today’s press release, BitTorrent has already been collaborating with CoinPayments on supporting Tron (TRX), Bitcoin…

Two Investment Firms Launch ETF Tracking Cloud Computing and Blockchain Companies

United States-based Investment management firm AdvisorShares and investments advisory company Sabretooth Advisors will jointly launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks tech companies, including those involved with blockchain and cloud computing, MarketWatch reported on Feb. 6. ETFs are marketable securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. ETFs are offered on all asset classes, including traditional investments and alternative assets like commodities or currencies, also enabling investors to short markets or to gain leverage. The idea of the new AdvisorShares Sabretooth ETF (ticker: BKCH) —…