Bitcoin Sets New $9 Billion Record for Hourly Transaction Volume

Coinspeaker Bitcoin Sets New $9 Billion Record for Hourly Transaction VolumeYesterday, December 4, turned out to be a very interesting day for Bitcoin as the network broke a new record and hit its biggest hourly USD transaction volume in all of Bitcoin’s existence. An increase in the volume of transactions on any network is usually regarded as a big deal because more often than not, it shows that there is some progress with adoption. However, this case is very different.The news was made known in a tweet by Rafael Schultze-Kraft, the cofounder of on-chain market platform, Glassnode. According to Rafael’s tweet, a whopping $8.9 billion worth of Bitcoin was moved around all in the space of one hour, making it the “highest hourly USD transaction volume in Bitcoin’s history.”$8.9 billion in #Bitcoin were moved on–chain in a single hour this afternoon.It's the highest hourly USD transaction volume in Bitcoin's history 🔥 pic.twitter.com/pWdXBszuIc— Rafael Schultze-Kraft (@n3ocortex) December 4, 2019It turns out that the whale movements was not a signal for adoption, but rather a transfer of funds by a crypto exchange. According to a tweet from Glassnode, Seattle-based Bittrex was responsible for moving about 1.18 million Bitcoin totaling about $8.7 billion. The fund movement took around 21 transactions with about 56,000 Bitcoin moved each time.The transaction was also covered by Whale Alert, a Twitter account dedicated to posting whale crypto transactions. After a while however, Whale Alert tweeted that it had disabled further alerts for the transaction to avoid spamming its Twitter account and to also avoid “peeling” which is a process sometimes used to hide dirty funds. It usually involves multiple transfers with each one a little less than the next. Whale Alert specifically mentions that the “main amount is slowly being reduced by amounts between 10 and 100 BTC.It might be interesting to note that each of the 21 transactions incurred a small fee of about 0.00008 BTC, approximately $0.60, meaning that the exchange only spent a little over $12 to transfer a total of $9 billion. The exchange has yet to put out any official word about the transfers but it’s been suggested in some quarters that Bittrex moved the funds to conduct an upgrade on its cold storage. Months ago in July, Binance did something similar, moving about $1 billion.Normally, transactions like that – especially if they occurred naturally – would most likely have some effect on the price of Bitcoin. However, this was not the case as Bitcoin did move, but without any suggestion that whatever movement its saw was triggered by the Bittrex transactions. Bitcoin successfully rose by 8% yesterday and climbed over the $7,500 mark in just a few minutes. At this moment, however, Bitcoin has had an average 24-hour climb just a little above 2% and is currently trading at $7,464.Yesterday, Bittrex also announced that on Thursday, December 5, the exchange would be offline to “perform scheduled maintenance.” In an official blog post, Bittrexx says that the downtime will begin at 19:00 UTC and would probably not be done until 20:00 UTC. During this period, users will not have access to the exchange’s APIs and will also not be able to log in as trading will be suspended. The exchange notes that all assets will, however, “remain secure” during the maintenance period.Bitcoin Sets New $9 Billion Record for Hourly Transaction Volume

Facebook in 2020: E-Commerce, Ads, $250 Stock and Libra?

Coinspeaker Facebook in 2020: E-Commerce, Ads, $250 Stock and Libra?We all know how it is to forget someone’s birthday, holiday or, god forbid, anniversary. Before we used our little calendars with post-its all around saying: “your first kiss anniversary, he wore a brown jumper, buy beer”, etc. However, since we have Facebook, it was hard to forget, well, almost anything. With its ‘calendar’ and ‘memories’ it reminds us of all the things we’ve done in the past – yes, that includes your drunk uncle puking after New year’s brunch. Its “Year in Review” videos, every one personalized for each of the social network’s 2.45 billion users, have already become a holiday tradition. However, what could Facebook say about its own year in review?The last two years of this decade have been harsh for this social media giant. In 2018, we had genocide in Myanmar, lynchings in India and a fake news tsunami in Brazil. Then came Cambridge Analytica, an exodus of executives, regulators that never sleep, stagnating growth and a falling stock price. Of course let’s not forget the trip to Congress, jabbering about Alex Jones, the really weird defense of Holocaust denial, a starring role in an indictment of Russians, and more.Facebook StockIn 2018, Facebook stock was constantly falling – big time. From $180 at the start of 2018 to $130 by the end of the year.Calendar 2019 was a bit different though. Data privacy concerns were still pretty much there but in a different context. Facebook decided to present its own cryptocurrency – Libra. CEO of Calibra David Marcus was grilled by members of the U.S. Congress for two days answering exactly questions regarding privacy concerns, money laundering, etc. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was even compared to Osama bin Laden and even though he (Zuckerberg) said he will pull Facebook from Libra if there is going to be any legal irregularity – the battue still hasn’t stopped.However, in terms of earnings, Facebook can brag that this year was pretty much better than the last one. Revenue growth rates have stabilized in the upper-20% range. Operating margins are standing in the mid-40% range while the expense growth has been moderated. Facebook stock jumped as well. From $130 at the start of 2019, to over $200 heading into the last month of the year. At the time of writing it was up by 34% to $199.39 in premarket trading.For the year 2020, Facebook stock could repeat its 2019 successes meaning growing revenue and healthy margin performance. FB stock could probably rise more than we thought in the next twelve months.Main Influencing FactorsBe it as it may, there are two big drivers here that could bring Facebook stock to as high as $250 in 2020. Expanding share in the secular growth digital advertising market through increased ad real estate is one, and a big push into the e-commerce world with initiatives like Facebook Pay and Instagram Shopping is second.Even though the digital ad market is slowing, (from a ~20% growth industry over the past few years, to a low double-digit growth industry over the next few years) and the competition in that market is increasing as well, (Amazon, Snap, Pinterest) Facebook is still hard to replace and there is a huge space if it decides to spread market share even more.At the same time, Facebook is only monetizing its two billion users platforms with ads. You mostly don’t see ads on Messenger or WhatsApp, right? And exactly those two are the most used communication apps in the world. So, in short – Facebook’s secular digital ad headwinds will be strong in 2020, and perhaps even stronger as Messenger and WhatsApp incorporate ads.The second big driver of Facebook stock in 2020 will probably be the company’s entrance into the e-commerce world.As for what we know now, Facebook is still in the early stages of testing its different e-commerce growth initiatives. For now, these initiatives are mostly focused on Facebook Pay and Instagram Shopping so they are still not adding any significant revenue. However, that could change as well in the next year or two.Since consumers are already used to browsing through Facebook and Instagram feeds, Facebook could use that fact to turn Facebook Pay and Instagram Shopping into forces to be immersed with in the multi-hundred billion dollar e-commerce market. In the next year, it is expected that these two commerce initiatives get some money revenue as well.We still have to see when Libra will look at the light of the day. However, if that happens in 2020, Facebook might overtake the technology market as a whole. Bertrand Perez, director-general of the Libra Association, recently said the token should appear in the second half of 2020 adding that he is confident that all the regulatory difficulties could be solved by the launch. “The year we’ve taken prior to release will allow us to iron out all the problems,” he said.Facebook in 2020: E-Commerce, Ads, $250 Stock and Libra?

The Advantages of Using Bitcoin

With fewer people making transactions using cash these days, there are now a number of ways to purchase goods or services online. Bitcoin is one of the most popular methods of digital payments and there are plenty of advantages when it comes to using this peer-to-peer payment process.
Easy Set-Up and Zero Paperwork
Unlike standard currency, there are very few limitations surrounding the ownership of Bitcoin. It is perfectly legal to download and set up the online wallet program on a phone, tablet or laptop. It is incredibly straightforward to get started and no paperwork or documentation will be required.
Unlike opening a standard bank account, you don’t have to show proof of address and once you’ve accepted your first payment, you’re able to begin making transactions of your own!
Make Purchases and Transfer Money Anonymously
Although it is still possible to use an IP address to track a transaction, Bitcoin is largely anonymous and that is one of the significant advantages of using this method of cryptocurrency.
Those who purchase goods or services using this popular payment method will not be required to part with information such as home address, credit card number or e-wallet username. It offers relief to those users who are wary about sharing their details online and the anonymous Bitcoin address will also alter with every passing transaction.
Although Blockchain casinos have become increasingly common in 2019 and are likely to further flourish over the next twelve months, many legal sports betting sites in the USA still remain fairly reluctant to accept Bitcoin transactions.
There are many reasons for their unwillingness to accept these types of players including the prospect of faster pay-outs and the inability to send offers and promotions to players using their personal details. Some online betting sites tailor their bonuses to specific types of users and depositing throughout Bitcoin makes it much tougher to do this. Online bookmakers prefer to have a human checking over the transactions before confirming any pay-outs and this is simply not possible when it comes to cryptocurrency.
Modern, forward-thinking companies have been quick to adapt, however, many US betting sites still haven’t acclimatised to the changing nature of online transactions and simply refuse to add Bitcoin to their extensive list of payment options. However, there are a number of high-profile operators who will now gladly accept cryptocurrency users and many more could follow suit over the next decade.
Very Low Transaction Fees and No Taxes
Whether you opt for a credit card or an e-wallet to complete your online transactions, you will undoubtedly have paid some unwanted fees along the way. With Bitcoin, there are no hidden extras and sales taxes cannot be added to your purchases once they are complete.
With no link to any particular country or association, it means that conversion rates do not apply and you don’t have to worry about the price of the dollar before completing a purchase online.
Transactions tend to occur instantly and no authorization is required which also helps cut out any unwanted admin or handling fees.
 
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Morgan Stanley Developers Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange Phemex

Coinspeaker Morgan Stanley Developers Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange PhemexAs the crypto markets continue to move on a roller coaster, it seems like adoption is growing steadily. A group of eight former Morgan Stanley core developers announced the launch of Phemex. Phemex is a ‘high-speed’ cryptocurrency derivatives platform that is well-designed for the retail and institutional investors. The new firm is based in Singapore.In a December 4 press release, the former Morgan Stanley developers came with big claims that the platform is ten times faster than the traditional crypto trading platforms. Phemex is now being touted as a low-latency trading platform with no delays. It can reach speeds of up to 300,000 transactions per second while providing 100x leverage. The new platform alleges to have an order entry and response time of ‘less than 1 millisecond’.The platform offers Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin, and XRP perpetual contracts. In the future, it plans to offer contracts that are backed by traditional finance tools and instruments. It will also look into contracts that are backed by real-world commodities like agricultural products, metals, and energy.Going by the name Phemex, it refers to “the Greek Goddess of fame and good repute Pheme”. Jack Tao previously spent 11 years at Morgan Stanley holding the position of the global development leader of the firm’s electronic trading benchmark execution strategies.Tao came with seven other executives from Morgan Stanley who jointedly help in the founding of this Phemex venture.In the process of launching Phemex, Tao set up a team of at least 30 senior developers. He elaborated:“We are not just providing the functionality for trading. As executives from Morgan Stanley, we know what kind of ways, what kind of direction, or what kind of architecture can support high-frequency trading, stability, and low latency. This is where Phemex excels — our expertise enables us to compete with and outperform existing platforms.”Tao said that since the November 25 launch, Phemex has enjoyed a volume of approximately 1000 BTC daily on BTC/USD contracts.This level of sophistication, experience, and expertise has let the team parlay its expertise into creating a scalable and reliable platform. As a point of reference, Tao highlighted the challenges experienced by crypto exchanges in 2017 run-up in crypto prices. Most of them slowed or crashed as a result of elevated numbers of transactions.With that in mind, Phemex claims that its top-speed entry and response times are the solution to that problem. Tao believes that their platform is ‘technically on par’ with the indexes markets.Why Shift from Fiat to Crypto?According to Tao, their decision to shift was inspired by two factors. First, they think that the derivatives market has huge potential for growth based on the research done in the initial stages of Phemex. Secondly, they see a lot of room for improvement coming from the traditional financial world where technical standards are significantly high.Phemex runs on C++ and React programming languages while other platforms use Kdb+, a column-based relational time-series database. A statement read:“While extremely efficient in calculating orders, costs and risks, Kdb+ presents exchanges with reliability issues due to scalability and transaction throughput limitations.”Blockchain.com also launched a crypto exchange called The PIT in July alleging that it is one of the fastest worldwide. Phemex also provides a ‘cold’ wallet that assigns an independent deposit address to every user according to the announcement.Singapore Regulators Are WatchingLast month, Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), suggested that crypto derivatives trading should be brought under its purview. That proposal would make the trading of derivatives based on the underlying assets like Ether and Bitcoin depending on the city-state’s Securities and Futures Act.Phemex is reportedly looking for a regulatory license from MAS and for now, it does not serve any U.S,-based clients. The Singapore-domiciled company considers the proposal by the MAS to be timely since it may soon permit crypto-based derivatives to be traded on regulated platforms.Morgan Stanley Developers Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange Phemex

Duolingo Receives $30 Million Series E Funding Pushing Valuation to $1.5 Billion

Coinspeaker Duolingo Receives $30 Million Series E Funding Pushing Valuation to $1.5 BillionOne of the world’s most used language learning platform Duolingo has successfully pulled in $30 million in a new series F funding. The funding was handled by Alphabet’s investment division CapitalG, which had led the platform’s series D funding round a few years ago in 2015.Duolingo seems to be doing something right especially since CapitalG has decided to come back to pump more money after 4 years. So far, the language learning platform has raised a total of $138 million in funding, climbing up to a $1.5 billion valuation. In comparison, it’s series E funding which took place in 2017 raised its valuation to $700 million.The Duolingo platform is a free app that allows people free access to learn many languages. The app handles these sessions through different methods including small lessons and games as well, making it easy for pretty much anyone to follow and learn most of the world’s languages. Duolingo, however, has a paid version that costs $7 per month for an opportunity to use the app without ads and also ensures users to have access even when they aren’t online.Speaking on its mission to return as an investor, a general partner at CapitalG Laela Sturdy has said that the company has been growing quite well over the years and as suggested that CapitalG is drawn to Duolingo’s selfless mission to allow people better themselves. Sturdy said:“Duolingo has been adding users and revenue at an impressive pace, continuing to solidify their position as the number one way to learn a language globally. The team has demonstrated that sticking to their mission of providing free education is not only good for the world…it’s also good for business.”Also, Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn has said that the company was started because of a passion to make free education very easy and accessible to people all over the world. The CEO also spoke on CapitalG’s partnership, stating:“CapitalG has been a valuable partner to Duolingo over the past few years, and we look forward to using this investment to continue our growth and further solidify our position as the most widely used and top-grossing language learning app worldwide.”Duolingo was founded in Pittsburgh and launched its private beta on 30 November 2011. It became available to the general public in June 2012 and boasts of 30 million users who are actively engaged in using its platform to learn some of the world’s popular languages. Last year, the platform added fictional language Klingon from the Star Trek movie series. Surprisingly at the time, Duolingo said that thousands of pre-registered users had shown interest in learning Klingon.Apart from Pittsburgh, the company has started offices in Beijing and Seattle, New York as well. With a staff strength of 200, Duolingo also says that its paid plans pull in about $100 million every year.Duolingo Receives $30 Million Series E Funding Pushing Valuation to $1.5 Billion

Blockchain Arm of Ping An Insurance OneConnect Gives Details for its IPO Valued at $468M

Coinspeaker Blockchain Arm of Ping An Insurance OneConnect Gives Details for its IPO Valued at $468MOneConnect Financial Technology which is the artificial intelligence and blockchain arm of Ping An Insurance that is easily one of the largest insurance firms in China has come forth with the terms for its IPO valued at $468 Million. Sources indicate that based on the F-1 Filing of its prospectus with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the firm intends to conduct the initial public offering which is aimed at raising between $432 million and $504 million via issuing about 36 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) at around $12- $14 per share.The filing puts the Chinese at the helm when blockchain technology is the buzzword in the fintech space at the moment. The filing reads:“China’s financial services industry had RMB334.9 trillion (US$46.9 trillion) of total assets as of December 31, 2018, and generated RMB14.1 trillion (US$2.0 trillion) of revenue in 2018”.Financial institutions that have chosen to underwrite the initial public offering include Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan.This, of course, puts paid to the rumors that the original amount to be raised was $100 million which was changed in the November filing of the prospectus. Sources further indicate that OneConnect is considering listing on the New York Stok Exchange (NYSE) using the symbol “OCFT”. The filing further pegs the valuation of the company to be between $4.7 billion – $4.9 billion. This value, of course, is a reasonable reduction in the $7.5 billion which was the valuation that Softbank depended on during the last fundraising.With inflows of $222 million and about $160 million in losses so far this year, it seems that the guys at OneConnect seem to have it all planned out and may just hit and even surpass the figure.OneConnect had at one point tried to get listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange with a target deal worth about $1 billion. But due to liquidity issues, they had to shelve the idea and now they have settled for less but with inclusion into the United States financial space which is carefully guarded by the United States government. Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology have several uses within the insurance industry. The propensity for many policyholders who see insurance companies like cash cows due to the increased fraudulent activities that go down within such circles. Anyone can lie and cheat using current legacy systems for the creation of insurance products but when it comes to open ledger systems and artificial intelligence, the propensity for the success of such crimes decreases sharply. The use of data and analytics models for the creation of other types of digital products as per insurance also gets a big boost as well. From the prospectus, it seems that China is holding the fort when it comes to fintech companies going in the direction of innovation but we all now the Americans: They show up at just the right time. This time, it is only time that shall tell.Blockchain Arm of Ping An Insurance OneConnect Gives Details for its IPO Valued at $468M

Qualcomm Incorporated Stock Turns Heads as It Makes One-Day 2.65% Jump

Coinspeaker Qualcomm Incorporated Stock Turns Heads as It Makes One-Day 2.65% JumpShareholders of Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM) stock are definitely happy and smiling to the bank as shares have risen impressively. The company which creates and engineers wireless technology and processing chips for smartphones was one of the most notable jumpers on the S&P 500 yesterday on December 4, as it rose by $2.65% to hit $82.08.In response to the rise, ratings for QCOM were changed to reflect its new status. The rating on Mizuho was promoted to “Buy” from the previous “Neutral” rating which had been there for a while. Morgan Stanley also responded by changing QCOM’s rating on its platform to Equal-Weight from Overweight. For Cowen however, its analysts have decided to continue to recommend QCOM as “Outperform.”QCOM began trading yesterday at an $80.92 value but eventually hit an $82.44 intraday high and an intraday low of $80.45. By the end of the day, QCOM’s over 8 million trading shares had all taken on more weight at about $2.12 each.By contrast, QCOM shares shed 1.87 points or 2.27% and closed at $80.58 the previous day, despite trading more than 11 million shares. It’s intraday high hit $81.39 with lows at $79.81. After yesterday’s interesting feat, however, QCOM’s market cap hit $93.4 billion but has since shed some of its weight, dropping to about $92.5 billion.So far, the entire 2019 hasn’t been bad for the chipmaker. Earlier, Qualcomm and Apple had been enmeshed in a legal dispute. The two giant firms had been at each other’s necks regarding patents related to modems used in smartphones. For many months, the companies went back and forth and the effect was seen in some countries where iPhone sales were discontinued. However, in April, both companies shocked the world when they announced an unexpected settlement and then proceeded to sign a deal that would last for six years. In response to this news, QCOM stock on that day, surged a whopping 23% and has kept investors reasonably interested since then.Qualcomm also announced its earnings report early last month for its Q4. Investors were once again delighted to hear that the company surpassed forecasts posited by analysts and hit 78 cents in earnings per share, over the estimated 71 cents.In other news, rival chipmaker Intel is openly unhappy with Qualcomm and has leveled several accusations against Qualcomm, suggesting that the company broke a few laws to maintain its monopoly on 5G hardware. In a recent blog post published by Intel, the company claims that it was adversely affected by certain moves Qualcomm made. The post reads:“Intel suffered the brunt of Qualcomm’s anticompetitive behaviour, was denied opportunities in the modem market, was prevented from making sales to customers and was forced to sell at prices artificially skewed by Qualcomm.”Many people, however, believe that as far as 5G is concerned, Intel simply wasn’t ready.Qualcomm also recently announced the new Snapdragon 865 and 765 chips. Both products are expected to significantly power 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) devices, ensuring a game-changer. No devices have been announced yet but it’s expected that as from 2020, several devices will include these chips.Qualcomm Incorporated Stock Turns Heads as It Makes One-Day 2.65% Jump

Call of Duty: Mobile Surpasses 170M Downloads and Brings $87M in 2 Months after Launch

Coinspeaker Call of Duty: Mobile Surpasses 170M Downloads and Brings $87M in 2 Months after LaunchNowadays it is becoming more and more popular to play games on your mobile device, rather than your PC. And it’s nothing strange since mobile phones are today more developed than ever. One of these popular games is rolled out by Activision Blizzard. It is Call of Duty: Mobile that has recently, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates, brought in around $87 million in global player spending and more than 172 million downloads in only two months of its existence.Even though there were previous versions of Call of Duty mobile games before, still, neither of them has ever was purchased in this amount. The title, developed by TiMi Studios and Tencent, got to record-breaking 100 million in just the first week. However, as per Sensor Tower, that swiftness has slowed since then. In November, the game had around 21 million installs that is indeed pretty much less than almost 146 million that was purchased in October.The game has been a hit particularly in the United States, where it had been installed approximately 28.5 million times, making it 16.6% of all downloads. India came in second with 17.5 million installs or 10.2%, and Brazil landed on the third spot with 12 million installs, or 7%.Most of the downloads were made through Google Play, somewhat more than 89 million, or 52%. The iOS version, on the other hand, assembled around 83 million downloads, or 48%.Call of Duty: Mobile gathered most of its revenue in October, earning $55 million in comparison to around $31 million made in November. Players said it is pretty much easy to navigate and shoot on a touchscreen. However, they argue about the game not supporting a Bluetooth controller but this is probably made because it would be too hard for touchscreen players to fight with someone who has a game controller.For early players there are many bots presented that helps the user get accommodated earlier and get accustomed to the first-person shooter fighting. It’s also worth knowing that Call of Duty: Mobile perfectly captures elements from all across the Call of Duty franchise in order to make a shooter for handheld devices. New content, including the recently added zombies mode, is also keeping players immensely hatched on a first-person shooter.United States and Great Britain among the Biggest SpendersThe U.S. took again the largest share of the revenue, with players there spending over $36 million, or 42% of the total. Japanese players were the second biggest, spending more than $11 million, or 13.2%, while Great Britain came to a third spot earning countries with $2.6 million, or 3%.Most of these earnings came from the App Store, which gathered more than $51 million, or 59.2% of the total. In the meantime, Google Play accounted for more than $35 million, or 40.7%.Even though spending in the game has decreased since its post-launch records, it is constantly classified in the top 25 earning titles in its crucial markets. With new characteristics and content beginning to roll out much faster, there will probably be even more heights in grossing during the next few months. As per Sensor Tower, for now, Call of Duty: Mobile still represents one of the most successful examples of shifting a major console and PC property to mobile.Activision Blizzard StockIn the other news, Activision Blizzard, Inc. stock saw a double-digit share price rise of over 10% in the past couple of months. It ended Wednesday’s trading with the fall of 1.30% to $53.88 being still a bit overvalued by approximately 20% at the moment.This price of around $54 is much higher than the stock value observed in June when ATVI was trading for approximately $40. So, now we can say that today’s figure is close to the highest price this year.However, even though it is so, stocks are very far away from their all-time high of $83.39 in October 2018. But by the end of 2018, their price fell down to $47 and since that time it hasn’t managed to restore its previous value.Call of Duty: Mobile Surpasses 170M Downloads and Brings $87M in 2 Months after Launch

Central Bank of France Is Ready to Test Its Digital Currency in 2020

Coinspeaker Central Bank of France Is Ready to Test Its Digital Currency in 2020As cryptocurrency adoption continues to spread all over the world, several entities including corporate organizations and governments are gradually catching the crypto bug. Based on a report from a French financial media platform Les Echos, France has now joined a list of countries that have shown interest in the crypto sector and have taken it a step further with a decision to float their own digital currency. France will now test its crypto sometime in the first quarter of next year.During a recent conference of the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), the governor of the French central bank -the Banque de France – François Villeroy de Galhau, announced this and also called for collaborations. He stated:“We intend to start experimenting quickly and launch a call for projects (for private sector players) by the end of the first quarter of 2020.”The official Twitter account for the Bank of France has also confirmed this in a recent tweet, saying that the institutions must “in a serious and methodical manner”, make sure it is not left behind in this regard.Unlike most other countries, however, the French digital token will be restricted to financial institutions and not be extended to retail or individual payments. Both Les Echos and the governor did not say whether or not the Banque de France intends to spread accessibility at a later time.As part of the governor’s speech as quoted on a tweet from the Banque de France, the central bank’s chief hopes that France will be the “leading issuer” of a central bank digital currency. This is probably to outperform China because the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has said that its digital currency is ready, but has yet to announce a release date.The development might also be a method by the French central bank to tackle Facebook’s forthcoming Libra. It’s no longer news that France is strongly against Facebook’s Libra and will not be supporting the project. Just like the tweet referenced above, the French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire had previously called for the development of a national digital currency so that France will not be left behind by other countries such as China, which are making significant strides in the development and issuance of their digital currencies. The minister however also said at the time that Libra must not be accepted or used as a way to relegate other currencies. He noted:“It is out of question that Libra becomes a sovereign currency. It can’t and must not happen.” Other European countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, also have similar opinions about Libra. In the blockchain and crypto space, France has really not been left behind and has been making significant strides so far. Last month, the deputy governor of Banque de France Denis Beau announced at a conference that the use of blockchain technology would be advantageous to the development of France’s financial system. Moreover, it has become known that high school students in the country will have an opportunity to gain basic knowledge of blockchain and digital currencies in the framework of their everyday studies.Central Bank of France Is Ready to Test Its Digital Currency in 2020

Sean Neville Announces His Stepping Down as Circle Co-CEO

Coinspeaker Sean Neville Announces His Stepping Down as Circle Co-CEOIn a major turn of event at crypto startup Circle, Sean Neville will be stepping down from his role as the Co-CEO of the company. In an email secured by CoinDesk, Neville notified his decision during a quarterly meeting among the Board of Directors.Neville found this Boston-based peer-to-peer payments technology company in partnership with Jeremy Allaire, in 2014. While Neville decided to step down from the role of Co-CEO, he will continue as the company’s independent director.Neville has not explicitly stated the reason behind his decision. However, in the email, he mentions that the company’s recent sale of Poloneix exchange which was one of the factors for him to opt for this transition. The good news is by staying on Circle’s board, Neville will continue working with CENTRE. CENTRE is a collaboration between Coinbase and Circle and the issuer of USDC stablecoin. In his email, Neville wrote:“I also expect to propel the mission forward through CENTRE and other new complementary paths that traverse worthwhile challenges in infrastructure, regulatory policy, economics, and product design. As always, I remain stubbornly optimistic about our ability to devise and execute well-crafted things that improve our collective future.”But before starting with his new role, Neville will be on a sabbatical for some time. Over the last few years, under the leadership of Neville and Allaire, Circle has made massive progress. It was one of the first companies to receive the toughest BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services in the year of 2015.Last year in February 2018, Circle had acquired the popular Poloniex exchange for around $400 million. However, within a year, it decided to part way and sold it following the launch of its new exchange platform.Circle announced its new platform “Polo Digital Asset” specifically to serve U.S. customers. The blog post mentioned that U.S. customers will no longer be able to create an account on Poloniex. Explaining the reason behind its decision, Circle said: “The spinout will free us to focus on the needs of global crypto traders with new features, assets and services”.It will be interesting to see that who will be filling Neville’s shoes or will the company work under Allaire’s single leadership ahead.Let us also remind you that as the year is getting closer and closer to its end, this news is not the first one about changes in the companies’ management. Just yesterday we reported about huge changes within Google and Alphabet structure. Now Google CEO Sundar Pichai is a new Alphabet CEO as well while Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will serve more as the company’s advisors.Sean Neville Announces His Stepping Down as Circle Co-CEO