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ING Economist Says – The US Dollar May Fall Out of Favor If It Is Not Made Digital

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ING Economist Says - The US Dollar May Fall Out of Favor If It Is Not Made Digital
ING Economist Says - The US Dollar May Fall Out of Favor If It Is Not Made Digital

As multiple countries and entities weigh the validity of a central bank digital currency the physical United States dollar still sits in a place of dominance — but for how long? “The dollar is the dominant currency today,” ING economist Carlo Cocuzzo said on a panel at London Blockchain Week. Cocuzzo added that “90% of forex turnover is in dollars, so the U.S. stands to lose in this game.” A September 2019 report from The Bridge showed similar prominence, with USD tallying 60-70% of foreign exchange reserves.

Over the past year, various entities and governments have expressed interest in digital currency issuances. Facebook threw its hat into the ring in June 2019 with the release of a white paper for Libra, stablecoin to be backed by several currencies and financial products. On the government side, China has visited multiple headlines for its research on a Digital Yuan, a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, for the country.

Libra in particular has been the subject of numerous concerns from governing bodies since Facebook released its plans. “That’s an angle where things can get tricky from a dollar perspective,” Cocuzzo said, referring to Facebook’s mention of remittances in relation to Libra. Cocuzzo also questioned a scenario in which citizens could use non-local currencies as payment. “China could give access to foreign customers to access the digital yuan,” he said, adding:

“How would that affect the dollar in the Forex market? There will definitely be an impact and I don’t think the U.S. central bank will wait and see.”

Since Bitcoin’s creation more than 10 years ago, the asset and its underlying technology have shown the world new avenues for speed and security. As countries and big companies explore the technology, governing bodies will need to adjust to a new system that comes with such changes.

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The First Game Built On The Tezos Blockchain Planning Alpha Launch

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The First Game Built On The Tezos Blockchain Planning Alpha Launch
The First Game Built On The Tezos Blockchain Planning Alpha Launch

Tezos (XTZ) co-founder Kathleen Breitman is preparing to launch the alpha version of the game built on top of Tezos — a crypto-powered collectible card game called ‘Emergents.’ Emergents’ in-game cards will comprise non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that players have full ownership over. Coase intends to comprise both the primary and secondary marketplace for the cards. The company will also act as both a buyer and a seller for the NFTs.

While Breitman has been planning the game since 2018, she announced Coase — the company that will launch Emergents — in May 2019. The company is composed of Breitman, former professional Magic: The Gathering player Zvi Mowshowitz, former Pokemon and Magic developer Alan Comer, and game designer Brian David-Marshall. 

Coase will initially launch a free base set of cards with new cards being made available for purchase on a weekly basis. Cards will be priced and paid for in XTZ, however, there will also be a fiat gateway that conceals the cryptocurrency transaction for players who do not wish to handle crypto. Each card will have a fixed supply, with prices fluctuating according to an algorithm that measures demand for a card. When a specific card is purchased the algorithm will increase its price slightly, and vice versa. Coase will purchase cards from sellers for approximately 95% of their market value.

The pricing system will likely lead to significant fluctuations in a card’s price, as cards may fall in and out of favor with players as different meta-strategies are developed that emphasize the strengths or weaknesses of specific cards within the context of different decks. As such, players are incentivized to develop strategies built around undervalued cards in order to drive demand and allow them to sell the card back to Coase for a profit. While other blockchain-based card games reserve the right to alter an overpowered card’s stats or supply, Coase will nerf overpowered cards by minting new cards designed to rebalance the game.

The alpha launch of Emergents comes amid a glut of projects offering unique blockchain-based gaming experiences featuring in-game items that players can own and trade. During March, Horizon Blockchain Games opened the final closed beta season of its Ethereum-based NFT-powered card game, SkyWeaver. Enjin launched a program to entice developers to work on its NFT and blockchain-powered gaming network. While the creator of FarmVille announced the development of a blockchain-based gaming network built featuring NFT in-game items.

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Binance Gets Rid Of FTX Tokens Citing Confusion

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Binance Gets Rid Of FTX Tokens Citing Confusion
Binance Gets Rid Of FTX Tokens Citing Confusion

Major crypto exchange, Binance, has decided to remove leveraged FTX tokens from its exchange, explaining that customers don’t understand the product. “Due to lack of understanding of how leveraged tokens work by many of our users, Binance has decided to delist all existing FTX leveraged tokens and corresponding trading pairs,” the exchange announced on March 28. Binance will shut off deposits and withdrawals for the assets on March 31 at 8 a.m. UTC, with a stoppage in trading at 10 a.m. on the same day.

On March 11, Binance announced its listing of two FTX leveraged ERC20 tokens, known as BNBBULL and BNBBEAR. Customers could trade these assets against USDT or BUSD, Binance’s own stablecoin. Each token represented a 3x leveraged long or short position in Binance Coin (BNB). “Users can buy leveraged tokens just like normal tokens on a spot market,” Binance said in its March 11 announcement. “However, there is no need for them to manage collateral, margin, liquidation prices, or anything that a normal margin user needs to manage.” A quick press time scan also showed several other available bull and bear pairings, such as EOS, ETH and XRP, as well as a simple “Bull” and “Bear” option paired against USDT and BUSD.

As part of the March 28 announcement, Binance plans to remove “BULL, BEAR, ETHBULL, ETHBEAR, EOSBULL, EOSBEAR, BNBBULL, BNBBEAR, XRPBULL and XRPBEAR.” The exchange included both USDT and BUSD pairings in the delisting. Binance’s work with FTX comes after the crypto giant made an equity investment in the crypto derivatives platform back in December 2019. Binance also bought a stake in the platform’s FTX token.

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Will China Launch A Blockchain Service Network Even With The COVID-19 Pandemic?

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Will China Launch A Blockchain Service Network Even With The COVID-19 Pandemic
Will China Launch A Blockchain Service Network Even With The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Numerous cryptocurrency media outlets have published recent reports asserting that China’s Blockchain Service Network will launch in April 2020. However, these predictions appear to be based on local reports published prior to China’s first official fatality resulting from COVID-19.

On October 15, 2019, Chinese state-operated media outlet, Xinhua news, reported that the country’s Blockchain Service Network, or BSN, had commenced testing. The project’s six-month internal testing phase was initially scheduled to finish at the end of March 2020. The development of the network’s core technologies was then nearing completion, and more than 50 public nodes had been deployed in 31 provinces and municipalities across the country. In early January, just as COVID-19 was first being identified as a unique virus and not a recurrence of SARS, Tang Sisi, the deputy head of the Smart City Development Research Center of SIC, announced that the BSN would launch during April after the trial had completed. Roughly one week later, China announced its first official COVID-19 fatality.

While the platform had reportedly processed nearly $12.7 billion in transactions for 44 banks and almost 1,900 companies throughout trials in Shenzhen alone by mid-January, news regarding the BSN appears to have dried up as the coronavirus pandemic began to take shape in China. The most recent official mention of the project appears to be a March 9 report published by Chinese state-owned media outlet, Global Times. While the article announces that the People’s Bank of China had secured $4.7 million in research funding for the BSN over three years, the report contains no mention of an upcoming launch for the BSN.

Despite the spread of coronavirus beginning to slow in China, the recent near-total devotion of the Chinese state apparatus to fighting COVID-19 may mean that an April launch for BSN is unlikely. However, the pandemic has proved a good testing ground for many of blockchain’s applications — with China deploying distributed ledger technologies to track and record medical supplies, charity donations, and the spread of the virus. The BSN was first revealed in Shenzhen during September 2018, with the network intended to bolster China’s digital economy and underpin the construction of ‘smart cities.’ The blockchain network has been developed through collaboration between the state-run telecom provider, China Mobile, the government-support payment processor, China UnionPay, the State Information Center (SIC), and several other state institutions.

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