Litecoin creator and Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation Charlie Lee announced on Twitter Tuesday that the Litecoin Foundation has acquired a 9.9% stake in the German financial institution WEG Bank AG. The equity was received from TokenPay, a strategic partner of the Litecoin Foundation, who transferred their shares in exchange for technical assistance with various blockchain projects from the Litecoin Foundation.
As the implementation of blockchain technology increases, so does the list of international organizations getting involved in its development. Some organization on the list include the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSC), which recently published a wide-ranging research paper that includes findings on blockchain tech; the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which partnered with Blockchain, the world’s leading software platform for digital assets, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to explore the use of blockchain technology for development; and the World Bank, which launched a blockchain lab as part of a bid to pilot projects that can improve governance and social outcomes in the developing world. Recently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) added itself to the list by launching a number of projects that focus the collaborative efforts of its thirty-six member states on blockchain research, development, and implementation.
The past few years have witnessed the emergence of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, that promise to revolutionize the way business is conducted across many industries. As these technologies continue to evolve and seep into our daily lives, people, companies, and societies quickly adapt and assimilate to them. The law, however, does not.
Payment solutions giant MasterCard has filed a patent application for a public blockchain to verify credit card transactions. The patent was entitled “Method and System for Instantaneous Payment Using Recorded Guarantees.”
Cryptocurrencies were designed to be a secure storage of value, one that gave the holder sole autonomy over their funds. This lead to speculation that cryptocurrencies might topple the financial system and return sovereignty over money to the people by eliminating the need for a trusted third party such as a bank in the exchange and storage of value.
The finance giant Goldman Sachs has announced that the investment bank will begin using its own funds to trade a variety of derivatives contracts tied to the price of Bitcoin with the bank’s large institutional clients. Goldman Sachs has historically maintained a more open mind to cryptocurrency than most of its competitors. Back in January, the investment bank issued a nine-page report to some of its clients entitled “Bitcoin is Money.”
Consensus algorithms are the means by which individual nodes in a distributed system come to an agreement regarding which data to validate as accurate and which to disregard. In the case of cryptocurrency, this takes the form of deciding which transactions to honor and which to decline. These algorithms make it very difficult and expensive for someone to attempt to attack the system.
As more and more money flows in and out of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges, these institutions are finding themselves subject to the laws and regulations imposed on the broader financial services industry. Some find that this is burdensome, and detracts from the libertarian, anti-bank ethos of cryptocurrency. The crypto-to-crypto exchange Shapeshift, for instance, refuses to serve customers in the state of New York, due to New York’s controversial BitLicense.
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