Will gaming be the killer app for blockchain, and will 2019 be the year? Late last year, the Blockchain Gamer Alliance formed with representatives from UbiSoft, ConsenSys and many smaller players in both the video game and blockchain development communities. They seem to be making headway, especially in terms of in-game utility tokens that can be used for delivery of both physical and digital collectibles. Over just the past couple days, Contract Servant partnered with World Cross Saga, according to BlockchainGamer.biz, while 0xWarriors and Hero of CryptoWorld announced pre-sales. And recently, Fnatic used World Asset Exchange to send merch during a live League of Legends event on Twitch.
BitTorrent sells out in 15 minutes. Binance completed the sale of BitTorrent Token in a quarter of an hour January 28, the exchange reports. Proceeds total $7 million, according to Cointelegraph. BitTorrent is a TRON-affiliated blockchain project for peer-to-peer file sharing and claims to have 100 million monthly active users across 138 countries.
R3 affiliate raises $10m. CULedger, a US-based credit union service organization, secured eight digits worth of Series A funding to build a peer-to-peer digital exchange. The platform, which will serve member-owned financial cooperatives in the States, will be built on the R3 Corda permissioned blockchain, according to a press release. “We are grateful the credit union community recognizes the importance of self-sovereign identification and the innovative future of the digital experience,” said Julie Esser, chief experience officer of CULedger. “By leveraging distributed ledger technology, credit unions are leading the industry into the next generation of security and trust in financial services.” The $10 million comes from 32 investors which are mainly credit unions, CUSOs and payment processors.
In other R3 news : Deutsche Börse Group and HQLAX report making significant progress in developing a blockchain solution for collateralized debt swaps in. The exchange and the R3 developer began working together in March 2018. The project, established on R3 Corda, is intended to enable more efficient collateral management of high-quality liquid assets. This functionality is increasingly in demand, according to a Deutsche Börse Group press release, because of “increased clearing and margin requirements under the Basel III regulation”.
Meet Not-So-Public Enemy No. 1. And No. 2 Cybersecurity firm Chainalysis reports that two hacker groups are responsible for most thefts in the crypto space. According to Bitcoin.com, their attacks take in an average of $90 million, which is then laundered through exchanges.
Governments cash in on crypto. The governments of Chile, Romania, Spain, South Africa and other nations are looking to tax digital assets, Bitcoin.com reports. “These countries are crafting laws that bind citizens to annually disclose cryptocurrency investments that, in some cases, are held at home and abroad, and to pay anything from [10% to 35%] income tax on crypto gains,” according to Zimbabwe-based journalist Jeffrey Gogo.
LOOKING FORWARD: Litecoin founder Charlie Lee tweeted that he will spend much of 2019 working to improve LTC’s “fungibility”. At present, one unit of LTC might be tainted by use in known criminal or sordid activity, and Lee is considering a soft fork that would render the seventh-largest cryptocurrency more like such privacy coins as monero or zcash. Monetary authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are launching a common digital currency for use in financial settlements between the two nations, according to a Saudi press release. This move is intended as a proof-of-concept for distributed ledger technology in payment processing. The UAE is known to be in the forefront of efforts to establish the world’s first central bank digital currency, and this could be seen as an interim step.