Every single day dozens of news reports surface regarding big name companies launching their own crypto and blockchain products. So, it might now even be appropriate to say that this nascent technology is well into the initial stages of mainstream adoption. Let’s have a look at even more recent crypto-centric projects from across the globe.
Ethereum Futures Contracts
Digital currency trading portal Crypto Facilities is set to launch Ethereum futures contracts. The UK-based company made the announcement on Friday and added that Ether futures will “broaden investment opportunities and manage risks more effectively.” Timo Schlaefer, chief executive at Crypto Facilities, stated that Ether can be easily liquidated and pointed out that trading volume of the Ethereum blockchain token is in “billions of dollars.”
The chief executive further noted:
“We are excited to be launching ETH futures. The ethereum network is the pre-eminent blockchain for smart contracts, and we believe this new trading instrument will attract more investors and bring greater liquidity to the marketplace.”
Liquidity services Akuna Capital and B2C2 plan to assist Crypto Facilities by helping the company back its contracts. Toby Allen, executive at Akuna Capital, said his company had been “looking forward to seeing this much-needed product fill a gap in the market.” Allen also added that Ethereum futures contracts will make for an excellent addition to the burgeoning “crypto asset class”.
Meanwhile, Max Boonen from B2C2 remarked that was the “natural next step” for the Ethereum platform. Also, according to his observations:
“The continuing evolution and commoditization we’re seeing in ethereum will further increase liquidity in the marketplace, enabling participants to exchange assets seamlessly and unlock value. We look forward to providing liquidity for this new product.”
Notably, Crypto Facilities currently issues BTC and XRP futures contracts.
Korean Samsung Electronics Dives Deeper into Blockchain
In other crypto and blockchain related news, private blockchain solutions service theloop, Inc. revealed that Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA) formalized an agreement with Samsung Electronics to add CHAIN ID to “Samsung Pass” service. KOFIA is working closely with theloop to further develop CHAIN ID.
CHAIN ID is a blockchain-powered “joint authentication system”, which has been created by using theloop’s proprietary “blockchain engine” called loopchain. Currently, 11 South Korean securities firms are using loopchain. In case you’re wondering what Samsung Pass is, Samsung describes it is a “identity management-as-a-service”, which allows for biometric verification using face recognition, fingerprints, and iris.
Commenting on this collaboration with Samsung Electronics, theloop stated:
“We believe that this [memorandum of understanding] MOU with a leading global conglomerate is a big step towards both real-world adoption and globalization of blockchain technology. We are proud to say that loopchain is at the core of CHAIN ID and honored to be recognized by a corporation as reputable as Samsung.”
As Samsung strives to remain competitive by incorporating cutting-edge technology into its services, other major electronics and telecommunications companies also continue to innovate.
Huawei Firing on All Cylinders
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, a Shenzhen based Chinese telecommunications company, announced that it will be working with Bitmain’s BTC.com to launch a cryptocurrency app for smartphones. The app will be easily accessible via Huawei’s app store. In case you’re unaware, BTC.com monitors block data and crypto mining activity. Alejandro de la Toree, the website’s VP for business operations, stated that Huawei’s newly launched AppGallery will include the mobile crypto wallet.
At this moment, AppGallery is only accessible through a pre-install on the newest Huawei smartphones. However, support for older models will reportedly be offered some time this year. Dr. Jaime Gonzalo, VP of Huawei Mobile Services, stated:
“Cryptocurrencies have recently expanded the human understanding of digital economy at a large scale … We expect to see massive growth in global cryptocurrency adoption habits in the near future.”
This is not the only notable crypto and blockchain initiative launched by Huawei. In fact, the multinational electronics company introduced its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform in April of this year. Its BaaS is implemented using Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.
Robinhood Leading the Charge with Zero-Fee Crypto Trading App
While Huawei continues to make headway with its crypto and blockchain projects, creators of the zero-fee Robinhood stock-trading app are also gaining traction in the crypto market. As reported by Crypto Core Media a few months back, Robinhood announced plans to launch a crypto-trading app with no transaction fees. This plan has sparked a huge wave of funding from numerous investors. In fact, the company revealed recently that its valuation now stands at a staggering $5.6 billion.
The Robinhood company also stated that it has completed a Series D financing round totaling $363 million. The funding round was spearheaded by investment firm DST Global and other major investors included Capital G, Sequoia, Iconiq, and Kleiner Perkins. This is a dramatic rise in valuation for Robinhood considering that just last year it was valued at $1.3 billion with 2 million users. Now though, the company stated it has 4 million users while surpassing $15o billion in trading volume.
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev noted:
“It’s the only place right now where you can trade crypto, stocks, and options all in one place. For us to construct an experience that feels seamless and natural for customers, that for example want to sell an equity and use the proceeds to buy crypto, seamlessly, that’s been challenging not just from a product and design standpoint, but also infrastructure standpoint. There’s complexity under the hood, and our goal is to make it as seamless as possible in the process and make that complexity go away.”
Sirin Labs Introduces First Ever Blockchain Smartphone
Robinhood, Huawei, and Samsung have clearly made substantial investments in the crypto and blockchain industry. However, they will have to continue to work even harder because the very first blockchain smartphone has arrived. This time though, it is neither Samsung nor Huawei’s creation.
Sirin Labs has come out with Finney, a blockchain phone priced at $999. The smartphone reportedly uses the Sirin operating system, which is based off of Android technology. Get ready for this, the mobile phone features a built-in cold storage cryptocurrency wallet. It also offers P2P resource sharing and distributed ledger technology (DLT) consensus. According to its creators, Finney is “tamper-proof” and includes a “switch” for physical security.
Just like crypto hardware wallets, the cold storage wallet component of the phone is cut off from the internet to maximize security. Notably, just like Samsung, additional security can be enabled via standard biometrics and lock patterns. Sirin Lab’s official website states:
“FINNEY smart devices will create an independent blockchain network [that] enables fast payments between the network peers without the need for mining (fee-less). FINNEY devices will feature a cold storage crypto wallet compatible with the most common cryptocurrencies. The UI/UX will be developed to solve the technical pains of exercising crypto transactions by providing a platform for friendly and secure payments,”
Based on all these recent developments, it appears that companies are definitely looking to make cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based systems a lot easier for people to use, while improving functionality.
In more recent digital economy news, drone inspection company Cyberhawk has been issued a 3-year contract to manage digital assets for unnamed an oil and gas supermajor. The highly technical project will include rail and road loading docks, processing units, and cooling stations. Additionally, the construction project will involve drones capturing a “digitized view” of construction-related data. iHawk, a “visual asset” management solution created by Cyberhawk, will be used to manage the drone data.
Cyberhawk CEO Chris Fleming remarked:
“Despite having worked with oil and gas supermajor for the last eight years, in more than eight countries, this is the first time iHawk has been adopted at such large scale.”
iHawk is a highly sophisticated cloud-based solution and also offers proprietary services made specifically for the wind and utility sectors. However, it appears that their software does not use the now highly popular blockchain technology. That’s perfectly fine though because blockchain is not for everything, but we are already beginning to see DLT solutions for the drone industry that you can look forward to reading about later on, here at Crypto Core Media.
And, that’s a rap!