A number of recent developments indicate that governments and traditional financial institutions are beginning to accommodate the rapidly evolving crypto and blockchain industry. This nascent technology, which was first heavily criticized for facilitating illicit activities such as money laundering and drug trafficking, is now being given serious consideration as a legitimate tool to help pave the way for future innovation and for the betterment of humanity.
Let’s explore and analyze some of the latest crypto-technology news.
South Korean Authorities Bringing More Clarity To Crypto Industry
Korea Times reported on May 2nd that lawmakers in South Korea are in the process of drafting a bill which will introduce a legal framework for ICOs. Ruling South Korean Democratic party representative Hong Eui-rak stated: “the bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government’s supervision.” Hong’s comments came during a National Assembly forum dedicated to blockchain technology and ICOs.
The politician added that the crypto bill was being drafted with the help of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and that the main objective of the legislation would be to “remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses.” The nation’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) along with the Ministry of Science and ICT will closely monitor all ICOs launched by private or public entities.
National Assembly speaker Chung Sye-kyun acknowledged the beneficial aspects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, but emphasized the need to “reduce political uncertainties they face.” Notably, this proposed bill is the first official attempt by the nation’s parliament to counter the ban on ICOs placed by the South Korean government toward the end of last year.
Not only are governments being pressurized to reconsider their previous hostile stance toward the crypto market, but financial powerhouses like Goldman Sachs are also giving in to the overwhelming demand from obsessive crypto traders. In fact, the New York Times reported on May 2nd that Goldman Sachs is planning to use its own funds to facilitate Bitcoin futures trading for their customers.
Goldman Sachs Board of Directors Approve Bitcoin Futures Trading
Board of Directors at Goldman Sachs are now planning to launch Bitcoin futures trading in the foreseeable future. The NY Times report further states that the financial giant will “create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients.” According to Goldman executive Rana Yared, the bank decided to offer the crypto service due to a lot of interest from their customers in holding Bitcoin as an investment.
While speaking to the NY Times, Rana said,
“It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold bitcoin or bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value.'”
Justin Schmidt, an avid digital currency trader, will be spearheading Goldman’s crypto operations. Justin’s previous experience includes working as professional trader at Seven Eight Capital, a hedge fund company.
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein had mentioned earlier this year that the bank was considering offering Bitcoin futures to its customers, however, these initiatives would have to be fully supervised and approved by US regulatory authorities. In order to remain compliant with regulations, Rana noted that the company was treading quite carefully. The investment banking executive stated:
“For almost every person involved, there has been personal skepticism brought to the table. It is not a new risk that we don’t understand. It is just a heightened risk that we need to be extra aware of here.”
Unhealthy Speculation in Crypto Markets
Although the above developments are quite positive for the cryptosphere, there’s still a lot of speculation in the crypto market. The following comments by Redditors show that there is still an unhealthy amount of focus and obsession on Bitcoin price:
Based on the comments above, it is obvious that there is a lot of focus on how much Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be worth. It would be better if the crypto community tried to put more effort into supporting the development of use cases for digital currency platforms. There are tons of crypto exchanges operating right now and there are not enough legitimate use cases for cryptocurrencies to complement the heavy trading.
Current Crypto Technology Far From Perfect
Due to the highly technical nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there is also a lot of confusion regarding even some of the most basic things. For example, it was recently revealed that the 17th millionth Bitcoin was mined and it should be simple enough to know when and if this milestone was reached. However, that’s not the case.
While many crypto community members were hyped up about the exciting milestone, as indicated by Blockchain.info, Jameson Lopp, the founder of another Bitcoin data website called Satoshi.info, remarked:
“Today I’ve learned that a lot of data sources are incorrectly reporting the total bitcoin supply. We haven’t actually hit 17 million BTC yet.”
What Jameson was referring to here is that Bitcoin miners might not have been able to claim their full block rewards. This was likely due to software bugs and various other technical reasons. Digital Asset Research (DAR) CEO Greg Cipolaro also chimed into this discussion by saying that blockchain data providers tend to use “opaque” techniques to report information.
Clearly, there are a lot of issues to be resolved in the crypto industry. But, they can be considered growing pains at this time. Once crypto-technology and the ecosystem around it begins to improve and mature, many of these problems should be resolved.