Fidelity Said to Be Planning March Launch of Bitcoin Custody Service — Jan 29, Bloomberg
Fidelity Investments is targeting a March launch date for its Bitcoin custody service, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, as the mutual fund giant moves forward with a plan that could help ease fears around trading cryptocurrencies and help institutional investors ease into crypto.
Wrapped BTC Launched on Ethereum as an ERC-20 token — Jan 30, WBTC
The WBTC project announced in October last year is now live on Ethereum. The project uses BitGo’s custody service and is thus centralized, like all other current fiat and crypto gateways, eg. payment gateways on WAVES. Until the crypto community invents new permissionless cross-chain capabilities, such services still provide a form of interoperability between different public blockchains. WBTC is minted as an ERC-20 token, and BTC custodial addresses are publicly known, meaning WBTC is a 1:1 backed token on Ethereum. This means that unlike Tether USDT, WBTC can actually be audited by anyone at any time. Currently more than 72 bitcoins in the form of ERC-20 tokens have been minted on Ethereum. This kind of service could be a possible substitute for other centralized settlement solutions, like Blockstream’s recently released inter-exchange settlement network Liquid, which is also a centralized scaling solution for Bitcoin.
SWIFT to Integrate With R3’s Corda Platform Using XRP — Jan 30, Coindesk
SWIFT has announced that they will integrate R3 Corda Settler, which launched in December of last year. They say the application aims to facilitate global cryptocurrency payments within enterprise blockchains and that the first “cryptocurrency” used will be XRP tokens.
OUR OPINION: This is great example of corporations not yet understanding blockchain technology and its relationship to native cryptocurrencies. Public blockchains and their native coins exists in synergy; the coin is necessary for economic incentives so the network can exist without a central entity providing infrastructure and verifying transactions, while private blockchains do not need a native coin to function. If XRP is implemented in this case, they might as well also implement World of Warcraft gold as a “cryptocurrency.”