JP Morgan Launching their Own Cryptocurrency, JPM Coin — Feb 13, CNBC
The first fiatcoin (fiat-based stablecoin) created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it’s from J.P. Morgan Chase. JPM Coin is a 1:1 USD-backed token hosted on Quorum, JPM’s private Ethereum network. The main use case for the token will be international payment settlement for sizeable corporate clients, but it might also serve as a tokenized fiat currency in their permissioned network. JPM previously tested debt issuance on the blockchain, and it is expected that the majority of traditional financial products will be tokenized to take advantage of the obvious advantages of private blockchain networks compared to the current infrastructure, which is very rigid and slow. Tokenized USD will be used to transact with these tokenized products. Initially, only a tiny fraction of payments will be transmitted using the token, but this trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. investment bank.
Nasdaq to Add BTC and ETH Indices to Global Data Service — Feb 13, Coindesk
Nasdaq will offer two new crypto indices for bitcoin and ether, starting on February 25. The Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX) will offer spot price information on their Nasdaq Global Index Data Service. Both indices will reference the price of one coin quoted in USD, based on the most liquid markets.
First U.S. Pension Funds Take the Plunge on Crypto Investing — Feb 12, Bloomberg
Morgan Creek Digital, founded by Anthony Pompliano, has achieved the first investment in the crypto asset class from a U.S. pension fund. Two out of three defined benefit pension plans managed by Fairfax County Retirement Systems have invested in the Morgan Creek Digital fund. Pompliano’s new fund is structured as a traditional VC fund, investing in equity of companies in the blockchain industry, but also holds a small allocation of liquid cryptocurrencies.
OUR OPINION: The emergence of crypto brought us a new asset class, but also a completely new industry of products based around blockchain technology. It will be very common for diversified investment vehicles to have exposure to companies in the industry or to the crypto asset class directly.
Socialist Venezuelan Government Levies Massive Crypto Tax on Transactions — Feb 12, Toshi Times
In the pursuit of control of their citizens and cash flows eager to leave the country, Maduro’s government has introduced a new 15% cryptocurrency transaction tax. They also implemented restrictions on monthly transaction amounts. The basic limit is $600; a request can be submitted for permission to send more, but there is a hard limit of $3,000.
OUR OPINION: This kind of government behavior is exactly why we need permissionless money. While governments can set any laws and restrictions they choose, the main advantage of crypto is that they do not have a physical means of restricting cash flows or bank withdrawals compared to traditional banking infrastructure and fiat.