Japanese Banking Giant Mizuho to Launch a Yen-Pegged Stablecoin in March —Feb 21, Cointelegraph
Japanese banking giant Mizuho Financial Group will launch its fiatcoin pegged to yen for payments and remittance services today, March 1, as reported by local financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review. In a partnership with around 60 other financial institutions, together reportedly hosting 56 million user accounts, Mizuho’s new “J-Coin” digital currency platform will reportedly directly link existing bank accounts with digital wallets. The digital coin will be managed using a dedicated mobile app called J-Coin Pay, but the underlying infrastructure used is currently not known.
XRP Listed on Coinbase Despite Violating Listing Rules—Feb 26, CCN
For years, supporters of the Ripple blockchain network and its native cryptocurrency XRP have anticipated the listing of the asset on Coinbase, the largest digital asset exchange in the US. Many investors believed that the integration of XRP by Coinbase could be considered a confirmation of regulatory clearance on the nature of the digital asset as a non-security.
OUR OPINION: While the SEC will decide whether XRP is a security, the recent listing of XRP on Coinbase goes against the exchange’s own values and rules they put in place in 2018. The so-called Digital Asset Framework laid out a series of rules that a token must follow in order to be listed by the exchange. The rule being violated by Ripple reads: “The ownership stake retained by the team is a minority stake. There should be a lock-up period and reasonable vesting schedule to ensure the team is economically incentivized to improve the network into the future.” Ripple Labs and its founders hold a large amount of XRP emission. The XRP token is a security, as it plays no role in the economic incentives of securing the network but certainly has a role in Ripple Labs’ revenue.
Facebook Reportedly Talking to Crypto Exchanges About Listing its Coin —Feb 28, New York Times
Facebook is looking to launch its own fiatcoin in the first half of 2019. It is currently not known if they intend to use a public or a private blockchain, but there are reportedly 50 engineers working on the project. Their fiatcoin will differ from current ones in the reserve currency, as they intend to peg it to a basket of currencies rather than just to the US dollar. Facebook has 2.7B monthly active users across their platforms, and a blockchain-based tokenized fiatcoin could enable international, fast, and cheap transacting, though the service will almost certainly be permissioned.
OUR OPINION: The most interesting aspect of this fiatcoin is Facebook’s large user base, which means the fiatcoin could introduce a large number of people to the concept of digital currencies, even if it’s just a permissioned tokenized basket of fiat currencies. Secondly, their choice to peg it to a basket of currencies is interesting, as it would be a novelty in this space and might prove useful for some individuals and purposes.