27/12/2017: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. MUFG To Launch A Scheme to Protect Cryptocurrency Holders

In 2014 Mt. Gox went bankrupt. It was the largest cryptocurrency exchange at the time. Customers lost significant amounts of Bitcoin. In an attempt to stop something similar from happening again, Japan-based Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking will soon launch a scheme to protect cryptocurrency owners if the exchange they are using fails. This is yet another example of the open approach Japan is adopting towards cryptocurrencies; its finance industry wants to get the most out of cryptocurrencies, accounts for 40% of global Bitcoin trading. The company would achieve its goal by separating the exchange customers’ cryptocurrency and the assigned exchange assets.

2. Bitcoin Stabilises at $ 16,500

After a Christmas period of price instability for Bitcoin, the currency’s price has finally stabilised today at $ 16,500. Considering that it crashed $ 8,000 in just a couple of days, the boost is significant. It has also to be noted that over 2017 the cryptocurrency crashed by at least 30% six times. Furthermore, analysts such as John McAfee and Ari Paul maintain a positive note predicting Bitcoin will peak at $ 1 million by 2020. However, it is still unknown if the Bitcoin market is close to its end or if it will be able to regain next year.

3. A Blockchain Real Estate Platform Powered by Ethereum

ShelterZoom is an Ethereum blockchain-based online offer and acceptance platform operating in the real estate industry. The platform has now gone live in the US and will do so internationally in the first quarter of 2018. North American real estate Cyrus Charter is the first listing customer and has started assessing the ShelterZoom platform in November; 10 customers have also started a beta test. The ShelterZoom system, which meets the Real Estate Standards Organization’s standards, reduces paperwork and improves buying/selling transparency. This simplifies the process of making and accepting real estate offers.

4. Blockchain Could Reinvent Trust in Financial Services

Wall Street veteran Blythe Masters has launched Digital Asset Holdings (DAH), a startup to tackle a common problem in the banking industry — managing incompatible financial databases. It is expensive, time consuming and intricate. Despite a significant inflow of money in the industry, the technology used is almost obsolete. For example, it takes three days for a stock trade to be completed. Ledger technologies could decrease the waiting time for this process and help banks saving $ 15/20 million by 2022, as well as tackling fraud. Banks such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs perceive its potential and have already invested over $ 60 million in the startup.

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