vision& - Cryptoweek: Shifting Gears
January 24 2019. Another week which brought interesting developments in many areas of the blockchain industry, underlines a solid start into a promising 2019. After the first larger price swings last week, the market seems to have found some equilibrium in the short term and is consolidating at levels around a total market-cap of $120 bln. The risk however remains on the downside. Volumes have not improved yet and the market is required to pick up substantially, ideally above the $4'300 handle in Bitcoin terms. Last year made history for being one of the worst years in terms of crypto price development, however a report published by NY based SCR shows that Bitcoin transactional volume in 2018 has actually reached a stunning $3 trillion out-pacing most emerging economy currencies. This is certainly a development we like to see. Blockchain was featured as a disrupting technology in the Tech Trends 2019 report published by Deloitte a few days ago and it looks like a trend is about to emerge within the financial sector as more banks expand their offering for digital assets. After Vontobel announced crypto custody for institutional investors last week, Swiss private bank Falcon did not wait too long to drop the bomb and announce that it has launched direct transfers, custody and crypto fiat withdrawals of four major cryptocurrencies, namely BTC, ETH, BCH and LTC, for private banking clients. Yesterday Wednesday, Dutch bank ABN AMRO also unveiled cryptocurrency storage facilities where customers will be able to store Bitcoin and co. in the same online banking environment they use for their day-to-day activities. The number one Swiss central banker Thomas Jordan expressed a supportive view in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where he acknowledged blockchain as a very powerful technology and denied the fact that it could be a threat to monetary policy.
Further, according to CEO Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com's long awaited security token trading platform (tZero) is scheduled to go live by the end of this week and hence meet the timeline given last month. Strong conviction also came from Japan as Tokyo-listed internet group Digital Garage announced Monday, that it has launched a new platform, which would allow app development on Blockstream's inter-exchange settlement network Liquid. The feature makes use of so-called 'atomic swaps', the ability to make cross-blockchain transactions without manually converting assets. In the hope to clear the ETH constantinople fork debacle core developers of the Ethereum network have proposed to roll out the much awaited software upgrade to late February.