Hong Kong and Thailand Pilot Cross-Border Payments, China to Use Crypto for Social Credits, and More Crypto News

| January 24, 2020 11:34 am PDT

The expectations that Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies would keep rising didn’t come true in the past week. They actually dropped, with BTC going under $8,500 and Ethereum breaking the $160 barrier.

That’s not the end of the world, but I certainly hope the trend will reverse soon.

But let’s leave the crypto prices aside for a while and explore the latest news from the industry. There are plenty of interesting recent highlights to cover.

Hong Kong and Thailand Embrace Digital Currencies for Cross-Border Payments

The first talking point this week is overwhelmingly positive and comes from Asia. The central banks of Honk Kong and Thailand are looking to implement a new cross-border payment system.

The joint press release of the institutions explains that they have performed a detailed analysis of the risks and benefits of using a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Their research project was called Project Inthanon-LionRock and was initiated in May 2019.

The conclusion from the experiment is that establishing a cross-border payments platform based on CBDC has excellent potential to reduce costs and make it easier for the users to complete various transactions.

The expectations are that both banks will invest in a CBDC system that should cover the needs of their customers in the near future.

I welcome the news with satisfaction because it’s good for the long-term future of the sector. The more institutions embrace crypto, the more investments in security and payment systems we will see.

China to Implement Crypto in Its Social Credits System?

The next piece I’ve got here is disturbing, to say the least. China’s social credits system is one of the most terrible tools for control over the citizens you can find in the modern world.

Forgive me if I sound overly dramatic, but I really feel for the people of this country, as the situation there strongly resembles a state created by George Orwell.

The government is now considering using blockchain to control the citizens by implementing it to the social credits system. There was a seminar about that, and I certainly hope it doesn’t have real consequences.

Honestly, utilizing crypto in blockchain in order to oppress and spy on your citizens is exactly the opposite of the main goal of crypto.

Singapore Partners With MasterCard and Mitsubishi to Promote Crypto

Singapore is one of the most advanced countries when it comes to digital innovations, and we received further proof of that fact last week.

The country has formed a blockchain trade alliance with MasterCard, Mitsubishi, and a bunch of other giants in various industries to promote the adoption of blockchain and crypto technologies in finance and trade.

The main goal of the organization is to push for digitalization across the globe and less usage of outdated paper systems that are still active in too many places. The main method for that purpose will be blockchain-based, and I’m loving this.

The sector can certainly benefit from the support of an economic powerhouse like Singapore and its partners. Let’s hope more countries and companies from all over the globe join forces to push the new technologies.

Central Banks Forced by Facebook’s Libra to Research Crypto

I’ve reported multiple times on Facebook’s big crypto project Libra. It has hit multiple hurdles even before it was launched, and it might face strong resistance from various countries and institutions.

There was a curious statement on the topic this week when former Japanese bank executive Hiromi Yamaoka share his opinion that Libra forced plenty of central banks to dive into the crypto world.

He believes that the institutions have no other choice but to try and find a way to utilize crypto, implementing blockchain to their own systems. That would reduce the costs for the end user and provide smoother transactions.

I certainly hope that Yamaoka is right. It’s about time for the biggest banks in the world to embrace the future and make the life of each of us easier and cheaper through crypto. We all know that blockchain can change the way payments are processed for good.

The Chairman of India’s Security Regulator Is a Fan of Crypto

The last highlight from the week is once again related to Asia. In a speech during a conference this week, Ajay Tyagi, the chairman of the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), shared his admiration for crypto.

He believes that it can be used to improve national security and expressed the opinion that the country should try to use it in the near future.

Final Words

These are my top crypto highlights of the week. They are mostly related to the big picture, as usual, so feel free to share other interesting news in the comments section below.

Also, Bitcoin is trying to recapture $8,500 as I’m writing this post, so let’s hope for a bullish trend in the upcoming weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates on our crypto blog.

Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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