UBS Group AG, a Swiss multi-national investment bank and financial services company, will be using its own digital currency for cross-border payment settlements. A report published by MarketWatch stated that a total of fourteen firms have developed a coin named, Utility Settlement Coin [USC], and among those firms includes leading banks of the United States, Europe, and Japan. The digital currency would be backed by “bank-owned currency held at the central bank.”
The project includes prominent industry players such as Barclays, Nasdaq, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Banco Santander, Lloyds Banking Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG, ING Groep NV, State Street Bank & Trust Co., Commerzbank AG, and KBC Group NV.
Notably, a total of $63.2 million has been invested in Fnality investment and it took the firm over four years for the development of the virtual currency. More so, the firm has been working with regulatory bodies of different countries in order to obtain the necessary regulatory documents.
The head of strategic investment at UBS, Hyder Jaffrey stated,
“You remove settlement risk, the counterparty risk, the market risk. All of those risks add up to cost and inefficiencies in the marketplace.”
The report stated,
“The USC token would function both as a payment device and messenger that carries all the information required to complete a trade, potentially cutting down on a transaction’s time and cost.
Interestingly, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple had spoken about this utility coin in a blog post on LinkedIn in August 2016. Garlinghouse had highlighted two major problems with a bank-issued digital currency, one among them being the coin backed by a “basket of currencies”. Garlinghouse had stated,
“Once backed by cash, it’s no longer an asset; it’s a liability. Trading liabilities then ultimately requires moving cash across borders, re-creating today’s system but adding more friction! We strongly believe banks need an independent digital asset to enable truly efficient settlement and we believe XRP is best positioned for that role.”
John Whelan, Head of Digital Investment Banking at Banco Santander, stated on Twitter,
“Stablecoin for wholesale purposes. After 3 years of R&D, Utility Settlement Coin becomes Fnality International.”
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Top Losers: Ethereum, XRP, and EOS bleed as crypto-market follows Bitcoin’s lead
The cryptocurrency market has been enjoying an unprecedented bull run over the past few months, a trend that reached its apex when Bitcoin briefly touched the $13,000 mark on Binance. However, on June 27, the market witnessed a trend reversal, with the bears returning to the world of digital assets.
Apart from Bitcoin’s price dropping by over 5% in an hour, popular altcoins like Ethereum, XRP and EOS also suffered a hit in value, with the bears ravaging all coins in the top ten cryptocurrencies club.
At the time of writing, Ethereum had fallen from $331.39 to $321.52 within an hour. This whopping 9.87 percent drop contributed to its market cap settling at $34.35 billion. The second largest cryptocurrency held a 24-hour trading volume of $106.66 million, a decent amount when compared to its figures during the bear market.
A majority of the volume was held by DOBI Exchange, a popular cryptocurrency exchange which controlled $636.38 million of all ETH trade. DOBI was followed by Huobi Global, with a 3.3 percent hold on all Ethereum transaction volumes.
The next altcoin to be affected by the sudden bear market was XRP, which fell by 6.67 percent in the hourly cycle. At press time, XRP was trading at $0.42, a far cry from the $0.47 it was trading at 24 hours ago. The cryptocurrency had a market cap of $18.22 billion and a 24-hour trading volume of $3.27 billion. BW.com, a relatively unknown cryptocurrency platform, controlled a majority of XRP trade with $232.13 million in ETH trading volume.
EOS was the third most affected by the bears’ attack, as the cryptocurrency fell by 3.41 percent in 50 minutes. EOS was trading at $6.446, with a market cap of $5.97 billion. The $5.29 billion trading volume was majorly split between LBank and Huobi Global, both of which recorded 9.48 percent and 5.75 percent in EOS trading volume, respectively.
The sudden market crash was speculated to be a major correction of prices after a sustained period of bullish rise by the coins. This fall coincided with predictions made by popular analysts and traders who had previously claimed that Bitcoin and the rest of the market will go through more bear runs, before they reach their all-time highs.
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