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Avaloq Spearheads Cryptocurrency Asset Solution Initiative

A leading fintech company, a cryptocurrency asset firm and a Switzerland bank have come together to implement a crypto asset solution for banks and wealth managers.

Cryptocurrency Asset Solution for Banks and Wealth Managers

According to a press release by fintech company, Avaloq, a Swiss bank, Gazprombank Ltd, cryptocurrency company, METACO, and Avaloq, recently came together to implement an integrated digital currency asset solution.

The new product is targeted at banks and wealth managers to help with the “management of client portfolios across all asset classes including cryptocurrencies.” The system would use METACO’s virtual currency management and storage solution, SILO.

Also, transactions made using the new product would make cryptocurrency transactions seamless. Furthermore, clients using banking and wealth managing system can also purchase, sell, and transfer cryptocurrency without using a virtual currency wallet or a private key.

The new product also uses METACO’s Hardware Security Module (HSM). The HSM is secure for the storage of private keys and managing wallets and operations with multi-signature support.

Commenting on the merger, Group CTO at Avaloq, Thomas Beck, said:

For both institutions and bank clients, trust is key. Avaloq and METACO have considered this for the development of a fully integrated solution that can be offered to clients by their trusted bank. Thanks to the close integration of the METACO storage solution, banking and wealth management customers won’t have to trust additional third parties when trading with cryptocurrencies.

Beck added that the new solution would be highly convenient and easy to use.

METACO founder and CEO, Adrien Treccani, further said that the partnership with the fintech company, Avaloq, showed the mainstream adoption of virtual currency in wealth management and banking.

The Swiss bank, Gazprombank, one of Avaloq’s over 150 clients, also announced its plans to provide virtual currency services for its clients by mid-2019.

Adoption of Cryptocurrency in Mainstream Financial Institutions

Even in the face of the currency cryptocurrency market plunge, more mainstream financial institutions are adopting virtual currency. More institutions are creating cryptocurrency trading platforms with robust security to suit clients’ needs.

The 72-year old American brokerage company, Fidelity Investments, launched its institutional trading platform called Fidelity Digital Assets. The platform would provide cryptocurrency trade execution and custodial services for its investors.

Also, a European bank, Expobank CZ, was the first traditional bank in Europe to launch a bank account, called NEO account, that trades in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. The NEO account would also invest in start-ups and precious metals.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Half of American Millennials are Open to Using Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–While the majority of the crypto industry and the market continues to feed on news out of Wall Street’s institutional money and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s ruling on Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds, a subset of the American population is ready to welcome cryptocurrency with open arms.

A recent published survey has found that nearly half of all American millennials report an interest in cryptocurrency, giving a strong indication for the trend of adoption moving forward. Conducted by the research service YouGov Omnibus, which polled 1200+ respondents through the last days of August, found that there is decidedly more optimism and interest towards cryptocurrency among younger generations and those just now entering early adulthood–a trend that has been confirmed by other surveys in relation to intent to invest in cryptocurrency.

“Of the people who believe that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted, over one-third (36%) say they would be interested in converting to primarily using a cryptocurrency rather than the U.S. dollar. However, a majority (57%) say they would not be interested in converting away from the U.S. dollar. Millennials are almost equally split between being interested (48%) and not interested (50%).”

As opposed to older investors polled in previous surveys, particularly those with capital and assets equaling greater than $100,000, which rejected Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on a basis of high price volatility and lack of regulation in the market, younger investors and general enthusiasts seem to be drawn to the idea of an alternative form of money. It also shows a subtle preference for avoiding the traditional investment route of stocks and Wall Street, as the millennial generation was one that hit its stride in the U.S. around the time of the global 2008 recession and the widely publicized Occupy Wall Street campaign.

In evidence of further adoption for the industry of cryptocurrency, the vast majority (79 percent)  of respondents were familiar with at least one cryptocurrency, of which Bitcoin was listed as the most popular at 71 percent of those polled, an unsurprising fact given its position in market capitalization and general household name appeal. Ethereum, the second largest currency by market capitalization, made up the next highest currency in terms of familiarity, with 13 percent of those polled saying they knew of the coin.

Unfortunately, 87 percent of respondents who reported being familiar with Bitcoin had never actually interacted with a digital currency, again appealing to the brand-appeal of the coin while wider adoption continues to lag behind. As far as investing, 49 percent of respondents reported being glad they had not purchased Bitcoin prior to the questionairre–an unsurprising feature as the coin hits its ninth month of a bear cycle, down from nearly $20,000 at the end of last year. Some respondents reported having some regret towards the digital asset, with 15 percent stating that they wished they had bought Bitcoin earlier.

Perhaps most telling of all was 44 percent of millenials stating that they believed cryptocurrency would achieve wider adoption in the future, with only 34 percent saying that greater adoption would not occur. As outlined in the finding, the researchers conducting the survey reported believing that most of the skepticism comes from the still entrenched belief that cryptocurrency is primarily for illicit and anonymous activities–an idea carved deeply into society following the Silk Road episode.

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Hyper Inflation in Venezuela Makes for Interesting Times in Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency–While the ongoing inflation and forced impoverization of the Venezuelan population is bordering on a crisis, the scenario surrounding government fiscal policy, imposed fiat usage and the role of cryptocurrency is creating an interesting incubation for the industry.

It started with the growth of adoption for Bitcoin in the beleaguered country, with citizens looking for an alternative to escape the six hundred thousand percentage increase for inflation (on pace to hit one million by the end of the year). Bitcoin, which has long been pointed to as an excellent digital store of value analogous to physical gold, allowed Venezuelans the opportunity to use a global currency with far less price volatility than the now-worthless Bolivar. While most of the Western world, particularly older generations polled in investment surveys, complain about the erratic fluctuating price of BTC–a feature that has been heaped upon by Nobel Prize winning economists–Venezuelans flock to the currency in an effort to avoid the crippling inflation of their fiat currency, providing strong support for the validity of the digital asset.

However, that same adoptive population is also realizing the limitations of Bitcoin, a set of difficulties that were exposed in January during the peak of BTC pricing. While mining fees have come down substantially from their average of $55 per transaction earlier in the year, Venezuelans are turning to a currency that offers more utility. DASH has seen an explosion in both price appreciation and adoption throughout this past week, as cryptocurrency moves towards being the go-to choice for the crypto-using portion of Venezuela that desperately needs a transaction-focused tender separate from government fiat.

As previously reported by EWN, DASH is seeing upwards of two hundred new merchant adoptions per month in the country, with the commerce-minded population benefiting from the greatly reduced transaction times of the coin over competitors like Bitcoin and Ethereum. While Bitcoin continues to hold the lion’s share of the market and nearly all of the brand-recognition of cryptocurrency, DASH, NANO and other transaction-focused currencies are quietly making a name for themselves in their ability to offer a fast, cheap (or fee-less) alternative to traditional money.

Given the abuse of government fiscal policy, rampant inflation and bureaucratic control over money that has devastated countries throughout history, it seems unlikely that Venezuela will be the last situation to gain international attention over a crippled monetary system. The average investor in cryptocurrency might be in for the potential of profit, but most developers and industry enthusiasts recognize the underlying power is not just in the technology of blockchain, anonymity and security, but the decentralized framework that is put into practice when large populations shift from government fiat. Venezuela is a real-time incubator playing out for how cryptocurrency can respond to a situation of ineffective fiat or traditional tender as the primary source of money. While the market has responded in a predictable manner, i.e. favoring currencies that offer the fastest and cheapest transactions, it also gives credence to the intrinsic value of the currencies that has regularly been lambasted by economists and other academic circles. Bitcoin may not be backed by a physical property, but it still holds value to the Venezuelan family harboring their earnings in BTC and paying for their groceries as opposed to using the worthless Bolivar.

It remains to be seen how cryptocurrency can use situations like the one currently playing out in Venezuela to ultimately benefit the population and the growing industry. At the very least, it has provided an alternative discussion from the endless conversation surrounding Exchange-Traded Funds and price predictions.

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Venezuela To Have a New Fiat Currency Anchored To Cryptocurrency Petro

A few hours ago, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, made a television announcement to the country in which he revealed new economic policies framed in what he described as a comprehensive plan to restore the country’s financial stability.

In recent years, Venezuela has experienced an inflationary spiral that is close to reaching 1 million percent, and the Venezuelan government has tried to alleviate the financial crisis and the scarcity of products with assistance measures such as the issuance of ” coupons ” to Venezuelans (gifts of money) or food sales programs at derisory prices compared to those of the traditional market (CLAP).

Venezuelan children study for free using laptops given fro fre to each children covered by the program

The government has also assumed the costs of virtually all public services. In Venezuela, electricity, water, telephone, internet connection, the subway system, children’s and university education are practically free of charge.

Venezuelans have to wait for hours to buy food and regulated goods. Should they choose not to do so, they must pay over 10x the price on markets

However, the fall in oil prices, the economic sanctions against the Venezuelan people promoted by the United States and certain multilateral organizations, strict exchange control, an excessive dependence on oil without alternative industries, added to the levels of corruption that are among the highest in the world have generated a crisis in the country that is difficult to overcome.

Among the economic measures announced by President Maduro, cryptocurrency plays -at least in theory- a fundamental role as mechanisms to regulate inflation as well as internal and external controls. The most important announcements were:

Creation of a New Currency

The new currency, the “Sovereign Bolivar” will start to circulate on August 20 throughout the country and will replace the legal tender “Bolivar.”

Currency Conversion

Due to the levels of extreme inflation in Venezuela, prices were handled in enormous quantities.
President Nicolas Maduro commented that the Sovereign Bolivar would slash five zeros to current amounts, which seeks to facilitate the calculations at the time of making transactions.

Crypto-Fiat Relationship

Perhaps the most significant announcement for the cryptosphere is the fact that the fiat currency “Sovereign Bolivar” will be “anchored” to the Cryptocurrency “Petro.”

In turn, in theory, Petro would be anchored at 1-to-1 to the value of a barrel of oil on the primary market and then be freely speculated on the secondary market.

If so, the cryptocurrency would become a kind of economic reference in which the value of the currency would not depend on a black market or a government-imposed exchange control but would have a determination in the cost of the oil (the country’s primary export commodity).

According to the president, the objective is to “stabilize and change the country’s monetary life in a radical way.” The president commented that Venezuela needs an economic revolution

To clarify, Twitter user Oscar Forero commented on the exchange rate of the new sovereign bolivar:

“A little heads up. 1 sovereign bolivar (1 Bs S) will be equal to:

  • 100,000 bs current
  • 0.89 dollars Dicom
  • 0.026 parallel dollars
  • 0,013 Petros
  • 87 Colombian pesos”

Tax Exepmts to Promote Foreign Investment and Economic Diversification

Maduro also commented that they would be working on a mechanism to exempt from taxes those who are willing to invest in specific strategic items. The President also gave some indications of studying the creation of a law to eliminate exchange control through the use of cryptocurrencies.

He commented that these changes seek to diversify the economy of the country dependent exclusively on oil.

“Let’s restore the nation’s purchasing power and productivity… Why not? What’s the problem? Should we continue as we are in the agony of the oil economy?”

The use of petro as a legal tender cryptocurrency would be a step forward in terms of crypto adoption. The United States has already warned that Petro is a strategy to avoid the sanctions and embargoes they have imposed thanks to the control they maintain over the nation’s bank accounts in American Dollars, so the future of Petro is in the midst of a political war that is not over yet.

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Charles Hoskinson Envisions Cardano As The First Trillion Dollar Cryptocurrency

Cardano continues to gain fans and increase its popularity in crypto-verse. The famous third-generation blockchain has managed to keep followers excited about its development as every new advance the team publishes is celebrated and divulged by the community.

Recently, Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK and co-founder of Cardano, commented on his vision of what Cardano might be in the future. In a session with EMURGO, a blockchain startup incubator, he discussed on his hopes for global adoption of Cardano.

“I would love to see Cardano as the first trillion dollar cryptocurrency and the reason being is that that would effectively mean that we have built a self-sustaining economy.”

Charles Hoskinson

According to coinmarketcap data, at the time of writing, Cardano (ADA) has a circulating supply of 4.5 Bn USD. Mr. Hoskinson’s dream seems far-reaching; however it is important to mention that Cardano has not yet consolidated its mainnet and is still a work in progress.

The fact that it is in the top 10 of the most important cryptos is an indication of the public’s confidence in the Cardano project. Currently, in the Top 10, only Cardano and IOTA are the only cryptos that do not have a fully developed blockchain (not counting USDT which has a different nature from the rest of the tokens).

Adoption Over Profit: Cardano Community Follows Mr. Hoskinson

He also commented that profit does not primarily motivate his vision of Cardano as a trillion-dollar project. Should Cardano (ADA) become such a highly valued crypto would mean that the Cardano project achieved a level of global adoption beyond being a token for a small group of users:

“I would love to see ADA achieve that level of prominence or currencies connected to ADA achieve that level of prominence because then it basically means that we built a private system that has built-in consistency and fair rules for everybody in the world, not just for the people who happen to be very privileged.”

He also commented that Cardano’s community shares his vision. According to him, a lot of Cardano users are more than just speculators. For him, while some cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) have users who are looking to sell as soon as prices rise just to switch their profits into fiat, Cardano users have a real interest in the development of the project. That’s why the community is so active.

To follow the Cardano project closely, visit the IOHK website, or subscribe to the Ethereum World News channel to receive the latest news about this project.

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Mike Novogratz Thinks a Crypto Mass Adoption is 5 to 6 Years Away from Now

Mike Novogratz, one of the most influential investors and analysts in crypto verse, spoke this week about the future of cryptocurrencies, their global adoption, and the coming blockchain revolution.

For the CEO of Galaxy Digital Capital Management, businesses related to the use of cryptocurrency and investments in blockchain technologies have evolved considerably in recent years.

The most important aspect that has allowed a significant development of these technologies has been the high level of enthusiasm that this revolution has sparked in younger people eager to start new businesses:

“[When I founded Galaxy Digital Capital] The mission was to convert institutional investors to crypto, Now, when I meet a CEO or CIO, I am surprised at how much they know. Most have not taken the first step in participating, but they are doing a lot of work.”

Novogratz: Bitcoin’s Rising Price May Attract Government RegulationMike Novogratz

Currently, Mr. Novogratz’s firm does not only operate in North America. He is also opening offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo to expand his operations to Asian markets.

He also commented that one of the significant differences between the traditional markets and the crypto markets is the high level of volatility they entail. For Novogratz, crypto traders are very comfortable in this type of extreme-risk markets:

“If you bought crypto three months ago, now it [has dropped] 50% and you look like a joke, but in venture capital, nobody expects profits for years,” Novogratz said. While many investments promise returns of 7% a year, “in crypto, not many people want to buy at 10-12%.”Novogratz: Bitcoin’s Rising Price May Attract Government Regulation

For Novogratz, the global adoption of cryptocurrencies is a possible dream, but there is still a long way to go. The main problem is fundamentally the need for education on what cryptocurrencies genuinely are and their various use cases.

For this reason, according to his perception, it is difficult to think of a global adoption in the short term:

“You won’t see mass adoption until the user experience does not feel like something new and that is still five to six years away.”Novogratz: Bitcoin’s Rising Price May Attract Government Regulation

In the same vein, he commented that before a global adoption, there would first be a wave of strong institutional investments that would legitimize cryptocurrency as a valid means of transmitting wealth.

“The bet I am making is that sometime in the next two to three years, a herd of institutions will come running into this space. Without that, we will be running in circles.”Novogratz: Bitcoin’s Rising Price May Attract Government Regulation

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Bitcoin Poised for Mass Adoption, Says University Researchers

A recent university study has endorsed Bitcoin as the next level in the evolution of money. Researchers at Imperial College London believe that cryptocurrencies are poised for mass adoption. The study which was sponsored by eToro examined the barriers to trust and mainstream adoption currently being faced by the emerging cryptocurrency movement.

Cryptocurrency is the Next Step for Money

Since its emergence in 2009, the debate has always been about whether Bitcoin could replace fiat money. Even with more than 1,600 other virtual tokens, most of the attention in the crypto world revolves around Bitcoin. For researchers at Imperial College, cryptos could become mainstream within the next decade.

Commenting on the conclusions of the study, William Knottenbelt, an Imperial College professor said:

The world of cryptocurrency is evolving as rapidly as the considerable collection of confusing terminology that accompanies it. There’s a lot of skepticism over cryptocurrencies and how they could ever become a day-to-day payment system used by the man on the street. In this research, we show that cryptocurrencies have already made significant headway towards fulfilling the criteria for becoming a widely accepted method of payment.

The brokerage firm, eToro, sponsors of the research already believe that Bitcoin exhibits the important characteristics of money. According to the firm, cryptocurrencies are also designed to fulfill the fundamental properties of money which are a store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account.

Speaking on the research, Iqbal Gandham, the managing director of eToro UK office, said:

The first ever bitcoin transaction took place a little over eight years ago, and today we are already seeing it begin to meet the requirements of everyday money. Given the speed of adoption, we believe that we could see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the high street within the decade. There are of course barriers to mainstream adoption, but they are far from insurmountable.

Regulations Likely to Make or Break Bitcoin

Regulations have been identified as the pivotal metric that may make or break Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Some governments around the world have taken a negative stance towards crypto. According to them, cryptocurrencies serve as a conduit for criminal activities due to their anonymous transactions.

For Gandham, Bitcoin is already a store of value. However, for it to become a medium of exchange and a unit of value, then favorable regulations are required. Also, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will have to solve protocol issues such as scalability.

Do you agree with the researchers that Bitcoin is the next step in the evolution of money? How soon do you predict that cryptocurrencies will become widely used in mainstream commerce? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

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Western Union Files Cryptocurrency Related Patent, No Mention of Ripple XRP

RIPPLE (XRP)–Ripple, the parent company behind the cryptocurrency XRP, made headlines in early January by kicking off a series of high profile adoption-related announcements. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, issued the announcement that his company would be partnering with three of the world’s largest money transfer services, creating a pilot program that would use XRP for direct liquidity.

In that time, MoneyGram and Western Union have come forth as two of the money transfer services to institute XRP-based transfers. While MoneyGram has been grabbing headlines for its evolving partnership with Walmart and the creation of Walmart2World in April, the CEO of Western Union has issued a somewhat mild critique of how the pilot program with XRP has panned out so far. Speaking in an interview with Fortune last month, Hikmet Ersek gave a brief opinion of his company’s current situation using XRP for cross-border payments,

“We are always criticized that Western Union is not cost-efficient, blah blah blah, but we did not see that part of the efficiency yet during our tests. The practical matter is it’s still too expensive.”

While Ersek’s comments drew a lot of ire from Ripple enthusiasts and investors, it’s worth framing the situation. To begin, Western Union’s partnership with XRP is only in its sixth month of development, and Ersek cautioned that the sample size could be too early and too small to draw conclusions from. Ripple issued a response to the statements made by Western Union’s CEO echoing a similar warning, stating that the company had barely scratched the service on XRP cross-border transactions. Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s senior vice president of product, told Fortune,

“If they were to move volume at scale, then maybe you would see something, but with 10 [transactions], it’s not surprising that they’re not seeing cost savings. They do millions of transactions a month, and I’m not surprised that with 10 transactions it didn’t have earth-shattering results.”

Western Union has thus far only used the XRP pilot program in USD-Mexican Peso transactions, further limiting the cost-savings measure of the currency.

The money wire company has again made the news in relation to cryptocurrency, with a recent patent application that utilizes cryptocurrency–but fails to mention Ripple or XRP. The technology outlined in the patent is for a system that manages transfer notifications and secure payments for a cryptocurrency based network. The patent is geared towards increasing the security of digital payments, a feature paramount to Western Union as the world’s leading money transfer service.

In addition to detailing a feature related to biometric authorizations (terminology similar to Walmart’s proposed blockchain patent for medical records), the patent goes on to list a number of different digital applications of money,

“Thus, in various embodiments, electronic transfer network may be configured to support and perform transfers of various currency types, including traditional and/or digital currencies, centralized and/or de-centralized currencies, cryptocurrencies, and any other medium of exchange (e.g., credit, gift cards or certificates, points in a user point system, etc.), between client devices and/or external systems in different areas, regions, or jurisdictions.”

While some will take this news from Western Union as a further indictment against XRP, it could be viewed as the opposite. To begin, it’s not surprising that Ripple is not mentioned in relation to the cryptocurrency service outlined in the patent–there would be no benefit in Western Union limiting its application to XRP alone when it could specify the broader industry of crypto. Western Union could have the full intention of operating their new system through Ripple’s currency, even if the patent does directly specify XRP.

If anything, Western Union’s patent is validation for Ripple and cryptocurrency. Despite Ersek’s earlier comments and the limited use of XRP in cross-border transactions, the company has clearly seen potential and value in the growing landscape of cryptocurrency.

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Examining the Thriving Bitcoin Market in South Africa

Cryptocurrency appears to be thriving in Africa’s second-largest economy. Bitcoin adoption in South Africa is reaching record levels. According to Google Trends, the country attracts the highest number of online searches relating to BTC in the world. Despite the downturn in fortunes of the market in 2018, the enthusiasm of locals seems not to have been dampened.

Booming Bitcoin Exchange Services

South Africans continue to purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat, looking to own a piece of arguably the most popular asset class in the world right now. Thus, exchange platforms in the country are enjoying increased patronage.

The vast majority of the cryptocurrency commerce in the country involves crypto/fiat trading pairs. Residents are either purchasing or selling virtual currencies like BTC, ETH, BCH, and XRP. There isn’t as yet, a crypto/crypto trading culture in the country as seen in Asia.

Luno is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in South Africa. The company operates in over 40 different countries around the world. Most of its services revolve around buying of BTC and ETH with rand (the official currency of South Africa).

For people who prefer ERC-20 ICO tokens, Coindirect is usually the platform of choice. The company offers crypto/fiat trading pairs for ICO tokens in addition to Bitcoin and other altcoins.

The situation in South Africa is remarkably at odds with what is going on in neighboring Zimbabwe. In May 2018, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe placed a ban on financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies. Before the prohibition, local banks used cryptos to gaps in foreign currency and liquidity. However, the ban was reversed after exchange platforms in the country challenged the decision.

Blockchain Technology Adoption

Cryptocurrency trading isn’t the only booming sector of this emerging technological trend in South Africa. There is also an increase in blockchain technology adoption with a multitude of local and international projects. Both private and public-sector organizations in South Africa are trying to utilize the technology behind cryptos to develop useful solutions.

South Africa’s less constrictive regulatory space seems to have created an enabling environment for blockchain projects to thrive. The hope is that these projects begin to create real utility for the country’s economy.

Do you think thriving Bitcoin market in South Africa can spread to other African countries? What do you think are the potential benefits of cryptocurrency adoption in Africa? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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Bank for International Settlements Explains Why Cryptos Are Not Globally Adopted

The Bank for International Settlements published yesterday a report entitled “Cryptocurrencies: looking beyond the hype.” In it, they provide an overview of the cryptocurrencies world enumerating the pros and cons of their adoption.

As shown in the title, the analysis seeks to go beyond the excitement that many might expect; however, it also highlights some advantages of cryptocurrency over traditional FIAT money.

Bank For International Settlements LogoBank For International Settlements Logo

The Bank for International Settlements is an institution that provides financial services to Central Banks. Currently, 60 Central Banks are members of this institution, attesting to the prestige and importance of the BIS in the world’s financial and macroeconomic sphere.

The Report shows an overview that serves as an answer to the question of why cryptocurrencies the world does not use cryptos as a mainstream means of payments.

According to the Bank for International Settlements, even though cryptocurrencies have a lot of potentials, they do not yet have the maturity level required to disrupt the international monetary system:

Cryptocurrencies cannot scale with transaction demand, are prone to congestion and greatly fluctuate in value. Overall, the decentralised technology of cryptocurrencies, however sophisticated, is a poor substitute for the solid institutional backing of money.
That said, the underlying technology could have promise in other applications, such as the simplification of administrative processes in the settlement of financial transactions. Still, this remains to be tested.

According to the study, the use of FIAT money is still a much more convenient system for ordinary users and still represents the’final boss’ cryptocurrencies need to beat

Thanks to the active involvement of central banks, today’s diverse payment systems have achieved safety, cost-effectiveness, scalability and trust that a payment, once made, is final.

They mentioned three key factors why cryptocurrencies have not yet become mainstream, and why they represent a less viable use option than FIAT money:

“First, cryptocurrencies simply do not scale like sovereign moneys. … The associated communication volumes could bring the internet to a halt, as millions of users exchanged files on the order of magnitude of a terabyte …
The second key issue with cryptocurrencies is their unstable value. This arises from the absence of a central issuer with a mandate to guarantee the currency’s stability …
The third issue concerns the fragile foundation of the trust in cryptocurrencies.”

The Bank for International Settlements Explained the BTC/BCH  Debate?

Another aspect that worries the institution is the excessive control users give to the miners over the fate and stability of a blockchain:

The lack of payment finality is exacerbated by the fact that cryptocurrencies can be manipulated by miners controlling substantial computing power, a real possibility given the concentration of mining for many cryptocurrencies.

This point is precisely the main reason for the break-up between the Bitcoin and Bch communities. A more substantial and heavier block would give a high level of control to the most powerful pools, allowing them to have certain privileges over a given network.

In the same vein, it seems BIS believes forks are also an anomaly and a sign of the fragility of blockchain:

An even more worrying aspect underlying such episodes is that forking may only be symptomatic of a fundamental shortcoming: the fragility of the decentralised consensus involved in updating the ledger and, with it, of the underlying trust in the cryptocurrency

Should Central Baks Issue Digital Currencies?

On the initiative of some Central Banks to study the use of Blockchain technologies, the Bank for International Settlements mentioned that although there are currently many intentions, if implemented, the most likely is that the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currencies) do not have the same characteristics as the traditional cryptocurrencies:

At the moment, central banks are closely monitoring the technologies while taking a cautious approach to implementation. Some are evaluating the pros and cons of issuing narrowly targeted CBDCs, restricted to wholesale transactions among financial institutions. These would not challenge the current two-tier system, but would instead be intended to enhance the operational efficiency of existing arrangements. So far, however, experiments with such wholesale CBDCs have not produced a strong case for immediate issuance.

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