Appsolutely is introducing a new blog segment called Blockchain This Week, our roundup of the latest news regarding blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and how the world adopts these technologies.

 

Bitcoin, Ethereum Hit Record Highs

Bitcoin’s price briefly surpassed $4,700, an all-time high for the cryptocurrency, last Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ethereum rose in value to about $365 the same day. This rate is Ethereum’s highest in weeks and just below the all-time-high of $411 set last June. Bitcoin’s meteoric rise represents a fivefold increase from the currency’s $1,000 value at the start of the year. On the other hand, increased interest in South Korea has driven Ethereum prices up.

Central Banks Backing Blockchain

As the main cryptocurrencies reach new heights, founders of new digital currency Exio Coin claimed that it will be the first of its kind to receive funding from a sovereign nation. The identity of the nation won’t be revealed until October, Bloomberg News noted. We note that central banks of China, Japan, the European Union, and Japan have been testing blockchain earlier.

The central banks of Japan and the EU are working together to research on the use of blockchain for market infrastructure. Meanwhile, a state-owned bank and three government agencies in Russia recently revealed plans to build a research center for blockchain. China could be the first country to issue digital money, following tests for a prototype cryptocurrency by its central bank.

However, China’s regulators could soon crack down on initial coin offerings (ICOs) for new cryptocurrencies similar to Bitcoin. The bureaucrats are crafting new rules on digital currencies, according to the South China Morning Post. The regulators may move to ban ICOs until those rules are enforced.

Bigger Companies Drawn to Blockchain

Regardless of the Chinese government’s approach to blockchain, companies in the country and elsewhere are drawn to the technology’s appeal. Payment card conglomerate China UnionPay is applying for a patent that uses blockchain to connect its ATMs. Meanwhile, Germany-based tourism giant TUI Group is spending big on the technology for real-time shifting of hotel inventories. TUI estimated that this €1 million project will result in savings of €100 million per year.

 

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