Universal Protocol Alliance Launches a Stablecoin as Fidelity Investments gets into the Thick of Crypto Business
The stablecoin market has just got hotter.
The Universal Protocol Alliance, a coalition of leading crypto organizations such as cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex International, Uphold, Brave, Cred, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Cerik, announced on March 8 the launch of the Universal Dollar (UPUSD) stablecoin.
The stablecoin was first announced in October last year.
The new stablecoin is pegged to the USD on a 1:1 ratio and will be available on Uphold.
Dan Schatt, chairman of the Universal Protocol Alliance claims that the new stablecoin offers transparency to its users.
“Unlike other stablecoins, the Alliance seeks to flood the value substantiation process with daylight so that it doesn’t operate as a black box. We give customers verifiable confidence that they are buying a fully-reserved Universal Dollar,” said Schatt.
The government should stay out of crypto’s way, says U.S. senior government official
A U.S. senior government official believes that the crypto sector has room for growth if the government stops meddling.
Giving a speech on March 6 at the fourth Annual DC Blockchain Summit, the Acting Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Manisha Singh, explained that the U.S. government is closely watching how other countries react to the emerging market.
“We want to see other countries adopt light-touch and compatible regulations so the private sector has room to innovate and perfect potential new uses for blockchain. As the government, sometimes the best thing we can do to help is stay out of the way,” said Singh.
Singh further stated that the agency is currently conducting some research so that it can have a better understanding of the tech.
“Blockchain technology is becoming a global phenomenon. It is therefore essential that we better understand this cutting-edge technology, as it becomes more widely adopted in our economy,” she added.
The U.S. is already pushing ahead with its blockchain agenda as it has already experimented with the technology at the state level. The country has used blockchain technology in defense and voting procedures among other use cases.
New research published this week places blockchain spending this year at just below $3 billion.
Financial services giant Fidelity Investments quietly launches its crypto division despite the bear market
The current bear market has not dampened Fidelity’s interest in launching crypto products for institutional investors.
Fidelity’s crypto arm, Fidelity Digital Assets quietly rolled out its crypto custody and trading operations and has been running for months. The firm has onboarded institutional investors that include hedge funds and family executives.
Speaking to CNBC at the DC Blockchain Summit this week, head of Fidelity Digital Assets Tom Jessop said the price plunge has not affected the firm’s plans to get up and running.
Jessop believes that there is still long-term interest from institutional investors. This is because some investors see an opportunity as a result of the market’s volatility.
The firm says that it has interviewed 450 institutions and 22 percent of the respondents claim to own cryptocurrency. Those in possession of crypto assets expect to double their holdings over a five-year period.
“If anything, they are as encouraged now as they were when prices were higher,” said Jessop.
The firm is expected to execute trades on behalf of institutional investors on several cryptocurrency exchanges. It will also handle custody solutions for digital assets.
Jessop added that institutional investors have adopted a wait-and-see attitude before committing their money into crypto.
“At some point, there will be an attractive entry point. But by the same token people don’t want to be early even if we’re well off the highs,” he said.
Fidelity Digital Assets will delay support for Ethereum
Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) will not add support for Ethereum at the moment, according to the head of the new platform.
FDAS went live in this quarter and has developed its own criteria for evaluating digital assets that may be added in the future.
While the head of the new platform, Tom Jessop, had earlier indicated that FDAS would add support for Ether, he recently told CoinDesk that it is not a done-and-dusted deal.
“We’re currently supporting bitcoin, we have designs to support other coins over the balance of the year center to various criteria including our [in-house selection framework], where we obviously look … at client demand and other things,” said Jessop.
Jessop said that interest in digital assets is linked to their market capitalizations but said that they will not list every coin.
He explained that they may not list Ether because of its upcoming hard fork despite being the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
“We’d love to have support [for] Ether but you know you have a hard fork coming up and some upgrades, so I think we’re trying to see how those things work out before we make a decision to put them on the platform,” he explained.
Ethereum implemented the Constantinople and St. Petersburg upgrades at the end of February. The hard fork included a number of upgrades such as reducing the block reward. The blockchain protocol is planning to implement another hard fork, Istanbul, in October this year.
U.S. State of Colorado exempts select cryptocurrencies from securities laws
The U.S. State of Colorado is the latest jurisdiction to rule in favor of the crypto industry and spark hope that other states will follow suit.
Jared Polis, the governor of Colorado has signed the Digital Token Act that exempts a number of cryptocurrencies from securities law. The new Act also allows technology firms in the state to operate without going through securities registration requirements.
Colorado lawmakers introduced the SB1919-023 at the beginning of the year to clarify regulation around the crypto sphere. The new act allows new firms and entrepreneurs to build new technologies and ecosystems for decentralized applications using utility tokens.