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Bitcoin briefly surged past $9,000 this week to its highest since February, mirroring the stock market rally in the middle of the week as Fed chair Jerome Powell said he’s willing to take more action to prop up the economy. With less than two weeks until bitcoin’s halving, investors were uncertain about which direction the price would go as the event approached. “At this stage, it appears that the bulls have prevailed,” digital asset researcher Denis Vinokourov says. If bitcoin responds like it did after its previous two halvings, this could usher in a new class of crypto millionaires.
Other major cryptocurrencies recorded impressive gains Wednesday as well, and Stellar was up more than 75% since the beginning of 2020 at its peak. The market receded slightly as investors took profits toward the end of the week.
FOOD SUPPLY CRISIS
With precarious food supply chains becoming front-page news during the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum released a report more than 18 months in the making this week detailing how blockchain can help. The 244-page study lays out a toolkit of how processing plants, distribution centers, retailers, banks and regulators can all work together more efficiently to streamline future supply chains.
An eye-opening report published Monday in the Financial Analysts Journal argued that arbitrage opportunities offered $384 million in risk-free profits to bitcoin investors in the first quarter of 2018. With many unregulated exchanges routinely showing significant price differentials, savvy investors could buy low and immediately sell higher. Arbitrage opportunities like this typically shrink as professional traders enter markets, but this paper found the opposite to be true for bitcoin—market inefficiencies have increased over time.
Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have made in-person voting impractical, so Utah’s Republican convention picked its nominees for the state’s June primary using Voatz, a blockchain-based voting service that uses facial recognition to verify voters’ identities. Voatz was criticized in an MIT study in February for being vulnerable to hackers, but it seemed to go off without a hitch in Utah.
Politicians have shown a keen interest in blockchain all the way up to Washington D.C., where 32 bills addressing cryptocurrency and blockchain policy have been introduced since the 116th Congress was sworn in in January 2019.
Sony announced the launch of its Blockchain Common Database this week as a new high-speed processing technology that can execute and store 7 million transactions per day. The company simulated a real-world scenario in its announcement where buses, cars, bikes and taxis can all share their location on the platform.
Meanwhile, digital asset manager Wave Financial has partnered with the Wilderness Trail Distillery to tokenize 25,000 barrels of Kentucky Bourbon. Investments in the tokenization will be open to the public through a specialized closed-end fund, which Wave Financial hopes will return 20% annually over six years through the strategic sale of barrels.
Bitcoin’s ‘Most Volatile Day’ Prompts Exchanges to Make Changes [Bloomberg]
How the Pandemic Is Pushing Blockchain Forward [Harvard Business Review]