According to data compiled by Transparency Market Research, the global cryptocurrency market was valued USD 574.3 Million in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 6.7 Billion by 2025. It is also expected to register a CAGR of 31.3% during the forecast period. The market growth is attributable to bitcoin’s widespread adoption. Bitcoin has a had a meteoric rise because it is becoming increasingly popular as a method for payment solution transactions. While bitcoin is the main and more commonly known cryptocurrency, there are other ones such as Ethereum and Ripple. Coins like Ethereum are being leveraged in the financial industry for smart contracts, while other coins may simply just be used as a form of a decentralized currency. The multi-faceted uses of cryptocurrency have introduced many new applications and will introduce even more, especially for the global financial industry. Netcoins Holdings Inc. (OTC: GARLF), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HSBC), Nasdaq, Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ), Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE)
Bitcoin prices have remained relatively stable within the recent months after its surge earlier this year, when it reached nearly USD 20,000. Bitcoin prices have remained stable, sitting in the range of USD 6,000 to USD 7,000. Despite the crash earlier this year, bitcoin is still relevant and prominent. According to a survey conducted by Coinbase, carried out by Qriously researchers, 47% of students were interested in learning cryptocurrency and blockchain technology across many different fields. The research also showed that approximately 42% of the world’s top 50 universities offer at least one course on cryptocurrency or blockchain. “A process is well underway that will lead to the migration of most financial data to blockchain-based organizations,” says David Yermack, Finance Department Chair at New York University Stern School of Business. “Students will benefit greatly by studying this area.”
Netcoins Holdings Inc. (OTC: GARLF) is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: NETC). Today the company reported breaking news that the, “previously announced upcoming 150,000+ retail locations are live and active as of today.
On September 17, 2018, a definitive agreement with a global voucher partner was made to expand the Netcoins retail network to 171,000+ locations. Integration with this voucher partner is now complete, and people can now walk into these 150,000+ new locations across 6 continents to purchase a cash voucher which can then be redeemed online at http://www.goNetcoins.com/redeem for a cryptocurrency of their choice.
“This expansion increases our reach by 7x, and helps us make purchasing crypto easier and more accessible for the everyday consumer,” said Netcoins CEO Mark Binns. “The team at Netcoins is always executing, and we are excited that effective today these 150,000+ locations can start selling vouchers that can be redeemed for crypto via Netcoins. Our retail network is an integral part of our offering, and we are thrilled to be providing a global retail crypto solution.
About the Company: The Company is in the business of developing software to make the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency easily accessible to the mass consumer and investor through brokerage services. Netcoins enables crypto transactions via 171,000+ retail locations globally and an Over-The-Counter (OTC) trading desk.”
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), since 1971, has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Intercontinental Exchange recently announced that it plans to form a new company, Bakkt, working with Starbucks, BCG and Microsoft, which intends to leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets. The new company will create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network. “As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks. “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”
HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HSBC), the parent company of HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. HSBC and ING Bank recently announced that they have successfully executed a live trade finance transaction for international food and agriculture conglomerate Cargill using R3’s Corda scalable blockchain platform. The blockchain transaction involved a bulk shipment of soybeans from Argentina, through Geneva’s trading arm of Cargill, to Malaysia, through Cargill’s Singapore subsidiary as the purchaser. A Letter of Credit was issued using Corda by HSBC to ING. The two banks were acting on behalf of the Cargill entities. The transaction demonstrates that blockchain as a solution to trade digitization, is commercially and operationally viable. Conventional exchanges for paper-based documentation related to letters of credit usually take between 5-10 days. This exchange was done in 24 hours. “What this means for businesses is that trade finance transactions have been made simpler, faster, more transparent and more secure,” said Vivek Ramachandran, HSBC’s Head of Growth and Innovation. “The need for paper reconciliation is removed because all parties are linked on the platform and updates are instantaneous. The quick turnaround could mean unlocking liquidity for businesses.”
Nasdaq, Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Gemini Trust Company, LLC and Nasdaq Inc. announced earlier this year that Gemini will be leveraging Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor its marketplace. The technology, which is considered the most widely deployed surveillance system in the world, will enable Gemini to monitor across all of its trading pairs, including: BTC/USD, ETH/USD and BTC/ETH. Further, SMARTS will also surveil activity across the Gemini auction process that is used to determine the settlement price for the Bitcoin XBT futures contracts that trade on Cboe’s CFE Exchange. “Gemini has been a leading voice in advocating for stronger transparency and thoughtful regulation of the cryptocurrency markets – views we deeply share and have put into practice as a market operator and technology partner,” said Valerie Bannert-Thurner, Senior Vice President and Head of Risk & Surveillance Solutions, Nasdaq. “Being regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), Gemini is held to the utmost standards in terms of capital reserve requirements. This is a major milestone in the application of SMARTS- and an important indicator of our commitment to expand the use of our market technology into non-traditional marketplaces, as well as new frontiers beyond the capital markets.”
Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) strives to deliver ground-breaking new excitement and entertainment in ways that only Sony can. Sony Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., and Sony Global Education recently announced the development of a rights management system for digital content that utilizes blockchain technology. This new system is based on Sony and Sony Global Education’s previously developed system for authenticating, sharing, and rights management of educational data, and additionally features functionality for processing rights-related information. Blockchains create networks where programs and information are difficult to destroy or falsify, and are well-adapted for the free transfer of data and rights. Those traits give blockchains many potential uses across a range of services including finance, merchandise distribution management, and the sharing economy, and blockchains are expected to bring about even more innovative services in the future. At present, they are also used in public P2P network transactions, primarily involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Sony Global Education is continuously carrying out technological development and prototyping towards the use of blockchain technology in the educational field. This newly developed system can be utilized to manage educational materials and other forms of content used in the field of education, and Sony Global Education is considering its possible commercialization as a service. Sony Group is also considering innovative ways to make use of blockchain technology for information management and data distribution in a host of different fields. Through the technological development and commercialization of blockchains, including with this new system, Sony will continue exploring the possibilities that blockchain technology holds for Sony Group’s diverse and wide-ranging business domains.