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Cryptocurrency This Week: As Bitcoin Market Hits $100 Bn, Facebook Intensifies Its Crypto Project

Cryptocurrency This Week: As Bitcoin Market Hits $100 Bn, Facebook Intensifies Its Crypto Project

Atlanta-based crypto exchange Bakkt acquires Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC)

Venezuelan trade in Bitcoin sets new record

Facebook is recruiting dozens of financial firms to help launch its crypto-payments system

Bitcoin market cap reached $100 Bn this week. Trading currently at $5.8K, Bitcoin hit its highest peak since November 14, 2018. Led by ‘The Dark Knight’, (a name given to Bitcoin for being the lead currency at dark web) the crypto market cap has gone to $184 Bn.

As Facebook and Samsung announced plans to launch their own cryptocurrencies, the Bitcoin price surge reflects the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies among companies.  A Switzerland-based IT trade magazine named Netzmedien AG has now announced that it would soon start paying its employees in Bitcoin. Employees will have a choice to select their salaries either in fiat or Bitcoin.

Chart of The Week: Bitcoin Market Cap In Last 6 Months

Image Courtesy: CoinMarketCap

Facebook Accelerates Its Crypto Project Libra

Facebook has intensified its project Libra, a cryptocurrency project to enable cryptocurrency-based payments system for the social media network’s ecommerce arms and other transactions.

According to a WSJ report [behind paywall], Facebook is now recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch the year-old secretive project, codenamed Libra.

With over 2 billion users, who log on to Facebook every month, this could be the biggest showcase of cryptocurrency, so the stakes on this project are very high.

Startup Of The Week: Bakkt

Startup: Founded in 2018 by Adam White and Kelly L. Loeffler, Atlanta-based Bakkt has been fast emerging as an alternate cryptocurrency exchange to the likes of Binance, Coinbase and Kraken.

Why In The News: Backed by Intercontinental Exchange’s financial market infrastructure and technology, Bakkt has now stepping up its game by acquiring companies one after the other. After acquiring Rosenthal Collins Group, a futures commission merchant in January, 2019, the company, on April 30, announced another acquisition.

Bakkt has acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC). With its proprietary technology, DACC escrows a wide range of cryptocurrencies, egress digital assets out of air-gapped cold storage, and provide clients physical and digital security to safeguard their assets.

“DACC shares our security-first mindset and brings extensive experience offering secure, scalable custody solutions to institutional clients. The team’s experience integrating multiple blockchains and operating cutting-edge consensus mechanisms is a valuable addition to our team and future product line. As we look to scale and support custody of additional digital assets, DACC’s native support of 13 blockchains and 100+ assets will serve as an important accelerator, and we’re pleased to welcome Matthew Johnson, Adam Healy, and the entire DACC team to Bakkt,” wrote cofounder Adam White.

As Petro Fails, Venezuelan Trade In Bitcoin Sets New Record

As Petro, the fiat cryptocurrency of Venezuela, launched last year failed to take off, Venezuelan activity around Bitcoin witnessed a huge jump, last week.

According to Coin.Dance localBitcoins trade chart, Venezuela records a 35.5% jump in Bitcoin trade compared to last peak. For the week April 21 to April 27, a total volume of around 36.5 Bn in Venezuelan Bolivars was traded for Bitcoin on the exchange, surpassing the last 31.3 Bn (Venezuelan Bolivars) traded during April 13 – April 19.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in February 2018, had launched a new cryptocurrency called ‘Petro’ to circumvent US-led sanctions.

The cryptocurrency is backed by oil and gas reserves to shore up the country’s collapsed economy. The decision has been taken owing to the fact that Venezuelan official currency Bolivar has been on a free fall in recent years. Bolivar, in comparison to the US dollar, has devalued by 5x over the past eight years.