Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (11/19/2020)

Top Japanese banks, companies to test private digital currency next year

More than 30 major Japanese firms, including banks such as MUFG, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho, are reportedly set to trial a common, private digital currency next year to improve payments. Other group members include NTT, Accenture, Daiwa Securities, and Nomura. Observers of the initiative include government agencies of the country, such as the Bank of Japan and the Financial Services. Agency. 

CME bitcoin futures cross $1 billion in open interest — a new all-time high

CME Group’s cash-settled bitcoin futures have hit an all-time high open interest of $1 billion. CME launched its bitcoin futures in December 2017, and it is currently the only regulated cash-settled offering in the U.S. Earlier this year, CME also began trading in bitcoin options. Aggregate open interest in the bitcoin options market is also growing, touching $3.8 billion recently. 

Bitcoin Whales’ Ownership Concentration Is Rising During Rally

There’s nothing widespread about Bitcoin ownership. A few large holders commonly referred to as whales continue to own most Bitcoin. About 2% of the anonymous ownership accounts that can be tracked on the cryptocurrency’s blockchain control 95% of the digital asset, according to Flipside Crypto. A further breakdown shows that whales own 92.4% of the 2%, while crypto exchanges account for nearly 7%. 

OKEx to resume withdrawals next week with promises of 100% reserves

OKEx is finally resuming withdrawals of customer assets after weeks of waiting. The exchange first suspended withdrawals on October 16. Full customer withdrawals will resume on or before November 27. OKEx will conduct security checks to resume hot wallet operations and ensure that user funds are safe. OKEx claims that user funds are covered by 100% reserves and therefore “can be withdrawn without any restrictions after withdrawals are reopened.” 

Nearly 25,000 Bitcoin Address Were Created in Just One Hour

Nearly 25,000 new Bitcoin (BTC) addresses were created in just one hour on November 18, 2020 — a level that was last seen in January 2018 (just after Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $20,000 the previous month) .According to Glassnode data, the 24-hour moving average of new Bitcoin addresses hit 24,807. This shows that, on average, that many addresses were created on the blockchain for each of the last 24 hours. For some of the hours, it would have been even higher. 

Netherlands Forces ‘Far-reaching’ Measures on Bitcoin Exchanges

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has imposed a new set of requirements on Netherlands-based, crypto-asset companies that want to officially register. Among other things, the Sanction Act has forced local firms to monitor their customers’ withdrawals and even ask for screenshots of their wallets. 

Fintech Sees Strong Growth in South East Asia as COVID-19 Skyrockets Digital Adoption

Southeast Asia’s digital economy has remained strong and, adding 40 million people into the online space this year, as usage of digital financial services has jumped significantly, according to the e-Conomy SEA 2020 report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company. Usage of mobile banking apps rose across all Southeast Asian markets with Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia recording the strongest growth rates in monthly active users. Online remittances jumped by nearly 2x, and digital remittances app downloads players such as TransferWise surged 1.3x.