The Riksbank has concluded the first phase of its e-krona central bank digital currency (CBDC) proof of concept (PoC). Working with Accenture, the objective was to test a blockchain-based R3 Corda technical platform to increase the Riksbank’s knowledge of how an e-krona could function and be used as a complement to cash. The next phase of the PoC will test the platform’s capacity to manage retail payments on a large scale, and will include potential distributors. It will also test offline functionality and integration with existing point-of-sale terminals, and different means of storing private keys to the tokens and the tokens containing e-kronor.
Some of the nodes used to validate transactions on the Stellar Lumens blockchain went offline on April 6, reportedly leading exchanges to halt withdrawals as certain transactions failed even as others got through. However, Stellar issued a statement that “the Stellar network is still online, and transactions are continuing to be processed.” Later that day they reported that all validators were back online. and the root cause of the incident was being investigated.
Facebook confirmed it’s testing a new QR code feature and payment links for use with Facebook Pay to make it easier for people in the U.S. to send or request money from one another. The QR code feature, similar to Venmo’s QR codes and others, will allow a user to scan a friend’s code with their smartphone’s camera to send or request money, while the sharable payment links will let you publish your payment address outside of Facebook itself.
Coinbase reported first-quarter revenue that soared nearly 900% from $190.6 million in the same period last year, blowing past the $585 million nabbed in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the platform’s verified users (those with confirmed identities who are eligible to trade) swelled to 56 million at quarter’s end, compared to 34 million one year prior. Founded in June 2012, Coinbase is set to debut on the Nasdaq exchange on Wednesday, April 14, under the ticker COIN.
Ripple Labs has been granted access to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents “expressing the agency’s interpretation or views” on the subject of crypto assets. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn granted the defendants’ motion “in large part,” determining that SEC minutes or memos concerning crypto are likely discoverable. Netburn asserted staff-to-staff email communications do not need to be produced. Netburn also allowed for the SEC and Ripple to raise disputes with the ruling.
Less than a week after the Fei protocol’s April 4 launch, Fei Labs found a vulnerability in the incentive calculation of the Ethereum-backed algorithmic stablecoin. The team patched the vulnerability on April 6, but it did not prevent the stablecoin from losing 20% off its peg. Fei uses a bonding curve to manage supply and demand based upon its collateralization levels, and uses a system of ‘direct incentives’ to penalize the withdrawal of liquidity during periods of selling pressure. This caught many investors off-guard as they would have to take a hit when withdrawing their ETH collateral or the supposed dollar-pegged tokens it generated.
Singapore-based Grab, whose offerings include ride-hailing and financial services, is reportedly set for the largest merger between a private business and a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that will value the SoftBank-backed technology group at about $35 billion. It could finalize an agreement to list in New York via one of Altimeter Capital’s special purpose acquisition companies as soon as this week. Other south-east Asian unicorns that plan to go public include Indonesia-based Gojek, Grab’s main rival, which is in talks to merge with ecommerce company Tokopedia prior to a listing.