Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (04/13/2021)

Crypto-asset prices surged to new all-time highs, possible in anticipation of the April 14 Coinbase listing. Bitcoin spiked to $63,604 and Ethereum hit $2,294, possibly bolstered by the scheduled April 14 “Berlin” hard fork that will reduce costs for certain transaction types, and introduce a new transaction envelope that will make it easier to package multiple transactions into a single transfer. It also paves the way for the “London” upgrade scheduled for the summer of 2021, that aims to reduce transaction costs (“gas fees”) on the network.

Regulated cryptocurrency exchanges: sign of a maturing market or oxymoron?

This review of 16 leading crypto-asset exchanges, including the seven that contribute prices to the CME Bitcoin Reference Rate, found that just four were found to be subject to a significant level of trading-related regulation (itBit, eToroX, LMAX Digital, and Seven of the remaining exchanges, including Coinbase, operate as licensed Money Service Businesses (MSBs) or equivalent, but their trading activities are effectively unregulated. And three of the top exchanges appear not to be subject to any regulatory scrutiny whatsoever (Bittrex, Luno, and Bitfinex). 

EU’s Investment Bank Poised to Deploy Blockchain for Bond Sale

The European Investment Bank has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander and Societe Generale to explore a euro-denominated digital bond that would be registered and settled using blockchain. The World Bank, China Construction Bank, JPMorgan Chase and National Bank of Canada have also been experimenting with blockchain-based issuance in the past few years.