This week in crypto: Starbucks and McDonald’s to test digital Yuan?

It was another week of WTF moments for crypto. It’s the weekend now though, so no need for you to spend your downtime desperately scouring the internet to find out everything that happened. We’ve already done it for you. Kind souls that we are. Enjoy.

Starbucks and McDonald’s to join digital Yuan pilot?

There were more details about China’s digital Yuan released into the wild this week, and it’s looking likely some heavy hitters will be involved in the testing phase.

On Thursday, local media outlet InterChain Pulse reported “exclusive” information about a “pilot promotion meeting” of the digital currency held in Xiong’an New Area. On the guest list were 19 merchants, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Subway. Also reportedly on the list were local hotels, convenience stores, a stuffed bun shop, a bookshop, and a baker. No candlestick maker, unfortunately. There were also a number of employees from the Xiong’an branches of four major commercial banks— the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China and the China Construction Bank, as well as representatives from Tencent and Alipay.

A Bank of China official was also quoted as saying that by the 2022 Winter Olympics, the token will be in widespread use. Better get cracking.

The Netherlands want in on CBDC action

It feels like everyone is getting in on the CBDC act these days. Even the central bank of the Netherlands, De Nederlandsche Bank, said this week that it wants to be a world leader in the development of central bank digital currencies.

In a bulletin posted Tuesday, the bank said that the use of physical cash is “clearly” declining in the Netherlands, with less central bank-issued money being used for purchases.

The central bank asks therefore “whether central banks should provide a new type of money that is better attuned to the needs of citizens and firms.” They further added that if the European Central Bank were to decide to test such a system as they recently expressed interest in doing, that they “are ready to play a leading role”.

Could Europe get in before China? Will the Netherlands lead the way? Let us know your views on Twitter.

Bye bye Bakkt’s Blandina

It seems like only yesterday that Kelly Loeffler was CEO of digital assets company, Bakkt, her dodgy investments safe from prying eyes. Apparently it’s been over 4 months since she jacked it in though! 4 months! 2019 feels like a very, very long time ago. And apparently, for no one more so than Loeffler’s replacement, Mike Blandina, who this week also decided to step down.

The former PayPal and Google veteran will be succeeded in the interim by its Vice President of mergers and acquisitions, Daivd Clifton, according to Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, the parent company of Bakkt. Adam White, the company’s president, will maintain his role, according to an announcement on 23 April.

Jeffrey Sprecher, ICE Chairman and CEO, said: “David Clifton has been deeply engaged in many of our most important initiatives over the years and, after helping to lead the acquisition of Bridge2 to accelerate the rollout of Bakkt’s consumer application, I know he will provide outstanding leadership for Bakkt as its Interim CEO”.

Halving chatter dominating crypto-Twitter

It’s less than three weeks until the halving! Put on your party hats, dust off your line dancing shoes, and crack open the fizzy wine. It’s go time. It certainly looks like Twitter is primed and ready.

On 24 April, crypto social sentiment analysis firm The TIE published data to Twitter showing that discussion concerning the ‘halving’ had become the second most popular Bitcoin related topic on Twitter with 1,058 tweets – almost double the previous day’s chatter. Furthermore, over in China the Chinese term for “Bitcoin halving” has recently gone viral on Weibo, also known as China’s Twitter. The topic was the sixth-most searched in the past 24 hours, despite China effectively banning the purchase of Bitcoin with the Yuan.

They’re right to be excited.

Have crypto sleuths found young Satoshi?

The identity of Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, is a much loved topic of discussion for the crypto community. That it’s so obviously David Hasselhoff seems neither here nor there for these people. However, excitingly (stretching the definition of that word there), Satoshi hunters have uncovered an old forum post made by an anonymous cypherpunk that many are speculating could be from Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Satoshi Nakamoto has many links to the cypherpunk movement, so it is certainly conceivable that he would publish his ideas on such a forum. Equally, others are convinced that it was the work of fellow Bitcoin OG, Nick Szabo, as there are a number of linguistic correlations. Either way, you can make your mind up for yourself. Read it here.

Keep reading…

Top crypto trends to watch out for in 2020

Bitcoin halvings through history

A beginner’s guide to crypto trading strategies

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