Weekend recap: Ripple IPO coming soon?

Kick start your week the right way and catch up on all the latest crypto and blockchain news from over the weekend. From Japan’s proposed digital currency to an innovative sporting blockchain use case, we’ve got it all.

Blockchain and crypto firms pledge to help coronavirus victims

Blockchain marketing firm, Krypital announced the launch of a charity donation drive to attain medical supplies for coronavirus victims in Wuhan, China.

The deadly virus, which has claimed the lives of 81 Chinese citizens and infected almost 3,000, is wreaking havoc and has reportedly now spread to other countries, including the US and France.

Krypital is planning to create a blockchain-based donation system, enabling greater transparency and efficiency. In addition, they’re recruiting volunteers to aid with relief efforts.

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance also pledged to donate 10 million Chinese yuan ($1.44 million) to the cause.

Cricket tickets and the blockchain

Lancashire Cricket Club has teamed up with blockchain ticketing provider TIXnGO to issue blockchain-based tickets for all domestic and international fixtures played at its home ground this year.

The club said that the new blockchain tickets are traceable and unique to the purchaser, meaning they’re practically impossible to counterfeit. The new system also makes transferring and reselling tickets much simpler and more efficient.

After 18 months in testing and development during the 2019 season, the release is one of the first examples of sporting organisations using blockchain-based ticketing technology. John Nuttal, Lancashire’s head of ticketing and digital systems, noted that the increase in online ticket sales warranted the need to improve digital ticketing technology.

The European football association, UEFA, has also been experimenting with a blockchain-based ticketing app, following a successful trial in 2018.

Find out more about how sports teams are using cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Japan’s proposed digital currency

Japanese lawmakers from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party have announced that they’re working on a proposal to issue their own digital yen.

Norihiro Nakayama, a member of the party and parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs told Reuters: “China is moving towards issuing a digital yuan, so we’d like to propose measures to counter such attempts.”

He reported the digital currency could form part of a joint effort between the country’s government and the private sector, and that they hope to submit a proposal to the government as early as next month.

We reported last week that the Bank of Japan along with five other major central banks across the globe joined forces to explore digital currencies. According to a 2019 survey from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), “around 40% of central banks have progressed from conceptual research to experiments or proofs-of-concept; and another 10% have developed pilot projects.”

Ripple’s impending IPO

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple indicated at the Word Economic Forum in Davos that the firm could go public in the next 12 months.

“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side of that. […] it’s a natural evolution for our company.”

Ripple raised a jaw-dropping $200 million in Series C funding at the end of last year, valuing the blockchain payments firm at $10 billion. According to Crunchbase, they’ve raised a total of $293.6 million in funding. With an 80% drop in reported sales figures for XRP in Q4 of 2019, it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the quarter pans out.

Keep reading…

What crypto Twitter had to say in 2019

Top crypto trends to watch out for in 2020

Bitcoin futures are growing in popularity, but what are they?

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