- Netflix, AirBnB payable using crypto for US customers
- 1 billion GBP Blockchain ETF starts trading on London Stock Exchange
- Federal Bank, one of India’s largest private banks, enters partnership with Ripple for cross-border remittances
- Microsoft, Amazon, and other join blockchain development council
- BTC shows mild price movements, pushes $4,100
This week has seen numerous developments in the cryptocurrency world, including growing adoption for mainstream businesses and major bank partnerships. While Bitcoin price movements have been holding more or less steady, blockchain technology itself is growing in popularity, as major companies launch or join blockchain initiatives. Let’s take a look at this week’s biggest stories.
Netflix, AirBnB payable using crypto for US customers
US-based customers now have yet another use for Bitcoin - paying for Netflix subscriptions and for AirBnB stays. Bitrefill, a crypto voucher company, has launched the ability to pay for Netflix subscriptions with Bitcoin, Lightning, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and Dogecoin. A similar capability has been rolled out for AirBnB, one of the premier home booking sites. The addition of these two major services gives people even more ways to spend their crypto, fuelling mainstream growth and adoption of the technology.
1 billion GBP Blockchain ETF starts trading on London Stock Exchange
And Netflix and AirBnB aren’t the only signs of mainstream adoption - the Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain ETF, tracking 1 billion GBP in assets under management, has launched on the London Stock Exchange. This ETF is a milestone for blockchain ETFs, as it is the first to be launched in Europe. The ETF tracks 48 companies, with a high focus on crypto and blockchain firms. The ETF’s listing on the London Stock Exchange could pave the way for other cryptocurrency ETFs, such as the US.
Federal Bank, one of India’s largest private banks, enters partnership with Ripple for cross-border remittances
But while developed countries are taking it slow on crypto, developing countries are diving in head-first. The Federal Bank, one of India’s largest private banks, is taking the leap by partnering with Ripple, to facilitate cross-border remittance payments. India is one of the world’s top countries for remittances, with $80 billion sent back to India in 2018, representing 2.7% of GDP. The bank says in a statement that ‘Powered by blockchain-enabled solution, the Ripple platform ensures cross-border transactions much safer and secured.’ This partnership makes good on of crypto’s original promises of low fee cross-border transactions, and gives Indians abroad a new way to transfer money without the hassle of traditional cross-country transfers.
Microsoft, Amazon, and other join blockchain development council
The blockchain technology making all this possible isn’t overlooked by the big tech players either - Amazon, Microsoft, and others have recently joined a new blockchain development council to help drive interest and research into innovative blockchain solutions. The WTIA Cascadia Blockchain Council is ‘dedicated to making the Cascadia region a global hub for blockchain development.’ The Cascadia region stretches from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC, including Seattle, and has long been a hotbed of innovative companies and practices, thanks to the presence of major tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft. This new council proves that the biggest names in tech are confident that blockchain technologies represent a new innovative frontier in technological growth and development.
BTC shows mild price movements, pushes $4,100
Whether these developments will affect Bitcoin remains to be seen, however, as BTC showed very little movement over the past week, trading at $4,160 at publishing time. Ethereum and Ripple have had similarly mild movements, with 3% and 1% changes respectively, leaving both altcoins in nearly the same position as the previous week. The week’s standout continues to be Litecoin (LTC), the fifth largest coin by market cap, which has doubled its price in the first three months of the year, going from around $30 to $60. LTC’s continuing bull run makes it an outlier amongst the low volatility of the majority of cryptos, with further rises possible as LTC posts the best Q1 results of its 6 year history.
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