Blockchain Bites: Goldman’s Hire, Ether’s Options, Bitcoin’s Patronage

The Federal Reserve is rushing ahead with its payments platform, Russia’s largest bank is going in on blockchain and so is Goldman Sachs.

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Top shelf

Fed Now!
The Federal Reserve is working to get its FedNow payments platform up and running. Board Governor Lael Brainard said the U.S. central bank will debut its instant payment service “as soon as practically possible,” in 2023 or 2024. FedNow is being developed in response to private-sector, real-time, gross settlement initiatives. “By creating that neutral platform, banks in partnership with these other companies will be able to offer much more innovation services, services that we may not even be imagining,” Brainard said.

Banking Coins
Sberbank, Russia’s biggest consumer bank, is launching a blockchain platform built on Hyperledger Fabric and mulling a stablecoin. The blockchain will be used for trade finance and potentially other existing lines of business. It’s an open system, with other banks or tech companies able to spin up nodes and build their own smart contracts. Anatoly Popov, Sberbank’s deputy chair, was quoted Wednesday saying the bank hopes to launch a ruble-backed stablecoin. The bank is waiting for a new digital assets law to come into force in January 2021, and after that will make the final decision. In similar news, Binance’s USD stablecoin has been green-lighted by New York’s financial watchdog for use by banks and other financial institutions.

Funding the Future
OKCoin is awarding its largest individual grant yet to Bitcoin Core maintainer Marco Falke, the second-most prolific contributor in the software’s history. Awarded an Independent Developer Grant, “equivalent of a developer salary for the year,” Falke will continue maintaining the code base,…

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