Blockchain Developments: Crypto Custody and Payments, Supply Chain Pilots, Regulation and Enforcement | BakerHostetler

Cryptocurrency Custody, Payments and Mining Initiatives Announced

By: Diana J. Stern

According to recent reports, the digital asset arm of a multinational financial services corporation was issued a trust company charter by the New York Department of Financial Services. As a designated New York Trust Company, the firm can now custody bitcoin for institutional investors in the United States.

Another recent report explained that holders of a major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange debit card can now use their BAT, REP, ZRX, XLM, and XRP to make purchases, and the exchange will instantly convert the tokens to fiat currency to pay out merchants. This development more than doubles the number of cryptocurrencies cardholders can spend.

This week, cryptocurrency exchange Binance made a play to enter the Indian market with its acquisition of WazirX, a local peer-to-peer exchange, for an undisclosed amount. According to reports, in April 2018, India’s central bank banned banking services for cryptocurrency companies, which forced many to shut down or to rely heavily on peer-to-peer or crypto-to-crypto trading.

Swiss startup and digital payments processor Utrust announced late last week that it signed up its first merchant in the travel industry. The online travel agency serves more than 650 airlines, and the deal with Utrust will allow its customers to book flights with cryptocurrency.

This month, distributed ledger startup Hashgraph and streaming music service Tune.fm announced a partnership to create a token that is specialized for the music industry. The token, Jam, can be used to make micropayments to artists for every second of music fans stream, reward listeners for trying music they have not heard before and promote artists through verifiable first-time streams.

Rockdale, Texas, is becoming a hotbed for massive cryptocurrency mining operations. When Bitmain announced its mining farm in Rockdale last month, it was the world’s largest at an expected potential…

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