‘Global Blockchain Leader’ At Deloitte Resigns To Join Blockchain-Based Startup

Eric Piscini, former Global Blockchain Leader and Partner at one of the “Big Four” consulting firms, Deloitte, has left the company, Forbes reports May 14. Piscini, who helped build a $50 mln global blockchain practice, is joining the startup Citizens Reserve to move supply chain networks to a blockchain.

The early-stage startup, which is currently raising $300 mln, is a shared database designed to operate on all levels of a supply chain. Within the project, a new digital currency ZERV has been developed using the ERC20 token. The cryptocurrency will reportedly be used by consortium members to access the blockchain, allowing them to implement “nearly instant borderless transactions.”

The platform is based on the public Ethereum blockchain with smart contracts consisting of self-executing code, which could be implemented using various private blockchain solutions. Though the agreements would be limited by a long period of time to close cross-border transactions and foreign exchange rate considerations, with a cryptocurrency transactions can be reportedly conducted in near real time. Piscini said:

“We are building the Ethereum of supply chain… The private blockchain is more for supply chain transactions, and the public blockchain is used for payments. There is a bridge that we created that is kind of our secret sauce.”

ZERV is also considered a utility token as it allows users to exchange goods and services within the platform. The digital currency contains a third component which sets it apart from other ERC20 tokens; it is backed up by assets. The reserve assets are designed to grant the token “a guaranteed value” of $0.01. There will reportedly be 100 bln tokens issued to the value of $1 bln.

According to Forbes, 85% of the funds attracted in the token presale will be used to purchase assets that will back the tokens. 30% of the total funds raised after the round is closed will be distributed to users through a mechanism designed to motivate the creation of the new supply chain services on the platform.

The expected launch of Citizens Reserve falls in July 2018. Piscini declined to reveal the names of potential consortium members, saying that Citizens Reserve is working with three organizations that are currently providing software to the defense industry supply chain in a centralized manner.

Piscini’s decision comes amid a migration of top executives from traditional tech and financial companies to blockchain and crypto. In December, David Marcus left PayPal and Facebook to be appointed to Coinbase board of directors. Brian Armstrong said Marcus’ “knowledge of both the payments and mobile space” was what would help “guide” Coinbase going forward.

Earlier today, the CFO of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank left to join Block.one, the developer of EOS.IS blockchain software, which launched an initial coin offering (ICO) for EOS tokens in June 2017.

Hulu Cautiously Optimistic about Blockchain Solutions to Advertising Challenges


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Video streaming service Hulu is cautiously optimistic about the potential of blockchain technology to solve problems faced by the advertising industry, particularly in the areas of data privacy and brand trust.

Adam Moser, head of ad tech and platform operations at Hulu, told PCMag that the company — which, unlike its major competitors, serves ads to lower-tiered subscribers — said that although the firm is not currently pursuing any blockchain applications, it is excited about the technology’s promise.

“Blockchain is interesting to use because trust, transparency, all of those things matter to marketers. They’re critical from our standpoint not just as Hulu as a brand, but also Hulu as a media publisher. So when we meet with companies that are talking about blockchain solutions, I think the promise of what they can bring to the landscape, specifically regarding transparency and the ability to be able to track transactional details in an open and decentralized way, is something we’re in support of for the industry.”

Moser, who was speaking on the sidelines of the CDX Blockchain Brand Innovation Summit at Columbia University, said that Hulu is taking a “wait-and-see approach” to blockchain applications, noting that smart contracts in particular are still so nascent that the industry has not yet even reached consensus on which challenges this technology can solve.

“Everyone is talking about how blockchain is going to solve for smart contracts, for transparency, for streamlining data targeting…those are three very different avenues. I think this is a potential path forward to solve challenges within our industry, but we have to decide which challenge we want to solve for,” Moser said, noting that applications are not often a one-size-fits-all solution.

“Every time we talk to these companies and they ask if we want to run a test, we take a wait-and-see approach. We want to test-drive the car when it’s been built, not as it’s being built,” he added. “The way we integrate our service onto gaming platforms, smart TVs, etc., it requires a different approach. If a solution comes to us and says it may work on Xbox and Playstation but not on Roku or Apple TV, it doesn’t work for Hulu.”

huluVideo streaming service Hulu is cautiously optimistic about using blockchain technology to improve its advertising service.

That said, the company is hopeful that it can use blockchain technology to standardize the buy side and sell side of the video advertising market, as well as provide advertisers with transparency into pricing and other important data — such as whether their ads are being served to their target demographic.

“Blockchain [shows] a decentralized and open way that marketers can understand how their inventory is being bought and how they’re being charged,” he said.

Ultimately, though, Moser stressed that blockchain is an early-stage technology, so it is unclear when these applications will feature prominently in the advertising industry.

“It feels like we’re in a crawl, walk, run type of approach with blockchain,” he concluded. “If you use that metaphor, right now we’re at the stage where you’re just figuring out how to wiggle your toes.”

Images from Shutterstock

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, IOTA, EOS: Price Analysis, May 15

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

After listing Bitcoin futures in December of last year, CME launched two indexes tracking Ethereum on Monday. Though the company has denied plans of adding another new product, speculation is rife that Ethereum futures may be added in the future.

Ethereum futures will offer the institutional players an opportunity to diversify their trading into the top two cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Software developer Kx Systems has also launched cryptocurrency trading on its while label forex trading platform. The software supplier serves a few investment banks and hedge funds. Nasdaq is also not to be left behind. It is providing the technology to the new centralized crypto exchange, DX, which will offer trading in the market’s top six cryptocurrencies.

The stage is being set for the institutional players to take the plunge. So, should the retail investors buy and hodl? We believe that the large players might first push prices down, accumulate at lower levels and then boost prices. Hence, retail investors should stagger their purchases instead of buying all at once.

Let’s see if we find any buy setups on the charts.    


For the past three days, Bitcoin has been taking support at the 50-day SMA. The bulls will strongly defend the support zone between $7,900 to $8,400 because if this cracks, a fall to $7,000 will be on the cards.

If the support zone holds, the cryptocurrency will stay range bound between $7,900-$10,000.


The 50-day SMA has been flat for the past few days while the 20-day EMA has become flat in the past week. This shows that the BTC/USD pair will soon enter a period of consolidation.

The resistance of the range is well established at $10,000, but the supports are still unclear. It will either be $7,900 or $6,700.

Hence, we suggest waiting for a couple of days before clarity emerges.


The dip in Ethereum below the 20-day EMA was aggressively purchased on May 14, resulting in a move back to the overhead resistance of $745.


Currently, the ETH/USD pair is looking strong as it is holding above the $700 levels. This increases the possibility of a break out of $745 levels once again.

Aggressive traders can take a very short-term long position above $750 with a close stop loss. The target is $838, but this is a very risky trade, hence, should be attempted with only about 30 percent of the usual position size.

On the downside, the critical support levels are $637, $600 and the 50-day SMA at $570.


Bitcoin Cash bounced back sharply from the lows on May 12, but it is struggling to sustain above the 20-day EMA and break out of the small downtrend line.


The BCH/USD pair may form a very short-term head and shoulders pattern, which will complete on a breakdown and close below $1,270 levels. This bearish pattern has a target of $650, but it is unlikely to be a straight fall because the digital currency has strong support at $1,221, then at the 50-day SMA at $1,100 and finally at $800.

If the neckline of the H&S pattern doesn’t break down and prices break above $1,520 levels, Bitcoin Cash can rally back to $1,800 levels. Traders should wait for prices to break and close (UTC) above the downtrend line before buying.


Ripple broke below the 50-day SMA on May 11 but found strong buying support at $0.632 levels on May 12. Currently, it has climbed back above the 50-day SMA.


On the upside, it will face a strong resistance at $0.76, which was previously the support of the range. The 20-day EMA is just above this level, which will also act as a resistance.

If both these levels are crossed, the XRP/USD pair will become positive, and the probability of a rally to $0.9377 levels increase.

If the bulls fail to scale above the overhead resistance, the cryptocurrency can slide to $0.56-$0.58 levels.


Stellar bounced off the 50-day SMA on May 12, but the pullback is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA. If the bulls break above the 20-day EMA, a rally to $0.45 levels is possible.


If the XLM/USD pair turns down from the moving average but takes support at the $0.334 levels, it will be a positive sign and we can expect a break out of the 20-day EMA within a couple of days.

However, a break below the 50-day SMA will increase the possibility of a head and shoulders pattern, which can sink the digital currency to the $0.20 levels. Therefore, traders should wait for buying to emerge before establishing long positions.


Litecoin broke below the 50-day SMA and the horizontal support on May 11 but quickly rebounded from the lows on May 12. Currently, the bulls are trying to sustain above the $141 levels, which is a positive sign.  


Any up move in the LTC/USD pair will face resistance between $167 and $173 levels. The 50-day SMA has still not turned up and the 20-day EMA is also turning down. Hence, we don’t anticipate a break out above the downtrend line.

On the downside, a break below the $132.163 level opens up a downside target of $115. As we don’t find any buy setups, we are not recommending any trade on it.


Cardano plunged below our second stop loss on May 12 but took support at the 50-day SMA and the trendline. The ensuing up move is facing resistance close to the 20-day EMA. Currently, prices are again sliding towards the trendline support.


If the ADA/BTC pair breaks the trendline support, it can decline to 0.000025 levels, which is a strong support. On the other hand, if the trendline holds, Cardano will again try to scale above the 0.00003445 levels.

There are no reliable buy setups, hence, we are not proposing any trade on it.  


IOTA is currently sandwiched between the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA. The bulls are defending the horizontal support at $1.63 while the bears are defending the 20-day EMA.   


If the IOTA/USD pair climbs above the 20-day EMA and the overhead resistance at $2.2117, it will become positive.

Though there is a minor resistance at $2.6977, we believe that it will be crossed if the digital currency closes (UTC) above $2.2117.

We should wait for the breakout before suggesting any long position.


On May 12, EOS bounced off the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement and the bottom trendline of the descending channel. For the past three days, it has been facing resistance at the $15.1390 levels.


On the upside, the EOS/USD pair will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and the top trendline of the descending channel. A breakout and close (UTC) of the channel will be a bullish sign and can be purchased by keeping a stop loss below the May 12 lows.

If the price fails to rally above the overhead resistance it can again decline to the 50-day SMA. A sustained move below $12.4810 will weaken the digital currency.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

Cathay Pacific Launches Blockchain Rewards Program for Flyers

cathay pacific

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Hong Kong flag carrier and airline giant Cathay Pacific joins a growing list of airline operators exploring applications of blockchain technology.

In launching its first application of blockchain technology, the Cathay Pacific Group will issue air miles to customers over a single distributed ledger that will enable customers, the airlines’ partners and the airline manage member rewards in real-time.

Cathay Pacific’s blockchain rollout will first power a new mobile application and platform, developed by technology partner Accenture, dubbed ‘Unlock More Miles’. The marketing campaign ties in with a dining promotion in Hong Kong wherein members of ‘Asia Miles’ – Cathay Pacific’s rewards program – see air miles credited to their accounts within a day of earning them.

The blockchain platform will automate data fulfillment procedures and enable a transparent transaction history between the airline and participating dining partners by sharing the data set, an announcement from the airline explained.

‘The beauty of this initiative is that it helps improve business efficiency minimizing back-office administration,’ it said, adding:

‘By harnessing blockchain technology, the Cathay Pacific Group and Asia Miles are providing Asia Miles partners a single data source when managing account activity. This allows Asia Miles, partners and members a near real-time ability to manage rewards.’

Cathay Pacific’s marked effort to implement blockchain technology comes in the heels of chief rival Singapore Airlines announcing its own blockchain-based loyalty wallet application earlier this year. Developed in partnership with technology partner Microsoft, the private blockchain proved successful during a proof-of-concept trial wherein members of the airline’s frequent-flyer program spent their air miles at participating retail merchants as a point-of-sale transaction.

Fellow southeast Asian airline Air Asia has announced that it will migrate its rewards program to a new cryptocurrency called “BigCoin.” The firm is also mulling holding an ICO to fund the development of a new financial services division.

Elsewhere, German airline giant Lufthansa pointedly announced its investment in a Swiss blockchain startup – through an ICO – after revealing plans to launch a B2B blockchain marketplace powered on a public Ethereum blockchain.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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US: Seminole County Florida To Accept Crypto For Tax Payment

The Seminole County, Florida, tax collector Joel M. Greenberg announced May 14 that the county will begin accepting cryptocurrency for payment for various services this summer in order to eliminate heavy fees and improve payment accuracy and efficiency.

According to a press release, the county will begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to pay for services, including property taxes, driver license and ID card fees, as well as tags and titles. The Seminole County Tax Collector will reportedly employ blockchain payments company BitPay, which will allow the county to receive settlement the next business day directly to its bank account in US dollars. Greenberg commented on the initiative:

“We live in a world where technology has made access to services on demand, with same-day delivery and the expectation of highly efficient customer service and we should expect the same from our government. The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter, and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options.”

With this move, the county reportedly aims to remove risks connected to credit card usage, such as fraud and identity theft. According to BitPay, Seminole county is the first government agency to use the company’s services.

Earlier this month in the state of Arizona, a bill that would have allowed state residents to pay taxes using crypto was amended, removing the provisions which obligated the state to accept crypto. Instead, the bill merely obliges the Department of Revenue to “study” whether a taxpayer may “pay the taxpayer’s income tax liability by using a payment gateway, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin or any other cryptocurrency.”

Also this month, the city of Berkeley, California moved forward with an initiative to apply blockchain technology to public financing for community projects. The pilot project also aims to decrease the minimum price of a municipal bond from $5,000 to $10-25, which would allow more people to invest in municipal projects they support. Vice Mayor Ben Barlett added that, should the political process allow it, the city could consider issuing a type of token which would function much like a municipal bond in providing city funding.

Ripple Launches Venture Capital Fund ‘Xpring’ to Bootstrap XRP Adoption


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San Francisco-based Ripple, the creators of XRP cryptocurrency has announced a new project called “Xpring” (pronounced “spring”) to provide financial backing to companies that develop products and services for XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $29 billion today.

Currently, Ripple is being tested out, or used by multiple banks and not much beyond that. The company aims to change that with Xpring. Ripple will invest, incubate, acquire and provide grants to companies that make use of their digital asset XRP and XRP Ledger.

In an official statement, the Ripple team said:

“As a major contributor to the XRP Ledger codebase and large holder of XRP, we often hear from entrepreneurs and developers that they’d like support in one form or another to help them with their XRP-related projects. As one of the few blockchain companies with traction for a non-speculative use case, we feel we’re uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurs in a meaningful way.”

Ripple has also brought in Ethan Beard as a Senior Vice President to lead Xpring and Ripple’s developer program. Ethan served as Director of the Facebook Developer Network from 2009-2012, where he oversaw worldwide developer relations, operations and product marketing for the Facebook API. Before Facebook, he served as Director of Social Media and Director of New Business Development at Google.

“I love helping startups leverage new technologies and developments to grow. At Facebook, we saw companies in areas like gaming, music, and news use our platform to become big businesses,” said Ethan Beard. “Blockchain and digital assets have the ability to solve important problems and XRP – with it’s speed, scalability and demonstrated real-world use case – is a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs to build businesses around.”

Ripple has already announced a few projects they’ve already funded. Just last month, they invested $25 Million in XRP to Blockchain Capital’s $150 Million VC Fund. Blockchain Capital now manages over $350 Million in assets including investments in companies like Coinbase, Circle and Kraken.

Earlier this year, Ripple executives Stefan Thomas (CTO) and Chris Larsen (executive chairman and co-founder) invested in Omni. Though it was not an investment by Ripple, the company will soon integrate XRP as a currency in their marketplace.

Since XRP tokens currently have limited (but growing) use-cases, the new initiative could bolster its already-large market cap. It can also help new projects secure funding to build products and get support from Ripple.

Featured Image from Ripple

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CFO of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Quits Role To Join EOS Token Developer Block.One

Rob Jesudason, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has left the bank to join a blockchain company, the Sydney Morning Herald reports May 14. Jesudason resigned with immediate effect in order to become the group president and chief operating officer of blockchain software firm Block.one.

Block.one is the developer of the ‘EOS.IS’ blockchain software, an operating system-like platform that aims to support the creation of decentralized apps on an industrial scale. The firm launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in June 2017 to issue its ECR-20-compatible ‘EOS’ tokens, which are scheduled to be distributed incrementally over a 341-day period until July 2018. At $12 bln, EOS is the fifth largest crypto asset by market capitalization.

CEO of Block.one Brendan Blumer said that Jesudason’s skills are an “ideal fit” for the company, underscoring Jesaudson’s track record in “facilitating regulatory advancement” for emerging technologies.

According to the Morning Herald, Jesuadson’s resignation – after less than a year in the role – comes at a difficult time for CBA. The bank is facing “explosive” allegations that it has consistently breached anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing laws, and the disarray has left six of its 12 senior leadership positions empty. Reuters further reports that CBA is part of an ongoing independent inquiry that has leveled accusations of widespread misconduct against several of Australia’s leading financial institutions.

CLSA banking analyst Brian Johnson said that Jesudason’s departure in the midst of CBA’s tumult has “surprised” the Australian markets. This year has increasingly seen prominent traditional financial sector talent move into the cryptocurrency space. In April, a former Goldman Sachs executive joined as COO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, itself founded by former Wall Street exec Mike Novogratz. That same month, the lead of JP Morgan’s blockchain arm left the bank to start her own independent venture.

Samourai and goTenna Enable Bitcoin Transactions Without Internet Access

Samourai Wallet is collaborating with goTenna, a Brooklyn-based company specializing in off-grid communications, to produce txTenna, an Android app that combines mesh networking with Bitcoin transactions. The app will allow users to pair their phones with goTenna’s portable antennas in order to broadcast transactions.

goTenna produces consumer-grade hardware to facilitate mesh networking — a concept that echoes much of the decentralization ethos that we see across the cryptocurrency domain — which operates by allowing peers to connect directly to one another for the purpose of routing packets, sidestepping the need to rely on an ISP or cell tower.

“What will happen when these massive centralized networks fail due to natural disasters, as they did after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, or due to some kind of outside cybersecurity attack? What will happen when providers decide to crank up prices just because they can?” said Rich Myers, goTenna’s Decentralized Applications Engineer.

“Mesh networks are the only legitimate alternative to these traditional centralized communication networks. They are completely decentralized and democratized, leaving the power of communication in the hands of the people. Beyond that, they are much more resilient to unforeseen disasters — the only thing these networks need to function is a mesh networking device paired with a smartphone.”

For its part, Samourai Wallet has been focusing on censorship resistance and privacy-oriented tools since it began in 2015. With features such as direct interaction with trusted nodes, added hops to circumvent chain analysis, and SMS commands for remotely wiping wallets, it has seen widespread adoption by users wishing to incorporate an additional level of privacy into their Bitcoin transactions.

Samourai has been curating Mule.tools, an R&D initiative to further reinforce the censorship-resistant properties of the Bitcoin blockchain and also published the code for Pony Direct, a proof-of-concept app for broadcasting transactions over SMS in January.

“We believe one of the most fundamental value propositions that bitcoin provides is censorship resistance,” SW, the CEO of Samourai, told Bitcoin Magazine. “The freedom to transact freely and without permission is not a freedom to take lightly, or give up without a fight. We saw the open internet transform into a walled garden, captured by regulatory and corporate interest working together — and largely aided by red-herrings like ‘net-neutrality.’

“The tools we are building arm the little guy — the individual — with the tools they need to level the playing field against the inevitable overstepping of bounds by hostile actors, oppressive regimes and overzealous governments,” said SW. “We’re making some material changes to Samourai Wallet to allow for a greater high latency and offline experience. In conjunction with the release of txTenna, Samourai Wallet users will be able to theoretically keep their phone offline at all times and still be able to send and receive payments with minimal hassle.”

The concept explored by txTenna follows in the path of alternate methods to access the blockchain, previously seen with both the Blockstream Satellite and in the works of Nick Szabo and Elaine Ou. Not only does it provide more versatility to those wishing to avoid using censored systems, but it opens up a slew of use cases for Bitcoin in regions with less-developed infrastructures and those affected by natural disasters.

Venezuela’s Oil-Backed Crypto Petro Grows Thanks to a Little-Known Russian Bank


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Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR), has been surviving thanks to a little-known Russian bank, Evrofinance Mosnarbank, which has recently emerged as the only international financial institution willing to defy the US’ sanctions against the South American nation.

According to an Associated Press report, early would-be Petro investors who registered with Venezuela’s government and downloaded the cryptocurrency’s wallet were invited to buy it by wiring a €1,000 (about $1,190) minimum to a government-owned account at Evrofinance. The bank’s involvement seemingly further ties Russia with the Petro’s launch.

As covered, reports suggest Russia secretly helped Venezuela launch the oil-backed cryptocurrency, while a Russian official refuted the country’s involvement. Notably, Evrofinance’s biggest shareholders are two state-controlled Russian banks – sanctioned after Russia’s annexation of Crimea – and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, as the country’s government purchased a 49% stake in 2011.

As Russia’s involvement was being discussed, the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain awarded the Venezuelan government the Satoshi Nakamoto prize, as covered by CCN. Russia’s involvement, according to the Associated Press, may be linked to its relations with the west.

Per Claiborne W. Porter, the former head of the US Justice Department’s bank integrity unit, the country is increasingly gaining pariah status with the European Union and the US. Porter stated:

“Like kids on the playground, Venezuela and Russia think they are fighting a common bully in U.S. sanctions, so they’re going to try and form a united front.”

Historically, Russia has helped Venezuela with billions in debt relief, and is a major investor in the country’s oil industry. It has been a lifeline for Maduro, who’s currently on the verge of dealing with more sanctions coming from the Trump administration, if it goes ahead with presidential elections this month.

Back in March, Trump banned US citizens and residents from buying the oil-backed cryptocurrency, a move that Venezuela claims to have been “free publicity” that doubled the number of interested investors.

According to the Associated Press, after it inquired Evrofinance on its association with the Petro, all references to it were removed from the Petro’s wallet, which left interested buyers with no guidance on how to proceed.

The Petro’s development

While it is unclear how many Petros the Venezuelan government has actually sold, Maduro has touted the cryptocurrency’s pre-sale raked in $5 billion. These numbers, as shown, don’t add up. Moreover, most foreigners agree that the oil-backed cryptocurrency is of little interest to them, and the century-old think tank Brookings Institute has even stated it undermines legitimate cryptocurrencies

Reports suggest popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitfinex have been staying away from it, for fear they would be violating sanctions. According to experts, only criminals would be interested in the Petro. Venezuelan-born computer scientist and cryptocurrency startup consultant Alejandro Machado stated:

“An overwhelming majority of ICOs don’t deliver on what they promise because their promoters are outright scammers or fall short on technical expertise. In the case of the Venezuelan government, both reasons apply.”

Speaking to the Associated Press, the two Russians who reportedly signed agreements with Maduro the help the Petro expand globally distanced themselves from the cryptocurrency with one, Fedor Bogorodskiy, claiming his company immediately ceased working with the project as soon as Trump announced his ban.

Despite its status, Maduro keeps moving the Petro forward. He’s given state-owned institutions a 120-day period to start accepting it as legal tender in all transactions, and is set to create 16 local exchanges where Venezuelans will be able to exchange their depreciating fiat currency for the Petro. As covered, he offered the Indian government a 30% discount on crude oil, if it paid in Petro.

The Venezuelan government has in the past revealed it was working on another cryptocurrency, backed by the country’s gold reserves, the Petro Gold. The move is seen by some as a way to draw in foreign investment and bypass sanctions. Venezuela’s moves were even slammed by Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver.

Yuri Pripachkin, president of Russia’s blockchain group, noted that the Kremlin is keeping a close eye on the Petro, but isn’t involved in it. Nevertheless, he dismissed the idea that it could be used to fund criminals. He said:

“That’s a fairy tale. The most popular currency for terrorists and criminals the world over is the U.S. dollar, not crypto, and nobody is suggesting we ban dollars. This is just an attempt to stop crypto from expanding.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Forex Platform Serving Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Adds Crypto Trading

Software developer Kx Systems has launched cryptocurrency trading on its white label forex (FX) trading platform Kx for Flow, the company reported in a blog post May 14. Starting today, Kx for Flow customers are able to conduct spot trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).

US-based Kx Systems is a high-performance software supplier with customers including global investment banking group Goldman Sachs, multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley, and GSA Capital Partners hedge fund. Kx Systems also commercialized the proprietary processing languages K and Q.

Kx for Flow, an HTML5 FX trading platform, allows customers to create liquidity pools and publish price information to markets and clients. The platform operates with such liquidity sources as banks, non-deliverable forwards, precious metals, contracts-for-difference, and now cryptocurrencies.

According to the Kx Head of FX Solutions Rich Kiel, the company’s move toward cryptocurrencies is mainly driven by customer acquisition purposes, since the company has been “inundated with ‎interest in crypto.”

“As with most ‎leading trading technology providers we have been inundated with ‎interest in crypto. When you sift through the noise the interest from ‎mainstream financial services firms to begin trading cryptocurrencies ‎has been growing and we are delivering this solution to meet the ‎current and future needs of our clients.”‎

Kiel’s comments echoed those of Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared, who cited customer interest as a driving motive for the firm to introduce contracts with Bitcoin exposure earlier this month.  Yared said, “It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value.’”