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Tag Archives: cross border payments

Bitcoin, 11-years in

Satoshi's first email [source] Eleven years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto announced the bitcoin whitepaper to the world. Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, recently celebrated this milestone with a retrospective. I'm going to remix Coinbase's narrative to tell a different account of bitcoin's last 11-years.The thing that fooled us all for a while, myself included, is that we all thought bitcoin was solving a monetary or payments problem. It was labelled a coin, after all, and coins fall...

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A fifty-year history of Facebook’s Libra

Last week, we finally got some information about what Libra's currency basket would look like. A Libra currency basket will reportedly include... -no Chinese yuan -50% dollar -18% euro -14% yen -11% pound -7% Singapore dollar could have automated the decision by adopting an established unit of account, say the IMF's SDR... — John Paul Koning (@jp_koning) September 20, 2019 If you haven't heard, Libra is a proposed global blockchain-based payments network. It...

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Europe’s SWIFT problem

SWIFT headquarters in Belgium (source) German foreign minister Heiko Maas recently penned an article in which he said that "it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system."So what exactly is Maas's quibble with SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication? SWIFT is a proprietary messaging system that banks can use...

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The €300 million cash withdrawal

The eyes of the world are on one of history's largest cash withdrawals ever. Earlier this week, the Central Bank of Iran ordered its European banker, Hamburg-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG, to process a €300 million cash withdrawal. Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, is being asked to provide the notes. If the transaction is approved, these euros will be counted up, stacked, and sent via plane back to Iran. German authorities are still reviewing the details of the...

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XRP and bitcoin as bridge currencies

Eshima Ohashi Bridge, JapanThe value of all outstanding XRPs recently surpassed that of bitcoin, hitting $300 billion or so last month. XRPs are a cryptocurrency issued by Ripple, a company that is trying to shake up the business of cross border payments. Ripple has a number of strategies for doing this, but the one that has caught people's imagination—especially as the price of XRPs rocket higher—is to have banks and other financial institutions use XRP as a 'bridging asset' for moving...

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