Weekly crypto roundup: Stellar’s January roundup and Facebook Messenger and cryptocurrencies
Asset news: Stellar
This week (February 5) Stellar published their 2018 January Roundup (check out here what Stellar is). The roundup contained:
- reference to Stellar and the State of Cryptocurrency
- reference to 2018 Stellar Technical Roadmap
- recap on Financial Institutions & Partners
- overview of upcoming events
Stellar and the State of Cryptocurrency and Stellar’s 2018 Technical Roadmap
Recap on Financial Institutions & Partners
- Termio, an „advertising blockchain” will run their ICO on Stellar. Scheduled for April.
- LaLa World will implement Stellar for international remittance
- Tontine Trust is creating a social security and pension system based on Stellar
- MOIN and TowerChain were announced as two Stellar Anchors (an Anchor within the Stellar-network is somebody who holds and issues assets).
- OpenGarden announced to run their tokens on Stellar (no ICO). OpenGarden has been around since 2011 and is backed by a couple of investors (total funding around $13). OpenGarden has created FireChat, a chat app that works without an Internet connection. Furthermore — and this is their primary goal — they are working on establishing a network of decentralized ISP (Internet service providers) allowing anybody to share their Wi-Fi to other OpenGarden users. The tokens will be released on February 28.
- ZED Network will build a Stellar-based remittances PaaS solution. According to the roundup, ZED Network will use Stellar to build ZED’s PaaS remittance platform.
I am curious how Stellar will perform will all the existing and up-coming enterprise implementations. The worst-case would be that Stellar is not yet ready for such demand, suffers from downtimes (or general underperformance) and creates negative press.
Besides that it is noteworthy that some of these partnerships seem to be pulled by the companies and projects themselves, i.e. Stellar wasn’t actively approaching them. This is noteworthy because it shows early indications that Stellar has reached a degree of brand awareness and trust (“momentum”) high enough for others to come on their own.
Copied blatantly from the roundup:
- Feb 5th-6th — Bangkok: Seamless Thailand
- Feb 9th — Kuala Lumpur: Stellar Blockchain Meetup
- Feb 13th — London: Stellar MTO & Banker Event
- Feb 16th — Video Interview: Stellar Roadmap Deep Dive
with Jed McCaleb, Brit Yonge, and Nicolas Barry
- March 5th-7th — Tel Aviv: Fintech Week
- March 15th — Stellar Build Challenge: Submissions Close
The roundup also contained the following links for further reading:
- a link to the Stellar Security Guide
- a link to the Stellar StackExchange (a technical Q/A for developers)
- a link to Stellar Release Notes
Link to January Roundup: Stellar 2018 January Roundup
Facebook banning crypto and ICO-related ads, not implementing cryptocurrency payments in their messenger but leaving option open for both.
In an interview with CNBC, David Marcus Facebook’s VP of Messaging and also at Coinbase’s board stated that as of now the Facebook messenger won’t introduce payments via cryptocurrencies due to them being expensive and slow. Although we can see with Stellar that fast and cheap transactions are possible, total output per second is still below industry-average (e.g. Visa).
Thus, I take a similar stance and believe cryptocurrencies must be battle-tested in non-consumer environments before being released into such a huge market (Facebook has over 1 billion potential users). It will, however, be interesting to observe the impact of financial companies implementing crypto for payments. As of now, Facebook, focusing on P2P transactions, is competing mostly with big players such as Apple Pay, Google, or PayPal, FinTechs (see here for more on FinTechs) and now also Blockchain-oriented companies and startups.
In the context of Facebook, blockchain-oriented companies are particularly interesting due to two reasons. Firstly, they attack the same market as Facebook. Facebook, by being globally used could with a solid payment system solve one of the biggest financial problems Blockchain-related projects want to, international remittance. Secondly, Blockchain poses — at least for now — a theoretical threat to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s interest into crypto and how it could be applied within Facebook doesn’t come out of thin air. Blockchain gives the theoretical foundation for anybody to build the next Facebook. Whereas we can rest assured that Facebook is not going anywhere in the next years, it is still interesting to observe how Blockchain and crypto are being perceived by incumbents.