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Friday, January 24, 2020

#CryptoCorner: Bakkt (NYSE: $ICE) to Launch Consumer App in 2020, Calibra Head Discusses CBDCs at WEF, Ripple CEO Predicts Wave of #Crypto IPOs

#CryptoCorner: Bakkt (NYSE: $ICE) to Launch Consumer App in 2020, Calibra Head Discusses CBDCs at WEF, Ripple CEO Predicts Wave of #Crypto IPOs

Point Roberts, WA, Delta BC January 24, 2020 -, a leader in crypto and blockchain investing news brings you today’s edition of the Crypto Corner podcast and commentary on what’s driving the cryptocurrency market .

Listen to today’s Crypto Corner Podcast:  

Stocks discussed: (NYSE:ICE) (NasdaqGS:PYPL) (NasdaqGS:FB)

Bakkt, the crypto arm of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), is set to launch a consumer app this year, according to a report from The Block. The announcement was made by company president Adam White at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. An excerpt from the article outlines White’s comments on the app:

…White said Bakkt's consumer app will view digital assets as any form of value that is digital, including cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. This means the app could also support virtual goods such as loyalty reward points and equities. The possible inclusion of equity trading, a portal for merchants, and a wide array of other assets would make the app more similar to a traditional fintech product like PayPal [NasdaqGS:PYPL] than a crypto-native offering that allows retailers to accept bitcoin, like Flexa.

Cointelegraph reports that also at the WEF, David Marcus, head of Calibra – the wallet portion of Facebook’s (NasdaqGS:FB) Libra project – discussed central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) on a digital currency panel, where he differentiated between “retail” and “wholesale” approaches. He defined the “wholesale” approach as going “through existing banks and the banking system”, whereas the “retail” approach would go “straight to consumers”. Marcus went on to contrast progress seen in telecommunications that has yet to be seen in the transfer of money:

“Some of the networks are 50 years old, the web is 30 years old. We still don’t have an easy, cheap, efficient way for people to have access to digital money and move it around. Personally I’m really excited that we’re having all these conversations now.”

Elsewhere at Davos, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse predicted a coming wave of crypto IPOs, and indicated that Ripple would being among them. The following quote was tweeted by Ripple SVP of Product Asheesh Birla:

“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”

Reuters reports that Japanese legislators are proposing the development of a Japanese CBDC that “could be a joint initiative between the government and private companies.” The planned digital yen is reported to be, in part, a response to China’s own CBDC and Facebook’s Libra project. Former Bank of Japan (BOJ) board member Takahide Kiuchi explained:

“The BOJ probably won’t want to do anything that would stifle private-sector innovation. The best way could be to issue a hybrid-type digital currency that is operated and issued by private firms, with the central bank’s involvement.”

Sam Mowers, Investorideas

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