Recent Developments in Blockchain and Crypto Market
Below are some recent announcements related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
HSBC announced this week that it intends to move $20 billion worth of assets to a new blockchain-based custody platform by March 2020, in one of the biggest deployments yet of the technology by a global bank. The HSBC platform, known as Digital Vault, will digitize paper-based records of private placements, using blockchain to reduce the time it takes investors to make checks or queries on holdings. Records of private placements are typically held on paper and lack standardization, making access tricky and time-consuming. HSBC currently looks after up to $50 billion worth of the assets.
Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with FantomOperations, a blockchain company. Under the MoU, blockchain technology will be used by the country’s Ministry of Public Health to identify fake medications, create medical records in the hospitals and computerize patients' files. Afghan Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz stated "The Ministry of Public Health is committed for the institutionalization of electronic government in the health sector and the block-chain technology would help the ministry bring transparency, acceleration and effectiveness in the related affairs." The initiative aims to help Afghans receive standard health service across the country.
Frost & Sullivan, a consultancy firm, recently published an analysis titled “Global Blockchain Technology Market in the Healthcare Industry, 2018–2022.” The report examines key growth opportunities and highlights key success factors and strategic imperatives for blockchain commercial deployment consideration in the healthcare space. The report stated: “With the healthcare industry increasingly going digital, blockchain technology provides the much-needed trust, security, and auditability for healthcare data on its intelligence journey, which allows blockchain to complement healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT)-based data marketplace offerings. Early commercial success, mainly across select use cases such as health professional credentialing, medical billing management, personal health records (PHR), and pharma supply chain track-and-trace, will help this market cross $500 million by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of 61.40%. While payback may not be achieved for every dollar invested by 2022, a breakeven stage is expected.”
In June 2019, MoneyGram, a money transmission network, and Ripple, a blockchain-based payments firm, announced they had entered into a strategic partnership. The two firms agreed to become partners in cross-border payments and foreign exchange settlements with digital assets. As part of the agreement, MoneyGram would be able to draw up to $50 million from Ripple in exchange for equity. This week, the companies announced that Ripple has completed its investment of $50 million in MoneyGram and now holds just under 10% of MoneyGram’s outstanding common stock. MoneyGram intends to use this capital inflow to support its operations, in particular as it expands its use of Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity product, the renamed xRapid payment system that utilizes the XRP cryptocurrency. Ripple’s xRapid allows money to be sent in one currency and instantly settled in the destination currency. In using Ripple’s XRP token for such transfers, xRapid can purportedly settle such transactions faster than with fiat currencies or other major digital assets.
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