Top 5 Crypto News of the Week! (06–12 May)

PointPay
3 min readMay 12, 2024

Another week has passed, filled with a myriad of news stories. Amidst this sea of information, some stand out for their interest, educational value, and utility. We’ve curated five such stories just for you!

Major US Banks and Mastercard Conduct Trials on Tokenized Settlements

Leading financial institutions in the US, including Mastercard, Visa, JPMorgan, and other top banks, have initiated trials for an innovative blockchain-based interbank settlement system. The Regulated Settlement Network (RSN), based on the proof-of-concept, is being developed for transactions involving tokenized assets, commercial and wholesale central bank digital currencies. The testing of RSN is being conducted in a controlled environment under the supervision of consulting firm Deloitte and oversight from industry association SIFMA. Independent experts, including ISDA, BNY Mellon, and DTCC, are involved. The project aims to validate the distributed ledger capabilities for secure interbank settlements in digital assets while adhering to existing regulations. Earlier, Mastercard announced a partnership with Fluency for processing central bank digital currency payments.

One Billion Transactions Processed on Bitcoin Blockchain

The cryptocurrency community celebrates a significant milestone for the Bitcoin network — processing one billion transactions. This achievement comes just 14 years after the launch of the first digital currency, whereas payment giant Visa took nearly twice as long to reach this mark. The event coincided with Bitcoin’s price stabilizing around $64,000 USD; however, the price later declined again. Market participants emphasize that Bitcoin has achieved this massive feat without a single central operator, relying solely on a decentralized blockchain network. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other prominent figures in the crypto community have lauded Bitcoin’s network performance and reliability in processing one billion transactions. Analysts predict further acceleration in the adoption rate of the leading cryptocurrency as it continues to gain traction.

Hong Kong ETFs for China Disproved but Still Under Discussion

Financial circles are actively discussing the possibility of providing mainland Chinese investors access to Bitcoin ETFs traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Despite initial refutations of these rumors, discussions persist regarding the integration of cryptocurrency funds into the Stock Connect mechanism for mutual trading between the two regions. Analysts note significant prerequisites for opening Hong Kong Bitcoin ETFs to Chinese investors. A considerable portion of Chinese citizens’ personal wealth is heavily concentrated in real estate, creating high demand for alternative investment instruments. Existing financial channels already facilitate substantial capital inflows from the mainland to Hong Kong markets. Excluding Bitcoin funds may become a source of discontent and imbalances in the investment landscape of the two regions.

Visa Study Finds Overestimation of Stablecoin Usage

A new study conducted by payment giant Visa in collaboration with analytical company Allium Labs has revealed interesting trends in the usage of stablecoins. According to the findings, the vast majority of transactions involving these digital assets are initiated by cryptocurrency bots and major traders. Of the total volume of operations with stablecoins, amounting to trillions of dollars, only $149 billion is attributed to “regular payments” by individuals and entities. This indicates a significant gap between the stated and actual value of stablecoins as means of payment. The study also highlights USDC’s outperformance over its closest competitor Tether in terms of total transaction volume. Experts warn of the risks of overstating the nominal value of crypto assets due to the double-counting issue in payments. However, such studies indicate Visa’s recognition of stablecoins as a serious competitor.

SEC Issues Final Response in Ripple Case

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published its final response in the ongoing legal dispute against Ripple. In the presented documents, the regulator insists on the necessity of imposing a court injunction against Ripple due to alleged violations in the sale of the XRP token. The SEC focuses on Ripple’s unregistered XRP sales since 2013, asserting that the company’s past actions create a constant risk for investors and require intervention from regulatory bodies. Ripple’s arguments about cooperation with the SEC and promises to change practices were dismissed as insufficient to avoid legal sanctions. However, experts are already questioning the validity of the SEC’s position.

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