Arab Bank Switzerland is now offering BTC and ETH trading and custody services. View in browser

“Invest in Crypto” ~  Electronic Arts, a well-known American video game company tweeted to its 5.5 million followers.

Market State

Over the last week the cryptocurrency market rose from $265 billion to $273 then steadily dropped to $256 billion losing 3.5% compared to the previous week. Bitcoin has been going below and above $10000 several times last week. Bitcoin dominance continued to drop from 69.5% at the beginning of the week to as low as 67% as the price of it fell. Currently Bitcoin is trading at around $9760. While the price of Bitcoin fell, a number of altcoins have experienced significant growth. Compared to last week Ether rose by 11% to $220 then dropped back to $198, while Ripple rose by 20% to $0.31 then dropped back to $0.269.

Last week the Ether daily transaction fee surpassed that of Bitcoin for the first time since May, 2019. On average Ether transaction fees have rose from $0.11 to $0.39 Ether fees have been rising due to Tether’s migration to Ethereum network. Tether was initially built on Omni protocol which is built on top of Bitcoin blockchain. Currently Tether runs on several blockchains including Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Algorand and TRON. Recently Tether transactions accounted for over 25% of all Ethereum transactions. In order to tackle the network congestion and reduce the transaction fees Ethereum network participants are raising the block size by upvoting the block gas limit. The new block gas limit is 10 million gas per block which means Etherem network can now process 32 transactions per second.

Check the latest Bitcoin Price
Quiz of the week

How many transactions could the Ethereum network handle in a second before the new 10 million block gas limit?

  1. 7
  2. 15
  3. 25

Scroll down to see the answer at the end of the newsletter.

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Top stories of the week
Paying for Lunch in Bitcoin at Deloitte Luxembourg

Big Four accountancy firm Deloitte is now allowing its staff to buy lunch with Bitcoin to test its usefulness. Laurent Collet, advisor at Deloitte said “We think it’s good to have our employees assess this new technology.” Collet also noted that it’s only an internal test. The firm has no plans to pay its employees with Bitcoin. Deloitte’s priority is to use blockchain in its fund management activities to process transactions, not making payments in Bitcoin. According to Deloitte moving funds in Bitcoin would speed up the process and make audits easier while removing middlemen. Deloitte has been exploring the blockchain industry for years. According to their 2019 Global Blockchain Survey of nearly 1400 senior executives who manage companies with more than $100 million revenue, 86% of respondents believe that blockchain will achieve mainstream adoption. (It is worth noting that another Big Four firm, PwC Luxembourg will start accepting Bitcoin as payment as from the 1st of October, 2019.)

Arab Bank Switzerland is now offering BTC and ETH trading and custody services

Arab Bank Switzerland, Swiss branch of one of the top financial institutions in the Middle East has announced that it is now offering trading and custody service of Bitcoin and Ether. In a statement the bank stated that the digital asset service is launched as a response to the growing demand from existing and younger clients who seek to include digital assets as one asset class in their diversified portfolios. Serge Robin, CEO of Arab Bank Switzerland said “We firmly believe that blockchain will disrupt the financial industry as we know it and we intend to be amongst the first banks to offer digital asset services to our clients in a secure and regulated environment.” The bank has teamed up with blockchain technology firm Taurus, who is providing a secure platform for trading and custody and helping to develop operational policies and procedures to offer these digital asset services.

Former CEO of Overstock Sells His Shares and Invests into Gold and Cryptocurrency

The founder and former CEO of US online retailer Overstock, Patrick Byrne sold his 13% stake in the company for about  $90 million in order to protect his resources against a recession and the state. In his blog post he stated that “After paying tens of millions in taxes ... the rest will be in investments that are counter-cyclical to the economy: Gold, silver, and two flavors of crypto. The gold and silver are stored outside of the United States, in Switzerland, and within two weeks, will be scattered in other locations that are even more outside of the reach of the Deep State, but are places that are safe for me. The crypto is stored in the place where all crypto is stored: in mathematical mist, behind long keys held only in the memory of someone.” Byrne is one of the oldest cryptocurrency proponents. In 2014 he helped Overstock to become the first retailer to accept Bitcoin as payment. 

The World's Fourth Largest Bank Creates Its Own Digital Currency

Wells Fargo, the world’s fourth largest bank by market cap has announced it will create its own digital currency for international transfers in 2020. The new coin is dubbed Wells Fargo Digital Cash and will run on Wells Fargo’s first distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform. Similar to JPMorgan’s JPM Coin it will be a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. Initially the coin will be used for internal settlements between branches in different countries. Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo said “When we move money across the world and we need to exchange currencies, we have to go through third parties such as SWIFT and other banks which takes time and energy and effort. The new coin will be faster than SWIFT, cheaper and definitely more efficient.”

Germany Aims to Block Stablecoins

German policymakers made it clear that the state won't accept the emergence of parallel currencies such as Facebook’s Libra and is planning to deny Libra along with other private stablecoins. Germany's Finance Minister said “We must protect consumers and state sovereignty. A core element of state sovereignty is the issuing of a currency, we will not leave this task to private companies.” Germany stated in their new blockchain strategy that “The Federal Government will work at European and international level to ensure that stablecoins will not become an alternative to official currencies,” however the policymakers envision the development of a state-run digital currency. Germany also aims to boost the digital transformation of its economy and will explore the use of blockchains for digital identity.

Exchanges worldwide are delisting privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies

Privacy oriented cryptocurrencies such as Monero (XLM), Dash (DASH), and Zcash (ZEC) are being delisted from exchanges due to regulatory compliance. In June, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organization developed to combat money laundering, has released a new guidance for virtual asset service providers. According to the rules 37 member countries have 12 months to implement the rules and an audit will be conducted in June, 2020. FATF rule requires exchanges to collect the name and addresses of both the sender and receiver of each cryptocurrency transaction. Privacy coins make it hard for exchanges to comply with the guideline as the sender, the receiver and the amount of a transaction is private. Exchanges such as Coinbase UK, Korean Okex and Upbit, Japanese Coincheck have already started to delist these coins to comply with the rules.

Edward Snowden: US Gov’t Lawsuit to Block Book Is ‘Good for Bitcoin’

In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency subcontractor leaked top secret information. Snowden’s leaks exposed unlawful spy programmes run by the American intelligence. The US filed formal espionage charges against him and requested his extradition. Snowden intended to travel to Ecuador, however when his plane landed in Moscow, the US cancelled his passport. After being denied asylum by 27 countries, he settled in Russia where he is allowed to stay until 2020. Last week Snowden released his memoir titled “Permanent Record.”  The US Justice Department (DoJ) has filed a lawsuit against Snowden and seized his memoir revenue. Snowden’s supporters suggested to buy his book for Bitcoin. A few hours after the DoJ lawsuit Snowden tweeted “In conclusion, this is good for Bitcoin.”

Facebook Revealed the Breakdown of Libra Coin's Currency Basket

Facebook has announced that the reserve basket of Libra coin will consist of USD which will make up 50% of the basket. The remaining portion will consist of the euro with 18%, the yen with 14%, the British pound with 11% and the Singapore dollar with 7%. The Chinese yuan, the currency of the world’s second-largest economy, will not be included in the basket due to trade war between China and the US. The US has been accusing China of artificially weakening its currency to boost its export industry. It’s worth mentioning that China is currently developing its own digital currency. 

Tweet of the week
Meme of the week
Quiz answer

How many transactions could the Ethereum network handle in a second before the new 10 million block gas limit?

The correct answer is “B”.

Thank you for reading :) 

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