Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has joined the blockchain-based network created by JPMorgan Chase & Co. for repurchase agreements that use smart contracts and a digitized version of the U.S. dollar.
Its first trade came on June 17, when it swapped a tokenized version of a U.S. Treasury bond for JPMCoin, JPMorgan’s internal representation of a digital dollar, according to Mathew McDermott, global head of digital assets for Goldman’s global markets division. He declined to give the value of the trade.
“We see this as a pivotal moment for the digitization of transactional activity,” McDermott said Tuesday in an interview. Unlike in the traditional repo market, the exact amount of time the banks took to complete the transaction was quantifiable. In this case, it was 3 hours and 5 minutes.
Knowing the precise time is a big step up from the current market, as is the way the collateral and cash are interchanged simultaneously and immediately, McDermott said.
“We pay interest per minute,” he said. “We firmly think this will change the nature of the intraday marketplace.”
JPMorgan created the new repo market using its version of the Ethereum blockchain, with its first trades in December. It has since gone on to trade more than $1 billion a day through its Onyx blockchain platform.
The firm is speaking with more than 10 banking and investing clients about joining the repo network, according to spokeswoman Jessica Francisco. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. served as the custody agent for the trades.
Transactions in the $2.4 trillion repo market raise cash overnight or for a few days, but are difficult to arrange within the same trading day. The digitized upgrade provides that ability to JPMorgan, using so-called smart contracts on an Ethereum-based blockchain that allow cash and Treasuries to be returned instantaneously.
Wall Street began experimenting with blockchain about five years ago. In addition to JPMorgan, a blockchain pioneer among Wall Street banks, Paxos Trust Co. is using it to settle some equity trades in near-real-time. Arca is offering digital shares in a U.S. Treasury fund, showing that distributed-ledger technology can help streamline finance.
McDermott said Goldman Sachs’s participation in the JPMorgan market fits in broadly with how it’s thinking about enterprise blockchain, a system where all participants are known to one another.
“There’s the growing focus on the potential of this technology,” he said. Then he added something rarely heard from rival bankers: “It’s been great working with JPMorgan and BNY on this.”
Today’s Cryptocurrency Investors are Tomorrow’s Masters of the Metaverse
Cryptocurrency investors of today are likely to be the “masters of the metaverse”, which has the potential to change how we live, interact and do business, predicts the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
The prediction from Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, comes as Facebook announces plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to develop a so-called metaverse.
“The metaverse has the potential to help unlock access to new creative, social and economic opportunities,” the tech giant said in its blog.
The term ‘metaverse’ gives a virtual parallel to physical reality where a community of people can interact in the form of avatars. It refers to the merging of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online environment.
Mr Green says: “Facebook’s announcement once again underscores that the metaverse is not being seen by those-in-the-know as an ‘extension’ of the internet, but as its successor.
“It will become the entrance to almost all digital experiences and an integral part of most physical ones, meaning it will fundamentally change the way we live, interact with each other and do business.
“It will revolutionise economies, it will be the key to the creation of whole new generations of companies, and this is why the big tech firms are jumping in – no one wants to be left behind something so monumental.”
He continues: “The metaverse is being built and run on blockchains and decentralised applications, which is the same cutting-edge technology used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“In addition, in the virtual worlds which will reshape how we spend our time and our money, financial transactions will, of course, have to be digital.
“This means that cryptocurrencies are likely to become the sole legal tender accepted in the metaverse.
“All of this is a huge advantage to anyone investing in crypto today. Prices of major cryptocurrencies are likely to soar enormously in the next few years. As such, those buying now will be taking advantage of the lower entry points.
“Their purchasing power within the digital space can be expected to be huge as a result: they will be the ones who are the Masters of the Metaverse.”
Everything is very much still in the early stages, and it might be another decade or so until the potential of the metaverse is fully realised.
But, concludes Nigel Green, there is a “massive advantage” for early adopters of new tech – “just ask Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg” – as well as those who “invest earlier on in the currencies of the future.”
Bitcoin Near $60,000 Per Coin After Bloomberg Report Favour Bitcoin ETF
Bitcoin, the world’s most capitalised cryptocurrency, rallied near $60,000 per coin after a report by Bloomberg said bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) will clear the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late on Thursday.
Cryptocurrency’s most dominant coin rose to $59,961 per coin before pulling back to $59,258.38 at the time of writing.
The SEC is reviewing around 40 bitcoin ETF filings with multiple decision deadlines on futures-linked products hitting next week. According to Bloomberg, the regulator is expected to approve at least some of them, clearing the way for trading to begin.
The SEC does not need to take any formal action to approve the filings. Under federal law, applications can become effective if the SEC allows a mandated deadline to pass by without requesting changes or directing the aspiring issuer to pull the filing.
Bloomberg named applications by ProShares and Invesco as two proposals that may be allowed to launch under this law next week.
G7 Finance Officials Endorse Principles For Central Bank Digital Currencies
G7 finance officials on Wednesday endorsed 13 public policy principles for retail central bank digital currencies, saying they should be grounded in transparency, the rule of law and sound economic governance, the Treasury Department said.
“Innovation in digital money and payments has the potential to bring significant benefits but also raises considerable public policy and regulatory issues,” Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers said in a joint statement.
“Strong international coordination and cooperation on these issues help to ensure that public and private sector innovation will deliver domestic and cross-border benefits while being safe for users and the wider financial system.”
The finance officials met in person, with some joining by video, in Washington on Wednesday during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank under the leadership of British finance minister Rishi Sunak.
In their joint statement, the G7 officials said central bank money in the form of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs, would complement cash and could act as a liquid, safe settlement asset and an anchor for the payments system.
They said the principles were meant to support policy and design deliberations within and beyond the G7, complementing recently published work by a group of central banks and the Bank for International Settlements.
No G7 authority has decided to issue a CBDC, and careful consideration of the potential policy implications will continue, the statement said.
“We reaffirm that any CBDC should be grounded in our long-standing public commitments to transparency, the rule of law and sound economic governance,” the statement said. “Any CBDC must support, and ‘do no harm’ to, the ability of central banks to fulfill their mandates for monetary and financial stability.”
The G7 officials stressed the importance of rigorous privacy standards, cybersecurity, the need to protect users’ data and transparency on how the information will be secured and used.
They said such currencies must be energy efficient and operate in an open, transparent and competitive environment while underscoring the importance of interoperability on a cross-border basis and the need to minimize any harmful spillovers to the international monetary and financial system.
They reiterated that no global stablecoin project should begin operation until it addresses legal, regulatory and oversight requirements, echoing a similar statement made by the larger Group of 20 finance officials earlier Wednesday.
Stablecoins are a type of digital coin pegged to traditional currencies.
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