The third week of June has been exciting for the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Perhaps the biggest news is that Facebook (FB ) announced the official launch of its stablecoin endeavor named Project Libra, meant to help the world's unbanked consumers. The tech giant released its website and white paper and revealed the finance and tech firms that have already partnered with Libra. Although Wall Street analysts like Jim Cramer generally praised the stablecoin move, other people are not so convinced. The crypto community made fun of Libra, calling it a joke and fraud. US members of Congress from both parties criticized Facebook's proposal. European regulators and lawmakers called for more scrutiny. Still, Facebook stock rose nearly 4% this week on Libra optimism.
Here is the rest of the week in review:
Blockchain firm Ripple Labs bought $30 million worth of shares and warrants in MoneyGram International (MGI ), as the two firms partner to use the Ripple token (XRP) and other products for cross-border payments and foreign exchange settlement. Ripple bought MoneyGram's stock at $4.10 per share. Ripple can also buy more common stock or warrants for up to $20 million at a minimum price of $4.10 per share. The partnership will initially last for two years. Shares of MoneyGram briefly surged 77% to $2.56 on the news. MoneyGram chief executive Alex Holmes said the partnership will allow MoneyGram to instantly settle funds from US dollars (USD) to other currencies on a real-time basis.
MetLife (MET ) subsidiary LumenLab is using blockchain technology to automate life insurance claims. Known as "Lifechain," the LumenLab collaboration with Singapore Press Holdings and NTUC Income will let bereaved families who place obituaries in a newspaper to instantly search to see if their loved one had a life insurance policy. The technology works by submitting the deceased's National Registration Identity Card to Lifechain as hashed data after consent from the family has been obtained. A thousand policyholders will be randomly selected to take part in a pilot program this month. Insurance firms are increasingly experimenting with and investing in blockchain tech applications.
Crypto prices surged this week to $325 billion, thanks to bullish sentiment from Bitcoin's (BTC) final break above $10,500 and Ethereum's (ETH) breach of $300. For the majors, Bitcoin and Binance Coin (BNB) led the outsized gains, while only Tether (USDT) fell into the red. In the top 100, the biggest losers were SOLVE (SOLVE), down 18%, Waltonchain (WTC), down 15%, and Zilliqa (ZIL), down 14%. The biggest gainers were Egretia (EGT), up a whopping 62%, EDUCare (EKT), up 48%, and Insight Chain (INB), up 47%. Next week traders will see if Bitcoin can top $11,000 and continue the recent bull run.
The author owns a small amount of BTC.