As February drew to a close, the biggest news was that Julius Baer announced it will partner with SEBA Crypto AG to offer digital asset services late this year. The Swiss private bank and crypto banking startup plan to allow clients to access coin storage, transaction, and investment solutions, pending Swiss regulatory approval. Julius Baer said that it is convinced digital assets including cryptocurrency will become a legitimate asset class in investors' portfolios. SEBA is slated to launch banking operations in the second quarter and an initial coin offering (ICO) in the third quarter.
Here is the rest of the week in review:
Coinbase made many moves this week to expand its coin offerings and customer base. The American exchange added support for the Ripple (XRP) token to Coinbase Pro. Now most customers can fully transact with and trade XRP against US dollars (USD), euros (EUR), and Bitcoin (BTC). Coinbase also announced a partnership with fintech startup SoFi to enable the online lender's customers to invest in cryptocurrency. Finally, Coinbase acquired Neutrino, a UK-based blockchain analysis firm, for an undisclosed amount. The controversial move resulted in several users tweeting that they deleted their Coinbase accounts. Some users are angry that Neutrino allegedly aided Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia with surveillance and human rights abuses.
French president Emmanuel Macron called for the increased use of technologies like blockchain in the agriculture industry to boost food authentication and traceability. Macron said he wants Europe to be at the vanguard of agricultural data. He added he wants the industry to track every kind of produce from raw material production to packaging and processing. In his International Agricultural Fair speech, Macron also expressed his desire to protect farmers and consumers from climate change, spur more ecological farming practices, and potentially establish a European task force to standardize quality and fight food fraud. Macron stressed that technological innovation is key to benefiting consumers.
Crypto prices rose slightly this week to $130 billion, and Bitcoin and the overall market finally ended a month in the green. Ethereum (ETH), EOS, and Tron (TRX) all fell hard, but Litecoin (LTC) and the rest of the coins pulled market cap upward. In the top 100, the biggest losers are SophiaTX (SPHTX), down 17%, Apollo Currency (APL), down 17%, and Electroneum (ETN), down 16%. The biggest gainers are ABBC Coin (ABBC), up a whopping 211%, Ravencoin (RVN), up 104%, and Clams (CLAM), up 58%. As Bitcoin's recent trading range has tightened, traders will watch for a breakout from the $3,700 to $3,900 area.
The author owns a small amount of BTC and LTC.