Blockchain Bitcoin & Crypto Weekly CXO Briefing for Week Starting 1 May 2017

The Blockchain Bitcoin & Crypto Weekly CXO Briefing is all you need to know, each week, jargon free for CXO level business leaders and investors who will use this technology to change the world. Each week we select the 3 news items that matter and offer one expert opinion.

For the introduction and index to weekly posts please go here.

News Item 1: Malta defines national blockchain strategy

Decrypted: We do not normally pay attention to statements of intent. We prefer to wait for real news. This one is significant because it is cabinet approved and promoted by the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, who went on record to say bluntly “I understand that regulators are wary of this technology but the fact is that it’s coming”. This is not some departmental white paper. We will have to wait for real action on initiatives that he mentioned around blockchain in national registries for land and health, but the intent from the highest levels is clear.

Our take: Jurisdictional competition, as countries seek to become hubs for Blockchain Bitcoin & Crypto innovation, is a key driver for mainstreaming. The fact that Malta is part of the EU is significant. The agenda around inward investment and Brexit is clear in the words of one of the Maltese political leaders “If Malta managed to attract a mere 1% of the UK’s Fintech industry to Malta post-Brexit, it would mean an injection of €200 million into the local economy.” The comments from a Singaporean company are also significant as Malta clearly wants to be the place in Europe for Asian companies to locate “Many in Singapore believe Malta can become the Fintech capital of the world”.

News Item 2: Bitcoin jumps to a new all-time high above $1,300, capping 20% April surge

Decrypted: The Bitcoin price drives interest in this sector.

Our take:  I am a long term bull, but also forsee a pullback as markets never go up in a straight line. Note that Ether is also hitting all time highs, so this is not just Altcoins going to Bitcoin, it is also Fiat to Bitcoin.

News Item 3: Unocoin’s Partnership with PayU Enables Bitcoin Purchase through Netbanking

Decrypted: This is making the on ramp easier to convert Fiat to Bitcoin.

Our Take: This is significant because it is India, which has always had a love affair with gold and a distrust of Fiat currency and exchange controls. We hear a lot about China and Bitcoin. I think we will hear more in future about India and Bitcoin. Since demonetization in India, distrust of Fiat currency has grown and with a tech savvy population, trust in crypto is likely to rise.

Opinion: Antonopoulos calls for the end of the enterprise blockchain hype

Why it is worth listening to: Andreas Antonopoulos is perhaps the most articulate commenter on Bitcoin.

Our take: We believe the enterprise blockchain phase we went through in 2016 was like the Intranet era in the Internet wave. There is some value, tons of hype, but not much that is game-changing. Listen to Antonopolous and weigh in on your opinion on this thread on the Fintech Genome.

Bernard Lunn is a Fintech thought-leader and deal-maker. 

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