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Daily Byte: Wednesday, December 26, 2018




More layoffs announced, Bank of America continues its blockchain research dominance, and analyst sees silver lining to the crypto recession…for institutional investors.

Bank of America Files Patent to Support Cash Handling Devices

Major multinational bank Bank of America has filed for a patent to utilize blockchain technology. The patent, "Banking Systems Controlled by Data Bearing Records," explains that the bank would use blockchain to track deposits handled by its cash handling devices.

A cash handling device, simply put, is a machine that dispenses and tracks cash, for example, ATMs, cash dispensers, cash validators, and loose coin counters. The patent would allow these machines to interact with and enable withdrawals for each other, while streamlining cash transportation needs.

"An ATM operator may be responsible for restocking the automated teller machine rather than a particular financial institution," the application reads. "Blockchain technology may be used by automated teller machine to accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions."

A patent does not mean the new system is ready to go; it simply protects concepts and inventions from unauthorized duplication.

Bitmain and Huobi to Lay Off Workers

Two of China's largest crypto firms will be laying off significant portions of their staffs, according to reports.

Bitmain, perhaps the world's most recognizable manufacturer of crypto mining rigs, indicated that it would be making staff adjustments to stay sustainable. This, after its plans for an IPO began to falter over the last quarter.

Conversely, crypto exchange operator Huobi stated that it would be cutting below-average employees. Earlier this month, Bitmain closed its research center in Israel. The companies join other crypto firms like Steemit and ConsenSys, which have responded to the crypto recession with layoffs. Still, both Bitmain and Huobi say they will continue hiring.

PwC Analyst: Crypto Recession May Have "Cleared out the Noise"

Speaking of layoffs, one analyst feels that the trough-like market may be a good thing, as it has bled out the "casualness" in the crypto market.

In an interview Sunday with "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia," Henri Arslanian, PricewaterhouseCoopers' crypto lead for Asia, said the extended crypto recession may have drained away the casual investing brought on by speculation during the bitcoin price spike of 2017. The removal of "hobbyist investors" is a needed step to ready the crypto market for industry investors slated to move in next year.

Arslanian pointed out that – along with institutional investor involvement – the advent of sweeping crypto regulations expected in 2019 will mature the crypto industry. During this month's G20 summit, the leaders of the world's largest economies agreed that international coordination on crypto regulation is needed.

Be fast, be clever, be wise. Be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.

Frederick Reese

Frederick Reese is a politics and cryptocurrency reporter based in New York. He is also a former teacher, an early adopter of bitcoin and Litecoin, and an enthusiast of all things geeky and nerdy.

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