Seems a mildly curious thing for a dyed-in-the-wool, hard-nosed hack like myself to say, but big breaking news stories took a back seat this week.
Only joking, we’re a journalist-led and traditional newsroom so news is always top of the agenda! But, I tell you what, the launch of our opinion platform on Wednesday afternoon certainly gave the news stories a run for their money, and that’s why I have to start with them as my editorial picks for this week.
It would be unfair to pick one of them out as the outstanding op-ed, and that’s purely because of the beauty of what opinion columns are – they’re all about thrusting a particular viewpoint forward for discussion. And boy, did they do that! What a tremendous response they received.
We had fantastic pieces from Stewie Zhu, Irina Litchfield, Jon Walsh, Alessandra Sollberger and Preston Junger which were all absolutely terrific reads. And then there was my Blockhead column too which could never be good enough to sit among exalted company like this, but if you like your blockchain with a dose of fun, then it might be up your street.
We’ll be joined by more superb columnists next week, including the wonderful Sally Eaves.
Bank of America joins Bitcoin derivatives race with other FIs
This is actually a massive story, and to understand its gravity you need to be focused on the B0A’s wealth management arm – Merrill Lynch – because it is, essentially, deciding to take on Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley head-on by developing its own Bitcoin investment tool.
Don’t be put off by the rhetoric of other big institutions carefully dipping a toe in the crypto waters and saying ‘oooh, yeah, I think we might do something with crypto but we’re not sure what’. We all know they’re working furiously behind closed doors to make sure they’re fully on board with blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption. They just don’t want us to think they might be a bit slow on the uptake or late to the party.
This, however, isn’t anything like that. This is the Bank of America basically saying “Right then, we’re putting our crypto gloves on – who wants a fight?”. This isn’t hyperbole. Cryptocurrency adoption is coming, and they’re up for this. It’s a massive step in the right direction.
NEW: Dominic Frisby’s crypto analysis
I think this is a real coup for Coin Rivet. Dominic Frisby is a hugely respected talent not just as an author or presenter, but also as a financial sage. If the world of blockchain and crypto were Star Wars, he’d be Obe Wan Kenobi – but more of a younger Ewan McGregor version rather than your older Sir Alec Guinness who ultimately (spoiler alert) is reduced to a pile of smoking rags on the floor of the first Death Star after being uncharacteristically distracted during a light sabre showdown with Darth Vader.
Seriously though, he knows his stuff, and it’s absolutely brilliant that he’s chosen Coin Rivet as the vehicle to share it with.
How not to rock the crypto boat
Who doesn’t love a bit of handbags at dawn, eh? Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song and Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver giving it the big man and going to toe-to-toe like a pair of eighties schoolgirls squabbling over a Jason Donovan poster as their difference of opinion on the merits of Bitcoin versus Bitcoin Cash get a little out of hand.
It was hardly the Rumble in the Jungle. More like Loser on a Cruiser.
Pretty classless stuff from both of them. No winners here, apart from people like us who get to report on their behaviour. Silly little boys!
World Economic Forum: Building blockchains for a better planet
Hold the phone. This story is brilliant in how it highlights an enormous raft of really good things that blockchain could be doing for the world.
Some folk no doubt think that we exist in some kind of binary Matrix-style graphic and, therefore, have no connection to the outside world whatsoever, but read this article and see some of the amazing ways in which this technology can be applied in an environmental capacity.
Moreover, this isn’t some whimsical draft report commissioned by Captain Nobody from the WhoCares company – this is a full report from the World Economic Forum.
It offers up 65 cases where blockchain could be applied to environmental challenges, including eight situations it would describe as ‘game changers’.
Crypto twins create Populous in mum’s kitchen
They’re multimillionaires after creating a cryptocurrency to help SMEs with cash flow… and they did it all from their mum’s kitchen in London.
This story is absolutely lovely. No other word could describe it better. And I hope they’ve both bought their mum a new kitchen with their earnings. Wait, a house even. I think their mum deserves a new house, surely?
Syrian refugees get direct access to funds via UN blockchain
Let’s not get tied up with politics, other than to say there can be little argument from anyone that fiat currency has been entwined with conflict and atrocities the world over for centuries.
Now, how about this? Blockchain is being used to give displaced Syrian women financial empowerment. And that, summed up in our story, is what blockchain is all about – a force for good.
Blockchain won’t start a war. No one will be bombed because of blockchain. Blockchain won’t force people to leave their own country. Blockchain exists to make the world a better place.
And I think that’s a fabulous place to end this week’s editorial picks.