Details Emerge on Iran’s XLM-Based Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

Iran’s new gold-backed cryptocurrency “PayMon” will be technically based on the Stellar Lumens (XLM) network (which is an open-source codebase), and will trade in “special exchange offices.” These details emerged during a Sputnik interview with Hamid Reza Shaabani, founder of Iranian blockchain company ArzDigital.

As CryptoGlobe reported earlier this month, a company called Ghoghnoos (ققنوس - “phoenix” or “gryphon”in Persian) and four national banks are cooperating with Iranian authorities to produce the PayMon system.

The principal aim of PayMon is to provide a way for Iran to trade around US-sponsored sanctions, which have been increasing under Donald Trump’s push to scuttle (and renegotiate) the Obama-era “Iran deal.”

Commenting on the potential fulfilment of gold for tokens, Shaabani said that the “contract with [Ghoghnoos] stipulates that token holders can receive gold, but the details are not clear yet.” He also said that the crypto will be mostly traded by “special exchange offices,” adding that “It's likely that currencies will be traded in major international currency exchange points.”

Golden Ticket

Iran has been seeking to increase its internal mining production of gold and other precious metals such as copper, in the wake of sanctions which partially targeted these items. Gold has been used in past years to get around sanctions, specifically those that predated the Iran Deal. Gold has helped Iran funnel billions of dollars around sanctions, via Turkey and Turkish nationals.

It is little wonder then that the Central Asian country has eventually thawed to the idea of a cryptocurrency, which is capable of transferring value with uncensorable impunity depending on how it is designed.

Iran joins the Venezuelan government among countries to adopt a state-backed crypto, with Russia also playing with the idea - all for the same general purpose of skirting US-backed sanctions.

Also in the realm of centralized, non-public stablecoins, the JPMorgan Chase mega-bank launched its own a few days ago. The coin will not be widely available, with only entities vetted by the bank having access to the private crypto.

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency by Year End; Grayscale Ethereum Trust Goes Retail; Coinbase Adds DAI

There’s been a flurry of major crypto news to end the week. Among the developments: Facebook expects to start testing its GlobalCoin cryptocurrency by year-end, before launching in 1Q20; Grayscale announced it's received approval for the public quotation of eligible shares of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE); and Coinbase unveiled full support for the heartbeat of the open finance movement: Dai (DAI).

The crypto markets are enjoying a considerable bounce over the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $7,904.7 and $250.3; a rise of 4.4% and 6.9%, respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 3,843.3 (+2.2%).Bitcoin Ethereum CryptoCompare

GlobalCoin: Facebook to Begin Cryptocurrency Roll-Out by Year End

More details of Facebook’s cryptocurrency-based payments network have emerged, courtesy of the BBC, which reported the social media giant is striving to commence testing of its cryptocurrency – internally dubbed GlobalCoin – by the year’s end, before launching in “a dozen countries” by March 31, 2020.

Facebook expects to outline further details “this summer,” the BBC wrote, before highlighting that Bank of England governor Mark Carney was, in April, briefed by Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Officials from the U.S. Treasury have been approached by Facebook, also, with respect to potential “operational and regulatory issues.” Moreover, Facebook is reportedly “in talks with money transfer firms including Western Union as it looks for cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money.”

Grayscale Ethereum Trust Gets Retail Greenlight

Grayscale Investments – a New York-based firm with almost $2 billion in assets under management – announced they secured approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to list eligible shares of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE).

In the press statement, Grayscale pointed out that “there will be no trading volume in the Share’s public quotation” until the Depository Trust Company (DTC) permits it. Grayscale – which is a Digital Currency Group (DCG) subsidiary – added “ETHE is expected to receive [the DTC’s approval] soon.”

ETHE marks Grayscale’s third publicly quoted investment product. It follows Grayscale Bitcoin Trust™ (OTCQX:GBTC) and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust™ (OTCQX:ETCG).

DeFi Delight: Coinbase Adds Full DAI Support

Coinbase announced Dai (DAI) is now available to buy and trade for Coinbase.com users. DAI is a stablecoin native to MakerDAO (MKR) that is designed to offer a value-stable asset that does not suffer from the generally high level of volatility seen across the cryptocurrency market.

The move surprised many pundits within the Ethereum and decentralized finance (DeFi) space, as Coinbase already co-manages USD Coin (USDC), a rival stablecoin developed by the CENTRE Consortium last year.

Coinbase, a leading U.S.-headquartered crypto exchange, already listed DAI last December. However, it was only made accessible on Coinbase Pro, a Coinbase-owned exchange targetted at institutional and professional traders.