EY Executive: We Need More Productive Use Cases for Ethereum

Paul Brody, Principal and Global Innovation Leader at “Big Four” professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY), has argued that five out of six, or approximately 83%, of Ethereum (ETH)-based decentralized applications (dApps) have not been developed to enhance productivity.

It's Important to Understand How Blockchain Works

Brody, whose comments came during a FinTech Forum hosted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 31, 2019, stated that the nascent blockchain sector can only make progress if industry participants “go back to first principles.”

He also mentioned that it’s important to understand how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be applied to solve real-world problems, instead of just launching dApps and other blockchain-powered products for the sole purpose of making quick profits.

Brody, a former VP at IBM (focused on Internet of Things), explained the primary purpose of capital markets is to raise funds and invest the money into projects that are developing productive use cases. The economics graduate from Princeton University hinted that the cryptoasset industry is “not doing very well” in creating practical DLT-enabled solutions.

Brody further noted that recent Q1 2019 data from DLT analytics firm Dapp.com shows that 14% of ETH-based dApps are being used by digital asset exchanges. Meanwhile, Ethereum-based gaming and gambling dApps account for around 13% and 44% of total dApp usage, respectively.

Should Focus on Developing Solutions for Fractional Real Estate

Brody also suggested that blockchain-based platforms should focus more on creating new types of business models which can streamline routine procedures. Additionally, the EY executive argued that DLT-enabled solutions should be developed for fractional real estate - meaning investors should be able to acquire small fractions of a property via simple and quick online transactions.

Brody believes that using blockchain technology to implement practical use cases will lead to a “tremendous lasting legacy that is positive.” Last year, Brody drew comparisons between initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the DotCom era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He had also claimed that the crypto space appears to be “worse than we thought.”

EY Open-Sourced Ethereum-Based Private Transactions Solution

On May 31, 2019, EY open-sourced its codebase for conducting private transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. EY’s privacy-focused solutions is called Nightfall. As mentioned on Nightfall’s Github page:

Nightfall integrates a set of smart contracts and microservices, and the ZoKrates zk-snark toolkit, to enable standard ERC-20 and (non-fungible tokens standard) ERC-721 tokens to be transacted on the Ethereum blockchain with complete privacy. It is an experimental solution and still being actively developed.

Coinbase Becomes First 'Pure' Crypto Firm to Become Visa Principal Member

Francisco Memoria

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has become the first “pure” cryptocurrency firm to become a Visa principal member.

The membership was, according to Forbes, officially awarded in December 2019, but it wasn’t revealed to the public until today via a blog post published by the exchange itself. The membership will allow Coinbase to cut expensive middlemen when it comes to the issuance of its debit card, which lets users pay with cryptocurrency wherever Visa is accepted.

Notably, the principal membership also gives coinbase the power to issue debit cards for other companies, although the cryptocurrency exchange claimed it isn’t planning to issue them for others anytime soon. Visa, Forbes reports, has confirmed it granted Coinbase the principal membership, but clarified the firm itself isn’t accepting cryptocurrencies.

Using the membership, Coinbase is set to issue a new version of the Coinbase Visa card, which was initially launched in April 2019 with the financial services firm Paysafe Group Holdings, which charges a fee for its service. This new version could reduce the fees Coinbase’s card is currently charging users as it cuts the middlemen. If fees are reduced, existing card holders will have to re-apply to receive a new card.

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase UK, which received the membership, noted that users’ BTC holdings have always been seen as illiquid “because you have to sell them, you have to go through a process, withdraw the money, and then spend it.” The card’s goal, he said, is to change that:

What the card is trying to change is the mindset that crypto is tucked away, takes two days to access, and can actually now be spent in real time.

The Coinbase Visa card isn’t available to U.S. residents and won’t be in the foreseeable future. It is, however, available in 29 countries including Denmark ,Estonia, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, and the U.K. IT lets users spend nine cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, Brave’s BAT, litecoin, and others.

With the membership, Coinbase could make fees charged to companies outside the cryptocurrency space in payments made with its card a new source of revenue, one that depends less on crypto price fluctuations. Feroz acknowledged it’s a possibility, but revealed it’s currently not a part of the firm’s plan as its “primary focus” is to build its services.

Featured image via Pixabay.