What happened this week around blockchain and cryptocurrencies? The most relevant local and international events as well as appealing background reports in a pointed and compact weekly review.
Selected articles of the week:
The largest bank in Germany is deepening its involvement in the cryptocurrency industry. This week, Deutsche Bank signed a partnership agreement with the Geneva-based cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, Taurus, to offer its customers secure cryptocurrency custody and asset tokenization services. This move follows an investment in the Swiss startup in February and a subsequent application to BaFin for a cryptocurrency custody license. With these developments, Deutsche Bank should now be equipped with the necessary tools to offer cryptocurrency services to its over 19 million retail customers. The launch is expected to occur in 2024, similar to Swiss financial institutions PostFinance and LUKB.
In the past year, there was a noticeable decline in venture capital investments, both within and outside the cryptocurrency industry. However, Germany managed to defy this trend, as indicated in a report by Swiss crypto VC firm CV VC. Despite a global decline of -44%, investments in the German blockchain sector increased by 3%. Cryptocurrency companies secured over $355 million through 34 deals – 2.5% of all venture investments worldwide. A concise summary of the 74-page report.
The taxation of cryptocurrencies varies from country to country. While Switzerland clearly classifies digital assets as property, the situation is not explicitly regulated in German tax laws. Over the years, various court decisions have created a somewhat contradictory legal landscape, according to lawyer Dr. Joerg Andres. The tax law expert explains that taxpayers often find themselves facing increased scrutiny from tax authorities due to the unclear legal situation. However, in practice, Andres notes that many of these alleged accusations are often unfounded.
Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) are cryptographic protocols that allow one party to prove to another party that a specific statement is true without revealing any further information about the statement. This characteristic makes ZKPs valuable in various applications where privacy, security, and authentication are essential. The technology enables transactions on the blockchain to be conducted while preserving privacy. ZK-Proofs can conceal transaction details such as the sender, recipient, and amount while ensuring the validity of the transaction. A groundbreaking technology for advocates of financial privacy.
In addition: In August, the cryptocurrency markets retraced a significant portion of their gains since the BlackRock ETF application. Bitcoin experienced a liquidation-driven decline of -11.31%, dragging down altcoins with it. This occurred despite some noteworthy developments in various ecosystems: Visa expanded its USDC settlement service to Solana. SWIFT released a report on its one-year experiment with Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). And Casio announced an NFT access pass on Polygon, among other developments.