Financial firms are investing $1.7 billion annually on blockchain technology per research from Greenwich Associates, Bloomberg reported. The research group also found that firms increased their blockchain budgets by 67 percent in 2017, and one in 10 banks — and other firms — reported spending more than $10 million.
The news comes as the International Data Corporation (IDC) reported in January that worldwide spending on blockchain solutions would increase to $2.1 billion in 2018 from $945 million in 2017, and will grow more than 80 percent year over year to reach $9.7 billion by 2021. However, IDC projected worldwide growth and spending on mobility solutions alone at 15 percent a year from a 2018 base of $1.6 trillion.
Venture capital (VC) firms want to invest in the blockchain, but they face some challenges, CBInsights reported. These firms, for example, often have to make investments in certain asset classes, such as private companies. And though purchasing tokens through an initial coin offering (ICO) or exchange may not meet those requirements, some pre-sales and Safe Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFTs) might fit the bill.
In other news, a United Nations body is looking into smart contracts and blockchain technology, CoinDesk reported. The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) is focusing on “smart contract, electronic notary and decentralized process coordination” blockchain features.
The bitcoin fell to its lowest price since February, briefly dipping below the $6,500 mark on Tuesday (June 12), Bloomberg reported. The price of bitcoin was $6,539.06 as of 6:38pm, according to CoinDesk. The popular cryptocurrency hit a high of $19,511 in December, following a 1,400 percent rise in 2017.
In other news, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) may start talks on bringing about binding rules for crypto exchanges, Reuters reported. Though non-binding rules are now in effect, the talks will explore if current rules still make sense — and how they can work with new exchanges.
In addition, three men have pleaded not guilty in an armed robbery and kidnapping scheme involving the theft of $1.8 billion in Ether from a New York man, Bloomberg reported. Cesar Guzman, Allan Nunez and Darrell Colon, Jr. were charged in the case. A fourth individual, Louis Meza, was charged in December and also pleaded not guility. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said that the plot “demonstrates the vanishing line between street crime and cybercrime.”