A few years back when people referred to “digital currencies” it would be safe to assume that they were referring to bitcoin – but not any longer.
Literally hundreds of digital currencies have flooded the market since the blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology emerged as potentially the future of the financial services industry.
The total market capitalisation of digital currencies today has risen to nearly $100 billion. Of these, bitcoin is still the leading currency, with 16.3 million bitcoins in existence, and a market value of $23.5 billion on current price of $1992.43.
Ethereum is the next largest, with 92 million Ethereums currently in supply, the currency is worth $13.5 billion, price $146.8, followed by Ripple, $7.9 billion, 34 billion Ripples, $7.9 billion valuation.
To keep track of all the different currencies, eToro, the social trading network with 6 million users that allows users to do anything from short term trading in bitcoin to buying long-term investments in banking stocks, are launching a pilot blockchain wallet.
This wallet will allow people, for the first time, to hold and exchange multiple cryptocurrency assets in the same wallet, and give them a transparent view of all of their digital currency assets on the blockchain.
The technology that permits this has also been developed by eToro through a company it founded in 2014, coloredcoins.org. It is an open source platform that comes with powerful API / SDK integration and a ColoredCoins node.
Once eToro customers have purchased coins, coloredcoins technology will make sure they are automatically registered to the blockchain.
eToro’s co-founder and CEO Yoni Assia says that “blockchain is the biggest innovation in financial services since the introduction of computers into finance, and has the potential to disrupt how all financial services will work in the next 20 years.”
“We want to make it easy for people to own, manage and exchange assets on blockchain, that’s what the Blockchain Wallet is all about.”
eToro already allows users to invest into bitcoin and Ethereum via contracts for difference (CFDs), and says it can “also copy the cryptocurrency trading of some of the world’s leading crypto experts.”
eToro made the announcement about the Blockchain Wallet at St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), held since 2006 under the auspices of the president of the Russian Federation, who attends the event every year.
In 2016, more than 12,000 participants form 133 countries attended the conference, including leading experts in the fields of science, the media and civil society.
These days, blockchain is often top of the agenda, and not only at technology conferences. Its structure is so versatile, it can be used for legal contracts, storing of data records, security, and much, much more.