Monday Bytes February 15, 2021

Written by Malik Corbett

The crypto community has so much to be excited about right now but last week (the week of February 7th) may go down as a watershed moment for DeFi and the broader blockchain industry. A flurry of news broke last week that could prove to be significant to DeFi and no, it’s not about Elon Musk… Below are what I believe to be the three most important announcements last week that will have a lasting impact on crypto:

1. Mastercard Steps up its Crypto Game

On Wednesday, February 10th, Mastercard released a blog post announcing that the company was going to expand further into cryptocurrencies by enabling its payment system to process  cryptocurrencies directly on their network. Crypto is not new to Mastercard. Last year, the payments company partnered with crypto payment start-ups Wirex and Bitpay to offer crypto cards. Although Mastercard is not implementing blockchain technology into its payment system yet, the news is exciting because it opens the door for mass adoptions of cryptocurrencies. The importance of distribution cannot be understated. Mastercard’s massive payment network serving as a critical on/off ramp for cryptonetworks, I predict to be one of the catalysts for crypto mass adoption. Mastercard is definitely a company to keep an eye on… 

2. BNY Mellon Jumps into Crypto

BNY Mellon announced the formation of a new Digital Asset unit that will offer their institutional clients settlement and custody of digital assets. Caroline Butler, head of Custody at BNY Mellon said in a statement:

“Building the bridge between the traditional and digital spaces will create a front-to-back ecosystem for innovation.” 

The BNY Mellon news is significant because of the obvious signal that an institutional wave is coming to crypto and that is great for token prices. But it also signals that cryptocurrency and more importantly the underlying blockchain is emerging as a technology that has come front and center to meet the call of innovation that U.S. capital markets desperately need. Which leads me to the next important piece of news from last week. 

3. Biden says that China is “going to eat our lunch”

On Thursday, February 12th, President Biden met with a group of senators and warned that the nation needed to step up on infrastructure or as the President puts it, China is “going to eat our [America’s] lunch. 

For those who have been following, China has been working on the largest infrastructure project in the world called the Belt and Road Initiative or the BRI. China has been investing heavily into the BRI, pouring money into high-speed rail, metro systems, apartment buildings, electricity grids and communication networks. In fact, there is a subset of the BRI named the Digital Silk Road which looks to digitize the Yuan and use blockchain technology at its core to create an alternative financial system to usurp U.S. economic leadership and influence. In order words, the United States capital markets need to upgrade its trade and communication infrastructure or risk getting left behind. 

If Biden is successful in getting an infrastructure project through congress, the blockchain industry and specifically DeFi could see billions if not trillions of dollars poured into the industry. The world has changed and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world outside of crypto comes to the realization of this reality. The DeFi revolution is coming.   

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