Late last week, a major U.S. financial services firm made headlines with several blockchain-related developments. The first relates to a credit card that will be offered by cryptocurrency lending startup Nexo that would provide a revolving line of credit backed by the card holder's cryptocurrency assets. In addition, the same financial services firm announced a partnership with an iconic clothing retailer to showcase its blockchain-based provenance solution at the retailer's flagship store in California. The solution seeks to tackle the multibillion-dollar online counter-fitting problem by allowing customers to scan a QR code and view the product journey of limited-edition fashion items.

A major U.K.-based financial services firm announced two blockchain developments this week: one for supply chain finance and another for cross-border letters of credit for the oil industry. The firm and its strategic partner Linklogis provided the supply chain solution to digital government services provider Digital Guangdong, a joint venture among several Chinese firms. The letter of credit was executed as a pilot transaction for an oil shipment from Thailand to Singapore using the Voltron blockchain platform.

Two notable blockchain patents targeted at financial services and capital markets were announced this week. A multinational retail corporation and one of the world's largest companies filed for a patent related to a fiat-backed stablecoin. Also, a different retail giant's subsidiary, tZERO, was awarded a patent for the Time Ordered Merkle Epoch methodology. According to a press release, the solution can link the settlement of tokenized blockchain-based securities on a public blockchain to legacy trading systems.

According to earnings reports published this week, the Cash App of a major U.S. financial services and mobile payments company brought in $125 million in bitcoin sales in the second quarter of 2019 – almost doubling its record-breaking first quarter. Another report published this week found that 318 addresses hold approximately 80% of the stablecoin Tether. The report explained that this concentration of ownership increases risk for all cryptocurrency users because many exchanges are dependent on Tether for liquidity.

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