Bitcoin continued to trade near $6,500 Monday in a low-volume session. Total 24-hour trading volume was only at about $3.4 billion Monday afternoon, tallying a fourth-straight day that volume hasn't topped $4 billion.
Here's what you need to know in cryptocurrency news for Monday, June 18.
Square Gets BitLicense
Square Inc. (SQ) - Get Report has received a BitLicense from regulators in New York, the company announced Monday. The BitLicense was granted to Square from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) after Square first applied in March. DFS said it "is pleased to approve Square's application and welcomes them to New York's expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market." Square first launched a bitcoin purchasing option in its Cash app last fall, but New York-based users had been unable to use the service until Monday. While the business unit is still young, cryptocurrency trading has raked in $34 million in revenue for Square, the company said in May.
Major Russian Banks Piloting Crypto
Under the supervision of the Bank of Russia, Sberbank and Alfa Bank are piloting cryptocurrency portfolios for some private clients, local media reported. The two Russian banks reportedly will offer clients shares in a special fund that will trade six of the most popular digital currencies on major exchanges. Alfa Bank is the largest private bank in Russia, and Sberbank is the main state-owned bank for processing government employee paychecks. "Our goal is to speed up the recognition of the digital assets as a legitimate financial asset as soon as possible," said Alfa Bank in a statement.
Tech Leaders Get Into Blockchain as a Service
TheStreet's Annie Gaus reported that as cryptocurrency loses some of its luster its supporting blockchain technology is only getting started. Countless tech giants have begun to invest in "blockchain as a service" products, from IBM Corp. (IBM) - Get Report and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) - Get Report to Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - Get Report . "Now it's about separating the good from the silly. Experts see supply chain and payments as two areas where blockchain may actually make an impact. Analyzing the banking industry for example, one Accenture study estimated that banks could save $8 billion per year by shifting certain functions to blockchain," Guas reported.
Crypto Could 'Bring the Internet to a Halt'
Cryptocurrencies are an "environmental disaster" that could crash the global internet, a central bank advocacy has warned, noting that the dependence on miners to verify digital token transactions puts not only their final value at risk but also means that trust in the broader system could "evaporate" at any time, TheStreet's Martin Baccardax reported. The Bank for International Settlements, which is often described as the "central bank for central banks," issued the warning in a scathing research report into the rise of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, that was published on its website Sunday. It also added that "scaling" bitcoin across a broader selection of users could ultimately "bring the internet to a halt, as millions of users exchanged files on the order of magnitude of a terabyte."