Crypto Asset Broker, Voyager Digital, Reports An Impressive 1,159% YoY Revenue Jump

  • Voyager Digital Limited, a licensed Canadian crypto-asset broker, announced a preliminary unaudited revenue figure of $1.1 million after a sharp growth through the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2020.
  • The strong revenue growth is greatly attributed to a strong Q4 where the revenues grew 701% year-on-year to $700,000.

The preliminary report, released by Voyager, showed that the unaudited revenues by the firm jumped an impressive 1,159% over the year to $1.1 million. The company registered over 230,000 customers in the past fiscal year as the brokerage accounts increased 750% year-on-year to 86,000 accounts.

The results show exceptional performance in the operational and financial milestones set by the firm. Stephen Ehrlich, CEO, and Co-founder of the brokerage firm said the company had increased its customers’ assets by 1,959% to $35 million, and the principal value traded grew to $165 million, representing a 725% YoY growth. Ehrlich said,

“Our exceptional business momentum carried over into the fourth quarter, where we saw strong revenue growth both sequentially and year-over-year. […] These results reflect our evolution this past year into a fully integrated digital asset agency broker.”

The rapid growth in Voyager follows a rapid expansion in its business capabilities, including the addition of 39 crypto assets on its platform, including XRP, Compound (COMP), Kyber Network (KNC), Multi-Collateral Dai (DAI) and Celo (CELO) among others.

Over the past fiscal year, the company has completed several partnerships and acquisitions, including Avant-Garde and Circle’s crypto investing app.

Read more: Voyager Raises $2.1 Million in Private Placement to Expand User Base

In the remaining part of 2020 (first half of 2021 fiscal year), Voyager aims at integrating USDC stablecoin as one of the assets, obtain a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and extend their interest program to other assets.

“Looking ahead, we continue to take steps to strengthen the Voyager Platform, and grow both our retail and institutional customer base,” Ehrlich added.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Volvo Invests In Blockchain Traceability Startup Circulor To Track Cobalt Supply Chain

Volvo Cars Tech Fund, a subsidiary of Volvo, announced its investment in blockchain traceability firm Circulor on July 8. The popular carmakers have used Circulor’s traceability solutions previously for tracing cobalt used in their batteries. The use of blockchain became a necessity amid growing concerns over the questionable condition of the laborers and the use of child labor in cobalt mining.

Volvo believes the partnership with Circulor would help in finding sustainable solutions. It is also planning to use this traceability solution for carbon emissions from their cars.

Martina Buchhauser, the chief procurement officer at Volvo, commented on their partnership and how it would help them in the long run. She said:

“We are committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials, and our partnership with Circulor has been instrumental in that regard. By supporting Circulor’s ongoing development, we can expand the use of blockchain technology in our operations and contribute to a more sustainable business.”

Volvo cars were the first carmakers to implement global traceability for cobalt used in its batteries, and currently, all their batteries are traced via this blockchain solution.

In recent years top carmakers like Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, and many others have been implementing blockchain solutions in their car production. A few of them are focused around the data collected from these vehicles, while a few others have incorporated blockchain for traceability of raw products as well as after-sales services. Blockchain has been a big hit in supply-chain management, be it in the food industry or car industry.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

India’s Tech Giant, TSC, to Launch ‘Quartz’ Crypto Trading Solution For Institutions

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a subsidiary of India’s largest tech firm, Tata, announced the launch of a crypto solution enabling traditional financial institutions to offer digital asset services to customers.

According to a spokesperson at the firm, the new solution, dubbed “Quartz Smart Solution for Crypto Services,” will offer the best security services and compliance structure to allow seamless cryptocurrency trading. According to a press release on TCS official blog, the Quartz solution is explained as

“a next-generation, digitally-powered offering for banks and investment firms to provide secure and seamless cryptocurrency trading to their clientele.”

The solution offers an array of features to financial institutions and banks, including support for multiple cryptos, a link to fiat currency exchange, and a digital asset transfer platform.

The project is the brainchild of Quartz, a startup incubated by TSC, which builds decentralized ledger solutions to traditional finance problems. The smart solution aims at providing the “best-in-class hardware security module” to beef up security and verification of transactions.

The platform integrates multi-signature feature wallets and provides the infrastructure to build secure OTC exchange desks. Finally, a close audit and blockchain forensic checks ensure that transactions made on the Smart Solution for the Crypto platform are appropriately verified and authenticated.

Crypto is spreading into the traditional finance world with hedge funds and investment institutions taking the risk and placing big bets in the industry. R Vivekanand, Global Head, Quartz, TCS concurs on this analogy stating his company is ready to take on the challenge of providing these services.

“We are excited to offer them our robust, secure, and scalable solution for trading, storing, and transfer of these assets,” Vivekanand said.

“We believe Quartz is well ahead of the curve in providing such a solution that allows customers to transact in multiple cryptocurrencies and digital assets, backed by best-in-class security features.”

India is taking a step forward in blockchain, and the Supreme Court lifted digital asset development after the recent blanket ban on crypto by the Royal Bank of India (RBI).

Throughout 2019, TCS announced a number of development strategies and projects in the blockchain arena, including Quartz integration of RippleNET allowing banks and financial institutions to transfer funds freely; and the security settlement platform to enable cross border transfers.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Kraken’s Crypto Facilities Becomes UK’s First FCA Approved Futures Exchange

Crypto Facilities which is also known as Kraken Futures has announced that it has received approval to start derivatives trading services mostly to institutional investors.

On Monday, the firm announced that it had received a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) license from UK’s financial watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). According to the firm, the license will enable institutional investors to easily trade on the futures platform. The license means that the firm will enhance its clientele to investors that could have been barred by the UK laws from using unapproved exchanges.

In a statement shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, Kraken’s co-founder and CEO, Jesse Powell, explained that the firm has been pursuing the licensing as the firm is determined to ensure cryptocurrency is accessible to everyone. He stated,

“This particular license means that a sophisticated class of investors, limited by their own requirements to interface with a regulated venue such as an MTF, will now have access to crypto derivatives in Europe for the first time. More participants means more liquidity and a better experience for everyone.”

The firm also stated that the license makes Crypto Facilities the inaugural and the only approved derivatives company providing exposure to leveraged cryptos within the European Union.

Powell explained that sophisticated clients now have an opportunity to access crypto derivatives within the European Union which is a big step in the region.

Although the UK plans to exit the EU before the end of the year, the talks are not yet over and it remains unclear how regulatory issues will be handled after the exit. Majority of companies are hoping that passporting will be revoked.

The FCA had early this year warned against stern penalties on crypto derivatives platform BitMEX arguing that the company was luring UK customers even without its approval.

The Francisco-based Kraken bought out Crypto Facilities in February last year for an undisclosed amount which analysts estimated to be more than $100 million. At the moment the firm provides upto 50x leverage on various futures products such as Bitcoin, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Public Mint Launches Its Blockchain; Over 200 Banks Plan to Support Its Digital Money

vPublic Mint, a firm founded by CNET founder Halsey Minor, has announced the launching of its ‘fiat-native’ public blockchain, which enables anyone to easily tokenize fiat money of any amount whether they have a bank account or not. The new blockchain launched after 2 years of development.

Public Mint also revealed that it has inked deals with over 200 banks that will help in holding the funds, thus backing its fiat token network. However, its website offers scant details about these banking partners. The firm has also named IBM Digital Asset Labs as well as Hyperledger as some of its supporters.

Firms that will use Public Mint will be able to accept payments through credit card, wire transfer as well as ACH payment. At the moment, the network only supports US dollars, but plans are underway to add other fiat currencies. Halsey explained about the project:

“The genesis of Public Mint was to allow regulated banks to hold funds which could then be tokenized or “minted,” allowing for the creation of applications and business processes around money without actually moving money between banks.”

Minor is also the co-founder of CNET, a digital media platform, as well as the decentralized video media platform, VideoCoin Network, which has since signed an agreement deal with Public Mint.

While the firm did not offer any technical details about the platform, it is created upon a modified version of Hyperledger Besu but based on a divergent consensus mechanism as well as fiat-based fees. This explains why Public Mint acknowledged Hyperledger as one of their main supporters.

The new platform seems to have already gotten support from various renowned players within the distributed ledger (DLT) sphere. The executive director of Hyperledger Brian Behlendorf stated:

“At Hyperledger, we are excited to see Public Mint tackle the challenges of programmable currency and frictionless transfer of funds.”

On his part, IBM Digital Asset Labs director Nitin Gaur stated that Public Mint would play an essential role in enhancing the growth of digital assets.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Kyber Network to Roll Out Katalyst Upgrade on July 7th; Launching KyberDAO & Liquidity for DeFi

Kyber, an on-chain liquidity protocol, has announced July 7 as the date for the launch of its Katalyst upgrade, which would bring some significant changes to the in-house token, to attract more consumers.

The announcement suggests that the upgrade aims at lowering the friction liquidity contributions along with DApp integration to the Kyber network and the introduction of rebates for the high-performing reserves.

Another major upgrade would be the launch of KyberDAO, which would be a community platform allowing KNC holders to participate in the essential on-chain governance process. KNC holders can participate in this process by staking their tokens, which will enable them to vote on significant protocol parameters and changes along with the KyberDAO proposal.

Loi Luu – CEO of Kyber Network – talked about the upcoming major upgrade and believed the update would prove pivotal in their effort to offer on-chain liquidity for taker and maker. He said:

“Katalyst will harmonize our efforts towards providing a single on-chain liquidity endpoint for all takers and makers, and establish a long term virtuous loop where the success of the DeFi space, growth of the Kyber ecosystem, and value creation for KNC holders go hand in hand.

The Katalyst upgrade and KyberDAO support three key groups of Kyber stakeholders: reserves who provide liquidity to Kyber, DApps who connect takers to the Kyber protocol, and KNC holders who form the heart of the network.”

Luu further commented on the plans for the network, and how it aims to bring in more options for KNC token holders that can do more by staking their tokens. These plans also include integration to new wallets, which allow easy access to Kyber.org and its dapp ecosystem. The firm also plans to add more third-party staking options.

Read Original/a>
Author: Hank Klinger

Blockchain Monitor, Elliptic, Adds Support for Zcash (ZEC) and Horizen (ZEN) Privacy Tokens

Elliptic, a blockchain analysis firm, announced the addition of Zcash (ZEC) and Horizen (ZEN) privacy tokens to its tracking platform. The analysis firm, however, supports the ‘unshielded’ transactions from the blockchain only, keeping away from the built-in privacy tokens such as Monero (XMR), Elliptic co-founder and chief scientist Tom Robinson said.

Following the successful support of ZEC and DASH privacy tokens on Chainalysis, Elliptic has become the latest blockchain monitoring firm to dip its feet into the privacy crypto space.

In a statement on the support of ZEC and ZEN, Robinson believes that monitoring these coins will improve the field by providing the regulated financial entities with a trail on the source and destination of crypto assets. This ensures these companies remain KYC/AML compliant through their operations.

The screening tool only focuses on unshielded addresses on the ZEC and ZEN platforms but alerts compliance departments on shielded transactions as a risk management solution. This is quite different from Chainalysis screening, which involves shining a light on both shielded and unshielded transactions on private networks. Robinson said:

“We provide transaction screening tools for exchanges and don’t plan to offer our functionality on something like Monero, where everything is private by default.”

Adoption is the Main key

Regulators and financial authorities fear privacy coins due to their financial crime risks and possible utility for use in purchasing illicit goods and services. This is contrary to research from the Elliptic intelligence analysts, which claims to “have observed minimal adoption of Zcash or ZEN by illicit entities.” In contrast, Bitcoin, the public blockchain, is still the go-to asset for criminals due to its highly liquid state.

Robinson believes that by supporting the screening of ZEC and ZEN, the fear of risks that the two privacy coins possess will be lower than public blockchain such as BTC.

Genesis Exchange Adds Elliptic

The two crypto assets, ZEC and ZEN, have been added to both the Elliptic Navigator – transaction screening pool – and Elliptic Lens – the firm’s wallet screening tool. Digital asset exchange and trading services, Genesis, will be the first to onboard the ZEC and ZEN monitoring features on its platform.

Genesis CEO Michael Moro said:

“Elliptic’s addition of these new assets enables us to further grow our business by providing the ability to assess risk on transactions and meet regulators’ expectations.”

So far, the Elliptic screening platform boasts screening over 97% of all the crypto assets in trading volume following the widespread addition of over 85 digital assets in May.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Japan’s Financial Services Giant, Tokai Tokyo, to Launch A Tokenized Securities Exchange

Japanese financial giant, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, announced its partnership with digital asset firm Hash Dash, to build its securities token exchange. The company also owns the Tokai Tokyo Securities Exchange and is invested 500 million yen (~$4.7 million) in Huobi, Japan.

Tokenization of assets is picking up steam as more traditional financial institutions enter the industry, Tokai Tokyo’s exchange becoming the latest to venture the field.

According to a statement to Nikkei, the exchange will tokenize securities, starting with Japan’s real estate industry, then trade these digital assets on iSTOX, its subsidiary digital security exchange in Singapore.

The $64 billion Tokyo based firm raised $5 million in a round also participated by Thai’s, Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group (KKP) back in November 2019 to build iSTOX. The digital securities exchange aim is to assist Japan-based firms seamlessly to raise capital through the exchange.

Hash Dash will be the brains behind the exchange sharing their expertise on tokenized security exchanges. The company will leverage blockchain technologies to ensure the security of funds and the transfer of assets to reduce costs.

The securities exchange started its operations earlier this year, opening a gateway to Japan’s private capital markets. The statement further states the company is exploring digitizing IPs and corporate bonds.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

AMD And ConsenSys-Backed, W3BCLOUD, Raises $20M to Enhance Decentralized Cloud Computing

  • Ethereum-related ConsenSys and AMD announced a cloud computing project, W3BCLOUD, which has so far raised over $20 million in its first seed funding round.

ConsenSys and chip manufacturer, AMD, announced a $20.5 million seed round funding raised through convertible notes for its W3BCLOUD project, a data center venture. The project aims to offer an institutional-grade and enterprise-friendly decentralized cloud computing services. The funding will be used to increase the capacity of GPUs used by W3BCLOUD from the current 6,000 cards to well over 20,000.

The project will be built on the Ethereum network with iterations on other blockchains are also in the project’s plans. The co-founder of W3BCLOUD, Wael Aburida, states the company will spend over 90% of the seed funding amount in a bid to increase the “horsepower” of their computers to provide stable and high-performance cloud services to their customers.

The seed funding round aims at a hard cap of $30 million after a successful round of financing by ConsenSys, AMD, and a group of “unnamed” family offices in the United Arab Emirates.

Why the Extra GPU capacity?

Speaking on the partnership between AMD and ConsenSys, the co-founder and CEO of W3BCLOUD, Sami Issa, said the former would provide the hardware needed (GPUs) to “optimize the decentralized computing platform” while the latter offers the blockchain skillset to develop software solutions starting with the Ethereum blockchain.

The CEO pointed out the scalability issues and challenges on Ethereum to process vast amounts of data on the cloud computing platform. According to Sami, W3BCLOUD can be integrated and built on any blockchain, but Ethereum is the choice due to its market size.

The company is yet to release a statement on what the extra GPUs will be used for. Still, speculations remain high on possible mining businesses or increasing storage space for their customers. Currently, the data centers are focusing on wider decentralized computing services to branch out from the only blockchain. Issa hinted at the possible creation of new uses for the data centers, including decentralized AI and decentralized virtual reality.

He further said,

“We have access to the best computers and the best blockchain minds, we are going to build the computer infrastructure needed for the attractive use cases for the community.”

Preventing 51% attacks

Not only will W3BCLOUD build a decentralized cloud computing platform but also assist proof of work blockchains in securing their networks. The company will act as a shield to prevent hackers from carrying out a 51% attack in the early stages of the blockchain. This prevents hackers from double spending and rewriting the confirmed blocks.

Decentralized cloud computing is gaining steam in the crypto field with a number of companies, including RippleNET and Google Cloud, joining the fun.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple And SBI Holdings to Launch ODL Service For RippleNet Using XRP in Asia in 2020

The joint venture of Ripple Asia and SBI Holdings, also known as SBI Ripple Asia, has announced its plans of launching On-demand Lqiuiduty (ODL) solutions using XRP in Asia this year.

Ripple has made a name for itself because of its cross-border remittance solutions, also known as RippleNet. The firm has seen many takers for its technology, which uses XRP for liquidity on the ledger to facilitate instant cross-border transactions at a minimal cost.

The ODL solutions have been quite a hit, and given Asia is emerging as one of the fastest-growing crypto hubs, the joint venture between Ripple and SBI holdings wants to push for its adoption further.

The announcement was made by the CEO SBI Ripple Asia, Adam Traidman, during an interview on June 18, where he talked about the popularity of Ripple in Asia and how expanding ODL services would be the right move as it offers much cheaper cross-border remittance services. He said;

“I expect that probably later this year, and into next year, things are going to move into wider spread production.

I expect remittance companies that were restricted in growth because they have pre-funding requirements, they have a lot of capital—they’re going to have a lot more flexibility.”

Traidman also believes that introduction of ODL would eliminate currency fluctuations and the pre-funding requirement for making cross-border transactions. He explained ODL services wouldn’t gain the same adoption and popularity in the United States as it is increasing in Asia and Japan.

The reason for this is the US offers low-cost cross-border remittance service, so the people over there don’t need a system like ODL, while in Japan, its not only costly to send money across the border, but it also takes around a whole day. Traidman said,

“ODL can be used to convert the Japanese yen to XRP in real-time in Japan, and a family in Vietnam can immediately exchange the XRP for Vietnamese dong.

In this way, the price movements of the Japanese yen and the Vietnamese dong are almost unaffected.”

Ripple’s On-Demand-Liquidity(ODL) has seen a massive jump in use and volume, which is evident from the fact that the bulk of transactions has tripled over the first quarter of 2020, while the US Dollar transactions have risen by 294%.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W