Software Provider Temenos Enables Crypto Trading for Banks

Banking software provider Temenos has announced a partnership with online digital asset firm Taurus to enable access to cryptocurrency for financial institutions.

Per its press release, the integration would make it easier for banks to offer cryptocurrency trading to their clients via Taurus’ platform.

Temenos Leveraging Taurus Blockchain Expertise

This will see Temenos’ banking clients exposed to a plethora of blockchain solutions like Taurus-CAPITAL (tokenization and lifecycle management), Taurus-PROTECT (hot, warm, cold digital asset custody), and Taurus-EXPLORER (API-based blockchain connectivity to ten blockchain protocols).

All this will now be accessible through the Temenos MarketPlace.

Temenos notes that Taurus was selected after a thorough review and evaluation process to help banks seamlessly integrate all forms of digital assets across cryptocurrencies, tokenized assets, and digital currencies.

Taurus will be integrated with Temenos’ next-generation core banking software called Temenos Transact.

Speaking on the occasion, Managing Partner at Taurus Sebastien Dessimoz noted that there had been an increase in demand for digital assets since 2020.

According to Dessimoz, Taurus’ blockchain expertise would aid Temenos clients in managing any digital asset and creating digital products easily.

Geneva-based Taurus received a securities license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to launch the regulated crypto marketplace dubbed the Taurus Digital Exchange (TDX).

Taurus said that TDX would enable investors and banks to trade tokenized securities, private assets, real estate, art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and cryptocurrencies.

Taurus is a seasoned blockchain company as it offers services for cryptocurrencies, including staking and decentralized finance (DeFi), tokenized assets, and digital assets, all within its platform.

Taurus Integrates Aave

Taurus has continued to grow its product suite. In March 2021, the Swiss digital asset provider added DeFi protocol Aave to its asset infrastructure. The integration would enable banks and exchanges to deposit and borrow cryptocurrencies like Ether.

Aave, a DeFi protocol catering to both institutional and retail users, facilitates borrowing and lending of digital assets has experienced exponential growth alongside the broader crypto market.

Banks are gradually warming up to decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like Aave, as the amount of funds locked up in DeFi protocols rises above the $80 billion mark, per DeFi Pulse.

In a research paper published earlier this month by Netherlands-based ING Bank, it was agreed that both centralized and decentralized financial systems need to co-exist to achieve success. The paper states:

“Although DeFi currently appears to be a domain on its own, we envision that centralized and decentralized financial services will converge at some stage as both have unique capabilities that are beneficial to the other. There is, however, the challenge for centralized institutions of making sure that their assets stay within countries that are white-listed.”

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Author: Jimmy Aki

TIME Now Accepts Crypto as Payment for Subscriptions in the US and Canada

TIME, a global media brand with an audience of 100 million around the world, has announced that it has started accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions.

As was reported previously, the company would be HODLing any BTC that they receive, much like electric car maker Tesla when it announced that they are accepting only BTC as payment soon after investing $1.5 billion in it.

This announcement follows TIME’s recent expansion into the cryptocurrency space after it offered an exclusive series of three TIME covers as NFTs at auction.

“We are thrilled to offer cryptocurrency as a payment option for our digital subscribers for the first time.”

Bharat Krish TIME Chief Technology Officer

Currently, this pay with the crypto feature is only available in the U.S. and Canada. But the company plans to roll up the global access in the next several months.

Those subscribers who pay with crypto will receive unlimited access to content across Time.com for 18 months with their one-time purchase, as well as subscriber-only events and offerings.

TIME will accept crypto through its partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com that will also offer Pay Rewards of up to 10% back for subscribers who pay with CRO, the native coin of the exchange.

“As TIME continues to innovate and find new ways to build upon our existing community of 2.3 million subscribers, we are proud to offer this new payment option through our partnership with Crypto.com.”

Keith Grossman TIME President

Last month, TIME also opened the position for CFO who has “Comfort with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.”

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Author: AnTy

Bancor Now Burns BNT with Every Swap With The Vortex Burner (vBNT) Launch

The Bancor Vortex vBNT burner is now live, announced by the team on Monday as the Bancor Vortex Burner gets deployed on the Ethereum mainnet.

Under this new feature, the burner will collect 5% of swap fee revenue and uses it to buy and burn vBNT. The team will be making the burn rate a critical part of BancorDAO’s flexible monetary policy and may even push it to 15%. The team says,

“vBNT will now be burned with every swap — locking BNT in the protocol forever and putting deflationary pressure on the circulating supply of BNT.”

This obviously means good things for the prices for the $1.30 billion market cap BNT, which is currently trading at $7.50, up 476% YTD.

The decentralized exchange (DEX) currently manages about half a million dollars worth of volume in a week and accounts for 3.5% of the market share, as per Dune Analytics.

Through continued buyback and burning, vBNT burning increases locked liquidity, reduces the circulating supply of BNT, and increases lending capacity. The team states,

“The full powers of the Bancor Vortex can now be accessed to perform key actions on the network that drive increased value to traders, LPs and the protocol’s owners, BNT holders.”

These actions include swapping, staking, and borrowing. Using the liquidating pools means generating fees, and in turn, the amount of vBNT bought and burned which means, as the volume rises, the burning of vBNT accelerates.

As for borrowing against staked BNT, it will allow one to earn additional yield by providing more liquidity.

“When you sell your vBNT, you’re effectively betting that if/when you eventually buy back the vBNT needed to retrieve your full BNT stake, the revenue you’ve earned with your borrowed tokens is of greater value than the amount of vBNT you originally sold.”

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Author: AnTy

R3’s Corda Releases Ethereum-Based XDC Bridge for Interoperability

Corda, a decentralized blockchain offshoot of software company R3, recently announced that it had built a decentralized bridge to permissionless blockchains on the Ethereum ecosystem.

XDC To Facilitate Exchange On Corda

The announcement sees them collaborate with permissioned hybrid blockchain protocol eXchange inFinite (XinFin) to improve the global trade finance space. XinFin’s utility token XinFin Digital Contract (XDC) would be used for payment settlement in the Corda network.

The interoperable bridge built by a team of former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) employees designated LAB577 will make the Corda blockchain talk to other blockchain networks. This will greatly engender the transmission of private user data on the Corda network. The limited dataset will also make its way to the XDC secure network.

In a press release shared with us, Director of the team Richard Crook noted the importance of this Corda-XinFin interoperable bridge, saying that one of the blockchain’s trilemma would be put to bed.

“The first currency across is XDC, but this lays the groundwork to connect Corda to ERC-20s and other cryptocurrency networks.”

“What you would see here is the age-old challenge of interoperability being solved.”

R3 has been in the crypto space for some years. During its inception in 2015, the R3 team pointed to the potential blockchain technology like Bitcoin would bring to the financial sector. Even though large financial houses initially signed up for the project, fears about competitors getting their hands on company data saw interests wane.

This led to the creation of Corda- a system that enables data and value transfer between parties without giving out vital data. The Corda project has been hugely successful, and they created a payments platform that supported Ripple Labs’ XRP token in 2018.

KYC Will Come To XinFin

This innovation joins a growing number of new generation interoperable blockchains. Cosmos, a permissionless blockchain platform on the Ethereum network, recently launched its Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC).

Crook noted that the XDC-powered bridge between Corda and other DLT-based platforms would incorporate more inter-chain enabled assets in the coming months.

But even as the blockchain protocol values decentralization, XDC co-founder Atul Khekade notes that the platform ensures that regulatory guidelines are being followed.

Khekade said that all intending validators would need to undergo regulatory know your customer (KYC) protocols to be eligible. This will see them lock 10 million XDC tokens (valued at $300,000) to become a validator, and they must duly attach a KYC node to the network.

The need for regulatory goalposts is increasing by the day as the crypto industry continues to attract institutional demand. A growing number of criminal elements have become attracted to the crypto space, forcing global regulatory bodies to clamp down on crypto activities in some regions.

Like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), regulatory agencies have since directed crypto-facing businesses to incorporate necessary security protocols obtainable in the traditional financial space.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

NEM Group Launches ‘Interoperable’ Public Blockchain For Enterprise Users

Blockchain company NEM Group has announced the release of a new public blockchain called Symbol, per a press release today.

Symbol With Atomic Swap Capabilities

The project comes with enterprise-grade programmability and security. It will enable development teams and businesses to execute projects with minimal costs and without complexities.

Its hybrid chain structure layout will enable native compatibility with both public and private chain deployments, providing developers with the option of working with their preferred chain setup. Businesses would also be empowered to create permissioned ecosystems on private networks to store confidential information while still keeping in contact with public blockchains.

According to NEM, Symbol was created with interoperability in mind. The upgrade will see developers leverage on its state-of-the-art Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to easily integrate with existing systems and blockchains, making the shift much easier for them.

Symbol will also enable cross-chain atomic-swaps, allowing users to transfer digital tokens between the network and other blockchains. This is a major plus as atomic swaps allow users to send and receive data (usually a coin) without the presence of an intermediary.

NEM’s Symbol blockchain would also enable decentralized applications (DeFi), security tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its network. This feature dubbed “mosaics” would enable creating custom tokens, shares of stocks, signatures, votes, and others. Each mosaic would operate on a unique identifier, making it easy for the network to monitor its use.

Speaking on the launch, NEM Group’s CEO David Shaw said Symbol’s development results from key learnings the company gleaned from its NEM NIS1 public network. Symbol takes this further by providing a simple blockchain enterprise solution focused primarily on building use cases in the wider blockchain ecosystem.

Symbol would also be introducing what it termed a “delegated financial authority” protocol which would enable on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This feature would greatly streamline business processes like payroll management, according to CTO of NEM Software Kristy-Leigh Minehan. Minehan also said Symbol aims to reduce the chasm between public and private blockchains in the ecosystem.

NEM Group Moves Into CBDCs With Symbol

During the launch, the blockchain technology company said it is already moving into the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) space announcing a partnership with LBCOIN– the world’s first blockchain-based digital coin collector issued by the Bank of Lithuania working on NEM’s platform.

LBCOIN first made a foray into the digital space working with NEM NIS1 in July 2020, with the Lithuanian apex bank issuing 4,000 LBCOIN, equaling 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 physical collector coins. Symbol’s subsequent launch would see the digital coin collector migrate to leverage on the platform’s more sophisticated offerings.

The team says its NEM NIS1 protocol would still be operational catering to development teams, while its new Symbol blockchain would see enterprise-facing businesses.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Compound Rolls Out Cross-Chain DeFi Platform, ‘Gateway’ on Testnet

Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Compound has announced its latest addition to the blockchain network called Gateway on testnet. The new blockchain is built on a Substrate blockchain, and it would enable users to access cross-chain interest rates and collateralized markets.

Gateway Built On Substrate Blockchain

Initially announced in a Dec. 18 whitepaper, Compound had revealed that its latest upgrade would come with a multi-asset platform that enables the transfer of value and liquidity between peer ledgers.

Decentralized protocols have varying asset value on their platform, making it difficult for DeFi to really grow.

Compound aims to address this issue with its Gateway launch. Gateway would allow users to borrow assets native to one network with collateral from another. That means borrow Ether, provide collateral in CELO.

Gateway is said to run on a more modern programming language called Rust. This will see the multi-paradigm programming language increase performance and safety of the blockchain.

The substrate blockchain will also eliminate the consensus algorithms which has plagued older generation blockchains like Bitcoin. Instead, the team settled on building its own application code, enabling it to bring to developers only features that matter the most.

Compound says Gateway is fully upgradeable, which will enable governance token holders to vote on code upgrades without worrying about forks or downtimes.

Gateway would be powered by a dollar-pegged stablecoin called CASH, which would be used to settle interest payments on collateralized deposits.

Network validators (nodes) have also been considered in the upgrade. Compound says validators will earn a portion of all interest in every market in addition to transaction fees.

Gateway is currently running a testnet on Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet and will go live in the coming months.

Compound Reaching For The Stars

Compound says its goal does not end with Gateway. The DeFi platform could evolve into the backbone of a global interest rate market with the capacity to support any asset, including future currencies, assets, and tokens.

In the coming months, it has set clear goalposts for the Gateway project. Stress tests will be conducted before the mainnet launch. Gateway would also be integrated into its Compound protocol currently running on Ethereum’s blockchain network. Compound Finance is a big player in the DeFi space with around $5 billion in locked funds, according to DeFi Pulse.

Compound’s token rallied 15% following the announcement. This surge has seen it climb one step higher to rank as the 40th most valuable crypto by market cap, according to coinmarketcap. It currently trades at $510 at press time; the asset has come a long way from its ATH of $535 on Feb.13. The crypto-asset now has over $2.3 billion market valuation and is projected to rise further before the year runs out.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

ConsenSys Quorum, an Ethereum-backed Ledger Protocol, Teams Up With China’s BSN

Situated in New York, and renowned as Ethereum’s globally-known ledger protocol, ConsenSys has announced that it will be partnering with the China-based Blockchain Service Network (BSN), bringing the enterprise ledger, Quorum, to China.

What sets this partnership apart from others is down to i. As part of this partnership, Quorum will be made available across 80 different cities within China; all of which operate as public city nodes of BSN’s network. Quorum was previously developed as an open-source protocol layer for enterprise applications. Quorum was also used early on by the investment giant JP Morgan.

Charles d’Haussy, ConsenSys’ Director of Strategic Initiatives, cited China’s rapid growth in importance as a hub for strategic innovation and enterprise blockchain technology:

“China is a great example of where enterprise blockchain is a strong play… What Ethereum is doing with ConsenSys Quorum is connecting people who are essentially migrating from the permissioned chain to the global chain.”

For Quorum, the announcement represents an interesting change in fortunes. From being designed as a high-security, privacy-centric blockchain solution by JP Morgan, it fell into relative obscurity for some time, before being re-housed by ConsenSys. Even now, Quorum is a name that is synonymous with the bank and investment entity, even in d’Haussy’s mind.

“Quorum was very much associated with JPMorgan, but there was also this open-source software which was available to many developers. It may not have been apparent, but there was this large audience of enterprise users, and we are now bringing to this ecosystem other products and applications from ConsenSys.”

In contrast, Blockchain Service Network (BSN) was a relatively new initiative; having been established by Red Date Technology, a blockchain-based software company, along with China’s UnionPay, China Mobile, back in April 2020. Comprised of UnionPay and China mobile, BSN consists of a number of cloud environments and portals within China. What makes BSN such a valuable initiative comes from its connections to the Chinese government; being backed through the National Development and Reform Commission.

Simply put, BSN has been rapidly positioned as a major blockchain initiative within the country’s ‘Digital Silk Road,’ with BSN has deployed over 108 public city nodes in China. Over 88 cities and public cities are connected to this ecosystem as nodes across the world.

For BSN, this partnership would enable it to “substantially accelerate” its rollout to more cities worldwide, according to Red Date Technology CEO and Executive Director of the BSN Development Association,

“After the launch, BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China.”

In order to ensure global application, Red Date’s CEO added that the partnership would include longer-standing interoperability between the two blockchain protocols. Permissioned blockchain solutions, d’Haussy explained, represented the best start to any technical journey including large firms, but that it would very much be a long-term undertaking.

But d’Haussy continued on to say that small and larger-scale suppliers lack the connection they once did, and are more receptive to blockchain technology as a means of re-establishing that same connection.

“China’s industries, which are a global network of large and small suppliers, are not integrated as they were in the past… They are jumping on coordination tools such as blockchain.”

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Author: James Fox

Here’s Why Coinbase Exchange IPO is ‘Huge’ News for the Crypto Market

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase, announced Thursday that it had filed confidentially with regulators to go public. It did not specify whether the exchange plans to go with an initial public offering (IPO) or other listing routes.

The day Coinbase divulged the information, the Bitcoin price also hit a new record of $23,800.

As per the official announcement, Coinbase Global, Inc. has confidentially submitted a draft regeneration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is currently under the process of review.

The news of the San Francisco-based exchange going public is significant for the cryptocurrency market. Coinbase has long been rumored for a public listing for one of the best-known companies in the industry. Jake Chervinsky, the General Counsel at Compound Finance, said,

“If it wasn’t obvious, this is huge news.”

“Sure, there are other publicly-traded companies in the USA with a stake in crypto, but none remotely like Coinbase. The fact that a crypto exchange is suitable for public listing sends a massive signal of legitimacy to the finance world.”

Founded in 2012, Coinbase has been slowly growing its suite of tools, catering to both the retail and institutional investors.

The company is “spiritually” built to go public via an offering that involves digital tokens on a blockchain, said Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehsram in a recent interview with Fortune.

During the company’s last fundraising round for $300 million in 2018, Coinbase was valued at nearly $8 billion, which in the current hot crypto market, has now swelled to $28 billion on the back of an estimated 13,000 retail customers a day and custodying $25 billion of customer funds across 35 million customers. Mira Christanto of crypto data provider Messari noted,

“Following Coinbase’s IPO announcement, we value the company at $28 billion. Coinbase is one of the most prominent exchanges with $1 billion daily volume in Dec-20.”

This IPO will be an opportunity to cash out not only for the early shareholders, including CEO Brian Armstrong and the backers, venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Greylock Partners but also for the employees the means to start their startups. MacroScope, involved in institutional trading and asset management, said,

“Getting major flashbacks right now to Amazon’s IPO in the 1990s, when I was a trader on a big sell-side desk. Feels very similar in several ways including industry backdrop and public sentiment, the latter of which included a huge amount of skepticism and scorn.”

Besides legitimizing the crypto industry, the Coinbase IPO is expected to present another opportunity to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Some feel this “watershed moment” may even clear how the SEC can approve a Bitcoin ETF.

However, the crypto market wants Coinbase to go public early in the bull run and not run the risk of the top the market.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto is the Only Way to Pay for Pornhub After Mastercard & Visa Drops Adult Platform

Last week, Mastercard and Visa announced that they would no longer allow their cards to be used on the popular adult website Pornhub.com. The decision came after the payment processors’ review of the website found unlawful content. Mastercard said in a statement,

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site.”

“We instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”

Both the companies started the investigation after a New York Times column accused Pornhub of videos depicting child abuse and non-consensual violence, which the company said to be untrue.

In response, this week, Pornhub enacted safeguards including banning unverified uploaders from posting new content and eliminated downloads and partnered with non-profit organizations to combat illegal content. The company’s latest update reads,

“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform.”

Regarding Mastercard and Visa severing its ties with the company, Pornhub said the move was “exceptionally disappointing,” adding that it affects hundreds of thousands of models who rely on the platform for their livelihoods.

Now, the website exclusively supports cryptocurrency as it has become the default payment method.

Currently, the supported digital currencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Dash, Monero (XMR), Ripple (XRP), NEM (XEM), Tron (TRX), Tether (USDT), Verge (XVG), Waves, and Zcash (ZEC).

This development is expected to help digital currencies gain further adoption as Nic Carter of Coin Metrics states, “financial infrastructure is already thoroughly politicized, from top to bottom.”

Pornhub attracts 3.5 billion visits a month, which is more than Amazon, Netflix, or Yahoo. Venture capitalist Paul Graham, co-founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator tweeted,

“Possible future scenario: Credit card companies become increasingly picky about who they’ll process transactions for, and this becomes the thing that tips the general public into using cryptocurrency in transactions, ultimately killing credit cards.”

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys Rolls Out MetaMask for Institutions to Bring DeFi to Crypto Funds & Custodians

Ethereum software company ConsenSys has announced a new offering of MetaMask that allows institutions, including crypto funds, custodians, and professional traders, to access decentralized finance (DeFi).

MetaMask is a popular Ethereum wallet with over 1 million monthly active users who recently introduced a token swap feature and increased privacy level.

With DeFi space exploding in 2020, growing to over $14 billion, “Custody providers increasingly seek exposure and access to the diverse, decentralized finance opportunities,” noted ConsesnSys.

According to the firm, professional trading firms’ current process to use the attractive DeFi protocols is inefficient; they are introducing an institutional-grade version of MetaMask.

ConsenSys is working with the digital asset security provider Curv which also announced Curv DeFi for institutions that will integrate MetaMask. Curv Co-Founder and CEO Itay Malinger said,

“Since there is no reliable and secure institutional solution for DeFi, organizations are reverting to retail-level use of MetaMask or custom integrations with individual apps as a workaround.”

“We believe by combining our unique multi-party computation (MPC)-based security infrastructure with MetaMask we will be able to play a significant role in the institutional adoption of DeFi.”

Curv is ConsesnSys’s first launch partner, and it will be collaborating with other custodians and professional trading firms.

Scams Promoted via Google Paid Ads

In other news, MetaMask informed its users about the new scam targeting crypto users – rotter seed phrase attack. These malicious pre-phishing scams are being promoted via paid ads on Google linked to fake versions of wallet websites.

In this attack, a malicious website mimics the original wallet’s website and imitates its onboarding flow. Toward the end of the fake onboarding process on the fake website, the user is instructed to backup their seed phrase previously generated by the scammer.

The user is then taken to the wallet’s real website, where they are instructed to install the wallet and import the rotten seed phrase whose access is with the scammer who waits for the user to add funds to their wallet and then drains the accounts.

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Author: AnTy