Australian Crypto Payments Service Provider, Banxa, Set to Go Public in Canada

Banxa, an Australian based fiat-crypto payments service provider, is set to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange this December. The shares of this crypto startup will begin trading on the Canadian VC marketplace dubbed ‘TSX Venture Exchange,’ an ecosystem run by TMX Group, which is also in charge of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

According to the initial reporting by a local Financial Review Street talk section, Banxa will be listed on TSX Venture Exchange with an estimated market cap of $50 million. Notably, the firm had already received a green light from Canadian authorities to debut within this jurisdiction. Banxa touted the listing as the first of its kind for a crypto payments provider. Domenic Carosa, the founder and Chairman of Banxa, informed the publication that,

“Our TSX listing will make Banxa the first crypto Payment Service Provider (PSP) to be listed in the world, bringing well-needed transparency and governance to the crypto sector.”

The Aussie crypto startup has been operational for around six years and now enjoys the backing of heavyweights, including OKGroup, Alium Capital, and Alex Waislitz’s Thorney. Some of its clients include prominent exchanges and digital wallet providers like Shapeshift, Abra, Kucoin, OKEx, and Binance. Banxa has raised around $5 million pre-IPO, holding its series A funding earlier in the year.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Crypto.com to Debut in Australia Following the Acquisition of a Locally Licensed Entity

Crypto.com is set to roll out its services for the Australian market following the acquisition of a licensed entity dubbed ‘The Card Group Pty Ltd’; this automatically grants the crypto exchange and debit card provider an Australian Financial Service License (ASFL).

The acquisition of an ASFL license means that Crypto.com will offer its blockchain services, including a DeFi wallet and derivative products. Australia’s AML and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires particular financial services to acquire an ASFL license before kick-starting operations.

The Card Group Pty Ltd, which is the company that was acquired by Crypto.com, specializes in providing solutions to organizations that seek to grow engagement with cardholders. According to the background information on Crunchbase, some of its services include ‘prepaid cards, mobile, and wearable solutions.’

Crypto.com Expansion into Australia

This milestone by Crypto.com has given them the green light to debut their crypto services in Australia within the legalities provided. Consequently, the firm will expand its market share and stakeholder network within Australia’s financial services ecosystem. The firm had already started preparations, having recently enabled the transfer of Aussi dollars from bank accounts via BPAY; users can also opt for deposits via NPP (PayID).

Notably, Australia has been touted as one of the most legal certain jurisdictions by crypto stakeholders looking to debut their innovations or idea. The country began formulating its crypto oversight as early as 2014 before crypto got all the hype followed three years later. Crypto.com, which is domiciled in Hong Kong, also recently acquired a provisional license to operate in Malta, popularly referred to as the ‘blockchain island.’

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Former Australian Senator With Highly Conservative Views Becomes the Next Bitcoiner

Former Australian senator Cory Bernardi describes Bitcoin as “the millennial’s version of gold.”

A Bitcoin convert, Bernardi took to Twitter to share that it has been only in the last couple of years that he became a bitcoiner.

“My conclusion is it is the millennial’s version of gold.

Still see risks attached but are basically the same as other asset classes – leg, confidence and demand. See demand getting stronger.”

He further mentioned Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano for advocating Bitcoin, to which Pomp said, “There are hundreds of people pushing content, education, and knowledge in the space. Complete team effort.”

Earlier this January, he left politics after serving under the Liberal Party for over a decade. Bernardi, who served as a senator for South Australia, is known for his highly conservative views.

Following his controversial career in politics, Bernardi now runs a membership-based website Confidential Community which, according to him, offers “more common sense than most people can handle.”

Last week was the only other time Bernardi tweeted about Bitcoin when he retweeted Pomp and said his self-proclaimed “famous” newsletter covered the impact of the election on Bitcoin and other potential asset classes.

In 2020 more and more high-profile people have publicly shared bullish views about Bitcoin and declared their BTC holdings. From Paul Tudor Jones, Stan Druckenmiller, Ben Miller to companies like Square and MicroStrategy have found Bitcoin as the best alternative asset class as a hedge against inflation and devaluing the US dollar.

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Author: AnTy

Australian Senate Sees Blockchain Technology As The Future Of FinTech And RegTech

Australian Senate releases a report on the impact of blockchain technology on the country’s economy, technology status, and regulation technology. Released earlier this month, the 281-page interim report, “Select Committee on Financial Technology (FinTech) and Regulatory Technology (RegTech)”, focused on innovative technologies, laying out the benefits of implementing blockchain technology across the economy.

The interim report further mentioned the myriad of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the benefits it could bring despite the wave seeming to have already passed.

The potential of blockchain is immense

In a full section dedicated to blockchain technology and associated cryptocurrencies, the interim report mentioned the benefits of the innovative currencies in shaping the future of the Australian economy. The Senate highlighted the potential of the blockchain in growing economic value and benefited a range of industries – financial and insurance services, scientific and medical research, technical and service industries.

“Other areas include healthcare and social assistance, agriculture as well as real estate services.”

The benefits of blockchain technology are expected to translate into financial growth for these industries, the report stated. In the next five years, blockchain technology will help raise an estimated $175 billion annually with a $3 trillion target in the next decade.

Further supporting integration and building on blockchains is Michael Bacina, Partner at Piper Alderman, a fintech and blockchain firm, stated,

“Most fintech and regulation technology projects will either be built predominantly on distributed ledger technology or blockchain or heavily using that within the next 10 years”

A closer look on initial token offerings

The ICO wave seems to have passed with newer and more decentralized methods of raising capital using crypto emerging by the day (tsk, DeFi). However, the report mentioned the ICO ecosystem asking why Australians are not yielding from them anymore.

Highlighting the disparity between Australian and the global ICO ecosystem, Power Ledger’s co-founder and Executive Chairman, Dr. Jemma Green, stated the continental state only contributed to less than 1% of the $26 billion raised in public token offerings. Dr. Green said,

“And so I think there’s a bigger play around capturing the value for those markets in the Australian economy, as opposed to them being based outside Australia. It’s stimulating the fintech sector, providing employment opportunities, and delivering better quality services to the Australian people.”

According to Green, ICOs provides a potentially large industry that would help build job opportunities for thousands of Australians. However, regulations need to be set in place to promote the growth of decentralized capital raises, the report further explained.

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Author: Lujan Odera

New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA) Sues Ripple for ‘PayID’ Trademark

An Australian financial services firm, known as New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA), has sued Ripple Labs over a trademark infringement allegation that involves the PayID brand.

The lawsuit, which was filed last week in a federal court in New South Wales, alleges that Ripple Labs infringed on Australia’s Trademarks Act of 1995 as well as the country’s consumer law for the usage of the PayID trademark brand.

NPPA is a consortium that was founded by 13 banks, consisting of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Citi, ING, ANZ, and HSBC. The firm controls a remittance network within Australia, allowing for real-time payments among customers from various banks.

NPPA states that it launched the PayID brand in February 2018 and used about AU$3.3 million for an aggressive advertising campaign to make the platform mainstream. More than 90 small and large Australian banks, including other financial institutions, have so far joined the platform.

Adrian Lovney, NPPA’s CEO, states that he found out that Ripple, in June, introduced a similar PayID branded platform in Australia in line with the giant payments Open Payments Coalition and has partnered with about 40 companies across the world.

The court paper also alleges that 3 of the 40 partners within Ripple’s OTC are located in Australia, including BTC Markets, FlashFX, and Independent Reserve.

Lovney alleges that there is evidence to suggest that the three Australian firms wrongly believed that there was a connection between the services provided by the NPPA and those offered by Ripple, as per the PayID trademark. The lawsuit explains:

“PayID is the brand, name, and trademark used by NPPA to identify both the NPP’s Addressing Service and the account proxies/aliases that form part of the Addressing Service.”

According to NPPA, about 5 million PayIDs have so far been registered, which forms a crucial part of Australia’s NPP, a platform designed and managed by NPPA.

The court has already given NPPA the greenlight to serve Ripple Labs a notice outside of Australia.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Binance Opens Fiat-to-Crypto Trading Platform for the Australian Market

Binance has launched a new fiat-to-crypto platform for the Australian market, a move that will enable its users from the down south to be able to buy digital assets as well as trade them against the local currency, AUD. The crypto exchange announced the milestone in a blog post on July 28, noting that Australians will now have access to a broader range of digital assets compared to the portfolio under Binance Lite Australia, a crypto brokerage initiative launched for this market back in March 2019.

Binance touted the new platform as ‘fast, secure and reliable’ given its underlying value proposition to the Aussies. With this new initiative, users operating in the Australian market will be able to make AUD deposits on Binance from their bank accounts through PayID. As for withdrawals, users only have to link their bank accounts with Binance Australia to initiate such a request. Currently, Binance Australia’s services are available on mobile web and desktop, with the app set to be integrated later.

Binance Founder and CEO, known as CZ in the crypto space, has since noted this underlying potential in Australia and an opportunity for Binance to flex muscles down south as well,

“Australia has been at the forefront of blockchain innovation with favorable policies. By providing a secure and regulated platform for trading digital currencies with AUD, Binance Australia aims to make crypto more accessible among Australian users, furthering our mission to provide crypto access and drive freedom of money worldwide.”

Binance Global Expansion Streak

This top crypto exchange has been making inroads to a number of markets in recent months as more stakeholders demand crypto services in their local jurisdictions. One strategy that the firm appears to have mastered is running local subsidiaries through affiliate partners. Binance Australia, for instance, is run by a locally registered crypto exchange dubbed ‘InvestbyBit, Pty,’ which is closely related to crypto payment service provider, TravelbyBit.

Some of the markets that the exchange has recently expanded to include the U.S, South Korea, Jersey, and Uganda. In addition to this, Binance has also signaled that it will soon launch its service in the U.K as it looks to scale its market position even further. Apart from expanding its trading services, the CZ led crypto exchange has been aggressively listing new digital currencies to its P2P trading ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Power Ledger To Build P2P Renewable Energy Trading Platform in Thailand

PowerLedger, an Australian blockchain startup known for its work in the field of renewable energy, has partnered with Thai Digital Energy Development (TDED) which is a public-private joint venture.

The partnership was announced on May 25th, which would see the development of an energy platform that would enable environmental commodification and peer-to-peer trading renewable energy trading.

The platform would offer blockchain-based transactive energy solutions, virtual power plants, issuance of renewable energy certificates and trading of carbon credits. The partnership aims to boost renewable energy and acceptance in Thailand, where the government is seeking to generate 25% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2037.

Jemma Green, the co-founder and executive chairman of PowerLedger, believes the new partnership and energy platform would be crucial to the establishment of economically viable renewable energy markets. He said:

“Our partnership with TDED will allow us to accelerate our efforts to promote distributed digital energy markets in Thailand.”

Thailand is Looking at Private-Public Sector Cooperation to Push Renewable Energy Usage

TDED being a joint venture of the private and public sector between Thai energy authorities and green energy specialists BCPG which is a Bangkok firm specializing in solar, wind and geothermal power and operations flourishing across Thailand, Japan and Philippines.

The partnership would oversee four BCPG clean power projects, including Chiang Mai University’s 12MW Smart Campus and its carbon management system.

PowerLedger has been working with BCPG from 2018 itself where the Australian startup helped the energy specialist to launch a similar peer-to-peer energy pilot program.

Vinod Tiwari, head of business development and sales at PowerLedger believes the partnership between the private and public sector could really help Thailand in achieving its renewable targets and given PowerLedger’s experience in the clean, green energy would only help in accelerating those goals. He explained:

“The platform acts as an operating system and innovative facilitator in the transformation of energy markets from centralised to hybrid, distributed energy markets underpinned by renewable energy and distributed energy resources. This unique market-based approach acts as an incentive to accelerate distributed energy resources and renewable energy deployment in communities and helps in achieving a country’s national renewable energy targets.”

The new platform framework would be open to other players in the renewable energy field in Thailand.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Australia Releases Roadmap To A ‘Blockchain-Empowered Future’

The Australian government will release its national blockchain roadmap on Friday, February 7, after almost a year of preparations.

It’s been about a year since the Ministry for Trade, Tourism and Investment and the Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology in Australia have made the announcement for the country’s national blockchain strategy that aims for global leadership and focuses on the wine, finance and banking sectors.

Domestic Wine to Receive Special Attention

Talking about the development of the program, Karen Andrews from the Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology mentioned the 5-year blockchain will highlight the work of researchers, startups, and regulators.

Since the wine sector in the country is set to have the AU$259.4 billion ($175 billion) worth, Andrews said blockchain technology is capable of strengthening export opportunities, seeing manufacturers will be able to trace their goods, especially when it comes to wine labeling and exports. 2,000 wine exporters in Australia ship to 123 destinations all over the world.

How Much Did Australia Spent on Blockchain?

The Australian government hasn’t yet allocated funds for the blockchain roadmap implementation. As it was noted in March 2019, some previous investments made by the liberal national government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison helped fund the Digital Transformation Agency in 2018-2019 with AU$700,000 (approx. $500,000) to explore what benefits the use of blockchain would bring to government payments.

It also funded Standards Australia with AU$350,000 (approx. $250,000) to create a set of guidenance for international and standardized blockchain standards.

How Much Other Countries Spent on Blockchain

The science and technology multi-stakeholder operation Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution UAE, together with the World Economic Forum and the Dubai Future Foundation, has released in January this year a paper that says deploying blockchain technology can save the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over $3 billion.

In the meantime, an important firm in Russia has recently decided to cut the country’s spending on blockchain development by half. The government-backed company Rostec wants to spend only 28.4 billion Rubles ($453.2 million) for developing blockchain technology by 2024, and not 55 billion ($877.8 million) or 85 billion Rubles ($1.3 billion), as it initially said it would.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Binance Partners With Baxna To Introduce EUR, GBP And AUD Fiat-To-Crypto Gateway

Binance exchange announced a partnership with Australian firm, Banxa, a fiat gateway service, to offer fiat-to-crypto buying services to select countries. The news comes in light of Binance’s recent $1 million USD donation in BNB to help in fighting the bush fires.

Binance introduces fiat-to-crypto Buys using Baxna Fiat Gateway

On 7th Jan 2020, Binance launched direct buying service on its platform, in a partnership with Baxna, an Australian fiat gateway, allowing users to use Australian Dollar (AUD), Euro (EUR) and British Pound (GBP) to purchase cryptocurrencies on Binance. Baxna will allow almost instant buys on Binance.com and low GBP fees on bank transfers using the Faster Payment Service (FPS).

The partnership with Baxna will provide users across Australia, some select states in Europe and Great Britain a purchase platform through bank transfers, bill payments, globally acceptable credit, and debit cards and retail payments.

The CEO at Baxna, Holger Arians, applauded at the steps Binance is taking to push adoption in the field urging a close partnership between the two companies. Holger further said,

“We are very delighted to welcome Binance into our growing ecosystem of partners and look forward to working closely with the team at Binance.”

Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ Binance, spoke on the latest fiat gateway saying the world’s largest exchange in volume and users, is targeting a global market in the near future. He said,

“We believe fiat will co-exist with crypto for a long time to come. More than 99.9% of the global money supply is still in fiat and we need to continue building bridges to enable easier flow into crypto. In 2020, we aim to add support for all 180 fiat currencies.”

At the start of January, Binance announced a partnership with crypto exchange, Satang, to allow Thai Baht fiat-to-crypto gateway on the platform.

In other news…

In the last few weeks, news of Australian Bushfires have taken over the headlines and it’s a graceful sight to see Binance Charity Foundation donated $1 million USD in BNB to the cause of helping fight the fires. With the fiat-crypto gateway now open for Australians, British and a number of Europeans, can donate to the Australia Bushfire Donations in crypto.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Power Ledger Launches a Blockchain Energy Trading Software, Virtual Power Plant, in Australia

Power Ledger, an Australian blockchain company, is launching blockchain technology in South Australia in partnership with a local energy retailer, Powerclub. With the new blockchain technology, Australians will be able to pool excess solar energy and battery storage into a Virtual Power Plant, which enhances effective management and exercises significant control over their energy.

Like all other Power Ledger’s initiatives, this new project aims at reducing annual energy costs and allowing users to access wallet-friendly electricity prices. The partnership will see an integration of Powerclub, an Australian electricity wholesaler with Power Ledger’s blockchain energy trading software Virtual Power Plant.

Virtual Power Plant is a cloud-based power distribution plant designed to provide energy trading and enhancement of power generation. Powerclub members will be able to pool their battery storage and net solar, which will act as a Virtual Power Plant. With the shared pool, users can sell solar power when the demand for electricity is high.

Virtual Power Plant is Power Ledger’s first large-scale rollout of the company’s trading technology. The company had launched a similar energy trading project in September 2019. A similar trial on Blockchain energy trading was launched by the company in the Kanto region, Japan.

According to the chairman and co-founder at Power Ledger, Jemma Green, the future of the electricity industry will be democratized and decentralized. This revolution in the industry will be similar to what happened in the taxi industry after the launch of software applications such as Ola and Uber.

The new technology aims at democratizing and decentralizing the energy industry. It will give Australians control over how they use and pay for energy. This will help them avoid additional expenses charged by electricity retailers.

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Author: Denis Miriti