Monolith Partners with Digix and MakerDAO to Make Tokens Loadable Visa Debit

On Thursday, August 15, 2019, London-based, Ethereum-powered banking alternative, Monolith reported on its recent partnership with smart asset company, Digix (token: DGX) and stablecoin project, MakerDAO (token: DAO). The reason for said alliance stems from the latter two’s aim of getting their tokens loaded on the Monolith Visa debit card.

Commencing this very same day, Monolith users will be able to load Digix and MakerDAO coins onto their cards via the former’s mobile app. Said loading can be used towards paying day-to-day transactions, whether this is to pay, send or receive funds.

As a way to celebrate the trio’s involvement, Digix is offering the first 1,000 users who activate their Monolith card with 0.1 grams of Gold in DGX tokens. Digix is a firm that used blockchain technology to create DGX, a token that represents 1 gram of gold stored in recognised precious metals vaults in Canada and Singapore.

This move is especially big for Monolith, as the firm can watch its contributions grow within the e-payment space. This is mainly due to its debit card being accepted anywhere Visa typically does, with high anticipation for coverage in the time to come along with newer partnerships.

According to the CEO of Monolith, Mel Gelderman, there has been a “fantastic response from [their] beta users and are now ramping up for growth.” Gelderman further added that

“Rebranding to Monolith helps us achieve our mission of democratizing finance and bringing the Token economy to everyone while providing a unique service to our customers.”

It seems like the reason for picking Digix and MakerDAO stems from their accredited nature. More specifically, he said,

“MakerDAO and Digix are some of the most recognized and earliest Ethereum-based projects. For TKN holders, these partnerships mean that DAI, DGD and DGX are now eligible for usage in the TKN Asset Contract.”

The CEO of Digix, Kai C. Chng mentioned that the partnership was forced by nature, emphasizing that it is due to the commonality between the duo, i.e. bringing together blockchain assets and “democratizing access to cryptos”.

Cointelegraph also reported on this matter, in which CEO of MakerDAO, Rune Christensen’s viewpoint on said endeavor was disclosed. In particular, the CEO was quoted saying:

“Monolith’s solution provides a powerful way for token holders to extend the usefulness of their crypto-holdings […] Their cards create a critical bridge from the world of DeFi (decentralized finance) to the more traditional world of retail.”

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Shinhan to Team-up With Kakao’s GroundX and Hexlant to Enhance Blockchain Security System

Shinhan has gained a much-deserved reputation as one of the oldest and largest banking companies in operation within South Korea, has announced a brand new partnership with two emerging Fintech companies. The objective? to collaborate and build a brand new security solution with the use of blockchain technology.

For this plan to come into effect, the bank has signed a broad sweeping agreement with the blockchain subsidiary company behind the Global messaging app – Kakao – known as GroundX, as well as working with the blockchain developer Hexlant. This is according to a report from the local news outlet – The Korea Times, which reported on it this week.

This new deal will effectively see these three companies work together to develop and implement a private key management solution for use within Shinhan, GroundX, which will be providing the underlying blockchain platform, and lastly, Hexlant will be providing the infrastructure which will also include the creation of an ‘Anti-cracking program,’ according to the report. What makes the whole collaboration even more exciting is the prospect that testing may begin as soon as October this year.

“Blockchain technology has gained attention from the financial sector for its advantages, but financial firms have experienced difficulties in applying the technology to their system,”

this is according to an official speaking on behalf of the bank.

“Shinhan Bank will provide a convenient user-friendly interface under the deal with Ground X and Haxlant.”

GroundX has a pretty firm reputation in the field of blockchain technology already. Having previously launched its own dedicated blockchain for use across Kakao’s suite of services over the course of June. Referred to as Klaytn, the network has alluded to being more than 150 times faster and scalable compared to Ethereum (Even though it serves as a hybridized private blockchain solution with permissioned nodes which can actually be double-checked by public members of its community), along with having its own native cryptocurrency known as ‘Klay.’

Back in May, Shinhan managed to successfully launch its own blockchain platform in order to verify various items of proof required for complex procedures such as credit lending, qualification or certification documents, seeking cost as well as speed improvements overall.

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Author: James Fox

New Zealand’s ABS Bank To Invest In Local TradeWindow Blockchain Platform

The ABS Bank, a banking institution from New Zealand that is owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has recently invested in a local company called TradeWindow. The company uses the blockchain technology and it is focused on creating solutions for supply chains.

TradeWindow’s CEO AJ Smith affirmed that this was one of the first times in which a bank has made a direct investment in this kind of company in the country. This, the CEO believes, will allow the company to get even more clients and offer better services.

A manager at ASB called Nigel Annett also commented on the situation, affirming that the blockchain company has potential and that it can transform how international trade happens. Annett said that TradeWindow will allow the bank to operate in a much more efficient way than it did before.

TradeWindows’s technology was created in order to enable companies to create a single trading window for transactions that can be accessed by everyone that is a part of it. This connects companies and decreases the risk of fraud exponentially.

Also, all major documentation that may be needed on the platform can be uploaded to this window and digitally exchanged. This can eliminate costs and save a lot of time, bring more efficiency to the clients of the company, especially if they constantly make international trades.

Recently, New Zealand is becoming more friendly to Bitcoin and the blockchain technology. Not only the country is set to change how crypto taxes work, but many companies are finally being able to finally get mainstream support.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

60 Latin American Banks To Start Using Bitcoin For Cross-Border Payments via Bitex Crypto Exchange

Bantotal, a banking service based in Uruguay with over 60 banking clients, has recently started a partnership with Bitex, a crypto exchange. With this partnership, the bank will help banking institutions to make cross-border payments using the Bitcoin network.

According to Bitex’s CMO Manuel Beaudroit, the integration will be a major step for banking in the region and will help to connect these institutions in a way that is more efficient than traditional methods such as SWIFT.

With this new tech, the banks will be able to access Bitex’s API and transmit money quickly to banks in the region. According to the company, these payments are five times cheaper and much faster than other methods. Before now, payments can take up to 96 hours, Bitex cuts that time in more than half.

Bitex is basically the middleman of the transactions. The banks route the payments via the company and do not have to worry about most of the specifics. This can also be interesting for banking companies because they no longer need to acquire foreign fiat currency. They can just use Bitcoin instead.

This initiative is seen by local investors as a great way to expose the market to the benefits of the blockchain. While Europe, the U. S. and Asia are already using the technology extensively, some countries are still behind the times and this solution can help to modernize their business model.

According to Santiago Siri, an expert in digital governance who works as an advisor to Bitex, using Bitcoin to be connected internationally is still not something common in Latin America, but with initiatives such as this one, it may well be in the future.

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Author: Lorraine Mburu

Taiwan Grants Virtual Banking Licenses To Three Companies to Make a Push for Digital Banking

Taiwan Grants Virtual Banking Licenses To Three Companies to Make a Push for Digital Banking

Three companies have recently acquired virtual banking licenses from the government of Taiwan. This the first time that the government does this, as Taiwan is starting to follow other regulators in Asia which are on the move to regulate their markets properly.

The licenses have been awarded to Rakuten International Commercial Bank, LINE Financial Taiwan (a subsidiary of the LINE Group in the country) and the local operator Chunghwa Telecom. These are important groups, which include two Japanese companies (Rakuten and LINE) and one Taiwanese firm.

According to the reports, no more licenses will be issued to more companies so soon, so these three will be the only one with permission to act like virtual banks in Taiwan for some time. Initially, only two licenses were to be given, but each company had a pretty different business model, so the regulators decided to award each one of them with the license they wanted.

Fergus Gordon, the leader of Accenture’s Banking practice in Asia, affirmed that these new actors which are appearing in Taiwan are likely to be focused on specific markets such as microloans and SMEs. They want to be more efficient than traditional banks in these areas, which are not as popular with them, so they can carve their place in the market.

This event follows a trend that is happening in Asia right now. Several fintech companies are starting to challenge the local banks by offering innovative digital banking solution. This is increasing the competition in the area and starting to create a revolution in Asia.

Hong Kong gave out a total of eight virtual banking licenses to companies such as the Alibaba Group Holding and Standard Chartered while Singapore decided to give away five licenses.

Regulators from countries such as South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand are also considering to do the same, which shows just how the market has been evolving lately.

Digital banks are growing a lot in the region and the consultancy firm McKinsey affirms that if these banks continue to dominate the market, traditional banks may have a problem as their profitability will get considerably more low by 2023.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitcoin Suisse Crypto Startup in Switzerland Bids For Swiss Banking Licence

Bitcoin Suisse Crypto Startup in Switzerland Bids For Swiss Banking Licence

Crypto finance firm Bitcoin Suisse announced today that it has applied for a banking license. Bitcoin Suisse has applied for a license from the financial supervisor and is also seeking authorization to trade securities.

In a press statement, Bitcoin Suisse AG announced that it has submitted an application to the Finma (Swiss Financial Markets Supervision Authority) for a Swiss banking license according to the Swiss Banking Act Art. 1a, combined with an application for a securities dealer license, regulated under the Stock Exchange and Securities Trading Act (SESTA).

These licenses would allow Bitcoin Suisse to further expand its offering with regulated services and products, thereby strengthening its position as a key provider of crypto financial services. Bitcoin Suisse is adapting to a changing regulatory landscape, where more and more crypto assets and services fall under securities and banking law.

Bitcoin Suisse joins two other crypto-based firms, SEBA, and Sygnum in bidding for a banking license from FINMA. The three firms are focusing on the crypto-assets market, although the authorization they are seeking is no different from any other banking or securities dealer license.

The company’s head of risk management who is coordinating the license application, David Riegelnig, said the application was to help the company adapt to the rapidly changing regulatory landscape in Switzerland and enhance the company’s market. He explained:

“A securities dealer license would enable us to trade crypto tokens that have been classified as securities by the financial regulator. This would include our own crypto franc product. And we anticipate more securitized digital assets arriving in the marketplace.”

The manager indicated that a banking license would open the door to Bitcoin Suisse to offer structured products and derivatives such as swaps. It would also consider offering corporate banking services for blockchain start-ups, but says it would be selective in choosing firms.

In readiness for the license, Bitcoin Suisse has placed 45 million Swiss Franc ($45.7 million) that will soon be extended to 55 million Swiss Franc with an anonymous Swiss bank, as collateral for a default bank guarantee, securing client fiat deposits and pooled crypto deposits.

FINMA Yet To Respond

FINMA has remained tight-lipped about when – and indeed if – it will grant such licenses. Some observers believe the financial supervisor will announce several license awards together to avoid giving anyone company a competitive advantage.

Although Bitcoin Suisse is several months behind the applications of other budding banks that are starting from scratch, the company believes its six-year track record of business growth will stand it in good stead.

Riegelnig said that the firm already has working anti-money laundering control and has demonstrated prudent balance sheet management, which he believes will assist the firm to acquire the license.

Cointelegraph reports that earlier this year, Bitcoin Suisse published financial results for the first time, reporting revenues of 44m Swiss Franc ($44.4m), a net income of 25m Swiss Francand total equity of 50m Swiss Franc for 2018. The equity of Bitcoin Suisse is projected to further grow in 2019.

Currently, the Zug-based company has 95 employees based in Switzerland, Denmark, and Liechtenstein. It plans to apply for a Liechtenstein banking license in the future, having opened a branch there last year.

Will Bitcoin Suisse become the first crypto-based company to acquire a banking license in Switzerland? Let us know in the comments section.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Partnership With MoneyGram Is Good For XRP and the Crypto Ecosystem, Ripple’s Global Head Affirms

Partnership-With-MoneyGram-Is-Good-For-XRP-and-the-Crypto-Ecosystem-Ripples-Global-Head-Affirms

Marjan Delatinne, the global head of banking at Ripple, has recently spoken at the Global Blockchain Summit by talking about some of the most popular topics with crypto investors. According to Delatinne, one of the main developments for the company was to start its partnership with MoneyGram, which began last week.

The partnership, as it was affirmed, has vital importance to the ecosystem because MoneyGram is currently one of the largest payment providers in the whole world. Because of this, a company such as Ripple simply has to work together with these giants.

Now, MoneyGram will use Ripple’s service, xRapid, in order to transfer funds around the world. This is considered a huge victory for the company, so xRapid can finally take-off.

So far, xRapid has been a very exciting technology for XRP holders, as it is one of the Ripple’s main products. Partly, all the excitement comes from the fact that many of these users expect Rippe’s xRapid to help in increasing the price of these assets.

If MoneyGram will use this technology, and the company has made over $20 billion USD in transfers last year, this would be the first time ever in which Ripple would see one of its products reaching a really high scale.

According to Delatinne, xRapid is all about sourcing on-demand liquidity. The focus on liquidity happens because the company believes that people do not give it the attention it deserves. However, liquidity was said to be the main cost behind cross-border transactions.

This happens because, without using a system such as xRapid, the accounts need to be pre-funded in order to make the exchanges work. With xRapid, companies will not need to tie their capital this way anymore and this can lead them to achieve better results.

Delatinne believes that banks are currently using archaic systems and that this makes them “hungry for change”, which is the perfect opportunity for services like xRapid to grow in use.

She also spoke about SWIFT, affirming that Ripple and SWIFT are actually not competitors because both of them have their own value and can work in a complementary way, so institutions and their clients can be helped by both.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Reserve Bank Of India Works to Create New Blockchain Banking Platform for Government

Reserve-Bank-Of-India-Develops-Blockchain-Banking-Platform
  • RBI develops blockchain banking platform for financial institutions in the country
  • India has taken very hard measures against digital assets

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of the country, is currently working on a blockchain platform for banking in its R&D branch. The information was released in a report by BusinessLine on June 28. This is very important, considering that the country has been against cryptocurrencies and crypto-related projects in the space.

RBI Works With Blockchain Technology

The central bank of India is currently working on a blockchain platform that aims at hosting and supporting different blockchain applications. The goal is to launch the service next year and help banks and financial institutions have their needs attended.

As reported by the director of The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, RBI’s R&D branch, the platform will also be supporting blockchain-based apps for governmental agencies in banking.

Although the bank seems to be moving towards distributed ledger technology (DLT), the bank and the whole country have never been in favor of virtual currencies and digital assets. Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies can be transacted in India, but the lack of clear regulations and pressure on different companies operating in the country has affected the whole ecosystem. Indeed, many cryptocurrency exchanges had to leave the country searching for new places where to operate.

On June 27, the co-founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Koinex, Rahul Raj, informed that they were shutting their operations down due to governmental pressure. The RBI has also specified that cryptocurrency projects, including Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and crypto exchanges would not be permitted in the regulatory sandbox project that they were preparing for different companies.

According to The Economic Times, Facebook is not expected to be registering its virtual currency Libra with the RBI. This is despite the fact that there are several countries and regulatory agencies around the world that have already requested information about how Libra works.

There are many other banks around the world that are already using blockchain technology to offer better services to clients around the world. One of them is JP Morgan Chase that created its own blockchain network called Quorum and a digital currency, the JPM Coin.

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Author: Carl T

How Italian Banks To Use Blockchain Technology To Become More Efficient

Italian-Banks-To-Use-Blockchain-Technology-To-Become-More-Efficient

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has recently announced that Italian banks will be turning to blockchain technology for reconciliations.

This new approach is a part of a program called Spunta Project. Banking research and innovation arm called ABI Lab handles the program. The program Spunta Project is a blockchain-based application. It has undergone multiple tests. It is on the pre-production stage.

ABI along with other technical partners such as a system integration company called NTT Data, Sia and R3 Corda platform support the Banking research and innovation arm ABI Lab. 18 banks participated, representing more than 75% of the Italian banking sector in terms of the number of employees.

This decision by ABI comes following their latest survey on the use of IT in Italy’s banking sector which reveals that investments in IT increased by 5.7% in 2018 continuing a trend that began in 2014. It also shows that 88.5% of the survey’s respondents have an IT budget either in line with or exceeding its 2018 budget.

Italy is trying to not miss out on the blockchain revolution cycle. Their Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had earlier said:

“Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain are destined to radically change our lives, the society in which we live and the economic and productive fabric of the country. We have to decide which way to go.”

On December 27, Italy announced it had assembled 30 experts to understand the potential of blockchain technology.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

[Domain Disclosure] The crypto-community content sourced, created and published on BitcoinExchangeGuide should never be used or taken as financial investment advice. Under no circumstances does any article represent our recommendation or reflect our direct outlook. We b-e-g of you to do more independent due diligence, take full responsibility for your own decisions and understand trading cryptocurrencies is a very high-risk activity with extremely volatile market changes which can result in significant losses. Editorial Policy \ Investment Disclaimer

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Big Banks Band Together To Launch Blockchain Trading Solution with Its Own ‘Bitcoin’-esque Token

Big Banks Band Together To Launch Blockchain Trading Solution with Its Own 'Bitcoin'-esque Token

While the banking industry has been one of the most hostile industries when it comes to blockchain technology and Bitcoin in the early stages – that hasn’t stopped them from taking over some sizeable corner of the market for their own.

An increasingly substantial number of financial companies, being headed up by the multinational UBS Group AG have been setting their sights firmly on the application of blockchain technology in the aid of creating a streamlined, low-cost and high efficiency cross-border trading solution, powered by its own blockchain and its own ‘Bitcoin’ token.

Among the financial institutions involved in this ambitious project includes – Barclays, Nasdaq, Credit Suisse Group, Banco Santander, ING, and Lloyds Banking Group. Each of these have since registered themselves as part of a collaborative entity, with more to potentially join.

Each of these organizations will be involved in the development of a unique token, known as a ‘utility settlement coin’ or a USC, according to an international news source.

More than just placing a tenuous interest in this cross border payments solution, these financial behemoths have since officially poured more than 60 million dollars into this international organization – known more broadly as Finality International.

It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering that this token has been in steady development for more than 4 years, and will serve as a joint payment device as well as a “messenger that carries all the information required to complete a trade,” according to the report.

This new kind of permissioned blockchain solution will attempt to significantly reduce the kind of risks associated with cross border payment solutions, while also increasing the speed in which they are completed. According to the UBS head of investment strategy – Hyder Jaffrey discussed the kind of benefits that this solution would provide –

“You remove settlement risk, the counterparty risk, the market risk,” Jaffrey continues. “All of those risks add up to costs and inefficiencies in the marketplace.”

Along with the more than 14 international financial companies previously mentioned, some of the newer partners to this cross-border solution include major national banks such as Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce , State Street Bank & Trust Co., Commerzbank AG, KBC Group NV, Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group Inc., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

Each of these major banking institutions has since announced that they will be making use of the USC token in the foreseeable future.

According to reports, this platform is forecasted to launch worldwide within the next 12 months, which is further substantiated by previous reports which suggested that it would be put completely into action as of 2020.

While this represents one of the more ambitious, globe-trotting projects from financial institutions – there is no inkling whether or not USC provides more utility and represents something resembling a cryptocurrency more than JP Morgan’s token does, however.

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Author: James F