DTCC Urges Financial Institutions to Collaborate in Forming A DLT Regulatory Framework

U.S Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) published a white paper on Feb,12 calling for the establishment of a proper regulatory framework on blockchain technology. The leading American financial markets clearing and settlement company noted that this would help avoid the risks associated with Digital Ledger adoption in future.

This white paper dubbed ‘Security of DLT Networks’ highlights the opportunities and looming risks if financial industry stakeholders do not step up to oversee blockchain implementation. DTCC’s Chief Security Officer, Stephen Scharf, further emphasized on the importance of tech policy upgrades;

“DLT offers great potential, but as with any new technology, it also comes with certain risks. Traditional security measures may not be adequate, so it is critically important that this topic is top of mind for any DLT implementation.”

DTCC’s Proposed Strategy on Blockchain Implementation Oversight

According to the whitepaper, financial market players are better off collaborating to form standardized guidelines on DLT adoption. It continues to read that a coordinated approach would help address the security associated risks in detail. This will in turn assist firms operating and looking to enter the blockchain market to play by the book and grow within a regulated framework.

DLT will notably improve how data is protected, verified and processed. As a result, DTCC suggests that a more tech specific framework would be effective in integrating the DLT networks within IT legalities across the world. An industry consortium to form fundamental operational guidelines was also identified as a long-term solution to the existing legal gaps in the DTCC whitepaper.

There have been previous efforts to form a baseline regulatory framework around blockchain tech but only a few jurisdictions have achieved much. DTCC plans to capitalize on its muscle within the derivatives market to lobby as many financial players and develop a standard for DLT frameworks. Mr. Schaff noted on the importance of a global framework for all industry participants;

“As is common in IT security communities, frameworks must be widely available, generally agreed upon, and commonly adopted.” he added “As best practices mature, they can be adopted into a formal framework and used for financial industry participants and regulators alike.”

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Author: James W

World’s Largest Oil Firm Saudi Aramco, Drops $5M Into Vakt’s Blockchain Trading Platform

A leading oil corporation from Saudi recently invested $5 million towards a blockchain based startup dubbed ‘Vakt’. Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), initiated the transaction through its investment wing and has since joined 11 other investors who were initially part of the project.

Vakt’s blockchain solution is based on post-trade settlements in the energy sector having begun back in 2018 with BP and Shell at the forefront; the two companies were the first to be on-boarded. This blockchain network digitizes the processes that were physical throughout the buy and sell channel in the energy industry. As a result, Vakt’s innovation was acknowledged to be a game changer by SAEV’s Europe director, Hans Middelthon;

“VAKT has demonstrated that their platform has the potential to digitize what is currently a very manual process.”

“Leveraging blockchain theory and applying it to the complicated world of post-trade processing, VAKT has made a compelling pitch to become an integral part of market infrastructure.”

SAEV’s Strategic and Financial Impact on Vakt

The Saudi oil corporation involvement with Vakt will certainly improve the growth dynamics of this blockchain innovation. Vakt reported that they plan to use the $5 million proceeds in product development and market expansion. Currently, the network is live for blockchain services in the North Sea crude oil market. Saudi Aramco will further add to the trading volumes in this market once they integrate their North Sea volumes with Vakt’s network.

Vakt has also gained more reputational value given Saudi Aramco’s financial muscle in the oil sector. The firm’s Initial Public Offering back in 2019 was $25.6 billion; reports indicate that this is the largest IPO figure so far in the history of financial markets. In addition, Saudi Aramco’s oil reserves are the world’s second largest according as of press date. Notably, the firm has other blockchain investments with American ‘Blockchain as a service’ startup ‘Gumbo’ leading the pack. Richard James, Vakt’s CFO, shared similar sentiments on the prospects of this investment;

“We were not proactively seeking further investors; however, we could not miss the chance to bring on-board a partner of this calibre, which is a tremendous show of faith in VAKT’s vision.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Two Industry Giants, Messenger LINE and Nomura Holdings, Form New Blockchain Alliance

On October Fourth, the Line Group Companies LINE and LVC Corporation announced their alliance with Nomura Holdings. This alliance was made on the basis of collective intent between these companies. This intent is to explore the massive opportunities within the field of blockchain.

At the beginning of this year, the group had already signed a memorandum of understanding between them. Even then, they already showed their intent to develop into this new form of technology.

As per the partnership terms, Nomura had invested in LINE’s subsidiary, LVC.

This is a move that’s been seen around the globe, as an old, practiced financial firm joins up with an up-and-coming tech firm to try and reach the new generation of this growing world. A generation that’s very likely only going to remember physical currency as something from their childhood as blockchains slowly rise into greater prominence

The Players at the Board

Nomura is a heavyweight financial institute. Their company motto is,

“We help to enrich society through our expertise in capital markets.”

The firm is always aiming to be the most trusted partner for their clients as well as their future ones

LINE started out as a messaging platform but is striving to become something far higher than that. They’re pushing a self-contained ideology in their improvements, trying to have their users seamlessly and effortlessly connect with their peers, finances, brands, and companies. Their corporate slogan is “Close the Distance,” something they’ve been trying to achieve dutifully.

LVC, LINE’s subsidiary focusing heavily on blockchain technology. These are the guys driving forward LINE’s concept of the Token Economy. They created the LINE tokens currently in use with the android users and has recently added the BITMAX exchange to their projects. This new exchange will allow users on LINE to trade in the major forms of cryptocurrency.

Past Exploits

This isn’t the first time Line and Nomura partnered up to achieve a mutual goal. Back in May of 2018, Nomura Holdings and Line Corp partnered up to provide online securities trading to their respective consumer bases. This was a bid to attract a younger audience to these kinds of financial investments.

Nomura holdings had announced that they would own 49%, while Line, owned by the South Korean Naver Corp, will own that tantalizing 51%. This makes Line the majority shareholder, thus making them the lead decision-makers between these two giants within this new venture.

Rather interestingly, both firms stated that they wouldn’t be financially affected by this venture.

Line and Libra

LINE is neither the biggest nor the first to want to develop its blockchain. Libra, a cryptocurrency in the process of development by the social media giant Facebook, is making waves across Europe as its development continues. Germany and France have both expressed their desire to limit cryptocurrency use within their country, with Switzerland continuing to support it like the 700 other blockchains.

In the end, cryptocurrencies can very likely replace the world’s way of moving funds, and the implication and effects of such a global investment are entirely unknown.

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Author: Ali Raza

Mercedes Parent Company, Daimler, is Allegedly Making Its Own Crypto Hardware Wallet for Its Cars


The parent and multinational corporation behind the internationally renowned Mercedes Benz manufacturer, has officially partnered up with the European blockchain interface solutions provider – Riddle & Code – in order to provide a seamless, open car hardware wallet for its fleet of cars.

The startup company officially announced this in a press release which was released to the public at the beginning of this week.

A Marketplace in Your Car – ‘Turn your Automobile Into a Future Marketplace’

According to the press release, having an already installed in-car wallet would, and already has a wide array of use cases that it can be put to use for. These include already existing solutions like car-sharing, autonomous vehicles, real-time exchanges of secure data on traffic between cars as well as other equipment within a smart city environment in order to alleviate the amount of congestion and significantly reduced insurance premiums.

According to the CEO behind Riddle & Code, Tom Fürstner, making use of a blockchain solution for smart cities and vehicles are matches meant to happen.

“Autonomous cars must behave consistently to be trusted. Cars are already computing devices. A secure identity ensures that the right authorities have approved code executed inside vehicles and the trustworthiness of data exchanged. RIDDLE&CODE secures this with its cryptographic hardware and uses ledgers to turn automobiles into future market places.”

The digital wallet itself is reportedly developed and built around the startup’s own highly secure storage solution known as the Secure Element 2.0, and according to the team, this allows it to provide a secure blockchain-based identity to vehicles.

According to the company from its press release, merging the already existing state-issued vehicle identity (government registrations), along with Riddle & Code’s unique, and highly secure solution would create a wholly unique ledger transaction.

Bringing Blockchain to the Automotive Industry

The press release itself was published back in February, and also revealed that Mercedes-Bez had also been working to develop a platform that is based on blockchain technology.  The ultimate application of this is to increase transparency as well as sustainability within a complex and increasingly complex supply chain.

In addition to this, in January 2017, the car manufacturer announced its successful acquisition of the digital payments startup company – PayCash Europa – which brought forward some serious rumors that the manufacturer was in the process of creating and launching its own decentralized payment solution of its own.

According to further news reports from earlier in July – Siemens, which has worked strenuously in order to corner the markets of electrification, automation as well as digitalization, has expressed a significant interest in making use of blockchain solutions in order to truly set its products apart.

More specifically, the company has been exploring the application of blockchain in the field of transportation.

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Author: James Fox