KPMG Rankings Show a Drop in Bitcoin Yet a Reinforced Cryptocurrency Innovations

KPMG, the big four auditing firm shared its 2019 companies list, Fintech100 rankings. This list contains the 100 top Fintech entities globally. According to these rankings, Bitcoin-based Company has dropped. On the other hand, payment industries have a strong showing on the rankings.

Just like it was in 2018, the Ant financial company founded by the owner of Alibaba, Jack Ma led the list. This Ant financial company controls one of China’s payment systems known as Alipay which has a value of 83 billion dollars.

JD Finance took the third position among the entities that are in both blockchain and cryptocurrency. Grab, an application for a ride company (like Uber) led the list. In Singapore, Grab is used as a payment system.

Robinhood failed to maintain its 2018’s 8th position and dropped to 14th this year. KPMG rankings have shown reinforced cryptocurrency innovations. Other blockchain-based companies that featured in the list were One Connect at 18th position, Coinbase at 34th, Banketa at 42, Liquid at 38th, and Revolut on 26th. According to Chris Wang, Partner of KPMG china,

“As fintech development continues to go strong in China, we are seeing some changes in China’s fintech landscape. Aligned with trends we observe globally, we see an increasing number of wealth, insurance and multi-sector companies in China on the list, which indicates that technologies and innovations have spread into more financial services sectors.”

Companies that appeared in the list for the first include Tokeny, Silot, Binance, Moin, and MemaPay among others.

The companies in the Fintech 100 list raised 70 billion dollars in their lifetime and 18 billion dollars in the last financial year. These companies serve customers over 2.5 billion around the world. According to KPMG, the companies in the Fintech 100 ranking have enjoyed the benefit of open banking.

Here is a snapshot of the top 50 rankings from the KPMG list:

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These companies have been able to improve customer banking as a result which has greatly improved their services and experience.

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Author: Daniel W

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile Had Arbitrations Filed by Crypto Legal Firm Silver Miller on SIM Swapping

The legal firm Silver Miller, famous for taking on lawsuits in the crypto world, is also taking the SIM swapping cases that have led to major cryptocurrency losses. The complaints are made against three of the most important phone operators in US, which are Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Mobile Operators Broke Their Own Security Policies

Silver Miller has recently made a statement in which it says that it’s responding to SIM identity claims accusations and solving many of the claims. Their research has discovered that even if the mobile operators have reassured their clients that their services are secure, these companies still have broken their own security policies and eased the process of SIM swapping.

SIM Swapping Has Been Syphoning Funds in the Crypto World

Since people are mostly using their mobile phones as 2FA tools, it’s very easy for someone to access their personal banking details or to make account exchanges. SIM swapping has been siphoning funds from many crypto holders in the last few years, and especially before the discovery of new tools for authentication. Silver Miller has been conducting research and discovered that mobile companies not only overlooked their own security procedures, they also encouraged criminal circles to hack their clients’ SIM cards.

In order to rectify the cases, the law firm has decided upon private arbitration and not public litigation. More than this, the identity of their clients is going to be protected. Silver Miller is also inviting people whose SIM has been hacked, especially if they have been promised increased security by their mobile operator, to take on legal actions as there’s a high chance for arbitration and to obtain the desired results without having to go through a trial.

Crypto Users the Most Hit by SIM Swapping

Those who are involved in the crypto space have been the most attacked when it comes to SIM swapping. Only recently, there was a case in which crypto assets valued at $550,000 have been stolen and for which two men were charged. Eric Meiggs from Brockton, Massachusetts, together with Declan Harrington from Rockport, Massachusetts, both in their very early twenties, have been charged with wire and computer fraud, identity theft and conspiracy, after they have targeted and attacked 10 identified victims on US territory.

Those with Prominent Social Media Presences the Most Targeted

Crypto users who have a prominent social media presence are at higher risk, also influencers in the crypto world and those who have a whale wallet. SIM swapping can’t directly affect wallets, yet it can empty accounts and wallets held by a third party. Exchanges are also at high risk, since they have about 6.7% of the Bitcoin (BTC) supply, not to mention there are markets holding smaller altcoins.

Kaspersky Labs, the firm specialized in cybersecurity has noted that SIM swapping has increased and ended up being the main type of attack in the crypto world. Silver Miller is trying to make things right for the ones who have already been the victims of such an attack, by bringing more evidence against mobile operators and being by the side of those who have been hacked.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Crypto Data And Metrics Provider Messari Raises $4M In Funding And Adds New Board Member

Crypto data analysis firm, Messari Crypto, announced they had raised $4 million USD in a capital funding round led by Uncork Capital and joined by top crypto industry firms such as Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain Capital, CoinFund, Danhua Capital, Fenbushi Capital, and individual investor, Balaji Srinivasan. The valuation of the company remains undisclosed.

Messari Raises $4 Million USD in Capital Funding Round

In an official statement by the crypto metrics and news firm, Messari closed a $4 million dollar funding round that will “accelerate the expansion of the company’s Transparency Registry, and evolve Messari Pro research and data analytics beyond beta.” In a highly participated funding round, Uncork Capital will have their CEO and founder, Jeff Clavier join the board at Messari.

Jeff was optimistic at the investment solving a key problem in the company’s operational space adding key capital and infrastructure that currently is lacking in the industry. Speaking on the investment in Messari, Jeff said,

“If crypto is going to become a mainstream asset class, it needs quality data that is open and transparent. The Messari team are pioneers in the industry, and have built a strong picks and shovels business in an otherwise volatile and unpredictable market.”

Other existing investors who did not participate in this round of funding include Anthemis, Semantic Ventures, Fabric Ventures, Underscore VC, and DHVC.

The company raised $1 million in a seed funding round in May last year and has witnessed exponential growth in the projects supported. In August the company added eleven new projects to its disclosures registry including Cardano (ADA), Lisk (LSK) and Beam (BEAM).

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Author: Lujan Odera

Chainalysis Releases Kryptos; Institutional Compliance & Risk Assessment Software

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis announced the launch of new software that aims to aid financial institutions in better understanding crypto-related risks. This software is called Chainalysis Kryptos.

As previously reported by Bitcoin Exchange Guide, a poll done by the blockchain analysis firm concluded that half of its respondents expect Bitcoin to take over equities, fixed income, and the housing price index. At the same time, said financial institutions expressed concern over the lack of regulations and the possibility of being exposed to risk.

Kryptos was designed with the aforementioned concerns in mind and therefore ensures that users have access to transparency into the crypto markets so that a better comprehension of risk exposure can be attained. Furthermore, the software is expected to increase confidence in banks when deciding to offer services to crypto businesses.

According to the Co-Founder and CEO of Chainalysis, Michael Gronager, the goal is to eliminate any barrier of entry, adding that,

“Financial institutions can access the transparency they need to fulfill their compliance responsibilities, meet customer demand, and seize the market opportunity they already believe in.”

The SVP Managing Principal of Silvergate, Michelle Sabins describes Kryptos as a “powerful tool for institutions to use to evaluate the risk profile […] to measure their counterparty risk.”

Some of the types of information that users will have access to include an exchange’s business operations, country of operation, transaction activity, risk across wire transfers, etc.

As per Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Chainalysis, Jonathan Levin,

“Not only does Kryptos help [financial institutions] mitigate risk and access new high growth markets but it will also help crypto businesses build trust with their banks.”

Currently available in Beta, Kryptos will be available on a broader space in early 2020. All updates will be made by Chainalysis employees on all aspects of digital assets.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Accenture Teams Up With R3, SAP To Develop ‘Seamless Financial Services Ecosystem’ Using DLT

The consultancy firm Accenture partners with an enterprise blockchain technology company, R3. The partnership also involves a leading software firm SAP – the three firms are collectively developing a prototype that will lessen the time required to execute high-value transactions.

They aim to unite the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and standard mechanism to perform end-to-end settlements of large sums of money.

As per Accenture’s blockchain lead, John Velissarios, the upcoming platform will;

“Because the current payment settlement infrastructure is highly complex and fragmented, RTGS systems that leverage DLT and cryptographically secure tokenized payments can help central banks improve efficiency and security,”

Namely, these giants are collectively planning to develop a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system to bridge the gap between banks and customers to enable faster, efficient, relatable, and secure payments.

Interestingly, they plan to facilitate integration and interoperability between DLT-based and traditional government-based payment settlement systems by using currency tokens. Accordingly, this digital currency will act as an alternative solution for Govt-backed fiat currency, while utilizing cryptography to enhance security and authenticity.

John Velissarios elaborated,

“The RTGS prototype, designed in collaboration with SAP and R3, demonstrates the next stage of efficiency in payment systems and ultimately paves the way to linking to tokenized-assets, like equities, to create an increasingly integrated and seamless financial services ecosystem.“

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Author: Ali Qamar

Top Crypto Wallet, Data and Exchange Provider Blockchain.com Invests into Enjin Gaming Platform

Blockchain Ventures is a cryptocurrency wallet, data, and exchange provider. Now, the firm has defined its stake in Enjin, the blockchain game technology.

Making the publication on Tuesday, Blockchain Ventures stated it’s the first ownership funding scheme in the gaming tech firm. The investment that permits random generated game items to be transferred across ETH-Based titles enables by using its structure. Blockchain Ventures, however, declined to state the exact figure.

Enjin is a Singapore based gaming platform that has built several apps to enhance its operations. These include a game creation system that permits blockchain inclusion by third party developers, a market for collectibles, and blockchain wallets.

In March, news spread about the Samsung Galaxy S10, where they had included the Enjin Wallet  During that time, enjin-coin, the gaming firms token value swelled by 70%.

According to Blockchain Ventures, they back Enjin because,

“The economic representation of Enjin token, whereas Enjin Coin (ENJ) will operate only on the network of a particular carrier within virtual in-game items and freely exchangeable tokens (non-fungible tokens- NFT) is something we had never experienced before. This makes it possible for price determination and value recovery that has been a major dare for NFT.”

In July, Blockchain Ventures reported they were launching PIT, a new cryptocurrency exchange. They are claiming to have raised $50 million for the project.

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Author: Ali Qamar

Revolut Crypto Fintech Firm and MasterCard Partner to Launch Debit Card in the US

Revolut, a Fintech firm launched back in 2015 as an alternate to the existing banking sector and later started offering cryptocurrency exchange has announced its partnership with MasterCard. The partnership announced on 22nd October through a press release revealed that Revolut would launch debit card by the end of the year.

The strategic partnership with MasterCard would give Revolut access to any market where MasterCard is accepted. MasterCard has played a crucial role in Revolut’s acceleration program ever since its launch.

Nik Storonsky, founder and chief executive officer, Revolut commented on the partnership saying,

“As a launch partner of Revolut, Mastercard has been an important contributor to our success, and today’s agreement will enable us to meet our ambitious goal of offering innovative financial and payment solutions to people all over the world. Launching in the U.S. will be a huge milestone for us, and we are delighted Mastercard will be our go-to-market partner”

The partnership would provide Revolut with some of the MasterCard’s latest payment solution technology and also enable them to use the Mastercard’s Send platform.

Michael Miebach, Chief Product Officer at Mastercard commented,

“Having partnered with Revolut over the last four years, we are delighted that our relationship continues to grow and meet our collective global ambitions. Revolut’s success and its speed to new markets, such as the US, is welcome proof of our commitment to tailoring support for fintechs. Broadening Revolut’s global reach will enable millions more people around the world to benefit from Mastercard’s worldwide acceptance footprint and Revolut’s ground breaking financial services.”

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Author: James W

Global Container Terminal Joins Maersk And IBM’s Blockchain Shipping Platform TradeLens

Global Container Terminals (GCT), a Canadian ship terminal firm announced a partnership with Maersk and IBM sponsored blockchain solution in the supply chain industry, TradeLens.

The blockchain offers enterprise solutions for companies in the supply chain industry to ensure a transparent and efficient network between trade partners.

Speaking on the partnership with TradeLens, Doron Grosman, CEO and President of GCT said,

“Joining a technology platform like TradeLens only adds to our capability to deliver best-in-class service and visibility to our supply chain partners.”

GCT adopts blockchain in four terminals

The shipping terminal firm will gradually integrate blockchain technologies to its four largest terminals strategically placed in the east and west coast North America. The terminal at the Port of Vancouver and GCT Deltaport, Canada’s largest marine terminal, will be run by GCT Canada branch becoming the first two terminals to integrate blockchain.

TradeLens will also start integration operations in New York and New Jersey terminals in, both of which “offer first and last port-of-call intermodal advantage with their on-dock rail facilities.” GCT Bayonne will run the integration process in New Jersey with GCT New York doing the same in NY –both the subsidiaries are under GCT USA.

The partnership allows the partners to securely connect and interact with supply chain providers including ocean carriers, beneficial cargo owners, and railways. According to the post, TradeLens will provide “end-to-end supply chain information, facilitating seamless data sharing, collaboration and improved trade flows.”

A wide network on the world’s oceans

According to a report in early July, TradeLens secured a partnership with two of the largest shipping companies in the world Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express. Following the partnership, TradeLens now covers close to half of the global trade in the seas on its network.

The partnership follows a trail of connections with other international shipping companies including the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA), the port authority in Russia and a number of private companies. Some of them include major ocean carriers like Maersk, CMA CGM and MSC.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Tron’s Justin Sun At the Center of Poloniex Exit from Circle; Just ‘Helping Out Some Friends’

Poloniex Cryptocurrency exchange is currently in the process of leaving its parent company, Circle. The firm recently announced that it would form Polo Digital Assets as a rebrand.

At the center of this major transaction is Tron Founder, Justin Sun. Anonymous sources from Circle confirmed to The Block that Justin is a major stakeholder in the ‘Asian Investment Group’. The firm is believed to be a major supporter of Poloniex in the exit process. The strategic exit comes less than two years since Circle acquired Poloniex.

Sources further revealed that Justin Sun had been to Circle’s HQ in Boston a few times. The Asian Investment Consortium under Justin is expected to play a major role in transitioning to Polo Digital Assets. As it stands, Poloniex internal employees have been offered the option to join the Crypto exchange as opposed to staying under Circle.

However, Justin recently tweeted that he is not buying anything, rather investing and to help his friends. He went on to further add that he bets on all exchanges that support TRX.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitfinex and Tether Lawsuit Analysis: The Severity of Roche Freedman’s Case

Stablecoin firm Tether and its associate exchange Bitfinex have received a suit filed by a New York-based legal firm Roche Freedman against Tether token (USDT, stating that it is engaged with market manipulation as the consequence of an unpublished paper. The case encloses that the above-mentioned firms were involved in a “sophisticated scheme” on account of “part-fraud, part-pump-and-dump, and part-money laundering.” We see a significant decrease of approximately 10% as of press time in the market value of the USDT/BTC trade pair because of this lawful dramatization.

Roche Freedman believes that the Tether’s case of all its Tether tokens (USDT) equaling to one U.S dollar is an unmitigated lie. According to the suit, it guarantees that the firm under question has consistently been giving huge amounts of unbacked tokens to not only control the local crypto market but also the digital resource showcase at large. The agents for Tether and Bitfinex gave separate articulations asserting that they have been made aware of an unreleased paper blaming them for controlling the digital currency market. The statements were made just a couple of days before the lawsuit was declared open. The organizations guaranteed that the claims were ridiculous and that if such an article is presented in court against them, they were going to protect themselves.

Regarding the matter of whether these recent charges are authentic, Braden Perry – a government investigation attorney calls for attention to the case that it does not uncover anything new given that the Justice Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have been investigating the two firms for quite a while. In any case, these are just claims and no defense has yet been witnessed. He accepts that no genuine damage should originate if the lawsuit is filed. But if any data that confirms these cases ends up open sooner or later, at that point Bitfinex and Tether will no doubt experience some genuine reputational harm.

Daniel Ameduri, writer of “Don’t Save for Retirement: A Millennial’s Guide to Financial Freedom,” was contacted by Conitelegraph to reveal some insight into the circumstances. He believes that the case will probably fail due to the absence of sheer insights.

Felix Shipkevic, an attorney told Cointelegraph that it wasn’t astonishing to find a legal suit against both Tether and Bitfinex considering the lawful interest these firms have received by the New York lawyers over the previous year. Not just that, Felix believes that it will be very hard for the firms to back their charges of crypto market control as they will need to show rationale to manipulate and gain from the damages.

The case thereby highlights that the stablecoin market is in critical need of specific guidelines that can keep such occasions from surfacing again later on.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha