State Bank of India Joins JPMorgan’s Ethereum-Forked Blockchain Payment Network, Liink

State Bank of India Joins JPMorgan’s Ethereum-Forked Blockchain Payment Network, Liink

State Bank of India (SBI), the largest bank in India, has announced a partnership with US bank JPMorgan to use its blockchain-based technology to enhance international transactions.

The government-owned bank explained that the partnership would help reduce transaction costs and time to execute customers’ payments. The bank stated that it would take hours to execute international payments and not the usual two weeks. The bank also stated that beneficiaries will now get their payments faster as it will involve fewer steps.

Venkat Nageswar, SBI deputy managing director, explained that the bank has been undertaking various digital transformations in the recent past and is keen to add more to enhance their daily operations. Nageswar told India’s Economic Times,

“We are excited to be the first bank in India to go live on the network and look forward to a closer partnership with JP Morgan on implementation and exploring applications as part of the network to better serve our clients.”

JPMorgan’s blockchain-based network, dubbed Liink, is a decentralized network where numerous financial firms, fintech firms, and other corporations can subscribe. The network enables the users to conduct secure and peer-to-peer data interchanges at fast speeds. It was started in 2017 being dubbed Interbank Information Network, but it rebranded to Liink in October last year.

Currently, over 400 financial-based institutions and corporates have subscribed to Liink from 78 nations. The enlisted firms include 27 of the globe’s top-ranking 50 banks. The network boasts of about 100 live banks consisting of private and government-owned institutions.

JPMorgan Chase India managing director, Prabdev Singh, explained that the recent deal with SBI is in tandem with its program to enhance its blockchain presence within India and the region. Singh stated that the firm is continually exploring how the new technologies can change customers’ experiences positively.

Apart from changing its name to Liink, JPMorgan also rolled out its own stablecoin dubbed JPM Coin last year. The stablecoin was launched to enhance international payments.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Ant Financial and Tencent- Backed Banks Joins China’s Digital Currency Trials

Ant Financial and Tencent- Backed Banks Joins China’s Digital Currency Trials

Alibaba and Tencent owned banks set to launch China’s digital yuan trials. The private banks will simulate trials set across state-owned banks.

  • MYBank, an Ant-Financial-owned bank, plans to launch digital yuan trials across China as the state’s digital currency/ electronic payment (DC/EP) project edges closer to full launch.
  • Tencent-backed WeBank also announced similar plans to launch digital currency wallets.

According to a Bloomberg report, the two projects will have the same functionalities as the digital wallets already in trial across six government-owned banks. The six banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China, launched the trials across provinces in the country, allowing users to make digital payments and transfer money.

The addition of the two banks aims at increasing the adoption and utility of the digital yuan across China. MYBank, in particular, has been a key researcher in developing an electronic yuan in the past and looks forward to furthering its commitment to digital payments. The bank will partner with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to “steadily advance the trial” of the digital yuan in the future.

The central bank has already made massive steps in preparing for the launch of the digital yuan. Earlier in the month, BEG reported a partnership between the PBoC and SWIFT to launch a new digital payment service that could be tied to its CBDC. Additionally, the bank completed its largest yet rollout test for the CBDC, disbursing over $3 million worth of the digital currency to over 30,000 citizens.

The two firms become the first private firms to join the digital yuan trials with a potential battle with payment services such as WeChat Pay and Alipay in sight. Despite

Alibaba’s Ant Financial owns a 30% stake in MYBank, while Tencent is the largest shareholder of WeBank, holding 30% of its stake.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Former TD Ameritrade Digital Assets Head Joins Fed Reserve as Chief Innovation Officer

Former TD Ameritrade Digital Assets Head Joins Fed Reserve as Chief Innovation Officer

Sunayna Tuteja has joined the Federal Reserve System as the Chief Innovation Officer. Before heading this position, Tuteja was previously working at TD Ameritrade as the Managing Director, Head of Digital Assets & DLT (Blockchain, Crypto), reads her LinkedIn profile.

TD Ameritrade has been providing its services to cryptocurrency users for some time now. It also made a strategic investment in ErisX, the cryptocurrency spot, and futures exchange during the bear market.

Tuteja joined the broker in 2014 to head its digital strategy department, following which she changed the department that specifically dealt with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Here, Tuteja only spent less than two years.

Under her latest role, she will be working on the Federal Reserve System’s digital innovation strategy. As a CINO, the official is required to stay abreast of the technology industry and market trends to understand their impact on the Fed system. The description for this position reads,

“This role will be responsible for identifying, researching, enabling and evangelizing for innovative new technologies while fostering a culture of technical innovation, encouraging System-wide collaboration and experimentation.”

This is another positive development for the cryptocurrency market, bringing us all that much closer to positive and clear regulations.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Cosmos (ATOM) Joins Forces with China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN)

Cosmos (ATOM) Joins Forces with China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN)

  • China-only Blockchain-based service network (BSN), China’s blockchain infrastructure project, announced the addition of Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain to its network.

In a tweet sent out this Monday, Chinese permissioned blockchains, BSN open permissioned blockchains (OPBs) announced they’ve adapted the first batch of networks, “Wechang chain” based on the Cosmos blockchain and Tai’an chain based on FISCO BCOS.

The Chinese only blockchain service network only permits permissioned enterprise blockchains, which differs from the global version which supports any blockchain.

China’s BSN is aiming to promote permissioned blockchains interoperability and improve the efficiency of transacting across them hence the move to add Cosmos. The integration might of Cosmos, a multi-chain system focused on completing cross-chain value transfer, could be a major step in transacting digital assets and data across permissioned enterprise blockchains.

Moreover, Cosmos is also well regulated under China’s laws and will help keep China’s BSN and the BSN international community in check.

The BSN international community has been growing in the past few years adding Ethereum, Tezos, Nervos, Neo, EOSIO, and IrisNet (developed by Chinese blockchain startup Bianjie, also the creator of Wenchang Chain) in September 2020. More blockchain was added later in the month including Solana, Algorand, and ShareRing with a plan to add over 40 blockchains by summer.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto App, ZenGo, Joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program; Debit Card Launching in 2021

  • ZenGo, a crypto wallet app, joins Visa Fast Track program.
  • Allow users to spend crypto at any VISA merchant and withdraw from supported ATMs.

Crypto wallet management firm, ZenGo, announced that it had joined the VISA Fast Track Program on Tuesday. Following the partnership, ZenGo will start offering users in the U.S. VISA debit cards, allowing them to spend cryptocurrencies at millions of VISA merchants and withdraw at supported ATMs.

The crypto wallet provider is joining a stream of payment companies, including PayPal, Square, Coinbase, and Paxful, aiming to push for cryptocurrencies in everyday payments. The company enters the debit card space – joining Coinbase, who recently announced their rewards card, and Binance – in a race to push for crypto adoption.

Unlike the rest, ZenGo offers its users a non-custodial wallet, which leaves the user’s security. Expounding on the benefits of ZenGo’s non-custodial wallets, ZenGo CEO Ouriel Ohayon said,

“Those other offerings are only a half-vanilla taste of what crypto is because they only let you own an IOU over a cryptocurrency.

This is the only one that is tied to a user-controlled wallet where the users have control of their funds, and the funds are on-chain.”

However, the enhanced self-custodial measures make it difficult and complicated to send and spend cryptocurrencies from your wallet, hence the VISA wallet’s launch. ZenGo users will need to convert crypto from their wallet and deposit to their debit card before using it for payment. Regular users can also set a fixed amount to be converted every week and deposited to their debit card.

“The issue if you do it automatically like Coinbase is that you can’t pick which crypto you want to use for spending,” Ohayon said.

“They decide for you, or they force you to make a choice once for all your transactions.”

ZenGo uses Multi-party computation (MPC) techniques to secure its user’s accounts, passwords, and private keys by breaking down the long alphanumeric cryptographic code. This also helps in transactions – saving senders from writing down the long wallet address or remember passwords.

The VISA debit card by ZenGo is expected to launch early next year in the U.S. with plans to launch to other countries also in place. ZenGo aims to offer users a convenient, secure, and scalable way to spend cryptocurrencies seamlessly. Ouriel added,

“We have real estate agents who get paid in cryptocurrency; we have photographers, DJs, independent workers of all sorts. Those guys want to be able to spend it.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Google Cloud Partners With Block.one to Become an EOS Block Producer

  • Google Cloud joins the EOS blockchain network as a block producer (BP) after a successful vote from current EOS token holders.
  • The search engine subsidiary becomes the first high-level Silicon Valley firm to join the EOS BP network.

In an official statement online, Google confirmed they would join the EOS community and participate as one of the blockchain’s 21 block producers. EOS, built by the Block.one development team, is a blockchain platform that allows 21 block producers (BP) who verify the transactions. These BP are selected by the EOS token holders, giving a different feel to Bitcoin’s or Ethereum’s mining mechanism.

Google Cloud joins crypto heavyweights Binance, OKEX, and Huobi crypto exchanges as top block producers with the rest run by the EOS community. The statement from Google reads,

“Google Cloud has partnered with Block.one and will become a block producer candidate to provide infrastructure in support of the EOS network, which is built on the EOSIO blockchain protocol published by Block.one.”

Block.one aims to leverage Google Cloud’s low latency and global connectivity to provide a stable, convenient, and reliable EOS blockchain platform.

Allen Day, Developer Advocate at Google Cloud, in his welcome statement said,

“As organizations begin to incorporate distributed ledger technology into their infrastructures, we are committed to ensuring that the information on public blockchains are securely stored, reliably available, and can be accessed in meaningful ways.”

As EOS grows, there is an increasing need for reliable BP in the system, and Google is expected to provide the much-needed “highly provisioned, low-latency infrastructure to Block.one,” Dan Larimer, founder of EOS, said.

“Google Cloud’s confidential computing infrastructure will enhance the security, scalability, and decentralization of blockchain technology.”

The Google Cloud block producing team will be vetted and voted for by the current EOS token holders on what roles it takes on the network.

The news of Google Cloud joining the EOS blockchain BP team set the native EOSIO token to surge 17% in an hour to touch a high of $2.92. The token currently trades at $2.63, representing a 5% growth in the past 24 hours.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Lender, Cred, Joins VISA’s Fintech Fast Track Program To Leverage Its Payment Network

U.S. based crypto-financial borrowing and lending platform joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program to leverage the multinational payment gateway resources, expertise, and security systems. The crypto lending platform will improve its payment system to give users a fast and efficient platform to borrow and pay using cryptocurrencies.

In a press release, Visa Fintech Fast Track Program confirmed Cred would join its ranks, leveraging Visa’s capabilities in its payment system and lending and borrowing of digital assets. As a part of Visa’s Fat Track Program, Cred will build its platform to “accept direct interest payments to the customers’ bank accounts and allow Crypto Lines of Credit (C-LOC).” These lines of credit allow users to stake their crypto assets and take out a loan without liquidating their assets.

Cred is a San Francisco based company that provides borrowing and payment services to both retail and institutional customers. The CEO and co-founder of Cred, Dan Schatt, said joining Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program will allow it to develop into a more efficient platform helping the platform “provide users with fair financial services and expand its lending and borrowing services.”

He further stated,

“Cred has always served as a bridge between traditional banking and blockchain based financial services and having a direct relationship with Visa will enable the company to scale much more rapidly to support the significant growth occurring with digital asset lending.”

Fold, the Bitcoin rewards app [and soon to launch Visa Debit Card], joined the Fast Track Program in 2019, shortly after Visa launched it in a bid to increase payment gateways and develop a crypto debit card. The latter was launched in April this year, enabling users to earn BTC from purchases. Ripple’s partner firm, InstaReM, a Singapore fintech firm, also joined the Fast Track Program in early 2019 to leverage Visa’s fast and scalable payments system.

Cred will also access Visa’s vast resources, experts, and technology through the Fast Track Program, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto, at Visa said.

“As the preferred network for digital currency wallets, we are excited to help innovative fintechs like Cred harness the value of Visa’s network,” Cuy further stated.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Philippines Central Bank Governor Confirms Interest in Launching A Digital Currency

  • Philippines joins the race to launch their digitized fiat, CBDC.
  • Fiat not going away soon, central bank governor says.
  • China and Japan are also focusing on CBDC.

The central bank of the Philippines, otherwise known as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), expresses its interest in launching its own central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In a story first covered on Bloomberg, the governor of BSP, Benjamin Diokno, stated the country had formed a research committee on the possible launch of digital currency. The article further states that the research team is set to release its findings in the coming month.

The committee, which was formed earlier this year, started its research on the policy implications and potential feasibility that digital currencies bring to the Philippines economy. Speaking in a virtual conference, Diokno said:

“We have to first look at the findings of the group before making a decision.”

This is the first time the country is publicly declaring its interest in developing its digital currency.

Fiat Demand not Going Away Soon

The launch of digital currencies is widely considered as an end to the demand for fiat currencies, rising the skepticism on CBDCs across regulators and financial authorities globally.

Diokno, however, said the need for fiat in the Philippines would remain stable despite an introduction of the CBDC, further stating the importance of the underlying blockchain technology.

Diokno said:

“Cryptocurrency for us has always been beyond the asset itself but more on the blockchain technology that underpins it.”

Philippines will be joining a select group of countries researching and developing their CBDC’s, including its neighbors, China, and Japan. Japan announced it would accelerate its digital yen development with a new CBDC department earlier in the month, and the former is already carrying out testing on the digital yuan.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Institutional Grade Crypto Custodial, Copper Technologies, Joins Global Central Bank Think Tank, OMFIF

Institutional-grade crypto custodian, Copper Technologies, joins the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum’s (OMFIF) Digital Monetary Institute (DMI) as a founding member. The non-profit organization launched in May 2020 aiming at formulating economic policy, public investment and central banking ideas for new and improved digital payment instruments.

Copper Technologies joins DMI as founding member

The London-based crypto firm becomes the latest founding member of DMI joining Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology GmbH, Cypherium Blockchain and multinational bank, ING Group. The mission of the association is to provide an open platform for discussions and research on digital payment systems and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The Institute will be publishing regular data, convening meetings with experts on new digital developments and innovations.

The statement from Dmitry Tokarev, CEO at Copper Technologies, showed delight in joining “policy makers, technologists, financiers and regulators” to develop new ideas and policies in the digital finance world. According to Dmitry, the OMFIF DMI forum opens up a gateway for public and private organizations to collaborate in “creating open and productive discussions” on the future of global finance and the opportunities digital payments offers. He added,

“As more and more institutions are beginning to see beyond the 2017 retail-driven image of the space, the real and long-term value of crypto, and blockchain more generally, becomes apparent. OMFIF has the potential to advance this cause, and move the needle on how the entire financial system views crypto.”

Copper Technologies promises an institutional grade custodial service with a keen eye on “accessibility, security and aligned compliance” aiming to bridge the gap between the digital asset world and the traditional finance systems.

Governments accelerated efforts

Governments, central banks and financial regulators across the globe are accelerating their efforts for a digital payment system in the wake of COVID-19. The spread of the pandemic through physical contact has shown the need for increased innovation in digital cash systems.

Moreover, the announcement of the Facebook-led Libra token also forced central banks to look into developing their own CBDCs. In his welcome statement to Copper Technologies, David Marsh, Chairman and Co-Founder at OMFIF addressed this saying,

“Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has become a more pressing priority for central banks, first with the unveiling of Libra by Facebook, and more recently with the challenges of distributing financial help to citizens during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Makes Two New Additions to its Government Relations Team

  • Ron Hammond who assisted in crafting Token Taxonomy Act joins as the new Manager of Government Relations
  • Susan Friedman from the US Treasury joins the same team
  • New hires on board as Ripple engages with policymakers worldwide

Ripple has welcomed two new additions to its team. Ron Hammond is one of the names that is joining Ripple as the new Manager of Government Relations.

Interestingly, Hammond is quite familiar with the regulatory difficulties facing crypto startups in the US as he is known for his Token Taxonomy Act that seeks to clarify the status of different cryptocurrencies and exclude them from being classified as a security.

This makes for an imperative addition to Ripple given the fact that XRP digital asset is facing lawsuits from investors over its legal nature.

“Ron brings a wealth of legislative and policy experience to Ripple. Excited to have him on board as we continue to work closely with lawmakers, regulators, and partners worldwide!,” announced Michelle Bond, Global Head of Government Relations at Ripple.

Hammond has also worked with crypto-friendly US lawmaker Warren Davidson.

“Thrilled to bring all of my legislative experience, including crafting the Token Taxonomy Act, to the team,” shared Hammond on Twitter.

Another addition has been Susan Friedman from the US Treasury who is joining the Ripple’s Government Relations team as the company engages with regulators globally. “Exciting times at Ripple,” tweeted Bond about Friedman joining the team who

“brings incredible legal and policy experience. Great to have her on board as we engage with policymakers worldwide.”

New hires bring in legislative and policy experience.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy