Blocknox, Boerse Stuttgart Subsidiary, Expands Crypto Custody To Institutional Investors

Boerse Stuttgart subsidiary Blocknox has expanded its crypto custody services to institutional investors, says an announcement made on Tuesday.

Blocknox is already known for offering crypto custody assets services on the escrow basis, but now it has made the same service available to Boerse Stuttgart BISON app’s users and the BSDEX digital assets exchange. The company’s plan is to expand its services even more, behind its own offerings, by safeguarding cryptocurrencies and other types of digital assets for institutional investors, asset managers and banks included.

Blocknox Has Been a Custodian in Germany for Over 1 Year

Talking about Blocknox and its plans, this is what the company’s managing director and Boerse’s chief digital officer, Dr. Ulli Spankowski, had to say:

“As a pioneer in Germany, Blocknox has already been operating as a custodian of cryptocurrencies for more than one year. Now we want institutional clients to benefit from our experience and set-up as well. They can use Blocknox’s reliable custody as a building block for their own services around digital assets.”

Besides, the firm said it already created and deployed a multilevel type of security concept for protecting the assets under its custody.

Blocknox Applying for a Custodian License

Germany has introduced in January new rules for the crypto services providers in the country. Blocknox mentioned it already applied for a license so that it can offer custody services provisionally. Furthermore, it wants to submit a final application before the deadline for becoming a regulated provider of financial services passes.

Spankowski thinks that functioning according to the new rules makes everything more professional in the crypto industry, which can encourage many other institutions to enter the same market. He may be right, as perhaps institutions that haven’t decided to function in the crypto space until now didn’t do it because the regulations were unclear.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Coinbase Custody Becomes First Custodian With SOC 1 and SOC 2 Security Evaluations

The crypto custody subsidiary of major US-based crypto exchange Coinbase has managed to obtain 2 new security evaluations.

As per a press release from February 12, Coinbase Custody got a SOC 1 Type 2 and a SOC 2 Type 2 report from Grant Thornton, a major US-based accounting firm. This means Coinbase Custody is now able to prove that it complies with many of the security and reporting regulatory standards.

What Information Do SOC Reports Provide?

The Grant Thornton official website says that SOC reports provide information on how strong and present the financial, information and operational controls are in an organization. SOC 1 gives information related to the financial reporting of any organization and are intended for auditor-auditor communications.

On the other hand, SOC 2 gives more information about availability, security, privacy, processing integrity and confidentiality. The Type 1 SOC 2 and SOC 2 reports describe the controls’ design, whereas Type 2 reports cover the effectiveness of controls for a testing time period of 6 months.

Coinbase Custody Will Renew Reports

Coinbase Custody has stated that it’s going to renew its reports. The news about the evaluations arrives soon after in January, Coinbase has a established an Ireland identity in order to make its cryptocurrency services available to European institutions. There are other crypto services providers that went to obtain SOC certificates. For example, at the end of January, US-based crypto custodian and exchange Gemini was granted the SOC 2 Type 2 evaluation by Deloitte.

What Does Cryptocurrency Custody Mean?

The greatest advantage of crypto assets is that they can be under independent custody. Institutional investors and financial markets need a higher level of security standards in order to achieve self-custody. Rohan Barde Hai, a researcher for Blockchain Zoo, explained in September last year how important custody solutions are for institutional investors. The more the crypto market is maturing, the more traditional institutions decide to join it.

For instance, after the new Anti-Money Laundering laws have been instated, 40 banks in Germany asked regulators to approve their digital asset custody services, which means the adoption of crypto is on the rise.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Chinese Smartphone Retail Giant Invests In Decentralized Cloud Storage Firm, Monsoon Blockchain

A subsidiary of D.Phone, one of the largest Chinese mobile phone retailers, has made its first steps into the blockchain space by acquiring a minority stake in Monsoon Blockchain, a US startup.

It seems Dixintong Technology Group and Monsoon Blockchain signed the purchase on January 7. The company’s founder and chairman, Donghai Liu, said this will allow Dixintong to explore blockchain-based and other new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G.

Many Phone Companies in China are Exploring the Blockchain Space

Since President Xi Jinping has expressed its support for blockchain technology, many telecommunication services providers in the country have started to be more and more interested in it. For example, China Telecom and China Mobile are now part of the state-backed consortium Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN). More than this, most major Chinese carriers have started to offer cloud services and 5G data plans to their customers. When it comes to the Dixintong project, Liu had this to say about it:

“There will be great potential for blockchain adoption given the support from the Chinese government. That is one of the biggest reasons why we want to form a partnership with Monsoon Blockchain.”

Monsoon Touts an ETH-Based Protocol

Monsoon Blockchain is thinking about running an Ethereum (ETH) – based protocol for smart contracts to have a marketplace for potential clients and cloud service providers. The protocol will be blockchain-based and peer-to-peer. The company has collaborated in the past with Oracle, IBM and Alibaba. With Dixintong, it’s planning to bring more users onto the protocol. Dixintong is not only selling mobile devices, but also data plans and licensed virtual services, so it has access to billions of Chinese users that Monsoon can reach to.

When it comes to Monsoon’s role, this would be to assign unique identities to smartphone users on the blockchain platform, for them to benefit from data services at low costs as a result of the optimized cloud services solution.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Japanese Giants, SBI and GMO, To Mine Cryptocurrencies At Worlds Largest Mining Center In Texas

SBI and GMO will soon start to extract Bitcoin at Whinstone Inc., a Northern Bitcoin AG subsidiary located in Rockdale, Texas.

Northern Bitcoin is the largest crypto mine in the world, but SBI and GMO may help it to get even bigger by bringing in new investors. In the past few years, it has decided to move from mining Bitcoin on its own to operating mines for big investors in order to protect itself from changes in prices. Besides, major leasing contracts are known to increase profits and revenue.

Northern Bitcoin Rockdale Center Operating at a Very Large Capacity

Based in Frankfurt, Northern Bitcoin has last month said its Rockdale data center will initially operate at a 300 megawatts capacity, being scheduled to reach 1 gigawatt by the end of 2020. This means it will have a capacity three times bigger than China’s Bitmain Technologies, which is at the moment the largest crypto mine in the world and located in the former Alcoa Corp building.

Rockdale Is Famous for the Many Crypto Mines It Hosts

Rockdale hosts many crypto miners, not to mention others like the US startup Layer1 are planning to set up site in West Texas. Texas is attractive to crypto enthusiasts because it has renewable and affordable energy. Last year, 20% of its electricity was generated by wind.

While Bitcoin mining used to be very simple in 2009 when the crypto world has just begun, it has now become more complicated, as miners are competing by solving mathematical problems in order to process Bitcoin blockchain transactions and to receive rewards in coins. However, electricity has always been needed for crypto mining, and Texas seems to have plenty.

SBI and GMO Are Notable Investors

SBI and GMO are important Bitcoin investors and mark their entry on the market at a time at which Bitcoin had a very interesting past year, gaining about 95% in spite of its high volatility. While adoption rates are increasing and crypto enthusiasts are migrating to decentralized currencies, analysts and investors are expecting greater gains in the year that has just started.

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Author: Oana Ularu

NEM Ventures Invests in Cyclebit PoS Software To Help Facilitate Payments Using Crypto

NEM Ventures, a subsidiary of NEM blockchain tech, enters into a partnership with Cyclebit, a leading global provider of a platform for retailers and businesses to accept payments in fiat and cryptocurrencies for all sorts of purchases. Cyclebit has been providing its users with an opportunity to make purchases of goods and services using NEM Ventures’ Cryptocurrency XEM since last year. NEM Ventures is set out to launch its Catapult technology in 2020. The Investment project between the two giant companies will see Cyclebit help NEM Ventures grow its Catapult tech in Northern America.

Cyclebit is already a well-established firm in the fiat and crypto payment space. It is globally popular which NEM Ventures can ride on to accomplish its vision of aligning itself with mainstream crypto and enhancing its mass adoption of the crypto tech.

Cyclebit partners with retailers across the world and install Points of Sale (Pos) in different regions allowing consumers to pay for goods and services using the digital assets. This is a transition from the traditional way of payments to the adoption of the digital currencies for payments.

Canadians can pay their taxes using cryptocurrencies and fiat courtesy of Cyclebit. Statistically, with over 200,000 points of sales currently, the company facilitates millions of transactions every month.

Cyclebit has partnered with Tangem, the developer of the pioneer banknote for cryptocurrencies, to launch its digital wallet Cyclebit Wallet early next year. This wallet will facilitate fiat and crypto payments globally. Consumers will also be able to load credit cards with digital assets and to manage their assets from one secure wallet.

The company creates a global community by linking Exchanges, retailers, and consumers. The Canadian company is gradually expanding into new regions and markets. It is planning to launch in Italy, Japan, Germany, the UAE, and Korea from next month.

According to Sameer Pirani, the CEO at Cyclebit, the launch of Catapult tech by NEM Ventures will be a significant move for the industry. The partnership will aid in expanding Cyclebit’s Points of Sale terminals in the world.

NEM Ventures will use the investment to boost the growth of the NEM blockchain tech ecosystem.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Monex Ventures into the US Crypto Market Through Its TradeStation Crypto Subsidiary

A subsidiary of Monex Group, a financial service company based in Japan, TradeStation Group will be launching in the United States as a crypto brokerage company. TradeStation Crypto enters the U.S market to address the current weaknesses and concerns in the crypto ecosystem.

Monex Group has gathered brokerage expertise over the last 18 years since its launch in 2001. The company has been registered in each state to operate a money service enterprise, Money Transmittal License, a platform that will support fiat/crypto and crypto/crypto trading pairs.

Initially, TradeStation Crypto will only support five digital currencies, among them being Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). However, the brokerage company will soon add other crypto digital assets for their customers to trade-in.

TradeStation Crypto exchange platform is based on global integrations that create a large pool of liquidity. With a large liquidity source, the company will be in a position to discover better prices and at the same time, enhance transparency. The company also goes the extra mile to help its clients avoid the long transaction processes associated with the traditional exchanges.

With TradeStation Crypto, investors will not have to pay fees for large volume trades like is the case with other platforms.

“TradeStation Crypto is not just an ordinary crypto exchange like any other. The company focuses on integrating an order-routing system with multiple liquidity pools to offer its clients a better trade execution and visibility.”

The Crypto exchange is an ideal platform for cryptocurrency trading by institutional investors. The platform facilitates secure market data aggregation, execution algos, back-testing, and execution strategies.

Monex has developed a diversified worldwide crypto brokerage portfolio in the cryptocurrency industry. At the beginning of the year, the company launched a crypto unit with the purpose of studying available opportunities in the industry.

Monex targets Institutional investors in the U.S market. The company is planning to develop a firm grip of the cryptocurrency market by building on the over2,000,000 accounts trading in the exchange.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Huobi Argentina, a Subsidiary of China’s Huobi Group, Will Launch a $100 Million Data Center

Huobi Argentina, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese group Huobi in the country, has recently announced that it would invest $100 million USD to go towards creating a new crypto data center in Argentina. The new facility will be focused on blockchain technology and will be one of a kind in terms of size and capacity in the local area.

Carlos Banfi, the executive president of Huobi Argentina, affirmed that the company would make this huge investment to improve the blockchain infrastructure in the country. The current plans of the company are to set up a local team that can help in the creation of a fiat gateway, which can be used to convert the local fiat currency, the Argentine peso (ARG) to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

According to the latest announcement made by the local crypto firm, payments using ARG may be ready in a few weeks before the end of the month if everything goes as smoothly as expected.

Argentina has been dealing with huge inflation for a long time now, which is only smaller than Venezuela’s in Latin America. The current government was not able to solve these issues, so a lot of people are trying to convert their money to other sources to avoid losing it.

In this context, such a data center could be important for people who want to hold their funds in case the inflation gets worse.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Calibra Association’s Kevin Weil: Libra Won’t Spread As Fast As Facebook’s Social Media Network

Kevin Weil, the vice president of products at Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra, has recently talked about the expansion of the main project of the company. According to him, the Libra stablecoin may take years, if not decades, to “catch on”.

He talked about it at the Web Summit, which happened this week in Lisbon, Portugal. Weil said that this is a work that is “worth making”, but it will be very hard and slow to build a real user base for the new digital asset.

Weil also claimed that the Libra Association is still determined to be a successful organization, despite losing some important members recently. He was talking about companies such as PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard, which decided to leave the association during the government crackdown that happened with Libra a few weeks ago.

However, he believes that the members which are still a part of the foundation are very focused on its success. Weil also pointed out that now the Libra Association is more than what it was 18 months ago because of their involvement.

During his presentation, he also affirmed that people won’t be forced to use Calibra’s wallet. Each user will have the freedom to use whatever wallet they like and the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, promised that the social media company will not interfere directly with the digital currency.

Curiously, private Libra wallets are already available. ZenGo, a developer from Israel, for instance, has just launched a wallet compatible with the Libra network a few weeks ago. If this catches on, we’ll probably have a lot of Libra wallets, something that may end up appeasing regulators a bit, as it will take some of the power away from Facebook and the association.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

tZERO Teams Up With Entertainment Financing Startup BLOQ FLIX To Tokenize Films

Overstock’s subsidiary in charge of tokenizing securities, tZERO has partnered with entertainment financing firm BLOQ FLIX to come up with a technology service which will help BLOQ FLIX to tokenize its financing options in the entertainment industry. The partnership means that the tokenization will be done using tZERO’s protocol technology.

According to Yahoo Finance, the partnership dubbed ‘ Blockbuster meets blockchain’ the two companies will create a fresh film financing mechanisms for television, studio initiatives as well as the internet. Through the tZERO tokenization platform, BLOQ FLIX is set to make it easy for investors to take part in the financing process.

tZERO CEO Saum Noursalehi expressed his gratitude on the partnership saying that the two companies will be able to provide secure and innovative investment options to finance film projects. Noursalehi added that his company’s aim is to tokenize as well as trade assets which have the potential to benefit from blockchain technology and the tokenization of film financing is a step towards the realization of tZERO’s goals.

Brandon Hogan and Jonathan Helmuth are BLOQ FLIX’s founders who have immense experience in financing entertainment projects and the duo has managed to raise about $100 million worth of production funds and have directly been involved in more than 150 entertainment projects.

Hogan, who is BLOQ FLIX CEO, has worked in the film industry for more than 25 years. The CEO said that the financing modalities in Hollywood need to evolve and his company is taking the front seat in disrupting how the conventional media is financed. The CEO said that through embracing blockchain technology, the two firms will be able to streamline the film funding process as well as provide access to funding to small studios and producers.

Brokerage firm, JumpStart Securities, will act as the placement agent for the offerings provided by the two firms.

Jonathan Self JumpStart CEO stated that the partnership will allow BLOQ FLIX as well as other investors to change the way media content is financed.

According to CoinDesk, tZERO revealed in July that it was in the process of raising about $40 million in funding for Biopic, owned by Atari founder, together with film production as well as financing firm Vision Tree.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Overstock Blockchain Company tZero Launches New Security Token ‘TZROP’

tZero, the blockchain subsidiary of Overstock, the retail giant, has recently launched its TZROP tokens, which will be equity security tokens. With the token, the holders will have a way to get profits from the company.

What is more interesting is that the token will be available for both accredited and non-accredited investors, meaning that people who are not rich will also get a shot for investing in the new crypto product.

If you hold the tokens, you will get 10% of the company’s profit quarterly. The 10% will be equally divided by all the tokens and people will get an equivalent amount of money. The idea is that this could put small investors in touch with the profits of the company.

However, in order to really sell the tokens, the company is still awaiting the final approval, which will need to pass the Board of Directors and the law requirements of the state of Delaware.

Interestingly, the dividends can be paid not only in USD but also with cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

tZERO’s CEO Saum Noursalehi affirmed that the new security token is an important milestone in order to turn the capital market into something more democratic. According to him, non-accredited investors are generally not able to be a part of these investments, which excludes them from the market.

With this new offering, he believes that the market will continue to be properly regulated at the same time that more people will be able to invest in it. This will create more liquidity for everybody and also more wealth to people who simply were not able to invest in this profitable market before.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team