New Blockchain Alliance By Chinese Authorities Aims to Improve Trade Finance

  • China is almost ready to release their national digital currency, which has been in development for five years.
  • Chinese President Jinping has voiced public support for the progress of blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology is continually finding itself in different use cases, and the municipal Shanghai government is setting out to improve the use of this fintech for global trade. The collaboration is between the authorities and financial institutions, establishing an alliance that will improve the operations for trade finance. According to reports by The Block and Global Times, the members of the alliance presently include (but are not limited to) the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, Shanghai Customs, the People’s Bank of China, and the Bank of Communications.

Ye Jian, a general administration official at Shanghai Customs, stated,

“This is the first blockchain application project in customs. China upholds multilateral trade and constantly improves its business environment by seeking technological innovation.”

There are already multiple free trade zones in China that have applied blockchain technology, allowing them to reduce the cost and speed of operations, while offering digital trading options.

In China, blockchain has been a popular technology, especially considering the public support from President Xi Jinping for it. Jinping stated China should be taking on a leading position in its ongoing development. Following five years of ongoing research and development, China is almost prepared to launch their own government-based digital currency.

As far as blockchain technology, Qi Hong of the China Construction Bank Shanghai branch says that the tech is still in an early phase of experimentation.

He added,

“We now use blockchain in sporadic financial products instead of the whole finance industry chain, and the public doesn’t have a sound understanding of the technology when it comes to financing. But I think the government’s call for blockchain construction will help push the technology’s application in a more comprehensive way.”

Yesterday, Hong Kong established a partnership with mainland China for a blockchain project that will help with trade finance operations.

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Author: Krystle M

Elrond (ERD) Token Added to Samsung Blockchain Wallet

  • Samsung recently added TRON to the other tokens offered in their wallet.
  • The partnership between these companies is “mutually beneficial.”

Samsung launched their blockchain wallet earlier this year, and there are already new tokens being added. In an exclusive reveal to TheBlock yesterday, Elrond (ERD) token announced that they have been integrated into the Samsung wallet, stating that the collaboration between the two entities is “mutually beneficial.”

Samsung users will now have access to the Elrond network’s token and dApps. Furthermore, Elrond has the benefit of being exposed to the Samsung audience, which covers millions of users that may not have been introduced to the token already. Presently, a single ERD token is worth less than a penny.

Right now, the first dApp to be released by Elrond hasn’t been announced, but the platform says that a consumer app will be the first one, and it will be available at the Samsung app store. The blockchain network’s focus right now is on performance and usability, as Elrond states that it is “ready to go live with a Layer 1 solution which brings a 1,000-fold improvement over existing blockchains.”

Presently, Bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and the Aergo token are all supported by the Samsung blockchain wallet. TRON recently was added to Samsung as well, allowing developers to take advantage of the TRON blockchain as they offer new applications through Samsung’s smartphones.

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Author: Krystle M

New Blockchain Pilot Will Tackle ‘Where is the Beef’ Question by Tracking and Verifying Origins

Wong supermarket has unveiled a pilot project that will enable their consumers to scrutinize and scan the origin of meat products. Wong supermarket is a Peruvian chain that is owned by the giant retail store in Chile, Cencosud.

The app is developed following a great partnership between the subsidiary for Citizens Reserve, SUKU, and Cencosud. SUKU is a supply chain company that is based in Silicon Valley, and the pioneers come from the Lab for Deloitte Blockchain.

This consumer-facing app is going to include Quorum. Quorum is a back-end enterprise-level blockchain for J.P. Morgan.

The new platform is expected to be availed in 20 distinct Wong stores, and it will also put into consideration all meat products that bear the SUKU logo. And just as the K emblem tells the Jewish customers that the product was inspected by a rabbi is the same way any commodity carrying the SUKU logo will imply that it has been tracked from its origin to the shelf.

With Wong’s technology, you can visit the supply blockchain history and have comprehensive coverage of the history of the meat. Jonathan Lapchik, the SUKU CEO, unveiled to CoinDesk that their technology has a huge potential in applications for the consumer goods market globally.

He said,

“You have a large group of consumers that want to buy sustainability, and want to buy transparent products from brands. But they don’t do it today – they don’t trust what the brands are saying. There’s a $1 trillion market sitting there for companies and brands to take if they can speak the same language as those consumers do.”

The animal’s health from where the meat comes from is tracked and stored in the new system, and anyone can have access to that information.

Many customers trusted Wong, according to Lima Chamber of Commerce, but things seemed to change after Chile’s Cencosud in 2007 bought the chain. The introduction of this new system is seen as a way to bring back the initial trust of the consumers.

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Author: Daniel W

China Authorities Arrest 6 People Related to GGP Crypto Scam (Global win-win Token)

Six people were recently charged by the Chinese police for their connection to a crypto scam. According to the reports from local media outlets, the police of the Jiangsu Province believes that these six fraudsters conned around 10,900 investors. They were able to get around $45 million USD from them.

The investors were led to believe that they were making a significant profit from their activities, but the money never appeared. The scam started around 2015 when the victims were told to invest in GGP “Global Win-win Token”. They would then use these digital investments in an online trading platform.

This scam was successful because it fooled the investors into making a trial investment and then promised to give them high returns after they invested more in it. The scammers even created a fake site that would show their returns.

Everything was fake, though. The company, the site, the tools, even the coin. One of the reasons why they managed to be able to do it was because they had actual experts in the financial industry as part of the team. The operation was very professional and well done.

They also used the blockchain buzzword. Not everybody in China is familiar with the term, so they made it seem like something revolutionary and used forums and propaganda to get the attention of people.

Now, however, the police were finally able to arrest the scammers and they will be charged for organizing a Ponzi scheme and for fraud. With the high number of people that were scammed, they will very likely be condemned for the crime.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Derivatives Trading Support Now Available on Updated Bitfinex Mobile App

Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange, has made announcements of optimizations to their application and also the latest updates.

The trading platform presented the latest version of their application Bitfinex on Oct. 11. It includes derivatives trading support and in-app access to the Bitfinex Reports 2.0. This latest version is said to assist a lot in terms of information passage via the users and support. The update will enhance smooth trading activities and better service provision to the users.

The newest version of the mobile application for the cryptocurrency exchange is version 3.19.3. It has support for derivatives, which include charts, pairs, order history, and position, and the order form that has a leverage slider.

The traders and users of this updated app are now enabled to gain access to the site via an in-app browser to the Bitfinex’s Reports 2.0. The users can be able to compile a summary of their account information instantly. Their account details can be displayed here and as far back as to when the account was opened.

Bitfinex said that their client base suggested the changes and updates. Their client base also indicated that the firm should also enhance optimization to the Bitfinex cryptocurrency app. The initial version was launched in October 2018. It has been receiving several improvements, updates, and bug fixes since then.

Law Suit against Bitfinex

According to earlier reports by Cointelegraph, a New York-based company had gone to court to file a complaint against Bitfinex. The firm accused Bitfinex of cryptocurrency market manipulation.

It alleges that Bitfinex was involved in money laundering activities for personal gains. The lawsuit had it that stablecoin firm and an affiliate crypto exchange were involved in manipulating markets. It is also said that the two were engaging in activities that defrauded investors and concealed illicit proceeds.

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Author: Daniel W

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

Australian Taxation Office Forecasts Collecting $3 Billion In Tax Fines From Crypto Traders in 2019

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is officially starting to go after crypto traders who did not pay their taxes this year. According to the office, people who did not file for their crypto earnings are expected to pay $3 billion AUD in fines.

With the price of crypto going up this year, many people will be expected to pay on their crypto gains. The government is set to partner with both international and local crypto trading platforms to discover if people are not filing their taxes.

Many people believe that crypto transactions are untraceable, which is not the truth. In fact, they are very easy to track with the right software and the government can do it to discover who is evading its tax responsibilities.

Bulk data will be collected from exchanges to identify who is paying their taxes and who is not. Around 4% of the people in Australia have owned crypto at least once.

Now, the government believes that a lot of people did not report their earnings, so they will need to pay their taxes plus the fines, which can be very high in some cases. In the most severe cases, people can even go to jail for not paying their taxes if they are believed to be omitting them consciously.

When declaring crypto taxes, it is important to remember to pass all the important information to the government in order to avoid fines. Declaring even losses is a good idea, as the losses can be used as discounts for profitable trades.

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Author: James W

Binance Exchange Users Can Now Buy 5 Cryptos Using Debit Or Credit Cards via Koinal Partnership

The users of the largest crypto exchange Binance can now buy five cryptocurrencies through their debit or credit cards. The payment processing will be done by Koinal.

Through a blog post, the crypto exchange stated that its customers can purchase five major cryptocurrencies using either Visa or MasterCard debit as well as credit cards.

Through the payment processing firm Koinal, clients will be able to purchase Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC).

According to the press release shared with us, the payment processing company asks for 2.5% on every transaction. The bought digital asset will arrive in Binance wallet averagely after five to twenty minutes after the completion of the transaction.

As per the blog post, the payment processor Koinal must adhere to domestic bank policies. Due to these local requirements or policies, the service will not be available in most countries. Currently, Koinal services are not available in various countries like the United States, China, Russia, Taiwan, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, among others.

While announcing the new service, Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, commonly referred to as CZ, said that the new service will go a long way in enhancing mainstream adoption of cryptos. According to CZ, the new service will make it easier for users to convert fiat to cryptos which is essential in enhancing mainstream adoption. CZ explained that as the crypto market continues to grow, there is a need to come with solutions to bridge the fiat and crypto worlds.

The recent agreement with Koinal means that Binance now has four such partnerships. In the recent past, the crypto exchange had teamed up with Simplex, TrustToken as well as Paxos for fiat solutions.

Simplex, a payment processing company operating in Israel, supports the purchase of BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP as well as Binance’s native coin BNB. customers can utilize either Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards. Customers have to part with fee of either 3.5% on every transaction or $10 whatever is higher.

Paxos as well as TrustToken solutions are bank transfer based solutions. Through Paxos customers can purchase Binance USD (BUSD) as well as Paxos stablecoins. On the other hand, using TrustToken customers can only buy TrueUSD (TUSD).

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Privacy Coins Monero, Zcash, & Dash Slump as Existential Threat Looms

Privacy coins are facing a threat to their existence as the regulatory noose tightens.

Monero, Zcash, Dash, are some popular privacy-focused cryptocurrencies that obfuscate transactions, making it harder for exchanges and custodians to comply with the new international guidelines aimed toward preventing illicit financing.

Delisting Spree

Earlier this week, crypto exchange OKEx delisted five privacy coins viz. Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Horizen (ZEN), and super bitcoin (SBTC).

The exchange will remove support for these coins on October 10, while withdrawal services will end on Dec. 10.

The reason behind the same is a violation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF’s) “travel rule.”

In June, the FATF issued the final guideline on cryptocurrencies that requires exchanges to collect and transfer customer information, including account number, location, beneficiary’s name, and account number, during transactions.

Because privacy-oriented coins do not allow collecting such information, the exchange ended the support for the coins.

Before OKEx, UK-based crypto exchange CEX.io delisted privacy coins Zcash and Dash on the account of “global regulatory and compliance developments.”

Coinbase UK also removed support for Zcash but that move was likely to do with its new banking partner ClearBank.

Most recently, another Korean exchange, Upbit announced that it will stop providing support for Monero, Dash, Zcash, Haven, PIVX, and Bittube, starting Sept. 20.

A Fundamental Right

However, the developer team behind these privacy coins say they can be in full compliance with FATF’s rules.

While Monero shows no history of transactions, it has a “view keys” feature. Meanwhile, Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group said, “Dash is identical to Bitcoin and is 100% capable of meeting the requirements.”

In this privacy coin delisting spree, Binance has been adding support for them, the latest one at its lending business.

“Do you think privacy is a fundamental right?”

Changpeng Zhao, Binance founder said at that time.

Prices Take a Hit

According to Coincodex, delisting has been hurting the prices of these coins.

“It’s certainly seen as creating a huge hurdle to the existence of privacy coins,”

Jesse Spiro, the head of policy at crypto investigative firm Chainalysis Inc told Bloomberg this week.

In the past 3 months, Zcash went from $117 to $44, seeing a loss of over 62% while currently trading at $46.39.

During the same period, Dash prices tumbled from $190 to $79 but recently gained momentum and climbed above $90, still down more than 50%.

As for Monero, in June it was trading around $115 that started September below $70 and is currently trading around this level only.

Spiro anticipates more exchanges to drop privacy coins while Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca said,

“There is a good chance many will be delisted and liquidity will dry up.”

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Author: AnTy

Arthur Hayes Says Emerging Digital Finance Might Force The Way Traders Take Breaks

One of the biggest differences between fiat and crypto exchanges is their availability for trading. Traditional exchanges have their own trading sessions, with few providing 24-hour access. This means that you can only transact within certain timeframes with no trading during state holidays or even weekends in most cases.

Talking about this to Bloomberg, the CEO of BitMex remarked:

“Some of the practices in our market are going to be mimicked in traditional trading […] All these things about being somewhere and trading something and physically reconciling records is all going to go out the window. Once you get away from that and understand that everything will be digital in the next 10 years, you realize that Bitcoin isn’t such a strange idea.”

This means that events that occur in real life outside of these timeframes have no instant impact on the market. Only at the next trading session will this influence be reflected (or not). This means that your last transactions made before the closing of the exchange may contradict the new trend that will be played at the opening.

Hayes also said that crypto is definitely not a threat to sovereign currencies, and actually would make things better for governments because they can track things better in their native currencies, which they can’t do with physical cash.

Crypto exchanges work 24/7 and instantly react to any event. So if you are fast enough, you can make profits via the news. But it also means that you should be online almost all the time, or you risk missing out on opportunities. In this case, you will need to take some steps towards preventing the loss.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha