On Friday

There are a number of companies that are working on projects to tokenise Real Estate as it is believed that using a Digital Asset, they can offer fractional ownership (a share/a unit) of a property or a property fund.

The ability to trade tokenised property 24/7 on an exchange is touted as a way to improve liquidity for the property sector. Investing in property tends to be for the very wealthy or for institutional investors, given property values and the illiquid nature of buying and selling buildings and the fact that investors tend to buy and hold real estate for a number of years. 
Asset managers have for years offered ‘funds’ to encourage investors to gain exposure to the property sector, but often these funds have restrictions when you come to sell and this can result in some of them trading at a discount to their actual value of the properties they hold. 
Swiss firm Blockimmo now claim to be the first in Europe to launch tokenised real estate. If Real Estate tokenisation does create greater liquidity and allow 24/7 trading so attracting new investors, we will likely soon see tokenisation of existing real estate portfolios, raising new funds to invest in this asset class.

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Real Estate
https://150sec.com/swiss-startups-pioneer-euro...ale/10687/

On Thursday

Marseilles, the Mediterranean’s second busiest port and Frances largest, is using Blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of its supply chains and the way it handles freight and goods, looking at how it can make better use and share data in a highly secure manner. 

A number of ports are now using Blockchain technology, IBM and Maersk have a system that involves a number of organizations that are able to track in real time shipping data and shipping documentation. 
Meanwhile, Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, has a Blockchain initiative with bank ABN Amro and Samsung as they look at how to make the shipping of containers more efficient. Currently, there is an average of 28 different organizations involved in transport of one container from China to Europe. 
Shipping containers account for over 66% of all goods transported globally and the items they transport are valued at over $4 trillion worth of goods p.a. so efficiencies can make a huge impact. 

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Logistics And Supply Chain
Supply Chain
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/french-governm...ics-pilot/

On Wednesday

The German government has issued a paper laying out how it wishes to encourage the spread of Blockchain businesses and “electronic instruments “ i.e. Digital Assets.

They want to ensure that investors are protected while expanding Germany’s global role - so that they’re not left behind in these sectors. 
Interestingly, German firm Naga was the first publicly listed company in Europe to carry out an Initial Coin Offering ( ICO), in 2017 when it raised Euros 40m from over 50,000 investors.
This announcement from the German government comes hot on the heels of its financial regulator, BaFin confirming that they have approved BitBond to issue Digital Bonds. This will be Europe’s first fully regulated Security Token. Bitbond has already issued $15m of loans and its platform has over 165,000 registered users. So like Naga seems to be attracting considerable interest from investors. 
The issuing of bonds using Blockchain technology is believed to be able to reduce the associated costs by over 60% so ought to enable smaller companies to be able to offer bonds creating an alternative source of finance. 
If issuing bonds using Blockchain technology is successful in reducing costs and allowing SMEs to issues bonds, then the Peer To Peer (P2P) lending market could face new competition. The P2P market is expected to grow to nearly $900 Billion by 2024. 

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
ICO
Security Token
Digital Assets
https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/internatio...egulations

On Tuesday

Yes, $2 Trillion was laundered by regulated banks last year according to a recent report, yet banks remain resistant to offer banking services to firms involved in Cryptos.

Despite claims that 90% of all US$ banknotes have traces of Cocaine on them, banks and regulators still believe those in our society that want to carry out nefarious activities are using Crypto, not cash. But why would someone carrying out a criminal activity want to use a form of payment that leaves a digital footprint - a Crypto, when cash leaves no traces and banks seem to still be accommodating these activities?
Since 2008 banks have been fined over $26Billion JUST for KYC/AML non-compliance, with the USA regulator being the most active. While in Europe the UK’s FCA has imposed the largest number of fines. It is no surprise that many claim the current system needs to change, and while it was refreshing to see the FCA being proactive creating the FCA sandbox in 2016 where it allows regulated companies to trial new technology, which hopefully can improve the robustness of the financial system, more recent moves have called their ongoing commitment to innovation into question.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Crypto
Cryptocurrency
https://www.btcwires.com/c-buzz/regulated-banks...-adoption/

On Monday

Specialist financial instruments exchange, Drive, has announced they are now offering institutional clients access to spot prices, CFDs and Futures in a selection of Cryptocurrencies.

This ought to help provide greater liquidity and acceptance among institutional investors as it enables them to easily go long or short of a variety of Cryptocurrencies via a platform that they are already using, so gain exposure to Digital Assets by osmosis.

The pronouncement from SEC Chair Clayton has confirmed that certain cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, are not securities and has provided the clarity many have been seeking. Which ought to assist lawyers, insurance underwriters and compliance departments at asset management firms as to where and how these Digital Assets can be used.

Meanwhile, back in main street in the US, or as some would say in the UK for ‘Joe Public’, of those that own Digital Assets like Bitcoin less than 40% said they were happy to use Cryptos for payments. So while adoption of Digital Assets is increasing there is still a long way to go before we see cryptos replacing cash…

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Financial Services
Digital Assets
https://www.leaprate.com/forex/institutional/dr...th-gold-i/

Last Friday

Sam Palmisano, the retired chairman of IBM in a recent interview on Bloomberg said it is hard to come up with a good solution for creating public blockchains which are fully compatible with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in Europe

Blockchains are immutable, so once data has been added it cannot be changed or removed, which is in direct conflict with GDPR.

Palmisano believes that because private blockchain has more centralization, ought to be more compliant, but because public blockchains are very decentralized they struggle to be compliant with GDPR.

Queen Marys and Cambridge Universities have also raised similar concerns. A possible solution is to ensure that Blockchains do not hold personal/ private data so this information would be held off chain where such data could be removed or changed if required at some stage in the future.

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Regulatory
https://readwrite.com/2019/03/04/how-can-blockc...compliant/

Last Thursday

Alibaba, the world’s biggest FinTech company, which is capitalized at over $453Billion is planning to use Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) for its vast international logistics and supply chains.

Alibaba has been experimenting with Blockchain for a while with its Food Trust Framework as it tries to improve transparency, help customers track goods and ensure their authenticity. Using QR codes customers will be able to scan a good and have greater certainty over a product's provenance.

Given Alibaba’s distribution and financial clout, one wonders how long it will be before they launch the AliCoin as a possible way to encourage and reward customers in some form of loyalty scheme. An AliCoin could then be exchanged for goods and services as Alibaba continues its expansion into banking and financial services with Alipay.

 

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Fintech
IOT
Logistics And Supply Chain
Supply Chain
https://www.businesstelegraph.co.uk/alibaba-loo...nge-guide/

Last Wednesday

BlockFi, who raised over $54million last year has launched a high-interest account paying 6% p.a. if they hold your Bitcoin or Ethereum assets.

The reason they can pay such high-interest rates is because they lend out your Crypto to other institutions but more importantly, your Digital Assets are held by a custodian independent of BlockFi called Gemini Trust Company. Gemini was co-founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services.

This new way to hold Cryptocurrencies is another example of how the traditional and the Digital worlds are converging, as BlockFi are offering in effect an instant-access, high-interest account to depositors while providing institutional asset lending facilities. Because the transactions are stored on a Blockchain there are fewer intermediaries involved, it is secured using military-grade security and not reliant on one company’s server/computer as the records will be distributed thus reducing concerns over disaster recovery.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Bitcoin
Blockchain
Cryptocurrency
Financial Services
https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/03/06/highest-yiel...-interest/

2 Weeks Ago

Nivaura has secured $20m of fresh capital, with investors including The London Stock Exchange (LSE), Santander and the law firm Allen and Overy. LSE will also have one of their staff joining the Nivaura board.

Nivaura was the first company in the world in 2017 to issue a bond for a client using a Blockchain while in the UK FCA Sandbox and they claim that the time needed to issue bonds could be reduced by 60% by using Blockchain technology. They have recently been followed by BVVA in Spain who issued a bond using Blockchain technology to raise $160m.

If it proves to be so much cheaper to access the debt markets using Blockchains then bonds could become an option for SMEs to raise capital, which in turn could be competition for the Peer 2 Peer lenders...

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Capital Markets
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo...1d0d146e46
Guy Hirsch, Managing rector of eToro U.S., sees the increased interest and investments in Digital Assets as a clear “generation shift."

He stated via press release: “we’re seeing the beginning of a generational shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to crypto exchanges. At the heart of this change are the asset classes themselves.

Younger investors’ experience with the stock market has seen a great deal of loss of trust, with the fall of Lehman brothers...” One of the benefits of people investing in digital assets is that companies can know who their actual shareholders are and so have a relationship with them, and reward so offer them shareholder perks e.g. discounts off goods and services. This is almost impossible when shares are held as they currently are, in nominee structures.

Potentially companies could have no need for share registrars saving them money, as shareholders records can be updated in Real Time, which in turn would help regulators know who owns what which at the moment is impossible for a listed quoted company.

#FrontierInsights
Asset Management
Blockchain
Crypto
Digital Currency
Investment
Regulators
https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-is-the-gateway-drug...illennials

3 Weeks Ago

Signature bank of New York has announced that it is now offering bank accounts for businesses based in Bermuda that deal in Digital Assets.

There are believed to be over 60 companies that initially this will be of great assistance to, as despite the Bermuda government changing it’s law no locally based bank offer accounts in the Crypto sector. However, Signature bank claims that they are signing up companies that are also not involved with Cryptos.

The lack of banking facilities is a major hurdle facing businesses that deal in Digital Assets globally as it is extremely difficult to get a bank account in many jurisdictions around the world.

In the UK Clearbank  which is the first bank in over 250 years to be granted clearing bank status, is one of the is one of the few banks to offer bank accounts to firms engaged in Digital Assets but the company needs to be FCA regulated or in the process of applying to the FCA to be accepted by Clearbank.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Blockchain
Crypto
Digital Currency
https://coinfomania.com/signature-bank-services...n-bermuda/
This rather punchy heading was in a report from Deloitte when they analysed the potential impact Blockchain could have on the second largest mutual fund market in the world.

The ability for Blockchain’s to increase transparency reduce the number of intermediaries - transfer agencies, custodians, settlement agents, administrators, fund accounting etc to reduce the cost of managing your savings and pension funds.

It is rather ironic that regulators like SEC and governments have been very cautious about using Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies due to the risks that they may present. However, it could be compliance that drives greater adoption, as they realize the cost savings, improved resilience (as data is not held in one location), greater transparency and being able to treat customers fairly. Digital assets that are able to track who owns what in Real Time and to be able to the calculate dividends, interest payments and rental income entitlement based on the number of minutes one holds an investment, not to mention being able to trade 24/7 are all highly attractive advantages that Blockchain technology and Digital Assets offer the mutual fund industry.

Indeed one survey last year claimed costs savings could be $1.9Billion globally, having index funds that automatically adjust and manage themselves, having funds that manage themselves using Smart Contracts and funds that could be priced and traded continually are just some of the changes that are coming...

#FrontierInsights
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/...bution.pdf
Banco BTG Pactual is to launch a Digital Asset linked to distressed Real Estate and aims to raise $15m.

BTG will pay investors a share of the rental income from the property and expects the returns to be approximately 15% p.a. BTG claim they decided to launch the token as Crypto investors are looking for high-risk investments. The bank is going to provide liquidity using their own capital and at $15m is a  sign this large Brazilian bank is just putting a toe in the water to test the appetite for this type of offer.

#FrontierInsights
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02...cked-token
OKEX, based in Malta, is seeing strong growth in Crypto derivate trades as they do more business with institutions.

OKEX offers risk management tools for those wish to trade the crypto market so one potentially can avoid losses as a result of extreme volatility of prices by taking positions in various crypto derivatives.

However, with Cryptos prices falling as well as rising at short notice coupled with up to 100x leverage these services surely are for organisations and traders who are fully aware of the risks and potential profits in this evolving asset class!

#FrontierInsights
https://www.institutionalassetmanager.co.uk/201...two-months
KPMG has been active in the Blockchain sector for a while, recently publishing a report on the three big areas for institutions to explore blockchain and now have unveiled a tie-up with software security firm Guardtime.

The Blockchain platform that Guardtime have developed is currently being used by the Dutch government, the mobile telecom firm Virizon, China Food Cloud and other organisations around the world. The alliance will enable KPMG and Guardtime to help companies address some of the complex challenges in supply chain, data rights management, compliance procurement, finance, identity management, cloud audit, and security.

"Our alliance with Guardtime gives clients access to a secure digital platform," said Arun Ghosh, KPMG's National Blockchain leader. "KPMG's deep business and technical experience along with Guardtime's blockchain platform drives business transformation in areas that are encumbered with manual processes and where data accuracy, trust, and security are paramount."

So, KPMG is looking to offer in strategic advice on how Blockchain technology can be used to solve day to day challenges in a highly commercial manner so generating revenue for implementing Blockchain in what could be seen as a “plug and play solution”.

#FrontierInsights
https://economia.icaew.com/news/february-2019/k...specialist

4 Weeks Ago

Musk this week while being interviewed claimed “Bitcoin’s structure is quite brilliant, but it would not be a good use of Tesla resources to get involved in crypto”

Musk knows a thing or two about money transfers, having been a leading light at PayPal, so he is better placed than most to understand the costs and limitations that traditional payments systems face. Musk also said, “Paper money is going away and crypto is a much better value for a transfer of value than pieces of paper, but, it's very energy intensive to create bitcoin at this point."

Elon Musk, while controversial, has a keen eye for disrupting industries: look at what he has done with solar power, launching satellites and of course electric cars, so it is unlikely to ignore Blockchain technology...

#FrontierInsights
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKeK68wK0UQ

3 Weeks Ago

Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), found 19% of the institutions they interviewed claim they will be investing in Digital Assets by 2021.

Sandra Ro, CEO of the GBBC, said that “by 2027, crypto and Digital Assets would consist of at least 10 percent of the global GDP”. Interestingly 40% of companies surveyed consider the invention of blockchain technology as the most important technological innovation since the invention of the internet. Although it also discovered over 63% of executives believe that a lack of understanding of what blockchain technology can offer is THE feature holding back wider adoption.

#FrontierInsights
https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/596d1089592fec0...%20(1).pdf