A Year Ago

Why would Walmart want to get involved in all the hassle of launching its Digital Currency given the furore?

Congressional hearings and backlash Facebook has endured on the back of it announcing that it is going to launch its Digital Currency? Well, maybe the Walmart directors felt they have no choice.

Directors of companies have a fiduciary responsibility to look after the interests of their shareholders, and therefore, it could be argued they need to make sure they continually appraise how their company can be more profitable. As an article in Forbes highlighted, if you assume that 23% of Walmart’s $515 billion of sales are executed via a credit card, its credit card fees are substantial.

If the cost for a retailer to accept a credit card is 1% to 3%, but we assume a cost of only 1%, then potentially it could be argued for Walmart this equates to $1.1billion p.a. This $1 billion cost could be saved if its customers used a Walmart digital currency instead of a credit card, increasing Walmart’s profits by 30%.

If you look at Tesco and Sainsbury’s here in the UK, assuming that 23% of their sales are via credit cards and the costs of using credit cards are removed by introducing a digital currency, the potential profit increases for each of these retailers are equally impressive. Tesco could potentially see profits rise by 17.9% and Sainsbury’s profit could increase by 16.2%.

Other firms which have substantial credit card transactions are Exon Mobile, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, all of whom have substantial retail sales on their forecourts as well as selling fuel. Coupled with this are the online retailers such as Amazon, Alibaba, etc, which will be watching with interest how digital currencies are embraced worldwide.

Surely directors have a fiduciary responsibility to be asking how much their company could save if they issued their digital currency.


Digital Currency
It was never going to be long before multinationals copied Facebook and looked to launch their Digital Currency, and this looks like what the giant retailer Walmart is about to do.

Walmart has filed a patent to have a US$ pegged stablecoin that would potentially be useable in its 4,700 stores worldwide. Walmart has revenues for 12 months up to the end of April 2019 of over $515 billion, therefore the potential savings in banking charges could be massive.

Surely it is a case of who and when will be the next to launch their Digital currency, those expanding the adoption of Digital assets and continue to undermine the role and significance of the banks.


Digital Currency
Libra. The new Facebook coin will be pegged to a basket of different currencies i.e. Yen, $, £, € etc. 

Facebook is looking to establish a foundation to oversee the governance, by selling positions to 100 different organisations which will be on the governing body, which itself, will oversee the Digital Asset. According to Blockcrypto, the initial members will all pay $10million and include:  Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe, Visa Inc., Booking Holdings, eBay, Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, MercadoLibre, Spotify, Uber, Iliad SA, Vodafone, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Xapo, Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, and Women's World Banking.
Interestingly, the majority of the above-proposed members have millions of users already as customers. Presumably, one of the conditions of being a member is that Libra will be accepted and usable by the customers of the governing board members, so further increasing the adoption and acceptance of this new Digital Currency. It is notable that the organisations that are missing are Airbnb, with over 150 million members globally, no airlines, no retailers, no car companies, no Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies (FMCF) - Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, and no oil companies (with their thousands of petrol stations all over the world!)
Unsurprisingly, there are also no banks since Facebook’s coin will potentially take revenue from them if it is a success - nor are  Amazon, Apple, Nike, Alibaba, or Google have agreed to fund Facebook and pay $10million each, they all are watching how Libra is embraced by consumers and regulators before they launch their own Digital currency.
I suspect that the vice president of Amazon, Patrick Gaulthier, will regret what he recently  said: “Amazon would only consider discussing the creation of its own Cryptocurrency like Facebook’s Libra in several years’ time”
The ability to be able to buy and sell goods globally (without the need to use banks) and so undercut the current costs and charges levied by financial institutions, potentially make Digital Currencies very attractive, especially if you have a global brand - with 2.4 billion customers- like Facebook. By pegging Libra to a basket of currencies, as opposed to just the US $, ought to make this Digital Asset even more attractive.
In a message to investors, RBC managing director Mark Mahaney wrote: “We believe this may prove to be one of the most important initiatives in the history of the company to unlock new engagement and revenue streams.” He goes on to say that “himself and the rest of the RBC team suspect that Facebook will integrate Libra into payments, e-commerce, apps, and gaming. With the Libra launch around the corner, RBC is placing a $250 price tag on Facebook’s stock”.
Facebook, according to the Guardian newspaper “is looking at paying users fractions of a coin for activities such as viewing ads and interacting with content related to online shopping, in a system similar to the loyalty schemes run by retailers.”
I do not think we should underestimate this last comment from the Guardian as, in effect, Facebook, which has for years used its customers’ data without paying them, and then sold it to...

Digital Currency
Social Media
The United Nations, in 1996, established the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).

UN/CEFACT was mandated to find ways to improve global coordination and cooperation in trade facilitation and electronic business standards.

Its main priority continues to encourage interoperability: simplifying the exchange of information up and down the supply chain, including commercial and governmental processes. TradeLens has tried to digitise the written standards that UN/CEFACT created, as it has striven to harness Blockchain technology to bring greater traceability and transparency to international shipping of goods. It processes over 10 million shipping events on a weekly basis.

The challenges of interoperability are considerable for those involved in global logistics when different players in a supply chain cannot agree on different definitions. An example of this is when shippers, carriers, and customs authorities continue to rely on paper documents simply because their computers can’t talk to each other! Having agreed standards and definitions enables humans and computers to operate on “the same page”, to help improve the efficiency of container shipping, global trade, and world economies.

French shipping firm, CMA CGM Group, and the Swiss shipping line, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), have recently announced that they are joining TradeLens’ Blockchain-powered shipping platform to help improve their supply chain logistics.“Digital collaboration is key to the evolution of the container shipping industry. The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitize the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards,” reported André Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC.

TradeLens has been developed by AP Moller Maersk and IBM, using IBM’s Blockchain expertise. Maersk was established in 1906 and is one of the world’s largest shipping firms. This is another interesting example of “collaborative capitalism” - one company develops a Blockchain platform and then allows what have historically been its competitors to use the same platform.

Tradelens now has over 100 companies using its platform, giving
shippers, carriers, freight forwarders, customs officials, port authorities, inland transportation providers, and others a complete view of their respective data. It also allows participants to digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world. The platform aims to improve the efficiency and trust across the global supply chains, to make them more transparent and secure in order to foster greater collaboration.

As with a number of examples where Blockchain technology is increasingly being used, the end customer will not be aware, nor do they need to know anything about the technology that is being harnessed by multinational organisations to improve business’ efficiency.

TradeLens is also a good example illustrating how Blockchains can be used to handle large amounts of data globally by many different independent parties, who in the past have had very little co-operation between them since they are often in competition with each other.

Digital Currency
Logistics And Supply Chain
The Bank of England has been working with a number of FinTech companies exploring possible uses for Blockchain technology, as it looks at possible solutions to upgrade the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) platform.

CHAP processes £500 billion a day as it transfers money between banks in the UK. It was first introduced in 1984 but, at a cost of £35 per transaction, cheaper, faster and more efficient alternatives are being researched.

One of the firms that the Bank of England has been working with is Clearmatics, which raised $12million last year, and now Reuters has reported that a consortium of some of the world’s largest banks are looking to invest a further $50 million into Clearmatics.

Clearmatics has been working on a project which aims to create a more efficient clearing and settlements platform and hopes to have it running by 2020.

BNY Mellon, ICAP, Deutsche Bank, and Santander all joined UBS bank and Clearmatics on the “utility settlement coin” (USC) project. Clearmatics founder, Robert Sams, said: “USC is as a form of digital cash that is fully backed by cash assets at the central bank.” It is understood USC would be like a “central bank-backed cash digital equivalent” that would run on a platform powered by Blockchain Technology, i.e. it would be convertible at parity and backed by cash assets held at a central bank. Therefore, using the USC would be the same as spending the fiat currency it would be paired with. However, in order to be successful, the USC project will need to have multiple central bank approval and prove that it can be scalable to handle potentially millions of transactions securely and accurately on a daily basis. This potentially will require different jurisdictions to agree on the legal compliance and potential tax treatment for this Digital Asset, which could pave the way to help others adopt Digital Assets.

Meanwhile, The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBoB) is looking to launch its own digital currency by 2020, as the bank has announced that it has selected a company called NIZA to provide the technical expertise for its digital currency. The CBoB’s aim is to have a digital currency, so enabling its citizens and businesses to have an affordable electronic payment system and to have cheaper, easier access to global markets.

In Sweden, where the use of cash is the lowest in Europe as more and more people use credit and debit cards, the Swedish Riksbank believes that an e-krona (a state-backed national currency using Blockchain technology) could be a promising and reliable substitute. But Riksbank is not rushing to introduce this asset to the general public in the short term. These are clear examples of how Digital currencies are being driven “top-down” (i.e. by governments and global banks) as opposed to Digital tokens being driven “bottom-up”(start-ups issuing cryptocurrencies via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)).

Digital Currency
In the UK, Digital payments overtook cash payments for the first time last year, and the trend of using less cash when shopping looks set to continue, with now over 63% of UK consumers using contactless payment.

Contactless technology was invented by Nikola Tesla in 1898, using radio signals to control a model boat in New York. However, it took until 1995 for contactless tickets to be first used in Seoul in Korea to replace bus and rail paper tickets. Finally, in 1997, Mobil petroleum launched “Speedpass” to enable customers to pay for fuel at petrol stations in the US.

However, while cashless payments are proving ever popular, the costs of using even a debit card can be nearly 3%, especially if used overseas. It is estimated that soon credit card costs in the US are projected to exceed $110 billion, although this is largely as a result of the $1 trillion of debt that is held on credit cards.

We are seeing more merchants i
ncreasingly accepting Digital currencies as a form of payment, as illustrated by Whole Foods, Bed Bath and Beyond, Office Depot, Nordstrom, Jamba Juice, Barnes and Nobel, all announcing that they will allow customers to pay for goods using Flexa’s Spedn. The Spedn App creates a quick response, “QR” code, which you can then scan at the check-out, automatically transferring in the local currency, and taking the equivalent amount from your selected cryptocurrency from your Spedn digital wallet.

Spedn potentially is a much cheaper way to buy goods and services when overseas. If it can also accommodate Digital Assets that are given to customers as part of loyalty and incentive schemes, hopefully, we can all start using those old Airmiles, Avios, Nectar, Starbucks points, etc., provided such firms also digitise their platforms.
Meanwhile, last week at Consensus, a Blockchain conference in NYC, the banners above were displayed.

Once we see the likes of eBay accepting Cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, how long will it be before we see Amazon also do the same?

Digital Currency
Financial Services
Blockchain can be seen as a very secure database and, in the similar way that Excel replaced pen and paper records, Blockchain technology is able to help digitise records further, thus offering greater transparency and security.

For example, land ownership and a property’s history - what repairs or insurance claims has it had? e.g. subsidence, earthquake, floods - all of these potentially impact on the cost of insuring the property and can all be held on a ledger for each property.

The global commercial Real Estate market is huge, being valued at over $8.4 trillion in 2018, and has grown in size by over 15% since 2017.

The investment property market is typically dominated by institutions such as pension funds and wealthy individuals. Property tends to be illiquid, with many intermediaries involved in each purchase and sale, which adds layers of costs when buying and selling a property. 

Blockchain technology is going to have an impact on the property sector in a variety of ways, including:

       -Land registry – There is no reason why property records cannot be digitised and held on a Blockchain and, indeed, earlier this year HM Land Registry in the UK carried out a test project involving the digital trial of transferring property ownership confirming this. However, HM Land Registry concluded that while successfully speeding up the process of transferring title, it was simply a “proof of concept” and it was going to allow itself until 2030 to review the technology and decide the best way forward. However, other countries such as Dubai and Estonia have fully embraced this new technology for their land registry. 

      -Fractional ownership – Given the value of real estate, it is increasingly becoming more difficult for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. In London, the average price of property last year was over £614,000, in New York $677,000 and Sydney AUS$ 1 millon. By dividing the ownership of a property into shares/tokens, it is possible for existing owners to sell a % of their property and so create more liquidity in the real estate sector. This is because more people are able to buy fractions of a property as opposed to the whole of the property. Furthermore, these property tokens could be traded on a Digital Exchange 24/7 and enable overseas buyers easier access to the real estate market, without the hassle of physical ownership and thus being responsible for maintenance, insurance, etc.

     -Income payments – Currently, rental income is paid to investors quarterly and are based on who is the registered owner on the day that the income is due. The actual payments are then processed via banks which, if they have to be paid overseas, can result in significant additional costs and time delays. However, if the property is “tokenised”, rental payments can be calculated and paid based on the number of hours or even minutes that an investor has owned it. The rental income can be paid immediately and cheaply, regardless of where the payment needs to be made. 

     -Removing intermediaries – Blockchain technology allows the creation of a trusted database with the ability to transfer the ownership of an asset. Therefore, once a property’s records have been digitised,...

Digital Currency
WeChat, which has over one billion members, is owned by the huge Chinese tech company Tencent.

This is the 5th biggest company in the world and is helping China to rapidly replace cash and enable Chinese citizens to digitally pay for all their goods and services. Over $50 billions of transactions in 2018 was carried out on WeChat, with the app handling over 48 BILLION messages a day!

In a recent survey, WeChat and Alipay (owned by Alibaba) were found to be responsible for over 50% of transactions, while cash had slipped to only 21%.

The Chinese government has been watching the rise of Digital currencies, and the People’s Bank of China has been working on its own digital currency since 2014, according to Dovey Wan, an advisory of Coindesk https://www.chainnews.com, resulting in it filing over 70 patents to date.

Evidence of the People’s Bank of China’s interest in Digital currencies is supported by a recent announcement that the bank currently has three open positions – “looking for a blockchain development engineer, a blockchain architect, and a senior technical expert, who will be responsible for developing and optimizing a distributed network that will be capable of delivering “large scale transactions.”

There has been a massive expansion of M2 money supply in China, with M2 rising by nearly 18 times from December 1998 to March 2019. This has led to huge amounts of debt, with the Chinese government being concerned about the leverage in its economy. Commercial banks have lent money to businesses and real estate projects, and now the government wishes to find a way to be able to have greater control, seeing digital currencies as a possible solution. So, while we are seeing announcements from WeChat saying that they are going to ban Cryptocurrency trading (as these are not controlled by the Chinese government), the government itself is pressing on with plans to have its own digital currency on a Blockchain. It is thought that the Chinese government will wish to control the Blockchain nodes, cloud, database and any wallets that interact with the Chinese digital currency. This, in turn, will enable the government to track M2 more accurately and ensure it can collect taxes due, therefore having better control of the actual money circulating within its economy.

The creation of a Digital Renminbi is likely to further undermine the use of cash in the Chinese economy and possibly set a precedent for other countries to do the same. We have already seen countries like Japan, Singapore, Estonia, Senegal, and Russia all talking about creating their own Digital Currency. However, are there other reasons for a Digital Renminbi, as China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” extends towards Western Europe and Africa, which will physically link 60 countries (as this would clearly improve trade between them if they all used one currency)?

Furthermore, as China now accounts for 20% of the total debt owed by African countries, will the Chinese, in time, look to convert some of these debts to be denominated in Digital Renminbi and have the interest payments collected by “smart contracts”? This could be highly appealing...

Digital Currency
Believe it or not, the size of the global sports memorabilia industry is $5.4 Billion, according to Forbes.

So it is no surprise that Fantastec has bought in PwC as its exclusive Blockchain Partner, as it looks to target leading football clubs in England and Europe.

Even the biggest clubs, such as Arsenal football club with a capacity of 60,260, is tiny, even if it is successful and manages to increase its stadium’s capacity to 90,000, compared to its global fan base:

Arsenal’s followers:
Facebook - 37.5million
Instagram - 13.5 million
Twitter - 14.1 million
Global fan base - 125 million

Football teams, given the size of their global fan base, are keen to explore ways in which they can reach out to their fans. Doing this digitally is very cost effective, and helps to explain clubs’ interest in Fantastec. This is a company which offers “digital football cards” (soccer cards for our cousins across The Pond), to collect and swap and then gain access to players videos and special memorabilia.

Talking of Americans,
Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner, has just announced his involvement with Mattereum, a London based law-tech firm, which is also addressing the issues around the authenticity of memorabilia using Blockchain technology.

Fantastec has signed-up Arsenal, Real Madrid in Spain, and
Borussia Dortmund in Germany to its ‘blockchain-powered solution; SWAP offers fans the chance to get digital collectibles like autographs or player cards’.
These clubs are looking to generate greater fan engagement, as well as making money from additional merchandising and, by using Fantastec’s SWAP platform, are able to reach out to their fans worldwide who are unable to attend matches. If Digital cards perform like their paper-based ones, they could turn out to be a canny investment, as in the US the index of the top 500 baseball cards has beaten the S&P 500 since 2008 by twofold!

Last year, Arsenal became the
first Premier League football club to sponsor a firm that did an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) called Cash Bet, which raised $38 million for this California-based firm, established in 2012.
One wonders how long will it be before we see a major football team launch its own Digital currency as a way to further ”lock in” and monetise its fans.

Given the recent dominance of English football teams in the Champions League and the UEFA cup, where all four teams are English, and the dominance of the UK as a fintech hub, could it be that a football team from England is the first to issue a Digital currency?

Digital Currency
Bloomberg reported last year that The Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) was looking to launch its own Digital currency, which would enable it to have more control and be able to track transactions, be able to reduce the Black market economy and even automatically refuse companies loans who had been blacklisted.

The PBoC has registered 78 patents since 2016, according to Bloomberg. In October 2018, PBoC was looking to recruit staff at its Digital Currency Institute, who have experience in software and encryption law. It would appear that China wishes to create a Digital Currency that is centrally controlled, arguably the opposite originally planned for Bitcoin when it was created in 2008!

China is looking to launch its own Digital CurrencyTo be called “Digital Currency for Electronic Payment”, and the governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the PBoC, was recently quoted saying its focus would be on “convenience, rapidity, and low cost in a retail payment system while taking into account security and protection of privacy.”

Meanwhile, ahead of a G20 meeting in Osaka in Japan in June this year, the Japanese have launched a manual for Cryptocurrency regulation as it looks to try and coordinate the approach that countries currently take. In some jurisdictions, regulation is minimal, while others take a more stringent or draconian approach.

Digital Currency
IMF MD Christian Lagarde recently chaired the meeting – “Money and Digital Payments’ where the CEO of Circle (part owned by Goldman Sachs) extolled the benefits of a sovereign currency using Blockchain technology, allowing globally trade not rely on central clearing institutions.

Meanwhile in MFU- Japan’s largest bank has confirmed that it is to issue its own Blockchain powered digital currency later this year. Is it believed that digital wallets will replace physical wallets in the future.

This announcement follows Mizho’s statement that it was launching a digital currency, J Coin, pegged to the Japanese Yen, which will use QR codes scanned from a mobile phone. So far, Mizho have signed up 60 banks onto their new “Banking Digital Currency Platform”.

The Japanese seem to be taking a more accommodating stance towards Digital Assets, with proposed legislation being discussed that would relax their tax treatment. Which may explain why we are seeing a number of initiatives in Japan being announced.

In the UK, we have seen the announcement that Coinbase are to launch a VISA debit card that will allow conversion of digital assets to fiat and withdrawal cash from ATMs/ cash machines. The intention is that the card will be rolled out to other European countries in the coming months. Although users will be disappointed to see that transactions charges of 2.49% are to be levied, while usually there are no transactions charges using other types of debit cards.  However, an interesting feature of the new Coinbase debit card is that they will notify users if their passwords are found on other websites, automatically blocking the Coinbase card as a way to protect card users.

Digital Currency
The Universal Euro stablecoin is being launched by the Universal Protocol Alliance (UPA), a group of  Blockchain organisations, and is reported to offer payment of interest to holders of this new stablecoin.

UPA is aiming to encourage 100 million people to use Digital Assets, while tackling one of the key potential challenges around Blockchain adoption – interoperability. In other words, ensuring different Blockchains are able to communicate with each other.

Tether, the largest stablecoin by value, which has a current market capitalisation of over $2.3 Billion, has announced that it is not entirely backed by US$, but also holds loans and other assets as collateral. The announcement arguably takes it a step closer to more traditional instrument.

Similarities between some digital currencies and traditional currencies appear to be growing as innovators take features from both types of currencies. Some will be disappointed that Tether is not actually backed 1:1 by US$.
So, is Tether that different from the banks it is trying to compete against?

Blockchain Influencers
Digital Currency
The use of Blockchain technology, though not appropriate for all organisations, offers a powerful tool to cut costs, improve efficiency, increase transparency, and hold and share data using cryptographic security.

In an increasingly digital ecosystem, where the flow of money, data, identity and information is ‘in play’, we need secure digital solutions.

Central Banks have been encouraged to look at Digital Currencies by IMF MD Christian Lagarde, saying, “digital currencies issued by central banks can reduce the risk of global financial instability by eliminating the psychological motivation behind a bank run”. 

Blockchain technology, along with Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data and Machine Learning, will all help as economies migrate from paper, manual, and analogue processes to digital processes.

Several countries have recently announced their digital intentions, including UAE / Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Cambodia, Lithuania and the Eastern Central Caribbean Bank.

Central banks have quoted various reasons as to why they are looking to issue their own digital currency – to tackle their black economy, to reduce their reliance on the “petrodollar”, and to improve the efficiency of transferring money internationally.

Digital Currency
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.

Asset Management
Digital Currency
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.

Digital Currency
The internationally acclaimed author and historian who has written 14 best selling books recently said “Bitcoin itself is only money in a very limited sense, which I would define as follows: It is an option on digital gold.

By this, I mean that bitcoin’s role in the foreseeable future is as a liquid asset that is hard to confiscate, and thus serves as a type of insurance. You might hold your private keys the same way the European wealthy used to hold gold jewelry and precious stones. However, the experiment launched by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 is not yet finished. To own bitcoin today is to have an option on Satoshi’s experiment succeeding”.

Digital Currency
Six turnovers over $5billion a day has announced that it is to launch a Digital Exchange/ CEO Jos Dijsselh of Six recently said “The fact is, it takes two days for the buyer of a stock to become the owner.

The trade itself only takes a fraction of a second, but after that payments have to be settled and titles transferred. If we put it all on our digital exchange, then the whole process takes only a few seconds. This makes the market more efficient, but at the same time also takes risks out of the system.”

Comments like this from such a respected exchange must surely make other traditional exchanges reflect a little…

Digital Currency
A platform for collateral swaps in the securities lending market backed by Deutsche Borse.

 The platform will not use traditional settlement and digital tokens will be transferred between accounts to represent change of ownership. The platform is designed to allow more efficient collateral management of high-quality liquid assets (HQLAs), which are in greater demand because of increased clearing and margin requirements under Basel III regulations.

Digital Currency

Co-founder of TeamBlockchain, Thomas Power, with over 30 years of experience building online digital communities, believes that it is just time before the FANGs - Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google start gobbling up the leading crypto players. Just like Dotcom, there will be a handful of winners from the 5,000 ICOs we have seen to date as they give way to the more compliant institutional friendly security tokens.

Digital Currency
Social Media
For regular readers you will know we have been questioning when will Facebook launch a digital currency, well they have now confirmed that they are indeed doing this using WhatsApp and targeting the Indian remittance market.

Typically it takes days and can cost Indians who work overseas up to 15% using traditional payment agents like Transferwise banks or WesternUnion using a Cryptocurrency. Facebook will be able to offer almost instant transfers and a fraction of the cost.

Possibly, more importantly, Facebook needs to find a way to keep its users more engaged, particularly the millennials who are not as engaged as they once were,  being able to send money using WhatsApp will help. However, once the Indian trial is complete, Facebook can create a rival market place to Amazon, slashing merchant fees to ZERO and monetizing the increased traffic while seeing what their 2.5 billion users are buying and selling.

Digital Currency