5 Months Ago

Société Générale issued a $112 million corporate bond last week using smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain - a public, not a private, permissioned Blockchain.

This was a surprise as many institutions thought that it would be better, from a regulatory standpoint, not to use a public Blockchain, but a private one. If you were to buy $100 of Société Générale’s bond which it has just issued, you could be due a coupon/income of $2 every six months. However, the cost to receive this income could be greater than the actual payment due. This is because the cost to receive your coupon could be as high as $40, since the cost of processing the income payment on the Ethereum Blockchain maybe this much.

Therefore organisations believe that a private Blockchain, where potentially the price of transactions can be controlled, is a more suitable Blockchain.

Société Générale now joins companies like BVVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Nivaura, all who have issued bonds using Blockchain technology. There has been a lot of attention given to how Security Token Offerings (STOs), are going to enable equities to be traded 24/7, and enable companies to raise capital. However, the bond market is $40 Trillion while the equity market is $30 Trillion in size, so there are huge opportunities for more banks to start issuing bonds using Blockchain technology. If it is proven, it is indeed more efficient, prone to fewer errors and from a compliance standpoint, better, and cheaper for organisation to issue bonds using Blockchains. We could see the whole bond market being shaken to its core!

Although the European Banking Authority and Moody (the credit rating agency), have warned that if we saw the widespread adoption of institutions using one Blockchain, this could lead potentially to counterparty systematic risk. Moody has also said that using Blockchain technology could reduce the risk of errors and afford greater transparency, as all parties involved would be using just one set of records. If this is the case, then the biggest issuers of bonds are governments, so they have the most to gain. Since, if a bond issued on a Blockchain has a better credit rating like Moody is proposing, governments may be able to offer a lower rate of interest on the bonds they issue, thus generating potentially significant savings. If governments start issuing bonds on Blockchains this will also act as a powerful incentive for regulators in different jurisdictions to offer clearer guidance. This, in turn, could accelerate more organisations to use Blockchain technology when issuing bonds.

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https://www.coindesk.com/societe-generales-work...a-big-deal
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.

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Banking
Cryptocurrency
Digital Currency
Finance
https://coinnewstelegraph.com/china-is-set-to-a...-populace/
Nike, the world’s largest shoe manufacturer and the most valuable apparel brand in the world, has filed a trademark “CryptoKicks” which could lead to it launching its own Cryptocurrency.

This rather bold claim is on the back of Nike’s trademark application, which states “Financial services, namely, providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an online community via a global computer network; facilitation of financial transactions using unconventional currency systems and bartering...”

Interestingly, earlier this year, Nike launched trainers that lace themselves, called HyperAdapt. Therefore, will CryptoKicks support an incentive scheme for people wearing these trainers? After all, Nike apparel, with its distinctive logo, is as a form of advertising medium while being worn. So, the more you wear your trainers, the more CryptoKicks you could earn!

Facebook is looking to launch Facecoin on WhatsApp in India, but will Nike beat it and have CryptoKicks up and running before Zuckerberg is out of the blocks?

Nike, like Facebook, has a global audience, who are using their goods and services on a daily basis and both firms need to stay relevant, engaged, and keep the attention of their customers while finding ways to encourage them to repeat purchases.

How long before we see other global brands launching their own Cryptocurrencies for engagement, reward, and payment mechanism?

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Social Media
https://www.ccn.com/nikes-surprise-crypto-play-...ks-thunder
The London Stock Exchange (LSE), which is one of the largest regulated exchanges globally, has issued an STO worth £3 million on the LSE’s Turquoise platform.

This is the first STO, or as some are calling it an Equity Token-Offering (ETO), for The LSE, and has been carried out within the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Fintech Sandbox for a company called 20/30.

Nivaura helped with the 20/30 issue, and had previously been involved in launching a bond on the Ethereum network, claiming that by using Blockchain technology the costs of issuing a bond could fall by as much as 65% to 80%.

Nivaura recently raised over £20 million from Linklaters, Allen Overy, and the LSE to develop their business as they believe that Digitising the issuance of bonds and equities for private and publicly quoted businesses is here to stay.

No doubt other exchanges around the world will be keeping a close watch on the LSE, as they will not want London to steal too big an advantage in this sector, which is attracting considerable institutional interest around the world!

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Finance
Digital Assets
STO
The French Finance minister is trying to encourage other European countries to develop a set of rules as to how Cryptocurrencies are to be regulated and taxed, following France’s parliament passing legislation last week on how intermediaries handle these assets.

Known as the “Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises,” (Pacte) it reportedly enables insurance companies in France to invest in Digital Assets.

France is keen to encourage tech innovation and different types of funding that Digital Assets have been using like Initial Coin Offerings. The French are keen to have some controls and regulations, to ensure that investors are protected from fraudulent activities from firms looking to create Digital Assets, but not to protect investors from losses should they occur.

Regulations vary wildly by country within Europe as there is no pan-European legislation. However, local regulators across Europe are imposing restrictions on platforms that do not have the correct permissions to offer brokerage services. The European Union has previously proposed that firms offering services in the Digital Asset sector be subject to its anti-money ‎laundering and countering terrorist financing regulations.‎

As more governments understand the transformational impact that Digital Assets are able to have on their economies, we are likely to see more jurisdictions formulating legislation to encouraging the adoption of Digital Assets. The alternative is, that because these assets are Digital, companies will base themselves in countries that are more accommodative.

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
Regulators
Digital Assets
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-france-crypto...KKCN1RR1Y0

6 Months Ago

Boerse Stuttgart the German Stock Exchange, has launched its Crypto trading App, according to an official tweet dated January 31st.

The App has been developed by FinTech Sowa Labs — a subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures in an effort to make trading cryptocurrencies for investors more accessible and easier. A feature of the App is the Cryptoradar. This tool uses artificial intelligence to analyze 250,000 tweets per day from the crypto community, filter them by relevance and present them in a user-friendly format. Users will be able to gain an overview of market sentiment on Twitter in real time and can keep up to date discussions around cryptocurrencies.

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://bitcoinist.com/germanys-second-largest-...ading-app/
While the recent rally in Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies has attracted much attention, and with over 100,000 searches on Google on 2nd of April for Bitcoin in one day, what is possibly more important is the announcement from China’s Cyberspace Administration.

It has just approved 197 firms which use Blockchain technology, including some of China’s most significant organisations - Tencent, and Alibaba - as China looks to review the opportunities and challenges that Blockchain technology can offer.

Allegedly created in response to some unregulated Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) carried out in China, is this list. As a result of this, companies must now be reviewed by the Chinese State Internet Information Office to be on the list. Absence from the list could indicate that a company is running unregistered offerings.

In the same way, we have seen firms like JP Morgan create their own Blockchain Quora to meet the criteria relevant to them in the financial services sector. How long will it be before the Chinese develop their own Blockchains and encourage more widespread adoption, similar to the way they have restrictions around the use of the internet for their citizens?

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Blockchain
Finance
https://en.businesstimes.cn/articles/110149/201...kchain.htm

8 Months Ago

The recent FCA consultation paper has created a broad consensus that the FCA is being pragmatic about Cryptos and it is encouraging that the FCA and the Treasury are engaged to bring clarity to the market.

This ought to encourage further development of the infrastructure and so enable institutions to further embrace Digital Assets and in time retail investors, provided there are adequate risk controls and standards in place.

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
Digital Assets
https://www.the-blockchain.com/2019/01/28/uks-f...direction/
Bianace who are the worlds biggest crypto exchange platform will now be allowing its customers to use Visa and Mastercard cards to buy a range of Cryptocurrencies. 

Over time, as major crypto companies including Binance strengthen the infrastructure surrounding this asset class,  analysts expect the adoption of cryptocurrencies to increase. This is more evidence of how trading Cryptos is being made easier and more accessible for the general public which has to be welcomed provided it does not encourage unsophisticated investors into overtrading these assets.

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Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/01/31/binan...or-crypto/
Cryptocurrency detractors claimed it would be impossible to handle the volume of Visa or MasterCard. 

Lightning Network is disproving them, it is a matter of when not if Digital Assets will significantly challenge fiat currencies! With transactions costing pennies or less and to be able to use your phone, Lightning completely changes the way money is moved. If banks aren’t paying attention yet, they will be when they look at Lightning payments and realise they are likely to be disrupted!

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
Digital Assets
https://ethereumworldnews.com/lightning-network...of-600btc/
As Saudi and the UAE explore ways to develop closer economic ties they have agreed to launch a new Cryptocurrency initially to be used just between their banks.

This announcement is seen as a step away from the reliance on petrodollars and is another sign of the Middle East embracing blockchain technology. Is this all part of the gradual decline in the dominance of US$ as outlined in https://medium.com/coinmonks/is-time-up-for-the-us-as-the-worlds-reserve-currency-c05b581dec79?

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://www.thenational.ae/uae/uae-and-saudi-ar...y-1.815401
Security tokens address the concerns of many investors as they are typically backed by physical assets and therefore ought not to be as volatile as the cryptocurrencies created by ICOs.

According to Bussiness Korea, the country’s leading blockchain research centres, Chain Partners’ CP Research and Coinone Research Centre, have identified STOs as the next big thing for the crypto industry.

CP Research added that they provide a solution for assets that are difficult to liquidate such as real estate or art. It said that 2019 will see the establishment of an STO infrastructure and the market will grow to an estimated $2 trillion by 2030.


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Finance
ICO
Security Token
http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView...dxno=28473
Yet another organization to have its own cryptocurrency, expect to see many more global brands to do the same as they want to embrace this new method to digitally engage with people.

We have recently seen Facebook, Saudi Arabia/UAE, and the IMF say that there are 15 countries looking at some form of Digital Currency.

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Bitcoin
Finance
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/spains-city-of...tocurrency
China for a number of years has been responsible for over 50% of all patents on Blockchain technology while in 2017 have banned ICOs and Cryptocurrency trading in China.

This led to some exchanges basing themselves in Hong Kong where they have seen a huge increase in trading activity. China has a significant share of now has blockchain-based start-ups, miners, and crypto-mining farms globally.

This interest in blockchain was exemplified by the launch of a “government-backed Xiong’An Global BlockchainInnovation Fund offering $1.6 billion (10 billion yuan) to Chinese blockchain start-ups”. So while from outside of China it appears it seems the country is anti the evidence appears that there is considerable interest in the technology and its disruptive impact which may explain why the Chinese government wishes to keep control as much as possible over its development.


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Blockchain
Finance
Digital Assets
https://blokt.com/news/chinas-increasing-stake-in-crypto
The UK, London Lord Mayor, Peter Estlin believes that while there have been some negative comments around cryptocurrencies the technology that they are built on holds some interesting opportunities that business should grasp but with caution.

He believes that in the same way in 17th century London dominated the insurance sector Fintech and FCA’s incubator approach are set to be at the forefront of digital innovation.

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://coinpedia.org/news/london-city-encourag...ocurrency/
Belarus has launched a trading platform that enables customers to buy tokenized versions of shares, gold and other assets, Reuters reported Jan. 15.

 The platform started with 150 assets but hope to grow this to over 10,000 and within the first few hours of opening claimed it had over 2,000 people register on its platform. It will be possible to buy shares, gold, precious metals like gold, foreign exchange, and more, in addition to cryptocurrencies.

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Finance
Security Token
https://www.investinblockchain.com/belarus-laun...-platform/

9 Months Ago

Fund managers specializing in cryptocurrencies are appealing for patience from investors, after a year in which huge falls in prices severely dented their performance.

In a December letter to investors, San Francisco-based Pantera Capital admitted that 2018 had been “a difficult year for all cryptocurrencies and tokens”. “After such a prolonged drawdown in the market, it’s important to reflect and re-evaluate the thesis behind utility tokens,” wrote Mr. Morehead and Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer, in the letter. Galaxy Digital, a crypto and blockchain-focused merchant bank set up by Mike Novogratz, a former hedge fund trader, and Goldman Sachs partner, also found the going tough.

“The asset class continues to show signs of maturity, as headlines that once would have led to frenzied trading sessions have given way to patient market participants who want to see and react to results, not headlines,” Galaxy wrote in a November letter to investors. In November Mr. Novogratz told the FT that 2018 had been “ challenging” but he has predicted that financial institutions will move from investing in cryptocurrency funds to investing in cryptocurrencies themselves, early this year. “That’s when prices start moving again,” he said.


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Cryptocurrency
Finance
Investment Funds
https://www.ft.com/content/46f022a2-0e65-11e9-a...8c761d2745
The UK financial regulator is probing more than a dozen companies in connection with cryptocurrency transactions amid concerns about growing market risks.

The Financial Conduct Authority is investigating 18 businesses involved in the sale of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The regulator has also issued alerts and warnings about dozens of companies suspected of cryptocurrency investment scams. Currently, the transfer, purchase , and sale of cryptocurrencies is not regulated in the UK. However, companies that sell regulated investments with an underlying cryptocurrency element, may need FCA authorizationto do so depending on their activities.

The UK government in December 2018 said it “stands ready” to give the FCA more power to oversee cryptocurrency assets after MPs urged increased regulation of a “ Wild West” market where investor losses and money laundering are deemed big risks.  


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Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://www.ft.com/content/04e22444-0c32-11e9-a...9976f1533b