Blockchain Slashed Forex Trading Costs by 25% says HSBC Exec

An HSBC executive has said that the bank’s blockchain-based system has helped it cut the costs of settling foreign exchange trades.

Speaking to Reuters, Mark Williamson, chief operating officer of FX cash trading and risk management, who oversees the blockchain project, said that its HSBC FX Everywhere platform saved it 25 percent as compared with traditional methods.

Last month, the bank announced it had settled more than $250 billion in transactions using its HSBC FX Everywhere platform.

It said then that it had settled 3 million foreign exchange transactions and made a further 150,000 payments over the digital ledger system, which it has been using...


Coinbase Allows Crypto Traders to Claim Bitcoin SV

bitcoin sv coinbase crypto
Coinbase users can finally claim the Bitcoin SV tokens created by last Fall's Bitcoin Cash hard fork. | Source: Shutterstock

In a note to users today, Coinbase announced that it has finally made Bitcoin SV balances available for withdrawal. Users have been complaining for months about their Bitcoin SV, which peaked shortly after launch at over $200. It has since then been in steady decline, and the announcement by both Coinbase and Waves Platform today that BSV balances will be made available might stimulate a dumping frenzy on the coin.

Coinbase Allows Crypto Traders to Claim Bitcoin SV

bitcoin cash price
Bitcoin SV was the product of last year’s Bitcoin Cash hard fork. | Source: Shutterstock

The note reads, in part:

“The competing chain, known as Bitcoin SV, resulted in a forked coin now commonly referred to as BSV. When the hard fork occurred, the BSV blockchain used the amount of BCH associated with an address at the time of the fork to determine the amount of BSV that would be allocated to the parallel address on the BSV blockchain. As such, the amount of BSV now available in your Coinbase.com account is the same as the amount of BCH that was in your Coinbase (Coinbase.com and Coinbase...


Baidu Launches Plug and Play Blockchain Engine (BBE) platform Dapps

Chinese search giant Baidu has launched a blockchain platform aimed to simplify commercial deployment of decentralized apps, or dapps.

Officially announced by Baidu Cloud on Thursday, the Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE) platform is touted as a kind of operating system allowing developers to produce blockchain applications “just like mobile apps,” and get around the storage and computing “bottlenecks” that are holding up blockchain’s potential.

BBE is built on what the company calls the ABC (AI, Big Data, cloud computing) technology stack, allowing customers to explore and develop ways to commercialize blockchain tech.

Hosted on Baidu’s “intelligent” cloud platform, the system uses a modular blockchain framework to provide developers with a multi-chain system including smart contract templates, dapp templates and other...


Belarus Launches Trading Platform Enabling Customers to Buy Tokenized Securities

Belarus Launches Trading Platform Enabling Customers to Buy Tokenized Securities

Belarus has launched a trading platform that enables customers to buy tokenized versions of shares, gold and other traditional assets, Reuters reported Jan. 15.

The project is reportedly backed by two companies, Larnabel Ventures and VP Capital. According to Reuters, the government of Belarus has not yet commented on the launch of the platform, but it was covered by the state news agency BelTa.

The platform will allow traders to buy shares, precious metals, foreign exchange and other traditional assets from Belarus, as well as from other countries, with cryptocurrencies.

Since its launch, the platform has reportedly issued 150 different types of tokens, with each...


Pennsylvania Dept of Banking & Securities clarifies "Crypto Exchanges Are Not Money Transmitters"

Pennsylvania’s Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) has clarified that crypto exchanges and service providers do not require a money transmission license to operate in the state.

The DoBS published the new guidance for the local crypto industry on Wednesday, following a number of enquiries from businesses, it said.

The department explained that as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not “money,” the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law or the Money Transmitter Act of Pennsylvania does not apply to crypto trading platforms.

According to the act, only fiat currency or the U.S. government-issued currency is considered money. “To date, no jurisdiction in the United States has designated virtual currency as legal tender,” the department said.

The act states that parties conducting the business of transmitting money need to be licensed if they transfer fiat currency...


Elections Canada says there has been “a growing interest” in cryptocurrency donations

Jessie Willms is a planet earth based former government and political researcher and communications officer helping to document the FinTech revolution and its impact on traditional institutions and governments. You can follow Jessie on Twitter at @WILLMS_.

 Elections Canada Consults With Political Parties on Crypto Donations
Elections Canada Consults With Political Parties on Crypto Donations

According to Elections Canada, the agency that runs federal elections in Canada, there has been “a growing interest” in cryptocurrency donations. This trend has prompted some political parties to ask for a ruling on how best to manage bitcoin and other cryptocurrency political donations and how to navigate the various reporting systems required by both Elections Canada and the parties so that they comply with the Canada Elections Act.

Election season is just beginning in Canada. There are three federal by-elections called for February 25, 2019; these will fill vacant seats, including a seat for one of the party leaders. A full federal election will be called before October 21, 2019.

On the legality of accepting cryptocurrency donations, an Elections Canada (EC) official told Bitcoin Magazine that “the Canada Elections Act does not prohibit political entities from accepting cryptocurrency contributions. Political entities are therefore currently able to accept such contributions.”

Elections Canada is taking the initial position that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are non-monetary, in-kind contributions, i.e. property or a commodity, but not a currency, a similar position taken by the U.S. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and the Canada Revenue Agency.

However, Elections Canada has left the question of whether to classify cryptocurrencies as monetary or non-monetary open for the parties to consider in the current consultation process.

Is Bitcoin Legal in Canada?

Chetan Phull, a Toronto lawyer, founder and principal of Smartblock Law Professional Corporation, has written about the seemingly murky area of the legality of using cryptocurrencies as money in Canada.

Phull told Bitcoin Magazine that the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as money (legal tender) is, strictly speaking, illegal under Canada’s Currency Act.

However, he acknowledges that “Canada may be opening up to treating crypto as a type of non-fiat money, despite the current statutory definition of money.”

He points out that, to date, “there has been no actual enforcement action against the use of crypto as ‘money’ in Canada — not even against the Calgary Digital Dollar, where enforcement would be supported by long-standing precedent of the Supreme Court of Canada. Nor has there been any significant government pursuit of taxes not charged on trades...


The best Bitcoin Lightning apps live today

So we continue our journey into the wonderful (and sometimes weird) world of Lightning Apps (LApps). And as a testament to how far the market has come, my quick ‘listicle’ has morphed into a two-part behemoth.

If you haven’t already, then check out Part 1, covering wallets, marketplaces, content monetization, and tip jars. If you have, then let’s get on with the ride.

Messaging via Lightning Network

International SMS messages cost a small fortune, but with Insms, the price comes down to that of a small lightning transaction. Ideal for anonymously stalking someone in another country. Or, if you need to receive an SMS, but don’t want to reveal your mobile number, Receive SMS has you covered. Temporary numbers to receive messages are currently available only in the US, with more countries coming soon.

But if you think terrestrial messaging is just a little passé, why not send a message via satellite.

I've written a tool to relay messages via the @Blockstream satellite. Data rate is charged through lightning network. https://t.co/FJnMYmpGtI pic.twitter.com/bzuERkEWFJ

Gaming and Gambling

Hammerland is a MineCraft lookalike MMORPG, using lightning for in-game payments (and rewards). Or if you prefer your MineCraft to be more… MineCraft, then BitQuest is...


Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD: Here come the bears "Daily Gravestone Doji Candlestick"

  • The Ethereum price is at risk of giving back the large gains from December 2018 – January 2019.
  • Saturday’s daily candlestick closure produced a bearish gravestone doji.

The Ethereum price has continued to be a victim of narrowing trading, however signs are starting to show of the bears readying to regain full control. ETH/USD has been stuck within consolidation mode since 11th January, which has very much been observed across the crypto market. Over the last six sessions however, the range has tightened up even further. This type of behavior signals that an explosive breakout is near. Odds appear to be stacked in favor of the market bears for the next move.

At the close of Saturday’s close, a bearish gravestone doji was produced. Going by the textbook, this typically suggests another drop is imminent. Another deep drop wouldn’t be too surprising, given the hard fall earlier in the month. A fast period of aggressive market selling is usually followed by some range-movement, which its way of having a cooling off period. The pickup in downside momentum, after such a development, this time with greater intensity, is something that could very well be seen.


Digital currency markets road to recovery has obstacles

Crypto markets witnessed a sizable pullback on Sunday, as bitcoin lurched back below $3,600 and major altcoins registered slight to moderate declines. Although 2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for cryptocurrencies, the path to recovery is riddled with obstacles, chief among them being damaged investor sentiment and a myriad of regulatory issues.

Market Update

With the exception of Tron, all major cryptocurrencies have registered declines in the past 24 hours. Bitcoin, the largest digital asset by market cap and trading volume, swung back below $3,600 through the early part of Sunday. The bitcoin price reached a session low of $3,567.25, according to CoinMarketCap. At last check, it was down 0.3% at $3,595.25.

XRP fell 1.8% to $0.3111, where it was approaching several bearish technical confluences. This comes despite Ripple announcing it had sold $535.6 million worth of XRP last year.

Ethereum declined 1.9% to $114.89. Bitcoin cash was nursing a loss of 2.8% to trade at $123.97. The value of EOS fell 2.1% to $2.40.

After peaking north of $0.03, Tron was back trading around $0.0290, having gained 1.2%. TRX has gained a whopping 21.4% over the past seven days. Read more: TRX Price Explodes While Tron’s Justin Sun Implodes on CNBC; BTT Token Will Be ‘Hybrid’.

Outside the top ten, Binance...


“Blockchain is a Natural Technology for Banks” - Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang, Co-Founder of Yahoo!, has revealed that he believes blockchain holds significant importance if applied to traditional banking and finance.

Read more Technology pieces here.

Yahoo! Co-Founder and experienced entrepreneur, Jerry Yang, has announced that he believes blockchain has some serious potential when it comes to the world of banking and finance.

Giving his thoughts on a panel at the Nikkei Innovation Asia Forum, titled "Rising Tides of Innovation in Asia" taking place in Japan, Yang explained how the adoption of blockchain was at a "critical juncture". First reported by Finews Asia, Yang went on to explain that:

"...as the hype surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrencies is falling away, and while it remains to be seen if it survives this post-hype phase, blockchain technology has important applications to banking and...