SWIFT pilots a payment tech system to take on fintechs and blockchain tech

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has announced its decision to launch a pilot Global Payment Initiative (GPI) service which aims to compete with the growing threat of competing blockchain and fintech solutions provided by institutions like Ripple, JP Morgan and Transferwise.

Still in its initial stages, the ambitious pilot aims to “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”

A recent GPI test, was successfully conducted in October, carrying out instant cross-border payments with banks in China, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. Equipped to enable speedy identification and elimination of errors and omissions in payment data such as missing or incorrect beneficiary information or incomplete regulatory information, SWIFT hopes the GPI payments service will enable speedy and seamless transactions, thereby reducing delays and costs, as well as improving customer experience.

Taking on Blockchain’s Threat

With the move, SWIFT has turned its attention to containing the threat of blockchain-based fintech startups offering...


Harbor launches security token compliance platform with digitized real estate shares

Blockchain startup Harbor has officially launched its security token compliance platform and is moving to offer digitized shares in a high-rise building located in in South Carolina.

Announced Tuesday at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest event, Harbor is now allowing investors to register to buy shares in apartment block called The Hub at Columbia, owned by the real-estate wing of DRW Holdings, Convexity Properties. There are 955 shares – represented by 955 tokens – available at a cost of $21,000 apiece.

The company, which raised $28 million earlier this year, develops ERC-20 tokens, an ethereum standard, for companies that want to put up equity or other forms of interest by way of a tokenized offering.

Harbor CEO Josh Stein told CoinDesk that the company’s platform allows it to track security token trading and investors’ real-world identity in real-time, ensuring that token sales are “compliant every time, everywhere.”

Offerings on Harbor’s security token platform operate similarly to a normal private placement sale, he explained. The key difference comes from the platform’s use of a blockchain protocol and structure, which allow companies to tap into a wider pool of investors.

Typically, an offering like Convexity’s might be sold to 10 or 20 investors, each of whom would have to contribute a significantly larger chunk of the total funding. Harbor’s platform makes it easier for anywhere from 100 to 2,000 accredited investors to participate, allowing each a $21,000 minimum stake, which is smaller...


OATH Protocol ICO Analysis

OATH Protocol wants to build an analog of a decentralized dispute resolution system modeling the common-juror system. In their view, this will solve the solution to the blockchain governance problem.

OATH Protocol wants to provide a solution to the Blockchain Governance system.

In order to do this the company plans to:

  • increase the usability of smart contracts by providing an easy to use user-friendly smart contract creation tool
  • creating a decentralized jury community, comprised of members with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise
  • invites users from all communities to not only provide governance for the dApp they support but also for other ecosystems.

The protocol’s main advantages include:

  • Trust – all data is hashed on a blockchain.
  • Confidentiality – all jury members data of confidential.
  • Dynamicity – protocol will ensure that different jurors will be resolving multiple cases to avoid a collision and ensure the integrity.
  • Fairness – protocol will ensure random jurors selection based on a variety of factors as gender, background, age, etc. to have full objectivity.
  • Incentive – a mechanism to motivate jurors for participating and assign them credit.
  • Autonomy – parties mutually set rules that they would be bound by.
  • Transparency – jury votes are disclosed to the community after resolution.
  • Archive – protocol allows keeping all data in a structured irrecoverable way.

Use cases include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • E-commerce, which involves a variety of disputes, such as quality problems, missing pieces, broken product, etc. OATH jury will resolve each dispute based on user-provided testimony.
  • OTC trade of digital assets.
  • Disputes involving decentralized property rent.
  • Decentralized moderation.
  • Oracle for betting.
  • public chain governance.

So basically OATH is a decentralized agnostic protocol that offers a solution to of decentralized governance to all blockchains and Dapps.

Blockchain architecture is highlighted below:

OATH Protocol is an agnostic blockchain which may be integrated into other Daps and public chains.

The chain contains two main files:

  • Case ledger, which includes all information such as contracts, verdicts, voting reasons, selected jurors.
  • IPFS (InterPlanetary File System), which is a network designed to create a content-addressable, peer-to-peer method of storing and sharing hypermedia in a distributed file system. It replaces traditional domain names with content addresses so that users don’t have to consider names and paths of file storage.

Token

The total token supply is: 10,000,000,000 ERC-20 tokens (OATH).

Token use is summarized below:

  • Engagement...

ConsenSys & Two Sigma Ventures invest $8 million in crypto custody startup

Venture firm Two Sigma and Ethereum development studio ConSensys have invested $8 million into digital asset custody solution provider Trustology, Business Insider reports. Both investors would be joining Trustology’s board of directors.

London based Trustology, known for developing the TrustVault, a crypto management service that safeguards private keys by keeping them in “tamper proof, programmable hardware security modules hosted in secure data centers, with encrypted backups in the cloud.”

“Trustology’s unique blend of people, process, and key management technology offer industry defining digital asset security with speed of access and unrivaled ease of use. Trustology aspires to be the digital assets brand of the future,” Alex Batlin, Trustology’s Founder and CEO explained in the press release.

The funding from the investors is expected to be used to create new products, support more digital assets classes and attract international customers for its services.

Joe Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys, hailed Trustology, as he believes the startup is going in the right direction.

“By prioritizing security without the need to...


Why billionaire investors remain positive on long-term trend of cryptocurrency

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Mike Novogratz, Jim Breyer, and Tim Draper are some of many billionaire investors in the traditional financial market who remain optimistic towards the long-term trend of digital currencies.

How are these investors able to maintain their positive stance in regards to the growth of the cryptocurrency sector following an 85 percent decline in valuation across the board?

It’s About Cycles

For the most part, high profile individual investors are able to handle severe losses in emerging asset classes and high-risk assets like cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) because they account for a small part of their wealth and portfolios.

As is the same in real estate and other traditional markets, wealthy investors have the ability to hold onto assets and properties even during the event of an unexpected market crash or the occurrence of a bear market.

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But, normal retail investors and individual traders who need quick cash to cover day-to-day operations and expenses have no other option but to sell most of the high-risk assets they hold in their portfolios.

bitcoin price
Source: TradingView

In bear markets, retail traders often suffer a significant loss because they are unable to handle an...


Membrana (MBN) Token Sale & Blockchain Platform: Verified ICO Review

Membrana (MBN) Token Sale & Blockchain Platform Review ICO
  • Brings investors & traders together to form contracts for crypto asset trust management
  • Offers transparent, decentralized, secure system that controls process up to revenue gains
  • Has developed a beta version of the platform & detailed, comprehensive roadmap for future versions
  • Large exec team with abundant, diverse & relevant experience bolsters investor confidence

Membrana (MBN) is a blockchain platform for concluding contracts between investors and traders for trust management of cryptocurrency assets. The Membrana platform allows investors to entrust their assets to seasoned crypto traders to minimize their risks and take advantage of experienced traders’ knowledge base.

In addition to a clear value proposition and team experience, we’re also impressed by Membrana’s in-depth whitepaper, roadmap and financial planning, all of which boosts the product’s feasibility score.

+Provides a platform for investors looking to entrust successful traders with their crypto assets

As crypto investing becomes increasingly popular, new investors are moving into the space, but without the benefit of years of experience and complete and reliable information. These investors are looking to secure mutually beneficial contracts to avoid risks and fraudulent activity, with traders whose trading histories they can verify.

The Membrana platform permits traders to offer their services while setting parameters for future contracts and fixing the terms of concluded contracts. Membrana additionally allows investors to have their funds managed by traders without...


Why are Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash plunging after $5 Billion market recovery?

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Over the last 24 hours, the crypto market has added $5 billion to its valuation, demonstrating a slight recovery from $106 billion to $111 billion. Despite the recovery of the market, Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) continue to fall in value, both recording a three percent drop against the U.S. dollar.

On December 9, the Ethereum price fell by around three percent from $97 to $93, failing to sustain the short-term momentum it garnered from an unforeseen recovery it experienced on Saturday. Since its daily peak, Ethereum has declined by more than six percent against the U.S. dollar, from $100 to $93.

Bitcoin Cash has also demonstrated a weakness in its short-term price trend as it lost nearly half of its value within a two-week period. Since November 6, the Bitcoin Cash price declined from $200 to $100, by exactly 50 percent.

Why is Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash Dropping So Rapidly?

The gap between Ethereum and Ripple, which recently took over Ethereum as the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the global market, has increased to more than $3 billion within a three-week span.

Technical indicators demonstrate oversold conditions but the sheer intensity of the drop in the price of the two cryptocurrencies have created...


City of Zug Named Fastest Growing Tech Hub in Europe

The city of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, has been named the fastest growing technology community in Europe. Zug ranked atop the “State of European Tech” report by London-based global investment firm Atomico last week, on the strength of its year-on-year growth of attendees to tech-related meetup events.

Also read: Malaysian Financial Regulators to Intensify Scrutiny of ICOs, Cryptocurrencies

Zug Tech Ecosystem Grows

According to the report, Zug recorded a 177 percent increase in the number of tech meetups in 2018, compared to last year. The city’s crypto activity has been warmly supported by the Swiss government, which is fine-tuning its legislation and policies to improve financial innovation, with particular emphasis on virtual currencies.

“There is a huge geographic diversity among the top 20 fastest-growing tech hubs in Europe, as measured by the annual growth in attendees to tech-related meetup events in those cities. Zug in Switzerland, home to a growing crypto community, ranked number one as the fastest-growing community overall,” the report said.

Report: Swiss City of Zug Named Fastest Growing Tech Hub in Europe

Novosibirsk in Russia follows Zug with 173 percent increase in tech meetups, while Ghent (Belgium), The Hague (Netherlands) and Katowice (Poland) complete the top 5 of the fastest-growing tech communities.

Novosibirsk has reported startup activity in its science and technology hub, Akademgorodok, also known as the Siberian Silicon Valley. Success stories out of the suburb include nanotechnology firm Ocsial, precision laser manufacturer Tekhnoscan and banking software company CFT.

The Atomico report emphasized community-building, measured by the meetups of technological talent, as necessary for attracting investment to cities. This year, the density of meetups in Europe equated around 200 events per day throughout the year.

Progressive Switzerland

Switzerland has taken a progressive stance towards cryptocurrency, legalizing its...


Coinbase looks to support 31 cryptocurrencies

The exchange summed-up their main goal that was proclaimed in the month of September, to provide much support for every asset, that conform their set standards, and also not contradicting with the existing local laws.

Coinbase, the U.S Crypto Exchange, officially declared on Friday December 7 via a blog post, that they are delving into the addition of more, new and significant assets.

In a blog post, Coinbase revealed:

“We are continuing to explore the addition of new assets and will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible.”

The exchange summed-up their main goal that was proclaimed in the month of September, to provide much support for...


Bitcoin Bounces But Bears Still in Control: $BTC Price Analysis

Bitcoin price just pulled off a nice 10% bounce with the next level of resistance at $3,700. Let’s take a look at what can happen next?

Bitcoin Price: Market Overview

Bitcoin price $3645.85 +0.59% dropped to a new yearly low at $3,210 and the overall market cap now rests at $110.6 Billion. Clearly, bears are still running the show for BTC and the SEC’s final postponement of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund decision didn’t seem to help.

Crypto-fanatics will now need to wait until January 24th for the launch of Bakkt and February 26th for a final approval or denial of a Bitcoin ETF from the SEC. If the cryptocurrency markets’ trend reversal is dependent upon either of these events then we’ve got a long way to drop waiting on the unpredictable outcomes of each of these events.

4-HR Chart

Bitcoin $3645.85 +0.59% broke below the $3,550 and $3,400 supports and the cryptocurrency will likely mean that $3,700 will post a stiff resistance to overcome. However, at press time, BTC price has managed to break above the $3,600 mark and now looks poised to test $3,700.

The bounce from $3,210 to $3,615 was...