Straight From The CEO: Fidelity Is About To Dip Its Toes In The Crypto Business

The CEO of Fidelity Investments is no longer holding any horses about the company’s plan to try its hand in the crypto stuff. According to the top-ranking official, Abigail Johnson, Fidelity is still on the job to come up with a few blockchain and crypto-related products to be rolled out into the market sometime before the end of this year.

Products In The Works

Abigail was delivering a speech at the Boston Fintech Week, although she declined to divulge more information relating to the company’s plan. However, her letting out of the secret is something that’s bound to keep crypto investors and other market players on their toes, especially on any forthcoming announcements from the company. Fidelity has managed to get to the top of the charts as one of the large firms receptive of the crypto concept in the world.

Commenting about the company’s anticipated entry into the crypto space, Abigail confirmed that, indeed, Fidelity has a few things under development. She said that the development phase for some of the products to be fielded in the market later on is already complete. However, she opined that those ready products are yet to be introduced in the market as it’s still not the right time for that move.

Granted, those announcements will be pretty much welcome to many crypto investors as the market yearns for more investment entities to join the crypto bandwagon. That said, the entry of Fidelity, in this case, would be kind of an acid test for others who may have been holding back.

Crypto Exchange In The List?

For one, Fidelity has always made its stance clear: the company is fully pro-cryptos and blockchain. That’s a lot of support from such a large financial institution to a market that’s still trying to break the $300 billion market cap. In June, some unconfirmed reports emerged that Fidelity has plans to launch a crypto exchange, but further development is yet to be confirmed in that respect.

In 2015, Fidelity launched Fidelity Charitable, an organization open to the public. Within its first 6 months, Fidelity Charitable had received upwards of $6 million worth of crypto tokens from people who wished to be philanthropists. In that sense, and in Abigail’s words, Fidelity gave those investors and entrepreneurs an easy avenue to be philanthropists.

At the moment, Fidelity Investment is working on a range of crypto products that include use cases for both blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, the company is more focused on meeting market needs rather than the propagation of the technology.

 

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PNC Bank Embraces Blockchain and Joins RippleNet

PNC Bank, a top ten bank in the United States, has joined RippleNet. PNC customers will be able to receive real-time cross-border payments.

With more than 8 million customers and retail branches in 19 states, PNC has a diverse set of customers, including consumers, small businesses and large corporates. Ripple’s technology will have an immediate impact on each of those groups, enabling PNC’s commercial clients to receive payments from overseas banks in real time.

Now, a commercial client in Pennsylvania receiving a payment from a UK buyer will be able to receive payments against their invoices instantly, transforming the way they manage their accounts receivable and allowing them to better manage their working capital.

The bank joins some of the world’s leading financial institutions on the network, including Banco Santander, American Express and the SBI led, japan bank consortium to name a few.

The addition of a top U.S. bank like PNC on RippleNet fuels the network’s positive momentum. RippleNet has grown to more than 100 financial institutions and continues to expand steadily each month. RippleNet has also recently expanded its reach to over 40 countries and six continents.

Learn more about how to leverage the power of RippleNet.

 

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RippleNet Expands to 40 Countries Improving Remittances and SME Payments

An over 400 percent increase in remittance inflows over the last ten years has sparked new demand for faster, low-cost global payments. Driven by emerging market economies, remittances around the world totalled over 600 billion dollars last year. Across these same regions small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs), propelled by global payment flows, were responsible for for nearly 60% of employment.

Ripple has been at the forefront of addressing this need for both the expanding global remittance market and growing SMEs in emerging economies.

As of today, RippleNet is active in over 40 countries across six continents. New payment corridors have opened up in North America, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. This provides new access to better international payment services in markets where remitters and SMEs are in the most need.

What’s more, RippleNet’s newest corridors have a combined potential market that totals over $2 Billion in inflows over the last year:

  • InstaReM and RationalFX opened up new corridors from the United Kingdom to Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  • Remitr and FlutterWave established a RippleNet corridor to Nigeria from Canada, the first connection on RippleNet in Africa.
  • BeeTech and InstaReM created corridors from Brazil to Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Portugal.

This year alone, global remittances are expected to reach $642 billion. This is more than three times the official government aid received worldwide in 2017. There is no doubt that access to faster, more reliable and lower cost international payments services offers a lifeline for tens of millions of the world’s poor.

For growing SMEs in many of these markets, it is difficult to secure the financing need to hire quickly and buy materials and equipment. A credit gap estimated at over $1.2 trillion is already slowing their growth and hampering economic progress.

Any further friction, due to unnecessary delays in sending and receiving payments abroad, derails an SME’s plans to expand or worse, it puts them out of business entirely. This is precisely why demand for services, like those provided through RippleNet, are so high.

RippleNet provides financial institutions that handle remittances and SME transactions in emerging markets a unique advantage, by streamlining their payment flows making them faster, more transparent and cheaper.

Remitters and SMEs across the world, and particularly in emerging markets, are no longer hampered by an inefficient global payments infrastructure. Transactions on RippleNet are instant and tracked end-to-end, allowing money to move across borders and into new markets without impediment.

Contact us to learn more about the technology behind RippleNet or to find out how to join.

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‘Not High-Performance’: Tradeshift CEO Prudent on Blockchain Supply Chain Potential

Blockchain is not ready for at-scale supply chain deployment, Tradeshift’s Christian Lanng believes.

Digital invoicing startup Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng countered “hype” over blockchain’s role in supply chains Wednesday, September 19, telling CNBC the technology “wasn’t ready yet.”

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, Lanng highlighted the use cases for blockchain in areas such as identity and certifications, but argued supply chains were too much of a challenge for the technology in its current state.

“If you want to have authenticity, if you want to know where it is sourced, that it is done in a responsible way […] [blockchain] is a great technology to manage that kind of flow and be sure of the integrity,” he told the network, adding:

“The problem is just it’s not a high-performance technology.”

Talk of the promise of enhancing supply chain performance using distributed ledger technology has become commonplace across the global economy this year. As Cointelegraph continues to report, multiple global heavyweights are considering and working on implementing blockchain-based solutions to legacy infrastructure.

For Lanng, however, the optimism is premature. “Whenever people say blockchain, I think what they’re really saying is they would like to connect things digitally,” he continued, noting:

“I don’t think blockchain is a mature enough technology yet to carry that … I also want to be a little bit cautious for some of the hype.”

Lanng also highlighted cost hurdles and the difficulty of creating an “at scale” blockchain deployment.

The innovation has nonetheless already seen some success, as a joint shipping supply chain product from IBM and Maersk received heavy praise from logistics partner CEVA as a “big step forward” in August.

More recently, UK’s leading port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), signed an agreement with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International to develop blockchain use for port logistics.

Will There Be a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hard Fork in November?

Bitcoin Cash Price Stress Test

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network is scheduled for a protocol upgrade on the 15th of November. The changes on the network have so far been classified as ‘recommendations’ and not ‘a consensus’ by the community.

The recommended changes are summarized as follows:

When the median time past [1] of the most recent 11 blocks (MTP-11) is greater than or equal to UNIX timestamp 1542300000, Bitcoin Cash will execute an upgrade of the network consensus rules according to this specification. Starting from the next block these consensus rules changes will take effect:

  • Remove topological transaction order constraint, and enforce canonical transaction order
  • Enable OP_CHECKDATASIG and OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY opcodes
  • Enforce minimum transaction size
  • Enforce “push only” rule for scriptSig
  • Enforce “clean stack” rule

Inside the Bitcoin Cash ‘Civil War’

According to Bloomberg, at the center of the dispute is crypto mining giant of Bitmain Technologies Ltd led by co-founder, Jihan Wu. On the other side is rival mining firm of CoinGeek led by billionaire Calvin Ayre.

As the November 15th date approaches of the software upgrade, tensions are high as both mining giants are rallying behind a different software upgrade. Bitmain is for the idea that the new network should let developers issue tokens on the network like how Ethereum does it. Bitmain is also for the idea of a token burn and Roger Ver has been backing this idea.

CoinGeek on the other hand, is rallying behind a different software upgrade called Bitcoin SV, for Satoshi Vision. Bitcoin SV was launched by Craig Wright’s nChain this August and involves reverting back to some technical characteristics of the original Bitcoin Network. It would also quadruple BCH’s maximum block size to 128 megabytes.

Roger Ver, also known as ‘Bitcoin Jesus’, has been disappointed by the lack of consensus as the software upgrade date approaches as well as Craig Wright’s ‘attitude’ to the whole situation. This is after Craig Wright left the Bangkok Miners Summit of 2018 that was meant to resolve some of the issues.

Will It Become a Hard Fork?

Both sides of the argument have stated their wish to list their version of the digital asset as Bitcoin Cash on the various exchanges. Without a consensus and the software upgrade date slowly approaching, the only possible solution will be a hard fork to resolve the dispute.

Summing it up, time is running out for the Bitcoin Cash community to decide on which software upgrade to embrace as the November deadline approaches. If there is no consensus by then, the only option will be a hard fork that leaves each side happy with their own digital asset. However, this might open another Pandora’s box given the fact that the name ‘Bitcoin Cash’ will once again be the center of another dispute as to which faction gets to keep the already known title.

What do you think of the Bitcoin Cash community dispute? Can it be resolved and prevent a Hard Fork? Please tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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Major Banks, Industry Players to Launch Blockchain-Based Commodities Platform

A joint Swiss-based venture made up of banks and industry players will oversee a new blockchain-based platform for financing commodity trading.

A group of major global banks, trading firms, and a leading energy company have launched a joint venture that will oversee a new blockchain-based platform for financing the trading of commodities, Reuters reports September 19.

The Swiss-based venture, dubbed komgo SA, has been established by a host of international financing, trading, and production institutions that include ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Agricole Group, Gunvor, ING, Koch Supply & Trading, Macquarie, Mercuria, MUFG Bank, Natixis, Rabobank, Shell, SGS, and Societe Generale.

The venture will digitalize trade and commodities finance processes through a blockchain-based open platform, and has been developed in partnership with the Ethereum-focused blockchain infrastructure and solutions group ConsenSys.

The core development team supporting komgo is responsible for two reportedly successful blockchain based proofs-of-concept (PoC) that have been tested for energy and soft commodities trading, dubbed “Easy Trading Connect 1” and “Easy Trading Connect 2.”

According to a press release also published today from Dutch bank ABN AMRO:

“The first [komgo product] will standardize and facilitate the know-your-customer [KYC] process. The second […] will be a digital letter of credit, allowing commodity houses or other platforms to submit digital trade data and documents to the komgo customer banks of their choice.”

Reuters reports that komgo, which is set to go live later this year, will initially be used for the energy industry, specifically for trades that involve crude cargoes in the North Sea.

As of next year, the platform reportedly aims to widen to agriculture and metals. Vakt, a blockchain-powered oil trading platform that shares many of its shareholders with komgo, is said to be working alongside the new venture.

In April, a subsidiary of one of China’s four major state-owned oil companies successfully completed a shipment of gasoline from China to Singapore that used blockchain tech end-to-end across “all the key participants in the commodity trading process.”

Chinese Investors Keen To Back Japanese Stablecoin

japanese yen

The constant barrage from the People’s Republic upon the crypto industry in China has not deterred investor enthusiasm for new blockchain projects. A Hong Kong investment firm has plans to raise over HK$100 million (US$12.75 million) in order to back a Japanese Yen based stablecoin.

Hangzhou-backed blockchain firm, Grandshores Technology Group, has plans for a digital token fund to generate investment for the Yen-backed cryptocurrency according to the SCMP. The company, a Hong Kong listed contractor, turned to blockchain following the acquisition of SHIS, a company controlled by Yongjie Yao.

Yao is also a founding partner of the Hangzhou Grandshores Fund, backed by the provincial government, which is valued at US$1.45 billion. Chinese Bitcoin tycoon, Li Xiaolai, is also a backer of the fund according to the report. Qualified investors outside China will be sought to raise funds in Tether (USDT).

Yao believes that blockchain unicorns have the potential to disrupt the financial system and the monopoly held by tech and internet giants, he added;

“Blockchain will become the mainstream technology in the next three to five years. We are entering the next stage of blockchain evolution, a stage which is akin to when computer operating system was transiting from MS-DOS [disk operating system] to MS-Windows.”

Grandshores is currently working with a mid-tiered Japanese bank which was not named in the report. Demand for the Yen-based stablecoin has already been established and the group has plans to launch it by the end of this year or early next. There is also room for research into Hong Kong and Australian dollar backed stablecoins.

Yao is big on crypto and was an early investor in Canaan, Bitmain’s primary rival in the mining industry. He has invested over 100 million yuan into the mining firm since 2015 and expects huge returns on those investments.

A Yen based coin would provide a good alternative for USD backed stablecoins, especially for the Asian market which already dominates crypto trade volumes. Stablecoins have been surging in popularity recently with the proposed launch of a number of new ones from the likes of Gemini and IBM. With crypto trading expanding globally nation-specific stablecoins is just the next logical step in the evolution of the industry. “We believe cryptocurrency traders and exchanges will be potential takers of these stablecoins,” Yao added.

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UK Treasury Committee: Cryptocurrencies Are Crypto-Assets and Should be Regulated

That crypto investors are exposed to a litany of risks in a largely unregulated and developing sphere is true. It is along the same line of consumer protection that the UK’s Treasury Committee is rallying from calling for immediate regulation of the sphere by the Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s markets watch dog.

At the moment, the FCA has no powers to execute decisively on matters stemming from crypto token issuance or trading. Nonetheless, they have been actively facilitating safe trading of these assets. Recently, as reported by NewsBTC, the regulator issued CoinBase UK with the first e-money license effectively allowing them to dispense better services for their customers while at the same time adhering to laid out operational standards just like any other regulated financial entity within the UK.

Surprisingly, the UK isn’t the only jurisdiction facing challenges on better understanding cryptocurrencies. Approach from governments vary from outright excitement, indifference and suspicion with the majority banning exchanges and cryptocurrencies altogether.

Investor Protection is Priority

Needless to say, members of the Treasury Committee are worried that investor protection shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is so because there were no clear “routes of consumer redress or compensation”. Most notably though is the committee emphasis that the boom and bust within the crypto space proliferated by initial coin offerings is a risk for consumer investors. This has been worsened by inaction from governments as regulators “bubble’ with definitions.

While expressing his dissatisfaction, BBC quoted Treasury Committee chair Nick Morgan saying:

“It’s unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting. At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money-laundering.”

UK’s Crypto Regulatory Status

It’s understandable that the committee have their reservation on cryptocurrencies. Though they are not a risk to the economy as Mark Carney earlier stated, the fact that the market is shaky and characterized by wild swings. Overly, this is undesirable for novice investors attracted by the profit clout thanks to last year’s price explosions. The markets have since corrected slashing the overall cryptocurrency market capitalization by more than 75 percent.

Complementing the Treasury Committee calls is the chair of CryptoUK, the crypto-self regulatory body, Iqbal Gandham. CryptoUK was formed early this year. The body has been in the forefront agitating for better industry self-regulation.

It should be noted that this is not the first time the UK has insisted on regulating cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, Prime Minister and Philip Hammond, chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged that even if cryptocurrencies would be structurally important to the economy, the risks involved were too much for the UK to turn a blind eye on.

Image from Shutterstock

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Binance Continues to Embrace Tron As It Launches TRX/BNB Pairing

In a brief announcement a few hours ago, popular cryptocurrency exchange of Binance announced that it was opening trading for Tron (TRX) paired with its native cryptocurrency of Binance Coin (BNB). The announcement also added a timeline tof the availability of the new trading pair as follows:

Fellow Binancians,

Binance will open trading for a TRX/BNB trading pair at 2018/09/19 4:00 AM (UTC).

The founder of Tron, Justin Sun, also announced the same via his official twitter page.

The pairing of TRX/BNB is strategic in the sense that the traders who prefer trading on the platform using BNB as a base, can now have an easier time trading TRX rather than cashing out to USDT, BTC or ETH, then trading TRX.

Binance Continues to be ‘Bullish’ about Tron (TRX)

The new pair of TRX/BNB is not surprising given evidence that Binance has show its support for the Tron project for quite some time now. The exchange has been pivotal to the Tron project through its support in the past few months as can be seen in the list below:

  1. Binance was first to declare its support for the TRX token swap from the ERC20 token protocol to the new Tron Mainnet
  2. Binance continues to offer permanent support for the TRX token swap for users who did not do so back in June
  3. The exchange was quick to launch the TRX/USDT pair
  4. Binance has recently concluded a 1 Million TRX trading competition

With the above observations, it is safe to assume that the cryptocurrency exchange of Binance will continue to play a pivotal role in the development and trading of TRX.

With the Tron Virtual Machine already launched on the 30th of August, Tron has entered the DApp phase where developers will have a chance to create Decentralized applications on the Mainnet. This will give the Tron platform a chance to prove itself as one of the most efficient, fast, secure and flexible blockchain networks in the crypto-verse.

[Image courtesy of twitter.com/justinsuntron]

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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Cardano (ADA) Following XRP’s Footsteps on this Week’s Price Reversal

ADA Investing Prediction Cardano

With today’s general market performance [and specifically ADA/USD] it seems like the piece EthereumWorldNews covered on Cardano’s story/origin two days ago was on point. Being one of the only two gaining in double digits is making ADA stand out among top contenders during these times of recovery as it is changing hands at $0.0715 with 12.16% increase in the last 24-hours.

Cardano (ADA)

With Ripple’s XRP leading at 17.79% gain for the last day it was just a matter of time before the other top coins by market capitalization would follow positively.

ADA Recovery

Source: coinmarketcap

The pair ADA/USD finally made it above the major $0.07200 mark which tanked the price for a week now since the major decline on Sep 12th. Correction could be on its way but looking throughout the market it is very much possible that $0.07200 could hold ground as a strong support.

Read also: Stellar Lumens (XLM) Coin Story, Most Recent News/Development And Future Price Predictions – or One of the other Coin Story pieces!

In an interview with CNBC, Francisco Gonzalez Rodriguez, Executive Chairman of BBVA, explained that cryptos are perfect for the economic system, but because of their characteristics they are also especially attractive for criminals. Parallel with that, Mr. Rodriguez commented very positively on the technology behind the coins calling it also perfect and could turn very useful.

“Cryptocurrencies are perfect, but are used for bad purposes today, so [one has to be] careful. Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are also perfect, they are big, big tools. But the cryptocurrencies must be understood, [especially] the corner where the malpractices are going.”

Co-founder of the blockchain startup Origin Protocol – Josh Fraser, highlighted that despite of an unwary and volatile market, prices could recover over the next few months. In an email to the financial-focused publication MarketWatch, Fraser wrote:

“Prices will slowly recover some of the losses they experienced in [the first of half of] 2018.”

Explaining why this is the case, Fraser explained that as development efforts shift towards blockchain technologies, and subsequently, crypto assets, the “key pain points” of usability and pricing will start to subside.

For those interested to step-in and collect some ADA in their digital wallet, just recently the ABRA app has announced ADA, TRX and BAT listings on its platform.

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