SBI Remit is Using the Blockchain to Make Money Transfers Between Japan and Africa

SBI Remit, a Japanese money transfer company, is teaming up with a venture-backed firm to use its new treasury management service that uses the blockchain for increased transparency and liquidity to small and medium-sized businesses operating between Japan and Africa.
SBI Remit and BitPesa
The service is provided by BitPesa, which has raised $10 million to turn the Bitcoin blockchain into an enterprise payment rail.
Normally, consumers moving money from Japan to Africa have to rely on banks and other middlemen to make their transactions, first exchanging yen into U.S. dollars or euros, then into African currencies. BitPesa, on the other hand, uses a combination of the Bitcoin blockchain and other services to create new currency pairs which greatly simplify the process.
The partnership follows a path already laid out by BitPesa, and specifically targets cosmetics companies, electronics companies, and the lucrative used car market between Japan and Africa. It enables direct currency pairs between Japanese yen and the fiat currencies of Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Forbes.
Generally speaking, by embracing the decentralized nature of the blockchain BitPesa illustrates how useful Bitcoin is for real world applications. Not only does this system permit remittances to be completed in less than an hour — thanks to the blockchain’s fast settlement times — it will also help jump start African commerce with Japan on a larger scale by adding a much-needed layer of trust and transparency, according to Nobuo Ando, SBI Remit director.

“Many companies are doing trade with African countries and they are suffering from the high cost and the slow speed and not very precise administration,” said Ando. “So this is the market that we would like to go in, together with Bitpesa.”

Moving Funds from Asia to Africa
Historically, individuals and businesses conducting trade between Japan and the countries BitPesa serves had to move Japanese yen through multiple correspondent banks. As noted, along the way the yen was frequently converted to more liquid intermediary currencies like the U.S. dollar or the euro, which added lofty fees each step of the way.
According to World Bank estimates, the average remittance fees for this process can reach 7%, but the real cost is often much higher. It can also take several days to complete. By removing these correspondent banks and secondary currency exchanges from the process, BitPesa is able to provide similar services almost instantly for less than 3% of the total transaction.
To avoid fluctuations in the price of both fiat currency and Bitcoin, Elizabeth Rossiello, BitPesa founder, said her company’s treasury services are designed to insulate their customers from risk on either side:

“If it makes sense for us to settle using cryptocurrency or fiat currencies then we do,” Rossiello said. “And in this case, we’re happy that SBI feels the same way, so we’re open to using digital or fiat currencies to settle between us.”

Looking ahead, the remittances market in sub-Saharan Africa it is expected to grow 7% this year to $41 billion. Although this number is just a fraction of the worldwide remittance market as a whole, with relatively little competition for African business Rossiello is confident her company can use the lower costs of the Bitcoin blockchain to help catalyze commerce between Africa and the rest of the world.
Rossiello, who is among the earliest founders of a Bitcoin company established BitPesa in 2013 when the cryptocurrency was trading between around $100 and $1,000. As of today, Bitcoin is trading at over $6,600.
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2 Blockchain Finance Companies Set To Rocket In 2019!

The crypto space takes off in 2019!
There are many reasons how this could happen including the granting of a Bitcoin ETF, fuller regulation, which will encourage big institutions to invest, and also the fact that a lot of the new crypto start-ups will have their platforms/mainnets going live from the beginning of next year and will start to offer real world usage and the huge advantages that blockchain offers over traditional business models.
Continue reading 2 Blockchain Finance Companies Set To Rocket In 2019! at Crypto Daily™.
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Crypto Week In Review: $60m Hack, Institutional Investor Launches Fund, Binance to Singapore

Throughout the past seven days, this up and coming industry saw its fair share of cases of development and maturation, as institutions have continued to pile onto this market.
15 Global Institutions Launch kLmgo SA Blockchain Platform
Per a previous NewsBTC report, 15 of the world’s foremost institutions have joined hands to create komgo SA, an Ethereum-focused blockchain startup that intends to revolutionize how trading is done on a global scale. In a short but sweet four-page document, titled “Industry Players and Banks Join Forces to Launch Blockchain Platform to Transform Commodities Trade Finance,” the Geneva-based komgo SA explained that it intends to digitize many facets of the global trade ecosystem via a multitude of carefully-crafted Ethereum smart contracts and DApps.
While this sounds like an ambitious plan in and of itself, the recently-established firm has already garnered support from established institutions like Citigroup, ING, Shell, and BNP, who are well-respected multinational corporations in their own right.
Moreover, komgo SA has reportedly tapped ConsenSys, the blockchain industry’s leading innovator and accelerator, to build the aforementioned Ethereum solutions. And while this project is in its infancy, The Geneva-based startup is dead set on launching two products, which include a decentralized KYC system and a “digital letters of credit” processor, by the start of 2019.
Former Institutional Investor To Launch Crypto Hedge Fund
As Bitcoin briefly touched $20,000 late last December, Travis Kling, an executive at Steven Cohen’s Point72 fund, dropped his position at the well-established institution in a bid to make a meaningful foray into crypto. According to Bloomberg, despite the strong correction cryptocurrency prices have seen, Kling is still eyeing this market and intends to launch a crypto-focused hedge fund over the new few months.
Explaining his plan to Bloomberg reporters, the former legacy market portfolio manager noted that the fund, which has been dubbed “Ikigai,” could go live by October 1st, just a short week away. Initially, Ikigai, which will be managed by a team of 13 located in Los Angeles, will be backed by an unspecified amount of capital invested by early-stage partners. But as the hedge fund develops, Kling intends to search for HNWI and institutions that would be willing to make a capital allocation to Ikigai.
By mid-2019, the former Point72 executive revealed that he hopes to see Ikigai’s portfolio swell to $130 million in value via solid investments in both crypto assets and stock in promising startups. This is more than a money grab, self-proclaimed “non-techie” Kling explained, as he drew attention to the fact that he truly believes in this ground-breaking technology and the potential for the growth of crypto assets to multi-trillion dollar valuations.
New York Attorney General: Leading Crypto Exchanges Could Be Operating Illegally
Over the course of Bitcoin’s decade-long history, regulators have come to hate this industry, as many representatives of government fear that this nascent asset class will begin to encroach on the safe space the legacy market has carved out for itself. Most recently, it seems that this fear has culminated in a 42-page report published by Barbara Underwood, New York State’s Attorney General, that did its best to explain why current cryptocurrency platforms could be acting in an illegal manner.
While the claims made in the report are still up for debate, Underwood drew attention to the fact that leading platforms today, like Binance, Kraken, and Gate.io, could be susceptible to “three areas of concern,” which are as follows: conflicts of interest, a lack of operational security, and most importantly, a widespread absence of systems and a lack of processes that mitigate manipulation.
Since the release of the document, the cryptocurrency community has gone into a riot about what the New York regulator wrote, with industry leaders taking to Twitter to bash Underwood and her research, or lack thereof. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, for one, called New York “that abusive,  controlling ex that you broke up 3 years ago but they keep stalking you,” alluding to the fact that the report was inaccurate, unprofessional, and published in a malicious manner.
While Powell’s claims might be taking it to the extreme, there were many throughout this tight-knit community that felt as he did, as some of the statistics relayed by the report have since been rebutted.
Binance To Hire 50+ Employees At Singapore And Malta Offices
Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency platform, recently revealed that it intends to begin a hiring spree for both its offices located in both Singapore and Malta. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, the exchange’s recently-hired chief financial officer, Wei Zhou, explained that his employer hires over 300 people from 39 different nations. While this is a hefty staff count, Zhou alluded to the fact that these 300 individuals may not be enough to support Binance’s aspirations and goals.
The new hire explained that Binance intends to hire talent for operations, compliance, and customer services roles that will be located in the firm’s Singapore office and the Maltese headquarters. Although it wasn’t confirmed, many believe that the firm’s move to offer positions in Singapore is related to the recent launch of Binance Fiat in the small city-state.
In the case of Malta, many believe that the startup is bolstering its team on the small island nation as a precursor to a further fiat-to-crypto platform expansion plan, along with Binance’s recent deal with the Malta Stock Exchange.
Japanese Exchange Hacked For $60 Million In Crypto
On Thursday, Zaif, a lesser-known cryptocurrency exchange based in Japan, revealed that company-owned wallets had fallen victim to a devastating hack, resulting in the unauthorized withdrawal of millions of dollars worth of crypto holdings. In a post-mortem press release, Tech Bureau, the parent company of the Zaif exchange, explained that it fell victim to a security breach on September 14th, resulting in the immediate shut down of the platform’s deposit and withdrawal features.
Following an internal investigation, it was discovered that an unnamed independent hacker group had accessed the firm’s hot wallets and drained the funds. It was explained that over $60 million worth of cryptocurrencies were lost, which included 5,996 BTC, 40,360 BCH and 5.9 million MONA. Elaborating on more of the details, Tech Bureau pointed out that ~70% of the funds stolen were consumer funds, while the rest of the funds, worth 2.2 billion Yen, were company-owned digital assets.
But as seen with previous hacks, the firm behind the exchange is ready to take the blame, reportedly cutting a deal with Fisco Digital Asset Group, which will see Zaif gain $44 million for consumer compensation as Fisco acquires a majority stake in the exchange. Interestingly enough, unlike the recent hack of CoinRail, the market remained steady as investors realized that the security breach of a single exchange doesn’t undermine the true value of crypto assets and blockchain technologies.
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The Revolution Will Not Be Linear: Blockchain’s Unsustainable Demands From The World’s Energy Resources

Ten years from now, the story of Satoshi Nakamoto – the anonymous creator of Bitcoin – may very well become as unknown as the story of Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the world wide web. Satoshi, not only created the world’s first cryptocurrency, but a technology revolution that is changing the world.
But, if you were to ask the average person today about how Bitcoin and blockchain are changing the world, their response would likely be that it is actually destroying it.
Continue reading The Revolution Will Not Be Linear: Blockchain’s Unsustainable Demands From The World’s Energy Resources at Crypto Daily™.
Source: Crypto Daily

Stellar XLM Surges 17% Amidst Market Recovery and Increased Adoption

Stellar’s XLM surged 17% on Friday as the overall cryptocurrency markets posted gains, led by XRP, which was up 55% on a 24-hour trading period at the time of writing. The price rise of Stellar comes as the cryptocurrency is seeing increased adoption, specifically through IBM’s new cross-border settlement system – World Wire.
On Friday, XLM’s price surged from just over $0.21 to nearly $0.28, before falling slightly to its current price of $0.25. The surge came as the cryptocurrency markets saw an influx of funds, with other altcoins, like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Cardano (ADA), both up over 10% in the past 24 hours.
The increase in altcoins prices comes after a huge drop that brought the cryptocurrency market cap from its monthly high of $240 billion. This was followed by a drop to a market cap of approximately $185 billion before surging to its current levels of over $222 billion.
During this surge, Bitcoin’s market dominance fell nearly 5%, much of which was given to XRP, whose market dominance surged 4% to 12%.
Price Rise Comes Amidst Increased Cryptocurrency Adoption for Stellar and Ripple
The two leaders of today’s price surge are undeniably XRP and XLM, two cryptocurrencies that are widely viewed as direct competitors. The surge in these crypto’s prices can mainly be attributed to the fact that they are both seeing signs of widespread adoption right around the corner.
Ripple recently announced that their xRapid cross-border settlement product would be rolled out in the next month or so, which could mean increased liquidity and prices for XRP. This will be used to provide banks and financial institutions with highly effective international transfers.
While speaking to CNBC, Sagar Sarbhai, Ripple’s head of regulatory relations for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, said that the company has made huge progress in their xRapid system, adding that it will go live very soon.
“I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production,” Sarbhai said.
Currently, the majority of Ripple’s clients are looking to use their xCurrent product, which utilizes Ripple’s blockchain to facilitate transactions, but does not utilize XRP in order to transfer funds.
Although xRapid is underutilized as compared to xCurrent, there are multiple major companies and institutions that are in trial with, or signed on to use, xRapid. Santander Bank, American Express, MoneyGram, Western Union, and SBI Japan, Mercury FX, and Cambridge Global Payments, are currently the major companies trialing xRapid.
Stellar recently saw its first major example of adoption with the release of IBM’s World Wire payment system, which will be using Stellar’s blockchain to facilitate cross-border payments. The new system is a direct competitor to Ripple’s products, although it differs in that it allows institutions to choose which cryptocurrency they use, and they are not required to use XLM.
As the markets post some major daily gains it is increasingly unclear whether or not the cryptocurrency markets have bottomed, or if there is more room for them to fall.
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Tradeshift CEO: Blockchain Not Mature Enough to Support Global Supply Chains

The CEO and co-founder of digital invoicing firm Tradeshift has stated that blockchain has great potential for making supply chains cheaper and more efficient. However, Christian Lanng also believes that the technology is too immature and not cannot scale sufficiently for the role at present.
Blockchain Needs to Scale Before It Finds Global Use in Supply Chains
Lanng spoke to CNBC at the World Economic Forum earlier today. At the event, held in Tianjin, China, the CEO and co-founder of Tradeshift stated that blockchain is a great technology to prove the authenticity of goods, along with their point of origin, and other details.
The various stakeholders involved can check on goods at different stages of the supply chain using the innovation behind Bitcoin. However, along with it being overly expensive, for now, Lanng added:
“The problem is just it’s not a high-performance technology.”
Whilst speaking with the publication, Lanng went on to state that current supply chains were not currently engineered with change in mind. He then commented that it is important for companies to digitise their supply chains in order to respond to change more efficiently. One such technology that is capable of such a digitisation is blockchain. However, Lanng is also cautious about the amount of hype surrounding the innovative technology:
“Whenever people say blockchain, I think what they’re really saying is they would like to connect things digitally… 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.”
In addition to its financial applications in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, many believe that blockchain technology could be particularly useful in increasing efficiency and cutting out middlemen in supply chains. Several companies and organisations are already looking at ways to apply the technology to their existing services. These include the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency and global logistics firm UPS. However, according to surveys cited by CNBC, widespread adoption of the technology might be as many as 10 years away.
In reasoning his position, Lanng used the Ethereum blockchain as an example. He mentioned that seven transactions per second is simply not enough to enable the technology’s use in global supply chains just yet. He went on to highlight the inability of developers to scale a blockchain and technical issues faced in building them to begin with:
“When you run a global supply chain, you have (thousands) of transactions per second. So, I think for identity, I think for certifications and stuff like that, blockchain is useful… For the main transactional scenarios, it’s not ready yet. It’s too expensive and it’s very complicated to build and scale.”
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International AML Task Force to Close “Gaps” Created by Virtual Currencies

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to combat anti-money laundering (AML), may be about to agree with a set of standards to apply to virtual currencies.
President Marshall Billingslea is optimistic that the discussions scheduled for October will result in a revised AML methodology.
Cryptocurrencies Force Governments to Revise Anti-Money Laundering Standards
Significant progress has been made in past weeks as the task force is dedicated to finding a consensus across nations on what was declared a matter of urgency by the G20. Soon, all nations will close the anti-money laundering “gaps” created by the virtual currency space, Billingslea said.
“It is essential that we establish a global set of standards that are applied in a uniform manner.”
Marshall Billingslea, President of FATF and assistant secretary to the U.S. secretary, said the adoption of anti-money laundering standards pertaining to the cryptocurrency sphere is “very much a patchwork quilt or spotty process,” which is “creating significant vulnerabilities for both national and international financial systems,” the Financial Times reported.
The topic is being discussed in the U.K., where members of parliament called for the regulation of “Wild West” crypto-asset markets. A regulatory framework is necessary to protect consumers exposed to the “litany of risks” arising from crypto-assets, said the Commons Treasury Select Committee.
Central bank and government oversight, with a proper set of standards applied to virtual currencies, should be able to tackle the use of cryptocurrencies by criminal and terrorist groups.
While admitting that virtual currencies are being increasingly adopted by terrorist organizations including the Islamic State, Billingslea is aware that digital assets present “a great opportunity” and regulation must not “tilt too far in one direction or another” in order to let the underlying technology behind Bitcoin et al. to “continue to evolve.”
A report by Europol in February showed that criminals in Europe have laundered $5.5 billion, which constitutes 4 percent of illicitly trafficked cash. The EU policing agency has called for a centralized system that flags cryptocurrency wallets linked to criminal activities in order to block those addresses from exchanging for fiat money.
While the rise of cryptocurrencies has caused a number of challenges in anti-money laundering efforts, the underlying technology is only getting harder to control. As decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges are likely to grow into the mainstream, the Financial Action Task Force will probably need to meet again to fill new “gaps” very soon.
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Ripple Adds PNC to Client List Continuing Growth as They Near xRapid Launch

Blockchain settlement startup, Ripple, has added PNC Financial Services Group to their list of clients utilizing their real-time cross border settlement systems in order to more efficiently process international payments.
PNC will be using Ripple’s xCurrent system, which utilizes blockchain technology in order to quickly and cheaply process international payments. This system, however, does not utilize cryptocurrency, unlike Ripple’s xRapid system, which uses XRP to settle international payments.
PNC’s move to utilize blockchain technology to process international transfers comes amidst a widespread movement for banks and financial institutions to switch to blockchain in order to stay competitive, and to transition away from the inefficiencies that are inherent with the current settlement systems.
Ripple Facing Growing Competition as More Banks Turn to Blockchain
Although Ripple is currently the go-to company for blockchain-based settlement systems, they are facing growing competition from major corporations, including IBM, who recently unveiled their World Wire cross-border payment solution.
The new IBM product is very similar to Ripple’s, although their solutions are working off of the Stellar blockchain, which is very similar to XRP’s blockchain. Unlike Ripple, however, IBM’s product requires that financial institutions utilize cryptocurrencies of their choice to conduct the transfers, and they do not currently offer a system to compete with Ripple’s xCurrent, which is solely based on the blockchain and not on cryptocurrency.
IBM describes the use of cryptocurrencies in their new system, saying:
“Two financial institutions transacting together agree to use a stable coin, central bank digital currency or other digital asset as the bridge asset between any two fiat currencies. The digital asset facilitates the trade and supplies important settlement instructions…World Wire then simultaneously converts the digital asset into the second fiat currency, completing the transaction. All transaction details are recorded onto an immutable blockchain for clearing.”
Ripple’s xRapid Nearing Launch
Although the majority of Ripple’s clients are currently signed on to use, or in trials with, xCurrent, the company is launching its xRapid product in the coming months and is hoping to eventually move their xCurrent clients to xRapid.
Ripple’s senior vice president for product management, Asheesh Birla, spoke about the use of xRapid, saying that “Banks aren’t going to be the first adopters of xRapid,” and further adding that xCurrent is “a way to get their toe into the water.”
Ripple has already signed on multiple major companies and institutions to trial with xRapid, including Santander Bank, Money Gram, Western Union, and SBI Japan, but it is unclear how many of these corporations will use the product after its official launch in the coming months.
According to Ripple’s head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, the company has already signed on more than 120 banks and financial institutions to use their xCurrent system. It is unclear how the growing competition will affect the number of clients Ripple gains.
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WEF: Blockchain Could Help Address the Planet’s Environmental Issues

According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, blockchain could be used to help tackle the “most pressing” environmental concerns faced by the planet. The document states that the distribute ledger system could help address climate change, biodiversity issues, and scarcity of water.
Could Blockchain Save the World?
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has produced a report on how blockchain could be used to help protect the planet’s environment.
Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet is part of a series of papers exploring the implications of emerging technologies and how they can impact global society. Other reports in the collection focus on Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. The document is a collaboration between international accountancy firm PwC and the American Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
The report identifies that the planet is amid an “unprecedented environmental systems change.” This has been caused by surging economic activity since the middle of the twentieth century.
WEF claim that such conditions present a clear opportunity to use blockchain and other technological innovations to combat six of the most pressing environmental dangers facing life on earth. These are: climate change, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, ocean-health deterioration, air pollution, and water scarcity.
Throughout the document, as many as 65 different applications of blockchain technology are identified as being able to help alleviate those environmental issues mentioned previously. It goes on to state that blockchain was particularly useful in examples where it enables:
 “… cleaner and more efficient decentralized systems; peer-to-peer trading of resources or permits; supply-chain transparency and management; new financing models for environmental outcomes; and the realization of non-financial value and natural capital.”
The report also states that the opportunities presented by blockchain technology could allow for the monetisation of value that is “currently embedded (but unrealised) in environmental systems.” The authors go on to allege that the technology could fill such a “gap in the market.”
The WEF are careful to note that such changes do not happen on their own. Rather they need to be implemented through collaboration between various participants. These include policy-makers and technologists. The group believes that such a joint effort, assisted by cutting-edge technology, could “create a sustainability revolution.”
The WEF is a non-profit organisation that is based in Switzerland. The think tank aims to unite “the foremost political, business, and other leaders of society to shape global regional and industry agendas.” They are comprised of over 2,000 businesses and political leaders. Many meet each January in Davos, Switzerland. At this year’s event, blockchain and cryptocurrencies were one of the most hotly discussed topics.
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Tezos Jumps 46% Ahead Of Monday’s Blockchain Launch

Tezos Foundation (CRYPTO: XTZ) launched on Monday its blockchain protocol which is now fully operational and managed by the Tezos community. The XTZ token rose to $1.68 early Monday gaining 46% from a one-week low of $1.15. (Update: Tezos has trended downward to $1.55 as of press time.)
Over the weekend, cryptocurrency investors gobbled up the digital coin in anticipation of price increase right before the mainnet launch on Sept. 17.
Continue reading Tezos Jumps 46% Ahead Of Monday’s Blockchain Launch at Crypto Daily™.
Source: Crypto Daily

Ripple’s Cory Johnson says blockchain solutions are going to “change the way money and value move in our society”

In a recent interview at the Milken Institute Asia Summit 2018, Cory Johnson, Chief Marketing Strategist, Ripple Labs Inc., and Lara Wozniak, Growth Markets Media Relations Head, Accenture discussed the happenings at the blockchain panel. The two also spoke about the prospect of future innovations in the blockchain field, the regulatory bodies and more.
Speaking of blockchain and future innovations in the field and what industry could transform the most with blockchain, Cory stated that it is going to be financial services.
He said:
“I really do think that finance is the place where there was the most friction in our global economy. And the solutions presented by blockchain are so obvious that they’re really going to change the way money and value move in our society. “
Moreover, Johnson said that the people were ready for this change and have begun questioning why a cross-border payment takes 3 days or more when it can be done through a text message in 5 seconds.
Furthermore, they discussed if the regulators were ready to accept this change. To this, Johnson said the regulators are currently trying to figure out the speculation on the cryptocurrencies. He added that this particular subject has scared the regulators on what blockchain might be in certain cases.
However, his recent meeting with regulators has taken Cory by surprise as they come bearing the thought of really wanting to know more without housing the notion of doubt and fear. In his words:
“When we meet with regulators, I have personally been really surprised by how much they know, and how much they really want to know. They don’t seem to walk into this, with sort of this notion of fear and doubt, they actually want to listen and learn.”
He then spoke about entrepreneurs all over the world developing solutions using blockchain and digital assets. He also cited examples of entrepreneurs using the digital asset ‘XRP’. Despite the hostility of the regulators towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the entrepreneurs were continuing to use the solutions, he further added.
Giving examples of places like Singapore, Malta, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Estonia where the government has made the decision of embracing blockchain technology, he stated that the entrepreneurs would pick those, as opposed to the ‘Silicon Valley’ if the regulators remained hostile to these technologies.
He concluded by saying:
“The world is more global than ever before. And, entrepreneurs are going to pick up and leave and go to the places where those technologies …and you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to develop technology where I still think it’s the best place, but there are more options now.”
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Samsung Blockchain To Help Korea Gov’t Improve Services

Samsung SDS on Friday announced that South Korea’s Customs Service will use the company’s blockchain solutions to implement a decentralized customs clearance system. SDS is the company’s IT division that houses innovations such as Nexledger blockchain and biometric solution Nexsign.
Per a new agreement, 48 Korea-based institutions such as public agencies, shipping companies, insurers and other stakeholders will participate as distributed nodes to bring transparency, efficiency and security to the customs process. Use cases include sharing of necessary documentation and fraud prevention such as inability of smugglers to forge documents.
Continue reading Samsung Blockchain To Help Korea Gov’t Improve Services at Crypto Daily™.
Source: Crypto Daily

$1 Trillion Boost In Trade Finance Via Blockchain: World Economic Forum

Blockchain can transform the supply chain.
By using blockchain, small- and medium-size businesses (SMEs) around the world can obtain $1 trillion in trade financing, according to Sept. 13 whitepaper by World Economic Forum and consulting firm Bain & Co. The technology can be especially important in providing capital and improving efficiency in emerging countries — which often lack banking infrastructure and digital processes.
The authors of “Trade Tech – A New Age for Trade and Supply Chain Finance” point to red tape and excessive documentation as stifling international trade, especially in regions like Asia and Africa.
Continue reading $1 Trillion Boost In Trade Finance Via Blockchain: World Economic Forum at Crypto Daily™.
Source: Crypto Daily

Ethereum Blockchain Being Used to Help Hurricane Victims with Insurance Payouts

Between Harvey, Irma, Maria, and now Florence, the United States has seen an unprecedented amount of disastrous natural disasters that have devastated communities and have left billions of dollars’ worth of damages in their wake. Ethereum’s blockchain is now potentially being used to solved many of the resulting problems.
The sheer number of insurance requests to cover things like damaged or lost homes and cars has posed a huge issue for the insurance industry, as they have to rapidly approve requests for funds in order to replace or repair any home/auto damages caused by the hurricanes. It now appears that the industry is turning to blockchain technology in order to increase their efficiency.
Using Blockchain is the Next Step for the Insurance Industry
The current process of approving the vast quantity of requests that come following a natural disaster is quite complicated and starts with a team of adjusters and agents working to filter out fraudulent requests from people trying to capitalize on the disaster. The insurance companies also have to coordinate with reinsurance companies, that help to cover the windfall of expenses that follow these types of disasters.
Due to the convoluted and inefficient process of accepting insurance claims, especially following disasters like hurricanes, many insurance analysts and blockchain experts see it as the best solution to fix the industry’s problems.
A newly founded Switzerland-based blockchain startup, called Etherisc, is working to provide solutions to the inefficiencies of the insurance industry by using the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts to automate certain processes that are currently done manually by employees. In addition to being cheaper, the automated solutions will also reduce fraud and human error that can cost insurance companies a fortune.
If Etherisc’s system is widely adopted, it would ultimately lead to automated insurance payouts, which would allow victims of natural disasters to secure funding to pay for the resulting expenses, which include hotel/motel costs, car rentals, and repairs to water or infrastructure damages to their homes.
Quick insurance payments are particularly relevant to families or individuals who have their homes completely destroyed, as the rebuilding process can take a significant amount of time, and the faster it begins the faster they can get back to a normal living situation.
Etherisc’s co-founder, Renat Khasanshyn, spoke to Forbes about the use of their systems for pending disasters, like the category four hurricane, Florence, that is barreling towards the east coast at over 140 miles per hour:
“We’d love to offer policies in Virginia. Yet launching a product in multiple locations is no easy task,” Khansanshyn said.
Etherisc has raised $3.6 million since its founding in 2017 through an Initial Coin Offering and is in the early stages of offering their Ethereum-based solutions to insurance companies. If used, their blockchain system could save insurance companies tens of millions of dollars and could help the hundreds of thousands of people that file insurance claims following disasters.
While speaking about the 225,000 insurance claims filed by those victimized by hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Khasanshyn said that, “Our plan is to begin writing policies for the next hurricane season in Puerto Rico.”
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US Crypto Industry Vets Form Blockchain Association Lobbying Group

Some of the largest United States-based players in the cryptocurrency space, together with tech industry veterans, are forming the Blockchain Association to better lobby for crypto-related policy changes in Washington D.C.
Crypto Industry Powerhouses Join Forces for Greater Purpose
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said back in June that bear markets such as the one cryptocurrencies are experiencing right now, create an “opportunity to keep making progress while everyone else gets distracted.” According to a new report from the Washington Post, the outspoken CEO and other crypto industry vets are doing exactly that.
Armstrong’s cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase joins the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle, along with tech startup Protocol Labs and big money investors like the Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, to form the Blockchain Association, which the Washington Post calls the first “fully fledged lobbying group in Washington representing entrepreneurs and investors who are building off the technology behind bitcoin.”
The Blockchain Association will be tasked with representing the entire cryptocurrency industry in Washington D.C., and the organization’s key focuses will be around working with federal regulators to shape future regulation. Proper regulation is said to be among the chief reasons institutional investors have been hesitant to enter the space, followed by a proper custody solution.
Blockchain Association: Shaping the Future of Cryptocurrency Policy
The Blockchain Association has its work cut out for it. The cryptocurrency market is new, unregulated, and not yet fully understood. United States lawmakers and regulators have taken a mostly hands-off stance with cryptocurrencies. However, in recent weeks, discussion around which cryptocurrencies could be deemed securities by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the potential around fraud related to initial coin offerings, has raised concerns that further regulatory clarity is needed.
The new lobbying group will also address how cryptocurrencies are treated under U.S. tax law. Currently, cryptocurrencies are treated as property the same way real estate investments are treated. With cryptocurrencies arguably being more akin to traditional currencies than assets in how they’re used for transactions, the U.S. tax law is an archaic approach and requires a modern day revamp.
Other notable areas of interest for U.S. regulators that the Blockchain Association will address surround important anti-money-money laundering and know-your-customer policies.
“We’re not companies looking to game the system, but trying to develop a legal and regulatory system that’ll stand the test of time,” Coinbase’s chief legal and risk office Mike Lempres explained.
Lobbying Group Makes Its First Hire
The Washington Post has also revealed that the newly formed Blockchain Association has hired Kristen Smith, former aide to Senator Olympia J. Snowe, and advisor at Thompson Coburn’s lobbying and policy group.
Smith, who says she’s spent a lot of time doing “basic education work” in the space, also spent time lobbying for Overstock.com on blockchain-related issues. Smith added that she’s “excited to focus exclusively on these issues.”
 
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