During the last interview with CNBC Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia, announced about the launching of a New FinTech Platform called Crypto Revolt. It can give established players in the region a run for their money, and also to set leading position. But the main aim of the project is to generate source of income to afeguard the financial іnterests of all Malaysian residents in general.

“We are now in big digital adventure, which we think will add a lot to our bottomline.Crypto Revolt is a part of AirAsia’s strategy to develop new businesses that can generate additional income for the company and people of Malaysia in general. This will help ordinary people to become more financially independent than before” – Tony Fernandes said. But how does it works?

This new trading system is build as a very safe and effective system. The system is supported by the government thus all its users are financially protected and all their deposits are safe. “Malaysia as a country needs better connectivity to continue trend of development and for this platform to reach its full potential. Adding a new opportunites with Crypto Revolt, especially at this stage and with an experienced invesrors, is a much needed and welcomed move. This new platform will bring more and better choices to our people in the years to come. Every Malaysian resident is welcome to join the platform and start earning money. Thus, it will bring financial freedom back to people of Malaysia ,” Tony Fernandes said.

WHAT IS THE CORE OF THE PLATFORM TO WORK?

“A user should simply make an initial $250 deposit to purchase a position in Crypto Revolt platform. Then, the automated trading algorithm is ready to go” — Tony Fernandes explained.

Tony Fernandes speaking about his platform.

The Malaysian entrepreneurs were very skeptical about the platform which is driven by an automated algorithm, as well as the intent to make money by charging a small commission on only the profits a user generates. They asked Tony Fernandes for a real time test of the platform to make sure it is possible to earn money with the help of Crypto Revolt.

Goh Peng Ooi, one of MALAYSIA’S 50 RICHEST PEOPLE according to Forbes, decided to test the platform and deposit $250 right at the Blockchain conference – UTAR iCGPA.

Goh Peng Ooi is buying his bitcoin with the help of Crypto Revolt

“I think it is working. Other platforms like this will appear soon, I am sure, because entrepreneurs would benefit from it. So will ordinary people. In the meantime the bitcoin industry is growing big. I know people who made fortunes out of Bitcoin and I personally just earnt money a few hours ago using Fernandes`s Crypto Revolt. I know he is in big trouble and I want to support him, because he is doing really admirable things! I appreciate his invention of bitcoin earning algorithm, this could help everyone.” – Goh Peng Ooi said.

STORE OF VALUE

Tech and finance enthusiast Tony Fernandes has always been interested in blockchain and crypto technologies. In April 2018, he gave a few interviews to the Western medias when the project was on a beta-phase development. He told media that he believes in the long term viability of cryptocurrency. He admits that many rich Malaysians would like to dip their toes into this new technology.

Having learned about Crypto Revolt, many are turning to Bitcoin as their new asset class. It is perceived as the digital gold or gold 2.0 and deemed as the new haven of the digital world. The Bull Run in 2017 where the value grew from $1000 to a staggering $20.000 has not gone unnoticed.

More and more Malaysian businesses became very eager to invest in bitcoin

“Unlike bank networks which use private ledgers, there is no guarantee that the originator actually owns the underlying assets. Crypto Revolt guarantees with mathematical certainty that the originator of the transfer owns the underlying assets. Conventional banks operate using fractional reserve is prohibited in Malaysia.” Vincent Tan, Malaysian businessman and investor.

Vincent Tan speaking about his experience with Crypto Revolt

So what do we know about the platform?

The platform charges a commission of 2% on profits a user generates and you need to make a minimum deposit of $250 to get started. That money will be your initial investment, which the trading software uses to trade.

I decided to sign up for an account with Crypto Revolt I made the initial deposit $250 and set up my account.

MY RESULTS WITH CRYPTO REVOLT AFTER 7 DAYS

The platform took 20 hours to generate a $80.19 profit, which already impressed me a lot! I’ve never purchased Bitcoin before and never made a trade in my life, yet here I was able to generate profits.

I spent about 5 minutes a day checking my results and after 5 days, the platform had traded up to a massive total of $630. That is a 257% increase in my initial deposit. I was starting to become a true believer in this platform.

After 7 Days my initial investment had traded up to $1,930. At this point, my mind was racing with possibilities of all the things I could spend that money on. This is more money than I made at work for the week and I spent less than 30 minutes checking the platform.

I decided to keep my account active for 15 days in total, because I wanted to see how high it could go. My account eventually hit a peak of $7,380.10, but had a negative -$79.51 trade. I looked through my trading logs and discovered that not every trade is profitable, some actually lose money.

The platform isn’t magic, but after 70% of my trades were profitable, the net result was I made $7,300.59 from my initial deposit of $250. It took me less than 30 minutes of work a week and absolutely no technical or investing experience.

As you can see from the screenshot below, I decided to used the ‘withdraw funds’ function to withdraw $7,300.59 from my account.

All in all, I was able to make $7,300.59 from using Crypto Revolt. I decided to pull my money out to pay for an overseas holiday. When I get back, with the money I’ve got left over from my holiday, I will definitely reinvest in Crypto Revolt. I may even quit my job!

HOW TO GET STARTED?

Crypto Revolt is allowing our readers to try the platform for a minimum deposit of just $250. Given the massive increase in popularity of the trading platform, this initial minimum deposit may increase!

It is important that you sign up for Crypto Revolt immediately, as we do not know how many places will be available.

You can fund your account via credit card or a bank transfer.

*This post is credited to Talking Today Club

2018 was a wild ride. There were negatives like jaw-dropping swings in the price of Bitcoin, and with tokens of thousands of baseless ICO’s getting washed out of the system. And there were positives of unprecedented FinTech innovation, the arrival of institutional players, the SEC (and FinCEN) beginning to provide clarity and taking select enforcement actions, and new use cases for blockchain technology.

And in 2019? A few of my thoughts and predictions on the larger trends we’ll see include…

The tokenization of…everything.

1. STO’s (Securities Token Offerings) are currently the hot item that everyone is talking about. And yes, businesses will raise money and issue tokens instead of stock/bond certificates, and we’ll see new types of exchanges rise up to trade these securities. This trend will accelerate, especially given the easier path to liquidity for investors (see #5 below).

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

2. Currency will be (and is already being) tokenized. Numerous stablecoins are issued against USD held in trust. This will also happen for EUR, GBP, YEN, SGD and other currencies. Although the current major use-case for stablecoins is as a general store of digital value, that will start to shift as ecommerce merchants begin to move away from expensive credit cards to adopt stablecoins as a low (or even “no”) fee payment method.

3. Lending will be tokenized. This is, I think, perhaps the largest and most disruptive use of blockchain technology. It’s also the one that our current US regulatory regime is least equipped to foster, nurture and oversee. The current process for making loans and then packaging, securitizing and trading them is horribly kludgy and antiquated. This is also true for distributions of interest, principal, rents, revenue share, dividends and other remittances to lenders and investors, which will use new, highly efficient, blockchain-driven processes.

4. Real estate, automobiles, gold, diamonds, art and every asset imaginable will become tokenized such that it is liquid and easy for people to finance, borrow against or invest in. In 2018 we saw Harbor tokenize a 260-apartment student housing project at the Univ of South Carolina, and Indigogo tokenize an offering by the St Regis Aspen hotel, which is the start of what will be a mega-trend in 2019, especially as these tokens start to trade (see next paragraph).

5. Stocks and bonds will be tokenized. How can people buy shares of private companies in secondary markets? How can people in Africa buy shares of USD-priced stock on NASDAQ? How can people in the US buy shares of stock that only trade on an exchange in Asia or Europe and in currencies native to those countries? The answer will be the tokenization of those securities and listing them on digital exchanges globally. tZero is the first exchange to announce the listing and trading of tokenized private securities in compliance with US securities regulations, soon to be followed by tokenized trading of public securities. This will be a major, game-changing trend.

6. There will be fraud in asset tokenization.

The storm clouds are already forming, and it’s exasperatingly unnecessary. “Hey buddy, wanna buy some tokens backed by the Brooklyn Bridge?” – some people are issuing tokens purportedly backed by USD, by real estate, by stocks and bonds, and by other assets without depositing the title to those assets with a regulated, audited, qualified third-party trustee.

Would a bank make a home or auto loan without holding the title to the asset? Of course not. Would a pawn shop make a loan to someone without holding the jewelry in its safe? Of course not. Yet that’s exactly what some people are doing in the early stages of this space, “give me money for tokens backed by this asset, which I’m holding…trust me.”

Most issuers are already using trust companies to hold those assets and build trust in the markets. As has been done for decades with ADR’s and securitization of real estate loans, which employ custodians to hold underlying assets. But sadly, I think it may take well-publicized losses to wake some regulators (and lawyers, accountants, broker-dealers, advisors and exchanges) up to the fact that if the assets aren’t held by a qualified trustee, then the potential for fraud is an unmanageable risk.

7. The SEC and FinCEN will step up their investigations and enforcement actions in the space.

I’m amazed that I continue to have conversations at conferences with otherwise very bright people who seem to have a complete lack of appreciation, and at times even a willful disregard for US rules and regulations. Compliance may be a pain, breaking the rules is far more painful. I agree that there’s quite a bit of gray area that’s yet to be clarified, and that’s what gives entrepreneurs a chance to build unicorns in a formative industry when the major financial firms are too afraid to participate, but some people just continue to do dumb things which are blatant violations of various regulations.

8. Global exchanges and intermediaries will legally poach business from their US counterparts.

International exchanges and platforms have gathered millions of customers who use their services daily. This forms a powerful base to start funding US asset-backed loans and business capitalization from offshore investors. This is fantastic for investors globally, everywhere except the US. Some examples of how this may play out include;

A US business (of any size) wants to raise some capital. It does so using “Reg S”, which permits it to raise money from non-US investors with very few restrictions. Money flows into the company from offshore investors, which is a good thing as the business gets funded and jobs get created. The company doesn’t have to worry about whether those investors are “accredited” or not. The company doesn’t have to make any regulatory filings. And those offshore investors can list their “stocks” or “bonds” (in the form of tokens) on a non-US exchange and start trading them immediately. Those non-US exchanges can even publish investor research reports on the tokens they trade!

A US person wants to buy a house or a car. They do so by getting a loan from an offshore lending platform (which holds title to the home or auto with a US trust company). The offshore lender then tokenizes that real estate (or automobile) loan and sells it on non-US exchanges. And if that’s murky due to US lending regulations? Okay fine, then the offshore lender might perhaps buy the home and enter into a contract where the homeowner rents it and buys it little by little (similar to the model used by Islamic banks). Result is the same, the profits are made by investors globally…everywhere except the US.

The rise of infrastructure businesses.

Much ado has been made about custodians, and rightly so. Assets need to be held by a regulated trustee. There is a huge need for fiat on-and-offramps. And many investors will want their tokens held on statement just like they do their stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But besides trust companies and banks, there are other unicorns in the making…

Tokenization of assets requires help with creating smart contracts, and with managing them. It requires innovative blockchains that provide faster settlement of transactions, good KYC/AML, and tools to handle/reverse criminal acts. It requires front-end servicers to originate a flow of funds by connecting people who need funds with people who have money. It requires settlement mechanisms. It requires secondary trading exchanges, intermediaries and research. It requires debt (and fractionalized ownership) servicing firms. It requires a new breed of legal and accounting representation. And it requires new types of businesses to handle/create/manage things which we cannot yet imagine.

Many of these businesses are already in play. Some are pivoting their well-established business models to address this market, including StartEngine, Republic, Overstock, Cohen & Co, PwC, and of course Prime Trust. Others are new firms that have been purpose-built for this new era, including HBUS, TrustToken, tZero, OKEX, KOI, CoinList, Polymath, Harbor, TokenSoft, OTCXN, AlphaPoint, Daollar, BHEX, Bitrue, Carbon, Stably, AnchorCoin, Stronghold, Consensys, and countless others across all types of service providers.

2019 is going to be exciting. I think it’s when the rubber truly starts to meet the road, following the shakeout of the vaporware that accumulated in prior years, which I chalk up as proof-of-concept for blockchain. I can’t wait for the new year.

*This post is credited to Equities

A CRYPTOCURRENCY owned by Luis “Chavit” Singson’s LCS Group of Companies is set to be launched early next year as part of efforts to push more Filipinos to transact and pay through digital means.

Dubbed as Gold Chavit Coin (GCC), the virtual currency set to be launched next year marks the company’s foray into the financial technology industry.

In a statement yesterday, LCS said it will list GCC in local cryptocurrency exchanges where it can be traded using fiat money or other virtual currencies.

“Many Filipinos still have no access to a bank account, which prevents them from saving for their future and participating in basic financial transactions such as simple payments,” Mr. Singson was quoted as saying in the statement. “GCC aims to change all that by offering [an] ubiquitous currency that they can use for nearly all types of transactions, both in the country and abroad.”

GCC will be based on ERC-20 standards used in the Etherium blockchain network.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Etherium and Ripple are virtual currencies not regulated by any state or central bank. They rely on cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as control the creation of more units.

Cryptocurrencies are based on distributed ledgers called blockchain, which involves a large network of entities where data is stored in “blocks.” The storage units are continuously updated and being secured using cryptography, making data management and data-driven processes decentralized, tamper-proof and more transparent.

Virtual currencies can also be used to pay for goods through internet, and can be treated as investments given their fluctuating valuations.

Mr. Singson said a mobile application is being developed alongside GCC for bill payments and online and in-store purchases with affiliate retailers and banks, beginning with transactions among LCS Group of Companies.

“We plan to leverage the entire LCS network, in addition to partnerships with other vendors and firms, to drive mass adoption, which in turn will increase GCC’s market value,” Mr. Singson added.

The mobile application is being developed with Billion System Corp., the Japanese fintech company behind the PayB payment app.

“Blockchain in the Philippines remains in its infancy, but it has tremendous disruptive potential that can help not only individuals, but also the economy as a whole by further expanding e-commerce access in the country,” Mr. Singson added. — K.A.N. Vidal

*This post is credited BWorld Online

Fintech on Blockchain is fast disrupting the financial industry. The speed and scale of this disruption will mainly depend on the adoption of the new economy by the users. People have spoken, everyone is tired of black boxes, we want to be the ones to determine how much we pay for the transfer of information and finances between us.

Why long, expensive money/asset/information transfers with the participation of several intermediaries through multi-layer systems? We do not wait for days to send urgent mail across the world. We expect the technology to work for us. Then why should we accept long lead times for cross-border payments? Could it be a question of trust?

Perhaps, we still rely on traditional banks to provide consultancy, security or dispute resolutions. We rely on banks to protect us to ensure that the counterparty will meet obligations. Banks are seen by government institutions, as guarantors for safeguarding our rights and contract agreements.

But the problem remains; banks are slow at solving our problems and this slows down the markets.   Time costs money and, in order to validate each other, we are paying huge commissions to third parties for this process. Anonymity does not exist, yet we want to understand that those who we deal with go through a clear verification procedure to provide the legitimacy of transactions.

One interesting company which aims to offer change the way banking is done is Platio. It claims to be one of the first fully licensed companies that aims to provide the complete spectrum of services in its multi-asset banking system. Platio’s function is banking as a service and its  CFO, Irina Berkon certainly has her ideas clear on where blockchain and fintech are going.

The future is in blockchainization and tokenization of the finance industry. Blockchain is the most convenient environment in which AML regulation can be applied. All transactions have trusted track records. The wide spread of blockchain in the finance industry results in self-regulation of the financial system and the best option for further development, Berkon says.

Now, let’s not confuse blockchain with unregulated crypto transactions. Legitimacy and regulation of all transactions is required. As soon as the asset is converted into cash, regulation must kick in.

Definitely a bold statement and one which shows that banking on the blockchain is certainly going to disrupt things in the future.

*This post is credited to Forbes

 

Malaysia will enforce a new regulation on digital asset, cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs early 2019. 

Malaysia is moving forward in the digital economy. The country’s minister of finance, Lim Guan Eng just announced that official regulations for digital asset, cryptocurrency exchanges as well as ICOs will be enforced by Q1 2019.

This is part of the country’s Securities Commission’s (SC) efforts to facilitate an alternative for fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes.

Despite the skepticism of certain parties, the minister believes that this is the right direction to go. Quoting what he said in his speech during the FinTech Conference 2018, “While some parties might still be skeptical of this space, there can be no doubt that we need appropriate regulations to be put in place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors.”

He further explained that any parties interested in developing crypto exchanges or conducting ICOs must work within the framework set by the SC and the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, which will be supervised by the Finance Ministry.

That said, Lim ensures the government’s full commitment to support “high potential and innovative micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)”, by saying, “We are keen on the continued development of such alternative financing avenues for these businesses beyond the traditional channels of financing.”

According to Coinwire, earlier this month, a member of the Malaysian Parliament urged the government to suspend the approval of a state-backed digital currency until proper regulations are enforced.

“The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency may open us up to a number of issues and we need to wait for guidelines from [the country’s central bank] Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in regard of cryptocurrency,” said Fahmi Fadzil, the director of People’s Justice Party (PKR).

*This post is credited to Chepicap

IT seems as though efforts to bring blockchain to the financial services industry across the Asia Pacific is slowly picking up momentum.

Indonesia’s leading futures and derivatives group, Jakarta Futures Exchange (JFX) is joining forces with Australia’s Kinesis Money and Allocated Bullion Exchange (ABX) to develop a blockchain powered exchange in Indonesia.

The collaboration primarily focuses on creating an alternative option to the current financial offerings. The blockchain based solution will come with added benefits such as being simpler, faster and more secure.

“It’s increasingly become clear to us that the benefits of distributed ledger technology or ‘blockchain’ will unlock tremendous amounts of value for Indonesia and Indonesian people,” JFX President Stephanus Paulus Lumintang said in a statement.

Blockchain regulation in Indonesia is an ongoing process at the moment, something Lumintang describes as challenging but crucial.

He is confident that JFX is ready to be a blockchain exchange company that is compliant with any regulatory requirements that may come its way.

“Our future partnership with Kinesis and ABX will enable us to not only tap into these advantages but to create a secure and transparent blockchain network that provides a credible alternative to existing systems of exchange,” he said.

Australian outfits Kinesis and ABX have together developed a digital currency system using real assets – gold and silver- as its basis, and these currencies are shifted on the Kinesis Blockchain Exchange that is a part of Stellar Network.

The network capable of handling more than 300 transactions per second and is integrated with mobile banking and fiat currency exchange services.

ABX has been working with JFX in expanding gold investments into Indonesia and now the two companies are launching a spot physical Sharia Gold Contract after securing the permit by Indonesia regulators and National Shariah Board.

“A blockchain exchange version of gold-based currencies, through collaboration with Kinesis and ABX, is a natural extension of the JFX and Indonesian government vision,” the statement read.

Kinesis and ABX CEO Thomas Coughlin said, “The bespoke blockchain network that we developed creates a complete monetary system which enables real, physical assets to be transacted and exchanged digitally, at speed and at low cost.

“We believe that the integration of physical precious metals and distributed ledger technology offers tremendous value to the Indonesian market, with its dual interest in gold and in blockchain. We look forward to continuing our partnership with JFX to bring this to fruition.”

While many have been speaking of blockchain for years now, the implementations of the technology as part of solutions to the real world challenges is yet to be seen.

Stakeholders expect the venture in Indonesia to propel institutional acceptance of blockchain technology, through the sharing of concepts, business models, and technology solutions in the region.

*This post is credited to Asiancorrespondent

Singapore has made efforts to establish itself as a global hub for the cryptocurrency industry.

A group of local and international academics met in Singapore on Thursday, November 15, to discuss the impact of digital currencies on monetary policy and financial stability, says an official report released by the Singaporean government.

The conference, a two-day session entitled Workshop on Digital Currency Economics and Policy was funded and organized by the National University of Singapore Business School, the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

“This workshop aims to deepen understanding of the important monetary policy and regulatory issues implied by these fast-evolving developments,” said Edward Robinson, Assistant Managing Director and Chief economist at Monetary Authority of Singapore. “In conjunction with the third Singapore FinTech Festival, it features specially commissioned studies that can contribute to formalising a framework for analysis. A robust understanding of the implications of digital currencies will inform policies pertinent to central banks and regulators.”

Voices at the Conference Are Bullish on Crypto, Albeit in Slightly Different Ways

Academics speaking at the conference have presented several arguments in favor of digital currencies. Professor David Yermack argued that the introduction of a private digital currency could promote economic welfare by reducing incentives for government-induced inflation and by providing an opportunity to diversify local investments. His sentiments were echoed by Professor Berry Eichengreen of the Berkeley Department of Economics, who argued that “while the centralised control of monies has rarely been complete, the bias towards concentration of currency issuance in the hands of a central government is clear.”

Suggested articles

How to Generate Leads Outside of the Box?

Famed economist Kenneth Rogoff, who also spoke at the event, presented a slightly different view. According to a government report on the first day of the event, Rogoff said that “digital currencies may have a future as regulated, central-bank issued currencies, rather than private ones.”

Singapore Is Gunning to Establish Itself as Worldwide Crypto Industry Hub

In late September, reports emerged that Singapore is determined to become the first country to “fully embrace” cryptocurrencies. The Monetary Authority of Singapore published a “Guide to Digital Token Offerings” last year, in which a clear legal structure was established for token sales.

Of the report, Damien Pang (Head of the Technology Infrastructure Office under the FinTech & Innovation Group (FTIG) at the Monetary Authority of Singapore) said that “The MAS takes a close look at the characteristics of the tokens, in the past, at the present, and in the future, instead of just the technology built on.”

It doesn’t aim to regulate technology itself but [its] purpose.”

*This post is credited to Finance Magnates

Finally banks may have found a problem that blockchain is able to solve now and at scale: cross border currency transfers.

The banking sector has seen years of overhype and experimentation surrounding distributed ledger technology, but one project led by JPMorgan Chase, the Interbank Information Network (IIN), is quietly producing results at scale.

The IIN is essentially a more efficient way for participating banks to transfer US dollars across borders and institutions. Its elevator pitch is that problematic payments, which are currently being held up for as much as two days for compliance issues or to resolve errors, could go through almost instantly under the new system.

The network does not have the wow factor of other fintech innovations like chatbots and robot traders, but its obscurity does not detract from its significance. A success would buoy spirits in an industry that has spent $1.7bn on blockchain projects which have yet to meet banks’ “lofty expectations”, according to analysts at market intelligence advisory Greenwich Associates.

“Certainly from a size of ecosystem perspective and starting to do something in production, having [so many] banks [participate] and some of the world’s biggest banks is a big deal,” says David Treat, head of Accenture’s capital markets blockchain practice.

Until the end of 2017 “everything was experimental and prototypes, production was something small and safe in the corner,” he says. “What we’ve seen this year is a move to real life production. And now the first of to those ecosystems is taking on real life use cases.”

Mr Treat hints that while the IIN is out on its own now as the industry’s only blockchain project of scale, it will not enjoy that status for long. “More and more proof points are coming out that are building confidence among leaders in this industry, that we’re actually at the point where real value is going to happen,” he adds.

There is still an open debate on what “real value” is. Blockchain’s early evangelists saw the technology’s potential for greatly reducing banks’ costs by eliminating manual reconciliation work and other labour intensive database tasks.

Banks do not expect IIN to generate significant savings, however, either now or in the future.

“Blockchain is frankly a great technology, however, I’m not sure that the initial hypothesis that everyone had about saving significant sums of money is where you’ll see a lot of the new products being developed,” says Umar Farooq, head of blockchain at JPMorgan. “It will be much more about doing things that could not be done without blockchain technology, creating new products . . . When you look at it purely as an expense saving mechanism that limits the potential of the technology.’

Instead of fixating on costs, JPMorgan has spoken about the potential for IIN to help banks fend off competition from fintech starts up which have exploited inefficiencies in cross border payments to offer cheaper and faster solutions.

Whether IIN can become big enough to do that, and to have any sort of real impact in the marketplace, remains to be seen. JPMorgan estimates that IIN will handle more than 300,000 transactions a day, a relatively small number when compared with the 14.5m cross-border payments processed through the Swift system daily.

The number of transactions grows exponentially as new banks join IIN. The network is growing fast, and now has more than 100 members. The dynamic between the IIN and fintech is an interesting one. For years, banks have been insisting that fintechs are friends not foes and Mr Treat says that spirit still generally holds.

In the case of IIN, however, fintechs had minimal involvement in the network’s development, and the project’s objectives include protecting market share which fintechs, such as Transferwise and Revolut are targeting.

“If a fintech takes an aggressive stance against a bank and it’s not a two way partnership, sure, there’s massive competition and a very tough road,” says Mr Treat. “There are more (bank/fintech relationships) that are actually flourishing . . . than where there’s outward competition.”

Mr Farooq says that while fintechs were “not currently involved directly” in the IIN, “we actively participate with fintechs across all parts of the bank”.

Inefficiency in banks’ legacy payment systems is arguably one of the tougher problems for a third party fintech to address, since the solution requires an intimate knowledge of the problems, which most fintech outsiders simply would not have. The next big blockchain effort might be a more collaborative venture across the banks to fintech divide.

*This post is credited to The Financial Times Limited 

Spain’s BBVA and two partner banks have completed the first syndicated loan on the blockchain, providing a working example of how transactions in the $4.6tn-a-year market can be simplified and made faster using technology that underpins cryptocurrencies.

Syndicated loans were identified early on as a key use for blockchain in financial services, since banks rely on outdated and inefficient processes including faxes to share information between different parties who are structuring complex agreements.

Combining shared databases and cryptography, blockchain technology is the basis for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Banks have seized on the technology, which allows multiple parties to have simultaneous access to a constantly updated digital ledger that cannot be altered, as a way to cut costs and speed up many activities.

On Tuesday, BBVA used a private blockchain network to arrange a $150m syndicated loan for Red Electrica, the Spanish grid operator, with co-lenders MUFG of Japan and BNP Paribas of France. Legal advisers Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills also had access to the system which allowed all parties to exchange information instantly.

The information was time-stamped, to show exactly when each event occurred, and the network was secured with user codes. Once the contract was signed, it was given a unique identifier that was recorded on the Ethereum blockchain, preserving its authenticity.

BBVA says the blockchain technology, which is being rolled out on a pilot basis, simplifies and speeds up the process of completing syndicated loans from about two weeks to a day or two. Loan signing and documentation processing, which traditionally takes a few hours, can be done in minutes.

As well as the saving time, moving syndicated loans to the blockchain will also deliver a “huge reduction in internal costs” for clients, Ricardo Laiseca, BBVA’s head of global finance, told the FT. He said: “Everything is automatically recorded by the system, in terms of back office and operational costs.”

Mr Laiseca said that BBVA had a pipeline of “five or six” other syndicated loans that would be done over the blockchain in the coming months as the pilot continues.

“We are offering these technologies for collaboration with any other banks . . . This is not just for BBVA, we feel that as a second stage (we are) working on a new markets infrastructure which will be good for everyone.”

Another platform built by fintech group Finastra and pioneered by the UK’s NatWest is offering syndicated loan servicing over blockchain, using the Corda distributed ledger technology. which is due to go live on November 17. In the broader lending space, BBVA earlier this year issued the world’s first corporate loan by blockchain.

The banking industry’s single largest blockchain project remains the Interbank Information Network, where more than 75 banks led by JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Canada and ANZ are using distributed ledger technology for some interbank payments.

*This post is credited to The Financial Times 

David King, technology writer specializing in privacy, blockchain and FinTech, shares his view of the China’s blockchain technology journey, explaining key regulations, policies, and technology’s use-cases in the country.

In a recent broadcast, China Central Television (CCTV), the dominant state-controlled broadcast company announced in an hour-long broadcast that “the value of blockchain is 10 times that of the internet”, and that blockchain is the next significant global technological revolution, exceeding the importance of the Internet, according to Quartz which analyzed the implications for China and beyond.

This groundbreaking newscast included Chinese government officials, as well as Don Tapscott, a well-known Canadian author of the book Blockchain Revolution. China’s position on blockchain may surprise outsiders because the country historically held a very skeptical, if not overtly hostile view of cryptocurrency.  In the last year, China banned crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings. They also curtailed crypto mining.

Around the same time, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission issued a warning to investors that tokens issued via ICO may be classified as securities, and that the Commission is “concerned about an increase in the use of ICOs to raise funds in Hong Kong and elsewhere.”

However despite proceeding with extreme caution on cryptocurrency, technology experts and cryptocurrency advocates in China were pleased with the country’s pro-blockchain perspective and its potential for the world’s largest country by population, specifically citing the three main points of the televised presentation: “Blockchain is the second era of the Internet” (Don Tapscott, author of “Blockchain Revolution”), “The value of blockchain is 10 times that of the Internet” (Stanford physics professor and founder of Danhua Capital Zhang Shoucheng), and “Blockchain is the machine that produces trust.”

Xi Jinping, president of China, spoke in May 2018 about the potential breakthrough technologies that blockchain could produce, including applications in artificial intelligence. “A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things, and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications,” Xi said, via a translator.

MATRIX AI Network and Other Chinese Companies Leading the Way

MATRIX AI Network, a company registered in Hong Kong, is launching an intelligent, open-source, new generation blockchain that aims to solve major challenges currently constraining the development and adoption of blockchain technology. MATRIX leverages the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to deliver an easier, safer, faster and more flexible blockchain.

“In addition to AI experts, we also gathered experts in distributed computing who understood network architecture, topology, and latency. We wanted the team to bring fresh eyes to how blockchain had developed to date, and innovate from there,” says MATRIX AI Network Chief AI Scientist Steve Deng.

The results, to date, have been impressive, with MATRIX AI Network recently confirming that system throughput speeds exceed 50,000 transactions per second (TPS).

In addition to faster and more efficient transaction processing, MATRIX differentiates itself from previous blockchains by offering breakthrough technologies in building AI-enabled autonomous and self-optimizing blockchain networks, featuring multi-chain collaboration and decoupling of data and control blocks.  With the successful completion and release of its Testnet in October 2018, the MATRIX Main Network is scheduled to go online on December 30, 2018.

China appears to be lending support to other domestic companies with promising blockchain technology including NEO, a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency designed to build a scalable network of decentralized applications and QTUM, a blockchain technology that bridges Ethereum’s smart contracts on top of Bitcoin’s stable blockchain while using proof of stake for verification.

Implications for China

The discussions and presentations made it clear that China is angling to become an epicenter of innovation. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are all trying to attract blockchain startups and become a laboratory for FinTech innovation.

However, critics are concerned that blockchain technology will still be unable to be used in China for cryptocurrency applications. Critics state that prohibiting and/or regulating the use of cryptocurrencies in China, but embracing blockchain, indicates that the foundation of blockchain technology is being misused; meaning that the fundamental idea behind blockchain encourages a free market without government interference, which may diverge from China’s interests.

Of interest, media outlets are reporting that the People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang supports cryptocurrency, which could be a reason for the country’s embrace of blockchain technology. China is ahead the rest of the world when it comes to using digital currency on a daily basis. Even vending machines in China are equipped with the technology to accept a payment from a scanned code on a person’s phone.

In 2017, a conference titled (note, this is translated to English from Chinese) “2017 Trustworthy Blockchain Convention” was held in China, where government officials discussed their plans for instituting a standardized blockchain into the Chinese economy. Also discussed were ideas about effective regulation of the technology.

One trader and technology insider speculates that China is embracing blockchain technology to reap financial rewards. For instance, each cryptocurrency transaction made results in fees generated for any transaction and/or transfer of the currency. If the Chinese government creates its own cryptocurrency, the government itself could potentially benefit tremendously from any fees associated with the transfers and transactions.

China Embarks on Blockchain Technology Research 

In January 2018, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, discussions online and in person took place that illuminated the ideas and the future of blockchain in China. One article from the Annual Meeting argued that since blockchain technology is difficult to understand, policies are being outlined to provide guidance for industry executives and investors alike.

In September 2017, the Trusted Blockchain Open Lab was launched in China. This research facility was launched by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a research arm under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology umbrella. The purpose of this lab is to research and develop blockchain technology in China under general use. It will not address how blockchain is utilized in cryptocurrency, and it will not look at the blockchain uses in the cryptocurrency exchange markets.

Government Regulatory Guidance

Also discussed at the World Economic Forum was the idea that the world is on the brink of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, as evidenced by the work of Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. His book, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ details how he believes that “…we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another.”

As China readies itself for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it appears necessary to utilize blockchain technology to ensure the highest security of digital technology. For example, some experts believe that China is poised to develop work between blockchain experts and established data and technology companies to integrate blockchain technology into a wider scope. Government regulation is essential to integrating blockchain technology into everyday uses.

As China embarks on its own blockchain technology journey, it will be important to keep an eye on regulations, policies, and general uses for the technology outside of cryptocurrencies.

*This post is credited to CoinSpeaker