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.”

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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

Ethereum-based payment platform OmiseGo and blockchain protocol Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) have partnered to research blockchain technology, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 14. MVL is the protocol behind popular Singapore ride hailing app TADA.

MVL and OmiseGo will develop a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) to ascertain whether the decentralized OMG Network is suitable for MVL’s data record-keeping system. During the PoC, MVL will record data collected from TADA on the OmiseGo platform.

Moreover, the two companies have announced further technical and research cooperation on possible blockchain applications in TADA’s services.

On Nov. 7, MVL received a taxi provider license from the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, allowing it to launch its new taxi booking service, TADA Taxi. According to Business Insider, over 2,000 taxi drivers have joined the app through  partnerships with local taxi companies.

Other taxi companies and ride-hailing services have explored applying blockchain technology to their business models.  In May, Chen Weixing, the founder of Chinese ride hailing company Kuaidi Dache, revealed his plans to create a blockchain-powered ride hailing app, adding that the service might also include deliveries.

The automotive industry has also shown a marked interest in applying new technologies like artificial intelligence  and blockchain. IOTA and Volkswagen demonstrated a PoC that used IOTA’s Tangle system for autonomous cars at Cebit ‘18 Expo in Germany last June.

Daimler AG — which produces Mercedes Benz and Smart cars — presented its own Blockchain-based digital currency MobiCoin to reward drivers for environmentally-friendly driving habits, such as driving at low speeds.

*This post is credited to Cointelegraph

SINGAPORE –  Media OutReach  – 12 November 2018 –  Bullionist Technology (a Singapore fintech company) announced that it has developed “ELUME,” a digital platform on the IBM Blockchain Platform and targeted at the bullion market supply chain. The platform aims to promote transparency, authenticity and true ownership of bullion assets through the use of blockchain technology. The lifecycle of the bullion assets and related transactions in the supply chain will be tracked on the blockchain, which   provides assurance to investors, and mitigates supply chain risk while protecting against issues arising from fraud and breach of security.

ElumeGold (EAU) is the unit of physical gold trades in the digitized supply chain and each unit represents the ownership of physical gold. EAU is NOT a cryptocurrency. EAUs have corresponding amounts of physical gold and those are kept in the designated vault, and gold is redeemable upon requests. The following are the details of EAU:

  • 1 EAU represents 1 gram of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) accredited refinery’s 999.9 gold.
  • 1 EAU can be broken down into a minimum of 0.001 EAU.
  • EAU prices are quoted in USD per 1 EAU.
  • All the trade information including ownership transfer will be recorded on the distributed ledger.
  • The corresponding amount of physical gold bars will be kept in the authorized vault and audited regularly.
  • 1000 EAUs are redeemable to 1 kg physical gold.

Mr Hidetaka Namiki, Chief Executive Officer of Bullionist Technology Pte Ld, said: “The objective of ELUME is to transform the existing eco-system into a digitalised eco-system.  ELUME will be an interactive electronic trade matching and record keeping platform to connect all supply chain members — refineries, logistics, bullion banks, bullion dealers etc. under blockchain technology.”

ELUME is unique for the level of integrity and transparency it offers while preserving privacy of asset ownership and related trade transactions. Care is taken to ensure that trades only occur between counter-parties that have been pre-screened. ELUME uses the IBM Blockchain Platform powered by Hyperledger Fabric on the IBM Cloud to build the foundation of the digitized supply chain. In addition, the platform caters to interactions with supporting digital trading networks to facilitate atomic exchange of asset ownership between members.

Mr Alan Lim, Asia Pacific Practice Leader — Blockchain Lab Services & Garage, IBM, said: “The bullion supply chain is very complex and requires integrity, confidentiality and auditability. Representing real world bullion assets digitally enables them to be traded easily with reduced friction. Meanwhile, the establishment of a permissioned network of refineries, storage providers, and bullion dealers is important to increase trust and transparency in the bullion ecosystem. The IBM Blockchain Platform delivers unique network capabilities such as enhanced security and confidentiality, efficient processing, scalability, standard programming languages and a modular structure that can be customised for further deployments .”

“ELUME will improve transparency of the bullion market including true ownership of gold and traceabililty of all trade details including ownership transfer as those recorded in the blockchain. All transactions under ELUME platform and eco-system will be secured including instant transfer of ownership. There will also be improved settlement procedures. ELUME will revolutionise the bullion settlement infrastructure. It will also develop new markets such as to facilitate lending and borrowing for investors against their underlying bullion assets.  This will help increase market liquidity,” added Mr Namiki.

ELUME will facilitate stronger digital collaboration across the multiple parties involved in the bullion supply chain, improve the efficiency of transactions, and promote transparency among participants. Furthermore, it is envisioned that the platform will support regulated financial institutions as well as regulators such as Customs or other government agencies with anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and cross-border commercial crimes prevention initiatives. This will increase investors’ confidence and bolster Singapore as a precious metal trading hub.

ELUME has the support of the industry players such as Metalor Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd (gold refinery), Loomis International (specialist for international valuables logistics). The following companies have also come forward to support the platform — Aurora Precious Metal International Pte Ltd, CIT Coin Invest AG, Besure Pte Ltd, Bin Bin Goldsmith Pte Ltd, BullionCafe, Coininvest GMBH, Global Bullion Suppliers, Jin Sing Li Trading Pte Ltd, LH Precious Metal Investment Pte Ltd, Nadir Metal Rafineri San. ve Tic A.S, NumisCollect, Ingot Investments Pte Ltd, Siong Hin Jewellery & Handicraft, SK Bullion Pte Ltd and UPP Enterprise Pte Ltd.

About Bullionist Technology Pte. Ltd.

Bullionist Technology Pte. Ltd. (“BT”) is a fintech company that focuses on digitizing of the bullion supply chain using blockchain technology to manage the supply chain risk, and to promote transparency, authenticity and true ownership of bullion assets.  BT provides integral services related to the bullion supply chain, such as precious metals trade matching and record keeping (through the “ELUME” platform) which is carefully structured among BT, IBM and the interested leading industry participants such as Metalor Technologies Singapore Pte. Ltd., Loomis International Singapore and the bullion eco-system which includes but is not limited to bullion banks, wholesalers and dealers. Through the ELUME platform, these companies and all other market participants including investors can be assured of transparency and integrity using secured blockchain data.

BT was incorporated in Singapore on 17 May 2018.

For more information about Bullionist Technology, visit www.elume.io/.

About IBM Blockchain

IBM is recognised as the leading enterprise blockchain provider . The company’s research, technical and business experts have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

*This post is credited to Asiaone

Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX), along with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), have successfully tested the use of blockchain technology for tokenized assets settlement, according to a SGX release issued Sunday, Nov. 11.

The report reveals the data on the trial that began in August, shortly after MAS and SGX had partnered with U.S. stock market Nasdaq, “big four” consulting company Deloitte, and Singaporean tech company Anquan. As per the release, the partners have developed a blockchain-driven solution for Delivery versus Payment (DvP) capabilities — a settlement procedure where the buyer’s payment for securities is due at the time of delivery.

The trial has shown that financial institutions and corporate investors are able to carry out the exchange and final settlement of tokenized assets on different blockchain platforms simultaneously. SGX believes that this could increase operational efficiency and reduce settlement risks. Moreover, the technology could further help automate DvP settlement processes by using smart contracts, the report concludes.

Tinku Gupta, Head of Technology at SGX, also revealed that the exchange has filed its first-ever patent:

“Based on the unique methodology that SGX developed to enable real-world interoperability of platforms, as well as the simultaneous exchange of digital tokens and securities, we have applied for our first-ever technology patent.”

As Cointelegraph has frequently reported, Singapore-based companies are actively testing blockchain solutions in different areas.

For example, in July, local government-owned service provider CrimsonLogic unveiled its cross-border blockchain network for global trade in order to boost the efficiency of trade corridors between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations. And in October, a major corporation providing electricity and gas transmission in Singapore, SP Group, launched a blockchain-powered renewable energy certificate marketplace to buy and sell solar energy worldwide.

In late October, Nasdaq also won a U.S. patent for a smart-contract based information release system, which would allow to keep data safe before the issue. The stock market is awaiting decisions for other blockchain-related patents as well.

*This post is credited to Coin Telegraph

Singapore-based digital asset exchange, Huobi, which is reportedly processing $1 billion in trades daily, has opened a new office Russia.

New Office, Website To Officially Open On November 12th

Huobi, which recently became a publicly listed company in Hong Kong, announced (during a St Petersburg conference) that it would officially open its Russia-based office on November 12th.

In order to make its services more accessible to the country’s residents, Huobi will be launching a Russian language website. Similar to Huobi’s other websites, the new site will have online support and a dedicated call center.

Presumably as an extension to its blockchain startup incubator program (Huobi Labs), Huobi will provide an online support center specifically for Russian firms looking to enter the crypto space.

Collaborating With Russia’s “Top 10” Universities

Notably, Huobi’s support center for Russian startups is being launched through a partnership with the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (a “top 10” Moscow-based public research university) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (an academic institution run by Russia’s foreign ministry).

In September, Huobi had joined the Moscow-based VEB Innovation Fund – which is a venture capital-funded financial services platform that focuses on investing in “high technology projects.”

Founded in 2011, the VEB Fund aims to provide local startups the financial resources they need to develop their products.

Huobi Now Lists More Stablecoins

Established first in China, Huobi shifted its operations to other locations after the Chinese government began its crack down on cryptocurrency-related businesses. At present, Huobi has registered offices in Singapore, South Korea, London, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

Similar to how many crypto exchanges first started, Huobi only supported bitcoin (BTC) trading back in 2013. However, when crypto prices started to increase significantly last year, Huobi began listing more digital currencies on its trading platform.

After heightened fears regarding controversial stablecoin, Tether’s (USDT) operations, Huobi and many other exchanges have started listing other stablecoins. At present, Huobi lists the following USD-backed coins: Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), and Gemini Dollars (GUSD).

Huobi Accused Of “Mutual Voting”

In April 2018, Huobi Pro announced its plan to become a block producer (transaction validator) for the EOS platform. In October, a leaked document appeared to show that Huobi had been taking part in mutual and coordinated voting, when electing other block producers.

Although Huobi denied being involved in the incident, critics of the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism (which EOS uses), such as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, have said that “it was completely predictable [because] … human capacity for eternal vigilance is limited.”

*This post is credited to Crypto Globe

Are you an avid traveler, but also a crypto enthusiast keen on using digital coins instead of cash? Well, look no further, as this list provides the most crypto-friendly cities and how coins have seeped into the economies of these places.

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands

There are plenty of reasons to visit Amsterdam: architecture, museums, food, and bustling nightlife. Another thing that makes Amsterdam a prime location is its status as one of the world’s top crypto friendly cities.

Amsterdam has made a progress  when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. The city is also home to the Bitcoin Embassy. The Bitcoin Embassy in Amsterdam is where the crypto community actively puts in their efforts to promote Bitcoin. Also, as of 2015, Amsterdam opened its Bitcoin Boulevard, a street where most merchants accept Bitcoin as payment for their products and services.

The city is home to more than 40 merchants which accept Bitcoin, as well as many crypto ATMs. Also, many crypto startups and ICOs have set up their base of operation in Amsterdam, which is seen as one of the best cities for tech startups in Europe.

amsterdam

Source: Pixabay

8. Singapore, Malaysia

After China’s ban on ICOs, many businesses from the crypto space relocated their operations to Singapore. imToken, a prominent Ethereum wallet, also moved its office to Singapore. Singapore regulators have a transparent approach when it comes to cryptocurrencies. This creates an environment which has less uncertainty for crypto companies than in other crypto climates.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has even put out a “Guide to Digital Token Offering,” which covers how security laws apply to token offerings. Furthermore, Singapore’s regulations do not affect utility tokens, as stated by Damien Pang, the head of Singapore’s Technology Infrastructure Office under the FinTech & Innovation Group (FTIG). At the Consensus Singapore, Pang said that only payment tokens would be affected by the regulations.

7. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is one of the smallest cities in Europe that never ceases to impress when it comes to tech innovation and crypto adoption.

Ljubljana is also home to the world’s first Bitcoin-friendly mall, “Bitcoin City,” which was opened earlier this year. This impressive mall is over 1.56 million square feet, to be more precise. All merchants that have shops in the mall accept Bitcoin and make use of blockchain technology. Bitcoin City is more than just a mall, also serving as a large business and recreational center.

Ljubljana is also where Bitstamp, one of the most popular crypto exchanges, has established its headquarter.

6. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina’s capital and also its the largest city has become one of the most crypto friendly cities out of necessity rather than love for this tech. As the country entered a deep recession a few years ago, the inflation in Argentina reached nearly 25%.

This decline in the Argentinian peso and capital control enforced by the government prompted many Argentinians to turn to cryptocurrency, Bitcoin in particular. Also, many merchants started supporting Bitcoin as a payment method. Currently, there are more than 120 businesses that function by using this cryptocurrency.

Buenos Aires also hosted the first Bitcoin conference to ever take place in Latin America. The conference , “Bitcoin Day,” was held in April last year. Moreover, startups like SatoshiTango, Ripio (formerly BitPagos), and Buda call this city home.

Earlier this year, Athena Bitcoin, an American Bitcoin ATM company, revealed that it intends on setting up the first Bitcoin ATMs in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires

Source: Pixabay

4. Toronto, Canada

The light regulations for cryptos and ICOs, as well as the supportive attitude of its government towards tech startups make Canada one of the most welcoming countries for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Toronto has become one of the world’s most crypto friendly cities and hosts a number of successful crypto enterprises. One example is Decentral, the company which created Jaxx, a well-established cryptocurrency wallet.

Also, according to data from Coin ATM Radar, over 200 crypto ATMs are spread across Toronto. This is one of the biggest numbers of ATMs that can be found in any city worldwide.

3. Zug, Switzerland

Zug is a small city that has less than 30,000 people living in it. Though it isn’t as well known as the other cities in the list, it constantly appears in blockchain and cryptocurrency news. It is regarded to be one of the most technologically advanced cities on a global scale.

Many important crypto companies are based here, Zug earning the nickname of “Crypto Valley”. For instance, the notorious Tezos ICO was held in this city last year.

A few years ago, Zug became the first city that accepted Bitcoin for paying taxes. Additionally, the municipality has recently started accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for government services on a trial basis.

zug

Source: cryptovalley.swiss

2. New York City, New York

New York is home to more than 100 merchants which support Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments. Also, there are more than 150 crypto ATMs spread across the city.

Some crypto startups started out in New York. For instance, Coinsetter, one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, was established in New York back in 2012. In 2016, Coinsetter was bought by Kraken in one of the biggest M&A deals to ever occur in the cryptosphere.

Furthermore, New York even has its own digital asset, the New York Coin. However, it has a market cap of just $3.65 million.

1. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is the first on our list for a very good reason. Being known as one of the world’s leading tech hubs, it is no wonder that an emergent technology such as blockchain is present here.

The city has more than 870,000 residents, approximately 60 ATMs that process crypto conversions, and more than 100 retailers who support cryptocurrency payments.

Coinbase, one of the most famous cryptocurrency exchange platforms and the creator of one of the most secure cryptocurrency wallets, is headquartered in San Francisco along with many other cryptocurrency and blockchain companies.

SF

Source: siliconvalleyaircharter.com

Conclusion

This has been our list of the most crypto-friendly cities in the world. Be sure to visit one of them if you intend on using your crypto assets!

*This post is credited to Use The Bitcoin

BlockShow Asia is returning this year for a week-long event part of the Asia Blockchain Week centered around blockchain and cryptocurrency.

The event, taking place between November 27 and December 1, 2018, promises to gather some of the industry’s most influential entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and visionaries in the blockchain space, and will provide participants with the opportunity to network, showcase new products and share some of the industry’s latest trends.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1,500 attendees, 66 sponsors and 67 international speakers of high calibre, such as Patrick Dai from Qtum, Brock Pierce from EOS, David Orban, Simon Dixon from BnkToTheFuture, Mike Kayamori from Quione, Zoe Adamovicz from Neufund, and Alexander Ivanov from Waves. It also hosted a startup competition whose winners Bancor and Electrify Asia managed to raise more than US$200 million combined.

This year, all efforts are being put into outdoing 2017’s event by bringing together 4,000 blockchain-related attendees.

BlockShow Asia Blockchain Week 2018

The Asia Blockchain Week will start on November 27 with a VIP pre-party followed by the conference itself on November 28 and 29. The BlockShow Asia 2018 conference will take place at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and will feature experienced entrepreneurs, investors and blockchain experts who will share insights on the state of the blockchain industry and the latest trends.

On November 30, the Future of Token Economy conference, organized by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and the Singapore Academy of Law, will cover the topics of smart contracts and regulation, trust distribution, initial coin offering (ICO) listing and regulation, and more.

Confirmed speakers for the conferences include:

  • Jason Hsu, congressman and legislator of Taiwan;
  • Bobby Lee, co-founder of BTCC and member of the board of the Bitcoin Foundation;
  • Chia Hock Lai, president of the Singapore Fintech Association and chairman of the Token Economy Association;
  • Stanley Yong, CTO at IBM and former head of innovation at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS);
  • Zing Yang, member of the board of directors at the Litecoin Foundation;
  • Dr. Quy Vo-Reinhard, co-founder of HIT Foundation and Health Data marketplace in Crypto Valley Zug;
  • Alex Medana, CEO and co-founder of FinFabrik and a founding board member of the Fintech Association Hong Kong; and
  • Cal Evans, board member of the British Blockchain Association.

The rest of the Asia Blockchain Week will be comprised of workshops, a hackathon, a startup competition, and everyday parties to relax and network. On the final fifth day of the event, participants will enjoy an Open Doors day that will feature all blockchain hubs, accelerators and companies in Singapore.

Partners for the Asia Blockchain Week include LongHash, a platform for accelerating the development and understanding of blockchain technology, the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups Singapore (ACCESS), a nonprofit focused on the use and development of digital currencies and blockchain technologies, the Singapore Fintech Association and SUSS.

Singapore’s thriving blockhain industry

This year again, BlockShow Asia will take place in Singapore, Southeast Asia’s financial hub and rising crypto center. The city state has become the first choice for crypto and blockchain companies looking to expanding into Southeast Asia.

Since 2017, Singapore authorities themselves have been looking to use distributed ledger technology to boost the efficiency of settling cross-bank financial transactions. They believe that blockchain technology offers the potential to make trade finance safer and more efficient.

The Singapore Customs authority is reportedly in talks with MUFG Bank and Japanese company NTT Data to connect the pair’s blockchain solution to its newly launched Networked Trade Platform (NTP).

*This post is credited to Fintech News

 

Although the world-renowned Binance Exchange, which facilitates crypto-to-crypto transactions, has seen waning demand as of late, the startup has forged ahead and has made notable strides in the fiat-to-crypto realm. Reports indicate that Binance’s Uganda branch, which went live last week, has already seen a proverbial boatload of interest, leading to the obvious, but pressing question — can they replicate this newfound success across the world?

Binance Uganda Sees Tidal Wave Of Interest For Fiat-To-Crypto Platform

When consumers think of crypto-friendly nations, Malta, Japan, and Switzerland are often names that immediately come to mind. Maintaining this thought process, it should come as no surprise that many enthusiasts in this budding industry were shocked when Binance, the world’s foremost crypto exchange, announced plans to launch its first fiat-to-crypto platform in Uganda, a relatively small country in East Africa.

After a lengthy sign-up process and an enticing promotional event for locals, just last week, as reported by NewsBTC, Binance’s Ugandan branch went live in the country of 43 million. Although the global crypto public may have been initially skeptical of this foray, the African Binance subsidiary held high hopes for its platform, issuing optimistic comments via a Medium blog post.

The startup expressed its belief that Uganda is undoubtedly a home for blockchain innovation, adding that the growth of the local crypto economy could “light the way for the content [of Africa] to leverage blockchain technology.” Binance’s African subsidiary added that emerging markets, such as Uganda, could play a key role in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, alluding to the fact that the country is an optimal location for an accesible fiat-to-crypto platform.

And while it has only been a week since its launch, the startup’s unbridled confidence has already paid off, with CoinDesk revealing that Binance’s new branch, which supports Ugandan Shillings, Bitcoin, and Ether, has already taken on 40,000 locals as customers.

Considering that Uganda’s economy is far from flawless, with studies indicating that billions are being siphoned from the nation’s economy due to lawbreakers, it would be fair to assume that the local cryptosphere will continue to swell at an unmatched pace, as decentralization and transparency may beckon oppressed Ugandans in.

Next Stop: Singapore

In early-September, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao revealed that his firm was poised to launch a Singapore-based crypto-to-fiat platform into a closed beta for an exclusive group of investors. At the time, however, Binance’s top brass was hesitant to reveal what spurred this surprising move, which was the startup’s third announced venture into bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and government-issued currencies.

Per Bloomberg, Vertex Ventures, which is parented by the Singapore government’s sovereign fund, was behind the Malta-based startup’s move to enter the city-state’s local cryptocurrency market, throwing an undisclosed sum at Binance. Although may were bewildered that Vertex, and the government of Singapore by extension invested directly in a crypto-focused startup, the move clearly adds up when you take the island nation’s regulatory environment into account.

Through a series of comments, Ravi Menon of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently divulged that the local authorities are aiming to directly connect ‘banks and fintech cryptocurrency startups” to see if a common footing can be reached. It can be presumed that the MAS’ willingness to foster the local cryptocurrency economy will directly impact the progress of Binance Singapore, which will only be as successful as its relationships with local financial institutions.

So while details regarding Binance Singapore’s public rollout have been unusually scant, many are hopeful that the lax regulatory climate will parent an infectious crypto phenomenon that will spread across the globe like wildfire, so to speak.

*This post is credited to News BTC

Singapore bank DBS collaborated with agricultural commodity business Agrocorp to develop a blockchain trade platform. Initially, the blockchain platform will enable 4,500 Australian farmers in Agrocorp’s network to connect with customers such as supermarkets and restaurants.

The benefits of the platform are real-time price updates, shared delivery information, and automated trade finance approval. DBS estimates it will reduce Agrocorp’s working capital cycle by 20 days.

Mr. Raof Latiff, MD and Group Head of Digital, Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank, said: “The blockchain platform solution provides not only transparency, but also greater speed with which the business and its vendors can transact and finance their cross-border trades. The traceability that blockchain provides also offers much-needed security when dealing with a new counterparty.”

Agrocorp plans to expand the platform to other markets including Canada, Myanmar, Ivory Coast and Ukraine. Additionally, it aims to extend the commodities traded on the blockchain platform from pulses such as mung beans and chickpeas, to cereals, cotton, edible nuts and oilseeds.

How it works

Farmer’s log on to a web portal to access real-time commodity prices and register a sale. The sale and purchase agreements are digitally stored on the blockchain.

When goods are shipped the digital ledger is updated and this triggers a smart contract to request financing for Agrocorp. The ledger is linked to DBS via an API so that DBS automatically receives the request and potentially a request to release payment to the farmer.

All the participants in a trade can upload and view trade-related documents. Any changes in contract terms have to be validated by counterparties.

In future, the plan is to capture details about the source of commodities such as farm details and practices including water, fertilizer and pesticide usage. Hence this will enable end customers to view the food traceability and sustainability data.

The platform was created by Distributed Ledger Technologies using Hyperledger technology.

Other commodity blockchains

Last week for of the world’s biggest agribusinesses announced plans to digitize their global shipping transactions using blockchain. The companies are Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

The other big consortium is komgo which focuses on finance. Some of its shareholders are in the energy sector, so this will likely be the initial focus. But it has plans for metals and agribusiness. komgo shares several shareholders with VAKT, the blockchain platform for energy post-trade processing.

*This post is credited to Ledger In Sights

October 31st, cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) celebrated its tenth birthday. As part of the celebration, a company called Bizkey has decided to start a new campaign called “Token Day” in Singapore.

Token Day is a campaign that is supposed to allow the public to get more familiar and better acquainted with cryptocurrencies according to reports. Not exactly a day as it will be held from October 31st to November 18th. During this period, every cryptocurrency holder in Singapore will have the opportunity to get to Singapore’s Chinatown, where 30 retailers are offering various goods in exchange for crypto.

Those willing to spend their digital coins will need Bizkey’s intelligent blockchain POS (Point-of-Sale) device. Numerous cryptocurrencies can be used, including Binance Coin, Ethereum, Zilliqa coin, Aelf coin, and others.

Bringing Crypto Adoption to the Next Level

Despite the fact that Singapore is among the most crypto-friendly places in the world, adopting cryptocurrencies as an accepted payment method is something that has yet to take place. This is why the event was created, and Bizkey hopes that the Token Day will “break the ice” and encourage other businesses to introduce crypto payments as well.

About a year ago, in November 2017, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) decided to bring new guidelines, and establish a firm difference between security tokens and utility tokens. Since then, Singapore saw over 56 ICOs in only the first five months of 2018. As a comparison, there were only 35 ICOs throughout the entire 2017. To a lot of people, this was a sign that proper regulations can go a long way when it comes to developing new businesses and technologies.

Since then, many have started seeing cryptocurrencies as a method of solving issues that have been troubling retail sector for a long time. Things including payment fraud, logistics, delays of money transfers, accounting, and similar complications were all quickly eliminated by those who accepted cryptocurrency payments.

Bizkey’s CEO and co-founder, Ken Huang, commented on the event by saying that, even in Singapore, only a few people have the opportunity to actually use cryptos for buying products and services. Now, Token Day will demonstrate that using cryptocurrencies is easy and that there is more than enough customers that are interested in paying via crypto.

In fact, Huang stated that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 crypto holders in Singapore. Estimates also say that most of them are between the ages of 20 and 50 and that they likely include tech-savvy males. Huang also expressed hope that these individuals will be among the pioneering crypto spenders during the 18 days of the event.

As for the event itself, it will have around 30 retailers participating, including Hotel 1887, SK Jewellery, Koryo Mart, 18 Hours, Steamov, and others. The move aligns with Bizkey’s goal, which is to introduce new people to the crypto world and make sure that they have a device that can accept and make all types of crypto and fiat payments. In a way, their device acts as a crypto wallet with an additional purpose, and many view it as a first step into the real digital era.

*This post is credited to News BTC