【区势早报】加拿大央行发布加密货币研究报告;卢森堡通过区块链框架法案

区块链成数字经济竞争新高地 多个省市将其写入政府报告

据新浪消息,今年以来已有十余省市在政策中,表达了对区块链的重视,其中除2项为防范风险类,其余皆为扶持发展类政策,表达了将区块链作为数字经济的重要部分予以规范发展的意图,重点在金融科技领域。多个省市在政府工作报告中专门提及了区块链,例如福建、云南等都将区块链作为深化数字经济的重要部分予以扶持,三地区注重区块链技术在打造数字经济方面的重要作用,提倡大力发展区块链技术。

浙江的区块链园区数量最多 华东地区对区块链园区扶持力度最大

据互链脉搏消息,截至2019年1月底,中国各地设立了20个区块链产业园。从地理区域划分的角度来看,浙江的区块链园区数量最多,其次是上海、湖南、广东。 但是,科技重镇北京与深圳的区块链产业园数量为零。20个区块链产业园区中,多数园区是由当地政府主导,并得到各地优秀企业、联盟的支持。各园区入驻企业与区块链相关性较高,华东地区对区块链园区扶持力度最大。

美国SEC开始审核VanEck比特币ETF提案

据美国证券交易委员会(SEC)13日发表的官方文件,SEC开始整理芝加哥期权交易所(Cboe)从1月30日开始征集的VanEck比特币ETF的“公共评论”,并正式对其进行审核。

挪威央行行长:挪威央行最终可能会发行一种数字货币

据路透社报道,挪威央行行长Oeystein Olsen今日表示,他拒绝加密货币,认为其不稳定和缺乏制度使他们“不适合作为货币单位”,但也同时认为挪威央行本身最终可能会发行一种数字货币。Olsen称,未来,央行数字货币可能是确保高效和稳健的支付系统所必需的,其最重要的目的是巩固对货币体系的信心。

美国法官认定Blockvest 1C0为证券并发出禁令

据美国证券交易委员会(SEC)官方消息,美国法官Gonzalo Curiel在否认SEC的初步交接请求数月后,已对Blockvest及其创始人Reginald Buddy Ringgold发出禁令。法院解释称,确定SEC已经证明BLV令牌的1C0推广是证券并且满足了Howey测试。去年11月,该法官曾表示,SEC尚未证明仅有32名测试投资者购买的BLV代币是证券法规定的“证券”,SEC不应对其发布停止令。

怀俄明州两项区块链相关法案等待州长签署

据bitcoinexchangeguide报道,怀俄明州区块链联盟联合创始人Caitlin Long昨日发布推文称,有关区块链沙箱法案的法案已通过参议院。在美国怀俄明州提出的8项区块链相关法案中已有两项通过,并将交由该州州长Mark Gordon进行签署。据此前报道,怀俄明州于1月31日通过了SF0125法案,现已可将加密货币视为合法财产。

卢森堡通过区块链框架法案

据luxtimes报道,卢森堡立法者周四批准了一项针对区块链的法律框架,允许通过区块链进行的交易与传统技术完成的交易具有相同的法律地位。60名议员中只有两名左翼政党成员投票反对该法案。该法案去年由财政部长Pierre Gramegna送交立法机构。

俄罗斯司法部长:加密货币尚不需要合法定义

据cointelegraph援引塔斯社2月13日的报道,俄罗斯司法部认为此时并不需要在法律上界定加密货币的概念。司法部长Alexander Konovalov表示,迄今为止,正式确定与加密货币有关的立法还为时过早。Konovalov援引该国宪法第75条的规定,即俄罗斯的宪法和现行金融体系立法“明确禁止”使用加密货币作为支付手段。部长在俄罗斯联邦议会上院联邦委员会会议上发言时指出,加密货币可能被视为俄罗斯立法中的另一种资产,他再次敦促立法者在现阶段避免对其进行定义。

加拿大央行发布加密货币研究报告

据ambcrypto报道,加拿大央行发布了一份关于比特币和其他加密货币的研究报告。该报告深入探讨了加密货币市场的演变,及其在经济中的作用。该报告的主要焦点是强调加密货币的支付和货币属性,因为该行声称它们至关重要。研究主要涉及五个方面,包括市场上加密货币的分类、加密货币交易量与美国债券及公司债券交易量的关系、比特币市场份额的变化、加密资产交易的进入和退出、比特币和其他加密货币作为支付手段的可行性。该行认为,比特币在加密货币市场的市场份额多年来一直在稳步下降。该行认为,比特币可能仍然是这个资产类别中的摇滚明星,但它似乎正在快速老化。

伊朗央行与区块链公司合作,或为发行本土加密货币铺平道路

据coindesk报道,伊朗中央银行正与两家区块链初创公司合作,两家公司据称正在开发一种新加密货币生态系统的基础部分。消息人士称,这些项目得到了央行技术部门(ISC)的支持。该国的私人银行已经加紧为其中一家创业公司提供资金,此举可能为伊朗首个本土加密货币的发行铺平道路。据报道,其中一项举措是Kuknos协议,由一家名为Kuknos Company的新德黑兰创业公司创建,该公司获得政府批准发行名为Paymon的黄金支持的代币。另一个项目为Borna,由伊朗中央银行直接资助。

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3 People Who Hate Bitcoin With a Passion

3 People Who Hate Bitcoin With a Passion

There’s something about Bitcoin that stirs up strong emotions in people. Libertarians love it. Anarchists adore it. Cypherpunks crave it. But not all of the emotions Bitcoin engenders are positive. Bankers fear it, politicians distrust it, environmentalists resent it, and a few people, why, they veritably hate it.

Also read: 30 People Who Were Really Wrong About Bitcoin

The People Who Love to Hate Bitcoin

When people develop an aversion to something, their immediate instinct is normally to steer clear of it. Be it baths or Bitcoin, if you loathe it, you’re prone to avoid it at all costs. For some masochists, however, steering clear isn’t an option. Like a wobbly tooth they can’t resist prodding, they keep returning to Bitcoin time and again, fascinated and repulsed in equal measure.

These subjects are prone to defend their Bitcoin obsession on the grounds that they’re simply trying to protect innocent investors from succumbing to its wiles. “Rat poison squared” as Warren Buffet memorably dismissed it. Their inability to leave Bitcoin alone, however, betrays a deeper fear: that the cryptocurrency may achieve global domination, rendering their life’s work redundant. In this framework, Bitcoin’s haters are less motivated by altruism for the innocent than by an existential dread that, should it prevail, they risk being proven wrong and ridiculed. Like moths lured to an open flame, the following subjects just can’t seem to escape Bitcoin’s orbit.

3 People Who Hate Bitcoin with a Passion

David Gerard

David Gerard’s hatred for Bitcoin is biblical. If the writer was terminally ill and Satoshi Nakamoto handed him the cure, Gerard would likely refuse to take it on principle. He fills his days screeching at all things crypto, but reserves particular disdain for Bitcoin, the demon that spawned them all. Best known for his blog “Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain,” Gerard’s work can also be found on sites like Foreign Policy, where he crafts such impartisan articles as “Forget Bitcoin, Try Your Mattress – Cryptocurrency is about as safe as keeping your money in a sock under someone else’s bed.” He also penned a guest post for The Block titled “The problem with Bitcoin.” The problem with Bitcoin, it transpires, is everything. Gerard finishes his tirade in Krugman-esque terms, opining:

There’ll be something called “Bitcoin”, descended from the present software and blockchain, for decades. It just takes two interested people, after all. How much it will interact with the rest of the world is an open question. Most new technologies don’t really go anywhere, after all.

3 People Who Hate Bitcoin with a Passion
Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini

“Dr. Doom” is the poster boy for Bitcoin hating, and his proclamations don’t need repeating for the umpteenth time. Like a broken clock, Roubini is occasionally correct – as is David Gerard – in taking down fraudulent ICOs and things that don’t need to be on the blockchain. Both merchants of doom have called wolf too many times, however, giving bitcoiners cause to dismiss their every utterance out of hand.

As this publication observed in taking Nouriel Roubini to task over his paean to central bank digital currencies, “Whatever happens to central bank digital currencies, they will never displace decentralized cryptocurrencies, just as Roubini will never displace the gnawing pain that tells him he should have bought bitcoin in 2013.”

Paul Krugman

Nouriel Roubini isn’t the only economist who struggles to understand the economics of Bitcoin. The man who famously wrote: “By 2005, it will become clear that the internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s” is similarly skeptical about Bitcoin. In 2013, he penned a NYT op-ed titled “Bitcoin Is Evil” and has been sporadically sniping at it ever since. “BitCoin” as he calls it, is backed by nothing, has no intrinsic value and “Its price rise has been driven purely by speculation – by what Robert Shiller calls a natural Ponzi scheme.” Proving he’s not a complete technophobe, however, Krugman has a hot take to share: he believes Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain is interesting.

Constructive criticism of Bitcoin is healthy. In fact, some of Bitcoin’s biggest critics are also its biggest proponents because they recognize that only through picking apart the cryptocurrency and eyeing it through a questioning lens can it be improved. Wherever Bitcoin goes, and whatever sort of financial system it spawns, it will never be good enough for the Roubinis and Gerards of the world who will go to their deathbeds still spitting bile at the cryptocurrency they loved to hate.

Which other public figures detest Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

Kai Sedgwick

Kai’s been playing with words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $19. It’s long gone. He’s previously written white papers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.

观察|区块链,难被理解的职业选择

文|蜂姐

编辑|文刀

 

2019年春节倏一下就过去了,我急着逃回了北京。

 

在老家的这个年我过得多少有点忐忑,忐忑来自于去年的跳槽,我从传统金融公司跳进了区块链。

 

我,211、985院校本科毕业,保研到北京一所著名的传媒院校。在家人和亲戚眼中,我应该在新华社、人民日报或者北京电视台这样的单位工作。可毕业后,我偏偏进了更感兴趣的金融公司。

 

3万多人的上市公司也算是家人眼中的“大公司”。去年的春节,回家还算体面。

 

去年年初,我进了一家区块链相关业务的公司,“区块链,那不是传销吗?”这样的疑问时不时丢到我这里。

 

起初,我还会把区块链比作村里的超级账本,希望别人能了解一些这个行业的基本常识。后来我发现,人们的刻板印象实在太刻板。原本肩负着普及区块链使命的我,总被“传销”二字搞得想翻白眼。

 

今年过年,我的家人、朋友们又开始问我比特币、区块链,心里又不由的点燃了使命之火。

 

快手上的比特币布道

 

相比区块链,比特币似乎在亲戚中的接受度更高。

 

爸妈说,像我们西北这种五线城市,亲戚聚餐时都有人在讨论比特币,甚至有朋友在去年8月花了5000块钱买过比特币,尝试炒币。

 

在南方打工的堂弟过年来拜年,进门就问我比特币行情和我炒币的情况。原来,他之前在快手上关注的一位主播曾在视频中讲到比特币、区块链,听说在2018年的高点成功套现。一说起来,堂弟满脸羡慕的神情。


 图片来源于网络

 

在家乡,像堂弟这样的年轻人似乎是最先知道比特币的一波人,他们知道它像股票一样可以炒,能赚钱。虽然对区块链技术不甚了解,但他们对我所从事的工作比上了年纪的长辈们更能理解,有人也更愿意尝试接触比特币、区块链这样的新鲜事物。

 

我曾遭遇身边一位亲友“告状”,她告诉我妈“区块链是传销,让娃赶紧别做了”。那时正值我刚跳槽没多久,我的娘亲吓坏了,着急火燎地打来电话询问。这事儿搞得我哭笑不得。


 

没暴富,有抱负

 

我原先从事的传统金融工作是个讲究海外背景、留学经历的行业,而区块链还是一个草莽无序、人人都可参与的早期领域。

 

这一年,我在区块链虽没有暴富,但也没有丢失抱负。

 

大年初六,假期的最后一天,临行前,湖南卫视《天天向上》播出以家乡天水为主题的节目,登上台面的节目仍旧是新年时神秘的社火旋鼓舞、“东方雕塑馆”麦积山石窟、“大西北之魂”花儿民歌以及潘石屹大力推广的花牛苹果……

 

除了这些,天水还有啥?我在区块链这一行,自然关注我的家乡是否注意到了这个新技术。

 

去年12月,我在同行的朋友圈里看到了一条消息,天水林业局联合纸贵科技在用区块链做苹果溯源,每颗苹果表皮上都有光合作用生成的溯源二维码,同时利用区块链技术将苹果身份信息锁定在区块链里。 

 

区块链苹果

 

我还发现这个可溯源的苹果已经在京东上开始销售了。原来,我们的小城也在追赶这项新兴技术。

 

老家的亲朋再问我“区块链是个啥时”,我就拿出新闻、打开售卖苹果的截图给他们看。我把发生在天水的这个例子告诉他们时,职业习惯性地讲了分布式账本的原力,虽然对方还是听的云里雾里的,可总算没在说这是“传销”了。

我安心地逃回“北上广”,希望2019年,区块链技术能够有更多的落地,给我这个使命感爆棚的人更丰富的案例,来还击“区块链传销说”。

 

700% Increase in Bitcoin Adoption Worldwide, Kaspersky’s Survey Reveals

/latest/2019/02/700-increase-in-bitcoin-adoption-worldwide-kaspersky-s-survey-reveals/

About 10% of people have used bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies to pay for goods purchased online, according to leading cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Labs.

Significantly, the number of merchants accepting bitcoin payments worldwide has increased by over 700% in the past 6 years – Bitcoin directory service provider, Coinmap’s data suggests. Although cryptocurrencies have not yet achieved mainstream adoption, the global percentage of people using bitcoin and other digital assets is growing steadily. Approximately 13% of the world’s (mostly urban) population has now used cryptocurrency to pay for items purchased through e-commerce sites, Kaspersky’s survey shows.

Established in Moscow in 1997, Kaspersky Labs’ survey was conducted by gathering responses from over 13,000 consumers located in 22 different countries. The survey’s results confirm that cryptocurrency remains the least popular payment method as 81% of consumers participating in the poll said they prefer using bank-issued debit or credit cards to make purchases online.

“Still A Strong Desire For Digital Transactions” 

Commenting on the cybersecurity firm’s survey results, Vitaly Mzokov, the business lead at Kaspersky, remarked

Despite a fall in cryptocurrency prices, there is still a strong desire for digital transactions amongst consumers. Our consumer research has found [a significant number of consumers are using cryptos for payment], which was surprising to see.

Although digital asset prices have fallen by an average of over 80% – after recording all-time highs in late 2017 and early 2018, a relatively small percentage of internet-based consumers still seem to prefer using cryptocurrencies as payment. Online merchants are also increasingly introducing crypto as a payment option.

Despite reports from traditional financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase, which claim that major retailers are not adopting cryptocurrency payments, digital assets are being used by businesses worldwide. Notably, Coinmap data indicates that bitcoin acceptance increased by 702% since December 2013.

BTC Acceptance Rates Have Signficantly Increased 

Currently, there are 14,346 venues globally that take BTC as payment – which is considerably more than only 1,789 merchants that accepted bitcoin about six years back. Ryan Radloff, the CEO at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, recently revealed (via Twitter) the dramatic increase in BTC acceptance rates in the past 5 years.

Crypto adoption rates appear to be the highest in countries suffering from hyperinflation and/or unsound monetary policies – such as Ecuador and Venezuela. Interestingly, the “heat map” shared by Radloff shows that BTC adoption has surged in the last six years – particularly in the northern regions of South America.

Moreover, crypto adoption rates also suggest that online venues are not the only places that are taking payments in bitcoin. More traditional brick-and-mortar establishments including Montessori schools and restaurants are also accepting cryptocurrency payments.

Coinbase Users Can Now Withdraw BSV to External Wallets

Major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase now allows its users to withdraw Bitcoin SV (BSV) balances to external wallets, according to an announcement published on Feb. 14.

BSV appeared following a hard fork in the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain in November of last year. The for resulted in two new coins; Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. The camp for Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision) was lead by Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who has previously declared himself to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

After the hard fork, Coinbase users holding BCH received an equal amount of BSV, however the exchange has, until now, not provided an option for users to withdraw their BSV. From now on, Coinbase clients are able to send their BSV balance to an external wallet. Coinbase noted in today’s announcement that it still does not offer services for buying or selling BSV on its platforms.

Following the hard fork, United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken began supporting both forks of BCH, while warning that “custodial losses taken on due to attacks originating from nChain or its affiliates will be socialized among all BSV holders on Kraken. Given the volatile state of the network and threats that have been made, Kraken cannot guarantee perfect custody of BSV.”

In January, cryptocurrency statistics and wallet provider Blockchain.com announced it had launched partial support for BSV, letting its users have some of the same options with BSV as with its four other hosted cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin (BTC), BCH, Ethereum (ETH) and Stellar (XLM).

According to data from CoinMarketCap, BSV has seen slight losses on the day, decreasing by 2.91 percent and trading around $62.70 at press time. On its weekly chart, the altcoin saw its lowest price point at $61.50 on Feb. 8, and a high of $67.04 on Feb. 8 as well.

Crypto Markets Trade Down as Bitcoin (BTC) Short Positions Plunge

Since the crypto markets witnessed a large price swing last Friday, they have been gradually drifting downwards, with Bitcoin (BTC) expressing some levels of stability in the low-$3,600 region. This stability may not last long however, as BTC short positions are rapidly dropping while long positions climb, which may signal that bulls are getting overly confident.

Most cryptos have dropped slightly today, with EOS and TRON being the worst performing major cryptocurrencies, dropping 3.5% and 2.5% respectively.

Bitcoin (BTC) Short Positions Plummet as Crypto Markets Drop

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down slightly at its current price of $3,620. Last Friday, the cryptocurrency surged from $3,400 to highs of $3,700. Although this price surge was certainly positive for investors, BTC has not been able to garner a significant amount of buying pressure at its current price levels.

Despite this fact, there is an interesting trend that is currently occurring, where open short positions against BTC are plummeting as long positions begin to climb.

Lucid TA, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, recently spoke about this trend, concluding that it is “concerning.”

“Current movement in longs/shorts is concerning. Mass exodus from short positions while longs continue to climb… $BTC,” Lucid noted.

Many traders and analysts view long and short positions as contrarian indicators, which may signal that Bitcoin will soon see a drop.

Another important thing to consider is that Bitcoin is currently facing strong resistance at its 50-day Moving Average, which currently exists around $3,630.

Chonis Trading, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about the importance of this resistance level, noting that it has been a level of resistance ever since Bitcoin dropped in January.

“$BTC – The MA50 holds firm resistance after several reattempts to break above after failing to hold support in January. The blue line MA100 rapidly falling through $4k and has also resisted #bitcoin daily candle close since early September…”

Most Cryptocurrencies Drop Today, but Analyst Claims Ethereum Classic (ETC) May be Bullish

Although Bitcoin has been stable, most major cryptocurrencies are trading down today.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down marginally at its current price of $122. Ethereum has been able to maintain most of its recent gains and is only down slightly from its weekly highs of $124.

EOS and TRON have both dropped significantly today and are both trading down 3.5% and 2.5% respectively.

Ethereum Classic (ETC), is trading flat today, but Ezbrah, a cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently noted that ETC may soon see a price surge towards $4.8, which is significantly higher than its current price of $4.13.

“$ETC… hard to justify being bearish on etc right now,” he concisely stated.

NEM is one of the few cryptocurrencies that is trading up by a sizeable amount today, as it is currently trading up over 4% at its current price of $0.043. NEM is up significantly from its weekly lows of $0.0368.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

重磅!每天处理6万亿美元转账的摩根大通将推出自有数字货币

每枚JPM Coin与美元1:1兑换,其价值不具有波动性,类似于所谓的稳定币。


文 | Moon

出品 | 火星财经(ID:hxcj24h)



摩根大通将推出加密数字货币“JPM Coin”


据报道,美国最大的金融服务机构——摩根大通将推出加密数字货币“JPM Coin”,用于即时结算客户间的支付交易。


摩根大通正在为未来做准备——将跨境支付和债券发行转移到区块链上。为实现该目标,该机构需要采用一种与智能合约相同速度的资金转移方法,而不是使用电汇这样的“原始技术”。


摩根大通区块链项目负责人Umar Farooq表示,“目前,世界上存在的任何东西都可以转移到区块链上,其将成为交易的支付方式。坦白说,该技术是无边界的,任何拥有分布式账本技术的公司或机构都可以使用这类交易方式。”


部分人或许会对摩根大通发行加密数字货币一事倍感意外,因为该技术是在金融危机的大背景下崛起,并对现有的银行业发起了挑战。


当该代币在跨境支付中测试时,它将成为加密数字货币在银行业的首批落地应用之一。由于风险巨大,该行业内的机构大多回避了加密资产。去年,摩根大通和另外两家银行禁止信用卡客户购买比特币。据报道,高盛在探讨了与加密资产相关的计划后,搁置了创建比特币交易平台的计划。



JPM Coin类似稳定币


尽管比特币和其他代币持有者可能会将该消息(大型金融机构发行加密数字货币)作为加密资产看涨的信号,但散户投资者可能永远也不会持有一枚JPM Coin。据报道,只有摩根大通的大型机构客户(需经过监管审查),如公司、银行和经纪自营商,才能使用该代币。


据报道,摩根大通首席执行官Jamie Dimon曾抨击比特币是一种欺诈行为,不会为投资者带来收益。不过,他与该公司的其他高管一直表示,区块链与受监管的数字货币是有前景的。


据报道,每枚JPM Coin可兑换一美元,其价值不具有波动性,类似于所谓的稳定币。客户在银行存入美元后,即可获得该代币;在区块链上使用代币付款或购买证券后,银行将销毁这些代币,并将相应数量的美元返给客户。



JPM Coin三大应用场景


Farooq称,JPM Coin有三个应用场景。


第一种是针对大型企业客户的跨境支付,目前这种支付通常通过具有数十年历史的Swift网络在金融机构间进行电汇。Farooq表示,由于金融机构有交易时限,且各国使用不用的系统,因此有时需要一天以上的时间来进行结算,而非支持用户可以在一天中的任何时间段进行实时交易或结算。


第二种是证券交易。去年4月,摩根大通在区块链平台上测试了债券发行,模仿了加拿大国民银行发行1.5亿美元一年期浮动利率扬基存款凭证(CD)。据报道,机构投资者可以使用摩根大通的代币,而非依靠电汇购买债券,这有助于消除交易结算和支付间的时间间隔,从而实现即时结算。


第三种用途是通过JPM Coin取代美元。Farooq表示,要通过该代币使那些使用摩根大通资金服务业务的大型公司替换掉其全球各个子公司持有的美元。据了解,该公司为Honeywell International和Facebook等公司处理着大量受监管的资金流,将美元支付给员工和供应商。去年,这项服务为该银行创造了90亿美元的收入。


Farooq说道:“资金在一家大型企业里来回流动,是否有办法确保该笔资金可以反映在子公司的资产负债表上,而无需真的将其汇入相关部门?这样一来,他们就可以整合资金,并可能获得更高的利率。”


他表示,进一步来看,如果区块链实现大规模应用,该代币可在联网设备上支付。


摩根大通认为,即使其他银行推出了自己的代币,该机构在企业支付方面的先发地位以及持有的大量市场份额——它为80%的世界500强企业提供银行服务——将使其拥有良好的市场竞争力。


Farooq说道:“几乎每家大公司都是我们的客户,世界上的多数主流银行亦是如此。即使该代币仅限于摩根大通的机构客户使用,这也不会阻碍我们的发展。”



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原文来源:https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/13/jp-morgan-is-rolling-out-the-first-us-bank-backed-cryptocurrency-to-transform-payments–.html

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Luxembourg Passes Blockchain Framework Bill Into Law

Luxembourg lawmakers have passed bill 7363 into law, facilitating the use of blockchain technology in financial services, according to an official announcement published by the country’s parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, on Feb. 14.

The new law aims provide financial market participants with more transparency and legal certainty in regard to the circulation of securities with blockchain technology. The bill is also geared to make the transfer of securities more efficient by reducing the number of intermediaries.

According to local news outlet Luxembourg Time, the bill grants transactions done with blockchain technology the same legal status and protection as those done through traditional means. Out of 60 parliamentarians, only two members of the left-wing party déi Lénk reportedly voted against the bill.

Luxembourg is known for its proactive approach to blockchain technology. In November 2018, the University of Luxembourg partnered with Luxembourg-based trading platform VNX Exchange in a bid to improve the security of digital assets. Within the collaboration, the University of Luxembourg purportedly helps VNX develop higher levels of network security for digital assets.

In March, the Luxembourg Financial Regulator CSSF issued a warning against investments in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The regulator noted in the warning that cryptocurrencies are not backed by any central bank, and warned against the volatility of virtual currencies, stressing that deals are often not entirely transparent and business models are incomprehensible.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by research company Ipsos on behalf of Dutch ING Bank B.V. in June revealed that the lowest rate of people owning cryptocurrency — 4 percent — rate is in Luxembourg.

IBM Partners with Boehringer Ingelheim to Leverage Blockchain Technology For Clinical Testing

IBM Partners with Boehringer Ingelheim to Leverage Blockchain Technology For Clinical Testing

After dominating several industries, blockchain technology is now headed to the medical world as IBM and Boehringer Ingelheim announced on February 12, 2019, a partnership that will see the latter make use of the emerging tech in their clinical trials.

Boehringer Brings The Blockchain

One of blockchain’s most admirable features is its efficiency in record-keeping. Once information is uploaded to a blockchain, there is an irrevocable record of it, which has made it a favorite of the supply chain industry.

Now, the medical industry is getting in on the action as IBM has announced a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim which will look into the use of blockchain in the medical field on February 12, 2019.

The announcement was made at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orlando, Florida, and marks a new industry for blockchain to conquer.

Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharmaceutical company, will use blockchain in clinical testing in order to determine where it improves efficiency and transparency in its processes and reduces costs. This is important because the process of clinical testing, as with all medical processes, is a delicate one that has little room for error, a point that was reiterated by the management of Boehringer.

Dr. Uli Broedl, Vice President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada,) said:

“The clinical trial ecosystem is highly complex as it involves different stakeholders, resulting in limited trust, transparency and process inefficiencies without true patient empowerment.”

Tying Up Loose Ends

According to Boehringer, the need for this collaboration was facilitated by the fact that recent findings have shown that the processes meant to improve clinical trial efficiency often come up short, thereby putting patient lives at risk.

Through this test, it will be determined whether blockchain can provide data integrity, provenance, transparency, and patient empowerment and the automation of processes. Should the trial be successful, further implementation of blockchain can be expected.

The success that blockchain has seen in other fields inspired the management of Boehringer to give it a try and see how well the technology works in the medical field.

Claude Guay, General Manager, IBM Services, IBM Canada said:

“IBM is excited to collaborate with Boehringer Ingelheim to explore how blockchain technology could help improve the quality of clinical trials. We’ve been using blockchain in other industries, and we are now investigating how we can use this technology to give Canadian patients the same level of security and trust when it comes to their personal health information.”

 

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‘Already Live’: Signature Bank Is Moving Millions on a JPMorgan-Like Private, Dollar-Backed Cryptocurrency

While crypto-land is abuzz about JPMorgan’s plan to move U.S. dollars around via blockchain, a smaller New York bank has already been doing this for nearly two months.

Since launching at the start of the year, Signature Bank’s blockchain-based Signet system has on-boarded more than 100 clients who are using it to send each other millions of dollars a day, 24/7, bank executives said.

Joseph J. DePaolo, president and CEO at Signature Bank, told CoinDesk:

“We can say there are trades going on in the millions some days and tens of millions other days and I would say the number of clients we have is in the triple digits.”

Signature is one of the few banks in the U.S. that will provide deposit accounts to cryptocurrency startups, a group that also includes fellow New Yorkers at Metropolitan Bank and Silvergate Bank in San Diego.

But while these clients were the first group to adopt Signet, the bank says non-crypto businesses are signing up as well.

In addition to the previously announced American PowerNet, an independent electrical power trading firm that made Signet the payments platform for its renewable energy customers, DePaolo said Signature is bringing on two other “ecosystems” where rapid movement of money and property is important.

“We will shortly onboard a substantial cargo ecosystem and wholesale diamonds,” he said, declining to name either organization.

He also said Signature is in talks with a title insurance company. Explaining why such an entity would be interested in real-time payments, he said:

“If you’ve ever been involved in a commercial real estate closing, usually all the lawyers are sitting around eating lunch waiting for the wire transfer.”    

Signet vs. JPM Coin

With $45 billion in assets, Signature Bank is less than 2% the size of JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S. So it’s perhaps understandable that DePaolo and Signature chairman Scott Shay clearly took some pride in pointing out that JPM Coin, announced Thursday, is remarkably similar to what they already have.

A rather subtle similarity between Signature’s blockchain system and JPM Coin is that both run on private variants of ethereum technology.

In the case of JPM this is Quorum, a data privacy-oriented fork of the ethereum public blockchain code. The Signet platform, built in conjunction with trueDigital, is a proprietary blockchain which also uses ethereum as its base.

Another commonality is that both involve stablecoins, with real-world dollars deposited at the bank in exchange for tokens that clients can send each other via a distributed ledger, then redeem again 1-to-1 with the institution.

The goal of replacing wire transfers with a blockchain is also reminiscent of crypto-friendly rival Silvergate Bank’s SEN system that instantly connects to its clients 24/7.

But Signature chairman Scott Shay claimed the broad uses of Signet sets it apart.

“If you happen to be an exchange [SEN] is useful, but we developed Signet to be tailored to a wide variety of industries. It’s not crypto exchange-focused,” he said.

Returning to JPM Coin, Shay pointed out that Signet has already received approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). By contrast, JPMorgan said in its announcement that as it gets ready to launch the new product, “we will actively engage our regulators to explain its design and solicit their feedback and any necessary approvals.”

Shay concluded:

“The difference is we are actually out there doing this.”   

Scott A. Shay image via Signature Bank