Chinese search engine Baidu launches Blockchain-as-a-service platform
Chinese web search giant Baidu has launched its own blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform.
Based on technology developed by Baidu, the open platform sets out to provide the most “user-friendly” blockchain service.
According to the firm’s dedicated website, “Baidu Trust” allows the conducting and tracing of transactions, and can be applied in various use cases, including digital currency, digital billing, bank credit management, insurance management financial auditing, and more.
US government forms working group focused on cryptocurrencies
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government body that assesses financial system risks, has formed a working group focused on cryptocurrencies.
Mnuchin remarked on the process during an appearance at The Economic Club in Washington, D.C. after being asked about the topic of bitcoin.
“We are very focused on cryptocurrencies,” Mnuchin explained, pointing to discussions with other regulators within the U.S. government and later stating: “We want to make sure that bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things.”
Mnuchin added that the issue was one that the U.S. government would engage with the G-20 international group as well.
Mnuchin was asked if the Federal Reserve is likely to develop its own digital version of fiat currency.
“The Fed and I don’t think there’s a need for that at this point,” Mnuchin said.
Russia’s Sberbank announces blockchain lab
Sberbank, one of the largest banks in Russia, has announced a blockchain laboratory to develop and test blockchain-based solutions.
The new lab aims to generate product prototypes, perform pilot tests and deploy blockchain-based business solutions for Sberbank Group, a press release says.
According to Igor Bulantsev, Sberbank’s senior vice president, blockchain can help in “reshaping” the financial business market, as well as the bank’s activities and services.
Blockchain electronic signature bill proposed in Tennessee
A lawmaker in Tennessee has filed a new bill that recognizes blockchain signatures as legal electronic records, marking the latest legislative effort to do so in recent weeks.
The bill, submitted to the Tennessee House of Representatives by state lawmaker Jason Powell on Jan. 10, echoes similar pieces of legislation filed in Florida and Nebraska.
But as with the efforts in Florida and Nebraska, it remains to be seen how other lawmakers will react as the measures move through the debate process.
Online bank Swissquote increased it’s profit outlook due to Bitcoin trading
Online bank Swissquote revised its profit outlook for 2017, having benefited from strong trading in cryptocurrencies. The company has been swamped with interest for bitcoin trading.
Gland-based Swissquote expects earnings to have totaled 186 million Swiss francs in 2018, 8 million more than it had forecast in its most recent forecast. The bank said it will post a pretax profit of about 45 million francs, according to a statement released today.
The sharp rise in earnings and profit growth was a result of two factors, Swissquote said.
Customers traded significantly more with securities and foreign exchange, while the company also profited from the introduction of cryptocurrency trading.
Swissquote was the first European online bank to launch such an offering in July, 2017.
Japan’s DMM Group launches Bitcoin exchange
DMM Group, a Japan-based eCommerce and Internet holding company is launching a new exchange called DMM Bitcoin.
The company is planning on offering 24/7 customer support, and is currently the newest regulated Bitcoin exchange Japan.
The firm is officially registered as a ‘virtual currency trader’ in the Japanese Finance Bureau