Blockchain News 16.07.2018

New York issues crypto BitLicense to BitPay

Cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay has become the 8th firm to receive a “BitLicense” from the New York Department of Financial Services, which oversees what is arguably the most-restrictive state-level framework for the US cryptocurrency industry.

The approval process included a “comprehensive review” of the firm’s anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. Standalone payment processor BitPay can now process cryptocurrency payments for New York merchants and residents, and the license also authorizes the company to issue cryptocurrency-funded debit cards in the state.

G20 watchdog releases framework for “vigilant” crypto monitoring

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), an organization focused on analyzing and making recommendations to the G20 on global financial systems, has presented a framework for monitoring cryptocurrency assets that “should help to identify and mitigate risks to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, and potentially to financial stability.”

The FSB’s monitoring efforts will focus on crypto assets’ price volatility, crypto’s wider use in payments and institutional exposure, as well as the market’s volatility when compared to gold, currencies and equities.

Hong Kong’s blockchain trade finance platform to go live by September

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the autonomous Chinese territory’s de facto central bank, is poised to launch a live blockchain trade finance platform within two months.

“The Trade Finance Platform is a blockchain project initiated by 7 banks in Hong Kong. The project has been facilitated by the HKMA and is targeted for launch by September 2018.”

The HKMA’s blockchain platform has 21 banks participating as participating nodes, including HSBC and Standard Chartered.

The project is effort to bring transparency to data sharing across financial institutions.

Thailand is planning a “Bond Coin” for faster securities settlement

A self-regulatory organization in Thailand is planning to create a custom token aimed to speed up corporate bond settlement in the country.

The Thailand Bond Market Association (TBMA) said it has received the green light from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission to develop a private blockchain that will be only accessible for parties in the bond market, such as registered issuers, investors and depository organizations.

The blockchain-based platform is for listing and sharing bond information, such as interest rates in a distributed manner, and enables bond deposits.

The TBMA indicated it will eventually develop what it calls a “bond coin” on top of the blockchain platform to tokenize assets for speedier clearing and settlement.

Chaitat Prachuabdee, executive vice president of the TBMA, said the new infrastructure is expected to improve the transparency of corporate bond information and could potentially shorten the transaction time from the current 7–10 days to just 1–3 days.

American Express files patent for blockchain-based proof-of-payment technology

Credit card giant American Express is seeking a patent for a blockchain-based proof-of-payment system.

The patent application notes that the American Express Travel Related Services will be using a blockchain-powered system to receive “payment confirmation including a transaction amount and a merchant identifier.”

AmEx says that it would be mostly public blockchain system which will help in retaining “transaction data, contract data, proof-of-payment data, identification data, and/or other information as desired.” The company says that the public blockchain system would provide an additional layer of proof for all transactions occurring on AmEx’s network.

Schnorr poised to become Bitcoin’s biggest change since SegWit

The Schnorr Bitcoin upgrade took a significant step towards implementation last week, when influential developer Pieter Wuille unveiled a draft outlining its technical makeup.

The idea improves the scaling and privacy of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency.

Effectively, this sets up Schnorr as the next big change to Bitcoin, meaning it will be the largest code change since Segregated Witness (SegWit).

At a technical level, adding support for Schnorr digital signature scheme would give Bitcoin users a new way to generate the necessary cryptographic keys used to store and send Bitcoin.

$6T money manager BlackRock reportedly explores Bitcoin for investment

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is reportedly exploring Bitcoin to determine whether the company should invest in Bitcoin futures.

Blackrock manages trillions of dollars in assets for Wall Street institutions, individual investors and foundations. One of its core businesses is to serve professionals – doctors, lawyers, teachers and Main Street – by growing their wealth.

BlackRock has reportedly established a working group that is investigating how Blackrock “can take advantage of the fast-growing cryptocurrency market.”

Kraken Daily Market Report for 15.07.2018


$64.1M traded across all markets today

Blockchain News 16.07.2018

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