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Over 50 Banks, Firms Trial Trade Finance App Built With R3’s Corda Blockchain

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ABN Amro, Standard Chartered, ING and around 50 other banks and companies have participated in tests of a trade finance application called Voltron.

The open industry platform was initiated by eight founding member banks with the aim of improving the trade finance process by simplifying letter of credit transactions to deliver speedy settlement times and resolution of discrepancies, as well as improved sanctions screening, according to an announcement from distributed ledger startup R3.

The tests saw firms across 27 countries use Voltron, which was developed by R3 using its Corda platform, to make simulated letter of credit transactions. While the existing process is paper-based and time-consuming, Voltron processes transactions in “under 24 hours” as compared to the 5-10 days it traditionally takes, R3 said.

The trial was delivered on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform in a collaboration between Bain, CryptoBLK and R3.

R3 said 96 percent of the trial participants concluded that Voltron would help them improve trade finance processes and reduce costs.

Denis Dodon, head of innovations at participating member Alfa Bank, said:

“Everything is done in the same interface, which is connected to all the workflow participants, information is shared instantly, what will significantly expedite the transaction, optimizing working with documents, which could be rectified in an instant way should there be any discrepancies identified.”

The platform, R3 added, is “significantly faster, more reliable and cost-effective,” removing time-consuming reconciliation processes by providing a “single, immutable record of a trade.” It also brings the added benefits of a reduction in fraud risk.

Calling for other banks and corporates to join the effort, R3 CEO David E. Rutter said the trial is a “step closer to shaping what the future of trade finance looks like.”

Other participants in the trials included Societe Generale, CommerzBank, Commercial Bank of Qatar, MUFG, Natixis, National Bank of Egypt and the Saudi British Bank.

R3 image via CoinDesk archives

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Announcing CryptoSlate Research, an exclusive newsletter delivering thoroughly researched analysis and crypto market insight

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Since 2017, CryptoSlate’s mission has been to provide high quality and objective analysis of the blockchain and cryptocurrency market. CryptoSlate has achieved this by becoming a key community resource for important news, comprehensive analysis, and relevant data under one streamlined platform.

Over the past year and a half, CryptoSlate has published over 2,300 news articles and maintained growing databases of 2,100+ cryptocurrencies, 100+ companies, 100+ products, and 26 places. In providing these services, CryptoSlate has built a talented and proficient team of journalists, software developers, and analysts who are constantly acquiring knowledge about the often complex world of crypto.

Announcing CryptoSlate Research, our exclusive newsletter

To take advantage of the expansive CryptoSlate knowledgebase, and as part of our initiative to keep the community enlightened, we are expanding our long-form analysis through CryptoSlate Research—a premium newsletter containing curated, thoroughly researched exclusives and fascinating interviews with industry leaders.

These articles are only available to CryptoSlate Research subscribers and are not published anywhere else. Additionally, subscribers will gain access to our private Slack and be able to engage with CryptoSlate Researchers and vote on and suggest potential research topics.

Learn more or join CryptoSlate Research

Why subscribe to CryptoSlate Research?

Stay up-to-date

Keeping up and staying well-informed about crypto is a challenge. The pace of change and the infinite number of domains involved means there is an overwhelming amount of quantitative and qualitative material to absorb.

CryptoSlate Research makes understanding crypto possible by interpreting emerging software breakthroughs, dissecting new regulations, getting the scoop on worldwide adoption stories, and distilling the most valuable information to keep subscribers abreast.

Fact-based conviction

The discourse around blockchain is brimming with discord and rife with conflicts of interest–making it difficult to obtain reliable, unbiased, and relevant information.

Instead, CryptoSlate leverages data-driven analysis to make intelligent decisions about crypto’s potential and growth. CryptoSlate Research helps to separate fact from FUD using raw blockchain data, the latest academic research, and guidance from experts in the field.

Additionally, CryptoSlate is an independent organization–not owned or invested in by any other entity in the blockchain space. CryptoSlate values editorial independence and always seeks to be completely transparent with our readers.

Informational edge

The cryptocurrency markets are volatile, prone to manipulation, and largely unregulated. Consequently, most investors are at a clear disadvantage.

CryptoSlate Research empowers readers to stay on top. Get the story behind major price movements, take a look at the fundamentals behind major projects, and learn what strategies professional traders are implementing through regular technical analysis.

What motivates us

When CryptoSlate launched in December 2017, the market was rife with scams and flimsy ICOs—and filled with an array of self-proclaimed advisors, hucksters, and charlatans.

Meanwhile, crypto journalism at the time also left a lot to be desired. Many publications were staffed by writers who knew little about crypto and were focused on churning out sensationalist headlines to amass clicks and make money from predatory crypto-advertising.

Moreover, many of these publications did not have the best interest of their readers in mind and were participating in undisclosed pay-to-play publishing schemes and promoting illegitimate projects.

CryptoSlate has never been involved with hidden pay-to-play advertising and has always been committed to the utmost transparency in our reporting.

CryptoSlate was founded by two, Seattle-based, crypto-savvy software professionals who saw the potential of crypto and the necessity for innovation in its corresponding media delivery. Reliable reports with genuine insight into the industry were rare—but CryptoSlate is changing that.

We invite you to join us in our mission and sign-up for CryptoSlate Research.

Our goal is to give you an informational edge at an affordable price. For just over $1 per day, you will have access to all previous and current CryptoSlate Research content and as mentioned, the benefit of interacting directly with our team in our private Slack channel.

To learn more, including sample research articles and background on our researchers, click here.

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Nate Whitehill

Nate Whitehill is the co-founder and CEO of CryptoSlate. Nate has a deep interest in how blockchain technologies will transform a multitude of global industries over the next decade.

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Disclaimer: Our writers’ opinions are solely their own and do not reflect the opinion of CryptoSlate. None of the information you read on CryptoSlate should be taken as investment advice, nor does CryptoSlate endorse any project that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article. Finally, CryptoSlate takes no responsibility should you lose money trading cryptocurrencies.

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Co-Founder Quits Avalon Mining Chip Maker Canaan Over ‘Differences’

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One of the 3 co-founders of Canaan Creative, maker of the Avalon cryptocurrency mining apparatus, has stepped down from the Chinese corporate’s management.

According to executive trade registration information updated on Jan. 30, Xiangfu Liu will not function a board member on the Hangzhou-based Canaan Creative – a task he had served since 2013.

Further, an individual accustomed to the placement mentioned Liu had left his day by day control position on the producer and his government board member place at its preserving corporate, Canaan Inc., which unsuccessfully sought an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong remaining 12 months.

Canaan Creative didn’t reply to requests for remark. But the individual as regards to the corporate instructed CoinDesk that Liu left his position because of disagreements with the corporate’s general technique.

Specifically, Canaan Creative’s control sought after to proceed development the corporate as a pure-play producer of chips for crypto mining and synthetic intelligence. Unlike rival producer Bitmain, Canaan does now not mine crypto itself or run mining swimming pools, and the management sought after to stay it that means, in an effort to justify the corporate’s sustainability for an IPO, the supply mentioned.

However, Liu, who has a background in pc science, believes {hardware} and tool must now not be separated completely within the blockchain business, which means firms that make mining apparatus must now not minimize themselves off from mining farms and pool companies, the supply mentioned.

Major shareholder

Nevertheless, Liu, 35, stays a considerable shareholder of Canaan Creative. According to the now-lapsed Hong Kong IPO prospectus, Liu co-founded the company with Nangeng Zhang and Jiaxuan Li in 2013.

While Zhang serves as Canaan’s leader government officer, Liu used to be basically in control of the company’s out of the country trade technique and advertising and marketing, and he owns about 17.6 p.c of Canaan’s overall stocks. In overall, the 3 co-founders regulate over 50 p.c of the company.

Liu’s departure from the board additionally comes amid contemporary layoffs at Canaan, the supply mentioned, declining to reveal their scale.

But Canaan is a ways from on my own in lowering workforce, as different mining giants like Bitmain have additionally gone through layoffs in addition to administrative center closures, partially because of the total bearish marketplace stipulations in 2018.

The information additionally comes weeks after a media report that Canaan Creative is now mulling an software to move public in New York after its preliminary IPO plan failed because of the hesitation of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Canaan Creative symbol from CoinDesk’s archives.

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Newsflash: Why This Virginia Police Department’s Pension Just Invested in a $40 Million Crypto Fund

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Frequent Bitcoin commentator and t-shirt salesman Anthony Pompliano instructed Bloomberg this morning that two Fairfax County, Virginia pension finances have long past in on Morgan Creek Digital’s new fund for cryptocurrency corporations. The finances constitute $1.2 billion in property for the pensions of police and different public employees within the county.

$25 Million Fund Oversubscribed to $40 Million

The $40 million fund initially handiest sought $25 million. A small portion of its funding might be in liquid blue chip cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Investment in cryptocurrency corporations would be the majority of the fund’s paintings, alternatively. Coinbase and Bakkt have already been named as goals for funding.

Public pension finances affect almost 20 million Americans. Nearly 4,000 exist. If the experiment in Fairfax County is going neatly, and police have an much more relaxed retirement in consequence, will others apply swimsuit?

Bloomberg reports that “an insurance company, a university endowment and a private foundation” could also be throwing in with the fund. It has already bought equity in Bakkt, the Starbucks/NYSE crypto alternate which can most probably release America’s first Bitcoin ETF (ultimately).

Everything might be tokenized at some point, Morgan Creek satisfied asset managers. Whatever the crypto markets had been doing, blockchain as an trade has been attracting lots of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley for years. Fairfax County’s police fund leader funding officer Katherine Molnar told Forbes:

“Blockchain technology is being applied in unique and compelling ways across multiple industries. We feel it is important to be opportunistic and are excited to participate in this emerging opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Pompliano instructed Bloomberg:

“The smart money is not distracted by price but looks at the long-term trends, and believes they’re betting on innovation as a great way to deliver risk-mitigated returns.”

Coinbase and Bakkt: First Choices for Morgan Creek

To safely arrange the cash, Morgan Creek wishes to concentrate on corporations indirectly hooked up to the price of Bitcoin. Companies centered at the innovation of the blockchain itself, exchanges that benefit whether or not the associated fee is up or down, and corporations having a look to make use of the generation for public hobby tasks. In addition to Bakkt, the fund is creating a play in Coinbase, the king of retail crypto gross sales.

The outspoken Bitcoin bull Pompliano may simply make investments the cash in Bitcoin at those bargain costs if it have been as much as him, alternatively. He spends a substantial amount of time on Twitter telling other folks to prevent ready round.

Pompliano not too long ago made headlines when his podcast “Off the Chain” was once banned by Apple without warning. Morgan Creek Digital’s $1 million bet against the inventory marketplace as of but has no takers, indicating that whilst some other folks discuss strongly towards cryptos, most of the people aren’t certain sufficient to place their cash the place their mouth is.

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Take Two: Ethereum Is Getting Ready for the Constantinople Hard Fork Redo

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If to start with you don’t be triumphant, take a look at take a look at once more.

Such are the phrases of knowledge which were taken to center by way of ethereum core builders ever since a vulnerability within the community’s code was discovered simply 48 hours ahead of the code used to be set to be deployed.

The community improve dubbed Constantinople would have presented a chain of backward-incompatible adjustments – often referred to as a troublesome fork – to the arena’s 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by way of marketplace capitalization. Yet the worm came upon resulted in a extend, adopted by way of a plan to try once again in past due February.

With the code anticipated to turn on someday throughout the remaining week of February – in particular, at block quantity 7,280,000 – ethereum core builders are assured that Constantinople received’t fail this time round.

“I suspect it will go as planned. The block number has been set and [the upgrade] is hard coded in the clients now so it’s going along fine,” Hudson Jameson, who handles developer family members for the Ethereum Foundation, advised CoinDesk.

Adding that “valuable lessons” are discovered from each arduous fork, Jameson stated that one of the vital essential takeaways from remaining January’s arduous fork try used to be “better communication with miners to let them know about the upgrade.”

While the problem within the code wouldn’t have impacted miners without delay, miners and different customers who run whole copies of the ethereum blockchain known as nodes had to be impulsively notified concerning the cancellation of Constantinople to stay it from in fact being deployed and developing imaginable disruptions.

On this entrance, the sensible contract safety audit company ChainSecurity, which came upon the vulnerability, advised CoinDesk the group of ethereum builders used to be already rather spectacular.

“I was just impressed by how quickly everyone reacted and how well organized everyone reacted,” stated CTO Hubert Ritzdorf. “Many people had to update so they had to know what to update to. On many different levels it became clear even though there is no central command, the [ethereum] community collaborates very efficiently.”

Called Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), 4 out of 5 EIPs will in fact be activated at the major community, or mainnet. And for all technical functions, the improve might be deployed in two portions – concurrently.

Say hi to ‘Petersberg’

Developers proposed throughout a gathering late January to desk the EIP briefly and continue with the remainder of Constantinople as deliberate, figuring out {that a} repair to the buggy EIP – EIP 1283 – would extend activation of ethereum’s deliberate arduous fork for too lengthy.

However, for the reason that a number of check networks on ethereum together with Ropsten already activated Constantinople in its complete glory ahead of the protection vulnerability used to be discovered, ethereum core builders additionally agreed {that a} 2nd arduous fork safely eliminating the EIP used to be wanted.

Thus, “Petersberg” used to be born.

Already released on Ropsten, Petersberg is the casual title of the arduous fork in particular designed to take away EIP 1283 from a are living ethereum-like community. Later this month, the unique Constantinople code might be activated on mainnet at the side of Petersberg.

“For all practical means for any developer out there on the mainnet, there will not have been Constantinople really, just Petersberg … Technically in the code, you have two conditions,” ChainSecurity COO Matthias Egli defined. “One says Constantinople gets active at block number [7,280,000] and at the same block number Petersberg gets activated, which takes precedence over Constantinople and immediate supersedes it.”

And relating to what’s left to be executed for Petersberg release on mainnet, Jameson stated that the entire trying out for its unlock has been finished and main tool shoppers together with Geth and Parity are able to deploy at the agreed-upon block quantity.

Now, as emphasised by way of ethereum safety lead Martin Holst Swende, customers of ethereum will have to pay attention to essential adjustments to the ethereum community on account of Constantinople plus Petersberg.

The new ‘corner case’

Tweeting out a questionnaire for customers remaining Thursday, Swende famous that once Constantinople, sensible contracts on ethereum regarded as to be nearly immutable will be capable of exchange code underneath positive prerequisites over the process more than one transactions.

The new characteristic presented thru EIP 1014 – known as “Skinny CREATE2” – is meant to higher facilitate off-chain transactions on ethereum by way of permitting what Ritzdorf describes as “deterministic deployment.”

“When you deploy a new smart contract on ethereum, what happens is that it computes the address to where the contract will be deployed. You know this ahead of time but it depends on a lot of variables,” Ritzdorf advised CoinDesk. “CREATE2 makes it easier to say, ‘We will deploy in the future a contract to this particular address.”

As a results of this, Ritzdorf explains sensible contract builders may just technically deploy contracts for “the second time” to the similar cope with, noting:

“[After Constantinople] you can change code because you can first deploy to that address, destruct the code and then deploy again.”

Egli highlighted that that is “not a security bug” however reasonably “a corner case” that builders on ethereum will have to be cautious of as soon as the adjustments are going are living. He added that persisted schooling from auditors upfront of February’s arduous fork is wanted concerning the different 4 EIPs at the beginning set for inclusion in Constantinople out of doors of EIP 1283.

Users expecting the release of Constantinople can both move to forkmon.ethdevops.io or Ethernodes to observe the discharge in actual time. A lot of other sites also are to be had for are living metrics together with mining hashrate and marketplace costs.

According to 1 arduous fork countdown timer created by way of Afri Schoedon, unlock supervisor for the Parity Ethereum consumer, Constantinople plus Petersberg is estimated as of press time to head live to tell the tale Thursday, February 28.

Cinema clapper image by way of Shutterstock

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Coinbase Now Lets Merchants Accept Payments in the USDC Stablecoin

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Coinbase Commerce, the cryptocurrency exchange’s merchants payments offering, has added support for the dollar-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC).

The development means businesses can now receive payments in USDC from customers “in minutes with zero transaction fees” and no chargebacks, Coinbase announced in a blog post on Monday.

“Unlike accepting credit card payments, merchants can accept USD Coin without geographical limitations or the need for a traditional bank account,” the firm said.

Coinbase Commerce was launched in February 2018 and offers support for bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC) payments alongside the new USDC.

Initially integrated with e-commerce platform Shopify, Coinbase Commerce later rolled out a plugin for WooCommerce too. At the time, Coinbase said that WooCommerce provides the payments infrastructure for more than 28 percent of all web stores.

USDC was launched late last year by crypto finance startup Circle and Coinbase. Earlier this month, Coinbase expanded crypto-to-crypto trading in the stablecoin to 85 countries.

“For new customers in countries like Argentina and Uzbekistan, where consumer prices are expected to inflate by 10–20% in 2020, stablecoins like USDC could provide an opportunity to protect against inflation,” it said at the time.

Checkout image via Shutterstock 

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