Archive for Category: News

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  • Circle CEO Calls on Global Economies to Coordinate on Crypto Regulation

    Circle CEO Calls on Global Economies to Coordinate on Crypto Regulation

    Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of crypto investment app Circle, has called on global economies to develop coordinated regulation of cryptocurrencies in an interview with Reuters Oct. 22.

    The CEO of the Goldman Sachs-backed crypto firm claimed that the global community should develop universal international rules for regulating the crypto space.

    Claiming that for the crypto industry “ultimately there needs to be normalization at the G20 level,” Allaire has paid special attention to the regulation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), as well as stressed the need to adopt a coordinated approach towards crypto market manipulation and know-your-customer (KYC) policies.

    Addressing the existing problem of token taxonomy, Allaire pointed out the major problem of place all ICO tokens in one category:

    “When it comes to token offerings, how should they be treated? Which token offerings are securities, which are not?”

    In that regard, Allaire also commented on the recent announcement from the global money laundering regulator the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Oct. 19.

    The France-based global watchdog stated they had establish regulation for crypto exchanges, digital wallets, and other crypto-related firms, implying mandatory licences and frameworks in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

    The entrepreneur claimed that the FATF’s move is a “good start,” again emphasizing the need for special attention to ICOs and market manipulation.

    In July, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors confirmed that the crypto industry would remain functioning without strict universal regulation. The participants decided to push the deadline for developing specific crypto regulations to at least October, following a four-month consultation period.

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  • Ethereum, Parity Co-Founder Announces Blockchain Framework for a ‘Multi-Chain World’

    Ethereum, Parity Co-Founder Announces Blockchain Framework for a ‘Multi-Chain World’

    Blockchain infrastructure firm Parity Technologies’ founder Gavin Wood demoed a live blockchain launch in just fifteen minutes at the Web3 Summit in Berlin Oct. 23, TechCrunch reports.

    Parity is a U.K.-based blockchain infrastructure provider, known primarily for developing one of the most well-known clients for Ethereum (ETH), which Wood also co-founded.

    In what TechCrunch describes as “a grand gesture,” Wood reportedly launched the live blockchain demo on a brand new Mac laptop, which he is said to have torn out of its shrink wrapping in a bid to highlight just how fast entire process of the platform launch could be.

    The blockchain framework demoed by Wood is dubbed “Substrate,” and is a framework for building blockchains and the underpinning tech of Parity’s “Polkadot” protocol – a form of “para chain” that links between many different types of blockchains – which is slated to be released at the end of 2019.

    Parity has reportedly outlined in an accompanying statement that while Polkadot and Substrate share a common aim, they are distinct in technological terms, with Substrate being akin to “the software or PC” that a someone might choose for an application, and Polkadot being “like plugging a network card into that computer,” given the protocol’s capacity to interconnect blockchains.

    Wood’s speech at Web3 reportedly revealed that Parity’s Substrate 1.0-beta will be out in November of this year, in what he described as “the biggest bet against blockchain maximalism.”

    His presentation is said to have framed Substrate as an antidote to an overly “nationalistic” blockchain space, in which, “maximalism creates barriers to entry and reduces the fun for technologists.” He outlined that the software will give developers “maximum freedom with minimal effort” as it is “highly customisable” and “adaptable,” designed as an “upgrade path” to interoperability with Polkadot.

    Substrate will reportedly moreover free developers from the life cycle of the Ethereum platform and its ongoing development; it is said to be “generic” enough to be compatible with future versions of the Ethereum platform. Wood is quoted as saying that he hopes it “will be a turning point” in the transition to a “multi-chain world.”

    Fellow conference speaker Trent McConaghy reportedly responded by commenting that Polkadot had made the blockchain tech ecosystem leap forward “between 2 and 3 years.”

    This summer, Cointelegraph published an interview with Parity CEO and co-founder Dr. Jutta Steiner, in which she outlined the importance of blockchain interoperability in the transition to the web 3.0 era.

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  • Electronics Giant HTC Announces Presale of Its Blockchain Smartphone Exodus in BTC, ETH

    Electronics Giant HTC Announces Presale of Its Blockchain Smartphone Exodus in BTC, ETH

    Taiwanese electronics company HTC has announced the presale of its widely-discussed blockchain smartphone, Exodus 1, the product’s official Twitter account reveals Oct. 23.

    The Exodus 1 presale was officially announced today during the Web3 summit, taking place Oct. 22-24 in Berlin. According to the HTC Exodus website, “early access” to the phone can currently only be purchased via Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), and is available to 34 regions, including the U.S., U.K. and Hong Kong.

    At press time, pre-orders for the Exodus 1 are listed at around $960 (0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH), with shipping date stated as December 2018.

    As per the official announcement on Twitter, the company states it is seeking collaboration with “a community of developers and enthusiasts [...] to keep building security.”

    HTC first revealed its plan to launch blockchain-powered smartphone back in May 2018. The company then promised Exodus 1 would support “multiple blockchain protocols,” such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Lightning Network (LN), and Dfinity network, as well as boast a universal cryptocurrency wallet.

    In July, HTC confirmed its plans to install a native crypto wallet inside its phone. The company also announced it would support CryptoKitties, the once-popular Ethereum-based decentralized application (DApp) game. Later that month Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee revealed that he would consult HTC in the making of the blockchain smartphone.

    However, the current Exodus 1 is not exactly what HTC had promised earlier, as U.S. tech journal The Verge points out. When announced in May, as The Verge reports, HTC’s “decentralized chief officer” Phil Chen had said that each Exodus phone would function as a “node” to facilitate bitcoin trading. Chen also stated at the time that the phone would allow users to “own [their] own identity.”

    The model available for pre-order today evidently provides a crypto wallet in a secure are “protected from the Android OS,” as The Verge notes, but the other promised features are reportedly lacking.

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  • Ex-Fidelity Exec Joins Blockchain Company Bloq as Chief Operating Officer

    Ex-Fidelity Exec Joins Blockchain Company Bloq as Chief Operating Officer

    A former executive at financial services giant Fidelity Investments has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) at blockchain infrastructure firm Bloq, according to a press release Oct. 23.

    Bloq’s new COO, Hadley Stern, spent seventeen years at Fidelity, which administers over $7.2 trillion in client assets. His most recent role was at the helm of the crypto and blockchain incubator within the company’s innovation lab, Fidelity Labs – overseeing the launch last week of its new crypto-business, Fidelity Digital Assets.

    Bloq’s co-founder and chairman Matthew Roszak characterized the new appointment as emblematic of the increasing entwinement of the world of “conventional” enterprises and the emerging cryptocurrency sector.

    In a Medium post published today, entitled “The Tokenization of Things and Building the Unimaginable,” Stern gave his perspective on the history of the new technologies driving an “efficient, frictionless” economy:

    “Without coming off as doctrinaire or fundamentalist, it’s fair to say that Satoshi Nakamoto delivered a true gift in the Bitcoin whitepaper, that is, a way to produce and account for a provably scarce, wholly digital asset. Satoshi was not-so-subtly concerned about vulnerabilities in the financial system […] Nearly a decade later, the Bitcoin project has proven stunningly resilient.”

    Stern’s blog post further outlined three fundamental market areas to be undertaken at Bloq as part of the company’s aim to further the management and integration of digital assets.

    As reported early last week, Fidelity this month officially unveiled its new company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, which will offer custody and trade execution services for digital assets, targeting institutional investors.

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  • Level Up! 500 Games to Accept Altcoin as Payment for the First Time

    Level Up! 500 Games to Accept Altcoin as Payment for the First Time

    A “made for gaming” cryptocurrency has become the first-ever altcoin to be accepted by a major gaming platform – in what is being described as good news for developers and players alike.

    MobileGO (or MGO for short) has been picked up by Xsolla, a company which aims to help content creators launch, monetize, and market titles. The collaboration means the cryptocurrency is now available for use in more than 500 games – with more than 500 million players getting the chance to purchase titles and use the altcoin for in-game purchases.

    As part of the deal, developers will also be able to elect to have royalties from Xsolla, paid out to them in MGO, “on a sliding scale percentage of their choice.” Both platforms say this arrangement is in reaction to an increasing trend where digital entrepreneurs are transferring their savings and retirement investments to the blockchain.

    Upon adopting the ERC223-compliant token, Aleksandr Agapitov, founder and CEO of Xsolla, said: “Owners of MGO will soon be able to engage in peer-to-peer match play and organize decentralized gaming tournaments in a way never before possible.

    “MGO is essentially the Bitcoin of the gaming industry, the most trusted cryptocurrency that Xsolla is making available to more than half a billion gamers today.”

    Level up

    Xsolla says new games are being added to its platform every day, and claims it now operations in more than 200 countries and territories. MGO will now be presented to users as an option alongside 130 currencies and 700 payment methods.

    It is hoped that the introduction of MGO will benefit developers financially and boost their business, as they will be able to slash payment times substantially. Whereas they can be waiting for weeks or months to receive royalties, Xsolla says developers will be able to get paid in MGO in as little as 60 hours, as payment requests are going to be processed three times a week.

    MGO says its ultimate goal is to become a universal currency for the 2.6 billion gamers which are estimated to be there worldwide. The company hopes to increase levels of fairness when it comes to tournaments, following several examples where players in eSports events have not received their prize money. Through its currency, it wants to reduce levels of fraud and make it easier for players to receive their funds without having to jump through endless hoops or pay high commission fees.

    The company also wants to play a role in removing the centralization from gaming – which can mean that players have no say in the rules, and lose the opportunity to establish tournaments on their own terms. A vivid example of the implications this can have were set out in a recent MGO blog post, which quoted Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as saying: “I happily played World of Warcraft during 2007 to 2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock’s Siphon Life spell. I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring. I soon decided to quit.”

    “Event of unprecedented scale”

    Both Xsolla and MGO believe that its collaboration could send shock waves through the crypto world – and say its tie-up gives the cryptocurrency “a strong potential of becoming the most adopted alternative coin in the world.”

    Xsolla currently acts as a merchant for major gaming brands, including Ubisoft and Twitch. The company says it focuses exclusively on providing tools and services for the gaming community, and it initially launched way back in 2005.

    Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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  • Chinese Mining Giant Bitmain’s New Firmware Update Reignites AsicBoost Controversy

    Chinese Mining Giant Bitmain’s New Firmware Update Reignites AsicBoost Controversy

    Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain confirmed it would roll out a firmware update for so-called ‘Overt AsicBoost’ to all its Antminer models in a blog post Monday, Oct. 22.

    Bitmain, which holds a monopoly on Bitcoin mining through its subsidiary mining pools and Antpool, said the release would begin with its most recent Antminer S9 product, extending to older versions next week.

    Overt AsicBoost refers to a method of increasing mining “effectiveness” for Antminers, Bitmain says, in a way that does not produce “any negative impact on the Bitcoin protocol.”

    “Initially, we decided against activating this mathematical function in mining hardware produced by us, largely because of the legal uncertainty surrounding the use of AsicBoost,” the post reads:

    “As an organization, we didn’t want to violate patent laws or act in any way that was untoward.”

    Bitmain garnered a slew of criticism beginning in 2017 over AsicBoost, with Bitcoin Core developers in particular voicing concerns that the protocol’s exploitative efficiency gains could ultimately destabilize the Bitcoin network.

    The latest release was also not without controversy, Bitmain’s blog post coming just days after competitor mining pool Slush Pool warned the community that the upgrade was not compatible with its requirements.

    This, one well-known crypto Twitter commentator subsequently suggested, was one factor that may have made Bitmain “worried” about loss of miners.

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  • Use of Blockchain in Major Industries by Numbers: Retail, Manufacturing, Finance, and Others

    Use of Blockchain in Major Industries by Numbers: Retail, Manufacturing, Finance, and Others

    Many startups, major conglomerates, supply chain operators, and distributors have attempted to integrate blockchain technology over the past two years, to increase transparency and reduce the power of central entities in data processing.

    With billions of dollars being invested annually by major corporations in blockchain development, the emerging technology has become the focal point of the long-term vision of many companies internationally.

    The exponential increase in demand and interest in blockchain technology has enabled multi-billion dollar markets for the blockchain in major sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, retail, supply chain, IoT, and payments.

    Current and potential market cap for blockchain in different industries

    Blockchain in manufacturing to be $566 million by 2025

    On October 4, technology research firm ReportLinker disclosed in a research paper that the market for blockchain technology in the US manufacturing sector is expected to grow to $566 million by 2025, within the next seven years.

    The researchers stated that the blockchain in manufacturing market is forecasted to be worth around $30 million by 2020, and the market will continue to grow at an annual growth rate of 80 percent, to $566 million by 2025.

    While the report cited the increase in demand for blockchain-as-a-service (Baas) provided by technology conglomerates such as Microsoft and Intel as a major catalyst for the growth of the blockchain in manufacturing market, it cautiously suggested that the lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S. could limit the growth of the market.

    Similarly, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a Big Four auditor, expressed its concerns in regards to regulatory uncertainty in the blockchain sector of the U.S., as it restricts the extent in which the blockchain can be integrated into the existing infrastructures of large conglomerates.

    According to PwC blockchain head Steve Davies, many conglomerates and startups are exploring ways to integrate the blockchain at a commercial level. However, due to regulatory hurdles, companies are unable to commercialize the blockchain at a large scale:

    “Businesses tell us that they don’t want to be left behind by blockchain, even if at this early stage of its development, concerns on trust and regulation remain. Blockchain by its very definition should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn.”

    China recognizes potential of blockchain technology in manufacturing

    Other major cryptocurrency markets like Japan and South Korea have been encouraging the development of blockchain technology and utilization of decentralized systems across various industries.

    South Korea recently recognized the blockchain as one of the three key technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, alongside big data and artificial intelligence (AI), as the government disclosed its plans to promote blockchain training to bring young talent into the fast-growing industry.

    But, as $393 billion Alibaba chairman Jack Ma emphasized, China operates the world’s biggest manufacturing hub, which is actively shifting to smart manufacturing strategies and technologies to optimize the creation and distribution of products.

    The “Made in China 2025” initiative, a strategic plan established by the government of China to implement sophisticated and advanced technologies to revolutionize China as an innovative hi-tech manufacturing powerhouse, is encouraging local firms to apply smart solutions, green development, and emerging disruptive technologies like the blockchain to efficiently manufacture products.

    In a total of ten industries that include robotics, railway transport, hi-tech ship development, energy, agriculture, new material manufacturing, IT, and aerospace equipment manufacturing, the “Made in China 2025” strategy will deploy many innovative solutions.

    Forest Tian, a venture capitalist and founder of Precision Intelligent Technology, said that China is moving to automation in manufacturing, which requires AI and data processing technologies like the blockchain to eliminate manual labor.

    “The biggest trend in manufacturing is that automation is irreversible. There will be huge demand for these machines.”

    At World AI Conference 2018, Ma firmly emphasized that if the blockchain, AI, and IoT projects fail to target the manufacturing industry, the three technologies will eventually fall behind.

    “AI, Blockchain and IoT will be meaningless tech unless they can promote the transformation of the manufacturing industry, and the evolution of the society towards a greener and more inclusive direction.”

    Depending on the stance of the Chinese government towards blockchain technology, the blockchain in manufacturing market of China could surpass $1 billion, given the current size of the smart manufacturing market of the nation.

    Less than four months ago, Chinese government-run national television network CCTV characterized the blockchain as a revolutionary technology that could be 10 times more valuable than the Internet.

    “Blockchain is the second era of the Internet. The value of blockchain is 10 times that of the Internet. Blockchain is the machine that produces trust.”

    The State Council of China also requested local government agencies to speed up the development of the blockchain, which could encourage the use of the blockchain in smart manufacturing.

    “To build a regional equity market in Guangdong, according to the opening up of the capital market, timely introduction of Hong Kong, Macao and international investment institutions to participate in transactions. We will vigorously develop financial technology and accelerate the research and application of blockchain and big data technologies under the premise of legal compliance.”

    How blockchain in agriculture enables a $430 million market

    A study entitled “Blockchain: Agriculture Market Forecast until 2023” released on October 4, estimated the blockchain in agriculture and food supply market to be worth around $60.8 million. By 2023, within the next five years, researchers at ReportLinker stated that the market will grow to $429.7 million, at a compound annual growth rate of 47.8 percent.

    “The blockchain market is expected to grow, owing to the increase in the demand for supply chain transparency along the agriculture and food verticals.”

    Already, influential food product suppliers such as Dairy Farmers of America’s food supply chain and Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn, have started to utilize the blockchain to track certain products.

    Intel, the $213 billion chip manufacturing giant, launched the Sawtooth Enterprise Blockchain in 2017, a decentralized network that prioritizes scalability and security to transfer seafood internationally with a higher level of transparency.

    Hyperledger, a major blockchain consortium operated by the Linux Foundation, officially launched Sawtooth under the Hyperledger banner in January, to cooperate with its member conglomerates to test the blockchain.

    With strong infrastructure being built by Intel, Hyperledger, and public blockchain projects, a growing number of food suppliers have started to run pilot tests on the blockchain. Walmart and Nestle, along with 10 corporations in the food industry have been working with IBM to operate IBM Food Trust, an initiative that utilizes the blockchain to improve the traceability of food products.

    Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety at Walmart, said in an interview that the existing traceability systems employed by food suppliers are costly and impractical.

    “We never had the intention of creating a product, all this started with the notion that we want to create a transparent food system. The way forward is decentralised as opposed to a supplier getting into a centralised database and putting data in there and the central authority owning the data. In this blockchain ecosystem, if you get into it and give data, it is your data, you own it.”

    Considering the progress that has been made by 12 of the world’s largest food suppliers to actively test, utilize, and implement the blockchain, it can be said that the food supply industry could be one of the first sectors to see actual widespread adoption of blockchain technology.

    Already, as IBM offering director and vice president of blockchain solutions Suzanne Livingston explained, IBM Food Trust and the 12 companies have tested the applicability of the blockchain for over a year, clearing 500,000 transactions.

    "We have been in production for close to a year. We are working with a handful of companies. General availability will be announced in the third quarter. We can then onboard a higher volume of companies. We are starting on a small scale to make sure we're getting it right. We are very close to being there."

    Biggest market of blockchain is retail, $2.3 billion market

    In June, MarketsandMarkets published a new market research report "Blockchain in Retail Market by Provider, Application, Organization Size, and Region - Global Forecast to 2023,” disclosing that the blockchain in retail market is currently valued at $80 million.

    By 2023, the researchers forecasted that the blockchain in retail market could grow to $2.339 billion, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 96.4%. That is, the highest CAGR and forecasted growth amongst any blockchain-related industry.

    The study suggested that the U.S. will lead the blockchain in retail market in the years to come, as the government has acknowledged blockchain technology as an important component of its innovation economy. Leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers have also started to offer blockchain-related solutions to conglomerates.

    “Retailers have recognized the blockchain technology's potential for the efficiency of supply chain systems and started adopting the technology to develop business applications. Moreover, the US government is exploring the blockchain technology to boost the innovation economy.”

    For retail, a blockchain network that is able to handle at least 50,000 transactions per second is required to facilitate large supply chains that support merchants.

    The researchers said that major blockchain vendors including IBM, SAP, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bitfury, Auxesis Group, Cegeka, BTL, Guardtime, Loyyal, and BigchainDB are actively developing business applications of the blockchain.

    Blockchain in finance: $3 trillion

    The offshore banking market, which is mostly dominated by financial institutions and banks that oversee savings accounts for high profile retail traders and institutional investors, is estimated to be valued at around $32 trillion.

    Coinbase alum and crypto investment firm 1Confirmation founder Nick Tomaino stated during an interview that based on speculation alone, the blockchain in finance market could achieve several trillion dollars in valuation.

    “I see investing and speculating as adoption. I think it is possible that crypto gets from $200 billion to several trillion on just that [speculation]. From my perspective, what I’m seeing globally in terms of viewing this new investable asset class I think that’s possible.”

    Most banks that operate in the offshore banking sector generate profit from transaction fees that occur when processing large transactions. For a transaction that surpasses $1 million, even on Transferwise, a platform that eliminates hidden bank fees, it costs over $7,500 to process it.

    If the blockchain disrupts the global financial system, it is highly likely that the technology significantly impacts the offshore banking market by providing decentralized alternatives to investors that need to transfer value.

    On October 16, a Bitcoin investor sent 29,999 BTC, the largest BTC transaction in recent months worth about $194 million, with a $0.01 fee. Given that it costs around 1 percent of the transaction to clear a $1 million payment in fiat currency, to send a $194 million transaction could easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars with legacy systems.

    As such, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said in a recent speech that Alibaba is closely studying blockchain technology to ensure that a cashless society in which everyone is inclusive can be established.

    "I pay special attention to cashless society and blockchain technology. Mine and Alibaba’s job is we will move the world into a cashless society. The society can make everybody equal, inclusive to get the money they need, make sure it is sustainable, and is transparent. I hate corruption. I don't have opportunity is ok. But I don't want somebody through a dirty way take away my opportunity. This is why we want a cashless society."

    There exists several public blockchain projects, such as Ripple and Stellar, that are working with banks and payment service providers to leverage the blockchain as a base layer to process payments.

    Chain, which was acquired by Stellar to create Interstellar, collaborated with Visa to implement the blockchain prior to its deal with Stellar. Ripple has secured a partnership with Banco Santander to process payments on its mobile application with the Ripple blockchain network.

    If some public blockchain networks can secure a fraction of the market share of the offshore banking sector and traditional stores of value like gold, then a multi-trillion blockchain market in finance could be achieved.

    So far, blockchain in retail is predicted to be the biggest market for the new technology by 2023 at $2.3 billion. With analysts expecting blockchain technology in agriculture to be worth $430 million, and $500 million in manufacturing, a rapid growth of the technology has been foreseen.

    Blockchain in energy and insurance are also predicted by MarketsandMarkets to grow to $7 billion and $1,4 billion respectively by the end of 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 84.9 percent.

    The $7 billion growth target of the blockchain in energy industry assumes exponential development will continuously be made in the blockchain in energy market, which remains uncertain at the current phase of growth.

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  • National Bank of Canada Pilots Blockchain to Combat ‘Complex’ Processes

    National Bank of Canada Pilots Blockchain to Combat ‘Complex’ Processes

    A major Canadian commercial bank will use blockchain to simplify the process banks use to issue transactions, a press release confirmed Oct. 21.

    In partnership with IT and business consulting services firm CGI and blockchain startup Skuchain, the National Bank of Canada (NBC) plans to leverage smart contracts in order to replace current email-based procedures.

    Its solution consists of a combination of CGI’s Trade360 trade finance platform and Skuchain’s smart contract creation software, based on the latter’s blockchain platform Brackets.

    Together, it will “improve processing times, reduce risks and help strengthen the bank's customer relationships,” the release claims.

    “This pilot project is a great opportunity to leverage blockchain technology to simplify the process for negotiating standby letters of credit and guarantees while making it more transparent and secure,” Patrice Roy, vice president of payments, cash management and international solutions at National Bank of Canada commented:

    “This will enable us to offer a simple, fast and efficient experience to our commercial clients which facilitates managing their business.”

    The project is not the first to involve the NBC this year. In April, the bank was one of the initial testers of JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain platform, geared towards issuing financial instruments.

    At the time, an NBC spokesman described the technology as having “the potential to bring about major change in the financial services industry.”

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  • Gov’t-Owned Holding Company Subsidiary Invests in Binance’s Singapore Expansion

    Gov’t-Owned Holding Company Subsidiary Invests in Binance’s Singapore Expansion

    Vertex Ventures has announced an investment in the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance to facilitate its expansion into Singapore, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Oct. 23.

    Vertex Ventures is a subsidiary of Singapore-based government-owned investment company Temasek Holdings, which manages $223 billion in assets. The company was founded in 2015 as a global network of operator-investors, who manage portfolios in the U.S., China, Israel, India and Southeast Asia. The company focuses on early-stage investments and currently has around $2.5 billion under management.

    According to the release, the investment is a joint effort between Vertex Ventures China and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and aims to support Binance in developing a cryptocurrency-fiat exchange in Singapore, along with other crypto-fiat services throughout South Asia. Binance initially announced its plans to build a crypto-fiat exchange in Singapore in September.

    Commenting on Binance’s plans to break into the Southeast Asian market, Wei Zhou, CFO at Binance, said that the exchange “look[s] forward to building up the blockchain ecosystem and working with all stakeholders in Singapore to support continued innovation in the local fintech space.” Binance’s operations in Singapore are subject to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

    Earlier this month, Binance announced the launch of its fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda. Wei said that the company's first fiat-to-crypto exchange in the country will help maintain sustainable economic stability in Africa, noting that the company plans to bring “more innovations to the region.”

    This month, Binance also partnered with crypto compliance provider and research firm Chainalysis in order to improve its detection of suspicious transactions. Chainalysis will purportedly ease the process of KYC and AML compliance programs through the use of real-time monitoring to track the provenance of each transaction made on Binance’s platform.

    At press time, Binance’s adjusted trading volume over the last 24 hours is over $846 million, up over 40 percent, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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