Bank of America Charges Clients 6000 Times More in Fees Than Bitcoin

sheep sheer fees

While Bitcoin critics claim the cryptocurrency is too expensive to use for transactions, data from Bank of America (BoA) shows traditional fiat transfers cost 6000 times as much. $90K Transfer: $45 With A Bank, 75 Cent With Bitcoin BoA, along with other domestic US institutions, makes use of the Federal Reserve’s money transfer network FedWire, which charges them a maximum of 83 cents to process a payment. According to its public figures, however, BoA charges

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US Financial Giant PNC to Use Ripple Technology for International Payments

Top ten bank PNC announced it will use Ripple’s blockchain solution, xCurrent, for international commercial payments.

PNC, which is ranked among the top ten U.S. banks, will use RippleNet to process international payments for its customers, Ripple announced Wednesday, September 19.

As Reuters reports, a particular PNC unit — Treasury Management — will use Ripple’s blockchain solution xCurrent to speed up overseas transactions held by U.S. commercial clients.

Ripple emphasises that xCurrent will allow PNC business clients to receive payments against their invoices instantly, changing their approach to managing both accounts and their working capital.

Senior vice president for product management of Ripple, Asheesh Birla, thinks that using xCurrent in banking is the first step towards adoption of other Ripple products, such as the xRapid solution set to be launched in a few months. “It’s a way [for the banks] to get their toe into the water,” Birla told Reuters.

The news come despite the fact some Ripple employees were sceptical about using xCurrent in cross-border payments. As Cointelegraph reported in June, Ripple’s chief cryptographer David Schwartz said banks were unlikely to deploy the technology because of low scalability and privacy problems.

PNC, listed by Bankrate as one of top ten largest U.S. banks with 8 million customers and retail branches in 19 states, joined other global financial institutions which had previously partnered with Ripple.

For instance, in late 2017 American Express announced it was creating a Ripple-powered app for B2B payments between US corporate customers and Santander UK customers. Later in March, a Japanese bank consortium stated it will release an instant domestic payments mobile app “MoneyTap” based on Ripple.

And in April, Cointelegraph wrote that Spanish-based bank Santander launched Ripple-powered blockchain payment network One Pay FX, reportedly becoming the first international bank to do so.

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Major Banks, Industry Players to Launch Blockchain-Based Commodities Platform

A joint Swiss-based venture made up of banks and industry players will oversee a new blockchain-based platform for financing commodity trading.

A group of major global banks, trading firms, and a leading energy company have launched a joint venture that will oversee a new blockchain-based platform for financing the trading of commodities, Reuters reports September 19.

The Swiss-based venture, dubbed komgo SA, has been established by a host of international financing, trading, and production institutions that include ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Agricole Group, Gunvor, ING, Koch Supply & Trading, Macquarie, Mercuria, MUFG Bank, Natixis, Rabobank, Shell, SGS, and Societe Generale.

The venture will digitalize trade and commodities finance processes through a blockchain-based open platform, and has been developed in partnership with the Ethereum-focused blockchain infrastructure and solutions group ConsenSys.

The core development team supporting komgo is responsible for two reportedly successful blockchain based proofs-of-concept (PoC) that have been tested for energy and soft commodities trading, dubbed “Easy Trading Connect 1” and “Easy Trading Connect 2.”

According to a press release also published today from Dutch bank ABN AMRO:

“The first [komgo product] will standardize and facilitate the know-your-customer [KYC] process. The second […] will be a digital letter of credit, allowing commodity houses or other platforms to submit digital trade data and documents to the komgo customer banks of their choice.”

Reuters reports that komgo, which is set to go live later this year, will initially be used for the energy industry, specifically for trades that involve crude cargoes in the North Sea.

As of next year, the platform reportedly aims to widen to agriculture and metals. Vakt, a blockchain-powered oil trading platform that shares many of its shareholders with komgo, is said to be working alongside the new venture.

In April, a subsidiary of one of China’s four major state-owned oil companies successfully completed a shipment of gasoline from China to Singapore that used blockchain tech end-to-end across “all the key participants in the commodity trading process.”

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Reuters: Brazil’s Antitrust Agency Launches Probe Into Major Banks Regarding Crypto Trade

Brazil’s antitrust authority has reportedly launched an investigation into six major banks on alleged monopolistic activity in crypto markets.

Brazil’s antitrust regulator is reportedly inspecting six major national banks for alleged monopolistic practices in the crypto space, Reuters reports September 18.

Brazil’s antitrust regulator, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), which operates under the Ministry of Justice (MJ), has purportedly launched a probe on Tuesday to find out whether the country’s largest banks closed the accounts of brokerages trading in Bitcoin.

According to Reuters, the investigation by the CADE was initiated on the request of the Brazilian Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (ABCB) following several complaints. One alleged that Banco do Brasil closed the account of local crypto trading platform Atlas Quantum.

Within the ongoing probe, the CADE will inspect major registered banks such as Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Itaú Unibanco Holding, Banco Santander Brasil, as well as unlisted Banco Inter and cooperative bank Sicredi.

Reuters cites a CADE report stating that, “the main banks are imposing restrictions or even prohibiting … access to the financial system by cryptocurrency brokerages.” The banks reportedly claim that the brokers’ accounts were closed due to the absence or lack of client data, which is required under national anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Antitrust experts told Reuters:

“…illicit activities should be avoided and banks should take restrictive measures when there are indications of crimes committed by their account holders… However, it does not seem reasonable for banks to apply restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line basis to all crypto-currency companies, without examining the level of compliance and anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firms…”

Following the probe announcement, Banco do Brasil, the largest bank by assets in Brazil and Latin America, told Reuters that the company is committed to “competitive practices based on ethics and respect for free competition.” Itaú Unibanco stated that it is “confident that its conduct will be considered legitimate.”

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India Approves MOU on Joint Blockchain Research with BRICS Members

The Indian government has approved an MOU on the joint research of blockchain technology application under the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.

The Union Cabinet of India has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the collaborative research of distributed ledger technology (DLT), local news outlet ANI reported September 12. The Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India consisting of cabinet ministers and led by the prime minister, Narendra Modi.

The MOU, which is a cooperative initiative under the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism, aims to foster better understanding of DLT and define areas where the technology can be deployed to improve operational efficiency.

The research will be jointly conducted by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and banks from the other BRICS member states; Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES, Brazil), China Development Bank (CDB), State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank, Russia), and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

The MoU was initially proposed at the 10th International BRICS Summit held in Johannesburg in July, the main focus of which was cooperation in economic development “in the face of the fourth industrial revolution.” The banks then agreed to jointly study DLT “in the interests of the development of the digital economy.” Mikhail Poluboyarinov, First Deputy Chairman and a Member of the Board at Vnesheconombank, said of the MoU:

“The current agreement allows the development banks of BRICS countries to study the applications of innovative technologies in infrastructure finance and bank products optimization.”

That month, the Indian state of Telangana also signed MoUs with blockchain companies to eventually implement the technology in state applications in order to streamline government services. The measure reportedly aims to bring more transparency and efficiency to public services provided by the state.

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IMF Urges Marshall Islands to Reconsider Adopting Digital Currency as Second Legal Tender

The IMF has warned the Marshall Islands about the risks of adopting a digital currency as a second legal tender, urging it to “seriously reconsider.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) about the risks of adopting a cryptocurrency as a second legal tender, according to an official press release published on September 10.

In the report, the U.S.-based agency backed by the United Nations addresses the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, stating that the introduction of digital currency as an official form of legal tender will pose risks to the country’s financial integrity, as well as relationships with foreign banks.

By adopting digital currency as a second official currency after the U.S. dollar, the Bank of Marshall Islands (BOMI) — the only local commercial bank of the country — will elevate the risk of losing “the last U.S. dollar correspondent banking relationship (CBR)” as a result of heightened diligence by banks in the U.S., the statement says.

Since the Marshall Islands are “highly dependent on receiving and spending U.S. grants,” the IMF states that the loss of important banking relationships could harm the country’s economy.

Moreover, the IMF believes that the costs of adopting cryptocurrency, such as the development and enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) policies, are “considerably smaller” than any potential financial gains:

“The potential benefits from revenue gains appear considerably smaller than the potential costs arising from economic, reputational, AML/CFT, and governance risks. In the absence of adequate measures to mitigate them, the authorities should seriously reconsider the issuance of the digital currency as legal tender.”

The IMF urged Marshalese authorities to reconsider issuing a digital currency until the government is able to provide and implement “strong policy frameworks” in regards to economic, reputational, AML/CFT, and governance risks.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands — with a population of roughly 53,000 — first revealed plans to release its own cryptocurrency dubbed the Sovereign (SOV) in February 2018. As officials then claimed, the Sovereign currency would be “another step of manifesting [their] national liberty.” The Sovereign is set to be an alternative to the official currency of the U.S. dollar, and is planned to be distributed via Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

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Saudi British Bank Joins Consortium R3’s Global Blockchain Ecosystem

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the country’s first bank to partner with enterprise software consortium R3 on its Corda platform.

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the first Saudi bank to join enterprise software firm and global banking consortium R3’s blockchain ecosystem, local news outlet Trade Arabia reports today, September 11.

SABB enjoys a strong reputation, having reportedly been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for the 10th consecutive year, “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank” in the Middle East for 2018, as well as Saudi’s “2018 Best Trade Finance Bank” for the 2nd year running.

The bank joins R3’s efforts to enlist a broad spectrum of partners and members from different industries in both the private and public sectors to help develop its Corda open-source blockchain platform, alongside its commercial iteration, dubbed “Corda Enterprise.” R3 CEO David E. Rutter has said that SABB’s input to the consortium will be “invaluable” for R3’s efforts to develop blockchain solutions for the financial sector.

David Dew, managing director of SABB, noted that the bank hopes to offer its clients “all the far-reaching advantages of transaction-speed and security” that flow from distributed ledger-based solutions.

As a recent Cointelegraph analysis piece has outlined, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) officially warned citizens against trading cryptocurrencies this August, cautioning against “drifting after such illusion[s] and get-rich scheme due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved.”

Nonetheless, the country’s long-term economic development program, “Saudi Vision 2030,” has featured blockchain initiatives that include the Riyadh Municipality’s recent choice to partner with IBM on using blockchain for government services and transactions.

This spring, the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology joined forces with American blockchain community ConsenSys to host a three-day blockchain bootcamp.

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Saudi British Bank Joins Consortium R3’s Global Blockchain Ecosystem

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the country’s first bank to partner with enterprise software consortium R3 on its Corda platform.

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the first Saudi bank to join enterprise software firm and global banking consortium R3’s blockchain ecosystem, local news outlet Trade Arabia reports today, September 11.

SABB enjoys a strong reputation, having reportedly been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for the 10th consecutive year, “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank” in the Middle East for 2018, as well as Saudi’s “2018 Best Trade Finance Bank” for the 2nd year running.

The bank joins R3’s efforts to enlist a broad spectrum of partners and members from different industries in both the private and public sectors to help develop its Corda open-source blockchain platform, alongside its commercial iteration, dubbed “Corda Enterprise.” R3 CEO David E. Rutter has said that SABB’s input to the consortium will be “invaluable” for R3’s efforts to develop blockchain solutions for the financial sector.

David Dew, managing director of SABB, noted that the bank hopes to offer its clients “all the far-reaching advantages of transaction-speed and security” that flow from distributed ledger-based solutions.

As a recent Cointelegraph analysis piece has outlined, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) officially warned citizens against trading cryptocurrencies this August, cautioning against “drifting after such illusion[s] and get-rich scheme due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved.”

Nonetheless, the country’s long-term economic development program, “Saudi Vision 2030,” has featured blockchain initiatives that include the Riyadh Municipality’s recent choice to partner with IBM on using blockchain for government services and transactions.

This spring, the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology joined forces with American blockchain community ConsenSys to host a three-day blockchain bootcamp.

Continue Reading

Saudi British Bank Joins Consortium R3’s Global Blockchain Ecosystem

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the country’s first bank to partner with enterprise software consortium R3 on its Corda platform.

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the first Saudi bank to join enterprise software firm and global banking consortium R3’s blockchain ecosystem, local news outlet Trade Arabia reports today, September 11.

SABB enjoys a strong reputation, having reportedly been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for the 10th consecutive year, “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank” in the Middle East for 2018, as well as Saudi’s “2018 Best Trade Finance Bank” for the 2nd year running.

The bank joins R3’s efforts to enlist a broad spectrum of partners and members from different industries in both the private and public sectors to help develop its Corda open-source blockchain platform, alongside its commercial iteration, dubbed “Corda Enterprise.” R3 CEO David E. Rutter has said that SABB’s input to the consortium will be “invaluable” for R3’s efforts to develop blockchain solutions for the financial sector.

David Dew, managing director of SABB, noted that the bank hopes to offer its clients “all the far-reaching advantages of transaction-speed and security” that flow from distributed ledger-based solutions.

As a recent Cointelegraph analysis piece has outlined, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) officially warned citizens against trading cryptocurrencies this August, cautioning against “drifting after such illusion[s] and get-rich scheme due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved.”

Nonetheless, the country’s long-term economic development program, “Saudi Vision 2030,” has featured blockchain initiatives that include the Riyadh Municipality’s recent choice to partner with IBM on using blockchain for government services and transactions.

This spring, the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology joined forces with American blockchain community ConsenSys to host a three-day blockchain bootcamp.

Continue Reading

Saudi British Bank Joins Consortium R3’s Global Blockchain Ecosystem

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the country’s first bank to partner with enterprise software consortium R3 on its Corda platform.

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the first Saudi bank to join enterprise software firm and global banking consortium R3’s blockchain ecosystem, local news outlet Trade Arabia reports today, September 11.

SABB enjoys a strong reputation, having reportedly been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for the 10th consecutive year, “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank” in the Middle East for 2018, as well as Saudi’s “2018 Best Trade Finance Bank” for the 2nd year running.

The bank joins R3’s efforts to enlist a broad spectrum of partners and members from different industries in both the private and public sectors to help develop its Corda open-source blockchain platform, alongside its commercial iteration, dubbed “Corda Enterprise.” R3 CEO David E. Rutter has said that SABB’s input to the consortium will be “invaluable” for R3’s efforts to develop blockchain solutions for the financial sector.

David Dew, managing director of SABB, noted that the bank hopes to offer its clients “all the far-reaching advantages of transaction-speed and security” that flow from distributed ledger-based solutions.

As a recent Cointelegraph analysis piece has outlined, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) officially warned citizens against trading cryptocurrencies this August, cautioning against “drifting after such illusion[s] and get-rich scheme due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved.”

Nonetheless, the country’s long-term economic development program, “Saudi Vision 2030,” has featured blockchain initiatives that include the Riyadh Municipality’s recent choice to partner with IBM on using blockchain for government services and transactions.

This spring, the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology joined forces with American blockchain community ConsenSys to host a three-day blockchain bootcamp.

Continue Reading