Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Develops ‘First Of A Kind’ Blockchain Lending Platform

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has developed a blockchain platform for securities lending in partnership with Intel, Accenture, and fintech firm The Floor.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has developed a “first of a kind” blockchain-based securities lending platform, according to a press release May 16. The new platform was completed in partnership with Israeli fintech firm The Floor, global professional services company Accenture, and Intel.

The exchange will reportedly create one central platform called Blockchain Securities Lending (BSL), which aims to revolutionize the securities lending market in Israel “by enabling direct lending among all the major financial instruments.” The platform will be designed as a “one-stop-shop” for all operations with securities lending and provide access to larger securities volumes in shorter terms.

By employing blockchain, the TASE intends to profit from its advantages such as direct peer-to-peer transactions, smart contracts, and enhanced security.

The platform will be built on Hyperledger Sawtooth that utilizes Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) technology to encrypt transaction data. Accenture will be working on the development of smart contracts on the platform, which is one of Hyperledger Sawtooth’s major business attributes.

Rick Echevarria, Vice President of Software and Services Group at Intel, noted the significance of blockchain for the financial services market, saying that Intel “believes blockchain can transform business processes”, while Accenture is working on a solution that “accelerates blockchain adoption.”

The project will be deployed in a production environment after a successful implementation of initial Proof of Concept (PoC).

Major indices that trade on TASE are the T-35, the T-125, and the TA BlueTech Index. The exchange has a market capitalization of $212 bln.

Traditional financial institutions have begun to see the advantages blockchain can add to their business processes. Last month, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) became the first global bank to issue a loan using blockchain technology. The bank conducted the entire loan process, from the negotiation of terms to the signing, on a mutually distributed ledger, claiming that it cut the negotiation time for the €75 mln loan from “days to hours”.

Recently, Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking business of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, conducted the first blockchain-based commercial bond transaction in Russia. Sberbank CIB organized the issue corporate bonds using smart contracts, while the transaction was carried out on the Hyperledger Fabric 1.1-based blockchain platform.

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Startup Aims to Bring Blockchain To 200,000 Developers And 1 Bln Gadgets

A Singapore-based company is trying to combine blockchain with HTML5 technology to create the world’s first HTML5 blockchain engine.

A Singapore-based company Egretia is aiming to combine HTML5 – a technology to structure and present content online – with blockchain to create the world’s first HTML5 blockchain engine and platform. The new technology could increase blockchain apps popularity, Egretia team believes.

New hardware upgrades and rapid development of the Internet were needed to prepare HTML5 for a mass adoption. Now, when roadblocks as performance and traffic have been eliminated, the technology is widely used in games, marketing, video, media, and other industries.

Using the power of mobile social networking, HTML5 content has been applied in mobile apps and created entirely new business models. According to Egretia, click-and-play, viral transmission, user engagement, and other characteristics of an HTML5 game make it a perfect fit for current market demands.

“Currently, users of HTML5 games already account for 47 percent of all mobile game users,” the company said in the white paper. “In terms of the business model, in-game payments, instead of advertising, has become the main source of revenue accounting for 68 percent. Combined, HTML5 games already have an independent commercial profitability.”

Is the HTML5 market set for growth?

In 2017, the market size of HTML5 games in China exclusively exceeded 10 bln yuan – more than $157 mln – and continues to grow. Peter Huang, Egretia’s founder, believes that by combining blockchain technology with HTML5, developers will be able to rapidly come up with new blockchain applications.   

“Creating a blockchain gaming technology service provider seems relatively early, but we feel that this is a promising direction to take,” Peter Huang, said in an interview published on the company’s blog. “Four years ago, our opinion regarding the development of HTML5 games was that HTML5 gaming certainly could have better performance on the mobile platform. Now Tencent, Facebook, and other internet giants all have a HTML5 game line.”

For example, Google launched Progressive Web Apps (PWA), the Chinese search giant Baidu came up with the concept of “light apps”. Facebook released HTML5-based Instant Games with more than 1 bln daily active users. In January 2018, Tencent WeChat released a series of mini-games, some of which gained over 100 mln daily active users.

It seems that, after all, HTML5 is becoming one of the global Internet technology trends, the company says.

What are the benefits?

HTML5 technology works across platforms so users do not have to download HTML5 games or apps. They can simply click on the link and start playing. A link can be easily shared, providing other users an access to games.

According to Egretia, that is one of the reasons why HTML5 games go viral on social media platforms.  Because of those characteristics, HTML5 games and apps can attract millions of users. By using this new emerging technology, blockchain apps could gain more popularity, Egretia founders believe.

Egret Technology, the startup’s strategic partner in China, has been focusing on developing HTML5 powered solutions for over the past four years. The company has already developed 14 products, such as the engine, a visual editor, animation tools, and cross-platform packaging tools. All tools can be used across different platforms and support both Windows and Mac devices.

In 2014, Egret Technology became the first company to develop Catch the Crazy Cat, the world’s first HTML5 game on Wechat that gained more than 100 mln users in three days.

Worldwide community

The startup already has a huge community worldwide, the founders say. Egret Technology has been focusing on HTML5 for more than four years and currently has 200,000 developers across the globe. The content powered by Egret’s solutions is used on 1 bln mobile devices so the startup has a lot to add to the existing global blockchain ecosystem.

“There are a lot of instant games on Facebook powered by our solutions” company representatives claim. “We are bringing blockchain to the existing 200,000 developers and 1 bln mobile devices.”

In the future, developers would be able to use the system’s digital token, Egreten, in their own games. The platform is also planning to assist with games distribution, advertising, trading, storage, and communication.

Egretia’s team consists of passionate game industry veterans, professional developers, investors, blockchain technology advocates, and entrepreneurs. The startup’s founder Peter Huang, a former technical manager of Adobe Flash Platform, has 18 years of development and management experience in internet applications and game projects.

 

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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JPMorgan Creates and Fills New Position of Head of Crypto Assets Strategy

JPMorgan creates and fills new position of head of crypto assets strategy, post will identify and lead new crypto projects at bank.

Leading US banking group and financial services firm JPMorgan Chase has recently created and filled the new position of head of crypto-assets strategy, Business Insider reported today, May 17.

London-based Oliver Harris, 29, will take the new role, reporting to the head of blockchain development, Umar Farooq. Harris will also lead JPMorgan’s internal blockchain project Quorum, which began testing by JP Morgan Chase and the National Bank of Canada last month.

According to Business Insider, Harris will be identifying and leading new crypto projects for the bank, rather than actively trading in cryptocurrencies. He will reportedly investigate crypto custody services and how blockchain could work in JPMorgan’s payments business.  

For the last two years, Harris has been leading JPMorgan’s In Residence program, which identifies and partners with fintech startups that the bank finds promising.

Daniel Pinto, co-president of JPMorgan, has recently taken a positive stance on cryptocurrencies in an interview with CNBC, claiming that the “tokenization” of the financial system is “real”, with “many central banks looking into” it. However, Pinto stressed that crypto adoption is not possible in its “current form”.

In general, the investment banking giant has been skeptical of cryptocurrencies. JPMorgan banned its customers from crypto purchases with credit cards back in February, in addition to including cryptocurrencies to the “Risk Factor” section of its 2017 annual report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Last year, JPMorgan’s Chairman & CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin (BTC) a “fraud” and claimed that he would fire any employee trading BTC on the company’s accounts. Dimon soon reversed his position in January, admitting that he regretted his earlier statements and adopting a lukewarm stance toward crypto. Dimon said he is, “not interested that much in [crypto] at all.”

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Voting For Blockchain Industry Leaders Now Open on BlockShow’s Blockchain-Based Polling App

BlockShow Europe 2018 has launched a poll for the leading women and companies in the EU blockchain space, using a blockchain-based online voting tool.

Voting is now open on BlockShow’s poll for the leading women and companies in the blockchain space, ahead of the BlockShow Europe 2018 conference, which takes place in Berlin on May 28-29. The polls will be conducted using blockchain-based app Polys, an online voting tool that leverages the security, anonymity and transparency of the technology.

BlockShow supporters worldwide can vote for those women and companies they feel are making the biggest impact on the European blockchain sphere, whether in terms of new ideas, infrastructure and tool creation, or business acumen.

BlockShow has shortlisted influential women in the EU blockchain space who have been proactive in propelling the technology forward, whether independently or in collaboration with other industry leaders. Voters can extend the nomination list with their own candidates.

The short list for EU-registered blockchain companies has been selected based on their market capitalization, expert reviews, and social media activity, but voters can nominate their their own EU-based company, as above.

Voting is open to everybody and winners will be announced during the conference. To see the complete list of nominees and place your vote, visit BlockShow’s rating page.

BlockShow 2018 will gather more than 3,000 attendees and over 150 projects, as well as over 80 internationally recognized speakers and experts from banks, institutions and diverse global industries.

The conference will offer insights into the major disruptive potential of new blockchain ventures in areas such as IoT, AI, Cybersecurity, and many others. Central Bank and EU government representatives will also be attending to share their experiences of implementing the technology in their fields.

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JP Morgan Announces Prototype Blockchain Platform to Streamline Capital Markets Infrastructure

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co demonstrated a prototype of its blockchain platform for capital markets at the NY Consensus conference yesterday.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co presented a prototype of its blockchain platform for capital markets, which aims to cut costs and enable smoother securities transactions. The announcement took place at NY’s Consensus conference Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported May 16.

Christine Moy, executive director of J.P. Morgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, told WSJ that blockchain “has the potential to be transformative” for the capital markets infrastructure.

She explained that capital markets – in which vast amounts of capital are transacted – involve multiple systems and information flows between many different stakeholders, “from issuers and asset managers to clearing houses and fund administrators.” “The promise of natively issuing financial instruments on blockchain is that you can share that infrastructure,” she said.  

Moy told the WSJ that a blockchain could offer a single, streamlined application, which each of the multiple entities could share and participate in. This could bring significant cost savings, she suggested, as well as overcoming issues of trust between parties.

J.P. Morgan – alongside Santander and other major banks and tech industry players – is part of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a nonprofit that focuses on enabling interoperability between Ethereum blockchain applications, as well as improving their privacy, scalability, and security.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, JPMorgan is working on blockchain integration to rehaul its payment, clearing and settlement systems, recently filing a patent for real-time p2p intra- and interbank transfers based on the technology.

Just yesterday, JPMorgan co-president Daniel Pinto confirmed that the bank is “looking into” the crypto space, saying he had “no doubt” the technology would “play a role” in the bank’s future. He suggested the “tokenization” of the traditional financial sector would, however, likely see new iterations, saying that, for him:

“Cryptocurrencies are real but not in the[ir] current form.”

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E-Commerce Giant Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Blockchain Is Not a Bubble, Bitcoin Is

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, says he has been researching blockchain for years, but thinks Bitcoin is a bubble.

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, spoke out at the 2nd World Intelligence Conference in Tianjin, saying that blockchain technology is not a bubble, but Bitcoin is, Wednesday, May 16.

Ma said he has been researching blockchain for years, and believes strongly in its potential to address issues of data privacy and security for society at all levels – governments, corporations and individuals – in an “era of big data.” He stressed that security is a top priority for the e-commerce conglomerate, which reported $39.9 bln in yearly revenue in its latest fiscal Q4 earnings release, and has a trading volume of “trillions of transactions.”

Ma added that regrettably, much of the attention the emerging blockchain industry receives comes from speculators who view blockchain as a “huge gold mine.” Ma was wary of Bitcoin even during its peak in December 2017, reportedly telling CNBC Shanghai at the time:

“I don’t know about Bitcoin at all. I’m particularly puzzled. Even if it can really work, the rules of global trade and the financial system will be completely changed. I don’t think we are ready. So I’m still paying attention to Alipay… to the US dollar, and the euro. We have a team that studies blockchain, but Bitcoin is not something that I want to pursue. We don’t care about Bitcoin.”

Last year, Jack Ma became the richest man in Asia, according to Bloomberg, with his net worth surging to $41.8 bln. The overwhelmingly popular mobile payment app Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, reportedly has 450 mln users.

As early as summer 2016, Ant Financial, introduced blockchain technology to improve accountability in its work with the Chinese charity industry, going on to recruit blockchain experts in the company at large the following year.

However, in line with Ma’s position, Alibaba Group has stopped short of embracing cryptocurrencies, with Alibaba Cloud recently denying rumours its newly launched ‘P2P Nodes’ network was a cryptocurrency mining platform. Later, in April, Alibaba subsidiary Taobao banned all ICO-related advertising from its platform.

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E-Commerce Giant Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Blockchain Is Not a Bubble, Bitcoin Is

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, says he has been researching blockchain for years, but thinks Bitcoin is a bubble.

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, spoke out at the 2nd World Intelligence Conference in Tianjin, saying that blockchain technology is not a bubble, but Bitcoin is, Wednesday, May 16.

Ma said he has been researching blockchain for years, and believes strongly in its potential to address issues of data privacy and security for society at all levels – governments, corporations and individuals – in an “era of big data.” He stressed that security is a top priority for the e-commerce conglomerate, which reported $39.9 bln in yearly revenue in its latest fiscal Q4 earnings release, and has a trading volume of “trillions of transactions.”

Ma added that regrettably, much of the attention the emerging blockchain industry receives comes from speculators who view blockchain as a “huge gold mine.” Ma was wary of Bitcoin even during its peak in December 2017, reportedly telling CNBC Shanghai at the time:

“I don’t know about Bitcoin at all. I’m particularly puzzled. Even if it can really work, the rules of global trade and the financial system will be completely changed. I don’t think we are ready. So I’m still paying attention to Alipay… to the US dollar, and the euro. We have a team that studies blockchain, but Bitcoin is not something that I want to pursue. We don’t care about Bitcoin.”

Last year, Jack Ma became the richest man in Asia, according to Bloomberg, with his net worth surging to $41.8 bln. The overwhelmingly popular mobile payment app Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, reportedly has 450 mln users.

As early as summer 2016, Ant Financial, introduced blockchain technology to improve accountability in its work with the Chinese charity industry, going on to recruit blockchain experts in the company at large the following year.

However, in line with Ma’s position, Alibaba Group has stopped short of embracing cryptocurrencies, with Alibaba Cloud recently denying rumours its newly launched ‘P2P Nodes’ network was a cryptocurrency mining platform. Later, in April, Alibaba subsidiary Taobao banned all ICO-related advertising from its platform.

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E-Commerce Giant Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Blockchain Is Not a Bubble, Bitcoin Is

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, says he has been researching blockchain for years, but thinks Bitcoin is a bubble.

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, spoke out at the 2nd World Intelligence Conference in Tianjin, saying that blockchain technology is not a bubble, but Bitcoin is, Wednesday, May 16.

Ma said he has been researching blockchain for years, and believes strongly in its potential to address issues of data privacy and security for society at all levels – governments, corporations and individuals – in an “era of big data.” He stressed that security is a top priority for the e-commerce conglomerate, which reported $39.9 bln in yearly revenue in its latest fiscal Q4 earnings release, and has a trading volume of “trillions of transactions.”

Ma added that regrettably, much of the attention the emerging blockchain industry receives comes from speculators who view blockchain as a “huge gold mine.” Ma was wary of Bitcoin even during its peak in December 2017, reportedly telling CNBC Shanghai at the time:

“I don’t know about Bitcoin at all. I’m particularly puzzled. Even if it can really work, the rules of global trade and the financial system will be completely changed. I don’t think we are ready. So I’m still paying attention to Alipay… to the US dollar, and the euro. We have a team that studies blockchain, but Bitcoin is not something that I want to pursue. We don’t care about Bitcoin.”

Last year, Jack Ma became the richest man in Asia, according to Bloomberg, with his net worth surging to $41.8 bln. The overwhelmingly popular mobile payment app Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, reportedly has 450 mln users.

As early as summer 2016, Ant Financial, introduced blockchain technology to improve accountability in its work with the Chinese charity industry, going on to recruit blockchain experts in the company at large the following year.

However, in line with Ma’s position, Alibaba Group has stopped short of embracing cryptocurrencies, with Alibaba Cloud recently denying rumours its newly launched ‘P2P Nodes’ network was a cryptocurrency mining platform. Later, in April, Alibaba subsidiary Taobao banned all ICO-related advertising from its platform.

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Bermuda Signs MOU with Blockchain Project Shyft for $10 Mln in Economic Development

Bermuda signs memorandum of understanding with Shyft blockchain network that provides compliance and identity checks.

The Government of Bermuda has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shyft network which provides blockchain-based ID solutions for Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliant data transfers, Shyft reported in a blog post May 15.

According to the MOU, Shyft network will spend up to $10 mln on blockchain technology education and economic development. Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda David Burt signed the MOU, commenting that the partnership with Shyft will promote high standards of technology and regulations. Burt said that Bermuda “is able to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and attract global interest.” He stated:

“The Government of Bermuda has decided to lead the way and build interoperability into the government legislation, in essence, approach regulatory frameworks with exportability in mind… We’re leading the world in digital assets regulation, there’s no other country that provides comparable certainty and [a] progressive regulatory environment.”

The terms of the MOU state that the Toronto-based blockchain network will collaborate with the government in developing and improving “a robust legal and regulatory framework.” Shyft will also train Bermudians in blockchain technology and development through the country’s Department of Workforce Development.

While MOUs are useful instruments for showing intent and building bilateral relationships between governments and businesses, they are not legally binding. One advantage of MOUs for some governments in that, since they do not carry legally enforceable conditions, they may be issued and adopted without legislative approval.

In April, the Premier of Bermuda signed a MOU with Binance, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by market capitalization, to receive funding for educational programs related to fintech and blockchain startups. According to the MOU, Binance will provide up to $10 mln for university level training for Bermudians in the blockchain field, as well as invest up to $5 mln to support new blockchain-based firms in the country.

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Blockchain.com Hires Author of First Cambridge Crypto Course to Head New Research Team

Garrick Hileman, the University of Cambridge’s first ‘cryptocurrency academic,’ has joined Blockchain as head of research.

Cryptocurrency data resource and wallet provider Blockchain.com announced it had hired a Cambridge academic as its new head of research May 16.

In a blog post, Blockchain.com revealed that Garrick Hileman, author of multiple cryptocurrency research publications, would “lead a new research arm aimed elevating block chain (sic) technology to its full potential.”

The move marks the second high-profile hire for the company in weeks, April seeing ex-Goldman Sachs executive Breanne Madigan join as head of institutional sales and strategy.

While the career pivot seems a natural progression for Hileman, who also developed Cambridge University’s first cryptocurrency course, he stands out among academics and economists alike in his bullish views on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Speaking to Business Insider following the appointment, Hileman said he was surprised that figures such as Nouriel Roubini and Paul Krugman “have a hard time seeing the technology.”

“Some of them don’t have the best track record for understanding technology, to be frank,” he told the publication.

“Paul Krugman famously thought the internet wasn’t all that more significant than a fax machine. I’m not sure I would have a lot of success helping them understand the significance of this technology as a new platform, as something that in some ways can be compared to the internet.”

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