The future of financial markets lies in tokenised securities

In 2015, Santander predicted blockchain technology would drive a $15-$20bn (£11.8-£15.7bn) reduction in banks’ annual infrastructure costs by 2022. Now, three years on, the first commercial blockchain projects are beginning to realise this prediction — especially in financial markets. The Australian Securities Exchange(ASX) became the one of the first global organisations to embrace distributed ledger tech: announcing plans late last year to replace its settlement system with a...

World Bank to launch first global blockchain bond for sustainable development

The World Bank has appointed the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to lead the creation of the first bond built on Ethereum blockchain technology. Making the announcement last week, the World Bank said it would be “the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology”. Dubbed bond-i, an acronym for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument - and a nod to Sydney’s renowned tourist beach - the bond is...

Are we witnessing the evolution of money?

If you've looked closely at a £20 banknote lately, you may have noticed something strange. In small letters, just below the words “Bank of England” it will say: “ I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds .” What does that really mean? If you think about it, that doesn't make much sense. When you pay someone £20 in cash, the note itself is the payment - it's not an IOU note. If you go to a bank and ask them to fulfill that promise, they'll simply give you...

Bitcoin value recovers 3% following delay in pivotal SEC ruling

The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fell 10% yesterday (August 8), following a decision by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay a major ruling that, if successful, could see token prices rocket. It related to an application for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) - a financial product that tracks the price of an asset - backed by blockchain startup SolidX and investment firm VanEck, in what would be the first exchange-traded product of its kind in the...

BitGo adds support for 11 more tokens in carrot for lucrative institutional investors

BitGo, a blockchain security services startup, has added support for 11 more Ethereum-based tokens, making the market that bit more attractive for hugely lucrative institutional investments where custodianship is the final barrier to entry. The update brings the total number of tokens it supports up to 68, according to a press release provided exclusively to The Block, as it looks to realise a goal of 100 by year-end. BitGo became a specialist in managing wallets at cryptocurrency...

KPMG calls US blockchain investments in 2018 sign of ‘tremendous growth’

US-based blockchain investments in the first half of this year already exceed the annual total of 2017, according to KPMG’s biannual fintech investment analysis report, ‘The Pulse of Fintech 2018’. While the company didn’t report on specific figures, the statement is sufficient to highlight the mass growth of interest in the technology, and follows recent predictions from the International Data Corporation (IDC) that the blockchain industry will see a compound annual growth rate of...

Women on the block: How blockchain is breaking new ground outside of technology

There has been a lot of hype related to the blockchain and, while the technology has broad appeal to build trust and help alleviate inefficiencies when transacting a wide-range of assets, there have also been numerous cases of fraud, particularly in the realm of digital currency and financial investment. Of course, implications for blockchain in the financial and regulatory world are far reaching with a lot of upside opportunities, yet its deployment as a technology solution for general...

‘Groundbreaking’ blockchain trade trial by Australian Commonwealth Bank tracks tonnes of almonds

17 tonnes of almonds have been successfully shipped and tracked from Victoria (Australia) to Hamburg (Germany) in a blockchain-based collaboration between the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and five Australian and international supply-chain leaders. According to the company’s blog, the trade experiment was facilitated by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the internet of things (IoT), which worked in parallel to existing processes to track the shipment “from packer to end...

IBM, CLS and banks team up to test blockchain ‘app store’ for finance

IBM, foreign exchange settlement provider CLS and nine financial institutions, including Barclays and Citigroup, are developing an agnostic platform to test blockchain-based applications. As reported by Reuters, LedgerConnect will provide access to applications and services by a range of companies, offering blockchain solutions for areas such as compliance checks, sanctions screening and collateral management. The finance sector has led in terms of blockchain technology investment,...

‘Robust’ growth sees blockchain geared for $11.7bn global spend in 2022

Worldwide spend on blockchain is expected to reach $11.7bn (£8.9bn) in 2022, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) in its Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide. That’s a result of a “robust pace” of growth between 2017-2022, representing an compound annual growth rate of 73.2 percent. To put that increase in perspective, even with adoption of blockchain solutions beginning to gather spend, spend on the technology by the end of 2018 is expected to amount to...