Hong Kong and Singapore to launch blockchain-based fintech collaboration project

hong Kong - Singapore - Fintech

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have agreed to launch a fintech collaboration aimed at fostering technological development in the region. As part of the agreement, signed on 25 October, HKMA and MAS have agreed to work on a strategy project to build trade finance cross border infrastructure. This project will be based on distributed ledger technology and will be the pairs first collaborative initiative aimed at facilitating cross-border...

Putin: cryptocurrency poses ‘serious risks’, throws support behind regulation

Putin - cryptocurrencies

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that cryptocurrencies pose risks due to their potential to be used for fraud and money laundering. According to Russian state news organisation TASS, the comments were made during a meeting on the subject of financial tech. The president also voiced his support for new regulations regarding cryptocurrency trading, saying that he wanted Russia to look at international example as a guide for their development. The Russian president was quoted as...

Head of IMF: Cryptocurrencies may give existing currencies “a run for their money”

IMF - cryptocurrencies

The managing director of the IMF Christine Lagarde has made some significant comments about the future of cryptocurrencies, saying there is a possibility that digital currencies could one day challenge national monies. The comments were made as part of a talk given at a Bank of England conference are a further sign that the global financial organisation is increasingly coming around to the idea of cryptocurrencies. Lagarde said at one point that virtual currencies may even give “existing...

BIS weighs in on central bank digital cryptocurrencies

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the international financial institution which is owned by banks, has urged to consider what ‘central bank cryptocurrencies’ (CBCCs) would look like and how they would operate. BIS was set up in order to facilitate international monetary and financial cooperation, and can essentially be thought of as a central bank for central banks. The bank used its latest quarterly update to discuss the effect that the growth of the cryptocurrency market...

SEC issues warning to investors about ICOs

SEC - ICO

The US securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a stark warning to investors about the risks of public stock scams that are using the current buzz around cryptocurrencies as a promotional tactic. The investor alert, published on 28 August, notes that: “Fraudsters often try to use the lure of new and emerging technologies to convince potential victims to invest their money in scams.  These frauds include “pump-and-dump” and market manipulation schemes involving publicly...

SEC report states that DAO tokens were securities

SEC - ICOs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US agency responsible for enforcing federal securities law, has made a significant move into regulating ICOs. The agency has released a report concluding that digital currency events will be regulated as securities. This means that unregistered ICOs will now be treated as a criminal punishment. The investigation was centred around the distribution of tokens relating to The DAO. The Ethereum-based funding vehicle collapsed last year after a...

‘Crypto Valley’ offers digital identities to its citizens

Crypto Valley, Zug, Switzerland

The Swiss town of Zug, dubbed ‘Crypto Valley’, will offer all of its citizens a digital identity on the Ethereum blockchain. The town, which has a population of around 30,000, has become famous around the world for its early and passionate adoption of cryptocurrencies. The town even trailed the use of bitcoin for payments for government services last year. The town has proved attractive to blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who like the business environment...

Are central bank digital currencies on the horizon?

Central Bank Digital Currencies

The IMF has begun to consider the potential for central bank digital currencies (CBDC), as well as the implications of such a move. The latest staff discussion document titled Fintech and Financial Services: Initial Considerations highlights the evolution of cross-border payment technology and its potential to change the way central banks issue currency. In an appendix, the international financial organisations sets about asking why a central bank would want to issue a CBDC, and how they...

US state department forms blockchain working group

US State Department

Blockchain continues to grab the attention of governments around the world, with the US State Department becoming the latest to announce it is looking into potential applications. The department has set up a project titled ‘Blockchain@State’ in order to research the applications that distributed ledger tech may have for US foreign policy. In a statement on its website, the department writes: “Blockchain is not just for bitcoin. And it’s not just for the private sector. Nations...

Government-backed Luxembourg firm and Cambridge Blockchain launch identity solution

European Trust Services provider LuxTrust and US-based digital identity enterprise software company, Cambridge have announced a new European identity platform. The platform is aims to provide businesses and consumers a secure way to exchange and manage personal data while fully complying with the incoming EU GDPR set of regulations. Among the platform’s features are rapid onboarding and ‘know-your-customer checks’ for financial service providers. The platform will use a broad range...