Singapore Bank Giant OCBC Joins JPMorgan’s Blockchain Network

OCBC has become the first Singapore-based bank to join JPMorgan Chase’s interbank blockchain network. According to a Business Times Singapore report on Sept. 20, a total of 134 banks from the Asia-Pacific region are now participants in JPMorgan’s blockchain-powered interbank information network (IIN). OCBC is the second-largest bank in Southeast Asia by assets and among the larger financial institutions in Asia-Pacific. 343 banks have joined JPMorgan’s network since 2018 These 134 banks comprise almost 40% of the 343 banks that have joined IIN since 2018. The network’s largest national bloc is Japan,…

New Bitcoin Trading Record as Biggest Bank Embraces Petro

Venezuela’s largest bank, the Bank of Venezuela (BDV), has added support for the country’s controversial Petro digital currency.  Bank of Venezuela hints at crypto wallet As cryptocurrency news outlet Decrypt reported on Sept. 13, BDV clients have discovered a new section in their online banking account dedicated to cryptocurrencies.  At present, the crypto wallet only caters to Petro, but as the section appears to be still under development, speculation suggests more tokens may follow. Petro, launched by the Venezuelan government, is notionally pegged to the country’s oil reserves. The United States…

Here’s Why China is Pushing A Central Bank Digital Currency, Not Crypto

China is set to launch the world’s first central bank digital currency (CBDC). As the majority of central banks, including in the US and Europe, are tentative over issuing their own CBDCs, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has gone all-in on the idea of a digital Yuan and not a crypto asset. But this then leads many to question why the Chinese have been so quick off the mark. Nonetheless, details have emerged that officials seek to combat financial crime, but more significantly than that, to manage technological change…

Swiss National Bank President Says Stablecoins Could Hamper Policy

Swiss National Bank (SNB) President Thomas Jordan said that stablecoins pegged to foreign currencies could hamper Switzerland’s monetary policy in some circumstances. Cryptocurrencies’ limited use as payment instruments On Sept. 5, Jordan spoke at the University of Basel, saying that he is convinced that cryptocurrencies are of limited use as payment instruments, stores of value and units of account, as they are subject to major fluctuations. Jordan went on to say: “Crypto tokens are more like speculative investment instruments than ‘good’ money in terms of their characteristics. Users typically describe…

PNC Bank Using Ripple XCurrent — Is Interest in Blockchain Rising?

Stablecoins have a goal of putting an end to the recent volatility of the crypto market — and in doing so, they have opened the door to crypto usage for institutional investors, which has long been considered an important milestone on the road to mainstream adoption. One of the ways that institutional investors are looking to implement crypto solutions is in cross-border payments and remittances.  The RippleNet blockchain is one such product, which aims to reinvent how these payments are made. Recently, Cointelegraph reported that PNC, the United States’ eighth-largest…

Norwegian Bank Invests in Crypto Exchange Founded By Airline Magnate

A Norwegian savings bank dating back to the mid-1800s has just invested in a cryptocurrency exchange set up by local business magnate Bjørn Kjos. In a press release posted on the Oslo Stock Exchange, Sparebanken Øst said it had taken a 16.3 percent stake in Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) for 15 million Norwegian krone (around $1.638 million). NBX was revealed to be in development in April of last year, after being founded by Kjos and his family. Bjorn’s son Lars Ola Kjos – apparently a fan of bitcoin – is leading the exchange’s operations. The platform launched for…

US Congress Urged to Regulate Crypto Sector Under Bank Secrecy Act

The Financial Integrity Network (FIN) — a Washington D.C.-based advisory firm — has urged the United States Congress to regulate firms in the cryptocurrency sector under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Virtual asset service providers should be regulated under BSA In a copy of FIN testimony published ahead of a hearing on Sept. 3, FIN recommended that virtual asset service providers (VASPs) should be regulated based on the particular service or services that they provide with emphasis on promoting system-wide governance. FIN’s vice president for product development and services, David…

Germany’s Bitwala Launches All-In-One Mobile Bitcoin Bank App

On Aug. 29, German blockchain-based banking startup, Bitwala, announced the launch of its smartphone app for Bitcoin banking on iOS and Android. Customers in over 30 European countries can now open a German bank account with integrated Bitcoin wallet and trading.  Open an account directly from within the app in minutes The onboarding process for new customers has been directly integrated into the app. It uses a video identification feature, with which residents throughout the European Economic Area can verify and open an account within minutes. Bitwala CTO, Benjamin James…

Stablecoins Vulnerable to Regulatory Uncertainty: European Central Bank

Stablecoins with a clear governance framework may be hampered by the uncertainty of the lack of regulation, according to the European Central Bank (ECB). Four major types of stablecoins outlined On Aug. 29, the ECB released a new paper devoted to stablecoins, which it describes as digital units of value that are not a form of any specific currency but rather rely on a set of stabilization tools in order to minimize fluctuations in their price. The ECB’s paper is called “In search for stability in crypto-assets: are stablecoins the…