Austrian Bank Raiffeisen Works on National Digital Currency Pilot

While global jurisdictions are progressing with central bank digital currencies, private institutions also work on digitizing national currencies. Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), a major Austrian bank, is working on a new form of national currency tokenization using blockchain technology. RBI is extending its collaboration with Polish-British fintech firm, Billon, following a successful test of end-to-end digitized national currency transfers. RBI Coin is designed to speed up cross-border transactions As announced on May 18, RBI and Billon are working on initial stages of an RBI tokenization platform, currently dubbed RBI Coin.…

China’s Top Digital Bank to Foster DLT Innovation in Singapore’s Universities

China’s top digital bank, WeBank, has partnered with OpenNodes, a distributed ledger technology platform by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority. Through the new partnership, WeBank will provide the FISCO BCOS blockchain platform to Singaporean academics to innovate and build on. The initiative seeks to offer the blockchain platform as an “innovation playground“ to Singapore’s student communities to expedite development in the field of DLT. As a requirement of participation in the program, all innovations produced through the FISCO BCOS initiative are made available as open-source. The program hopes to stimulate research into blockchain…

German Bank Partners With Singapore Fintech Consortium on Blockchain

Ten31, the FinTech arm of Germany’s WEG Bank, has partnered with Singaporean technology incubator, Anquan Capital. While the entities have yet to detail the specific projects they’ll work together on, a press release announced that the partnership will involve exploring blockchain applications within the context of banking and financial services. Anquan Capital has launched a number of distributed ledger technology, or DLT, firms, including Zilliqa and Anqlave.  Ten31 chief executive, Matthias von Hauff, stated: “With Anquan as a shareholder, we have added yet another ideal partner to our network. Not…

China’s Central Bank Proposes a Blockchain-Based Trade-Finance Platform

A number of governing entities in China recently came together to issue an official document, proposing the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Contributors included the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the Foreign Exchange Bureau. In the document, the four organizations submitted their opinions on how best to finance the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, with an emphasis on global trade and finance. Disrupting how cross-border trade info is shared In an attempt to develop and implement…

China’s Central Bank Wants to Speed Up Blockchain Adoption

The People’s Bank of China, or PBoC, Financial Technology Committee held its first meeting of the year this week. During the meeting, the central bank’s deputy governor, Fan Yifei, urged that the country’s blockchain adoption strategy be accelerated. According to a report released by Sina on May 13, the bank’s deputy governor met with both PBoC officials and the heads of their affiliated financial companies. During the talks, Fan highlighted the importance of the blockchain and fintech industries, openly seeking to ensure that the country’s adoption plan will be successfully…

Metal Pay’s New Blockchain Allows Bank and Payment Platform Integration

Proton, a new delegated proof-of-stake blockchain from crypto payment solution Metal Pay, allows digital asset and fund transfers across multiple channels.  “It’s a Blockchain that’s integrated into your bank,” Metal Pay CEO Marshall Hayner told Cointelegraph. “It’s a universal network for payments.” As long as payment platforms integrate the Proton blockchain, customers can send payments across non-native platforms, according to Hayner.  Proton allows compatibility across platforms At present, aside from Metal Pay, payment platforms often run as siloed entities, facing difficulties when users want to interact across services. If, for…

Main Barrier to CBDC Is Philosophy Not Tech, Says European Central Bank Rep

A number of countries such as China and Sweden are already experimenting with central bank digital currencies, which are also referred to as CBDCs. The implementation of this new type of money requires a number of aspects including technology advancement and specific regulation. According to a key official at the European Central Bank, the main challenge of CBDC is philosophical rather than technological. Yves Mersch, an executive board member at the ECB, has again discussed CBDC issues at an “ask me anything” session hosted by Consensus: Distributed on Monday. At the session, the…

Can Central Bank Digital Currencies Protect Individual Privacy?

Crypto industry leaders and law experts debated the privacy implications of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) during the ‘Money Re-Imagined’ panel as part of Consensus:Distributed on May 11. Lawrence Summers, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary and former chief economist of the World Bank, argued that the current fiat monetary system exhibits issues of too much privacy, advancing that a CBDC should seek to facilitate greater oversight capabilities. Current monetary system has ‘too much privacy’ Summers argued that supporting the anonymous movement of multi-million dollar sums of money should not be…

DBS Bank Joins Global Blockchain Network to Digitize Trade Settlement

Singapore-based multinational banking firm DBS Bank has joined the blockchain trade-finance network Contour, which is built over R3’s Corda. Contour is due for a main-launch later this year. According to a May 11 report by the business news outlet The Business Times, DBS Bank is the first bank from Singapore to join the network. Major institutions such as BNP Paribas, Bangkok Bank, ING, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citi Ventures founded Contour. Digitizing for efficiency DBS looks forward to digitizing its end-to-end letters of credit settlement process through the platform’s blockchain…

OTC Exchanges Help Thwart $5M Bank Heist in Brazil

A $5 million online heist in Brazil targeting Spanish multinational financial institution, Banco Santander was thwarted after the funds were seized with local over-the-counter (OTC) crypto exchanges. The perpetrators immediately moved to convert the stolen funds into Bitcoin (BTC), however, the cash triggered many of the bank accounts of the exchanges to be frozen upon receipt, according to local press The Bitcoin Portal.  The media outlet claims to have obtained internal documents from Santander detailing an investigation into the incident, revealing that the institution is uncertain as to exactly how…