Finance Firms Need to Replace IT Infrastructure to Adopt Blockchain and Crypto

Industry experts say that financial institutions will have to replace their existing internal IT infrastructure for greater adoption of blockchain and digital currencies, Scotland’s national news outlet the Scotsman reported Nov. 9. Delivering a speech at the ScotChain18 conference in Edinburgh devoted to blockchain technology impact on commerce, Jeremy Drain of cryptocurrency-focused software company Libra reportedly stated that “there’s an assumption by some companies that their current infrastructure will accept crypto and blockchain.” Drain further explained that those firms’ data is too different, so their systems are unable to work…

Firm Owned by India’s Richest Man Turns to Blockchain for Trade Finance

Oil and gas conglomerate Reliance Industries – owned by India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani – has used blockchain to conduct its first trade finance transaction. According to a news release from HSBC India shared with CoinDesk on Sunday, Reliance Industries has recently executed a “live” blockchain-powered trade finance transaction in collaboration with US-based global chemical distributor Tricon Energy. The end-to-end transaction was facilitated by banking majors HSBC India and ING Bank, Brussels, and carried out on enterprise consortium R3’s Corda blockchain platform, the release adds. The Corda platform was integrated with…

HSBC, BNP Paribas, StanChart, Others Launch Hong Kong Blockchain Trade Finance Platform

A new blockchain trade finance platform developed by a dozen banks, among them HSBC, BNP Paribas, and Standard Chartered, launched this week in Hong Kong, Reuters reported Oct. 31. The platform, dubbed eTrade Connect, aims to improve efficiency in the financing of international trade by reducing the time needed to approve trade loan applications from thirty-six to just four hours. HSBC is reported to have earned $2.52 billion in trade-finance revenue in 2017, making it one of the global banking leaders in the industry. As of 2017, trade finance transactions…

Blockchain Finance Startup Clearmatics Raises $12 Million in New Funding

Blockchain finance firm Clearmatics Technologies has raised over $12 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Route 66 Ventures. Additional investment in the funding round came from private equity firm TNF Capital and XTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of electronic market-making firm XTX Markets. As part of the arrangement, Samir Khosla, a managing partner at TNF Capital, will join Clearmatics’ board of directors. Khosla said his company was pleased to deepen its commitment to Clearmatics and praised “its exceptional team under the leadership of Robert…

Thai Ministry of Commerce Explores Blockchain Solutions for Copyright, Agriculture, Finance

The Thai Ministry of Commerce has begun to conduct feasibility studies on the use of blockchain in copyright, agriculture, and trade finance, English-language Thai newspaper Bangkok Post reports Tuesday, Oct. 9. A Thai official from Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), Pimchanok Vonkorpon, told the Bangkok Post that the study is being conducted with the help of the British embassy in Bangkok. As per the article, the ministry wants to find out whether decentralized solutions can boost the country’s competitiveness and credibility, especially in relation to small business. Vonkorpon…

Thailand Studies Blockchain for Applications in Intellectual Property, Trade Finance

Two feasibility studies on blockchain technology have been launched by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. The studies, which will focus on exploring the use of blockchain technology in trade finance and the registration of intellectual property, are expected to be completed in February 2019, per the Bangkok Post. According to Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the director of Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) which falls under the commerce ministry, the project has received support from the British Embassy. Increasing Efficiency and Trust With regards to trade financing, Pimchanok pointed out that blockchain…

Ukrainian Ministry of Finance Creates Working Group to Develop Crypto Taxation

The Ukrainian Ministry of Finance is creating a working group to discuss and develop a legal framework for crypto taxation, according to an Oct. 8 announcement on the ministry’s official website. The group will start its work beginning Oct.16 to identify crypto-related tax regulation options within the existing legal framework. The group of experts will also identify possible instances in which new or revised legislation is necessary. The findings of the group will be presented to the Expert Council for the preparation of common tax consultations by the end of…

Crypto Means Finance Middlemen ‘Face The Chop’

Financial intermediaries will be “facing the chop” thanks to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, Malta’s finance minister told Cointelegraph in an interview Friday, October 5. Speaking in a private interview during the Malta Blockchain Conference: Delta Summit 2018, Edward Scicluna said that the advent of cryptocurrency that is usable by the mass populace was making the middlemen of finance go the way of traditional photo developers. “This is a disruptive technology,” he said when asked whether he sees crypto as a future payment method, continuing: “I can see this, just like in…

Blockchain Could Avoid an Irish Hard Border in Brexit: UK Finance Minister

As the Irish border question has remained one of the thorniest issues in the Brexit talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union, a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government believes the solution lies in technology. According to Phillip Hammond, UK’s finance minister, the best way to ensure trade across the Irish border remains frictionless after Britain leaves the EU lies in the use of blockchain technology. “There is technology becoming available (…) I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology…

Dubai Department of Finance Launches Blockchain-Based Payment System for UAE Gov’t

The Dubai Department of Finance (DoF) has partnered with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) to launch a blockchain-powered payment system. The news was reported on by a local news site Zawya, September 23. The new platform, called “Payment Reconciliation and Settlement,” was officially launched Sunday, September 23. It is reportedly geared towards government entities, such as the Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and others. According to Zawya, the Dubai DoF and SDO intend for the system to provide for a more accurate and transparent…