Japanese Finance Giant SBI’s Crypto Subsidiary Backs Mobile Wallet BRD

SBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of the Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has invested in crypto firm Breadwinner AG, Cointelegraph Japan reports on Jan. 15. SBI’s crypto investment fund did not disclose the amount contributed to Switzerland-based Breadwinner, the developer of mobile crypto wallet BRD.   According to the announcement, BRD operates in 170 countries and has been downloaded by 1.8 million Android and iOS users. SBI’s Interim results announcement reveals that in the six months that ended Sept. 30, 2018, SBI Holdings registered over 176 million yen in revenue…

Thai Ministry of Finance Gives Digital Asset Business Licenses to Four Firms

The Thai Ministry of Finance has issued digital asset business licenses to four crypto-related firms, according to a notice published by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jan. 8. According to the announcement, the licenses were issued by the finance ministry “under the recommendation of the SEC Board.” The four companies that received a license are digital asset exchanges Bitcoin Exchange Co., Ltd., Bitkub Online Co., Ltd., and Satang Corporation, and cryptocurrency brokerage firm Coins TH Co., Ltd. Another application to operate a digital assets exchange — filed by…

Chinese Bank Giants Tap Blockchain in Trade Finance Efficiency Boost

The China Banking Association (CBA), the country’s self-regulatory organization for the banking sector, is launching a new blockchain-based platform for trade finance. The platform was announced last week while the organization is in the process of rolling it out for live usage after several pilot programs aimed at improving the efficiency and security of trade finance transactions. Over 10 major banks in the region have signed up for the platform, including HSBC (China), Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, Ping An Bank, China Postal Savings Bank, among others. Lending technical support are…

Russian Finance Ministry Considers EAEU Digital Currency ‘Inevitable’ Due to US Sanctions

Russia’s Ministry of Finance (MinFin) believes that the creation of a Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)-backed digital currency is inevitable due to the United States’ sanctions. Major Russian media agency Rambler reported MinFin’s comments on Friday, Dec. 21. MinFin reportedly sees an opportunity for launching a digital currency backed by countries in the EAEU by 2020 or 2021, as deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev revealed. The Eurasian Union was established in 2014 and includes five member countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The announced digital currency project will be most…

German State Bank KfW Tests Blockchain App for Public Finance Management in Burkina Faso

Germany’s major state-owned bank KfW and Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Finance will test a blockchain application for use in public financial management, according to a statement posted Monday, Dec. 17. KfQ, ranked in 2017 as the country’s third largest bank by total assets, had also previously signed an agreement with the Burkinabe government in June 2018, providing the country with a credit of €7 million ($7.9 million) to finance water supply and sanitation areas. According to the recent blockchain-related announcement, TruBudget, an open source app developed by KfW, will be…

Chilean Government Making Progress on Crypto Regulation, Says Finance Minister

Chile’s Minister of Finance Felipe Larrain claims that a group of state institutions “is making progress” in developing crypto regulation, local daily newspaper La Tercera reports Friday, Dec. 7. According to Larrain, the Ministry of Finance is working with Chile’s central bank and Financial Stability Board to provide a balanced legal framework for the crypto industry. He noted that crypto regulations are but one aspect of a wider project to provide legal definitions for the fintech sector. Larrain noted that crypto regulation might take time: “We are aware that it…

Finance Regulator, Central Bank Say Cryptocurrency Regulation ‘Being Put in Place’

Malaysia’s finance regulator and central bank issued a joint press statement Dec. 6 in which they confirmed they were “putting in place” legislation on cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) assets. The statement from the Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), which follows comments from senior government official that regulation of the sector could appear in Q1 2019, also reiterates the need comply with securities laws where appropriate. “The SC will regulate issuances of digital assets via initial coin offerings (ICO) and the trading of digital assets…

South Korea’s Finance Ministry Considers Taxing Crypto and ICOs, New Minister Reveals

South Korea‘s Finance Ministry is considering taxation on cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), daily English-language newspaper The Korea Times reports Monday, Dec. 3. Hong Nam-ki, South Korea’s new Minister of Economy and Finance as well as new Deputy Prime Minister, revealed that а crypto taxation plan will be finalized according to global taxation trends in the industry. Pointing to the current ICO ban in South Korea, the deputy prime minister stated that the authorities will also form a new stance to the crypto industry, based on careful consideration of…

‘Worthless’ Bitcoin Has Entered Death Spiral: Finance Professor

Earlier this year, with the bitcoin price trading around $7,000, Santa Clara University Professor of Finance Atulya Sarin published an opinion piece arguing that the rising cost of crypto mining, coupled with the ability for bearish investors to short bitcoin in the futures markets, could spell doom for the flagship cryptocurrency. Now, following a further ~45 percent decline, Sarin is calling it: bitcoin has entered a “death spiral,” and it’s “close to becoming worthless.” Writing in an op-ed published in MarketWatch, Sarin alleged that the bitcoin has embarked on a…

Bahrain Finance Training Institute Launches ‘Blockchain Academy’

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) is launching what it claims to be the country’s first “Blockchain Academy,” according to an announcement published Nov. 26. The BIBF was established in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 1981 by approval of the Specific Council for Vocational Training. The institute is an unregistered non-profit semi-government entity that provides training in the financial sector. The establishment of the Blockchain Academy purportedly marks the country’s first blockchain professional qualification program offering. The training program is designed to prepare participants to earn the international…