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IMF and World Bank Launch Educational Blockchain Token

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have launched a crypto token called “Learning Coin” to better understand how blockchain technology works.

The two institutions said that the coin would have no monetary value and would not be made openly available, the Financial Times reported Saturday. To support the token, the IMF and the World Bank have also launched a private blockchain network.

The project is aimed to build “a strong knowledge base” around blockchain technology among staff at the organizations.

The IMF said in the report:

“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it. This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognize a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology.”

Also launched as part of the token project is a Learning Coin app, allowing users to share content like blogs, research, videos and presentations. Staff at the organizations will also be able to “earn” coins for achieving certain educational milestones.

While the token has no real-world value, the developers are reportedly testing how staff can redeem it for rewards.

The news comes five months after IMF chief Christine Lagarde encouraged the exploration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the light of decreasing demand for cash and rising preference for digital money. And, in 2017, the then-president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, said that the technology is “something everyone is excited about,” while he was more cautious about cryptocurrencies.

Last summer, the World Bank moved to use blockchain for a bond settlement that raised $81 million. The bond’s investors included CommBank, QBE Insurance, NSW Treasury Corporation and Northern Trust, among others.

 

 

source.nulltx.

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Marco Polo Blockchain Network Welcomes Japan’s SMBC Bank For Trade Finance

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Marco Polo Blockchain Network Welcomes Japan’s SMBC Bank For Trade Finance

Blockchain services are being adopted by many companies nowadays, even in financial institutions and banks. The immutable ledger’s appeal helps to keep all transactions organized in a trustless way, which clearly appeals to the Sumitomo Mitsui BankCorporation (SMBC). The Japanese bank has chosen to improve trade finance with the use of R3’s Marco Polo blockchain network, according to reports from CoinDesk Japan. SMBC is presently the third-largest bank in Japan, based on assets.

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As SMBC joins the network, they have the company of BNP Paribas and ING, among others. Last much, the product managed to complete the first trade finance operations, which included German Firms and Commerzbank. The vice chairman of SMBC, Yasuyuki Kawasaki, commented that trade finance “is very complicated,” often including paper-based transactions.

Kawasaki commented that this “time-consuming process” has continued for a century, which is part of what led SMBC to the blockchain network. The lack of complications will streamline the former paper-based process. Hopefully, through this new project, new services will be available “later this year.”

Daniel Cotti, who acts as the managing director of the Centre of Excellence for Banking and Trade for Marco Polo, pointed out that this network has both the “resources and technology” to change up trade finance for the banking industry. Cotti believes that the implementation of this network with the banks will help to improve the transparency and reduce risks.

Along with the announcement from this major Japanese bank, China’s central bank announced a partnership involving one of their subsidiaries with trade finance. In France, lender Societe Generale has decided to issue bonds that are worth 100 million euros with the use of the Ethereum blockchain.

Trade finance stands to greatly benefit from the use of blockchain technology. Blockchain platform We.Trade, which focuses on trade finance, only just went live in July last year. Hopefully, through more implementation like these cases, blockchain’s reach can continue to expand.

Source:bitcoinexchangeguide

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Top 3 Japanese Bank to Roll Out Services on Marco Polo Blockchain

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Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Japan’s third-largest bank by total assets, will launch blockchain-based trade finance services in the second half of this year.

SMBC’s vice chairman Yasuyuki Kawasaki announced the news at a recent fintech seminar in Tokyo, saying that the bank will roll out new services for import and export companies using the Marco Polo trade finance blockchain platform, CoinDesk Japan reported Thursday.

Kawasaki said that, traditionally, trade finance is a “very complicated,” paper-based and time-consuming process. SMBC completed a proof-of-concept using the blockchain platform back in February, aiming to improve its trade operations. It said at the time that the platform “provides paperless, real-time connectivity and easier access.”

The Marco Polo network – built on blockchain software startup R3’s Corda platform – saw its first real-world transactions going live last month. The network was founded by R3 and trade finance specialist TradeIX.

The transactions took place between two German companies. One transaction involved the delivery of special hydraulic couplings from Germany to China and the other the delivery of pumps within Germany.

Since launching in 2017, the Marco Polo network has added some major financial institutions as members, including ING, BNP Paribas and Commerzbank, among others.

Announced this morning, BayernLB, Helaba and S-Servicepartner have also joined the Marco Polo network “for piloting and evaluating purposes.”

Daniel Cotti, managing director, Centre of Excellence for Banking and Trade for Marco Polo, said:

“Today, we have the resources and technology to transform the way banks serve their trade finance customers and enable easier access to credit, while minimizing risk and increasing transparency.”

Trade finance is increasingly being eyed as a beneficial use case for blockchain technology. Last July, another trade finance blockchain platform called We.Trade – built on Hyperledger Fabric and with nine banks on board – went live.

Just yesterday, China’s forex regulator and manager, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said that it has developed a blockchain system aimed to address inefficiencies in cross-border trade finance. Pilots in three regions and two cities are now planned.

Yasuyuki Kawasaki image via CoinDesk Japan 

 

 

source:coindesk

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Payments Firm Wirex Launching 26 Stablecoins on the Stellar Blockchain

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Payments platform Wirex is launching 26 stablecoins on the Stellar blockchain network.

The U.K.-based firm announced the news on Thursday, saying that the stablecoins will be backed by fiat currencies including the U.S. dollar, euro, the British pound, Hong Kong dollar and the Singapore dollar.

Wirex, which is licensed by the country’s finance watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), added that the cryptocurrencies can be spent using its own multi-currency Visa card. Wirex’s card allows users to convert and spend cryptocurrencies wherever Visa is accepted, till now supporting 8 cryptocurrencies and 10 fiat currencies.

The stablecoins can also be “instantly” converted to other stablecoins at over-the-counter (OTC) rates, the firm said, adding that the new crypto offerings could have use cases in remittances, token issuance and redemption, and merchant settlements.

The Stellar network was chosen over other blockchains because of its better security and scalability features, as well as lower costs for real-time transactions, Wirex said. The firm will also add Stellar’s native token, lumens (XLM) to its platform.

Tech giant IBM also notably uses Stellar for its payment network World Wire. The firm signed deals with six banks to issue stablecoins on the platform just last month.

The news comes following something of a flood of new fiat-backed cryptos over the last year, with eToro most recently launching eight branded stablecoins alongside a full crypto exchange just days ago.

 

 

source:coindesk

 

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