For any startup what can be better than the opportunity of working with the leaders of its industry? The answer is: Nothing. And it turns out that some of the crypto startups are getting this opportunity for quite some time now, as mainstream financial industry is slowly waking up to accept the power of cryptocurrencies. As a result, many of the leading companies from finance are now either launching their own crypto products or working with some crypto startup to launch products or serviced related to cryptocurrencies. One such partnership came to life today too when Nasdaq announced that it’s joining hands with crypto data provider CryptoCompare to launch a cryptocurrency pricing product for institutional investors. Clearly, this is yet another proof of the growing crypto adoption among financial institutions.
The new product being launched by these companies will be known as ‘Nasdaq-CryptoCompare Aggregate Crypto Reference Prices’. Yep, it’s not the best of a name, but it will be available not as a standalone product but as a feature on Nasdaq’s Quandl platform, which explains why these companies might not have thought about finding a creative name for it. Quandl is a platform that provides financial and economic alternative datasets for more than 400,000 finance professionals around the globe. So the availability of this new product on this platform will certainly increase the appeal of both these companies among institutional users of crypto.
The press released shared by Nasdaq to announce the product revealed that it will be based on CryptoCompare’s aggregate index datasets, which are known for providing realtime details about pricing data from all those markets which have the highest liquidity. Nasdaq’s press release said that the product aims to increase the capabilities of institutional crypto traders across “trading strategy, quantitative research, risk modelling, NAV calculations and back-testing” areas. CryptoCompare CEO and Co-Founder Charles Hayter also argued that reliable data is essential for transparent and liquid markets, and the new product launched by them in partnership with Nasdaq will give institutional traders and investors of cryptocurrency a competitive edge.
Over the course of last few months Nasdaq’s interest in cryptocurrency space is rising from a steady pace. Not only the company has confirmed its plans of launching Bitcoin futures but also company has made its state-of-the-art fraud detection technology available to many crypto exchanges. The company also added Bitcoin and Ethereum indices to its Index page in February.
IBM’s blockchain platform collaborates with GMEX to support multi-cryptocurrency transactions
The cryptospace has been striving to get their cryptocurrencies adopted by the mainstream world of finance. With Ripple and R3 converting one financial institution at a time to use its digital asset support solution, IBM Blockchain Platform has also has been making strides in the field. The blockchain platform strengthened its relationship with GMEX Technologies Limited, with the latter announcing the release of its hybrid solution for institutional investors, GMEX Fusion Digital Capital Markets technology suite (GMEX Fusion).
This product will support multiple digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and security tokens and is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, announced the blog.
Among existing financial services companies, DAG Global has started the use of this product to execute and settle Bitcoin and Ethereum trades. DAG Global transfers BTC/ETH between customer accounts held by Coinbase and Kraken. The CEO of GMEX Group and Chairman of GMEX Technologies expressed his pleasure at collaborating with IBM to meet the growing demands for digitally enabled market infrastructure. He added,
“This is a unique industry approach as it will enable multiple pools of liquidity to connect with multiple custodians with a single aggregated trading, clearing and settlement solution.”
DAG’s experience while using this technology affirmed that IBM Blockchain Platform was addressing financial services industry demands, claimed Jerry Cuomo, VP of IBM Blockchain Technologies. He continued,
“It is a foundational technology that can help merge old architectures with new, creating a hybrid approach to support the growing demand for digital assets and we’re excited to be working with GMEX on this pioneering approach.
Arab Bank’s Swiss Arm is Launching Cryptocurrency Services
The Swiss branch of one of the top financial institutions in the Middle East is launching a suite of cryptocurrency-based services.
Arab Bank (Switzerland) announced on Thursday that it will offer clients a range of services including custody and brokerage of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).
The bank – based in the canton of Zug in Switzerland, sometimes dubbed “Crypto Valley” – said it’s the launch comes following demand from “existing and younger clients who seek to include digital assets as one asset class in their diversified portfolios.” It said clients include serving high-net worth clients such as “business leaders and family entrepreneurs.”
Serge Robin, CEO of Arab Bank (Switzerland), said:
“We firmly believe that blockchain will disrupt the financial industry as we know it and we intend to be amongst the first banks to offer digital asset services to our clients in a secure and regulated environment.”
For its crypto services, the bank has partnered with digital assets-focused Taurus Group – also based in Switzerland – and will utilize the firm’s a custody platform. Taurus also assisted the bank prepare operational policies and procedures for the new crypto services.
Supporting “innovative players” like Arab Bank (Switzerland) developing infrastructure to support digital assets “is a necessary step to
ensure that the next generation of financial market infrastructure is based on blockchain,” said Lamine Brahimi, managing partner at Taurus Group.
A number of Swiss banks have now launched services for crypto assets, including Julius Baer, UBS and Falcon Group.
The CEO of UBS previously come out as an advocate for blockchain technology, saying it’s “almost a must” for business.
North Korea may now have the required expertise to deploy its own cryptocurrency
North Korea [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] has been making headlines in the crypto-ecosystem over the past few months, ever since the news of cyber-attackers based in the country surfaced. North Korean hackers were able to get away with $670 million in fiat and cryptocurrencies. With international sanctions being imposed on the country’s trade by international regulatory bodies, North Korea is moving ahead with the plan of mapping out its own cryptocurrency, to avoid its economy from being paralyzed.
This can also be argued to be DPRK’s attempt to dodge the American-dominated marketplace. Towards this effort, Pyongyang has been accelerating its efforts to gather more information on the wider use of cryptocurrencies. In fact, according to reports, home-grown experts are being appointed for boosting the applications of blockchain and cryptocurrency in the country.
Till date, North Korea has kept its gates closed to foreign fiat currencies. Yet, with continuous trade bans from regulatory bodies, DPRK sees no option but to move towards the world of digital assets. According to Cao de Benos, the man in-charge of North Korea’s cryptocurrency conferences,
“We are still in the very early stages in the creation of the token. Now, we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it, There are no plans to digitize the [North Korean] won for now.”
According to these reports, the North Korean regime already has the expertise that is required to build and deploy its own cryptocurrency.
If these reports are true, North Korea will be following the efforts of other countries such as Iran and Cuba, both of whom are experiementing with cryptocurrencies to evade the effects of American sanctions.