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Mastercard Teams Up With R3 To Develop Cross-Border Payment Solution Using Corda Blockchain Platform

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Popular payments services provider Mastercard is teaming up with blockchain company R3 to create an international payments solutions, CoinDesk reports.

In a press statement, the two companies will develop and pilot a fresh blockchain-based cross-border platform. The payments solution will aim at linking world’s faster payments platforms, schemes as well as financial institutions majorly banks.

As per the press statement, the partnership is part of Mastercard’s plans to enhance its international payments network adding on its latest acquisition of an international payments firm Transfast at the beginning of this year.

The teaming up with R3 is a ploy by Mastercard to provide a wide range of payment solutions for its clients in efforts to allow them to decide how their money should be moved across the world.

Mastercard’s executive vice president in charge of new payment platforms, Peter Klein, stated that development of a high-quality cross-border payments platform will help the company enhance its connectivity around the world which is a key ambition for Mastercard. Klein went ahead to explain that Mastercard’s goal is to provide worldwide payment infrastructure and the partnership with R3 will help the company to achieve its vision.

According to R3, the new payment platform will be developed on top of Corda Enterprise, which is the commercial version of the Corda blockchain, and not on the open-source Corda platform.

The new cooperation is set to take advantage of R3’s blockchain development expertise and Mastercard’s global network and payment platforms. The two companies are hopeful that the partnership will allow them to eliminate various industry challenges such as high processing fees, management of liquidity and problems associated with domestic clearing systems.

This is not the first time the two companies are teaming up for a project. At the start of this month Mastercard officially became a member of Marco Polo trade finance blockchain platform that was started by R3 in collaboration with TradeIX.

Cointegraph reports that in the recent past, Mastercard has been angling to enter the crypto industry and in August the payments giant advertised for new job for blockchain as well as crypto -related products.

Source. bitcoinexchangeguide.

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Examining the Reported Fall in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Investments in the Year 2019

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Examining the Reported Fall in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Investments in the Year 2019

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The year 2019 witnessed a sharp drop in Blockchain and cryptocurrency investments as suggested by a report. This year’s investment data fell short compared to last year’s as enthusiasm wanes on the part of investors. 2019 may have been an eventful year for bitcoin as it shot into prominence both with investors and multi corporations; however, it lacked the propensity to increase enthusiasm amongst investors to strike a deal. A recent report indicates a sharp drop in private funding including initial coin offerings (ICOs) and venture capitals in the year 2019.

Comparing the last year 2018 investments with this year 2019, only a quarter of last year’s investment has only been recorded this year 2019 on investments through ICO and venture capital.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Investments

The eventuality began in December 2018 with a nose-diving crash of cryptocurrency price points, the worst ever to be recorded in the last two years. The year 2018 had started on a very good note with an impressive market cap which went down right as the year ended. Though there was a slight improvement to this, investments still went below the mark. This could be attributed to other currencies not carrying so much weight as bitcoin. So the impact was minimal. Other currencies have failed to arouse the interest of the investors like bitcoin which accounts for a whopping 70% of valuation recorded so far. Years 2017 and 2018 were historic in the record of blockchain and cryptocurrency investments as there was a push up in this regard, however, this could only be attributed to bitcoin’s impressive market cap.

The market, however, took a downturn resulting in the reduction of venture funding of upcoming crypto-based companies. Private funding reduced by close to 50% in the year 2019 as when compared to the year 2018. This may depict that interest may be waning in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies ultimately force dropping the investment as well.

There is however light at the end of the tunnel as all hopes are not lost. Two leading cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, and a South Korean exchange have raised three hundred million dollars ($300 million) all together in rounds of funding.

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Chinese Blockchain Firm GXChain Raided by Police

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Chinese authorities cracked down on a high-profile blockchain company that provides data services to online peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders.

The police in the eastern city of Hangzhou on Wednesday raided and sealed the office of Hangzhou Cunxin Data Technology Co., the operator of blockchain project GXChain. The police told Caixin that further information will be disclosed later.

Phone calls to the company’s founder and Chief Executive Huang Minqiang and another employee by a Caixin reporter wouldn’t go through. Chinese bitcoin tycoon Li Xiaolai, a major investor with a 7.5% stake in the company, declined to comment.

The reason for the crackdown was unknown, but some said they suspected it may be related to the company’s personal credit data business.

“I have no idea why the police took action against GXChain,” said Dovey Wan, founding partner of blockchain-based investment company Primitive Ventures, on Twitter Wednesday. “The trigger might be their data business—they sell processed personal credit data, which is a highly sensitive area now in China.”

Wan also posted a video on Twitter showing GXChain’s office gate being sealed by police and saying “all executives of the company are now with the police for interrogation,” citing a source close to Hangzhou local police.

Founded in 2016, GXChain is a blockchain company that offers data uploading, storage and exchange to enterprises in industries including internet finance.

Among the clients listed on GXChain’s website are Alibaba-backed ZhongAn Technology, online loan search platform Rong360.com and New York-listed P2P lending platform PPDAI Group.

GXChain is known for using data scraping and data crawling to obtain personal credit data from online marketplace Taobao and digital payment platform Alipay. GXChain is one of a few companies that can extract a Zhima Credit score, a private personal credit-scoring program run by Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group. Zhima Credit doesn’t share the scores with any third party, and there are some technical difficulties to extract the data, an industry participant told Caixin.

Data crawlers sometimes could cross the line because clients that buy the data are not authorized to use it, the industry participant said.

GXChain CEO Huang once told Caixin that GXChain’s vision is to return the ownership of data to users, and he expressed outrage over the misuse of personal data by the industry.

Even though GXChain is high-profile in the blockchain industry, it was not included in the first batch of 197 blockchain-based information service providers that were granted registration in March by China’s cyberspace information regulator.

By: https://www.caixinglobal.com

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Santander Issues $20 Million End-To-End Blockchain Bond on Ethereum

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Major Spanish bank Banco Santander has issued what it claims is the first end-to-end blockchain bond. 

In a Sept. 12 news release, the bank revealed that it had issued a $20 million bond directly onto the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, where it will remain until the end of its one-year maturity.

Faster, cheaper and simpler than legacy systems

Santander has claimed that its use of blockchain technology for end-to-end bond issuance represents a first step towards a potential secondary market for mainstream security tokens.

As the news release outlines, Santander issued the $20 million bond — which carries a quarterly coupon of 1,98 — while one of the Santander Group’s units purchased the bond at market price. 

Santander Securities Services operated as tokenization agents and custodian of the cryptographic keys used for the issuance, with Santander Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) acting as a dealer. 

The transaction was conducted on the public Ethereum blockchain, with Santander securely tokenizing the bond in a permissioned manner. Both the cash used to complete the investment and the quarterly tokens were tokenized, with the bank noting that the high degree of automation involved dramatically reduced the number of intermediaries required for the process.

Noting that the blockchain bond transaction was faster, more efficient and simpler than legacy systems, Santander CIB says it will now engage with its clients to move the initiative from the project stage through to development.

The blockchain bond initiative continues the work begun by Santander’s blockchain lab in 2016, with additional support from London-based fintech Nivaura — backed by Santander InnoVentures — and legal advice from global law firm Allen & Overy.

Global developments

Last month, Cointelegraph reported that Santander now plans to expand its implementation of Ripple’s xCurrent payments technology to a number of Latin American countries. The bank had first introduced the technology in Spain, Brazil, Poland and the United Kingdom back in April 2018. 

Also last month, the World Bank revealed it had raised an additional ~$33 million for its Kangaroo bond due August 2020 using blockchain technology. 

The World Bank likewise claimed a first in stating that the initiative represented the first bond that has been created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology.

Source: cointelegraph

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