Reserve Bank of Australia Official ‘Not Convinced’ of Need for Digital Dollar

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) assistant governor Michelle Bullock said that the bank has not been convinced of the need to create a digital Australian dollar, local business and finance news outlet The Australian Financial Review reported Oct. 24. Speaking at the Sibos 2018 banking and financial conference in Sydney, Bullock reportedly said that she is “interested to consider what frictions these technologies are designed to address [but] in many cases I just don’t see what the point is.” Among “touted” benefits digital currency could provide to central banks,…

German Central Bank and Deutsche Boerse Successfully Complete Blockchain Settlement Trial

The central bank of Germany, Deutsche Bundesbank, and securities marketplace organizer Deutsche Boerse (DB) have successfully completed the trial of a blockchain solution in the settlements area, DB’s report reveals Thursday, Oct. 25. According to the report, the trial of blockchain based settlement technology research, or Blockbaster, started in 2016. The main point of the joint research was to conduct on blockchain the full lifecycle of bond issuance, settlement, corporate actions, and redemption, as well as cash transfer including the provisioning of digital coins, transfer between market participants, and settlement…

Online Bank Swissquote Enters ICO Market With Purchase and Custody Option for Clients

Swiss online financial services provider Swissquote announced it had become “the first bank worldwide” to offer purchase and custodial services of (Initial Coin Offering) ICO tokens for clients in a press release Monday, Oct. 22. Swissquote, which has offered various cryptocurrency-related services to account holders since 2016, began its latest service by allowing them to purchase ICO tokens from industrial diamond manufacturer LakeDiamond. Explaining the move, the bank said it was now no longer necessary for ICO consumers to “understand blockchain.” “Combining crowdfunding with the blockchain creates a new form…

ING Bank Launches Open Source Privacy Improvement Add-On for Blockchains

Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING confirmed the release of its open source blockchain tool Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM) in a press release Monday, Oct. 21. ZKSM, which functions as a privacy “improvement” to distributed ledger technology (DLT), such as blockchain, aims to provide validation of certain alphanumeric data without compromising that data’s overall security. According to ING, the tool allows a blockchain to confirm a piece of data belongs to a specified set, while not revealing its full characteristics. For example, as the press release elaborates, an…

ING Bank Launches Zero-Knowledge Tech for Blockchain Privacy

ING Bank is continuing further down the path of advanced blockchain privacy with the release of its Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM) solution, announced this week at the Sibos banking conference.  The Netherlands-based lender had already received plaudits for adapting classical zero-knowledge proofs (a way of proving possession of a secret without revealing the secret itself) into a simpler form for use within the bank called zero-knowledge range proofs. Zero knowledge range proofs can prove a number is within a specific range. For example, a mortgage applicant could prove that their salary…

‘Cryptocurrency Fever’ Has Begun to Diminish, Russian Central Bank Head Says

The head of Russia’s central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, believes that “crypto fever” is beginning to diminish, major Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports Thursday, Oct. 18. Nabiullina, while speaking at finance innovation forum Finnopolis held in the South Russian city of Sochi, said that she believes cryptocurrencies and blockchain are now being treated more rationally: “Fortunately, the crypto fever has begun to diminish. Technologies such as blockchain have inspired great enthusiasm, but now, as far as we can see, the approach to them is more sober.” The central bank head…

Natwest Bank Launches R3 Corda Blockchain-Based Syndicated Lending Platform

U.K.-based bank Natwest will integrate a new blockchain platform based on R3 Corda technology for use in the syndicated loans market, financial news platform Mondovisione reports today, October 18. The new platform, dubbed “Fusion LenderComm,” was developed by blockchain consortium R3 and fintech enterprise Finastra, and aims to streamline the global market for syndicated loans — loans whose size or degree of risk means that more than one lender underwrites them, as part of a “syndicate” of two or more financial institutions. Natwest’s move comes roughly a year after a…

Accenture Works With Thailand’s Oldest Bank to Release Blockchain Supply Chain Tool

Global management consultancy firm Accenture announced it had partnered with a subsidiary of Thailand’s oldest bank on a new blockchain tool aimed at supply chains in a press release Wednesday, Oct. 17. In the latest implementation of the technology for Accenture, the company partnered with Siam Commercial Bank’s fintech subsidiary Digital Ventures Co. Ltd on the blockchain solution, which has already gone live with its first clients. Known as Procure-to-Pay or B2P, it leverages R3’s Corda technology as its basis, the release confirms. Divyesh Vithlani, head of Accenture’s Financial Services…

Blockchain Can Reshape Global e-Government Procurement, Say World Bank Experts

Experts with ties to the World Bank Group presented options for using blockchain in e-government procurement (e-GP) in a report released Wednesday, Oct. 17. The World Bank Group includes organizations commonly known together as the World Bank. e-GP, which refers to business-to-government purchase and sale of anything from goods and services to data exchange, has spawned complex structures in many countries, which blockchain technology could help simplify and otherwise “enhance,” the report’s authors say. “Though the implementation of e-GP systems has contributed to enhanced efficiency and transparency in Government Procurement,…

Japanese Electric Power Company Partners With Bank, University on Blockchain Research

A four-way partnership between major Japanese companies will conduct research into the possible use of blockchain in distributed electricity supply, a press release announced Monday, Oct. 15. Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kepco) will work with Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, IT service management company Nihon Unisys, and the University of Tokyo on the project, which looks at allowing solar power suppliers to sell excess energy to consumers. “Due to the widespread use of renewable energy such as solar power generation, the current power supply system has been changing from a conventional large-scale…