Participants learn about blockchain with enthusiasm

Day 2 of Bloconomic 2018 Blockchain Economic Summit was packed with loads of actions from our international speakers, the day started off immediately on full throttle of excitement and enthusiasm building on the momentum from the previous day.

 

 

The opening symposium featuring “The development of blockchain in Taiwan, Vietnam and Hong Kong”, by Lucy Chen (BitRabbit), Doan Kieu My (Infinity Blockchain Lab) and Jay Liang (Hong Kong Blockchain Association). The speakers were pouring in their years of knowledge in the industry laying out the current status of blockchain in the industry and deliberating the future of blockchain development, highlighting the key opportunities for their respective countries.

 

Taiwan’s blockchain policy

Karen Yu (Taiwan legislator), delivered a special speech titled “Crypto Policy and Regulations in Taiwan”, expounding the position of Taiwanese government being very open to the development of blockchain, encouraging the development of blockchain industries and assisting the implementation into various industries. The Taiwanese government believes that blockchain technology accelerates industrial transformation and the government also plans to introduce blockchain technology into the space of public governance. In addition, Karen Yu also hoped to use Taiwan’s financial technology cooperation to create more talents in the Southeast Asia region.

 

VCs interest and fundings in the blockchain economy

Building from strength to strength, the session quickly escalate to another height where Venture Capitalist from United States (Llew Claasen, Newtown Partners), Germany (Rafael Schultz, Blockchainpunk), South Africa (John Lombela, Cryptovecs Capital), Singapore (John Ho, Standard Chartered Bank and John C Sharp, Hatcher +) and Malaysia (Juliana Jan, Cradle) went into a heated debate on their respective mandate, views and investment strategies for the blockchain economy, allowing the audience to better understand the outlook and perspectives of blockchain economic investment. The panellist also enlightens the blockchain projects on the key success factors that the investors are looking for. The influx of investment funds into the blockchain is inevitable and will certainly propel blockchain economy further.

 

Another main topic of Day 2 is a panel discussion :

Why establish companies like ours are looking into Blockchain lead by our industry heavyweight players like Hizam Ghazali (Telekom Malaysia Berhad), Kevin Shum (MyEG Services Berhad), Dinesh Ratnam (Catcha Group) and Warren Leow (Inmagine Group) with Dana Garrison (moderator).

All big boys are sharing enterprise insights and looking for more enterprise level solutions with blockchain technology.

Blockchain application innovation highlights

 

After the eventful morning session to warm up the crowd, participants are immediately loaded with the showcases of various blockchain innovation projects from around the world. There were many interesting blockchain applications being brought to the stage to open the minds of audience:

 

Lisa Wang from Oben shared with the audience about “Personal AI on the Blockchain – A New Information Economy”, which explains how to integrate artificial intelligence into building a personal avatar in the virtual world that learns to mimic the actual personality of the user and acts as a virtual personal assistance powered by blockchain technology.

 

CREBACO Co-founder, Dhawal Chopda shared “How to rate blockchain projects” as a reference indicator for investment.

 

ProximaX Founder, Lon Wong talked about “Blockchain Reimagined”.

 

Fortifex CEO, Luke A Jones shared “Funding blockchain projects – utilizing and rewarding an ecosystem”, how to leverage and reward the ecosystem to fund blockchain projects.

 

Standard Kepler MD, David Tang shared “ICO, Reverse ICO and Commercial DAPP” to give listeners an idea of ​​the relevance of ICO to DAPP.

 

Alterex Co founder, Gobinath Nadarajan introduced “Blockchain True to its core, beyond the hype (Blockchain 3.0)”.

 

PixelAlpha CEO, Alex Otsu shares “Using Blockchain to Power Better Derivatives Trading”.

 

Treon founder, Hesham Elmetainy introduced the development of the Treon project.

 

Nostra founder, Ryan Milbourne shared “The state of the Lighting Network.”

 

Glid Network founder, George Wong shared about “Asking the Right Questions – Assessing & Developing Blockchain Unicorns”.

 

Chainhaus CEO, Jamiel Sheikh introduced “Tokenizing Pool Asset”.

 

Cryptovecs Capital, John Lombela shared about “Blockchain, a Trust Protocol for a new Economy”.

 

Hello Gold CEO, Robin Lee shared his experience in successfully raising fund for his blockchain project through a session “Fund Raising for Emerging Economies”.

 

KHA Global VP, James Kim introduced “Kazakhstan Horseracing Association” for better transparency in horse racing with Pegasus.

 

Trivechain Tech Advisor, Terrence Chooi introduces the “World First Decentralized App”, which introduced the decentralized applications of the chain, such as BizContract, BizFactory and BizStore, and other innovative features of the underlying public chain.

 

Bitcoin Private Developer, Daniele Monteleone shared “Bitcoin Private: From Scratch to Top 40”.

 

 

Bloconomic 2018 ended with a blast!

 

Karen Yu (Taiwan legistlator), Jay Liang (Co-chairman of Hong Kong Blockchain Association) and Ms. Doan Kieu My (Infinity Blockchain Lab) shared great insights for the Blockchain landscapes in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam with the audience.

 

Taiwan’s legislator Karen Yu delivered a special speech at Bloconomic 2018 in Malaysia and signed MOU

 

Taiwan’s legislator, Karen Yu visited Kuala Lumpur on 16th August to participate in Malaysia’s Bloconomic 2018 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Malaysia Blockchain Association. Karen Yu said this not only expands Taiwan blockchain’s international partnership, they will also assists Malaysia SMEs to cultivate 2,000 blockchain talents in the future.

 

She also delivered a special speech about “Taiwan’s cryptocurrency policy and regulations”, indicating that the Taiwan government is very open to the development of blockchain, encourages the development of blockchain new industries, and assists industries to implement blockchain technology to accelerate industrial transformation and upgrading. The Taiwan government also plans to introduce blockchain technology into public governance. She pointed out that Taiwan’s involvement in blockchain not only gave Taiwan the leading edge in R&D technology, it also benefits the growth and development of the blockchain industry. For example, establishing the blockchain self-regulatory organization.

In addition, Karen Yu also hopes this Taiwan and Malaysia’s partnership creates more talents in the Southeast Asia region.

Bloconomic 2018 (Blockchain Economic Summit) started on 16th August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was one of its kind which had successfully attracted over 80 international speakers, over 100 media partners with closed to 3,000 participants including speakers, experts, legislators, blockchain associations and community from over 30 countries.

 

Despite the sluggish cryptocurrency price right before the summit, it didn’t seem to affect the enthusiasm that the participants had towards the technology as they managed to see the use of blockchain beyond cryptocurrency itself. Reputable blockchain experts, digital asset management elites, and even professionals and banking executive themselves shared their experience, discussed the current and future development of blockchain economy.

 

The summit focuses on blockchain fundamental applications such as legislations around the world, eKYC, advertisement technology, AI, Big Data and asset tokenization, without any cryptocurrency speculation discussion taking place.

 

Trivechain Blockchain Hub, Centre of Excellence (COE)

The summit started off with an opening ceremony by the President of Malaysia Blockchain Association, Dato Rayson Wong, and the Vice President, Growth Ecosystem Development of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Mr. Norhizam Abdul Kadir, witnessing the birth of the Trivechain Blockchain Hub, a centre of excellence for blockchain application in collaboration between Malaysia Blockchain Association, Setia Haruman Sdn. Bhd. and the Trivechain Foundation. This is followed by a serial of MOU signing between Malaysia Blockchain Association with several parties in agreement to build the blockchain ecosystem together globally.

Despite being first its first year organizing the summit, Bloconomic 2018 had managed to attract many top international blockchain companies to showcase their projects here in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Exhibitors from China, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South America, Italy, United States, Kazakhstan, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia itself received overwhelming responses from the participants and media alike.

 

Key highlights of the day:

 

Current Legal & Regulatory Framework Cryptocurrency, ICO & Blockchain by John Ho, Head of Financial Markets and Legal Department at Standard Chartered Bank

 

Financial Inclusive Solutions to Poverty and Infrastructure Financing through Blockchain by Hazim Mohamad, World Bank representative

 

Launching of Maxxcoin on Trivechain Platform by Matthew Chong, Maxxcoin

 

Commodity Trading in Blockchain by Dato Sri Navneet Goenka CEO of Glitzkoin

 

Blockchain Nation by Anthony Davie CEO of Invech International Group

 

Importance of Blockchain Economy and Decentralized Data by Tan Ji Sheng Co-founder of Trivechain Foundation

 

Discussion and experience sharing to stimulate creativity

 

The summit also set up three exciting symposiums on the theme of “Blockchain application in the United States, Germany, Thailand and Malaysia”, “Striving a balance between privacy and accountability on post-quantum blockchain” and “How to spot good blockchain projects from the bad”.

 

Invited guests experienced a wonderful debate and discussion on the three major themes, each with their own opinions, to stimulate the creativity and passion of blockchain application.

 

Crypto currency exchange and the currency economic profile

 

The sponsors of the summit include representatives from cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bitpoint Malaysia, Australia’s Bitrabbit, US eToro, Mexico’s Bitrus and Tokenize exchange. They put forward a lot of insights on cryptocurrency transactions and trends for the audience to have a better understanding of cryptocurrency trading. In particular, Bitrabbit COO, Lucy Chen shared the importance of cryptocurrency trading in the future of cryptocurrency economic development.

 

Blockchain innovation projects are blooming

 

Another major theme of the summit was the showcase of innovative projects that tested and has successfully implement blockchain technology. For example, global game chain GGC in the gaming industry.

 

GGC Malaysia and Singapore partner, Adam Tan, delivered a wonderful speech on “Why traditional entrepreneurs will embrace digital currency”, which resonate many guests.

 

Mogu Head of Business Development, Sam Hourigan put forward the “Future of Everything-as-a-service” (XaaS).

 

MFun CEO, Brian Fan introduced the characteristics of the MFun project.

 

Mica Fund founder, Kevin Hoo also shared the operation of the venture capital funds in cryptocurrency.

 

Aenco Co-founder, Darren Lui shared “How to use HealthTech, the new finance and blockchain solution platform to incubate the next unicorn.”

 

Quiztok business architect, Byeongseon BAE also introduced Quiztok’s blockchain application.

 

Day 1 of the summit ended with a speech delivered by CryptoBLK CEO, Dr. Duncan Wong, who talked about “Striving a balance between privacy and accountability on post-quantum blockchain”, which received warm applauds from the audience.

 

Awesome First day’s feedback:

 

“Finally I have a clearer picture of blockchain application” – Student of Asia pacific university

 

“Before Bloconomic, I thought blockchain is only smart contract and bitcoin but today we had an eye opening experience with other blockchain for example, we did not know halal chain can have so many applications.” – Student of Asia pacific university

 

“Exciting event!! The price of Bitcoin in Japan keeps declining but the blockchain scene in Malaysia keeps growing!” – Kenji Ito (Coin Otaku Ou)

 

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the world’s largest financial groups, has been experimenting with using its own cryptocurrency, the Mufg coin, for payments at a convenience store for employees. This week, a local publication reported on the progress of the experiment.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Payments at Convenient Store

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (Mufg) has been experimenting with its digital currency, the Mufg coin. A convenience store for employees only, located at the group’s headquarters in Tokyo, has been allowing Mufg employees to pay with these coins. The Sankei Shimbun visited the store and reported this week that the experiment “is quietly advancing.”

Japan's Largest Bank Experiments Using Own Crypto at Convenience Store
Mufg coins being used at the convenience store for employees. Photo credit: the Sankei Shimbun.

Japan's Largest Bank Experiments Using Own Crypto at Convenience StoreA cash register has been set up for payments using Mufg coins at the store. Employees paying with them present the QR code displayed on their smartphones to the store clerk at checkout. Mufg will examine any issues faced by both the users or the merchant.

In addition to making payments at the convenient store, the coins can be used to exchange money between colleagues such as splitting bills, the news outlet conveyed.

Mufg is Japan’s largest financial groups, with total assets of 306 trillion yen (~US$2.76 trillion) as of March 31. One of its subsidiaries, Mufg Bank, is also Japan’s largest bank with offices throughout Japan and in 40 other countries.

Plans for the Mufg Coin

The Mufg coin was created as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group explored how “blockchain technology could be applied for a variety of everyday financial needs, such as withdrawals and deposits to transactions and payments,” the company previously described, elaborating:

Potentially this coin could have large-scale commercial potential, as well serving small-scale retail bank customers. Other than Mufg coin, Mufg is testing another untitled digital currency rewards [program] for employees who reduce their overtime hours and practice a healthy lifestyle.

Japan's Largest Bank Experiments Using Own Crypto at Convenience StoreJapanese daily Mainichi explained that the coin is pegged to the yen, with the price of one Mufg coin kept stable at one yen.

The group detailed that while banknotes and physical coins can be widely used, their “significant toll in terms of cost and time required for the procurement, storage and transport of these instruments is often overlooked.” The Mufg coin has, therefore, been developed as a low-cost cashless finance infrastructure.

According to Mufg, the coins will have “instantaneous transfer capabilities” and provide the ability to make micropayments “in decimal value increments.”

What do you think of the plans for the Mufg coin? Let us know in the comments section below.

This post is credited to news.bitcoin

A biotechnology firm called Carverr is using an innovative new method to store cryptocurrency private keys in synthetic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) at the cost of USD 1,000.

Bitcoin and other crypto private keys give complete control of a wallet to whoever holds them, and properly storing and securing a private key is essential to maintain control of funds. If a private key is lost then the crypto is completely unrecoverable. Customers who sign up for Carverr will receive five vials containing a DNA sequence corresponding to their private key.

DNA is probably the oldest form of memory storage in the world. It stores the entire genome of all living organisms. Scientists can create synthetic DNA and store information in it, since it fundamentally stores info with four nucleotides, A, C, G, and T. Memory on a computer is stored in binary, 0 and 1, so scientists give each nucleotide a corresponding binary value. The private key is broken down into binary, and then transposed into DNA format.

This provides an extra layer of security since even if someone steals the vial containing the private key, that person would have to know the algorithm Carverr is using to decode the sequence. Also, DNA will be around forever and will always use the same four nucleotides, unlike digital data which can drastically change long term. A standard hard drive used to store data might become unreadable in the future due to technological paradigm shifts. Additionally, for added security, a user of this service can send the encrypted private key to Carverr instead of the readable private key.

Storing data in synthetic DNA has tremendous potential, since each gram, the size of a jelly bean, can store 215 petabytes of data. A petabyte is 1,000 terabytes. This means that all the data in human history can easily be stored in a single vial.

A caveat to this method is DNA can break down from sunlight, heat, and bacterial contamination so it must be tightly sealed and stored in a dark freezer. Private keys only use a tiny amount of data, probably less than 1 kilobyte, so the DNA equivalent would be microscopic and extremely fragile.

This post is credited to bitcoinnews

Cryptocurrency investors are patiently waiting for the arrival of the Bakkt cryptocurrency exchange, with the hope that it will bring institutional investors, more retail participants, and maybe even Bitcoin availability in 401k accounts. Its launch is planned for November of this year, and it is backed by the trading titan Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owners of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), so there’s good reason to be excited. ICE has also partnered with Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boston Consulting Group.

With the SEC’s recent denial of numerous Bitcoin ETFs, the hope is that Bakkt will introduce a product which is appealing to institutional investors who have so far avoided the cryptocurrency markets, due to worries of manipulation or the lack of trustworthy custody options.

Bakkt Wants Institutional Investors

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Bakkt has been touted as a potential onramp for institutional money. The company themselves revealed in a tweet this week that it is “designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility.” But are these pledges enough to attract investors who have so far steered clear of the cryptocurrency markets? Many believe that some institutional investors have already quietly entered the cryptocurrency markets, but can the NYSE owners bring them in droves?

Is It Suitable?

We reached out to many experts in the space to gauge the likelihood of Bakkt becoming a hit with institutional investors. Some were of the belief that Bakkt is the solution that some of these potential new participants have been waiting for, with one caveat: the lack of margin trading will limit volume and adoption.

Nodari Kolmakhidze, Chief Investment Officer at Cindicator, has five years of experience of active trading and asset management. Kolmakhidze believes that Bakkt’s association with ICE and their partners shows that more and more traditional market participants and retailers are interested in cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies. He told [blokt]:

“The usage of the established market infrastructure of Intercontinental Exchange in connection with the goal of creating a fully regulated market can certainly inspire trust and can lead to more institutional participants entering the field. For Bakkt it will be crucial to build up knowledge about crypto market specifics either through internal learning, hiring or experienced professionals.”

Andrew Yang, COO at BlockFuse, told [blokt]:

“Bakkt will help as it offers a custodial solution for institutional investors.  But more importantly, it will look and feel like a traditional stock to them. This will only make it easier for people to invest in Bitcoin rather than having to go through the process of downloading a cryptowallet.”

Aleksander Dyo, President and Co-Founder of Token IQ, said that “The alignment of Bakkt and Coinbase will likely have a catalyzing effect of legitimizing the blockchain space in the eyes of institutional investment.” Dyo believes, however, that the inability to use leverage for trading on Bakkt will mean that we won’t necessarily see huge amounts of money flooding into the platform. He said:

“This does not mean, however, that institutional investment dollars will flood in to participate in such an ecosystem. This is because it does not preclude those same investors from entering into the crypto space by leveraging alternative methods. Put simply, since BTC still gets its price discovery through amalgamated scores from existing exchanges, educated and savvy investors will need to have a lot of incentives to move away from those exchanges and services.”

Craig Kellogg is the Co-Founder of WORBLI. He has 20 years of fin-tech experience – including Wells Fargo, US Bank, and GE Capital. Kellogg echoes Dyo’s beliefs: that the lack of margin trading will prevent adoption by serious institutional traders:

” Asset-backed (auditable) exchanges will instill greater public confidence than the current standard of off-blockchain trading systems with no public transparency.  Institutional investors though will not find comfort in the lack of margin trading available with this approach.  It is a good next step, but not the “end game” in the mainstream integration of cryptocurrency into the traditional equities markets.”

Constantin Gurdgiev, Professor of Finance at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, CA, also makes some interesting points on the limitations within the Bakkt platform. Gurdgiev says that the positive features of the Bakkt platform, namely “‘Physical’ underlying and a delivery system that excludes primary leverage,” will create an environment with limited volume. He told [blokt]:

“Both features can lower market price and volume volatilities, and improve market liquidity. However, the lower the leverage and the shorter the option underlying the product, the more restrictive the volume traded on platform. In other words, the stronger quality of the offering comes at a price.”

Gurdgiev continued:

“Bakkt platform is more likely to be attractive to the marginal cypto investor – a buy-and-hold younger investor currently less likely to wade into pure trading platforms/exchanges, but risk tolerant enough to take a small diversifying exposure in Bitcoin. This type of an investor is also more sensitive to execution platforms, and in this context Microsoft and ICE backing for Bakkt does represent a relative advantage over crypto-only venues. An added value to Bakkt for buy-and-hold investors is platform’s better risk resilience to hacking, as ‘physical’ settlement system can limit potential risk exposure across the trading volumes that can be subject to cybersecurity risk. However, Bakkt is not likely to attract professional or institutional traders and investors, because they either require leverage or are relatively hedged against leveraged trading risks. This problem presents a dilemma for Bakkt. In order to generate significant volumes of trading to secure liquidity and efficient price discovery, Bakkt trading will require some access to leverage, if only outside the platform. Financialization of Bakkt contracts outside the exchange – on the balancesheets of investors and traders – will most likely be an issue down the road.”

Building the Foundation for a Bitcoin ETF Approval

With the trusted NYSE name behind Bakkt, and a regulated, compliant platform available to investors, regulators may be satisfied that the cryptocurrency market is approaching maturity. The SEC stated previously that the existing Bitcoin Futures market is not big or mature enough to power a Bitcoin ETF. Maybe the Bakkt platform can put the SEC’s mind at rest.

Carol Lin at Bx3 Consulting said:

“I believe Bakkt is the cure to a lot of ills for the cryptocurrency community. Traditional investors trust the NYSE name and brand, and so do regulators. Institutions will have a much easier time investing know the people behind the exchange. The fact that we will finally have a fully compliant and regulated exchange leads me to believe ETF approval is on its way.”

It’s not just compliance that the SEC will be looking for in an exchange providing the underlying to a Bitcoin ETF. A sound custody solution and ownership of the physical assets are essential factors, both of which Bakkt will provide.

Kolmakhidze told [blokt]:

“The arrival of a new market participant with a successful track record and the goal of creating a fully regulated market could also have a positive impact on the approval of financial instruments such as an ETF, as the SEC has stated among its reasons for rejecting the latest ETF proposals that the market is not yet mature enough and is subject to manipulation. Bakkt has communicated that it sees the physical delivery of Bitcoin as a critical element in its solution and that margin trading will not be supported.”

Kellogg said:

“Bakkt is listening to and learning from the EFTs which have not been approved by addressing the issues related to futures/derivatives markets and source of truth for asset pricing.   By addressing these issues, once reviewed the SEC will need to approve or move their objections on to a new level of depth which we have not yet seen.”

According to the experts, the lack of margin trading on Bakkt could put off some of the larger institutional traders, but what is clear now, is that we are heading towards market maturity. With this maturity, we will see more traditional products and investors come to the market, maybe sooner than expected.

This post is credited to blokt

MITA and the University of Malta have now announced a blockchain technology fund for 300,000 euros, which will be distributed to students over the next three years.

Malta, home to some of the most promising cryptocurrency and blockchain companies thanks to its relaxed framework, is now taking new strides in the world of distributed ledger technology. The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) and the University of Malta are now teaming up to create a 300,000-euro blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) scholarship fund.

Who Will Receive the Scholarship?

The funds will be provided to students who specialize in law, finance, engineering and information and communications technology (ICT). The funds will be distributed over a period of three years. Students in the coming school year can take the scholarship for Masters and PhD research dissertations related to blockchain and DLT. However, the funds will be available for courses that carry at least 30 ECTS credits directly related to DLT. Once these conditions are fulfilled, students will be provided with full sponsorship for the course.

Supporting Malta’s Blockchain Ecosystem

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Malta’s digital economy parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri said that the scholarship would support endeavors to attract blockchain companies to its soil. Creating the necessary human resources that these companies will need locally is a great step toward improving employment, as well as handling the headaches of these foreign firms.

Dr. Schembri added:

“These companies need technical resources both to build and to operate by use of this technology, as well as experts in financial services, law, and managerial roles.”

He also noted that he looks forward to seeing several Maltese students placed in prominent positions in these organizations.

University of Malta rector Alfred Vella added that the university would continue to have an internal exercise for reviewing degree and Master’s programs in the areas of finance, ICT, and law. These courses will likely include units related to regtech, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, fintech, blockchain, and DLT. The review will further the government’s strategy of making Malta “the blockchain island.

Tony Sultana, MITA executive chairman, said that the agency is planning to collaborate with other educational institutions along similar lines. It is also expected to carry training sessions for employees in the public sector to help them familiarize with the technologies. The next milestone in MITA’s timeline will be the Delta Summit, a large blockchain and digital innovation summit held in October, where it is collaborating as the main information technology partner.

This post is credited to blokt

With adoption increasing worldwide, cryptocurrency is making its way into the mainstream. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the latest country to join the movement, as Adab Solutions launches the first-ever Sharia-compliant cryptocurrency exchange.

Growing Popularity of Crypto in Islam

UAE-based startup Adab Solutions is set to launch the First Islamic Crypto Exchange (FICE) compliant with Sharia law, reports Trade Arabia.

To maintain compliance with Sharia law during operation, Adab Solutions will consult with an in-house Sharia Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of internationally-renowned Sharia experts.

Given its finite supply and frictionless transferability, cryptocurrency is seemingly a fitting asset class in compliance with the tenets of Islamic law, which denounces financial systems that depend on usury.

In a press release, Timu Turzhan, CEO and founder of Adab Solutions, said:

“Ideas that correspond to the norms of the Shariah are based on the understandable material value, have a clear business strategy, and this allows us to confidently assert that halal projects are incomparably safer more successful than the beautiful signs of many cryptocurrency initiatives… Our team is dedicated to its business and will do its best to achieve all the goals set.”

Related: Saudi Arabia Officials: Cryptocurrency Trading Illegal

The company will launch its initial coin offering (ICO) for Adab tokens in Septemeber.

Adab tokens will function as utility keys that unlock the trading platform and act as the default payment method for commissions paid on the exchange.

Through the FICE launch, over 1.8 billion Muslims will potentially have access to Sharia-compliant cryptocurrency trading services that weren’t available before.

Recently, CryptoSlate reported that Saudi Arabia, a neighboring Islamic country, is prohibiting cryptocurrency trading for domestic residents.

Sharia Compliance Extends to Stellar

Adab Solutions is not the only cryptocurrency to enter the Middle East. On July 17, the Stellar network revealed that it is now permitted to service financial institutions that require compliance with Islamic financing principles.

Related: Stellar Enters the Middle East, Becomes First Cryptocurrency to Gain Sharia Certification

After reviewing their application, the Shariyah Review Bureau approved Stellar’s financial applications and awarded the company an official Sharia certification.

Through the Sharia certification, Stellar became the first distributed ledger technology (DLT) protocol to enter the money transfer and asset tokenization sectors in countries of the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

According to the official press release:

“Islamic financial institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (i.e. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE) and parts of Southeast Asia (e.g. Indonesia and Malaysia) will now be able to integrate Stellar technology in their Sharia-compliant product and service offerings. This is a big advancement for the Stellar network given that these regions are endpoints of popular foreign worker remittance corridors.”

The Sharia certification extends to applications and use-cases for Lumens (XLM), Stellar’s native cryptocurrency. By using lumens, users in the Middle East and Southeast Asia will have access to more affordable payment remittance channels when sending money across borders.

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The international remittance market is huge. In 2016, migrants from the world over sent in excess of $580 billion to their home countries. The scenario has changed considerably in the last two decades, before which the field was primarily the domain of banks and a handful of high-street brokers. Now, people get scores of FinTech overseas money transfer companies from which to choose. Customers, it appears, are set to gain even more going forward, mainly because of the benefits blockchain has to offer.

The Ripple Effect

Some of the leading money transfer companies have already turned to blockchain. Market leaders Western Union and MoneyGram have started testing the blockchain technology offered by Ripple. InstaReM, an Asia-based money transfer specialist, has tied-up with Brazil-based BeeTech, also an international remittance company, soon after both signed up with Ripple.

Incidentally, even some prominent banks have jumped on Ripple’s blockchain bandwagon. Examples in case include the Latin American Itau Unibanco Holding SA, the French Crédit Agricol, and India’s IndusInd Bank.

Blockchain Benefits

International money transfer companies can benefit by adopting blockchain technology in different ways, and then pass them on to their customers.

  • Making transfers more cost effective. Data suggests that the average cost of making a cross-border money transfer through a bank is around 11%. With fintech companies, the average drops to around 5%. Only, even the fintech players rely on banks to function as intermediaries. With blockchain comes the possibility of doing away with banks completely. This would make overseas money transfers even more cost effective.
  • Increased reach. Large populations in Asia, Africa, and South America remain under-banked, and this has an adverse effect on their ability to send or receive payments to or from overseas. However, given the widespread usage of mobile phones, cryptocurrency wallets hold the potential to simplify how they deal with cross-border remittances.
  • Faster turnaround. Most banks take days to process overseas money transfers. With international companies, you still have to rely on banks to do the needful. Cryptocurrency transfers, on the other hand, can go through in near real time.
  • Increased security. The centralized manner in which most money transfer companies and banks operate leaves them vulnerable to online attacks of different kinds. Blockchain, on the other hand, functions in a decentralized way, which makes attacks much more difficult to execute. In addition, every blockchain-based transaction is recorded in a digital ledger that is impossible to fudge.
Are There Downsides?

There is one drawback that may well stay in place until the technology becomes common place. The sender typically needs to purchase a cryptocurrency using a fiat currency, and the receiver then needs to sell the cryptocurrency to purchase a fiat currency. In such a transaction, currency conversion takes place twice. There’s also the fact that most people still need to deal with a basic cryptocurrency learning curve.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that blockchain technology holds the potential to bring about significant changes in the international money transfer market. With increased security, better cost effectiveness, and quicker transfers, the benefits are rather plain to see.

This post is credited to dailyhodl

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With micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines comprising over 90% of the country’s establishments, there is an opportunity to introduce smart technology and allow small businessmen to tap into the e-commerce market, said Rommel Santos, CEO of Malaysia-based Smart Asset Managers (SAM).

SAM is in the Philippines to roll out its Dinar Dirham Koin (DDK), a blockchain community platform that aims to empower MSMEs in the region using the emerging technology.

“The MSMEs are vital in building an inclusive and dynamic economy for the people,” Ramos told Cryptovest as he called on small businessmen to explore new opportunities and to be innovative in looking for new ways by boldly opening new ventures.

He added, “We are aware of the crucial role MSME play in creating a better future for the people, and we will assist you and provide you with guidance to achieve this task.”

According to Ramos, SAM is answering the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to encourage digital payments and transactions in the country’s retail segment. The plan is to use blockchain and digital payments to uplift the lives of the majority of Filipinos and the unbanked and underserved sectors by providing them financial services as well as access to financial institutions.

Through digitization, the government and SAM hope to raise the competitiveness of the retail sector.

He explained SAM’s DDK offers a wide range of sophisticated features from secured payment, direct or peer-to-peer transactions that eliminates delays in the approval or transaction process. Through blockchain technology, MSMEs could cut operational cost because they can do away with third-party transactions.

More importantly, he explained DDK allows users to transact with micropayments, “meaning we can send or receive payment from .0001 DDKoin with minimal transaction fees.” This makes it ideal for retail transactions in the Philippines, he added.

The success of blockchain adoption among MSMEs hinges largely on the rapid acceptance of the QR Code standard to further boost the development of the country’s payments and settlements system.

The QR code will pave the way for an effective retail payment system that could transform the Philippine economy as it brings business transactions and the savings generated through a shift from paper-based to digital instruments.

“You can just imagine a micro-entrepreneur who is used to transacting in cash involving only the equivalent of a few centavos to a few dollars but is now doing business electronically and cashless. That is disrupting their lives. It will give them access to financial institutions and credit facilities not normally available to them. That is the essence of financial inclusion,” Ramos said.

Early this month, Congressman Seth Frederick “Bullet” Jalosjos, of the first district of Zamboanga del Norte, announced that the southern region of Mindanao in the Philippines would be the first area in the country to be powered by crypto and blockchain technology.

This post is credited to cryptovest