Commodity traders, banks face hard realities with game-changing blockchain

Commodity traders, banks face hard realities with game-changing blockchain

  • LONDON (Reuters) – Alistair Cross was flying high after showing in a pilot project how blockchain – the technology first developed for the crypto-currency bitcoin – could transform the old-fashioned and secretive world of commodity trading.
  • Word spread fast through the business when Mercuria, the Swiss-based commodities house where Cross is head of operations, successfully tested an oil trade.
  • Cross and many others in the sector are excited about the possibility of saving billions of dollars a year in commodities trading by scrapping millions of paper documents and moving to a digital equivalent with blockchain.
  • Even if problems in the blockchain technology are ironed out, the sector has to hammer out common legal standards, ensure there are links between different dealing platforms and persuade scattered elements of the supply chain – from commodity producers and brokers to traders and consumers – to co-operate.
  • “You don’t want to give away your intellectual property or your market knowledge, access to clients, to fintech companies for the privilege of paying for that technology for the rest of your life,” said Kris Van Broekhoven, global head of commodity trade finance for Citibank.

Alistair Cross was flying high after showing in a pilot project how blockchain – the technology first developed for the crypto-currency bitcoin – could transform the old-fashioned and secretive world of commodity trading. Word spread fast through the business when Mercuria, the Swiss-based commodities
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Bitcoin is worth more than ever, but it’s losing clout

#bitcoin is worth more than ever, but its losing clout

  • As our TechCrunch pals observe, Bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market has plunged sharply in the past few months.
  • Where it regularly dominated the market with about an 80 percent share, it’s down to just 47 percent in a matter of months.
  • Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and others have all seen surges that have whittled away Bitcoin’s control.
  • There is a concern that Bitcoin’s scaling is causing problems by slowing down transactions — people may just want to explore alternatives that won’t bog down so easily.
  • The rapid rise in Bitcoin’s value casts doubt on that, though, as you’d

With that said, you might not want to get too comfy if you’ve amassed a fortune. As our TechCrunch pals observe, Bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market has plunged sharply in the past few months. Where it regularly dominated the market with about an 80 percent share, it’s down to just 47 percent in a matter of months. Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and others have all seen surges that have whittled away Bitcoin’s control. It’s not certain just why that is. There is a concern that Bitcoin’s scaling is causing problems by slowing down transactions — people may just want to explore alternatives that won’t bog down so easily. The rapid rise in Bitcoin’s value casts doubt on that, though, as you’d
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Who’s doing what with blockchain in commodities

What various firms are doing to roll out blockchain in the commodity sector

  • REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

    (Reuters) – Many commodity groups, banks and technology companies are seeking to modernise the commodity sector and scrap millions of paper documents through using blockchain, the technology first developed for the crypto-currency bitcoin.

  • MERCURIA – Completed a pilot oil trade earlier this year, working with bank ING and Societe Generale, in which a “smart contract” letter of credit was set up on a blockchain while the traditional paper process ran in parallel.
  • BARCLAYS – In September, carried out what the bank billed as the world’s first trade transaction using blockchain along with Israel-based start-up company Wave.
  • CITIGROUP – Looking at how to use blockchain across all products and the bank has some investments in companies in the sector, but so far nothing unique to commodities was being pursued, executives said in February at a media roundtable.
  • STANDARD CHARTERED – Completed a proof of concept along with DBS Bank and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore using blockchain for trade finance invoicing.

Below are details of what various firms are doing to roll out blockchain in the commodity sector. MERCURIA – Completed a pilot oil trade earlier this year, working with bank ING and Societe Generale, in which a “smart contract” letter of credit was set up on a blockchain while the traditional
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Bitcoin Options Exchange Raises $11.4 Million in Funding

#bitcoin Options Exchange Raises $11.4 Million in Funding

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Ledger Holdings, the New York-based parent company of bitcoin options exchange LedgerX, said on Monday it closed $11.4 million in funding led by Miami International Holdings Inc and China’s Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments.
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VirtusaPolaris recognized in Gartner Market Guide for Blockchain Consulting and Proof-of-Concept Development Services

  • VirtusaPolaris, the market-facing brand of Virtusa Corporation and Polaris Consulting & Services, Ltd., and a leading worldwide provider of information technology (IT) consulting and outsourcing services, has been included as a representative vendor in Gartner’s Market Guide for Blockchain Consulting and Proof-of-Concept Development Services.
  • Also, our lab works with cutting-edge technology firms to address the gaps in blockchain technology like privacy, scalability, etc.”

    Leveraging its 25 years of experience and expertise in the banking and financial services industry, VirtusaPolaris has been helping banks and financial institutions accelerate their innovation process and effectively meet the challenges of digital disruption.

  • For more information and to access the report (subscription required): www.gartner.com/ the market-facing brand reflecting the combined strengths of Virtusa Corporation and Polaris Consulting & Services, Ltd. is a global provider of information technology (IT) consulting and outsourcing services that accelerate business outcomes for Global 2000 companies and leading software vendors in banking and financial services, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications, technology, media and solutions address the CXOs’ dual challenge of growing revenues while improving IT cost efficiencies.
  • VirtusaPolaris’ digital services leverage innovative new technologies to reimagine the customer experience, increasing retention and creating lasting value.
  • VirtusaPolaris delivers services across the IT lifecycle, including consulting, solution design, technology selection, implementation, testing and maintenance & support, including infrastructure support.

VirtusaPolaris, the market-facing brand of Virtusa Corporation and Polaris Consulting & Services, Ltd., and a leading worldwide provider of information technology consulting and outsourcing services, has been included as a representative vendor in Gartner’s Market Guide for Blockchain Consulting and
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FinTech Is Not Dying; It Is Evolving

  • Looking at the stock from large online lending companies like Lending Club or OnDeck, one can imagine how failed earning projections and scandal after public scandal would shake the confidence of even the most savvy investment group.
  • Big banks are unabashedly against the online lending industry because they cannot control the flow of money and the exodus of customers no longer entering brick and mortar branches leaves ghost branches totally void of borrowers.
  • Even as banks struggle with their own credibility and relevance, they still carry a big stick, lobby for regulation, and create obstacles for the online lenders at every corner.
  • The evolutionary idea of NOT collecting personal information at the point of customer entry helps banks bypass the fear of litigation because they are not obtaining personal information from a 3rd party site.
  • Apply the Google Model to online lending and you have a crazy, yet evolutionary idea that brings in a fast adoption rate.

FinTech was once the hottest new industry in the world but now, on its face, appears to be cooling down. Looking at the stock from large online lending c…
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Tackling Financial Exclusion With Biometric Technology

  • The underdeveloped world is home to over two billion unbanked people, many of which lack basic formal identification and cannot acquire finance through legitimate, ethical methods.
  • But perhaps we’ve been looking in the wrong direction all along; perhaps it’s the tech sector that has the answer… With the right platform, biometric identification has the potential to fill the missing voids and establish a role as a formidable force within the financial services industry.
  • However, in today’s digital age, with smart phones dominating the telecoms sector – and affordable for citizens of developing countries – biometric identification technology has found its way into the hands of everyday people.
  • New tech startup, Humaniq, which is powered by blockchain technology, is hoping to solve this problem by providing an easy-to-use interface that can be understood by anyone, regardless of language or educational background.
  • If just a fraction of the market could be replaced with peer-to-peer transactions and cryptocurrencies there could be huge potential benefits: smart power grids, devices connected to the Internet of Things that automatically pay off bills, no more human error, and most importantly, new opportunities for the developing world.

The underdeveloped world is home to over two billion unbanked people, many of which lack basic formal identification and cannot acquire finance through l…
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