In this issue:
According to a press release issued late last week, U.K.-based firm Instant Property Network recently completed a successful simulated trial of a blockchain solution for property sales transactions, powered by the Corda blockchain. A Bloomberg report stated that 40 companies were involved in testing the new platform, including two major global banks. The press release estimated that if the efficiencies demonstrated by the trial were applied to the global property market, it could result in annual savings of approximately $160 billion.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has begun Phase II of an electrical grid security project that leverages a patent pending blockchain solution to increase cybersecurity in power plants. DOE is working with Colorado-based firm Taekion on the project. According to another recent report, Bitfury and Longenesis have teamed to launch a “blockchain-based consent management system for the healthcare industry” that seeks to improve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other applicable laws. Also this week, the World Economic Forum published an article advocating blockchain as a potential solution for limiting waste and promoting transparency and efficiency in the construction industry.
Late last week, a major global technology firm, a major U.S. bank, a global news organization and a global consulting firm all had patents granted for blockchain-based business solutions. The patents address data management for self-driving vehicles, identity management and validation, authentication of content provider data, and blockchain interoperability.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
- SEARCH ACUMEN PARTICIPATES IN FIRST PROPERTY DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY TRIAL
- Mishcon Handles UK’s 1st Blockchain Residential Property Deal
- Barclays, RBS Join Blockchain Trial to Speed Property Sales
- NETL-MANAGED PROJECT TO HELP PROTECT MODERN ELECTRIC GRID FROM CYBERATTACKS
- New Bitfury Joint Project to Manage Medical Data Permissions With Blockchain Tech
- Eliminating waste at scale – opportunities for blockchain
- IBM Patents Blockchain Implementation to Manage Data For Autonomous Vehicles
- Mainstream Media Corp. Thomson Reuters Patents Blockchain System for Identity Management
- Capital One Presents Blockchain Patent for Content Validation
- Global Consulting Company Accenture Patents Two Solutions for Blockchain Interoperability
Late last week, Canadian cryptocurrency platform Coinsquare announced its plans to launch eCAD, the first stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the Canadian dollar. Similar to most stablecoins, each unit of eCAD cryptocurrency will be backed by a Canadian dollar held in a traditional bank account. In Japan, the fifth-largest bank in the world announced plans to launch its own stablecoin that would be backed 1:1 by Japanese yen. According to reports, the bank is seeking to design functionality that would allow bank customers to use an app to automatically convert bank deposits into the stablecoin.
Earlier this week, Bitstamp, Europe’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, became the 19th company to receive a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). This week DFS also rejected the BitLicense application of Bittrex, a major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange based in Seattle. According to reports, DFS denied the application based on deficiencies in Bittrex’s capital and anti-money laundering requirements.
This week Coinbase announced the launch of Coinbase Card, a card that looks and is used like a traditional debit card in point-of-sale transactions, but that is funded by customers’ Coinbase account balances. According to a Coinbase blog post, the Coinbase card is available to Coinbase customers in the United Kingdom and will be available soon in the European Union. In a final note related to the cryptocurrency exchange industry, the court-appointed monitor of the defunct Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX recently recommended that the exchange should be transitioned from restructuring to bankruptcy proceedings.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
- Coinsquare Announces the Pre-Launch of eCAD™, Canada’s First Fiat-Backed Stablecoin
- World’s Fifth Largest Bank MUFG to Put Stablecoin to Practical Use in 2019
- Bitstamp Granted Virtual Currency License by New York State DFS
- Bittrex virtual currency license rejected by New York financial regulator
- NY DFS Rejection Letter – Bittrex
- Spend your crypto instantly with Coinbase Card
- Quadriga Should Shift to Bankruptcy Proceedings, Monitor Says
Late last week, a leading trading services firm and Templum Inc. announced a strategic partnership that allows Templum to expand into the public markets and move toward developing a fully regulated exchange to list and trade digital securities. Subject to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval, the new public exchange would be SEC-registered and operated by the trading services firm.
On the international front, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission issued a policy statement summarizing the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to security token offerings (STOs). The new guidance offers companies that plan to market or sell STOs in Hong Kong a regulatory framework to evaluate whether security tokens qualify as “securities” under the guidance. The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) also made news this week with its announcement that financial firms can now list digital or tokenized corporate and convertible bonds, asset-backed and derivative securities, and open-ended and closed-ended funds on its platform. According to reports, membership in the GSX is also now open to licensed financial services firms outside the European Economic Area.
In Bermuda, the Ministry of Finance reportedly approved Velocity Ledger Holdings Limited (VLHL) to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO). The ICO will fund operations for VLHL’s two subsidiaries, VL Financial and Velocity Ledger Technology Limited (VL Tech). VL Financial operates as a digital asset exchange in Bermuda that supports asset-backed investment and real estate tokens, while VL Tech is a private blockchain-enabled platform that operates as Software-as-a-Service. The ICO is expected to commence this month.
For more information, please check out the following links:
- Miami International Holdings and Templum Enter into Strategic Partnership to List and Trade Digital Securities on a MIAX Exchange
- Hong Kong’s SFC Issues Policy Statement on Security Token Offerings
- Gibraltar Stock Exchange Now Allows Listing of Tokenized Securities
- Velocity Ledger Holdings Limited Receives Approval for Public ICO from Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance
By: Jordan R. Silversmith
Earlier this week, a U.S. district court in California sentenced a bitcoin dealer to two years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $823,357 in illicit profits from an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange. Jacob Burrell Campos, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty last October, admitting that he operated a bitcoin exchange without registering with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Treasury Department and without implementing the required anti-money laundering safeguards. Meanwhile, on April 10, Texas regulators issued an emergency cease and desist order against a cryptocurrency and foreign currency trading platform. According to the regulators’ order, FxBitGlobe, which markets itself as an investment company, published forged government documents, used a fake address and falsely claimed to be a registered broker-dealer.
On Wednesday, Singapore authorities charged two men for promoting cryptocurrency fraud scheme OneCoin. The two men reportedly engaged in, among other things, incorporating a subsidiary to promote OneCoin and signing up new members and taking in investments in exchange for educational courses and OneCoin tokens. Various governments worldwide, including the United States, have issued warnings against OneCoin. In South Korea, officials recently used artificial intelligence to arrest suspects behind a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. The scheme reportedly stole 21.2 billion won ($18.3 million) over six months in 2018, but it came to an end when the Seoul Special Judicial Police Bureau for Public Safety trained robots to nab participants in the scheme by using keywords and other clues. And in Japan, a local news outlet reported that G20 member countries will meet on June 8 and 9 in Fukuoka, Japan, to discuss international anti-money laundering regulation with a focus on creating a framework to combat cross-border, international crypto-enabled money laundering and terrorism financing.
A British bank recently issued a study detailing Iranian virtual currency activity and risks posed by Iran to financial institutions. The study noted that, given the current geopolitical environment and the ongoing sanctions against the Iranian government, there has been a movement by both citizens and the state toward use of virtual currency. Finally, a report by a blockchain analytics firm provided details on a recent alleged hack of CoinBene, a large cryptocurrency exchange. According to the report, hackers redirected $105 million in cryptocurrencies from CoinBene to three different addresses using a pattern that indicates an attempt to obfuscate the source of funds and the identity of the alleged hackers.
For more information on these developments, please follow these links:
- Bitcoin Dealer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison and Ordered to Forfeit Ill-Gotten Gains
- Texas Regulator Issues Cease and Desist Order to Crypto Investment Firm FxBitGlobe
- Singapore Police Secure First Convictions Against OneCoin MLM Scheme Agents
- Artificial Intelligence Helps South Korea Police End $18 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme
- G20 to Establish Crypto AML and Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations in June: Report
- Iranian Virtual Currency Activity and Risks to Financial Institutions
- The CoinBene situation: $105 million in crypto on the move