Treat Bitcoin Like Switzerland Does, Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tells Central Bank

Zimbabwe’s new finance minister said the country should embrace Bitcoin at state level in a manner similar to Switzerland, local media outlet IT Web Africa reports Monday, September 17. Citing the Swiss central bank’s “investment and understanding” in Bitcoin, Mthuli Ncube said he would call on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to follow in its footsteps. “Zimbabwe should be investing in understanding innovations and often central banks are too slow in investing in these technologies,” the publication quotes him as saying. “But there are other countries which are moving…

Indian Central Bank Argues Cryptos ‘Not Valid’ as Currency in Court Battle

The Reserve Bank of India argued Wednesday that bitcoin cannot be recognized in the country before the nation’s Supreme Court. In a case that has been brought by a number of exchanges against the Indian central bank for blocking their access to banking services five months ago, the RBI stated in an affidavit that current legislation means that cryptos cannot be considered either currency or money. The RBI stated: “It is submitted that crypto-currencies fall short of being true currencies. It is further submitted that RBI does not consider virtual…

Mexican State Bank Announces Stricter Rules for Crypto Exchanges

All crypto exchanges and banks providing crypto services in Mexico will now be obliged to receive a permit from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), according to a September 10 circular published in the official daily of the Mexican government, the Diario Oficial de la Federacion. The letter called “General provisions on operations related to electronic payment funds” states that Banxico is responsible for issuing crypto-related permits. To get one, a company dealing in digital currencies must provide a detailed business plan complete with a description of their operations, the commissions…

Saudi British Bank Joins Consortium R3’s Global Blockchain Ecosystem

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the first Saudi bank to join enterprise software firm and global banking consortium R3’s blockchain ecosystem, local news outlet Trade Arabia reports today, September 11. SABB enjoys a strong reputation, having reportedly been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for the 10th consecutive year, “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank” in the Middle East for 2018, as well as Saudi’s “2018 Best Trade Finance Bank” for the 2nd year running. The bank joins R3’s efforts to…

South Africa’s Central Bank Wins Award for its Ethereum Payments Blockchain

Central Banking, a global central banking forum, has bestowed its FinTech & RegTech Award for Best Distributed Ledger Initiative to South Africa’s central bank for its successful Project Khokha, which successfully used an Ethereum blockchain platform to process interbank payments and settlements. The test demonstrated that distributed ledger technology (DLT) can enable digital as opposed to analog transaction processing, offering significant improvements for global transactions. Central Banking noted on its website that the test’s success demonstrates the need for regulators to address banks’ security and privacy concerns to improve global…

Abra Supports SEPA Bank Transfers, Enabling Crypto Purchases With Fiat

Abra, the all-in-one digital wallet and cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its support for Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) bank accounts. European users can now enable direct wire transfers from European banks to purchase any of Abra’s 28 available cryptocurrencies. Founded in 2014, Abra is working toward providing users with maximum privacy and control. The application is non-custodial, and the wallet’s private keys are never held by anyone other than the actual user. Abra employs no middlemen, ensuring customer funds are never touched, managed or viewed by outside parties. Past and…

Chinese Central Bank Launches Testing Phase of Trade Finance Blockchain Platform

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has officially launched the testing phase of a blockchain trade finance platform, local news outlet Shanghai Securities News reported September 4. The Shenzhen Central Sub-branch of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank of the People’s Republic of China, has entered the trial phase of the so-called “Bay Area Trade Finance Blockchain Platform” earlier than scheduled. The platform is aimed at conducting trade and financing activities, such as accounts receivable and trade financing. At the same time, the platform provides a regulatory system…

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China To Embrace Blockchain Technology

The Chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has said that the bank will focus on blockchain technology development, BiaNews reported September 1. Founded in 1984, the ICBC is reportedly the largest bank in China with over 5,000 corporate and 530 million personal customers. In 2017, the bank focused on the construction of “intelligent banking” and “accelerated deployment in the field of financial technologies.” The ICBC Chairman Yi Huiman reportedly said that the financial institution will focus on innovations in cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence (AI),…

Deutsche Bank Institutional Trader Joins Japanese Crypto Startup

A former Deutsche Bank trader has joined Japanese crypto exchange-startup FXcoin Ltd., Bloomberg reports September 3. According to the announcement, Yasuo Matsuda, an institutional trader from Deutsche Bank, will join FXcoin as a senior crypto strategist starting in September 2018. The strategist position includes providing analysis of crypto markets and daily reports on the market’s activity. The newly appointed 49-year old Matsuda worked as foreign-exchange dealer at the German bank from 2012 until this June. FXcoin Ltd., founded in September 2017, is currently seeking regulatory approval from Japan’s financial regulator…

World Bank Bond Blockchain Offers Key Insights

Michael J. Casey is the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers. Cryptocurrency purists often dismiss private blockchains as overly expensive undertakings for projects that are better served with a traditional database. Yet these distributed ledger solutions keep being rolled out by enterprises in various settings – mostly still in experimental phases, but, increasingly, with real money at stake. And while they fall…