BlockTribune https://blocktribune.com All the News that's fit to Mine Tue, 23 Jul 2019 09:31:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Crypto Trading App Robinhood Now Worth $7.6B After Latest Funding Round https://blocktribune.com/crypto-trading-app-robinhood-now-worth-7-6b-after-latest-funding-round/ Tue, 23 Jul 2019 09:15:38 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=66004 Commission-free crypto investing app Robinhood has raised $323 million in its recent Series E financing round led by DST Global, with participation from Ribbit Capital, NEA, Sequoia, and Thrive Capital.

Robinhood offers a smartphone mobile app that allows individuals to invest in public companies and exchange-traded funds (ETF) listed on US stock exchanges without paying a commission.

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Commission-free crypto investing app Robinhood has raised $323 million in its recent Series E financing round led by DST Global, with participation from Ribbit Capital, NEA, Sequoia, and Thrive Capital.

Robinhood offers a smartphone mobile app that allows individuals to invest in public companies and exchange-traded funds (ETF) listed on US stock exchanges without paying a commission. Its subsidiary, Robinhood Crypto, offers services for buying, selling, and storing major cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

The latest funding, which puts Robinhood’s valuation at $7.6 billion, will be used to expand its business and offer new financial services.

“We’re focused on building products and services that expand access to our financial system,” the company said in a blog post. “Since May of last year, we’ve launched our own clearing system, Clearing by Robinhood; rolled out a new Robinhood Gold experience including Nasdaq Level 2 Market Data; and introduced multi-leg options strategies. We also acquired Robinhood Snacks to bring people digestible financial news; grew our management team, including leaders for operations and finance; and expanded Robinhood Crypto to more than 30 states.”

According to news outlet The Information, Robinhoood may also be planning to raise another round soon, which would potentially balloon the company’s valuation to $10 billion.

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Crypto Startup Circle Receives Bermuda Business License https://blocktribune.com/crypto-startup-circle-receives-bermuda-business-license/ Tue, 23 Jul 2019 09:10:58 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=66013 Crypto finance firm Circle has expanded its international digital asset offerings with the launch of a new subsidiary in Bermuda.

Founded in 2013, Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company. The company is one of the most well-funded blockchain startups, with investors including Goldman Sachs Group and Baidu.

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Crypto finance firm Circle has expanded its international digital asset offerings with the launch of a new subsidiary in Bermuda.

Founded in 2013, Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company. The company is one of the most well-funded blockchain startups, with investors including Goldman Sachs Group and Baidu. It offers four products: Circle Invest, which allows users to easily invest in crypto; Circle Pay, which allows users to send money like a text; Circle Trade, the company’s OTC trading desk; and Poloniex, which allows users to buy and sell on its active crypto exchanges.

Circle announced in a blog post that it is the first major crypto finance company to receive a Class F Digital Assets Business Act of 2018 (DABA) license, a Bermuda regulatory framework that covers the operation of payment services, custody, exchange, trading and other financial services that use digital assets.

The DABA license will reportedly enable Circle to deliver new innovations to global customers while also staying true to their commitment to compliant, well-supervised operations and customer protections.

“We plan to serve non-US Poloniex customers with our new Bermuda operations, and we expect to offer many new digital asset services from Bermuda over time,” Circle said. “We will also continue our existing operations in the US, Ireland, the UK, and Hong Kong.”

The Bermuda expansion will allow non-US customers to use Poloniex through the company’s new Circle International Bermuda entity. According to the firm, this transition will open the door for non-US customers to access an exciting roadmap of new capabilities they plan to release in the coming months, including new crypto asset listings, advanced trading products, and other innovations. The company, however, noted that they would not be able to offer many of these new services to US persons at the moment due to regulatory restrictions.

“We’re excited to be opening a new office in Bermuda,” the company said. “We plan to grow our Bermuda staff to more than 30 people during the next two years, with roles including general management, risk, compliance, finance, trading, and customer operations.”

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Auto Giant Daimler Teams With Blockchain Startup Riddle&Code On Hardware Car Wallet https://blocktribune.com/auto-giant-daimler-teams-with-blockchain-startup-riddlecode-on-hardware-car-wallet/ Tue, 23 Jul 2019 09:05:30 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=66009 Daimler AG, the German car manufacturer famous for its Mercedes-Benz brand, has teamed with European blockchain interface company Riddle&Code to develop a hardware car wallet.

In a press release, Riddle&Code said that the hardware car wallet they are developing would enable a wide variety of use cases,

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Daimler AG, the German car manufacturer famous for its Mercedes-Benz brand, has teamed with European blockchain interface company Riddle&Code to develop a hardware car wallet.

In a press release, Riddle&Code said that the hardware car wallet they are developing would enable a wide variety of use cases, including the real-time exchange of data between vehicles and smart-city environments, the operation of autonomous vehicles, and forwarding accident information to authorities and insurance providers.

“This is a prime example of a global market leader betting on European industry collaboration and DLT-based innovation,” said Alexander Koppel, CEO and co-founder of Riddle&Code. “A new generation of open mobility services will create new business models, and Riddle&Code is excited to be at the heart of it with our hardware-based car wallet. It shows an ability to continue to offer disruptive value-added services creating new marketplaces for mobility, energy and finance.”

The hardware car wallet, which is part of the the Daimler-led Mobility Blockchain Platform, is built around Riddle&Code’s Secure Element 2.0 that provides a protected blockchain identity to vehicles. Merging these with state-issued vehicle identity (e.g. registration) reportedly creates unique and secure ledger transactions.

“Autonomous cars must behave consistently to be trusted. Cars are already computing devices,” said Tom Fürstner, CTO and co-founder of Riddle&Code. “A secure identity ensures that the right authorities have approved code executed inside vehicles and the trustworthiness of data exchanged. Riddle&Code secures this with its cryptographic hardware and uses ledgers to turn automobiles into future market places.”

Daimler, a member of Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, has already been using blockchain technology in other domains. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz Cars partnered with enterprise contract management solutions provider Icertis to develop a blockchain prototype that it claims will bring more transparency in complex supply chains.

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India Has No Seperate Law To Ban Cryptocurrency – Indian Minister Anurag Thakur https://blocktribune.com/india-has-no-seperate-law-to-ban-cryptocurrency-indian-minister-anurag-thakur/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 10:15:02 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65939 Anurag Thakur, India’s Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said that the government has not prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies in India.

Thakur, who was responding to a query by Telangana Rashtra Samithi Rajya Sabha MP Dharmapuri Srinivas in Parliament, said that there is no separate law for cryptocurrencies in the country,

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Anurag Thakur, India’s Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said that the government has not prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies in India.

Thakur, who was responding to a query by Telangana Rashtra Samithi Rajya Sabha MP Dharmapuri Srinivas in Parliament, said that there is no separate law for cryptocurrencies in the country, but all concerned government departments and law enforcement agencies, such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), enforcement directorate and income tax authorities take action as per the relevant existing laws.

“Similarly, police/courts take action on IPC offences,” Thakur said. “Further, in view of the risks and dangers associated with cryptocurrencies, government and RBI have been issuing advisories, press releases and circulars to the public.”

Earlier this year, it was reported that the “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019″ draft was being circulated to relevant government departments. The bill, which was submitted by the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) led by the Indian Department of Economic Affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, seeks to completely ban the use of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange, store of value, and/or unit of account in the country. In addition to making it completely illegal, the bill makes holding of cryptocurrencies a non-bailable offense.

According to Thakur, the IMC is examining all issues including the pros and cons of the introduction of an official digital currency in India, saying that “the department is pursuing the matter with due caution.”

“It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations,” Thakur said.

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Fidelity’s Crypto-Focused Spin-Off Applies For Trust License In New York https://blocktribune.com/fidelitys-crypto-focused-spin-off-applies-for-trust-license-in-new-york/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 10:10:01 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65945 Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS), the digital currency wing of US financial services giant Fidelity, has reportedly applied for a trust license at the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Block reported that the trust license will allow FDAS to operate as a Limited Purpose Trust Company and provide crypto custodial services in New York.

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Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS), the digital currency wing of US financial services giant Fidelity, has reportedly applied for a trust license at the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Block reported that the trust license will allow FDAS to operate as a Limited Purpose Trust Company and provide crypto custodial services in New York.

Arthur Long, a lawyer from Gibson Dunn, told the publication that the trust license is “more expansive” than the NYDFS BitLicense, a New York State license for crypto firms.

“A trust license allows a firm to operate a broader swath of services in financial markets, such as financial advice, hinting at far reaching ambitions,” Long said. “The process of securing the heavily-guarded green-light from the NYDFS often takes half a year. Any bank or trust company is going to have to go through a substantial process so that the regulators understand the business.”

The news came after Fidelity announced plans to offer over-the-counter (OTC) trades for bitcoin, which will be operated by FDAS. Fidelity said that the OTC platform will only target institutional customers and not retail investors like cryptocurrency trading platforms E*trade and Robinhood.

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Blockchain Telecom Solutions Planned By KPMG, Microsoft, TOMIA, And R3 https://blocktribune.com/blockchain-telecom-solutions-planned-by-kpmg-microsoft-tomia-and-r3/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 10:05:46 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65934 KPMG, a professional service company and one of the Big Four auditors, has teamed with software companies TOMIA, Microsoft, and R3 to create a blockchain-based settlement network for telecom companies.

In a press release, KPMG said that they are developing a blockchain solution to combat the cross-border and cross-network settlement challenges among telecom organizations that will multiply with 5G connectivity.

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KPMG, a professional service company and one of the Big Four auditors, has teamed with software companies TOMIA, Microsoft, and R3 to create a blockchain-based settlement network for telecom companies.

In a press release, KPMG said that they are developing a blockchain solution to combat the cross-border and cross-network settlement challenges among telecom organizations that will multiply with 5G connectivity. The companies intend to use smart contracts to reduce disputes between carriers and mobile operators.

“KPMG is working with TOMIA, Microsoft and R3 to develop a blockchain solution that is intended to streamline the transactional process from a multi-week to multi-day process by saving time on settlement and dispute management, increase transparency, and prevent hefty costs trickling down to consumers – making the anticipated 5G switch and the resulting processes as smooth as possible,” KMPG said.

According to the release, the smart contracts they are developing would include the right rates, destination and bilateral deal information. Such smart contracts will reportedly ensure a significant drop in disputes between telecom companies. It added that blockchain technology can also build in invoice reconciliation solutions to tackle issues about rates and amount.

“Fewer settlement disputes, lower costs for carriers, and more intuitive processes can be anticipated,” KMPG said. “And, as 5G emerges, better preparedness to support exponentially rising data usage along with the increase of distributed data across hotspots and networks. The automation and efficiency characteristics of blockchain will reduce the need to outsource manual processes, and in turn, reduce costs associated with the settlement process. Blockchain, ultimately, can proactively combat the increased expenses that would otherwise fall on the consumer to cover.”

Under the partnership, KPMG would handle the design and execution lead, Microsoft will be the principal architect, while R3’s Corda acts as the backbone of the operation, and TOMIA brings a layer of telecom expertise through representing 40-odd global operators.

“We are thrilled to be working with other leaders in this industry to deliver this solution, and are actively exploring additional blockchain solutions to support telecom enterprises with the emergence of 5G, such as protecting consumer information and improving industrial automation with the Internet of Things,” said Arun Ghosh, Blockchain Leader at KPMG. “We look forward to sharing new blockchain use cases in the months to come.”

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Anchorage Subsidiary Receives Approval To Launch Crypto Custody Service In South Dakota https://blocktribune.com/anchorage-subsidiary-receives-approval-to-launch-crypto-custody-service-in-south-dakota/ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:30:09 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65789 Crypto firm Anchorage has announced that its new subsidiary Anchorage Trust Company has received a license from the state of South Dakota.

Founded in 2017, Anchorage claims to be the first crypto-native digital asset custodian for institutional investors. The Anchorage platform is engineered to help institutions better safeguard their investments while getting more out of their assets,

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Crypto firm Anchorage has announced that its new subsidiary Anchorage Trust Company has received a license from the state of South Dakota.

Founded in 2017, Anchorage claims to be the first crypto-native digital asset custodian for institutional investors. The Anchorage platform is engineered to help institutions better safeguard their investments while getting more out of their assets, and offer services that investors expect from a traditional custodian. The firm was recently included in the Facebook-led Libra Association.

In a press release, the company said that Anchorage Trust Company, which will be headquartered in Sioux Falls, received its trust company charter from the South Dakota Division of Banking on July 12, allowing it to exercise fiduciary powers pursuant to state law. The South Dakota Division of Banking will be tasked to monitor the company’s finances, operations, and compliance in the exercise of fiduciary powers.

“Our Division of Banking should serve as a model for how governments can study and learn about digital currencies, while at the same time allowing pioneering companies like Anchorage to innovate and try out new products and services,” said Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota. “Congratulations to Anchorage, and welcome to South Dakota.”

The new subsidiary, which claims to be the first Qualified Custodian that does not use hot wallets or cold storage, will reportedly offer a unique custody solution. It will allow clients to use keys for transactions, audits, staking, voting and other activities in real time without removing assets from cold storage.

Nathan McCauley, Co-founder and CEO of Anchorage, said that South Dakota has struck the right balance by developing a strong regulatory regime, while also encouraging growth in the trust industry through the adoption of innovative trust laws.

“We are honored to contribute to South Dakota’s legacy of innovation by providing institutional investors with a first-of-its-kind regulated entity,” McCauley said. “We believe regulated entities are necessary for a healthy crypto financial system, and we are proud that Anchorage Trust Company enables clients to hold their assets in legal, regulated custody that enables active network participation. With Anchorage Trust Company, institutional investors no longer have to choose between qualified custody and best-in-class security.”

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Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative Launches First Vehicle Identity Standard On Blockchain https://blocktribune.com/mobility-open-blockchain-initiative-launches-first-vehicle-identity-standard-on-blockchain/ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:20:03 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65772 The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has launched a vehicle identity (VID) standard on blockchain.

MOBI is a nonprofit foundation formed to accelerate adoption and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for the benefit of the mobility industry,

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The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has launched a vehicle identity (VID) standard on blockchain.

MOBI is a nonprofit foundation formed to accelerate adoption and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for the benefit of the mobility industry, consumers, and communities. It is an open, inclusive body that acts as a ‘trusted convener’ and partner to entities in the emerging ecosystem of pay for use, on demand, connected, and increasingly autonomous mobility services. The organization includes automobile giants BMW, Ford, General Motors and Groupe Renault. It also includes companies outside auto manufacturing, such as Bosch, Blockchain at Berkeley, Hyperledger, Fetch.ai, IBM and IOTA.

MOBI announced that its member-led Vehicle Identification Working Group created and launched the industry’s first VID standard to help lower carbon emissions, improve road safety, reduce traffic congestion, and support a host of other socially desirable outcomes.

“A blockchain identity standard could enable a diverse suite of mobility applications that result in more efficient supply-chains, lower-cost financing, and safer roads,” said Chris Ballinger, MOBI’s Founder and CEO. “We hope these standards will ultimately make urban environments greener, safer, and more livable by enabling usage-based payment for congestion, pollution, and infrastructure.”

According to the group, the first standard focuses on the “birth” of the vehicle as a minimum representation of that vehicle’s creation.

“A standard for Digital Vehicle Identity will be the cornerstone of a new realm of blockchain-based solutions for the mobility ecosystem,” explains Sebastien Henot, Chair of the VID Working Group, and Renault’s Silicon Valley Innovation Lab Manager of Business Innovation. “The creation of a blockchain ‘digital twin’ will enable connected vehicles to securely identify themselves, share data, and transact with other vehicles, infrastructure, and their environment.”

Subsequent VID phases will reportedly include other important information including product definition, ownership history, and key event records. All vehicle’s history and data usage will be stored in an immutable master record.

“The real power of blockchain comes from enabling networks of people and things to transact with each other without intermediaries,” Ford’s Alan Gordon, co-chair of MOBI’s VID Working Group states. “A crucial first step to enabling these networks is for participants to be able to identify each other in a way that everyone understands. Providing this identity for vehicles is the goal of the first phase of the VID standard.”

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Horizon Blockchain Games Raises $3.75M USD In Seed Funding https://blocktribune.com/horizon-blockchain-games-raises-3-75m-usd-in-seed-funding/ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 09:10:47 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65776 Video game studio and blockchain infrastructure company Horizon Blockchain Games has raised $3.75 million in a seed funding round led by Initialized Capital, the venture fund of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Other investors include Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Digital Currency Group, and Inovia Capital.

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Video game studio and blockchain infrastructure company Horizon Blockchain Games has raised $3.75 million in a seed funding round led by Initialized Capital, the venture fund of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Other investors include Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Digital Currency Group, and Inovia Capital.

Founded in 2018, Horizon creates games for the new era enabled by blockchain technology. The company has focused on creating a high-quality, Hearthstone style online trading card game on iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and Windows. Horizon is set to enter open beta with its debut title, SkyWeaver, a digital card game, in Fall 2019, along with its crypto-arcade platform and wallet, Arcadeum.

“Blockchain technology has given rise to the next generation of the Web: the Internet of value,” said Peter Kieltyka, co-founder and CEO of Horizon Blockchain Games. “This new Web marks the transition from applications as networks to applications as economies that share and exchange value with their users and co-creators, providing revenue sharing at a protocol level. At Horizon, we’re passionate about giving games blockchain super-powers by offering our players the freedom to own and trade their digital items across an open Internet.”

Horizon’s online game SkyWeaver innovates on the popular trading card genre by blending accessible yet deep game design with the freedom for players to truly own their digital cards and securely trade them on the ethereum blockchain network.

“SkyWeaver allows players to win cards by competing and ascending the ranks of its worldwide leaderboard,” the company said. “Players can then play with, trade, give away, or sell their cards on the Ethereum network, for real-world value. SkyWeaver will allow cross-platform play and will launch with more than 300 cards and offer players unique playstyle classes to choose from called Prisms.”

The firm’s crypto-arcade platform, Arcadeum, will provide players with secure wallets to store their SkyWeaver assets in addition to assets from other blockchain games. The open-source platform will also offer third-party developers the opportunity to bring their own blockchain games to the new web.

Ohanian said that they invested in Horizon because not only do they have a long term future vision with a desire to make a positive impact on society, they are a far-seeing video games company, making engaging experiences that will give players all the benefits of digital and physical worlds colliding.

“Peter and the Horizon team have impressed me as a company with great passion to make blockchain meaningful for games,” Ohanian said.

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USD-Pegged Stablecoin Announced By Huobi, Stable Universal And Paxos https://blocktribune.com/usd-pegged-stablecoin-announced-by-huobi-stable-universal-and-paxos/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:15:38 +0000 https://blocktribune.com/?p=65737 Crypto exchange operator Huobi Group has partnered with crypto startup Stable Universal Limited and crypto custodian Paxos Trust Company to launch a new US dollar-backed stablecoin.

The stablecoin, called HUSD Token, is designed as an ERC-20 token and will be issued by Stable Universal Limited.

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Crypto exchange operator Huobi Group has partnered with crypto startup Stable Universal Limited and crypto custodian Paxos Trust Company to launch a new US dollar-backed stablecoin.

The stablecoin, called HUSD Token, is designed as an ERC-20 token and will be issued by Stable Universal Limited. The dollars backing HUSD Token will be held in reserve by Paxos, a New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS)-regulated custodian, to ensure full backing of every token and regulatory oversight. On a monthly basis, an unnamed US-based auditing firm will perform an attestation to ensure USD reserves match the supply of HUSD Token.

The stablecoin will initially be listed by digital asset trading platform Huobi Global, with plans to list the token on other exchanges, wallets and cryptocurrency platforms in the future. Users will also be able get HUSD Token 1:1 for USD through Stable Universal by opening an account on www.stcoins.com.

“In today’s cryptocurrency markets, traders always need access to a safe, trustworthy stablecoin that is fully redeemable and limits risk exposure,” said Frank Zhang, CEO of Stable Universal. “HUSD Token is reliable and designed to be efficient and simple – we believe it’s the best fiat on-ramp and will be a game-changer in the space. We’re excited that Huobi will list HUSD Token, allowing us to build liquidity quickly with their massive customer base. Combined with the sterling reputation of Paxos, we are offering a product with the highest level of oversight and protection.”

Huobi said that the launch will allow them to transition from its current HUSD system, a solution that allows multiple stablecoin denominations to trade as one, to the new HUSD Token.

“Providing better options to our users has always been one of our biggest priorities at Huobi,” said Livio Weng, CEO of Huobi Global. “We are proud to partner with Paxos and Stable Universal on this pioneering project and look forward to bringing the new HUSD Token to more than ten million users. It is truly exciting to see the HUSD project grow from a stablecoin solution to a stablecoin in its own right.”

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