Russia’s Gazprombank debuts Bitcoin trading in Switzerland

Gazprombank Switzerland

The Switzerland-based branch of a major Russian bank has also joined OpenVASP. Gazprombank Switzerland, a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in Russia, has piloted its Bitcoin (BTC) transaction service following regulatory approval by Swiss regulators. According to a Nov. 19 announcement, Gazprombank will provide its new cryptocurrency solution in collaboration with its long-running partners like fintech firm Avaloq and crypto custody provider Metaco. Gazprombank Switzerland CEO Roman Abdulin said that the new service intends to make crypto transactions “as easy as transactions with traditional assets,” stating: “Digital assets…

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PayPal CEO: Our platform will ‘significantly bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies’

PayPal cryptocurrency wallet

PayPal’s chief executive believes cryptocurrencies are on the verge of mainstream adoption as more businesses and consumers flock to “digital payments and digital forms of currency.” In an interview with CNBC, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital forms of payments. PayPal wants to be at the forefront of the ongoing digital transformation. Schulman said the “use of cash has declined precipitously” amid the pandemic, adding that “40 to 70% of consumers no longer want to handle cash.” PayPal is not just making it…

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Bitcoin price doubles since the halving, with just 3.4M Bitcoin left for buyers

Bitcoin statistics

The price of BTC has more than doubled since the Bitcoin’s third block reward halving in May. To be precise, BTC has gained 110%, with prices rallying from $8,566 on May 11 to test $18,000 as of this writing. According to report from crypto analytics firm Chainalysis, levels of liquidity and exchange flows have changed dramatically since the halving. The firm identifies illiquid, or investor-held Bitcoin, as “wallets that send less than 25% of Bitcoin they’ve ever received,” while the remaining wallets are classed as liquid Bitcoin, or trader-held Bitcoin.…

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Japan’s megabanks to lead experiment with digital yen

Japonsko ulice

Japan’s three largest banks, as part of a group of 30 private sector actors, are set to collaborate on an experiment with a digital yen. The group consists of banks, various Japanese brokerages, utility and telecom firms and retailers, according to a Reuters report. For the purposes of the experiment, the private banks will be responsible for issuing the currency, although the prospect of other actors becoming involved in issuance has not been ruled out, according to the chair of the new group, Hiromi Yamaoka. Yamaoka is a former executive…

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Aerospace giant Thales uses blockchain to comply with NATO standards

blockchain

Blockchain tech is handy for complying with NATO standards in aerospace and defense. Thales, a French multinational company specializing in products and services for aerospace and defense industries, is using blockchain technology for a new management system at its production hub in Spain. According to an official announcement on Nov. 5, Thales is seeking to deploy technologies like blockchain and big data to enable the digital transformation of its defense- and aeronautics-focused production and maintenance center. As part of the initiative, the Paris-based company looks to comply with standards by…

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Verizon’s newsroom to use blockchain in bid for absolute transparency

fake news

News requires an element of trust. Blockchain may be able to help. Verizon has unveiled “a blockchain-based, open-source newsroom product designed to raise the bar for corporate accountability,” according to a public statement today. Called Full Transparency, the platform is meant to immutably document the company’s own news releases on a public blockchain. Verizon posted its first news story through the platform yesterday, according to comments sent to Cointelegraph by a Verizon representative. Alterations made after the story’s initial publication were also recorded. The representative noted, however, that “Only text…

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New Huawei smartphone will feature a hardware wallet for digital yuan

HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro

The Mate40 series will reportedly enable dual offline transactions and allow users to control anonymity. Huawei has announced that its forthcoming Mate40 smartphone series will include an integrated hardware wallet for China’s central bank digital currency, the digital yuan. This will be the first smartphone to feature such a wallet, according to an official Huawei post on Chinese microblogging website Weibo on Oct. 30. The post also promises that users will be able to control and protect their anonymity and perform dual offline transactions. These enable mobile phone users to…

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More than half of all crypto exchanges have weak or no ID verification

Average VASP KYC by country in 2020

The highest number of exchanges defying regulatory norms are in Europe. More than half of all exchanges worldwide have weak KYC identification protocols — with exchanges in Europe, the U.S. and U.K. among the worst offenders, according to a new study by blockchain analysis firm CipherTrace CipherTrace analyzed more than 800 decentralized, centralized, and automated market maker exchanges and found 56% of them did not follow KYC guidelines at all despite anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The highest number of such exchanges are in Europe — a region renowned for stricter…

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More than $1B in Bitcoin has been tokenized for DeFi

BTC locked in DeFi

Almost 100,000 Bitcoin are now tokenized on Ethereum, more than half of which have migrated over the past 30 days. More than $1 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) has now been tokenized to access decentralized finance protocols on the Ethereum network. That’s equivalent to the entire total value locked, or TVL, in DeFi less than four months ago. According to DeFi Pulse, roughly 98,300 BTC (worth $1.05 billion) has been tokenized using protocols other than Blockstream’s Lightning Network — equating to more than 12% of the DeFi’s sector’s $8.57 billion…

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The seventh annual Hackers Congress Paralelní Polis

HCPP20

The well-loved cypherpunk event is back – this time warning of the impending Digital Totality The annual Hackers Congress (HCPP) will take place on October 2nd-4th in the stunning venue of Paralelní Polis, Prague. Traditionally, it gathers freedom activists, technology geeks, artists, and scientists. Every HCPP has a current topic – a provocative idea behind it. As it usually explores the binding constraints of global political and economic systems, this year’s manifesto states, “2020: a year of Digital Totality.” The event will feature opinions by experts on how society can…

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Etherum Fees Double In a Week As DeFi Heats Up

ethereum fees

The average fee for transactions on Ethereum has reached its second-highest level ever, after setting the record earlier this month. Ethereum fees remain at historically elevated levels, as miners scramble to add capacity and profit from record-breaking network activity levels. Average transaction fees on the Ethereum network have more than doubled since last week, rising to $11.61 on September 17 and maintaining a streak of prices above $2 that’s now lasted for more than a month, far longer than any previous stretch at those levels. The Ethereum blockchain hash rate—the amount…

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The Bahamas will launch a digital Central Bank ‘Sand Dollar’ in October

Bahamas

The Bahamas is gunning to become the first country in the world to roll-out a state-backed virtual currency nationwide, and has announced it will launch a central bank-issued cryptocurrency during October. The assistant manager of eSolutions at the Central Bank of The Bahamas, Chaozhen Chen, told Bloomberg that the digital currency, dubbed ‘Sand Dollars’, is intended to drive greater financial inclusion among the remote islands within the archipelago nation. “A lot of residents in those more remote islands don’t have access to digital payment infrastructure or banking infrastructure. We really…

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DoJ Aims to Seize 280 Cryptocurrency Accounts Used by Hackers

FBI DoJ

Complaint details collaboration with China to funnel $250m in stolen funds as part of state-sponsored attacks. The U.S. government aims to seize control of 280 illegal cryptocurrency accounts it claims were used by North Korean state-sponsored attackers in their efforts to hack cryptocurrency exchanges and funnel hundreds of millions in stolen funds through a Chinese money-laundering network. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a civil forfeiture complaint against North Korea Thursday as part of a broader effort to shut down that it said were state-sponsored cyberattacks on currency exchanges…

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China’s Blockchain Service Network to launch stablecoin support in 2021

China’s Blockchain Service Network

China’s national blockchain project BSN could be the best fit for the digital yuan. China’s nationwide blockchain project, the Blockchain Service Network, or BSN, will be integrating stablecoin support in 2021. Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology, a major tech company involved in the BSN development, told Cointelegraph that the project will soon start integrating stablecoins. Piloted in late 2019, China’s BSN is a state-backed initiative that intends to support medium-sized businesses in building and deploying blockchain applications. The exec explained that stablecoins will be used as payment for…

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Russia’s New Crypto Analytics System to Track Dash and Monero

Crypto Analytics System

Dubbed “Transparent Blockchain,” Russia’s new crypto analytics system is designed to fight illicit activity related to crypto. A major financial watchdog in Russia is developing a new cryptocurrency analytics tool to trace major cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) and privacy coins. Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service, a federal service combating money laundering and terrorist financing, is reportedly planning to build a new analytics platform for tracking cryptocurrency transactions via artificial intelligence. Dubbed “Transparent Blockchain,” the new system is designed to track the movement of digital financial assets and identify crypto service…

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