Banking and Finance

France’s Le Maire Urges Germany to Support EU Internet Tax

France’s Le Maire Urges Germany to Support EU Internet Tax

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently commented that the trust between France and Germany will be strained if Germany fails to back the proposed EU tax on tech giants. Le Maire added that he cannot imagine that Germany will not stick to its commitments and not adopt the directive at the meeting of EU finance ministers this December. Le Maire has long backed the plan to tax tech companies such as Google and wants to put the rate at 3 percent of the total digital revenue. Source: Reuters

Singapore Uses Blockchain for Renewable Energy Trading

Singapore Uses Blockchain for Renewable Energy Trading

Utilities provider SP Group recently revealed that Singaporean companies can now buy and sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) using a blockchain-powered system. SP Group says that similar to carbon trading, the new platform allows for better transparency and lower cost since it reduces the need for a centralized entity to verify transactions, and can eventually be used for cross-border energy credit trading. Lars Kvale of APX, a global issuer of RECs, says that blockchain and DLT in the context of environmental commodity platforms can be used to establish trust relationships with upstream information sources without having to revalidate it.     […]

Recent Cyber Attack Prompt Pakistani Banks to Suspend Transactions  

Recent Cyber Attack Prompt Pakistani Banks to Suspend Transactions  

It was reported that 9 banks had already been hit by the recent wave of cyber attacks targeting Pakistan’s banking system. This has prompted a number of banks to suspend international transactions after Bank Islami had lost around Rs 2.6 million in an attack last October. Soneri Bank and JS Bank confirmed that it has suspended their services for international financial transactions and online shopping in overseas markets an indefinite period. Bank AL Habib likewise temporarily disabled their customers’ VISA Debit Card for international POS Meanwhile, StateBank of Pakistan (SBP) spokesman Abid Qamar said that the risk of cyber attack […]

Major Banks Launch Blockchain Trade Finance Platform in Hong Kong

Major Banks Launch Blockchain Trade Finance Platform in Hong Kong

HSBC, Standard Chartered and 10 other banks launched this week a blockchain-powered trade finance platform which is expected to increase the efficiency in funding the multi-trillion-dollar funding of global trade. HSBC says that the approval of trade loan applications, which usually takes more than one day, can now be done in around four hours on their eTrade Connect platform. The heavily paper-based trade finance transaction industry, which was worth around $9 trillion in 2017, is expected to benefit from blockchain technology which can reduce the risk of fraud in letters of credit (LoC) and other transactions, as well as cut […]

Pakistani Bank Suffers Cyber Attack, Denies Losing $6 Million

Pakistani Bank Suffers Cyber Attack, Denies Losing $6 Million

Karachi-based Bank Islami admitted last Sunday that its payment card system had been hit by a security breach, but denied the loss of an alleged $6 million in what is considered by the local media to be the biggest cyber-attack in the country’s history. The bank said that it detected abnormal transactions on Pakistani debit cards from outside of the country. It added that it had already returned all the funds taken from customer accounts, which is around 2.6 million rupees, and denied that the hackers were able to steal $6 million. However, the Pakistani Today newspaper is reporting that […]

China’s Biggest Newspaper Launches Blockchain Lab with Tech Company

China’s Biggest Newspaper Launches Blockchain Lab with Tech Company

The venture capital division of China’s state-backed newspaper, People’s Daily Online, has reportedly ventured into a partnership with Shenzhen’s Xunlei Limited to build a lab dedicated to research on the various application of blockchain technology. The lab, which will be a site for “technology innovation” at the People Capital’s Blockchain Research Institute, is part of an initial global partnership agreement signed by CCP’s official newspaper and Xunlei Limited last July 22. The partners also said that they will be building a “high-level industrial service platform” to organize competitions, seminars, workshops, and promote and identify startups in the blockchain industry.   […]

Paypal Invests in Lending Startup Tala

Paypal Invests in Lending Startup Tala

PayPal Inc Holdings Inc revealed last Monday that it has made a strategic investment in Tala, a fintech startup that offers micro loans to underserved consumers in emerging markets. The California-based lending firm had been serving individuals in regions including Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, and Mexico via a smartphone app. The company, which has already lent more than $500 million to customers around the world says the funding will be used to further develop its product and extend its reach. The firm uses device and behavioral data to underwrite customers and disburse loans of between $10 and $500 on mobile […]

Ateneo, MediXserve to Offer Blockchain Education Next Year

Ateneo, MediXserve to Offer Blockchain Education Next Year

Health startup MediXserve and the Ateneo de Manila university announced this week the launch of AMBERLab, the country’s first university-based blockchain education and research laboratory.   The Ateneo-MediXserve Blockchain Education and Research Laboratory will be a think tank focused on the study and application of blockchain technologies for developing countries, as well as related initiatives by the private sector. Led by Dr. Regina Estuar, the lab will not be profit-motivated, but will instead center on social good aspects, particularly with the health and agriculture sectors, among others. Source: Rappler

Blockchain Engineer Salaries Rising, Now at Par with AI Experts

Blockchain Engineer Salaries Rising, Now at Par with AI Experts

Recent statistics provided by recruitment firm Hired showed that blockchain engineers are now making around $150,000 to $175,000, despite the downturn in the cryptocurrency market. Hired adds that this salary range is fast increasing and already at par with the salaries of artificial intelligence developers, and higher than any other specialized engineering roles. In fact, Hired CEO Mehul Patel says that blockchain as a desired skill has risen to 400 percent this year alone. Job postings from companies such as Amazon, IBM, Facebook and Microsoft have also contributed to the increasing demand in blockchain experts. Source: CNBC

Top Cryptocurrencies Rise on Tether Dip

Top Cryptocurrencies Rise on Tether Dip

Major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple rose around 7 percent today as US dollar-pegged token Tether dipped to around 93 cents. The price increase follows a sharp downturn last week where the cryptocurrency market lost billions in market capitalization along with a two-day selloff in stock markets around the world. In an email this week, Charles Hayter of CryptoCompare mentioned that many have been concerned as to whether Tether is really backed by dollars, and that it is already being delisted from a number of exchanges.   Source: CNBC

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