IBM And Major Banks Blockchain Partnership Reports First Live Pilot Transactions

IBM And Major Banks Blockchain Partnership Reports First Live Pilot Transactions

IBM’s partnership with international banks to develop a Blockchain trade finance platform called Batavia has resulted in the platform’s first live pilot transactions, according to a press release published today, April 19.

IBM, the Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group, and the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) began work on the initiative last fall. Batavia works by tracking events in a product’s supply chain, while key events can prompt the execution of smart contracts that close trade agreements.

According to the announcement, the initial transactions involved sending cars from Germany to Spain and furniture production textiles from Austria to Spain.

Niko Giesber of Commerzbank said that the “joint successful live transaction demonstrates the potential of such a platform”:

“Trade data and smart payment, which is automatically triggered by the transport data, form an important basis for risk management and financing instruments and add value to every supply chain.”

Giesber adds that Batavia may look to partner with other fintech and financial institutions as they move forward with “building out of a product-ready solution.”

Earlier this week, India’s ICICI Bank put more than 250 corporate customers on its Blockchain platform, designed for domestic and international trade finance transactions.

Kraken, ShapeShift CEO Condemn New York For Unfair Cryptocurrency Business Treatment

Kraken, ShapeShift CEO Condemn New York For Unfair Cryptocurrency Business Treatment

The New York Attorney General office launched a fact-finding inquiry to discover how the cryptocurrency exchanges work and what they’re doing to fight bots, money laundering, and market manipulation. Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, and Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, denounce the “questionnaire” as hostile to cryptocurrencies and business, in general.Kraken CEO Slams New York Attorney General for ‘Hostile’ InquiryEric T. Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, sent questionnaires to 13 cryptocurrency exchanges in order to better understand how they operate and protect their customers’ investments.The office sent questionnaires to Coinbase, Gemini Trust Company, Payward (Kraken), Bittrex, bitFlyer USA, iFinex, Circle Internet Financial Limited (Poloniex), Binance Limited, Elite Way Developments (, Bitstamp USA, Gate Technology (, itBit Trust, and Huobi Global (Huobi.Pro).The cryptocurrency industry is somewhat baffled at the initiative from the New York Attorney General as its approach seems hostile to the ecosystem. “The AG’s tone-deaf response shows just how bad the disconnect really is”, said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell on Twitter. “Not only are they apparently experts in what legitimate businesses desire, they are also experts in what’s important to consumers. I have a wild idea: how about we let the market decide?”Jesse Powell published Kraken’s the full reply to the New York Attorney General, slamming the state government’s hostile approach and its attempt at inquiring companies based outside New York.“Kraken’s BitLicense-prompted exit from New York in 2015 pays another dividend today. When I saw this 34-point demand, with a deadline 2 weeks out, I immediately thought “The audacity of these guys – the entitlement, the disrespect for our business, our time! The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap!” Then I realized that we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet.”The statement added that Kraken is happy to help government understand their business, but instead of an inquiry, a conversation at lunch would be more productive and respectful.“We did all this once already, and then you gave us the BitLicense. Why don’t you try extracting this information from those businesses actually operating in your state? Kraken left New York because New York is hostile to crypto, and this “questionnaire” we received today proves that New York is not only hostile to crypto, it is hostile to business”, Kraken’s statement said.Jesse Powell’s response to the New York Attorney General’s office found massive support from the cryptocurrency community, including heavyweight executives within the industry such as Erik Voorhees, Chief Executive Officer of ShapeShift.Jesse – thank you for taking the ethical stance and speaking up for what’s right. Crypto has brought more transparency to finance and protection to consumers than the last 100 years of bureaucratic nonsense that has spilled from the sewers of New York.— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) April 19, 2018Cryptocurrency exchange operating outside the New York state are not required by law to answer the inquiry. The approach from NY’s Attorney General may drive away more companies within the crypto space.

$19 Billion Square’s Market Cap Surges 15% Due to its Bitcoin Venture

$19 Billion Square’s Market Cap Surges 15% Due to its Bitcoin Venture

Companies venturing into Bitcoin trading are taking a big risk. This largely unregulated market remains subject to a lot of volatility.For Square, their decision to offer Bitcoin trading has paid off in spades. Nomura Instinet analysts claim Square will bee see a “healthy” boost to Q1 earnings thanks to this new feature.

Telegram’s Pavel Durov Is Using Bitcoin to Bypass Russian Sanctions

Telegram’s Pavel Durov Is Using Bitcoin to Bypass Russian Sanctions

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov is battling against Russian security forces, after they implemented a block on Monday, April 16, 2018, on the messaging app when it refused a court order to “grant state security services access to its users’ encrypted messages,” according to Reuters.

The move was initiated by Alexander Zharov, head of the Russian watchdog organization Roskomnadzor, who has blocked 18 sub-networks and various IP addresses belonging to both Amazon and Google in the process.

“We have currently informed both companies that a significant number of IP addresses located in the clouds of these two services have fallen under the block due to the court ruling,” Zharov commented. He further stated that Telegram has potentially been used by terrorists to “coordinate attacks” on both Russia and its neighbors.

But as the skies darken and defense seems like a lost cause, Durov is refusing to give up, as Telegram customers received the following notification early this morning:

“For the last 24 hours Telegram has been under a ban by internet providers in Russia. The reason is our refusal to provide encryption keys to Russian security agencies. For us, this was an easy decision. We promised our users 100% privacy and would rather cease to exist than violate this promise.”

Durov has since taken to his account on VK — a Russian social network — to explain that he is offering bitcoin grants to both companies and individuals alike that run proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs). He says he’s “happy to donate millions of dollars” from his personal stash to illustrate and assist this cause, noting that both VPNs and proxy servers work against the hindrances set in place by Russian authorities.

Proxy servers operate by acting as connective tissue between clients and other servers. Normally, these clients seek information or resources from outside servers and thus link to a proxy server, which decides the best way to simplify and control the complexity of their incoming data. In addition, proxy servers offer anonymity to their users, and can be utilized to bypass blocks on certain IP addresses.

A VPN extends a private network across a public one and allows users to send and receive information without disclosing their identities. According to Durov, both systems require third-party funding, and he’s urging players with money to get in on the game alongside him.

As the last 24 hours have shown, in their ongoing war on progress, Russia’s supervisory authorities are willing to block millions of IP addresses of cloud hosting without regard for losses of extraneous projects.

While Russia only accounts for 7 percent of Telegram’s users, Durov called the recent ban “unconstitutional” and commented that threats to privacy and principles are more important than the numbers.

“Even if we lose the entire [Russian market], Telegram’s organic growth in other regions will compensate for this loss within a couple months,” Durov mentioned. “However, it is important for me personally to make sure we do everything we can for our Russian users.”

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