Blockchain and Bitcoin round-up: 11 January 2018
Cryptocurrency payments firm Saifu, which is licensed by the Czech National Bank, is deploying Thales nShield hardware security modules (HSMs) to deliver cryptographic services that protect its online and mobile banking services. Saifu says its customers – who include businesses and consumers – can use both conventional (or fiat) currencies and cryptocurrencies, switching between them as they choose.
With this platform, Saifu says it can offer “bank-grade security” and ensures that the cryptographic keys cryptocurrencies depend on are created, managed and stored in the “most secure manner”.
London-based blockchain banking start-up Babb is having a token sale. It says it will raise the money needed to launch a working product and bring BAX tokens into use in the market. The first phase will begin with a pre-sale launch on 15 January 2018 followed by a main sale commencing immediately after the end of the pre-sale, and in total the hard cap of phase one is $20 million.
With the money raised in the first phase, Babb states it will deliver a smartphone app with bank account capability and international money transfer functionality; a European banking licence in the appropriate jurisdiction; and a partnership with a “leading retail or central bank in an emerging market”, to offer international transactions. The money raised in the second phase will be used to fund expansion into unspecified new markets and releasing more functionality, including peer-to-peer lending.
Iznes, a European record-keeping platform for funds powered by SETL’s blockchain technology, says OFI Asset Management is using the Iznes system in a series of trials with selected clients following the platform’s development and integration. Other asset managers in the Iznes initiative include Groupama, La Financière de l’Échiquier, and Arkéa Investment Services.
According to Iznes, its solution enables investors and distributors to subscribe and redeem fund units via a direct connection with the asset management company, “thereby removing the need for the transfer agent, which in turn reduces transaction costs”. It adds that SETL’s blockchain “increases transparency” and “optimises operational workflow”.
Over in Russia, Sberbank is staying busy in the blockchain arena by opening a blockchain laboratory which will test technologies, generate ideas, create product prototypes, carry out pilot projects, and implement applied business solutions for the bank.
The lab will interact with Sberbank’s other labs to create “synergies”. The bank also says it’s keen to work with start-ups, associations, communities and alliances. If you’re looking for a job, the lab is hiring specialists. Sberbank explains that it has created more than 20 blockchain-based pilot projects, including joint solutions with Severstal, M.video, and the Federal Antimonopoly Services.