Bitwise Licenses New Index To Amun To Support Swiss-Listed Exchange-Traded Product 3302

Bitwise

Bitwise Index Services, LLC, the index calculation and dissemination subsidiary of Bitwise Asset Management, announced today that it has licensed a new index to the Swiss-based fintech firm Amun AG that will be used as the benchmark index for a new Swiss-listed exchange-traded product (ETP) available only outside the United States.

The Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index is designed to track the performance of up to 10 of the largest crypto assets in the world, as measured and weighted by free-float and inflation-adjusted market capitalization. Constituents must meet a variety of criteria to qualify for the Index, including rules related to security, liquidity and institutional support.

“We are thrilled to be working with Amun to help non-U.S. investors gain diversified exposure to the crypto markets,” said Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research for Bitwise Asset Management. “The Index is carefully designed to capture a broad array of cryptoassets while accounting for many of the unique constraints presented by the current cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

All assets in the index must be approved to serve as the underlying for an ETP by SIX, the Swiss Exchange, and must be both supported by appropriate market makers and available for custody at leading institutional custodians. The Index is rebalanced and reconstituted on a monthly basis.

As of the May 31 rebalance, the Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index included eight cryptoassets with the following weights:

Asset

Ticker

Weight

Bitcoin

BTC

67.80%

Ethereum

ETH

11.50%

XRP (Ripple)

XRP

8.33%

Bitcoin Cash

BCH

3.52%

Litecoin

LTC

3.47%

EOS

EOS

3.36%

Lumens (Stellar)

XLM

1.10%

Cardano

ADA

0.90%

The full methodology for the Index is available here.

“We are thrilled to partner with Bitwise to bring the most broadly diversified crypto ETP to investors in Switzerland,” said Hany Rashwan, CEO of Amun. “Bitwise is the global leader in crypto indexing, and we are excited to launch a product that builds on their expertise.”

“It is incredibly early in the evolution of the crypto markets, and it is difficult to say at this point which assets will become the most important,” said Hougan. “The Index is designed for Swiss investors who want to be sure they gain and maintain exposure to the most important crypto projects in the world.”

ABOUT BITWISE

Bitwise Asset Management is the leading provider of index and beta funds for the cryptoasset space. The firm created the world’s first cryptoasset index fund in 2017, and today manages multiple funds serving institutions, family offices, financial advisors, asset managers, and high net worth individuals. Its indexes serve as a benchmark for more than 30 leading crypto hedge funds, academics, and large financial institutions. Based in San Francisco, Bitwise’s executive team combines decades of experience in traditional asset management and indexing with deep knowledge of software and technology. The team has backgrounds at firms including BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, US Commodity Funds, IndexIQ, ETF.com, Facebook, and Wealthfront. Bitwise is backed by institutional investors and leading venture capital firms including Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, and Blockchain Capital. It is a frequent commentator on crypto in publications like Institutional Investor, CNBC, Barron’s, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

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Tokenized Protocol for Bitcoin SV (BSV) – Beta Release 7521

Bitcoin SV

Tokenized Group Pty Ltd has announced the official public release of the Tokenized Protocol Beta. The Tokenized Protocol is a comprehensive, regulation-friendly solution for businesses to create tokens for real world assets on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain.  This is a huge milestone for the Tokenized team, and they are excited to share their work with the world.

“We look forward to helping everyone in the ecosystem add support for the open-source Tokenized Protocol in their own projects. We also welcome all users, organizations, developers, governments, and investors to reach out and find out how the Tokenized Protocol can benefit them. The best place to engage with us is in our Telegram group or our community forum,” said James Belding, Founder and CEO of Tokenized. “We believe our solution is the best token and smart contract system on the market, by far, and combined with the unrivalled scaling capabilities of the Bitcoin SV (BSV) network, we believe we can systemically improve the way our world engages in voluntary exchange.”

The beta version represents a major upgrade from the alpha version, and the Tokenized team released a comprehensive set of documentation to allow developers to get a proper sense of what it can do. The documentation has also been created in such a way that less technically inclined people will still be able to understand and get value out of reading through it.

The beta version has introduced many important and innovative features that make Tokenized a very compelling value proposition for tokenizing real-world assets on the BSV blockchain. The team focused on building a system that works ‘out of the box’. To make sure they achieved this goal, the Tokenized team tailored the protocol to work within the realm of current regulatory frameworks and within the confines of law in common jurisdictions around the world.

James adds, “There is still a lot of work to be done in educating regulators, however, we are confident that all of the pieces are now in place to allow the protocol to be adopted globally as a replacement for all of the current financial messaging protocols.”

Key Features of the Tokenized Protocol Beta:

  • Support for a diverse array of asset types: Common Shares (SHC), Loyalty & Reward Points, Coupons, Currencies, Admission Tickets, and Memberships (with many more assets types to be announced soon)
  • Multi-asset atomic swaps
  • On-chain messaging for orchestrating the signing of multi-signature, threshold signature, and token exchange transactions (and more)
  • Smart contract support for Identity Oracles ensuring issuers can comply with KYC, AML, CTF laws, even in secondary trading, all whilst maintaining user privacy
  • Governance features that allow for an improved UX for organizational governance, all on-chain and completely managed by smart contracts
  • Customizable voting systems that will allow for pseudonymous, secure and corruption-free votes. Votes can be cast from a smart phone or laptop computer.
  • The voting system is technically capable of being used for all types of votes from local all the way up to national elections. (Citizenship tokens coming soon)
  • Enforcement features that allow for legal authorities to issue on-chain and digitally signed court orders which can provide justification for smart contract-controlled freezing, thawing, and confiscation of tokens
  • Capable of allowing banks and governments to tokenize national currencies ushering in a new paradigm of ultra-low-cost transactions, microtransactions and ~2 second clearing and settlement times.
  • The Tokenized Protocol can replace traditional bank-to-bank financial messaging systems as well as payment systems provided by credit card companies
  • Business friendly and sensitive to the real needs of different regulatory environments worldwide.

Tokenized is a company on a mission to build tools and solutions to unlock the value in Bitcoin for mainstream business and consumer users. They are firm in their belief that BSV is the only protocol that adheres to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original design of Bitcoin, and they believe firmly that it’s the only protocol that can work at scale. Tokenized intends to release their 10-year plan publicly in the next 6-18 months. This Beta release represents their first step in the 10-year plan which is to bring practical smart contracts and tokens to Bitcoin SV.

In 2018, the Tokenized team was selected as winner of CoinGeek’s £5M tokenisation solution contest for Bitcoin. CoinGeek, founded by billionaire technology entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, is one of the key backers of Bitcoin SV (BSV) as the only project following Bitcoin’s original design, protocol and massive-scaling vision. Ayre comments:

“The original Bitcoin design and protocol – created by Craig Wright – had everything it ever needed to power a vast array of technical capabilities – including creating tokens of real-world assets.  Bitcoin is also massively scaling now, only in the form of BSV. Businesses will soon see their token needs won’t be satisfied by Ethereum’s scaling problems, but will instead be powered on BSV as the only blockchain with the scaling roadmap for enterprise token usage made easily possible by the Tokenized protocol.”

To learn more about the Tokenized solution, come to the CoinGeek Toronto conference on May 29-30 in Toronto, Canada. Tokenized CEO James Belding will be speaking about the updated Tokenized Protocol.

Avelacom Partners with Seed CX to Increase Speed and Stability for Institutional Investors Globally 8236

Avelacom

Avelacom, the high-performance global connectivity and IT infrastructure provider for the financial services industry, today announced a landmark partnership with Seed CX, the leading digital asset exchange built expressly for institutional investors.

Avalecom’s institutional investors will now have access to Seed CX’s real time market data and order-routing solutions. This will meet global institutions’ desire to trade digital assets in a way they are used to from using traditional exchanges.

Through its subsidiaries, Seed CX offers a licensed exchange for institutional trading and settlement of spot digital asset products, and plans to offer a market for CFTC-regulated digital asset derivatives.

“We began working in cryptocurrency in 2018 to respond to global institutional requirements,” said Aleksey Larichev, Managing Director of Avelacom. “What we found were massive tech issues, such as low uptime, slow matching engines, insufficient support and platforms that are not friendly for latency and jitter sensitive applications. Seed CX is a true benchmark in the digital assets space. We are delighted to support this healthy ecosystem by providing our clients with low latency access to the digital asset space to facilitate trading at the highest standards.”

“We are very excited to be working with Avelacom,” said Adam Leaman, Seed CX Head of Market Operations. “This partnership will not only expand Seed CX’s global presence but also allow clients already leveraging Avelacom’s high performance network to connect to our markets. It is our view that this and similar partnerships will aid in the adoption of digital assets by institutional investors.”

Avelacom’s IT infrastructure is located in Equinix NY4/NY5, providing clients with the fastest, safest, and highest quality access to Seed CX’s digital asset liquidity points globally. Through the partnership, both Avelacom’s and Seed CX’s customers including proprietary trading firms and hedge funds will be able to access Seed CX’s platform from across the globe.

Stock Exchange Embraces Blockchain Technology 8377

Blockchain technology can help enhance transparency, efficiency and grow investor confidence in Zimbabwe’s fledgling capital markets, experts say.

The technology, which underpins crypto-currencies like bitcoin, is temper-proof. Its decentralised nature allows for financial transactions to be traced throughout the payment process by anyone with a computer or smartphone with internet connection.

These characteristics have meant that blockchain technology is now being adapted for use in several spheres including the supply chain, banking, financial markets and even voting, to curb fraud while improving transparency.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) chief executive Justin Bgoni told our Harare Bureau that the exchange is open to exploring how it can harness Blockchain technology in the near future although there is still no regulatory clarity on the matter.

Mr Bgoni spoke about introducing blockchain-based new products and services such as real estate investment trust securities (REITS), mineral commodities exchange and exchange traded funds (ETFs) as key to expanding the market into a vibrant exchange.

“It’s something (Blockchain technology) we need to look into, though not now, the technology is very good,” Bgoni said in an interview at the inaugural C-Trade investor conference day in the capital last week,” he said.

“Each transaction, you can see who owns it so it is easy to audit it that is why people like it, is easy to verify it, it is transparent and takes away fraud, that part of the technology you can see everything and it makes sense, it is definitely an area that ZSE can explore.”

Elsewhere around the world, some stock exchanges have not only adopted Blockchain, they have also started to offer crypto-currency-related products, in a move that’s been viewed as key to introducing crypto-currency to conventional equities investors.

In April, for example, the Jamaica Stock Exchange announced that it was starting a limited pilot to trade bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH). The move by the JSE is the latest in a series of announcements that aim to open the doors to crypto-currency investment.

In the US, Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock market by capitalisation, has recently listed BTC and ETH indices, while Switzerland’s main stock exchange, SIX, listed a ripple-based exchange-traded product.

Mr Bgoni indicated that there was no clarity yet on regulations governing the trade of blockchain-based virtual currencies in the country.

“Then there is the money side to blockchain technology. This is a bit difficult, in terms of regulation, we are not yet clear on this and we do not want to do something where regulation is not clear as an exchange. But the technology side is very good,” he said.

It will be interesting for the ZSE to adopt blockchain that will create a safe, efficient and transparent regulatory framework.

How Crypto is Beating Charity Fraud and Binance is Bringing Uganda’s Children to School 3066

The topic of charity often brings disparity of opinion. On the one hand, most of us recognize the injustices of the world and want to help those in need. But, given the reports of fraud and misconduct, as well as the sheer scale of problems, it’s understandable why many become numb to the issue. However, crypto and blockchain technology is working to change that.

Charity Fraud

Figures show that more than a third of charity fraud was perpetrated by staff, trustees or volunteers. These findings came about during a study by The Charity Commission. They noted that weak governance, poor financial controls, and excessive trust in key individuals were common factors to the problem. Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, said:

How Blockchain and Crypto Can Help

A decade on since Bitcoin first paved the way, many institutions are beginning to realize how blockchain is more than financial speculation. With blockchain technology, there exists a significant opportunity for charities to benefit the world.

Blockchains are inherently designed to eliminate corruption and non-transparency in situations involved multiple participants. As well as that, the technology facilitates an audit trail, where benefactors can track donations across its complete cycle.

The implications of this are massive. Blockchain technology has the potential to completely change the way the sector operates, allowing organizations to run more efficiently by eliminating waste, and therefore providing real help to those in need. Also, from a credibility standpoint, use of blockchain would undoubtedly instill greater trust, which is something often lacking in people’s reasoning for not giving.

The Plight of Ugandan School Children

When it comes to important cases, few are more deserving than feeding children. In Uganda, the problems of war, famine, and AIDS make for dangerous living conditions. Here, more than a third of people live below the poverty line, and children are the primary victims of this desperate economic situation.

Binance recently launched their blockchain solution to tackle hunger and access to primary education. The Lunch for Children campaign is asking for 1 BNB to provide a lunch program for children who need your help. Contributing will provide a month’s worth of food for a child in remote African areas. Without which some will be forced to abandon their education.

The Solution

The collaboration between Binance Charity and Dream Building Service Association will select schools that serve poor children, and choose reliable food suppliers. Donations made will go to the crypto wallets of children’s parents or legal guardians, who will then use the funds to pay food suppliers.

This system is a real life example of how blockchain is revolutionizing the charity sector. The verified audit trail of transactions deals with issues related to lack of transparency and accountability. The foundation will collect monthly reports from the school, and provide updates on how the project is progressing. All of which ensures your donations are making a real difference.

SEC to Host Forum on Crypto and Blockchain, Is Bitcoin Clampdown Looming? 2708

The United States’s Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will hold a public forum on blockchain and crypto assets. The event is the second of its kind and will take place at the SEC Headquarters in Washington DC on May 31.

The forum is being held in conjunction with the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub). It was first announced in October, when FinHub was initially launched.

Will the SEC Continue its Cautious Approach Towards Bitcoin and Crypto?

Thus far in terms of digital currency regulation, the planet’s largest and most influential financial regulator, the US SEC, has been reserved in its approach towards the crypto space. With its cautious stance, the agency appears to be allowing the industry to evolve, rather than making any drastic regulatory moves that could hinder clear potential for innovation.

According to a press release from the financial regulatory body, the event being held at the end of May will feature a panel of digital currency experts and academics. The goal will be to promote greater communication and understanding between the industry’s various participants.

Amongst other areas covered by the forum, the following topics will be debated: ICOs, crypto asset platforms, and blockchain technology generally. The focus will be on how these various technologies will impact both investors and the market generally going forward.

As mentioned, the SEC forum is open to the public to attend. The agency will also broadcast the forum live online via its official website. More information about this and the panellists selected to represent the crypto and blockchain space will apparently become available in the coming weeks.

The announcement of the date of the second SEC forum on the cryptocurrency space comes just after after the agency announced that it would be going on a “crypto tour” to help influence the direction of whatever regulations are forthcoming. The goal of the tour is to meet investors, influencers, and other crypto market participants. This should provide the SEC with a much clearer picture of how to proceed with policing the ever-growing industry.

Although the SEC is yet to truly reveal its hand with regards impending regulation of the digital asset space (aside from policing some of the more blatant scams associated with crypto), the fact that it is going to such great lengths to understand the industry is certainly encouraging. Regulators clearly see potential within these disruptive technologies and are keen to avoid coming down hard on the ever-expanding space for fear that it may drive many of the startups based in the US overseas to more welcoming regulatory climates.

Former HSBC & Barclays Hacker to Demo Crypto Security Flaws at SXSW ‘19 3641

A former “ethical hacker” with a number of high-profile institutions plans to host a blockchain security demonstration live at South By South West (SXSW) 2019. According to a press release, Rob Pope, currently of Dogtown Media and formerly a security specialist with HSBC and Barclays, will present on the weaknesses of various encrypted systems associated with crypto.

Along with a live hacking demonstration, the presentation will aim to give the average crypto user tips on how to adequately secure their own digital asset holdings.

Crypto is Secure but Can’t Account for Human Error

The presentation will be titled, “Crypto Crime: How to Steal Cryptocurrency.” It will take place at South By South West (SXSW) 2019, one of the planet’s largest conferences and festivals of film, music, and tech. The event is being held in Austin, Texas between March 8 and 17.

Presenting the demonstration will be Rob Pope, the co-founder of Dogtown Media, a mobile technology company based in Venice Beach, California and boasting an impressive roster of clients – Google, YouTube, Lexus, RedBull, and Citi Bank, to name but a few. Previously, Pope has worked as an “ethical hacker” for Barclays, HSBC, and the London Metropolitan Police Department.

According to the press release, Pope will demonstrate:

“… why cryptocurrency is not as secure as the general public believes.”

Much of the rest of the release details various high-profile exchange hacks. It also highlights the total cost of such cyber criminal acts in recent years.

Although the precise content of the presentation remains to be seen, the wording of the press release implies that the $1.7 billion in stolen cryptocurrency reported last year was down to flaws in the blockchains and encryption methods used when building the cryptocurrencies themselves. Whilst it is true that certain cryptocurrencies have indeed been maliciously comprised previously, there has never been a reported incident of a private key being “hacked” in the purest sense.

Hackers reportedly stole $1.7 billion in crypto during 2018.

Cryptocurrencies are incredibly secure. Unfortunately, humans are often not. If the kind of security vulnerabilities hinted at in the SXSW press release were associated with any of the leading cryptos, there would be no conversation to be had about their security since the entire premise of crypto would have already failed. Hackers prey on human vulnerabilities much more successfully than they do on flaws in now-seriously-battled-tested code, as is the case with Bitcoin.

To illustrate this argue with an incredibly basic example: if you locked your car and left the keys on its roof overnight, can you really blame its security system when you wake up without a car?

Based on these facts, it seems more likely that Pope’s demonstration will be much more about how more traditional hacking tools like key loggers, as well as more modern attacks such as those used in the recent CookieMiner effort to compromise Mac users’ exchange accounts, are being used against crypto holders.

As mentioned, Pope’s presentation will also highlight ways in which users can improve their own security when using digital assets. Such education is crucial if the kind of universal monetary sovereignty promoted by Bitcoin is to one day be achieved.