MERJ Exchange Partners With FCA-regulated Globacap to Offer Tokenized Securities to EU Investors 16671

MERJ Exchange

In a move to shape the future of financial markets, the first national stock exchange to list tokenized securities today announces its partnership with the UK’s first regulated platform to issue tokenized equity. MERJ Exchange beat rivals to become the first fully-regulated exchange globally to list equity-security tokens in August. Now, in another first, the national stock exchange of the Seychelles plans an initial public offering of the tokens. It will partner with London-based Globacap to distribute the securities in the UK and Europe.

The alliance brings together two companies intent on introducing international governance standards and safety nets to the world of digital assets through fully compliant end-to-end infrastructure. In 2018, Globacap became the first company to issue an equity-security token under supervision of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

“We will be the first entity anywhere in the world to hold an initial public offering of security tokens,” said Edmond Tuohy, CEO of MERJ Exchange. “For this ground-breaking event, it is essential to have a partner on board with the right technology, systems and approach to grasp the significance of this milestone. Globacap are among the leaders who are really executing in this space and that resonates well with us.”

With 8.7 million of its own shares listed on the Seychelles exchange in tokenized form, MERJ plans to offer 16% of the company’s share capital in its IPO, set for next month.

“Globacap and MERJ share a sense of mission to bring the efficiency and cost benefits of distributed ledger technology to the regulated financial markets arena,” said Globacap Founder and CEO Myles Milston. “MERJ has demonstrated unquestionable leadership and its IPO will be a landmark event in bridging regulated financial markets and the world of digital assets.”

The Seychelles exchange developed as a result of the IMF and World Bank working with the islands government to build a financial services sector, while coordinating with agencies like the OECD and FATF to ensure compliance with the highest international standards. An affiliate member of the World Federation of Exchanges, MERJ is licensed by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority, which is an associate member of IOSCO.

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Korea’s Union Mobile Launches ‘ELYNET’ Blockchain Project 14292

Korea

NY Union Mobile, which worked to become the fourth mobile carrier in Korea, has officially announced the launch of their blockchain project ‘ELYNET’. The project is designed to provide differentiated mobile services using blockchain technology while leaving behind regulatory hurdles for approval as a mobile network operator.

As a decentralized telecom project, ELYNET uses blockchain technology to make communication more efficient for users who currently rely on a single carrier for telecom service. Through ELYNET, users can freely use data communication services without the drawbacks of existing wireless carriers such as roaming fees and contracts. The ELYNET project effectively eliminates the need for expensive data centers for wireless communications, allowing users to enjoy superior telecom quality at dramatically lower costs.

The ELYNET team plans to use the application of distributed ledger technology to further expand the user base of parent company Union Mobile. “Most of the members of our project team have built their careers at existing mobile carriers, including LG U+, and we have received support from talented people who have worked at KPMG and Samsung for the design of the token economy”, said Union Mobile’s CEO Seyong Ro. “This will help us to realize our business. When users connect to the communications network through ELYNET’s own operating system, they can purchase data through ELyX, a token used in ELYNET’s ecosystem, and freely enjoy mobile data communication anywhere in the world without roaming fees or contracts.”

Trezor: New Bitcoin-Only Firmware Now Available 14785

Trezor

Trezor are thrilled to announce that the beta version of our new Bitcoin-only firmware is now available to download for both Trezor One and Trezor Model T. Trezor aim to introduce a stable version of Bitcoin-only firmware in the next month’s release. From now on, Trezor will be producing four different versions of firmware — regular (full altcoin support + U2F/WebAuthn) and Bitcoin-only, for both Trezor One and Model T.

Trezor have created a customized version of both our firmware and Wallet designed for everyone who supports the idea of Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin maximalist can now enjoy the Wallet interface with nothing else but Bitcoin. All the features of Trezor One and Model T available just the way you like it; Bitcoin only.

How to install Bitcoin-only firmware

Trezor recommend testing your recovery seed in a dry-run recovery before updating the firmware. It’s also essential to note that after installing Bitcoin-only firmware, all your other coins will disappear from the Wallet interface — but don’t worry! The private keys to your altcoins remain protected within your Trezor. The regular Trezor firmware is required to access your altcoins. You can swap between the regular firmware and Bitcoin-only firmware as many times as you like.

There are two ways of installing the Bitcoin-only firmware. You can use either Trezor Wallet or trezorctl (advanced users).

You will need:

  • Trezor Model T running version 2.1.0 or newer, or Trezor One
  • Access to Trezor Beta Wallet or trezorctl
  • The correct firmware installation file for your device — Trezor One or Trezor Model T

Installation process using Trezor Wallet:

  1. Visit https://beta-wallet.trezor.io/ and connect your Trezor.
  2. If you are using Trezor Model T and your firmware version is lower than 2.1.0, upgrade to the latest offered version via web-wallet first!
  3. Type “custom_firmware” after your Trezor device ID in the URL.
  4. Download the firmware installation file for your device (Trezor One, Trezor T) and click on “Choose File” to upload the firmware file.
  5. Trezor Wallet will then prompt you to initiate the firmware update process. Follow the instructions to load the firmware file on the device.

Image of the URL address in the second step.

Installation process using trezorctl:

  1. Download the correct file for your device.
  2. Put your device into bootloader mode and confirm a connection with a host on device.
  3. Launch Terminal and go to the folder with the firmware file.
  4. If you have a Model T, update the firmware by pasting
    “trezorctl firmware-update -f trezor-2.1.5-bitcoinonly.bin” into the Terminal window and press enter. Confirm installation on the device.
    If you have a Trezor One, update the firmware by pasting
    “trezorctl firmware-update -f trezor-1.8.3-bitcoinonly.bin” into the Terminal and press enter. Confirm on the device.
  5. Create a new wallet via https://beta-wallet.trezor.io/

Thank you for testing the Bitcoin-only firmware. If you experience any issues or want to share your ideas with us, please send us your feedback here.

Thank you for being a part of the Trezor beta testing community.

Bitmain expands in-demand Antminer 17 series with two new miners; reveals specifications and selling times 14115

 

Bitmain, the world’s top 10 fabless chipmaker, has expanded its in-demand Antminer 17 series of miners with two new models – Antminer S17e and Antminer T17e, – and is announcing specifications as well as selling times ahead of the launch date on 9 September, 2019.

The Antminer S17e and T17e models have been designed to offer the best value for money. The Antminer S17e has a hash rate of 64 TH/s and operates with a power efficiency of 45 J/TH, while the T17e offers a hash rate of 53 TH/s and a power efficiency of 55 J/TH.

Significant improvements to power efficiency and hash rate have been achieved from Bitmain’s comprehensive strength accumulated over the years in the field and relentless technological innovation.

Both new models have been designed for more stable operations in the long-term to reduce maintenance costs for customers. This is made possible through the dual tube heat dissipation technology which improves how efficiently heat dissipates. The models are also equipped with a more secure software system to prevent malicious attacks.

Bitmain also introduces its compensation strategy for delivery delay. If mining machines are not shipped after a certain period of the specified delivery date, Bitmain will compensate customers by coupons for each day of delay, based on PPS rewards of the mining pool (electricity cost deducted).

The Antminer S17e and T17e will be released in three batches and will be available for sale on Bitmain’s official website according to the following timings:

1st Batch:
Selling Time: 
9 September 2019, 19:00 GMT+8
Delivery Time: 1 – 10 November 2019 

2nd Batch:
Selling Time: 
10 September 2019, 19:00 GMT+8
Delivery Time: 11 – 20 November 2019 

3rd Batch:
Selling Time: 
11 September 2019, 19:00 GMT+8
Delivery Time: 21 – 30 November 2019

Fireblocks Expands Exchange Connectivity, Adds Support for OKCoin, OKEx, Huobi, and 2 More Exchanges 14746

fire

Fireblocks, an enterprise platform for securing digital assets in transit, announced today five new exchange integrations, adding support for OKCoin, OKEx, Korbit, Bithub, and HitBTC. This release also expands current integrations with Huobi Global’s API and Deribit, extending its umbrella of protection to a total of 20 exchanges.

The Fireblocks platform allows for the secure deposit, withdrawal, and rebalance of assets between exchanges by eliminating the risk of deposit address spoofing and credential theft. As each exchange account is uniquely configured, firms trading on multiple exchanges are required to manage a multitude of workflows. This creates operational challenges and weakens their ability to capitalize on market movements. With this release, market makers, prop traders and OTCs have a simple and secure unified workflow for securing assets in motion between 20 different exchanges.

Cryptocurrency companies are under a constant barrage of attacks, with $1.7 billion lost in 2018 alone. Recently, Philip Martin, CISO of Coinbase underscored the level of sophistication of a multi-pronged, and thoroughly planned hacking attempt by confirming, “As this space continues to grow and develop and gain traction, it’s also going to gain traction with more and more sophisticated attackers.”

Fireblocks’ customers use the platform to secure the transfer of digital assets across exchanges, OTCs, counterparties, hot wallets, and custodians. Its unique patent-pending Secure Transfer Environment and Hot Vault system enable secure operational handling and easy mobilization of digital assets without exposure to internal or external threats.

“The current state of the market expects a stronger, more secure foundation with the entry of institutional players that are required to hold accountability over its clients’ funds. We are continuously pushing the envelope to securely connect the institutional ecosystem, linking more and more venues, endpoints and market participants,” said Idan Ofrat, CTO and Co-Founder of Fireblocks. “We’re confident that as we grow our connectivity layer across each touchpoint, the industry as a whole will become more secure.”

Nestlé on propagating digital thinking & pioneering the use of blockchains 15550

Nestl

AS COMPANIES embrace technology and add digital to their DNA, they realize that the sky is the limit. Of course, digital thinking skills are critical, and that’s what sets organizations such as Nestlé apart from its competitors.

The company has been working on the Chain of Origin project — an effort to bring more transparency into the supply chain — which has just been shortlisted for an award in the ‘Operating Model Mastery‘ category at the IDC Digital Transformation Awards.

Ahead of the award ceremony, Tech Wire Asia caught up with Nestlé Digital Technology Manager Armin Nehzat to learn how the company propagates digital thinking and its success pioneering the use of blockchains in the Chain of Origin project.

“The company, on a global level, has seen the need to develop in a digital way. We launched a global program called DAT (Digital Acceleration Team) where members of the brand teams are exposed to digital projects.

“Members of the DAT also have the ability to go on missions to other Nestlé offices in order to propagate digital thinking and complete briefs based on brand & consumer problems and needs, usually on smaller budgets and condensed timelines.

For the Chain of Origin project, the company took a similar approach and started with an initial proof of concept that did not require an investment. That helped the team present the business case and secure funding for development.

According to Nehzat, the Chain of Origin project has been a tad more challenging than most others.

“It has been testing how quickly we can move as an organization to completely review how we do business. From sourcing products at the micro lot level, all the way through to tracking products individually to the end consumers.

In order to succeed, the company adopted a “start-up” mindset approach, deploying small teams with the ability to solve problems on the go.

However, Nehzat plans on taking the learnings from this project and transferring them to things that the organization pursues in the future.

“While we are starting the transformation on a small scale with a new brand, we are looking to see how this could scale to other product offers. So I guess it’s more of a long term journey rather than a short term bet.”

R3 Inks Deal with Wethaq to Digitize Islamic Markets 16126

Digitize

Fintech, Wethaq, has signed a strategic partnership with enterprise blockchain software firm R3 to build the next generation of financial market infrastructure to enable issuers, investors, central banks and regulators to seamlessly transact in Islamic capital markets.

Wethaq’s platform –built on R3’s Corda Enterprise – is initially aimed at improving the market infrastructure supporting the issuance and trading of Sukuk securities. There is currently substantial unmet demand for Sukuk, the global market for which is worth over $120bn annually. The platform will make Sukuk more accessible by digitizing the costly and lengthy issuance process, which is at present manual, non-standardised and fragmented.

Wethaq has been working alongside regulators in several jurisdictions to ensure the platform will be fully compliant both from financial and Shariah perspectives.

R3’s Corda Enterprise platform is specifically designed for practical business usage and includes additional security protocols that make it ideally suited to the heavily regulated and complex Sukuk capital market.

The Wethaq platform will simplify the Sukuk lifecycle, being solely accountable for performing functions that would otherwise be performed by a number of banks, clearing and trustee entities. Furthermore, the Wethaq platform is designed to seamlessly interoperate with global Financial Market Infrastructure enabling wider distribution for issuers and investors.

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said: “Blockchain is driving an unprecedented period of innovation across capital markets, with more assets moving towards complete digitization. As such, there is no better time to seize the advantages of blockchain to transform global financial systems. Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region are areas where we see huge potential for Corda to modernize the economy and our partnership with Wethaq is a step towards achieving that.”

Mohammed Alsehli, CEO at Wethaq said: “In building the next generation of financial market infrastructure for Sukuks we have found a valuable and trusted partner in R3 and its Corda Enterprise software. Our joint focus is on building world-class financial infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and the UAE, pursuant to their ambitious fintech agenda, before we expand to the entire Middle East and Southeast Asia. We invite the wider Sukuk community to join the platform to ease access to capital markets, source new products for investors internationally and more closely integrate Sukuk markets with their global counterparts.”