SIX Digital Exchange launches DLT-based trading and settlement prototype 19357

SIX Digital Exchange

SDX, the world’s first end-to-end platform for digital assets, has launched a prototype of its digital exchange and CSD. Future releases will offer more functionality, with a particular emphasis on asset servicing, in Q1 2020. The full launch is expected in Q4 2020.

The objective of the prototype is to showcase the future of financial markets to the community and obtain feedback as well as demonstrate that a distributed CSD – based on DLT – can be integrated with a central order-book stock exchange model to ensure fair market conditions for all.

Test-cases will showcase the potential of SDX’s riskless trading model, as well as settlement on DLT. Early stage functionality will cover digital security token issuance as well as live trading and instant settlement. This will include the cash-leg of the transaction embracing the concept of a payment token as well as access to a distributed portal where it would be possible to monitor transactions across specific DLT member nodes.

Participants making trades will execute them via a facility resembling the existing Swiss Stock Exchange infrastructure. Similarly, the asset token issuance process on SDX makes use of the Swiss Stock Exchange’s Connexor service and its best-in-class functionality.

Unlike conventional exchanges, SDX will facilitate instant settlement that will remove counterparty risk and the need for default fund collateral at a CCP – this implies that if the buy and sell-side have the necessary cash and assets to fulfil a trade, settlement will occur instantly. This structure is helpful for providing liquidity and credibility for the issuance and trading/settlement/custody of new digital assets. For traditional institutional trading activities, a T+2 environment utilizing existing netting and CCP functions, will be made available, although not as part of the prototype. Members hold their assets on the SDX DLT in a distributed way and have access to them with their own unique private key.

Speaking of the prototype, Thomas Zeeb, Chairman SDX and Member of the Executive Board at SIX, said: “The launch of this prototype is a major milestone in creating a credible digital infrastructure for moving our industry forward. We are now one step closer to demonstrating the viability of our vision for the financial markets of the future and, ultimately, for the way people and businesses access capital. SDX is a testament to the innovative nature of the Swiss stock exchange and the foresight of its shareholders – we are combining existing market technology with revolutionary new technologies to create the market of the future.”

A second phase of the prototype will be released in the coming months, factoring in necessary feedback from the first phase but importantly, also adding the first elements of post-trade and asset servicing (digital custody) functionality.

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Altcoins: LINK, HT, XRP and TRX 16297

LINK/USD

Chainlink (Link) has been among the top performers for the past three consecutive weeks. This shows that it is backed by momentum. However, after the stellar rise, can it continue its uptrend or will it succumb to profit booking?

LINK/USD

The LINK/USD pair recently closed above $2.0531 and this triggered our buy which was suggested in an earlier analysis. Our first target of $2.8498 was achieved last week, which shows that the bulls are not expecting a large fall, hence, are buying at higher levels.

Though the bulls pushed the price above $2.8498 during the week, they have not been to sustain the breakout. This shows profit booking by the short-term traders at the resistance level. However, with the rise in the past two weeks, the 20-week EMA has started to turn up, which shows that the advantage is with the bulls.

If the bulls can propel the price above $3, we expect the up move to reach $4 and above it $4.5826. Conversely, if the bulls fail to scale above $3, the pair might remain range-bound for a few more weeks. Our view will be invalidated on a break below $1.4612.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) has made a comeback into this list after a long absence. Let’s look at the events of the past seven days that have ignited trader’s interest in it. Recently, the exchange launched the eighth phase of its lending product which allows owners to earn an annualized percentage yield of as high as 10% for a few cryptocurrencies.

Expanding its services, Binance launched peer-to-peer trading for its Android app users in China. The service will be available for Bitcoin, Ether and Tether (USDT) against the Chinese yuan. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that this service will be expanded to other regions soon. Zhao also confirmed that users are able to use WeChat or Alipay for P2P transactions for payment, but both companies swiftly denied that this was true. Has BNB bottomed out or is it ready for an up move? Let’s study its chart.

BNB/USD

The bears could not capitalize on the sharp breakdown below $18.30 over the past two weeks. This resulted in a pullback that can carry the BNB/USD pair to the resistance line of the channel. As the downsloping 20-week EMA is also located at this level, we anticipate the bears to defend this resistance.

If the price turns down from the resistance line of the channel, it can again dip towards $14.2555. A breakdown of this support will resume the downtrend but if the price rebounds off this level, it will indicate a bottom formation.

A breakout and close above the channel will indicate an end of the downtrend. Traders can initiate a long position on a close (UTC time) above the channel and keep a stop loss of $14. The first target will be a move to $33 and above it, a retest of the lifetime highs is possible.

HT/USD

Huobi Token (HT) rallied just above 10% in the past seven days and turned out to be the third best performer. Investors are now wondering whether it bottomed out and is now ready for the next leg of its upside move?

HT/USD

The pullback in the HT/USD pair found support just below the 50% retracement level of the rally from the lows of $0.88 to the highs of $5.3506. This is a positive sign and it shows that bulls are stepping in to buy on dips.

On the upside, the bulls might face some resistance at $3.67 and $4.37. If both levels are crossed, a rally to $5.3506 will be on the cards. Traders can wait for the price to rise and close (UTC time) above the 20-week EMA before buying. A stop loss can be kept at $2.90.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the pair turns down from one of the overhead resistance levels and plummets below $2.90. If that happens, a dip to $2.5878 is possible.

XRP/USD

Ripple has merged three of its services, xRapid, xVia, and xCurrent, into its RippleNet offering. With this move, “instead of buying xCurrent or xVia, customers will connect to RippleNet — on-premises or through the cloud — and instead of buying xRapid, clients will use On-Demand Liquidity,” said a Ripple spokesperson.

Bank of America (BoA) is also rumored to have hired a “treasury product manager” for Ripple. This shows that the bank is warming up to cryptocurrencies in some form. Similarly, United Kingdom-based financial software firm Finastra has joined RippleNet, which will help its customers with cheaper and faster cross-border payments.

For the past few days, Ripple Labs has been at the receiving end of criticism by some community members. However, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, defended the company and said that its transparency has made it vulnerable to attack. While the  fundamentals are encouraging, has the technical picture also turned positive? Let’s study XRP’s chart.

XRP/USD

The relief rally in the past two weeks reached the first overhead resistance at the 20-week EMA. A breakout of this level will again hit a roadblock close to the 50-week simple moving average (SMA) and above it at the downtrend line of the descending triangle. If the bulls push the price above the triangle, it will invalidate the bearish pattern, which is a bullish sign.

Aggressive traders can buy on a close (UTC time) above the 20-week EMA and keep a stop loss of $0.215. Risk-averse traders, however, should wait for the price to breakout and close above the triangle to buy.

Both moving averages are flattening out and the RSI is gradually rising to the midpoint. This suggests that the selling pressure has subsided. Our view will be invalidated if the pair turns down from one of the overhead resistance levels and plunges below $0.22.

TRX/USD

This week Tron (TRX) has teamed up with the Stellar Development Foundation to form a new educational alliance that will provide working knowledge about blockchain technology to  university students. Let’s see if we can spot a buy setup on the TRX/USDT pair.

TRX/USD

The TRX/USDT pair is facing resistance close to $0.018660. This level has acted as a stiff barrier over the past few weeks. If the bulls fail to scale it once again, the pair might again dip towards the critical support of $0.011240. A breakdown of this support will be a negative sign and could point toward a new downtrend.

However, if the bulls can push the price above $0.018660 with strength, the large range of $0.011240-$0.0409111 will come into play. It is possible that the moving averages could act as resistance but we expect them to be crossed. Therefore, traders can buy on a close (UTC time) above $0.01860 with a stop loss of $0.0110. The first target target being $0.030 and above it $0.0409111.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

SimplyVital Health, Inc. Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation for its HIPAA Compatible Blockchain Protocol 17360

SimplyVital Health, Inc. (SVH) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) on the integration of the Graphene protocol with SVH’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compatible blockchain protocol, Nexus. Graphene is a breakthrough in block propagation technology that requires a fraction of network resources, improving the performance of the blockchain while lowering its costs.

The broader impact of SVH’s research is to decrease healthcare costs by enabling data access through blockchain. Healthcare, globally, suffers from a lack of trust and value, halting the accessibility of beneficial healthcare information. Utilizing their experience in healthcare administration and advanced technology, SVH solved for trust and value, creating an avenue for safe data access.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by funding the most creative, impactful ideas,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With our support, deep technology startups can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“This grant is transformative and endorses blockchain as a viable tool to re-engineer healthcare,” said Kat Kuzmeskas, SVH’s CEO, “We are thrilled to represent the NSF with our blockchain work.”

NSF accepts Phase I proposals in June and December from small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process.

Crypto Billionaire Brock Pierce Joins Tandem – the Easiest way to buy Crypto 18517

Brock Pierce

Crypto Billionaire Brock Pierce has joined Tandem, which aims to make buying and selling crypto easy, as an advisor. Tandem is founded by former investment banker Prashanth Swaminathan, who was an executive director at Morgan Stanley London for over 10 years. As one of the early members of the global crypto revolution, Brock Pierce provides invaluable product and business insight to Tandem, which is soon launching its product in private beta.

Brock Pierce is joined by several other luminaries, like Micheal Terpin, one of the foremost blockchain PR personalities, Christopher Yoshida, a senior advisor at Carlyle Group (one of the world’s largest investment firms), and Jaron Lukas, creator of one of the first crypto exchanges.

Tandem is a mobile application that aims to make buying and selling crypto easier for people who are familiar, as well as new to crypto. With pioneering new user experience and an easy to use interface, Tandem currently offers the fastest way to purchase and sell crypto currently. The platform incentivises existing crypto traders and altruists to help people new to the space in getting started with digital assets.

“After many brainstorming sessions with our advisors, industry leaders and the community we have outlined a ground-breaking product that will bridge the gap and knowledge between crypto and non crypto users. At Tandem we are building a revolutionary framework that will establish a unique ‘global distribution ecosystem’ for users to earn passive income in crypto while educating and connecting them,” said Prashanth Swaminathan, founder and CEO of Tandem.

At launch, Tandem will support fiat currencies from over 50 countries for P2P trading, to enable collaboration and education across geographies. Furthermore, the Tandem CEO promises that there are several localisation efforts being taken to make the app more accessible across languages and cultures. “The three pillars of crypto mass adoption lies in user experience, education, and passive income. Therefore Connect, Empower, Earn. You will see enablement features for all three aspects on Tandem,” added Prashanth Swaminathan.

BitMovio Announces Partnership With Leading Blockchain Consulting Agency Block72 for International Expansion 17636

BitMovio

BitMovio, a blockchain-enabled video entertainment platform, recently announced a partnership with Block72 to accelerate plans for global expansion. Through this partnership, BitMovio will focus on entering Asian markets and growing their global user base. “We’ve gained significant momentum over the past several months with hundreds of studios/creators and thousands of hours of premium content onboarded, especially among the independent film, TV, and professional YouTube streamer community,” said Simon Zhu, co-founder and CEO of BitMovio. “We expect that this partnership with Block72 will help double down on BitMovio’s leadership position in the blockchain entertainment space with expansion into South Korea, China, and other Southeast Asian countries.”

A cross between Twitch, Netflix, and Patreon, BitMovio is a new breed of video entertainment platforms that utilizes blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and platform-specific virtual goods to enable users to transparently and instantaneously exchange value and attention. BitMovio is currently in open-beta and is ramping up blockchain development with additional gamification features. They are introducing their own cryptocurrency token and integrating with Theta Labs’ decentralized mesh video streaming infrastructure.

BitMovio is on a mission to disrupt the industry’s centralized content distribution and financing model. The platform features a wide array of video genres including gaming, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, paranormal, conspiracy, and more. Over the past several months, BitMovio has signed over 6,000 hours of premium video content from a variety of producers.

“We are constantly looking for promising blockchain projects that can solve real-world problems, and which have the potential to achieve mainstream adoption,” said Sinhae Lee, founding partner at Block72. “We hope to expand BitMovio’s business and the adoption of its ecosystem through Block72’s global network, as well as create a compelling use case through the success of the project.”

Block72 is a joint venture of GBIC and FBG Capital to provide marketing services to a demanding blockchain startup scene. The two venture capital funds have a well-developed portfolio of investments in the blockchain space and their success has allowed them to build a solid reputation in the industry. Their team has rich experience in marketing, public relations, and community growth and has helped countless projects secure capital and build engaged communities that serve as the core of their respective decentralized ecosystems. Block72 has offices around the globe, providing a large network that continues to grow within the broader tech sector.

BitGo Staking Launches with Dash and Algorand 17695

BitGo, the leader in digital asset financial services, announced today that it has launched BitGo Staking. Clients whose assets are with qualified custodian BitGo Trust can now generate passive income while their assets remain in secure, insured cold storage. BitGo Staking launches with Dash and Algorand, with support for additional coins planned for later this year. The rate of return will vary by coin, running from 7 percent to up to 13 percent for Algorand.

The company also announced that it has acquired Hedge, a leader in scalable, programmatic deployment of staking infrastructure. This acquisition forms the foundation of BitGo Staking through the integration of Hedge’s automated secure deployments, scalable and redundant processes, and the use of hardware security modules (HSMs) and secure cryptographic enclaves. Clients will have the option of choosing to delegate staking to BitGo or to the provider of their choice.

Proof of Stake

Proof of Stake (PoS) is gaining momentum as a number of new protocols move to the PoS model. Ethereum, the second largest asset by market cap, is expected to transition to this model within the next year. A key benefit of the PoS model is that it does not need substantial amounts of committed mining power making it more energy efficient than PoW. In addition, the ability of PoS coins and tokens to generate passive returns makes them attractive to a variety of investors and can incentivize long-term holding of the asset.

BitGo Staking benefits

  • Best-in-class security architecture: each node runs on its own dedicated virtual machine so one client’s node cannot access other nodes or infrastructure
  • No keys go online: seamless integration with BitGo Custody keeps assets in cold storage
  • Multi-signature technology: the industry standard for institutional investors
  • Choice of staking providers: delegate staking to BitGo Trust or use the staking provider of your choice
  • Insurance: custodial assets are insured for up to $100 million

“In order to be a great custodian, we need to provide our clients with the ability to use their assets in custody. Staking provides our clients with returns on their investments without ever moving their assets out of custody,” said Ben Chan, CTO, BitGo. “Our acquisition of Hedge builds on the blockchain and staking expertise within our engineering platform to deliver an automated, end-to-end staking service.”

“Building trust in cryptocurrency is a shared mission between BitGo and Dash, which led to our initial partnership last year,” said Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group. “Dash support in BitGo Staking builds on this relationship and provides additional ways to derive value from Dash in a safe and secure environment. We’re thrilled to be a part of BitGo Staking’s inaugural launch and expect masternode owners will be as well.”

“We are excited to welcome BitGo to the Algorand community,” said W. Sean Ford, COO of Algorand, Inc. “By providing custodianship services with multi-sig security as well as new staking opportunities, the BitGo partnership adds even more opportunities to participate in the Algorand ecosystem.”

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Congo mine deploys digital weapons in fight against conflict minerals 17365

In a small shack overlooking muddy pits hewn out of eastern Congo’s rolling green hills, a government official puts a barcoded tag on a sack of ore rich in tantalum, a rare metal widely used in smartphones. With a handheld device linked to a server in the cloud, the agent scans the barcode, uploading data including the sealed bag’s weight, when it was tagged, and by whom.

It’s the latest initiative in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to improve systems meant to show minerals entering global supply chains come from mines that don’t use child labor or fund warlords and corrupt soldiers.

The new system developed by RCS Global, a company in Berlin that audits supply chains, started in January at Societe Miniere de Bisunzu’s (SMB) mine near Rubaya, which has some of Africa’s largest deposits of coltan, a tantalum-rich ore.

“It allows purchasers of SMB material to be sure that it actually comes from that mine site and is not smuggled into the supply chain from other mines, as much as possible,” said Ferdinand Maubrey, a managing director at RCS.

Whether the new digital approach to tracing metals such as tantalum and cobalt succeeds is of keen interest to companies, especially carmakers like Tesla, General Motors and Ford, as regulators on both sides of the Atlantic put pressure on end-users to prove their supply chains are clean.

Now, companies mostly rely on a paper-based certification scheme. But U.N. experts have documented cases of tags used to identify clean minerals being stolen in another part of eastern Congo and sold to smugglers – allowing them to pass off ore from blacklisted mines as responsibly sourced.

Maubrey said the new system had helped prevent tainted ore being mixed in with SMB’s products by creating new obstacles. To use stolen tags, for example, a smuggler would also need to steal both the scanner and the laptop linked to it – which Maubrey said would be easily detected.

Even so, Maubrey conceded the system has limitations. For one, it does not use available technology to pinpoint the GPS coordinates of where the ore was tagged in real time, largely because of the high costs involved, he said.

SMB Chief Executive Ben Mwangachuchu also said digital systems could be corrupted if the government agents who tag bags conspire with smugglers to enter incorrect data from the outset.