As part of the 4th annual Blockchain for Finance Conference this year, on Monday 7th October, Deloitte and the Institute of Banking held a nighttime event in the Teelings Distillery in Dublin 8 called Blockchain by Night.
The event, other than having some lovely whiskey cocktails using Teeling’s own tipple, served as the launch event of a collaborative project between Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and The Institute of Banking called Edq. This is the first industry education platform based on blockchain, which completed it’s pilot phase and is due to go into production in Summer 2020. The platform is also aligned with the Future of Jobs initiative, and is aimed at being Europe’s first financial services industry education and credentials verification platform that uses blockchain, and won Deloitte’s Financial Services Innovation Award.
Introducing the night were Cillian Leonowicz, Co-Lead of Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab, Mary O’Dea, Chief Executive of the Institute of Banking, Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registrar of UCD.
Introducing the evening, Professor Dooley said that UCD aim to be at the front of new support initiatives for the financial services industry, and see that the that the application of blockchain technology to help provide details of qualifications to prospective employers and employees in admitting and verifying qualifications. Initially it will be deployed in the College of Business to share credentials.
Following the introduction, Valarie Daunt, Human Capital Lead & Partner in Deloitte did a talk looking at the future of work in the fintech industry.
The main topic of the night was on the Edq platform, which was moderated by Kevin Gallen, Deputy Chief Executive at the Institute of Banking. Starting to explain how Edq came about, Stephen Moran, Head of R&D at Bank of Ireland said that the idea came as a result of an innovation meeting, on the back of a 2015 decision to focus on innovation. Specifically it came out of a HR sprint, and they had already partnered with Deloitte around risk and regulatory reporting. As the platform developed, as with other areas such as cheque clearing and the now defunct Laser scheme, there is a history of collaboration between banks around infrastructure, so they partnered with the Institute of Banking, AIB and Ulster Bank.
The platform particularly focuses on employees and employers in the financial services industry and uses blockchain to assist with quickly verifying credentials, identity and qualifications, as well as CPD credits management.
Carol Mullen, HR Change Manager at AIB then discussed some of the issues faced by HR managers when hiring. When someone is being onboarded, their currently is a lot of time spent by HR to prove who they are and if their credentials are valid and up-to-date. The new platform will save a lot of time in giving a real-time dashboard which will show a recruiter the qualifications of the applicant (who can choose to share their credentials) as well as with their existing staff to see who is compliant with QFA exams, CPD credits etc.
Following this, David Dalton, Financial Services Lead in Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab continued, saying that while there is lots of talk of disruption, the reality is it’s more of a transformation, and collaboration helps this. There are challenges faced by traditional financial services companies who are being challenged by fintech startups bringing an excellent customer experience. He mentioned as an example that Revolut which has 3 million customers, only has 630 employees. These are driving a need to transform legacy core platforms.
He then went on to say that they worked with ABN Amro to create a digital wealth platform. Normally if this was done internally it would take 3-4 years, but in this case they collaborated with a dozen fintech companies and did this from concept to production in 18 months.
Referring back to Edq, he said that they had to bring some people out of retirement because they were the only people who knew how some things worked within the process.
Learning from Poc was bringing the businesses with them to get buy in. Had to bring people out of retirement because they were the on people who knew how some thing worked.
The final part of the evening was an explanation of how the current recruitment process works by Derek Lawson of the Institute of Banking, followed by a demo of both the user and company dashboards by Erica Piol of Deloitte. The platform enables a user to register their profile and link their Institute of Banking records to it, and it will show them how far they are progressing with their exams and qualifications. They can also share the credentials with a current or prospective employer.
The company dashboard enables a holistic view of an organisation, showing all of the staff who are up to date, all of the staff who are in the process of doing their exams, and also where people are with their CPD credits. This enables a HR manager to see who they need to intervene with to complete exams and get into compliance with regulations.
The evening then wrapped up. We’ll be attending part of the conference so stay tuned for more information over the next few days.
Buyer of Jack Dorsey’s ‘genesis tweet NFT’ reportedly detained in Iran
Iranian Cyber Police have reportedly arrested Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi, according to a tweet pinned to Estavi’s Twitter account.
A rough translation of the tweet reads:
“The owner of this account was arrested on charges of disrupting the economic system by order of Special Court for Economic Crimes. Official judicial authorities will provide additional information.”
The same tweet is also pinned to the official account of Bridge Oracle, a Tron Network-based public oracle system. At the time of writing, the price of Bridge Oracle’s native token, BRG, has taken a sharp dive, crashing by more than 65%, according to data from TradingView.
Bridge Oracle is said to be a Malaysia-based blockchain company, but Estavi’s other venture, cryptocurrency exchange Cryptoland, was operating in Iran. Cryptoland’s Twitter account shares the same pinned tweet. No further information was shared publicly by the authorities.
Estavi is known for his heated bidding battle with tech entrepreneur and Tron CEO Justin Sun to buy Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet as an NFT. Twitter’s first tweet is dated March 2006 and reads, “Just setting up my twttr.”
In the end, Estavi successfully purchased the NFT for more than $2.9 million, or 1,630 Ether (ETH). Dorsey converted the proceeds to Bitcoin (BTC) and donated them to a charity organization in Africa.
Earlier this year, Estavi was sued by former Bitcoin.com CEO Mate Tokay for allegedly failing to pay him for his services. In his claim, Tokay also alleged that there’s an inconsistency between the purported and actual circulating supply of BRG.
Cointelegraph reached out to Bridge Oracle for comment. This article will be updated should they reply.
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Is Bitcoin nearing another Black Thursday crash? Here’s what BTC derivatives suggest
Bitcoin’s 51.4% crash in March 2020 was the most horrific 24-hour black swan event in the digital asset’s history. The recent price activity of the past week has probably resurrected similar emotions for investors who experienced the Black Thursday crash.
Over the past week, Bitcoin’s (BTC) price dropped 29% to reach a three-month low at $42,150. $5.5 billion in long contracts were liquidated, which is undoubtedly a record-high in absolute terms. Still, the impact of the March 2020 crash on derivatives was orders of magnitude higher.
To understand why the current correction is less severe than the one in March 2020, we will start by analyzing the perpetual futures premium. These contracts, also known as inverse swaps, face an adjustment every eight hours, so any price gap with traditional spot markets can be easily arbitrated.
Sometimes, price discrepancies arise during moments of panic due to concerns about the derivatives exchange’s liquidity or market makers being unable to participate during times of extreme volatility.
On March 12, 2020, the Bitcoin perpetual futures initiated a much larger descent than the price on spot exchanges. This move is partially explained by the cascading liquidations that took place, creating a backlog of large sell orders unable to find liquidity at reasonable prices.
The aftermath of the bloodbath resulted in futures perpetual contracts trading at a 12% discount versus regular spot exchanges. BitMEX, the largest derivatives market at the time, went offline for 25 minutes, causing havoc as investors became suspicious about its liquidity conditions.
By comparing this event with the most recent week, one will find that sustainable price discrepancies are very unusual. Even a temporary 12% gap doesn’t occur, even during the most volatile hours.
Take notice of how the perpetual contracts reached a peak 4% discount versus regular spot exchanges on May 13, although it lasted less than five minutes. Market makers and arbitrage desks could have been caught off guard but quickly managed to recoup liquidity by buying the perpetual contracts at a discount.
To understand the impact of those crashes on professional traders, the 25% delta skew is the best metric, as it compares similar call (buy) and put (sell) options’ pricing. When market makers and whales fear that Bitcoin’s price could crash, they demand a higher premium for the neutral-to-bearish put options. This movement causes the 25% delta skew to shift positively.
The above chart displays the mind-blowing 59% peak one-month Bitcoin options delta skew in March 2020. This data shows absolute fear and an incapacity to price the put (sell) options, causing the distortion. Even if one excludes the intraday peak, the 25% delta skew presented sustained periods above 20, indicating extreme “fear.”
Over the past week, the skew indicator peaked at 14%, which isn’t very far from the “neutral” -10% to +10% range. It is indeed a striking difference from the previous months’ negative skew, indicating optimism, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Therefore, although the recent 29% price drop in seven days could have been devastating for traders using leverage, the overall impact on derivatives has been modest.
This data shows that the market has been incredibly resilient as of late, but this strength might be tested if Bitcoin’s price continues to drop.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
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