Enterprise blockchain Concordium has been admitted into the FinTech Association of Japan (FAJ), the non-profit focused on furthering financial innovation. While its remit is centered around Japan, the influence of the FAJ extends much further thanks to corporate members that include leading global fintechs. PayPal, Visa, and JP Morgan are among the enterprises affiliated with the association, which is one of the most influential fintech bodies operating in the industry.
Concordium’s entry into the group will enable the blockchain project to pursue dialog concerning the best way to drive adoption of its enterprise-friendly network. The blockchain has been designed to support identity management, with the goal of enabling businesses to transact in a private yet regulatory compliant manner. This is achieved in conjunction with zero-knowledge proofs that allow for the veracity of information to be calculated without revealing its content.
Bringing Privacy to Public Blockchain
The information broadcast on public blockchains can be inspected by anyone, allowing third parties to view transactions being transmitted between counterparties, including the amount being sent. This is a core feature of public blockchains such as Bitcoin, allowing them to be independently verified using any common block explorer. However, this ability comes at a price in terms of privacy. Enterprises, for example, would be reluctant to use any public blockchain that broadcasts sensitive financial information.
Concordium’s solution allows for the best of both worlds: the openness and universal access of a public ledger coupled with the ability to shield transactions so that only sender and recipient can view their content. There is one exception to this rule: there is a revoke feature built in that allows regulators to view specific transactions, but only in circumstances where they are legally entitled to do so.
Commenting on Concordium’s entry into the Fintech Association of Japan, CEO Lone Fønss Schrøder said: “We are working to increase the understanding of how public blockchain can be used to effect positive change and drive fintech innovation.
“It’s a privilege for Concordium to join the global leaders contributing to the FAJ efforts. We are looking forward to advancing ideas for improving the fintech space, through pioneering compliant systems that capitalize on public blockchain’s unique properties.”
Building Bridges With Financial Regulators
Recognizing that enterprise adoption of blockchain must occur within a regulated environment, Concordium has packed its team with experienced C-level execs and advisors who have deep ties to the financial and tech industries. Former NASDAQ Vice-Chair Hans-Ole Jochumsen and Michael Jackson, Skype’s former COO, are on its advisory board. It’s also well equipped on the tech front, thanks to the likes of Prof. Ivan Damgård, one of the world’s most respected cryptography researchers.
Given Japan’s reputation as a hub of tech innovation, Concordium is likely to find a receptive audience there for its blockchain-based digital identity solution. In gaining membership of the FinTech Association of Japan, the company is now positioned to pursue opportunities within the country as it seeks to drive adoption of its privacy-first blockchain, whose mainnet is on course to launch in Q2.
Buying the Bitcoin Dip: MicroStrategy Scoops $10M Worth of BTC Following $7K Daily Crash
Michael Saylor’s Bitcoin bet appears to be far from over as his company MicroStrategy has acquired even more BTC despite the crypto price experiencing a significant retrace over the last couple of days.
- MicroStrategy has added more Bitcoin to its balance sheet according to an announcement issued on Friday (Jan. 22, 2021).
MicroStrategy has purchased approximately 314 bitcoins for $10.0 million in cash in accordance with its Treasury Reserve Policy, at an average price of approximately $31,808 per bitcoin. We now hold approximately 70,784 bitcoins.https://t.co/zMJSH29bmC
— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) January 22, 2021
- The business intelligence firm has acquired 314 BTC for $10 million increasing its Bitcoin holdings to over 70,784 “coins.”
- MicroStrategy’s announcement also revealed that it bought its BTC lump at a price of about $31,808 per coin.
- The company began buying BTC back in August 2020, after making a bitcoin purchase worth $250 million. Since its initial purchase, the company has since been on a bitcoin buying spree, even raising more than $650 million in debt for another BTC purchase.
- At the time, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor described Bitcoin as a viable hedge against monetary debasement.
- Since its first Bitcoin purchase announcement, the company’s stock price has risen more than 320%.Indeed, MicroStrategy’s pivot to Bitcoin seemed to trigger a herd of institutional adopters who added the largest crypto by market capitalization to their balance sheets.
- Other publicly-listed firms including asset managers and insurance companies have also bought Bitcoin. Companies like Ruffer Investment bought about $750 million worth of BTC.
- As of the time of writing, Bitcoin appears to be recovering from a 30% slump that its price below $30,000 for the first time since Jan. 4.
Meet the Startups Merging Blockchain and Real-World Assets
One of the holy grails of blockchain technology has always been the potential for it to support the tokenization of real-world assets, allowing users to send, receive, and exchange the ownership rights to physical goods just as easily as making a Bitcoin transaction.
But in the more than a decade that blockchain-based platforms have been around, we have yet to see a solution that managed to bring real-world assets to the blockchain in an intuitive, useful, and holistic way — by ensuring these tokenized real-world assets could be used just like regular digital assets throughout the burgeoning crypto DeFi landscape.
But this may be about to change.
Several modern platforms are now laying the foundations that may eventually make transferring real-world assets like real estate, commodities, and currencies over the blockchain a common occurrence while unlocking a whole host of new potential use cases.
Here, we take a look at some of the most promising.
KIRA is a next-generation blockchain platform that is designed to unlock the liquidity of staked assets and power the future of decentralized financial applications with its fast, interoperable, and massively scalable blockchain solution.
It introduces the unique Multi-Bonded Proof of Stake (MBPoS) consensus mechanism, which allows anybody to contribute to the security of the KIRA network by staking a vast range of tokenized assets — without sacrificing their access to their assets while doing so.
This is because when assets are staked on KIRA, users still retain market access to them, meaning they can still be traded and used in various DeFi apps while still staked and earning rewards.
Staked assets can include KIRA tokens, assets from other blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ether), stablecoins, and a host of tokenized real-world assets, ranging from real-estate to works of art, commodities, portfolios, and practically anything else.
As the total value of assets staked on KIRA increases, so too does its security, making it the only blockchain to not only allow traditional investors to enter crypto markets with their real-world assets but also earn cryptocurrency staking rewards for doing so.
The capabilities of the KIRA network are further bolstered by the Interchain Exchange Protocol (IXP) — a DeFi app that allows users to trade their staked and unstaked assets from a variety of blockchains.
AllianceBlock is a novel blockchain-based platform that wants to produce the world’s first globally compliant decentralized capital market, by providing a regulated bridge between the worlds of decentralized finance and traditional centralized finance.
The team behind AllianceBlock looks to produce an ecosystem that allows traditional firms and investors to easily gain access to structured digital assets and crypto products. They also intend to allow firms to easily launch their own regulation-compliant crypto derivative products on the blockchain — these can represent almost anything, including physical property, security tokens, crypto portfolios, and more.
AllianceBlock looks set to achieve this by leveraging its three-layer blockchain protocol, which is comprised of a cross-border regulatory & compliance layer, data governance and privacy layer, and a transactions & workflow layer — together, these help to remove the intermediaries involved in settling transactions and make capital markets safer, more transparent, and more accessible to everyone.
As part of its plans to make money markets more accessible, AllianceBlock will allow digital asset investors to gain access to tokenized physical assets (digital securities), while traditional investors will be able to access regulated digital asset markets, while benefiting from AllianceBlock’s familiar issuance, validation, and clearance processes.
As you might imagine, one of the major challenges of bringing real-world assets onto the blockchain is creating a token that perfectly replicates their properties without any loopholes or limitations that would make them a challenge to use or trade.
Synthetix looks to resolve this issue through the creation of synthetic assets, or “synths”, which are essentially tokenized versions of other assets that mimic their price characteristics and other properties.
These synths can track the price of a huge range of potential assets, including other cryptocurrencies, NFTs, derivatives, private and public stocks, land, real estate, and physical commodities like gold and oil.
To achieve this, Synthetix uses a range of price feeds supplied by Chainlink oracles. Right now, Synthetix only supports synthetic FX currencies and commodities like sGBP (synthetic Pound sterling) and sXAU (synthetic Gold per ounce). But there are plans to extend this to practically any real-world asset in the near future.
Just like regular crypto assets, these synths will be tradeable and can be sent and received with few to no barriers — making even non-divisible or illiquid physical assets easily transferable on the blockchain.
Bitcoin price bounces above $32K as MicroStrategy ‘buys the dip’ with $10M
Bitcoin (BTC) showed signs of a resurgence on Jan. 22 after a trip below $30,000 produced fresh buyer support.
BTC price seals 8.5% daily bounce
The turnaround follows a turbulent 24 hours in which Bitcoin slid to $28,950 — a key level when it comes to support from whales and only its second dip below $30,000 this year.
At the same time, MicroStrategy, well known for its ever-increasing Bitcoin treasury, confirmed that it had purchased 314 BTC to bring its total hoard to 70,784 BTC.
“Microstrategy just bought 314 more #Bitcoin for $10M. @michael_saylor bought the dip,” Twitter-based information resource Documenting Bitcoin summarized, referring to the company’s CEO, Michael Saylor.
The latest buy-in came at an average cost of $31,808 per Bitcoin and joins asset manager Grayscale’s ongoing purchases that defy overall selling action in the past few weeks.
All eyes on whales at $29,000
Among other major BTC investors, meanwhile, interest remained focused on the area at just below $30,000.
According to monitoring resource Whalemap, that area is crucial to hold in order to avert a further price dip on BTC/USD, one that could take the pair closer to $20,000.
“Falling below $28,727 and consolidating there will give us another big drop to at least $23,818,” part of a series of tweets explained, along with an accompanying graphic.
“Not many supports below $28,727 right now, so if we start consolidating there, it will probably bring BTC all the way to at least $23,818,” co-founder Artem Lazarev told Cointelegraph.
“$23,818 is not super strong but nevertheless should provide time for BTC to reassess the situation. Otherwise, $19,322 is super strong and a level for which big guys are setting their stoplosses probably.”
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