BSP recognizes ‘digital bank’ as new bank category

… as a new bank category, in line with its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap which seeks to streamline financial technology in the country.
The mobile banking apps of BPI, PNB and Standard Chartered are shown in a smartphone screen. ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Board has officially recognized “digital bank” as a new bank category, in line with its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap which seeks to streamline financial technology in the country.

The BSP defines “digital bank” as a bank that offers financial products and services that are processed end-to-end through a digital platform and/or electronic channels with no physical branches.

“Digital banks will play an important role in the digital financial ecosystem. We see these banks as additional partners in further promoting market efficiencies and expanding access of Filipinos to a broad range of financial services, bringing us closer to the realization of our target that at least 50 percent of total retail payment transactions have shifted to digital, and 70 percent of adult Filipinos have transaction accounts by year 2023,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement Monday.

With the new classification, the BSP will require and subject digital banks to “same prudential requirements” like other bank types to protect them from financial risks.

The central bank is currently crafting regulatory framework for digital banks, anticipating the arrival of local and foreign players.

Diokno reiterated earlier statements that the Monetary Board may limit the number of digital banks in the Philippines, looking for players who have “strong value proposition, sufficient financial strength, technical expertise of management and effective risk management.”

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RSK Merged Mining Reaches All-Time High

RSK (Rootstock) is a Bitcoin sidechain and a smart contract platform. The IOVlabs-built protocol draws its security from the primary chain. Overly, RSK …
Reading Time: 2minutes by Dalmas Ngetich on November 26, 2020&nbspAltcoins

RSK (Rootstock) is a Bitcoin sidechain and a smart contract platform. The IOVlabs-built protocol draws its security from the primary chain.

Overly, RSK improves the Bitcoin ecosystem because it supports the execution of complex transactions (smart contracts) impossible in the base layer. Additionally, RSK improves the scalability and functionality—specifically through the launch of the DeFi platform. Other developments include the issuance of stablecoins, decentralized identities, blockchain traceability and interoperability solutions.

The sidechain can secure its ecosystem using Bitcoin through a merged mining process. However, for a better understanding, we should first know why they settled on Bitcoin.

What is Bitcoin Mining?

For starters, Bitcoin is the world’s most valuable digital currency. From its network is a diverse community made up of developers, users and caretakers. Caretakers comprise miners.

As a Proof-of-Work system, miners provide the hashing power to confirm transactions and add them to a block. To synchronize with others, they run special software connecting them to the network and miners.

Since Bitcoin mining is highly resource-intensive, miners receive incentives to participate. Roughly every 10 minutes, the network releases 6.25 BTC. With the evolution of technology–and the need for projects to operate secure and decentralized platforms off the bat, solutions have been created enabling their launch and sourcing of security from the base layer.

The act through which secondary protocols can source security from Bitcoin is called merged mining. RSK is secure and runs a general-purpose sidechain expanding Bitcoin’s functionality and ecosystem because of merged mining.

What Is Merged Mining Exactly?

Simply put, it is a technique through which the same hash rate that protects the primary layer can be used not only for consensus but for security in the secondary chain. The RSK platform is currently the most profitable merged mining platform.

Presently, miners drawn from different parts of the world running RSK nodes secure the smart contracting Bitcoin sidechain. Approximately 60% to 80% percent of hash rate (computing power) securing Bitcoin powers RSK.

Typically, miners earn 80% of fees from every competing block submitted to the network without requiring Bitcoin miners to purchase new gear. Equipment used by Bitcoin miners is used to mine RSK since, as aforementioned, they are based on the same hashing algorithm.

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Russia To Give More Rights To Crypto Owners + More News

It added that the SmartKey team connected an Ethereum (ETH) smart contract to a Teltonika smart key device and app, and this will enable fire, …
Russia To Give More Rights To Crypto Owners + More News 101
Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin. Source: Wikipedia

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Regulation news

  • Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the country will recognize digital assets as property, enabling their owners to protect their interests in court. Mishustin did not specify when it might happen.

Crypto adoption news

  • Sygnum Banksaid it launched its regulated end-to-end tokenization solution comprised of Desygnate, a primary market issuance platform, and SygnEx, a secondary market trading venue. Sygnum claims it is now “the world’s first bank with a fully integrated, institutional-grade tokenization offering.”

Blockchain news

  • Kazakhstan’s blockchain-powered real estate and land registry platform is up and running, reported Inform.Kz. The platform claims it will allow banks, land owners, land buyers, and tenants to do away with slower, paper-based processes that currently typically take three days to complete – reducing completion time on land and property deals to a single day. The quantity of documents that must be submitted to banks has also been reduced, said the platform’s architects.
  • Japan’s Keio University is co-building blockchain-powered digital ID platform in cooperation with domestic blockchain EdMuse, the latter announced in an official release. The company said that the platform was being developed for use in the human resources management industry and would help solve labor shortage problems, which have become more severe in Japan in recent years. The university’s Graduate School of Business Administration Takashi Iwamoto Laboratory will take part in the development, while EdMuse said it has been “conducting demonstration experiments at the technical level” with educational institutions in Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.
  • The South Korean government has pledged to spend USD 127m on a new economic revival plan that includes blockchain spending. Per, the money will be used to foster innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in the regions surrounding the capital Seoul – traditionally a heartland of up-and-coming tech firms – as well as other parts of the country. The money will be used to support industry 4.0 companies, including blockchain startups, and will help develop a “low-carbon and eco-friendly economy.”
  • Following a successful trial, Olsztyn, Poland, started to use blockchain to assist their emergency services, thanks to blockchain connection platform SmartKey, said an emailed press release. It added that the SmartKey team connected an Ethereum (ETH) smart contract to a Teltonika smart key device and app, and this will enable fire, ambulance, and police teams to enter any part of the closed district or any secure building within the city safely and securely, without having to track down a keyholder or wait for permission – resulting in reduced response times. The system will be ready for worldwide rollout from early 2021, said a blog post.

Investments news

  • Galaxy Digital’s bitcoin (BTC) funds, which were launched last November, raised USD 58.7m in their first year. Per the filings, Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP raised USD 55.1m, and Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP raised USD 3.6m. The Institutional fund had 33 investors, while the minimum investment was USD 250,000. The Galaxy fund saw 56 investors, with a minimum investment of USD 25,000.
  • Major YouTuber Andrei Jikh, whose channel has nearly a million subscribers, said he invested USD 100,000 in bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), and then used lending platforms to earn interest on his coins. In his video, he said he owned BTC 7.5 (USD 126,667) and ETH 120 (USD 61,080) – or USD 187,747 in total, nearly USD 90,000 more than his original investment.

Exchanges news

  • On Thursday, Coinbasesaid that they are experiencing elevated error rates on some backend systems due to an Amazon AWS outage. ” You may encounter intermittent delays or errors while transacting, as well as accessing other parts of our applications. Customer support inquiries are also delayed,” the exchange added.

FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival 2020 concludes with largest edition yet

… ESUSU: Esusu is the leading financial technology platform that leverages data solutions to empower tenants and improve property performance.

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Abu Dhabi, 26th November, 2020 (WAM) — The fourth edition of the FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival (FinTech AD), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and co-hosted by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), concluded today and recorded the event’s largest edition yet, attracting more than 25,000 participants from around the world.

The FinTech AD Festival 2020 was held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, and Masdar.

The last day of FinTech AD’s jam-packed, three-day agenda featured keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fireside sessions led by renowned financial figures, wherein they highlighted the latest developments and emergent trends across the FinTech sector, including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, venture capital and start-up scaling.

Among the speakers that addressed day three of FinTech AD include Abdulhamid M Saeed Alahmadi, Governor of CBUAE, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister Of State and Chairman of ADGM, Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, Mohamed Abdel Hameed Al Askar, Director General of Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala, Umar Farooq, CEO of Onyx by JP Morgan, Yuri Misnik, Chief Technology Officer of First Abu Dhabi Bank, Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chairman of Mastercard, and Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71.

The Youth Circle was led by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM, Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Reem Al Junaibi, Community & Operations – Hub71, Hoor Al Maazmi, Space Science Researcher – UAE Space Agency, Mohamed Jawad Shalo, Head of Financial Crime Prevention Unit, FSRA – Abu Dhabi Global Market, Shamma Al Fahim, Senior Specialist, Capital Markets Authorisation, FSRA – Abu Dhabi Global Market, and Abdulla Alshehhi, Space Technology Senior Researcher – UAE Space AgencyThe UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said: “FinTech is a growing priority for governments who are serious about investing in the future and the UAE is one of these nations. We are no strangers to rapid developments and swift changes to the status quo, and we are comfortable with the uncertainty that comes with innovating. The Federal Youth Authority, alongside ADGM, strongly believes in the power of young people in designing and imagining the future.”

“It has always been the leadership’s top priority in nurturing and developing the youth as part of its nation building commitment. This unfaltering focus continues from the practice of our Founding Fathers, who believe that the ability of young people in building the country’s future. The UAE leadership and ministries have taken tremendous strides in engaging the youth in government entities and companies so that their voice, views and suggestions are included. The country is committed to supporting its young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to enhance their international role and be the UAE’s voice globally as well.”

Mohamed Abdel Hameed Al Askar, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, said: “Abu Dhabi features a wide ecosystem that is equipped to support any industry, including finance, banking and healthcare. As part of Abu Dhabi’s wise leadership, the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority works on four main pillars: data, security, services and infrastructure. We embed collaboration, security, personalization and proactiveness across every aspect of our work, a prime example of which is our initiative with Ghadan 21 concerning Abu Dhabi’s government services.”

Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71, said: “What makes Hub71 different is that it is based out of Abu Dhabi, where there is tremendous support from our leadership, which has been very forward-thinking concerning how Abu Dhabi can further establish a knowledge-based economy. Hub71 has the strong backing of its partners, such as Ghadan 21, ADIO, and Mubadala, as well as the strategic partnerships that we are creating through our corporate programmes, that serves as an attractive opportunity for start-ups to access this network.”

Richard Teng, CEO of the ADGM FSRA, said: “Abu Dhabi’s leadership and policymakers, as well as working alongside other stakeholders across the board, is key to ensuring the Emirate’s development of a digital economy and aiding in its embrace of the future, specifically sector such as FinTech and technology. This prompts us at ADGM to think of the future of finance and the future state of the economy. What we have done could not have been achieved without the efforts of Abu Dhabi’s wider network of partners and stakeholders.”

“We at ADGM are utilizing technology to support greater market access, as well as to manage risks. Through ADGM’s Regulatory Sandbox, which is the second-most active globally, we are able to get up-close and personal with innovators and entrepreneurs and we try to understand their business models. This enables us to translate to how we manage risks and we are then able to come up with tailored regulatory frameworks to support their growth.”

Ruba Yousef Al Hassan, Executive Director of Ghadan21 at Abu Dhabi Executive Office, said: “Ghadan 21 has had an exciting past two years – we’ve launched exciting ecosystems, the one which we’re most proud of is Hub71, established alongside Mubadala, which has brought a real start-up ecosystem to Abu Dhabi that have enabled start-ups to scale their operations here. We’re also very excited to have launched an AgTech incentive programme with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, which has become a very important sector to ensure food security and use of technology to advance agriculture.”

As part of FTAD’s Investor Forum, Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO of Mubadala, took part in a fireside chat alongside Rachel Pether, Senior Advisor – SkyBridge Capital & Host of FintechTV to discuss the strategies of how sovereign funds invest, how Mubadala are investing for Abu Dhabi, and the macro-economic picture influencing the future of our economies.

Al Muhairi said: “Mubadala strives to invest in sectors, areas and businesses where we think we can achieve a good risk-to-return, meaning that we will typically lean towards forward-looking industries and sectors that will give us an above average return. For Mubadala, technology cuts across everything that we do. We’re seeing that technology is permeating all industries and the COVID-19 pandemic has provided clear evidence that this is an accelerating phenomenon.”

Salama Al Ameemi, Director General – Ma’an delivered a keynote speech on the ‘Together We Are Good’ fundraising initiative with funds of over 1bn AED raised.” He also highlights the journey to this outcome, and how technology and innovation has developed a digital funding platform, enabling the programme to provide sustainable support for affected residents in Abu Dhabi.

“Ma’an is responsible for stimulating and supporting the third sector across the Abu Dhabi landscape as we try to make a positive impact on our society. We bring together the government, private sector, not for profit organisations and community members to promote a culture of collaboration and contribution, which leads to a cohesive society. The social investment fund has been specifically created to receive contributions from the public and private sector and the wider community to tackle the most pressing social challenges that have been identified by the social sector. As the social investment fund, we have always had a strong belief it would make a big impact, but little did we know that it would be a cornerstone that changed the lives of thousands of residents and citizens in Abu Dhabi.”

During a panel discussion moderated by Hamoud Almahmoud, Editor in Chief of Harvard Business Review Arabia, Mohamed Abdel Hameed Al Askar, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Richard Teng, CEO of the ADGM FSRA, Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71, and Ruba Yousef Al Hassan, Executive Director of Ghadan21 at Abu Dhabi Executive Office, shared their insights on Abu Dhabi’s network of government authorities and initiatives, as well as their respective strategies, and their impact on the development of a knowledge-based economy, positioning Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a global technology and financial hub. The panelists highlighted the importance of championing a robust start-up ecosystem that allows for the growth of emerging technologies that contribute to Abu Dhabi’s development across various sectors, such as financial services, agriculture, urban development, and health, among others.

Anat Guetta, Chairwoman – Israeli Securities Authority, said: “As technology becomes more inherent in the financial services market, we see that the supervisory challenges are getting bigger and more complex. Similarly, as data becomes Big Data, we as regulators need to make a shift from manual supervision to technology-based supervision. We at the ISA are currently implementing a number of programmes, one of which is the Data Science project that is managed on trading data to figure out whether we’re missing trading violations through artificial intelligence and machine learning, among others. “

Moderated by Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, Richard Teng, CEO, FSRA – Abu Dhabi Global Market, Diana Paredes, CEO & Founder – Suade Labs, Michael Piwowar, Former SEC Commissioner and Executive Director – Milken Institute, and Anat Guetta, Chairwoman – Israeli Securities Authority, contributed to a panel discussion titled ‘Regulating FinTech, for a Better Future’ wherein they shared their experiences, achievements and challenges of regulating FinTechs in their respective jurisdictions. The panelists discussed navigating the rapid pace of technological advancements, introducing progressive regulations that facilitate innovation, as well as the dimensions and role of supervisory technology in the regulatory landscape.

During a panel discussion moderated by Yossi Vardi, Chairman of the Israeli Delegation, Dov Kotler, CEO – Bank Hapoalim, Dr. Ami Applebaum, Chairman of the Board & Chief Scientist – Israel Innovation Authority and Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk, Corporate Vice President – Microsoft Corporation shared their insights on the Israeli innovation ecosystem, and identified the opportunities and potential of bringing a new bridge to collaboration to life.

This year’s FinTech AD Education Partner, the ADGM Academy, presented a fireside chat titled ‘Inside Wall Street: JP Morgan’s Approach to Digital’ featuring Helene Panzarino, Director of the London Institute of Banking & Finance, as well as Umar Farooq, CEO of Onyx by JP Morgan. The session discussed J.P. Morgan’s digital transformation strategy, competitiveness in the modern age and its relationship with blockchain technology.

Presented by Hub71, the FT100 Showcase featured FinTech startups catering to various sectors, including sustainability wealth and investment, Banking as a Service and Software as a Service, FT100 All Stars, and Ma’an’s Startups for Social Good.

During the sustainability champions showcase, a number of CEO and founders of sustainable finance FinTech start-ups divulged on their operations and solutions that aim to ensure sustainable development across the markets in which they operate, including:· ESUSU: Esusu is the leading financial technology platform that leverages data solutions to empower tenants and improve property performance.

· Finclude: Finclude revolutionizes creditworthiness and affordability assessment of individuals with machine learning on their financial behavior.

· IFUNDWomen: IFundWomen is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them with access to capital, coaching, and connections.

· NOW Money: NOW Money uses mobile banking technology to bring accounts and remittance to the unbanked population of the Middle East.

The FT100 Showcase featured start-ups scouted by the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, one of FinTech AD’s government partners, who are breaking boundaries in the field of social good, including:· I Hear You: Based in the UAE, I Hear You is a mobile application that enables communication from text to sign language and vice versa.

· Key2Enable Assistive Technology: Based in Brazil, Assistive technology empowering People of Determination to use tablets, computers and smartphones with adapted hardware and accessories.

· Nafas Mediation App: Based in the UAE, Nafas is an Audio-only library of mindfulness content that is geared toward Arabic speaking people, we help our users to build resilience and reduce stress and anxiety through meditation.

· ShalaOnline: Based in the UAE, ShalaOnline is an on-demand streaming platform of online yoga and meditation classes in Arabic and English. All our sessions are taught by hand-picked certified Instructors.

The FT100 Investing and Wealth Services start-ups showcased their innovative solutions that address pain points in the realm of investment and wealth management, including, among others:· Auquan: Auquan is a London-based fintech company on a mission to improve the investment management industry by bringing data science to every investment team, allowing fundamental teams to benefit from the latest technology, including machine learning, natural language processing and knowledge graph technology.

· Bambu: Based in Singapore, Bambu is a leading global provider of digital wealth technology for businesses of every size and industry, from finance to commercial or even new disruptors, transforming the digital wealth market.

· Delio: Based in the United Kingdom, Delio helps financial institutions to connect their clients with private investment opportunities quickly, transparently and compliantly.

· Equitise: Equitise is an Australian & New Zealand investment platform for startups that brings extraordinary opportunities to everyday people.

· FinaMaze: Based in the UAE, FinaMaze is the region’s first AI-Based-Asset-Manager inspired by Nobel Prize-winning academicians and committed to solving long-standing challenges of the investment industry.

· Ignition Advice: Based in Australia, Ignition helps financial institutions attract, retain, and service consumers digitally.

The FinTech AD Festival once again held the FinTech Awards, showcasing the very best in global FinTech innovation in the UAE and the region. The Awards elevate grassroots talent and celebrate the boldest ideas and initiatives driving the industry. The winners of this year’s FinTech Awards include Michele Grosso, CEO of Democrance, Dinarak, ClauseMatch, Shorooq Partners, Manzil, UAETradeConnect, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Nameer Khan of the MENA FinTech Association, and Neha Mehta, Founder of FemTech Partners.


BharatPe eyes $5 billion annualised transaction value from PoS business in FY21

Financial technology major BharatPe on Thursday said it has grown to $2 billion (Rs 14,766 crore) in annualised transaction value in just three months …