Japan’s Third Largest Bank Completes Blockchain Trade Finance Test

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), the third largest bank by assets in Japan, is set to begin utilizing R3’s Marco Polo trade finance blockchain on a commercial basis by the end of the year. The bank said on Friday last week that a cross-border proof-of-concept test was successfully completed involving Mitsui & Co, a Japanese general trading company, Indorama Ventures, a Thai company in the intermediate petrochemicals business, and Bangkok Bank, Thailand’s third-largest bank. In the course of the exercise, Bangkok Bank issued a payment guarantee for Indorama Ventures to…

Bank of Canada Exploring Possibility of Launching a Digital Currency

Bank of Canada, the Canadian central bank, is exploring the possibility of launching a digital currency that would replace cash and track how people spend their money. The aim of the proposed currency would be to mitigate the “direct threat” posed by cryptocurrencies to the economic sovereignty of governments and central banks, an issue that has featured prominently in the headlines recently amidst intense regulatory pushback on Facebook’s proposed coin, Libra. The proposal was pitched to Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, and its board of directors in…

Major Singapore Bank Completes First DLT Trade Financing Transaction

A Singaporean banking branch of CIMB Group, one of the largest Asian investment banks, has completed its first blockchain-based trade financing transaction. The transaction was processed using a blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) platform developed by local trade financing firm iTrust Trading, Yahoo Singapore reports Oct. 17. By applying iTrust’s blockchain-based IoT, CIMB intends to minimize the risks associated with commodity trade financing and facilitate credit extension for its customers by gaining access to real-time monitoring of the cargo data in transit and in the warehouse.  The technology reportedly…

Top Fed Official Says US Central Bank ‘Actively’ Debating Digital Dollar

A top Federal Reserve official said Wednesday that the U.S. central bank is “actively looking at and debating” issuance of a digital currency, amid growing worries among current and former regulators that the dollar might be at risk of losing its status as the world’s reserve currency. Speaking at a local business event in Austin, Texas, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Rob Kaplan said: “We have not at the Fed decided to pursue or drive to develop a digital currency, but it’s something we’re actively looking at and debating.”…

Libra an ‘Important Catalytic Event,’ Says Swedish Central Bank Chief

The head of Sweden’s Riksbank has characterized Facebook’s Libra project as “an incredibly important catalytic event” that is spurring the world’s central banks to ready themselves for digital transformation. In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe on Oct. 15, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said: “It has been an incredibly important catalytic event to sort of shake the tree when Libra showed up out of the blue, and that forced us to think hard about what we do.”  Private vs. public, not digital vs. physical Speaking as the head of…

Bank of Ireland Execs Back Out of Testifying in OneCoin Scam Hearings

Bank of Ireland (BOI) executives have backed out of the testimony before the United States Government in the criminal proceedings regarding a $400 million worth money laundering scheme through cryptocurrency scam OneCoin. No testimony on voluntary basis As fintech-focused news outlet FinanceFeed reported on Oct. 11, the U.S. Government filed a Letter with the Court on Oct. 10, in which it clarified that over the past week it had tried to get voluntary witness testimony in Ireland. However, the witnesses changed their stance toward the prospect of testifying and would…

Major Chinese Bank Updates Blockchain Platform After $50 B Transacted

The China Construction Bank (CCB) officially released the second version of its blockchain trading platform, which reached 360 billion yuan ($50 billion) in cumulative transaction volume. CCB will actively promote blockchain platform On Oct. 9, Xinhua news agency reported that CCB, one of the big four banks in the People’s Republic of China, announced the release of “BCTrade 2.0,” a blockchain trade finance platform that digitizes trade and financial services between a reported 54 domestic and overseas CCB branches and 40 external organizations, including a number of state-owned and foreign…

Bank of America Is Now Hiring in Blockchain, Not Just Filing Patents

The second-largest U.S. bank has begun hiring for blockchain positions. The job openings, which appeared in recent months, are the first indicator that Bank of America plans to do much else with the technology apart from 78 blockchain-related patents the bank has filed or won to date.  The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank has six positions open that mention blockchain: one for a treasury product manager, three for enterprise payment technology senior architects and two for banking regulatory domain architects.  Each job description either calls for experience with blockchain tech or the ability…

Bank of America Hints It Has Hired a Dedicated Ripple Specialist

The United States’ second-largest bank appears to have hired a specialist for an implementation of blockchain-based payment network Ripple. Bank seeks Ripple team lead According to a job description on professional social network LinkedIn, as of Oct. 10, Bank of America (BoA) had stopped accepting applications for what it calls a “treasury product manager” for Ripple. “This role leads the product management team for the Ripple Project, a decentralized ledger technology based solution to cross border payments marketed to GTS clients,” the job description reads, continuing: “The incumbent will be responsible…

Swiss National Bank to Research CBDCs at New BIS Innovation Hub Centre

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have signed an agreement to cooperate on the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Switzerland. Two major projects According to a news release on Oct. 8, the BIS’s first three innovation hubs will be established in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Swiss center will initially focus on two research projects — integration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) into a distributed ledger technology infrastructure, and analysis of the rising requirements for tracking fast-paced electronic markets by central banks. The first…