The Blockchain technology is revolutionizing payments and it is seemingly pushing banks into oblivion. But then the banks are having none of it as they aim to evolve with the current trends. Mr Patrick Mweheire, the chairman of Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) and Stanbic Bank managing director said during an interview with Daily Monitor that banks will adopt the Blockchain technology where it is needed to reduce operational costs and risks. This is because asides the risks associated with the blockchain technology, it possesses some ideal prospect for the banking sector.
Mweheire explained, “Aspects such as data processing, settlements and payments [are good] and anything that reduces costs and risks is good for us.” Considering the fact that Mr Mweheire’s comments come just after Uganda hosted the African blockchain conference last week. During the event, topics on how Africa can leverage on blockchain technology to transform its payment systems and data collection systems were discussed.
Not Just the Banks
Asides the banking sector, other sectors could benefit from the blockchain technology. Mr Kweme Rugunda, the chairman of the Uganda Blockchain Association explained that asides payment systems, the blockchain technology could be used in tax collection, supply chain management, land registration etc.
What Does the Blockchain Have to Offer?
The blockchain technology can be used to facilitate interbank settlements, a point Mr Mweheire agrees with as inter-bank settlements currently take as long as two to three days. He also asserts that the blockchain technology will reduce a number of operational costs feed into bank accounts. He explains, “We [banks] face high operational cost of up to 70 per cent. Therefore, if there is a way we can eliminate them, why not?” Mr. Kweme also agrees that the Blockchain technology will be needed in the banking sector as it allows real time payment settlement and offers a high level of security that has back-to-back records documentation.
However, Ugandans have been warned against trading in cryptocurrencies as Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, the governor of the Central Bank of Uganda warned against cryptocurrencies, saying the Central Bank had no technology to regulate the sector that has a high risk exposure. Although it may seem that Uganda will likely adopt a staunch posture against cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT minister of Uganda has said otherwise. During his closing speech at the Africa Blockchain conference in Kampala last week, he said that Uganda would adopt blockchain technology and the government would appoint a National Advisory Taskforce on Blockchain to monitor the process of the adoption.
What do you think about banks adopting the blockchain technology? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
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US Treasury believes Libra could be used for Money Laundering or Financing Terrorism
The 77th Secretary of the US Treasury had in a Press Conference held in the White House made known government position on the Facebook attempt into cryptocurrency. In the Conference, the Secretary expressed the concerns over Facebook Libra and Calibra saying it could be used for money laundering or financing of terrorism.
Facebook has since last year 2018 been preparing for its move into cryptocurrency by hiring engineers, a move after it had place a ban on crypto ads a year before. In June 2019, the social media giant released its white paper outline its goal to build a new financial system using the blockchain with massive corporations ranging acting as validators.
The attempt to create its “globalcoin” attracted backlash from the crypto community and as well as countries of the world which say the move as a threat to their local currency. Chiefly amongst the latest move by a foreign nation is the India’s decision to have nothing to do with Libra within its sovereign borders.
Facebook upon releasing the Libra white paper received a correspondence from the US Congress signed by Maxine Waters amongst others asking it to halt Libra or risk the emergence of a new Swiss financial system that is too big to fail. Congress requested Facebook to appear before it. The date is set for July 16, however, and top US officials are expressing their position on the Libra and its fate appears hanging.
The 45th Leader of the free world has few days ago said the Facebook Libra will have “little standing”. A comment which US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin credited as the President’s personal opinion and not that of the State. However, in the Press Conference today, the Secretary said the Treasury has very serious concerns Libra could be used for money laundering or financing terrorism.
“……..the overall goal is to maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect it from abuse.” – Steve Mnuchin
And as cryptocurrencies has been exploited by many players to facilitate illegal activities such as cybercrime, tax evasion, illicit drugs, human trafficking, While the US government welcomes innovations that may improve the efficiency of the financial system and expand access to financial services, Libra poses a threat to the financial stability and integrity of the US financial system.
Facebook is currently trading as at press time at $203 showing a closing loss of 0.47% after opening at $204 and reaching a height of $205.53 today.
Crypto Believers are Fools, No Country Will Allow Unregulated Crypto – Nouriel Roubini
The famous anti-crypto economist Nouriel Roubini has stated he agrees with President Donald Trump on his comment on Crypto. Though he said this is the 1st time he ever agreed with the 45th President of the US.
In a tweet, the crypto skeptic pointed out that no country will not even the United States will allow the Wild West scams of unregulated crypto with no AML/KYC. His position on cryptocurrency known globally by crypt enthusiast however, this latest tweet is coming as a reply to the comment by the US President on crypto and the Facebook Libra. He also took a swipe on Facebook by saying countries will not allow firms to be a bank or money servicers with no banking license or regulations.
1st time I agree with Trump: no country, not even USA skeptical of excessive regs, will allow the wild west scams of unregulated crypto with no AML/KYC, being a bank or money servicer with no bank license/regs. Get used to it u crypto fools/scammers. Start to comply or disappear! https://t.co/2up9lIuiRu
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) July 12, 2019
The Economist has openly expressed his disdain for all things cryptocurrrency by calling it shitcoin, scams etc at several times. In a post on Twitter, he targeted Ethereum calling the ICO which the second largest cryptocurrency has “just a scam”. He went further to say the ICO was aimed at filling the pockets of a small group of insiders including Vitalik Buterin. The sale was not a fair one and that Crypto is the mother of all scams.
The only way to be “safe” in crypto is to go back to the Stone Age. He took another swipe at Crypto security. Poking the idea behind Cold Storage and Paper Wallets, he pointed put that the idea of cold storage and paper wallet is exactly like the Stone Age and that crypto is taking us there. “Write your private key on a piece of paper and hide it in a mattress and hope you aren’t victim of a crypto robber or of paper eating rats” he said.
Recently Roubini has been in cross-hairs with the Founder of BitMEX Authur Hayes over a Talk they had which he claims the BitMEX CEO is hiding the recordings where he said he beat the Margin Trading Exchange Boss. He called out the CEO calling the Margin Trading exchange a scamshop. Continuing, he said Regulators and Law Enforcement authorities will start to take action on the Exchange hopefully.
He attacked the security of the cryptocurrency industry by saying no exchange is secure as there are hacks everywhere. This was a reply to the Japanese exchange Bitpoint which was recently hacked and resulted in the loss of over $20 million. He further claimed that “No one is using the DEX as they have no liquidity or transactions AND are hackable too!”.
The stand of the Nouriel Roubini, a Coindesk Most Influential Award winner is no new thing in crypto and he has come again and again under attack from Crypto Enthusiast. He is an Author, Professor and CEO of Roubini Macro Associates.
Japan’s LIQUID Exchange Announces Telegram Digital Token Public Sale
Japan’s top cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has announced the upcoming Public Sale launch of Telegram digital asset token for the (Telegram Open Network).
As reported by Finance Magnates, this development is made possible by Liquid’s recent partnership with Gram Asia, the largest holder of the native token of TON blockchain in Asia. Public Sale for the TON token will commence by 10th of July 8 am UTC and is open to accredited LIQUID Exchange users. Interested participants in the public sale are also expected to have enough funds in their accounts.
Excited Mike Kayamori, co-founder and CEO of Liquid, “We are excited to be partnering with Gram Asia to launch the Gram token sale, which is wonderful news to our community who are native users of Telegram. We share the vision for a more secure and open value transfer system in order to enable the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.” said.
It should be noted Telegram organized a private sale in 2017 when it announced plans to launch its own Blockchain and native token via the no longer popular ICO. It raised a total of $1.7 billion via private sale as at March 2018 making it the second largest amount raised through ICO second only to Block.one’s EOSIO which still ranks tops after raising over $4 billion.
“The TON Blockchain infrastructure can help enhance Telegram’s current capabilities as a peer to peer network of value, with the launch of their cryptocurrency light wallets for Telegram’s highly engaged user base,” Kayamori continued.
As TON is expected on its own Blockchain, Liquid Exchange will make provision for integration of the TON compatible wallet where investors are expected to receive TON tokens upon the launch of TON Mainnet which is expected to go live by October 2019. As Japan’s first FSA licensed global exchange, it assures its users of an unconditional refund should the initial plans not follow through by the TON Team.
“As the first Japan FSA licensed global exchange, Liquid has demonstrated strong governance capabilities for protecting its users; therefore, I firmly believe Liquid is the right partner to launch this historic token sale. We are excited to invite all believers in Telegram’s vision, globally and in Asia, to build on top of TON, leveraging the critical mass of Telegram’s user base.” Dongbeom Kim, founder and CEO of Gram Asia, said.
Sparkster Unlocks Tokens for Contributors One Year After ICO, Lists on Bithumb Pro
Sparkster has unlocked the Sparkster Token (SPRK) one year after ICO contributors bought in and announces listing on Bithumb exchange.
Sparkster is a blockchain project that prides itself in bringing the blockchain revolution to a new level, as it claims. It is a platform that enables just anyone to build software without writing code and the ability to run that software on the Sparkster Decentralized Cloud, a specialized blockchain that can support more than 10 Million TPS. It claims blockchain is too complicated and too slow to be adopted by mainstream business hence Sparkster’s Decentralized Cloud runs its software on users smartphones, avoiding server costs. The community earns tokens for making their devices available, and the business world enjoys much lower cost Cloud Computing.
It held an ICO during the month of July last year, raised its revised hard cap of $22.2 million and has since distributed tokens to contributors who found out they couldn’t trade even on decentralized exchanges such as Forkdelta or IDEX as it was locked by the project team.
This sparked outrage within its community of which series of AMA was being held to quell the situation. By March 2019, Sparkster team continued to assure its community that the unanimous decision taken by the team to lock its token was in the best interest of the project and its community and that big news was on the way to being announced.
Consequently, after a few months, it announced the token unlock and major exchange listing would happen on the 9th of June 2019. With much anticipation from its community and many of them expressing their doubts as this might be another antic by the team to make them keep faith with the project they considered a colossal disappointment, the Sparkster team acted through to its word by finally unlocking the SPRK token about a year after ICO.
Token price as at press time is $0.019 as compared to $0.15 which was its ICO price. It continues to assure its community that present token price does not reflect the overall value of the project and has since announced the listing of its token Bithumb Pro which is different from Bithumb.com, Korea’s largest digital asset trading platform.
It has also released ready-made products which the SPRK token is supposed to power as a utility token.
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