Credit Suisse and ING Group Complete $30 Million Securities Lending Transaction Using Blockchain Technology

Yesterday, Credit Suisse and ING Group completed a 25 million euro ($30.48 million) securities lending transaction using blockchain-based software. The transaction involved the banks swapping baskets of securities through an application from fintech company HQLAx, which was built with a blockchain created by bank consortium R3.

The trade was one of the first examples of a capital markets transaction made possible through blockchain, a distributed ledger that is maintained by a network of computers on the internet. It’s a great move forward for the industry, highlighting the real-world possibilities of blockchain technologies that have faced some skepticism from traditionalists.

By the end of the year the companies expect the application to be live, according to Herve Francois, a blockchain initiative lead at ING. Using blockchain could help make the securities lending process faster and more capital efficient.

“This was far more than a proof of concept in a fenced lab,” Charley Cooper, a managing director at R3, said. “These are regulated institutions in a real market and it is a unique demonstration that blockchain solutions are being deployed in commercial settings.”

Securities Lending

Across the globe, banks have invested millions in developing blockchain applications in the hopes that it can help cut costs and simplify processes like the settlement of securities trades. While many financial institutions have announced developments and experiments using blockchain, the technology is still in its early days and few of these applications are live — though 2018 may be the year that changes.

Typically, securities in securities lending are moved from one account to another. In the new method, digital collateral records are used to transfer ownership of baskets of securities without having to move the underlying securities from one custodian to another. 

Normally, this process takes days; With this blockchain application the settlement is instantaneous. The hope is that this technology will not only help market participants redistribute liquidity more effectively and more cost-efficiently, but also that it will enhance regulatory transparency of collateral chains and mitigate risk by enabling orderly default unwinds.

“The platform gives us an opportunity to make balance sheet and capital usage much more efficient and timely,” Emmanuel Aidoo, head of distributed ledger and blockchain strategy at Credit Suisse said.

Banks have increasingly been joining forces and joining consortia to experiment with blockchain. New York-based R3 is one of the largest consortia in blockchain, with a network of more than 100 financial institutions. It developed a type of blockchain designed for financial transactions called Corda, which was used to build the securities lending application.

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Eleven individuals have been arrested in Iceland over the theft of 600 Bitcoin mining rigs. The thefts occurred in December and January. Authorities are labelling the incident the largest organised robbery in the history of the small island nation.

Mining Rigs Don’t Require Reselling for Criminals to Profit

Despite the fact that three of the four robberies took place last year, and one in January, police in Iceland have thus far refrained from making the details public. Their rationale is that the equipment’s use would alert authorities to the stolen goods’ whereabouts. Such a large number of miners suddenly coming online in the small nation would cause a spike in electricity use. This would allow law enforcement to locate them.

So far, there have been eleven arrests made in connection with the theft. Of these, two people will remain in custody by order of a Reykjanes District judge.

Unlike most thefts, there is a strong impetus for the criminals to keep the stolen goods. Selling them would attract attention and their use can be highly profitable, particularly in a nation with as cheap electricity and as cool a climate as Iceland. Mining rigs consume vast quantities of electricity and this causes them to heat up. Iceland is, therefore, an ideal location for the activity.

Police have been monitoring electricity consumption patterns since the thefts. They have also called upon local ISPs, electricians, and owners of storage units to report any suspicious behaviour.

ABC report Police Commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson of the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula said:

“This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before… Everything points to this being a highly organised crime.”

As the price of cryptocurrencies increases, we are likely to see even greater incidences of mining equipment thefts. Earlier this week, we reported a similar case in Malaysia. In this example, a group of nine were arrested. They’re suspected of stealing over 58 mining rigs. At least five different thefts were made in the area, of which the nine have been charged with two. The identities of the culprits were exposed following their attempts to sell the equipment via a dedicated website and on social media. Local police stated:

“We were acting on information obtained when the suspects attempted to sell the equipment via a website and Facebook… We managed to recover 58 machines worth more than RM500,000(US$127,000).”

Cryptocurrency mining equipment is becoming a highly valuable target for criminal gangs across the planet. The current mining reward for cracking each new block is 12.5BTC. At today’s prices, these are worth around US$137,500. Being such lucrative loot, it is clear why such incidences are on the rise.

BitRewards, the world’s first blockchain-based loyalty platform, has successfully been conducting its pre-ICO that started on January 12, 2018, and is close to reaching its soft CAP of $3 million. The company has also announced its main ICO starting from April 1, 2018. Getting excellent ratings from mainstream rating agencies like ICORating 9/10, ICOBench 4.7/5 and TrackICO 4.8/5, BitRewards expects to successfully capture the $20 billion worth of retail market globally through its revolutionary ecosystem.

About BitRewards

BitRewards is a blockchain rewards and loyalty system for e-commerce businesses. It enables online stores to reward their shoppers with a cryptocurrency “BIT”, which helps to increase sales by an average of 17%. Because of the blockchain and its unique business model, this cutting-edge loyalty system is offered to the businesses free of charge. Customers are rewarded for their purchases with liquid Ethereum-based tokens that can be redeemed for future offers, purchases, or transferred to another crypto wallet and used on other products or services.

The Exclusive Benefits

BitRewards enables retailers to make their customers more satisfied with the rewards in crypto and thus gaining their loyalty. A great loyalty program magnifies the retailer’s revenue by a significant percentage. The stores are capturing crypto-enthusiast market, which is active and embraces the attention from regular businesses.

BitRewards offers such expensive and valuable loyalty technology free of cost. The retailers buy BIT in the open market to reward their users. The cost of such software starts from $200 per month, hence many retailers want to connect to the platform. BitRewards, moreover, uses AI-based predictive analytics that helps configure the rewards and actions for every specific business to address its unique target market and maximize ROI for each dollar spent on the rewards.

What is BIT Token & How Does It Work?

Internal BitRewards tokens, called BIT comply with the ERC20 standard. It is an internal currency that will be used to conduct all operations within the BitRewards ecosystem. Customers of the online stores participating in BitRewards Network will get BIT as a cash-back — a specific configurable percent on their purchases, their referral purchases, shares and likes in social networks and other actions. The cash-back will be credited to the customer’s automatically created crypto-wallet connected to the store via BitRewards plugin.

BIT can be redeemed at the same store or with the other BitRewards participating merchants via an online crypto-wallet connected to the participating merchants. The customers can also buy BIT on the open market (e.g. exchanges, etc.) or via the Bancor liquidity smart contract. In most exchanges tokens can be converted into ETH, Bitcoin or fiat.

The Market Competitiveness of BIT

The demand for the BIT tokens most likely will grow because of the limited initial issuance of 2 billion tokens and the increasing number of retailers joining the platform exceeding the supply from the customers who redeem the tokens for purchases or trade them at the open market.

The decentralized rewards management on blockchain makes the platform unique and delivers great value to all platform members and their customers:

  • for retailers – a premium blockchain loyalty management system with a value of $200-$2000 per month for free.
  • for customers – cryptocurrency rewards, which they can turn into real money or redeem for purchases and which do not expire and tend to go up in price.


The Main ICO of BitRewards will start from April 1, 2018 while its on-going pre-ICO is ending soon. To get whitelisted for its upcoming ICO and know more about the platform’s features and technology, please visit

A young startup named Casa has recently launched a product to make cryptocurrency storage even more secure. They hope to provide clients with the most cutting-edge wallet solution available. This will make it nearly impossible to obtain private keys from individuals with large crypto holdings by way of extortion.

Casa Provides “Premium Hodl Software”

According to CEO and Founder Jeremy Welch, Casa is a cutting-edge cryptocurrency storage solution for high net worth individuals. The digital wallet requires users make three individual requests to transfer funds before any transaction is authorised. The wallet itself uses five access keys. These must be stored in five different locations.  One of these will be on the users’ phone and Casa will keep one for emergencies. The company recommends that users store each of the other three at their home, their office, and at their bank’s safety deposit box. The important thing is that no two are left in the same location.

Since it requires three of the keys to access funds stored on the Casa wallet, and only two are actually in the user’s possession, the likelihood of an individual being coerced into turning over private keys is remote. Even if a would-be thief held the user at gunpoint, accessing their digital currency would require a trip to the bank, or office. This would represent more than a slight inconvenience for the attacker.

Just six months old, Casa has already raised $2.1 million dollars from venture capital firms such as Lerer Hippeau and Boost VS, helping Casa to launch their initial product. For now, this version only supports Bitcoin. There are, however, plans to launch provide services for additional cryptocurrencies, starting with Ether, later this year.

Casa’s commitment to providing the highest level of security for cryptocurrency users has attracted the interest of one of the space’s most respected engineers. Jameson Lopp jumped ship from a similar wallet solution at BitGo to work on Casa with Welch and the rest of the team. He spoke to Forbes about his decision to pursue security projects:

“The best thing you can be working on is a problem you have yourself.”

One of the biggest issues facing the Casa team is getting their customers to actually use the product correctly. Humans often seek shortcuts and in doing so render the additional security offered by the wallet redundant. Emin Gün Sirer, a professor at Cornell offered his opinion on Casa’s dilemma:

“A user might say, ‘Well, I’m going to place two of my extra Trezors next to each other on the mantle.’ Now you’ve fooled yourself into thinking you have extra security.”

It all sounds fantastic, right? But before rushing to Casa’s site to put in your order, it’s worth pointing out the price of the service. Whilst Welch refused to give an actual amount to Forbes, he did state that Casa would charge at least five-figures on an annual basis. Evidently, the old adage rings true on this occasion, “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.”

Bitcoin Core’s long-awaited version 0.16.0 was released on February 27, significantly earlier than its initially planned release date in May.

Among the wide-ranging enhancements in version 0.16.0, the most important is that the cryptocurrency wallet now supports SegWit.

In addition to nested SegWit addresses starting with 3, it also supports the new system of native SegWit addresses starting with bc1.

The backend systems of many bitcoin services already use Bitcoin Core but updating to the latest version will make it easier to use SegWit functions. Installing SegWit is slightly complicated from a technical viewpoint, making it difficult to develop independently. Being able to use Bitcoin Core would significantly reduce that burden.

SegWit’s current adoption rate is about 15%, but it can be expected to be supported by many services from now on.

Coinbase, the biggest and most important digital currency exchange, has also started supporting it. Until now only a portion of Coinbase’s users had been able to use SegWit, but it will become available to all users by the end of this week. Coinbase has more users than any other bitcoin company in the world, but it has been criticized for falling behind in its scalability measures.

Now that Coinbase has finally brought in SegWit, I hope the world’s biggest bitcoin company will not only lead the industry in customer numbers but also in terms of vision and technology.

* The following is a comment written by Fisco Analyst Tetsuyuki Oishi (Bitcoin Research Institute representative, Twitter account @bigstonebtc).

* February 27, 2018, JST

Goldman Sachs estimates that the 3D industry could be worth as much as $35 billion by 2025. Today, most of the AR/VR technology is limited to the gaming sector. However, it also has the potential for use in many other areas such as medicine, sports, and many others. However, the mass creation of 3D projects is still limited by the lack of interesting content, which is due to how time-consuming and labor-intensive the production process can be. This also usually means that the production costs are quite high.

To solve some of these problems, Cappasity has come up with a decentralized content-driven global 3D platform. With this platform, the distribution of 3D content is made easy and fast for both ordinary people and businesses. It ensures that participants will have access to tools for productive interactions.

To protect content creators, this platform comes with trustless copyright storage and is powered by the CAPP token. The token will be used for the purchase of services and content on this ecosystem. This token is fully compliant with ERC20 standards. The features of this platform are designed to be open to developers using Unreal Engine, Unity, Apple ARKit, and the Google ARCore technology.

The Cappasity platform is Already Active

Each month, it serves over a million viewers of 3D content. Various luxury brands such as Claris Virot and Jazmin Chebar already use this platform. In 2018, 30 education institutes in the US will be utilizing the Cappasity platform. The platform has collaborated with Nvidia and Intel and they already launched in China with the help of Alibaba experts.

Cappasity provides a platform for consumers to interact with developers listed on the platform and find the right talent or product to suit their requirements. It acts as a marketplace where people can buy and sell AR/VR and 3D content. Participants in the Cappasity ecosystem stand to earn CAPP tokens for their content contribution.

The Innovation Fund

The platform has also set up an innovation fund to support developers in their endeavors to create immersive AR/VR and 3D content. It will be funded by 20% of the proceeds from the ongoing 2nd phase of ICO.

The ICO and Airdrop

The Phase 2 of token distribution started on February 22, 2018. In order to take part in the token sale and gain attractive discounts, participants have to register themselves on The platform also has plans to perform a token airdrop soon. Registered participants on the ICO portal will be eligible to participate in the airdrop event. Those who have already purchased tokens during the crowdsale can expect a generous surprise during the airdrop.

Cappasity community members can also benefit from the affiliate program by getting their peers to sign up using their reference link. The owner of the referral link will receive 5% of each transaction made by the new participant.

More information about Cappasity token sale and airdrop can be obtained from its Telegram channel –

“The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system,” Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England (BOE), said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London. Carney, who also heads the Financial Stability Board — an international financial regulator — joins a growing number of industry insiders calling for greater oversight of cryptocurrencies.

Carney noted that the coins have “extreme volatility,” and said it reflected a lack of any intrinsic value or external backing, saying digital currencies themselves have failed as a form of money because of this volatility. He also rejected the prospect of a central bank digital currency in the near future. Even so, he reiterated that the BOE remains open-minded about the possibility sometime in the future.

Still, the answer isn’t to isolate or outlaw digital currencies, he said. “A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system.”

“It does point the way in many respects to the future of money,” Carney said, adding that “this generation of cryptocurrency is not the answer.” 

Carney talked about how bringing crypto-assets into the regulatory tent could potentially catalyze innovations to serve the public better banking-wise. As for the crypto-industry, he asserts that regulation is necessary and will mean that the best cryptocurrencies will be drawn to properly regulated exchanges, and weaker ones will, in turn, fall to the side.

Moving forward

In the interview, Carney says that he believes the best financial institutions can see the direction payment systems are going in. He says that these banks will be making a lot less money in the future as payment systems move in the cryptocurrency direction, permitting people to instantly move money from one account to another, to another.

He uses the analogy of a pub: I pay you, you pay the pub owner, and the pub owner pays the supplier, instantaneously and cheap, through blockchain. He talked up the potential of underlying blockchain or distributed ledger technology to improve accuracy, efficiency, and security across payments, clearing, and settlement.

Carney endorsed the push by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to classify cryptocurrencies as securities, subject to laws governing how they are issued and traded. The SEC, concerned that initial coin offerings are fraught with fraud, has taken a keen interest in cryptocurrency providers. In recent weeks, the agency sent subpoenas to dozens of companies running ICOs, demanding for information related to their businesses. Across the U.S., states are making moves, too, like Texas, whose securities board has issued several emergency cease-and-desist orders this year. 

The world of ICOs moves at breakneck speed. But as the old saying goes, often the more hurry means the less speed. DMarket is an example of a project making great strides in its operational objectives but attracting criticism from some who invested in the ICO looking to exit within a matter of just days or weeks.

DMarket is in pole position to become the dominant decentralized marketplace for turning virtual gaming items into real assets. Gamers dearly value items such as unique weapons in titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive so DMarket uses the blockchain to create a ledger powered by its DMT Tokens to securely trade these items which were previously locked in silos.

With the gaming industry already making $110 billion in game revenues last year and expected to reach nearly $130 billion by 2020, DMarket occupies one of entertainment’s most enviable niches.

DMarket completed its token sale in December, less than three months ago, but still hasn’t made a listing. The company has been very communicative about this on its Twitter and elsewhere. What the team claim is that they have been going through a lengthy legal process to ensure compliance with regulators such as the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). For a project set to become the go-to marketplace for the global gaming industry and its 2.3 billion gamers, a “built to last” approach seems prudent.

Approximately half of ICOs in 2017 failed, either because they were scams or were badly executed. DMarket Founder and CEO Vlad Panchenko has become somewhat of a poster boy for transparency in ICOs. He outlined three clear warning signs for ICOs to the North American Bitcoin conference in Miami in January. Unsurprisingly, the number 1 concern relates to projects needing strong core executive teams with experience in the topic of the ICO, not just lists of advisors.

Last week, some of DMarket’s patient hard work paid off. While developing the platform and issuing regular tech updates, the team also established a partnership with Unity Technologies, the world’s most widely-used real-time 3D development platform. The tie-up enables seamless in-game digital asset trading and transactions with any Unity-based game. Unity’s titles now become easily able to connect to the DMarket blockchain and make in-game assets available for virtual trading and exchange. Unity powers more than half of all new mobile games and 60% of all VR and AR content. Games and experiences made with Unity reached more than 3 billion devices worldwide in 2017 and were installed more than 20 billion times in the last 12 months.

Such a top-level partnership surely came as a relief to DMT token holders who may be set to revisit another old saying, namely that often good things come to those who wait. For those projects which rush ahead without heeding advice from lawyers the picture is less bright. This week, the New York Times reported that the SEC has sent as many as 80 subpoenas to dozens of people involved in ICOs. This comes as a clear sign of the Commission’s desire to rein in ICOs, targeting companies viewed as non-compliant as well as their advisors and lawyers.

This SEC move comes after high-profile disasters such as the PlexCoin ICO which was shut down in December by the SEC following an official complaint. The SEC has since frozen all of the $15 million from the ICO, its founder was jailed, and the parent company fined $100,000.

So, while companies may have raised over $5 billion through ICOs in 2017, in half or more of these projects investors would have saved themselves a lot of anguish by ensuring that proper processes were adhered to. Meanwhile, for DMarket the future looks bright – both as a blockchain with great usefulness and for DMT holders whose investment is set on solid legal and technological foundations.

Introducing a blockchain-based digital marketing solution that understands what customers want, what brands need & what smart cities are capable of.

We have entered a new era in commerce that is driven by people, centered on value and enabled by blockchain. Pingvalue is a human-centric open platform that redefines how commerce and society converge through an innovative socio-economic model.

Over the last few decades, mass marketing has turned shopping into an overwhelming chore and kept customers at an arm’s length from businesses.
Thanks to blockchain and smart cities, Pingvalue’s new approach to marketing forges lasting business-client relationships, boosts KYC potential and makes shopping fun again.

We trade mass marketing for meaningful messaging that reaches relevant audiences. With Pingvalue, marketing efforts look more like one-on-one connections between businesses and people.

Users earn rewards each time they share offers and experiences with their networks, and receive recommendations that reflect their tastes, bringing value to every outing.

Businesses and customers benefit from targeted marketing. Businesses get measurable conversions, monetized WiFi, smart (GDPR-compliant) data and increased storefront traffic. People get a better customer experience.


Pingcoin is a multi-purpose utility token for consumers, companies, and institutions that raise the bar in frictionless, cost-effective transactions. All interactions on the platform – rewards, promotions, deals, purchases, and advertisements – are handled in Pingcoins.

Pingcoin is the currency that helps businesses to create more value for people.
As customers receive rewards for sharing offers and experiences, businesses can clearly measure which ones were shared most – turning Pingcoins into a value barometer.

The more that customers and businesses interact on the platform, the higher their Social and Trust Factors and the higher the value of their interactions/transactions. This organically increases the value of Pingcoins, which can operate alongside other cryptocurrencies and ICOs, also multiplying its usability and demand.

Unlike most ICOs, Pingcoin is being launched by an international company with an established product, 30-person team and four years in business.
Pingvalue is already supported by reputable organizations and institutions – Cisco, Grupo Lar, ICEX, etc. – that are helping turn its socio-economic vision into reality. Last year, Pingvalue was awarded the Seal of Excellence by the European Commission as a worthwhile investment, due to its innovative character and its potential to improve society.

The digital advertising revolution is only the first step in realizing our vision for industry 4.0 and future smart cities in which:

• Citizens are the protagonists
• Direct & transparent interactions/transactions are possible between all parties
• People are rewarded for their contributions to the development of the local society & economy

At Pingvalue, we never sit still, always working with partners, universities and tech centers to innovate and move closer to that vision.

Predicting the future price of cryptocurrencies is rather complicated. With so many different factors to keep in mind, accurate predictions are rather rare. That being said, a group of panelists recently discussed some of the top cryptocurrencies for 2018. The results are pretty interesting, as the “big winner” is not the altcoin you might think.

Cryptocurrency Prices in 2018

The opinions on cryptocurrency prices are always interesting to keep an eye on. So far, the overall market sentiment appears to be pretty bearish, but things are always changing. According to a team of panelists, 2018 will be pretty good for Bitcoin later this year. They see the price per BTC rise to as high as $29,533, which is a nice increase compared to right now. Even though that is a 184.31% increase compared to right now, such gains are not impossible where cryptocurrency prices are concerned.

Although we see similar trends for most other currencies as well, not every coin will perform as well. Cryptocurrency prices fluctuate quite a bit, and so will their gains accordingly. Bitcoin Cash, for example, is set to gain as much as 116.41% by late December 2018. If that prediction holds true, the price will surge to $2,721. Not the value most BCH supporters are hoping for, but it would be a solid start.

Ethereum, on the other hand, will face a fairly difficult year, all things considered. Although the panelists see its price rise to $2,550, it’s not much “better” than Bitcoin whatsoever. It seems both of these currencies will remain linked together for some time to come. Whether or not that is good or bad for other cryptocurrency prices, has yet to be determined.  It does appear some of the altcoins will effectively decouple themselves from Bitcoin and the likes, though.

The Rise of Cardano and Dogecoin

When looking at all of the predicted cryptocurrency prices, it is evident the panelists have high hopes for two specific coins. Cardano will see a meteoric rise in value, surging by nearly 600% by the end of this year according to predictions. That would put the Cardano price at just over $2.33, which almost seems impossible to achieve right now.

Ripple’s XRP is set to undergo a wild ride as well. With a prediction of $6.13 by the end of the year, there is still a long way to go for this digital asset. It would represent a 541.34% increase compared to the current price. This is by far one of the boldest estimated cryptocurrency prices, but it is not entirely unfeasible. We saw wild growth late last year, and 2018 may bring us more of the same.

According to the panelists the biggest gainer of them all, however, will be Dogecoin. Many people consider Dogecoin to be a joke currency, as it was never designed to be taken all that seriously. Even so, the Dogecoin price is estimated to rise to a whopping 19 cents. Compared to the current price, that is a near 3,000% increase over the next nine and a half months. A bold prediction, although few people actually invest in this altcoin. All of these estimated cryptocurrency prices are pretty intriguing, although it remains to be seen which will come true.