From immaturity to security, our latest blockchain and Bitcoin round-up features the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, the People’s Bank of China, Bank Hapoalim and Microsoft.

It’s happened before and it will happen again, but distributed ledger technology (DLT) has come into some criticisms in relation to payments. In a dark duet, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) say: “Given the relative immaturity of the technology, distributed ledger technology is not a solution for large-scale applications like BOJ-NET and Target2 at this stage of development.”

ECB and BOJ say the usual stuff about its potential but remind people about the issues – such as latency. Like almost everyone else in fintech, they both say further development and testing are needed for blockchain. Last year, the US Federal Reserve raised similar concerns in its white paper “Distributed ledger technology in payments, clearing, and settlement”.

Banning ICOs

Banning ICOs

In its bid to stop scams, the People’s Bank of China has banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) for new digital currencies – calling them illegal fundraising. Elsewhere, they have been very popular. Although, on a slightly different note, BBVA recently reckoned the fever for ICOs in blockchain must be cooled as the industry is facing a “dangerous bubble” driven by speculation.

A variety of people and firms will be affected by this, but as an example, Blackmoon Financial Group says in response it has blocked all Chinese investors from participating in their pre-sale, and Chinese investors will not be permitted to participate in its upcoming token distribution.

According to the Times of Israel, Bank Hapoalim, the nation’s largest bank, and Microsoft will collaborate to set up a platform to create digital bank guarantees based on blockchain. Hapoalim says it will be the first bank in Israel to use blockchain for use in financial contracts. Its CEO, Arik Pinto, says the bank’s customers can receive security documents in a “digital, automated and secure manner, without physically coming to the branch and in a very short process”.

Microsoft will develop a new tool, using its Azure cloud platform, to test the functionality of applications on blockchain. Bank Hapoalim adds that it is also working with other entities, including the Bank of Israel (the country’s central bank), to update the regulatory requirements to enable the use of the latest technology.


Banking Technology Awards 2017 are still open for entry!

Know any innovative products, inspirational projects, skilled teams or visionary leaders that deserve a special recognition this year? Nominate them for a Banking Technology Award!

Deadline for submitting the nominations has been extended to 8 September 2017.

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