Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development – Computer Business Review

By Tom Ball    October 23, 2017

Mastercard is targeting cross-border payments by releasing its blockchain APIs, entering the arena with the likes of JPMorgan and IBM.

Financial institutions and their end users are set to be benefit from blockchain APIs released by Mastercard, intended to allow organisations to test their own capabilities.

Developers from these institutions will be able to harness the Mastercard blockchain APIs to work on their own capabilities, targeting area such as cross-border payments and transparency.

While financial institutions are being targeted with this new initiative, Mastercard is also aiming to enhance the banking experience for end users.

Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development

Mastercard Labs executive vice president Ken Moore, said: “By combining Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable, and easy to scale.”

More at: Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development – Computer Business Review

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Bank of America Report: Bitcoin’s True Value ‘Impossible to Assess’ – CoinDesk

By Stan Higgins    October 16, 2017

A potential move by global brokerages to offer products around cryptocurrencies could have a big impact on the wider market, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote.

In an Oct. 16 research note entitled “Introducing cryptocurrencies – what are they good for?”, the analysts tackle bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and XRP. The note both covers the basics of the market and dives more specifically into the growing galaxy of open blockchain networks in operation today.

Notably, the report touches on the possible factors that could shape the cryptocurrency market’s future progression – including financial products based on the tech.

On this point, the bank’s analysts suggest that a move by brokerages to begin offering such services to their clients could affect both the overall liquidity of the market as well as the market capitalization for the relevant cryptocurrencies.

“The coin universe is dynamic and innovative and volatile; while a true value for cryptocurrencies may be impossible to assess, one factor which we believe could affect their liquidity and market capitalisation would be if one or more global broker/dealers decided to offer institutional-like products,” they wrote.

More at: Bank of America Report: Bitcoin’s True Value ‘Impossible to Assess’ – CoinDesk

Why Acquisitions Will Never Work In Crypto – Forbes Digital Money #MarketMoves

By Kyle Samani, Contributor    October 16, 2017

Many have asked “how would a merger or acquisition work in crypto?”

Although a merger could work in theory, in practice it’s not possible. The economics, individual sovereignty, and lack of drag along rights on both sides will prevent any sort of meaningful and cleanly executable acquisition.

Drag along rights are paramount to understanding this post. Per Investopedia, a drag along right is defined as a “right that enables a majority shareholder to force a minority shareholder to join in the sale of a company. The majority owner doing the dragging must give the minority shareholder the same price, terms and conditions as any other seller.”

Traditional Acquisitions

When one company buys all of the equity of another firm, it acquires a few things:

  • Employees – the people who have the know how to build and deliver the product/service to customers.
  • Customers – a proven customer base that values and pays for a product/service.
  • Processes – a series of proven processes of people, property, and technology that create value for customers.
  • Balance sheet – the actual hard assets of the firm: cash, debt, equipment, liabilities, etc.
  • Intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyright, etc.

Crypto Acquisitions

Let’s say that a company or a crypto foundation wanted to buy all of the tokens of some cryptoasset. What exactly would be purchased?

  • Employees – N/A: protocol developers and business people do not work for token holders.
  • Customers – N/A
  • Processes –N/A
  • Balance sheet – N/A
  • Intellectual property – N/A: all of code that powers that the token – the blockchain and/or smart contract – is open source. In this regard, there’s nothing to purchase. It’s possible that the dev team would turn over closed-source portions of what they’ve built that live outside of the blockchain or smart contract itself; however, this software is not “owned” by the token holders.

So there’s nothing to acquire?

More at: Why Acquisitions Will Never Work In Crypto – Forbes Digital Money #MarketMoves

IBM Blockchain Payments To Use Stellar In Major Partnership Deal – The Cointelegraph

By WIlliam Suberg    October 16, 2017

IBM and payments network KlickEx have announced Stellar as the backbone of its new “cross-border payments solution.”

In what it describes as the first use of public Blockchain technology “being used in production to facilitate cross-border payments in multiple integrated currency corridors,” IBM is already convening a group of big banking partners to further the initiative.

“Currently, cross-border payments take up to several days to clear,” Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb said in an accompanying blog post.

“This new implementation is poised to affect a profound change in the South Pacific region, and once fully scaled by IBM and its banking partners, could potentially change the way money is moved around the world.”

More at: IBM Blockchain Payments To Use Stellar In Major Partnership Deal – The Cointelegraph

J.P. Morgan’s James Dimon May Hate Bitcoin, but He Loves Blockchain – WSJ (paywall)

By Emily Glazer    October 16, 2017

James Dimon, center, the chief executive of J.P. Morgan. PHOTO: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.14% & Co. CEO James Dimon  recently trashed the digital currency bitcoin as a fraud that will blow up. But he’s still enamored with the technology that underpins it and other virtual currencies.

The latest sign is expected Monday, when the nation’s largest bank rolls out its next pilot program to use the record-keeping technology, known as blockchain. The initiative will enable the faster, more secure transfer of cross-border payments between J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Canada RY 0.27%  and  Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.ANZBY 0.96%

The new program doesn’t use and won’t trade bitcoin, which has generated skepticism from a wide variety of financiers, including Mr. Dimon and BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink. But it will use technology that underpins the second-largest virtual currency behind bitcoin, Ethereum.

More at: J.P. Morgan’s James Dimon May Hate Bitcoin, but He Loves Blockchain – WSJ (paywall)

What every accountant needs to know about blockchain – Information Age

By Nick Ismail    October 13, 2017

The way we do business has the potential to be transformed thanks to the introduction of blockchain technology

Although many people may have heard of blockchain, it may not be totally understood. Euros Evans, founder of blockchain-based payroll system Etch, explains what accountants need to know about the technology and its benefits in business.

There has been a lot of talk about blockchain technology and the impact that it will have on business, but there has been very little explanation of how it will affect us in plain English.

Blockchain is of huge significance to the accountancy world, especially in the short term as clients will be assessing the benefits of this new technology.

More at: What every accountant needs to know about blockchain – Information Age

Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network ‘RippleNet’ grows to over 100 members – EconoTimes

October 11, 2017

Blockchain startup Ripple has announced the addition of new financial institutions to its enterprise blockchain network RippleNet.

With this, RippleNet has grown to more than 100 members. The new members include AirWallex, Bexs Banco, Credit Agricole, Cuallix, Currencies Direct, dLocal, IFX, Krungsri, RAKBANK and TransferGo, amongst others. They are joining existing members like SEB and Siam Commercial Bank who have deployed Ripple solutions commercially.

RippleNet helps financial institutions deliver instant, on-demand, certain, and low-cost global payments services to their customers. In addition to improving the efficiency of payments processing, it can also significantly lower the total cost of individual payments. Using Ripple’s digital asset XRP, RippleNet members can fund payments anywhere in the world on demand.

More at: Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network ‘RippleNet’ grows to over 100 members – EconoTimes