Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.
EU crisis meeting to control the virtual currencies in the aftermath of Paris attacks. As Samburaj Das of CryptoCoins News writes, EU Justice and Interior Affairs Ministers have organized a crisis meeting in direct response to Paris terror attacks last Friday. The emergency meeting was held in Brussels on Friday, November 20 to outline an effective embargo for digital currencies and strengthen control mechanisms of electronic and anonymous payment methods. Virtual currencies are believed to be used for funding terrorist activities.
UBS’s settlement coin gains its first round of funding. As Cindy Roberts of Bloomberg writes, UBS’s partnership with the London-based Clearmatics Technologies has led to the creation of blockchain-based digital coin, which is widely viewed as a tool to change the global payment system, offer assistance with cross-border payments and lower the settlement time to seconds. Clearmatics develops advanced clearing machines for the OTC markets, and has helped UBS to successfully complete its first round of funding. Route 66 Ventures LLC, Nyca Partners, and Tellurian Capital Management LLP are some of the investors that participate in the fundraising.
A global consortium of leading banks, led by New York-based tech startup R3, are expected to use the blockchain technology by 2016. As Luke Graham of CNBC writes, a report released by TABB Research, the capital markets are expected to adopt the blockchain technology in order to revolutionize the financial industry and enable more secure and seamless transactions. Currently, a global consortium of 30 major banks is working on the development of a framework to apply the blockchain technology to the financial markets. The goal is to track syndicated loans by Q2 2016, while other market sectors, such as derivatives, are expected to take longer to develop.
Leading exchanges and financial institutions are joining forces to set up a blockchain-based settlement group. As Samburaj Das of CryptoCoins News reports, the London Stock Exchange, UBS, Societe Generale, the CME Group, LCH.Clearnet and Euroclear have formed a “Post Trade Distributed Ledger Working Group” seeking to investigate on blockchain potential in settling securities trading. Over the last months, three meetings have taken place between the participants and a piloting committee has been formed to provide guidance with the process.
Singapore PM favors the use of blockchain technology by the national banks. As Marco E. G. Maltese of Coin Telegraph reports, Lee Hsien Loong, PM of Singapore believes that “the blockchain technology is going to change the banking industry.” Loong’s statement is important, given that Singapore is a key financial hub in Southeast Asia. Therefore, if its national banks adopt the blockchain, a bright future is expected for the blockchain and the banking industry in the country. It is worth mentioning that, since February 2014, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has recognized the digital currencies as having value, but did not regulate the bitcoin. According to MAS the digital currencies “are not legal tender like the notes and coins issued by MAS and they are not considered securities under the Securities and Futures Act.”
Japanese regulators consider policies for bitcoin exchanges. As Stan Higgins of Coin Desk reports, the Japanese government is favoring the regulation of the bitcoin in the aftermath of the collapse of Mt Gox bitcoin exchange. Japan’s leading financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, is seeking to plan a regulatory framework for bitcoin-related startups and businesses. According to several members of the Financial Services Agency “Japan needs an adequate oversight mechanism for virtual currencies, including ways to confirm identities and block money laundering.”