Global Accounting Firm KPMG Partners with Microsoft, R3 on Telecoms Blockchain

Global Accounting Firm KPMG Partners with Microsoft, R3 on Telecoms Blockchain

KPMG, a multinational accounting firm, is partnering with software firms TOMIA, Microsoft, and R3 to develop a blockchain for telecom settlements. One of the “big four” accounting firms, KPMG has pursued industry-specific blockchain pilots in the past, always with an eye to settling cross-border, or network, complexities. The latest partnership, with two distributed ledger (DLT) industry leaders, Microsoft and R3, continues in the vein of resolving the issues that arise from multi-party connections. Specifically, KPMG is looking to address the hard data issues that will arise from 5G connectivity. The company states that “international mobile data roaming revenues are expected to reach $31 billion in 2022, with an average annual growth rate of eight percent.” It’s that accelerating use of international data that Arun Ghosh, Blockchain Leader at KPMG, addressed in a blog post: “While we will be able to consume more data more quickly and across more locations than ever before in this next wave of telecom advancement, it is becoming increasingly complex for telecom companies to track and settle interchange fees.” The blockchain being piloted aims to reduce the future costs, number of disputes, and time involved in telecom settlements caused by “billions of mobile interactions flow[ing] through hundreds of connected networks managed by dozens of customers and suppliers.” It’s not just future costs the business partnership is looking to salve, but the current inefficiencies in the market. Settlements and reconciliations are currently handled manually, and can take up to a month to complete, Ghosh said. Currently, he said, a huge amount of data is generated is around mobile devices including the metadata of where a call originates and terminates, the conditions of a user’s contract, and billing information, that must be authenticated by at least two parties if cross-service operations occur. “The three pillars of settlements – the subscribers, their contracts, and amount of data generated – can all be integrated on a private, permissioned ledger to be seen and verified by the telecom operators,” he said. In fact, KPGM now reconciles much of that information automatically with smart contracts they designed. In the business arrangement, Ghosh said KPMG has taken the design and execution lead for the project. While Microsoft acts as the principal architect, R3’s Corda acts as the backbone…

R3 Taps Software Sales Vet to ‘Evangelize’ Paid Version of Corda

R3 Taps Software Sales Vet to ‘Evangelize’ Paid Version of Corda

Blockchain technology company R3 has hired software sales veteran Cathy Minter as chief revenue officer, a role newly created to recruit users for the firm’s paid commercial product, Corda Enterprise. Minter, who lived through the revolution in cloud computing from its early days, sounded unfazed by reports this week stating the “blockchain not bitcoin” segment of the industry – which R3 once personified – can expect to see as much as a 60 percent decrease in investment flows this year.  She told CoinDesk: “I’m seeing huge demand for that at R3 so I’m not concerned; maybe some of our competitors should be concerned.” There are many projects graduating from the proof-of-concept to pilot stage that demonstrate the cost-saving potential of blockchain, Minter said, adding that R3 will be working to build specific return-on-investment analysis for customers. “I remember cloud computing in its early nascent days; having conversations with customers around bringing data to the cloud. They would kind of look at you and say they would never move data out of a data center to the cloud,” she said. “Now I’m at R3, I find similar feelings around blockchain. It’s about education and evangelizing.”   Minter has spent close to 30 years in enterprise software in forms like SAP, Oracle and Docker. Since joining R3, she sees the firm’s vibrant open-source community as a natural place to convert users to the commercial version.  “Open-source [users] are fabulous targets for us to talk to about taking them to the next level. Naturally, the enterprise version comes into play as you talk about solving business problems,” she said.  Revenue growth The Corda open-source community has burgeoned in the last year or so with many enterprises experimenting with the code and an ecosystem of “CorDapps” enjoying a life of its own. Opting for the Corda Enterprise version brings the added perks of 24-hour support five days a week, predictable release schedules, high availability, and support for industry-standard enterprise databases, said R3 managing director Charley Cooper. “It includes the world’s only Blockchain Application Firewall, which enables the platform to be deployed inside corporate data centers and is optimized for use within these highly demanding IT environments,” claimed Cooper. Last year, R3 CEO David Rutter said the company set revenue targets for…

European Central Bank Policymaker Says Stablecoins Not Cause for Alarm

European Central Bank Policymaker Says Stablecoins Not Cause for Alarm

A European Central Bank (ECB) official has stated that users should be aware of the risks associated with the stablecoins use, but not to be alarmed. As Reuters reported on July 18, member of the ECB’s governing council and president of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann said that stablecoins — digital currency designed to minimize price volatility by being pegged to another asset — offer users opportunities for prosperity, however users should be vigilant in regards of the associated risks. Weidmann delivered his comments at a news conference at a meeting of the G7 finance ministers and central bankers. “There is no reason to be alarmed but there is reason to be vigilant,” Weidmann stated. Weidmann also spoke in favor of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project. He specifically argued that global regulators should not suppress the project in its infancy, adding that digital currencies such as Libra can be attractive to consumers in the event that they deliver on their promise. However, a range of other policymakers do not share Weidmann’s view on Libra, with French finance minister Bruno Le Maire saying that the G7 “cannot accept private companies issuing their own currencies without democratic control.” Brad Sherman, a United States Democratic congressman, recently claimed that “Mark Zuckerberg is sending a friend request to oligarchs, drug dealers, human traffickers and terrorists” by launching Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. Notably, at the G7 conference, the Financial Action Task Force — a G7-initiated intergovernmental organization that promotes legal, regulatory and operational measures that aim to fight money laundering on a global scale — approved a new, global cryptocurrency payments network that would be similar to Japan’s proposed SWIFT.

Price Analysis 19/07: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, BNB, EOS, BSV, TRX, XLM

Price Analysis 19/07: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, BNB, EOS, BSV, TRX, XLM

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The bashing of Libra continues, with G7 finance ministers warning that if the project is not regulated tightly, it can upset the global financial system. The ministers are against a private company issuing its own currency without any control. Nonetheless, the project got support from unexpected quarters. The head of Germany’s central bank Jens Weidmann, who previously was not very supportive of cryptocurrencies, said during a G7 event that the regulators should not try to kill the project without allowing it to prove itself. If Libra can deliver on its promises, it can be attractive to consumers. Even before its launch, Libra is challenging the way money is being transferred across borders. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, though not supportive of Libra, said that the high transaction fees of five to ten percent for cross-border transactions will have to be dealt with using technology.  United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued his tirade against cryptocurrencies, repeating the same old story of how cryptocurrencies can be used for illicit purposes such as money laundering.  We believe that these attempts to suppress the rise of cryptocurrencies will only cause a temporary hurdle in the short term. The long-term story remains optimistic and cryptocurrencies will only emerge stronger than before. BTC/USD Bitcoin (BTC) continues to be the strongest cryptocurrency. The dip below the 50-day SMA was bought aggressively and the price has reached the 20-day EMA. This shows strong demand at lower levels. However, the bears are trying to defend the 20-day EMA. If the BTC/USD pair turns down from current levels and plummets below $9,080, it will indicate a change in trend. The next support on the downside is at $7,451.63. The 20-day EMA is marginally down and the RSI is just below 50, which suggests that bears only have a slight advantage. Conversely, if the next dip to $9,080 holds or if bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, it will indicate strength.  We view this fall as a buying opportunity, but…

Oil Markets Could Save 30% With Blockchain, Data Gumbo CEO Says

Oil Markets Could Save 30% With Blockchain, Data Gumbo CEO Says

Global oil operators can save at least 30% by using blockchain in their infrastructure, according to data by blockchain startup Data Gumbo. Andrew Bruce, CEO of American blockchain startup Data Gumbo, discussed blockchain-powered automated contract execution in the oil industry on Bloomberg Commodities Edge on July 19. When asked how much oil industry players can save by implementing blockchain applications such as blockchain-based contract execution instead of traditional paper contracts, Bruce argued that such solutions could save at least 30%, referring to internal studies by the company. According to Data Gumbo’s data, oil and gas market accounted for $2.6 trillion by 2017. In May 2019, Data Gumbo raised $6 million from major global energy companies, including Equinor’s venture subsidiary Equinor Technology Venture and Saudi Aramco’s venture arm Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. With a total funding of up to $9.3 million, investors expect the company to improve oil and gas supply chains by eliminating disputes and delivering automated transactions, as well as reducing reconciliation times in the supply chain. On July 18, co-founder of American tech giant Apple Steve Wozniak was reported to invest in Efforce, a new blockchain-enabled energy saving firm in Malta. Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Philip Morris estimated its potential blockchain-powered savings to account for $20 million. Philip Morris’ global head of tech innovation said that manual work and the associated counterfeit risks end up costing the industry and governments $100 million a year.

Major Crypto Markets Report Mixed Signals, Gold Slightly Fell

Major Crypto Markets Report Mixed Signals, Gold Slightly Fell

Friday, July 19 — Cryptocurrency markets are reporting mixed signals, with most of the top-20 coins by market capitalization are down over the last 24 hours. Market visualization. Source: Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) has stayed above the $10,000 threshold during the day and is trading at around $10,412 at press time. The leading cryptocurrency has lost 2.14% on the day, while its weekly losses amount to nearly 10%.  As reported earlier today, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th District, told fellow lawmakers directly that attempts to stop Bitcoin are futile. “The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force,” he said. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360 Ether (ETH) started the day around $224.91, subsequently reaching its intraday high of $229.75. At press time, ETH is trading at around $218.29, down 2.71% over the last 24 hours. Ethereum 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360 Ripple (XRP) is slightly down as well, currently trading at around $0.317, down by 1.61% over the 24 hour period. The altcoin has not registered significant price fluctuations today, generally staying in the corridor between $0.31 and $0.32. XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360 On the top-20 list of cryptocurrencies, only Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin SV (BSV), TRON (TRX), Stellar (XLM), Dash (DASH), and IOTA (MIOTA) are reporting gains between 0.49% and 3.12%. Today, privacy-focused digital currency Zcash (ZEC) forked into a new blockchain network dubbed Ycash, whose total supply amounts to 21 million coins. Currently, ZEC is the 24th major coin and is trading at around $73.9. Zcash 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360 The combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is now at around $282 billion, and the daily trading volume is around $67 billion at press time. In traditional markets, gold slumped about 1% today, according to CNBC, as the dollar firmed and investors took profits after prices briefly surpassed $1,450 to hit a six-year peak on dovish signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

‘Samsung Coin’ Trademark Filing Unaffiliated With Samsung

‘Samsung Coin’ Trademark Filing Unaffiliated With Samsung

On July 10, Kim Nam-jin applied for a Trademark 5 (TM5) on the name “Samsung Coin” with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). As per the filing, it appears that Nam-jin is seeking to trademark the name in both its Korean spelling in Hangul as well as in English. However, per a July 19 report, a Samsung representative told CoinDesk that Kim Nam-jin is not affiliated with the Korean tech giant Samsung. “We don’t work this way,” the representative apparently said. Additionally, the report says that the trademark was listed under categories including downloadable electronic money computer program, electronic money card, electronic encryption device, and IC card with electronic money function, although blockchain and cryptocurrency are not mentioned anywhere. The report also notes that this is not the first time Kim Nam-jin has attempted to trademark a seemingly crypto-related term associated with a Korean tech giant.  According to the report, Nam-jin also entered an application with KIPO for the name ThinQ Wallet on the same day the individual filed for Samsung Coin. However, in this case, LG Electronics had already filed to trademark ThinQ Wallet as of July 2, which is the name for a proposed, multi-functional crypto wallet. As reported by Cointelegraph on July 10, Samsung announced that it has released its blockchain and decentralized application (DApp) Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK is designed for account management, payments, and cold wallet support among other things. The latest Samsung Blockchain SDK is apparently a superset of all previous SDKs, and contains the Samsung Blockchain Keystore SDK.

Privacy-Focused Coin Zcash Forks Into New Blockchain Network Ycash

Privacy-Focused Coin Zcash Forks Into New Blockchain Network Ycash

Privacy-focused digital currency Zcash (ZEC) has forked into a new blockchain network dubbed Ycash, whose total supply amounts to 21 million coins. According to a tweet by the Ycash Foundation, the first block of Ycash was mined today, July 19, at 7:36:51 PM PDT. Ycash forked off Zcash blockchain at block height 570,000 and is independent from both the Electric Coin Company, the firm behind Zcash, and the Zcash Foundation. The Ycash project was initially announced in April, when the Ycash team member Howard Loo revealed in a forum post that they are launching the first friendly fork of the Zcash blockchain. Per the post, the Ycash project is set to “restore a goal — mining on commodity hardware — that appears to have been largely abandoned on the Zcash blockchain.” In a post published on its official website, the Ycash team explains that Ycash is built upon the Zcash codebase and has shared blockchain history similar to Zcash’s, which means that every user in control of Zcash private keys as of block height 570,000 is able to use those private keys to access the same number of Ycash. The post also says that 90% of the total 21 million Ycash coins are distributed through the mining process, while 5% of the coins starting at block height 570,000 are going to the Ycash Development Fund, which is managed by the Ycash Foundation. In late June, the Electric Coin Company announced its intention to build a new scalable Zcash blockchain. The company is reportedly considering implementing sharding, a scalability solution that Ethereum devs also plan to integrate into that network in the near future. Earlier this week, another privacy-focused cryptocurrency Grin completed the first hardfork so far on its mainnet. The latest blockchain hardfork is designed to discourage Grin mining through dedicated application specific integrated circuits and also includes a new iteration of its bulletproof rewind scheme for Grin wallets.

Ex-CEO of BTC-e Exchange’s Spin-Off WEX Is Arrested in Italy

Ex-CEO of BTC-e Exchange’s Spin-Off WEX Is Arrested in Italy

Former CEO of now-defunct crypto exchange WEX, a spin-off of controversial BTC-e exchange, was arrested in Italy. No official statement to date Dmitri Vasilyev, who reopened BTC-e exchange as WEX.nz in September 2017, was detained by Italian prosecutors. While no official statement has been disclosed to date, BBC Russia reported the arrest on July 19. In the report, the publication cited an unnamed friend of Vasilev and two anonymous WEX investors. The reason for detention remains unclear. In April 2019, Vasilyev became the subject of a criminal investigation by the police department in Kazakh city Almaty, as the alleged suspect was charged with defrauding a local investor in the amount of $20,000 through WEX exchange, as crypto media outlet Forklog reported. According to the report, the 32-year-old suspect was announced wanted under an international arrest warrant in the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States. WEX, a spin-off of troubled BTC-e, quickly fell under suspicion Defunct BTC-e, WEX’s parent exchange, still remains subject to a $4 billion fraud investigation by Greece and the United States, with the alleged founder Alexander Vinnik currently in the custody of Greek police, BBC noted.  Following Vinnik’s arrest in 2017, Vasilyev relaunched the exchange under name of WEX that soon was reported as exhibiting suspicious tendencies including overpricing Bitcoin (BTC) compared to global norms. Eventually, WEX halted withdrawals in July 2018, which led to claims from users that the platform was a scam. In late 2018, WEX’s fellow exchange and major global crypto trading platform Binance froze funds sent from wallets associated with WEX after users claimed that the exchange was involved in money laundering. Meanwhile, Russian authorities continue to fight for Vinnik’s extradition to Russia, with Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights having recently asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to help extradite the alleged criminal.

Tether’s Trouble With New York Attorney General — Will Crypto Cope?

Tether’s Trouble With New York Attorney General — Will Crypto Cope?

Are Bitfinex and Tether in trouble? Maybe, but the thing is, we don’t know just how much trouble, because the stablecoin issuer has challenged the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) case against them. In claims filed in April, Attorney General Letitia James asserted that Bitfinex defrauded its customers, having lost $850 million in client and corporate funds, and then having attempted to cover up this loss by secretly helping itself to around $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves.  Serious charges, but they’re denied by Bitfinex and Tether’s parent company, iFinex, which responded in April that the OAG’s claims were “riddled with false assertions” and that the lost $850 million is being safeguarded, although it didn’t specify whether this amount is being held by Crypto Capital Corp. (which initially received it) or by some other entity. Regardless, iFinex has applied to have the case dismissed, arguing that the OAG has no legal basis to sue it for the simple reason that Bitfinex wasn’t operating in New York during the period at issue. However, while a New York judge has questioned the attorney general’s “vague, open-ended” claims and asked for a more precisely constructed revision, recent news surrounding the closing of a New York-based bank account indicates that Tether and Bitfinex may very well have been operating in the state of New York. This would suggest that the OAG’s claims are legally valid and that Bitfinex and Tether may end up facing serious repercussions. But even if it does, certain crypto-related legal experts suggest that this wouldn’t necessarily be such a huge blow to crypto, which will endure with or without the liquidity provided by the Tether stablecoin, USDT. The New York connection On July 10, it was reported that the crypto-friendly Metropolitan Commercial Bank had closed accounts associated with iFinex. The company and its affiliates had held these accounts for around five months, after which they were closed, with iFinex itself stating that they were discontinued largely because of inactivity. According to iFinex:  “Metropolitan Commercial Bank had limited, corporate operating accounts with Tether Holdings LTD, iFinex Inc, and Digfinex Inc, all with negligible activity, and requested the accounts to be closed after less than 5 months of the accounts being opened.” As…