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PayPal-Backed Identity Platform Acquired by Nevada’s Blockchains LLC

An identity management provider backed by PayPal, Foxconn and others has been acquired by Nevada-based holding company Blockchains LLC….

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Dec 1, 2020 at 10:01 a.m. UTCUpdated Dec 1, 2020 at 10:07 a.m. UTC

PayPal-Backed Identity Platform Acquired by Nevada’s Blockchains LLC

An identity management provider backed by PayPal, Foxconn and others has been acquired by Nevada-based holding company Blockchains LLC.

Cambridge Blockchain principals Matthew Commons, Alex Oberhauser, Muthu Arumugam and the firm’s software developers will join Blockchains’ digital identity team, with complete integration targeted for the beginning of 2021. The financial terms of the deal were not made public.

The acquisition, announced Tuesday, is all geared towards the release of an un-hosted wallet around April of next year, said Blockchains Executive Vice President Lee Weiss.

“We reached out to Cambridge and had discussions with them, and it was clear that we shared a common ethos,” said Weiss. “We ended up making a deal and the transaction closed last week and we’re thrilled that they’ve already started with us, right after Thanksgiving.”

Cambridge’s expertise in areas like biometrically-secure credentialing and document provenance will all feed into the wide-ranging plans of Blockchains LLC, the owner of some 67,000 acres of land in Nevada with designs on a smart-city development of sorts.

In June of last year, Blockchains acquired Ethereum startup Slock.it, whose founders Christoph and Simon Jentzsch became Blockchains’ vice president of technology and director of blockchain development, respectively.

A spokesperson for PayPal Ventures declined to comment on the Cambridge Blockchain acquisition.

Zack Seward contributed reporting.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/paypal-backed-identity-platform-acquired-by-nevadas-blockchains-llc

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World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona under its pilot project.

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Sweden’s Riksbank said it would continue work with Accenture on a potential e-krona digital currency until next year.

(Mario Ortiz/Shutterstock)

Feb 17, 2021 at 10:12 a.m. UTC

World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

The world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, is to extend its pilot project for a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) for another 12 months.

According to a press release on Friday, the project, which is being carried out with assistance from professional services firm Accenture, will run until February 2022.

The Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona “as a complement to cash,” with the primary objective being for the bank to increase its knowledge around the technology.

For 2021, the institution will continue developing its potential digital currency offering with a focus on performance and scalability. Testing offline functions and bringing external participants into the test environment is also on the table.

The project has raised some concerns from Sweden’s commercial banking sector over the viability of a sovereign CBDC and how that would impact the entire banking system.

There is no final decision over the issuance of the e-krona despite strong lobbying from the central bank to government last year. But with traditional cash seeing falling use, even more so during the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden has been mulling a switch to the CBDC.

However, questions still remain over the digital currency’s ultimate design and underlying technology, according to Friday’s release.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/sweden-central-bank-digital-krona-extension

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Bitcoin Mining: Wasted Energy or a Better, Greener System?

Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure on the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining fits.

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Is it wasteful to use electricity mining bitcoin? As the Biden Administration settles into power with an ambitious agenda around clean energy, notably promising to eliminate carbon emissions from the US power generation sector by 2035, the question of bitcoin mining and it’s ever-growing use of energy bubbles up once more.

In this episode of ‘On Purpose, With Tyrone Ross,’ Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure joins the show to discuss the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining can fit into a sustainable energy system.

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/podcasts/on-purpose-with-tyrone-ross/bitcoin-mining-harry-sudock

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Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage- CoinDesk

The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

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The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Feb 13, 2021 at 2:10 a.m. UTCUpdated Feb 13, 2021 at 2:18 a.m. UTC

Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage

Deutsche Bank has joined the growing ranks of large financial institutions exploring cryptocurrency custody, with aspirations to offer high-touch services to hedge funds that invest in the asset class.

The Deutsche Bank Digital Asset Custody prototype aims to develop “a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” according to a little-noticed report by the World Economic Forum, host of the annual gathering of muckety-mucks in Davos, Switzerland.

In a passage buried on page 23 of the December 2020 report, Germany’s largest bank says it plans to create a trading and token issuance platform, bridging digital assets with traditional banking services, and managing the array of digital assets and fiat holdings in one easy-to-use platform.

Big banks are now announcing plans to enter crypto custody on an almost daily basis, with Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank, joining the party earlier this week.

U.S. banks were given some regulatory clarity thanks to last year’s interpretation letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In Germany, firms are queuing up to get their hands on special crypto custody licenses from the country’s regulator, BaFIN.

Deutsche, the world’s 21st largest bank, said it aims to “ensure the safety and accessibility of assets for clients by offering an institutional-grade hot/cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.” No specific cryptocurrencies or tokens are mentioned.

The digital asset custody platform would be launched in stages. It would eventually provide clients with the ability to buy and sell digital assets via a partnership with prime brokers (which act sort of like concierges for hedge funds), issuers and vetted exchanges.

The bank says it would also provide “value-added services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and provide an open-banking platform to allow onboarding of third-party providers.”

The service would be aimed at asset managers, wealth managers, family offices, corporates and digital funds, the bank said.

In terms of a business model, the bank would start out collecting custody fees, it said, later charging fees for tokenization and trading.

Deutsche said it has completed a proof of concept and is aiming for a minimum viable product in 2021, while exploring global client interest for a pilot initiative.

The bank’s press office could not be reached for comment Friday evening. A spokesperson had declined to comment on potential plans for a digital asset custody business when contacted last week by CoinDesk.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/deutsche-bank-crypto-custody-prime-brokerage

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