ICOBox provides a breakdown of blockchain news for the week ending December 14, 2018

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES

George Town, Cayman Islands, Dec. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- South Korean Bank Starts Using Blockchain for Financial Record Keeping

The second-largest bank in South Korea, Shinhan Bank, is starting to use blockchain for internal record keeping processes. The bank hopes the switch will eliminate human error and improve efficiency.

Blockchain allows for financial record keeping to be automated and standardized for the first time. Previously, while banks were required to cross-check their records, no uniform system was in place to codify the process. Inevitably, human error would occur and hinder the bank’s business.

Back in November, the bank implemented interest rate swap transactions on blockchain, dipping its toes into the space.

While western banks have approached blockchain with relative caution, Shinhan has been welcoming of the nascent technology, preparing to offer customers cryptocurrency wallets and striking several other blockchain related deals. South Korea has been one of the countries most interested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, so it makes sense their leading banks would be at the forefront of the charge for adoption in the financial sector.

ICOBox Managing Partner Daria Generalova believes Shinhan Bank is setting a stellar example for blockchain adoption. “The bank’s approach to blockchain adoption is exemplary. Managing financial records is one of blockchain’s original and most easily implementable applications. Steady and logical blockchain roll-out will define early market leaders in the next year.”

French Governmental Report Recommends Investing $570 Million in Blockchain

French lawmakers are contemplating earmarking half a billion euros to deploy a country-wide blockchain, according to the French news outlet Les Echos.

According to the report, two members of Parliament are promoting the blockchain and cryptocurrency agenda with the intent to make France a "Blockchain Nation." They are also pushing for the expansion of Bitcoin mining in the country. The initiative is envisioned as a three-year plan that will facilitate mass adoption of the powerful financial technology.

Historically, France's approach to cryptocurrency seems to be a bit of a hit-and-miss. A recent plan to allow tobacco kiosks to sell Bitcoin (BTC) failed to obtain the approval of the French central bank, although it doesn't appear to have been completely scrapped. Many lawmakers have urged the adoption of sensible standards to regulate the industry and cautioned against heavy-handed approaches.

Equally encouraging news is coming from Germany, where it was just announced that Fintech company SolarisBank and the second-largest German stock exchange Stuttgart Exchange are working on opening a zero-fee cryptocurrency exchange in the first half of 2019

"The naysayers may wish crypto dead, but as we can see, major market players do not share their sentiment," says Dima Zaitsev, Head of International PR at ICOBox. "Just look at these two seemingly unconnected facts: the French regulators are willing to put their money where their mouths are in their support of blockchain, and Stuttgart Exchange, which would've not been here since the 1860s had it not been utterly serious and cautious, getting ready to enter the game – and you will see that crypto is here to stay. Big wigs just wouldn't bother with something trivial and unworthy of their attention. And with both of these plans in the works, looks like mass crypto adoption is right around the corner."

SEC Calls ICOs an “Effective Way” to Raise Capital

The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, spoke on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) while discussing the agenda for 2019. Clayton believes, “that ICOs can be effective ways for entrepreneurs and others to raise capital,” however, he stressed that ICOs must adhere to securities rules.

ICOs have been a hot topic for the SEC in the past year as it has debated how to regulate cryptocurrencies. A plethora of fraudulent ICO scams complicated the market in 2018, leaving investors with cold feet and wary of possible unfavorable regulation.

The most recent rhetoric from Clayton comes as a much-needed breath of fresh air for the industry. Security Token Offerings (STOs), token offerings that are compliant with regulations, are looking to launch in 2019 and Clayton’s words are encouraging. Over the past several months, fear of widespread bans loomed over the industry but now it looks like as long as coin offerings are compliant, they will be allowed.

The SEC called on future token sales to provide greater investor protection and to ensure markets are free from manipulation.  

The SEC has recently begun to position itself as a forward-thinking regulatory body in regards to blockchain, crypto, and Fintech, taking a slow and steady approach to adoption and exploration. While the SEC has never been known to quickly jump to conclusions, they are not closing doors to future innovations in finance.

“ICOs give businesses both big and small flexible, new ways to raise capital. The SEC is recognizing these benefits and is trying to structure a regulatory space advantageous for all legitimate players,” said ICOBox Managing Partner Daria Generalova.


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