17.01.2021

Luxembourg Regulator Red-Flags Activities of BitPay Clone Website

On Sept. 18, the CSSF issued a warning about a company going by the name Bitbay Europe S.A. The website alludes to being the European branch of BitPay, stating: “The world’s smartest Bitcoin exchange service has landed in Europe.”

Luxembourg’s financial regulator, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), has red-flagged the activities of a fraudulent clone website that is impersonating cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay.

The firm claims to be authorized to operate in Luxembourg and work under the regulator’s supervision, but the CSSF refuted this, saying:

“The CSSF informs the public that an entity named bit-bay EUROPE S.A. is unknown to it and that it has not been granted any authorisation to provide payment services in or from Luxembourg.”

The real BitPay adds support for Ether

While Luxembourg‘s regulator is making sure its citizens do not fall victim to the BitPay clone, Cointelegraph reported that the real BitPay is adding support for the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ether (ETH).

The major cryptocurrency payment services provider has stepped up security measures in recent months.

In late August, the company introduced new identity verification measures for certain high-value payments, refunds and payouts.

The firm now requires that users undergo a one-time verification process that requires the input of data such as their Social Security or passport number, as well as photo ID.

Local Chinese Government Launches Its First Blockchain Platform

The government of Anhui, a province in eastern China and a part of “Yangtze River Delta Economy Region”, has officially launched its first blockchain platform for providing government services. The launch occurred on April 30, according to local news reports.

Starts with local law sector

“Blockchain + Electronic Certificate and License” is also the first application being launched on the government’s blockchain platform, says the report. The application will initially place lawyer’s practice licenses on the blockchain. This will help to provide better transparency and authentication in the sector. The license explains that:

“[…]The newly-online electronic license has the functions of viewing usage records and management records. Each authorized action system will automatically record and store certificates, and all usage actions. This will prevent fraud, enhance the security and credibility of the electronic licenses.”

According to the report, The Provincial Data Resources Bureau and the Provincial Department of Justice are also carrying out similar pilot projects in Bozhou city on judicial administrative certificates and licenses. The government plans to extend these applications to the Yangtze river delta region.

The local government aims to adopt more e-government blockchain applications on the platform in the near future. Their goal is to more fully digitize the government’s infrastructure, reduce bureaucracy, and provide more efficient services. The report added that:

“[…]It lays a foundation for cross-departmental and cross-regional joint maintenance and utilization of government data and improves cooperation.”

Blockchain adoption in China has grown throughout April

As Cointelegraph reported, China launched its nationwide Blockchain-based Service Network for commercial use a few days ago. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, or ICBC, released the first blockchain white paper for the bank sector. The city of Chongqing also launched its first provincial-level Blockchain Innovation Alliance.

Lloyds Bank Partners With Blockchain Platform to Streamline Trade Finance

Lloyds Bank is partnering with blockchain platform Komgo to streamline its commercial banking division.

Blockchain to streamline international trade process

On Sept. 25, United Kingdom financial news outlet FStech reported that Lloyds Bank has partnered with the distributed ledger technology firm Komgo. Lloyds Bank, one of the “Big Four” clearing banks in the U.K., said that it would use Komgo’s platform “to enable quicker international commodity trade finance,” adding:

“Komgo’s DLT platform digitises and streamlines the commodity trade finance process, enabling businesses to quickly and automatically exchange data and associated documents across a wide range of solutions – from letters of credit and KYC management to receivables discounting – in a digital, secure and decentralised way.”

The Komgo platform relies on blockchain technology to optimize financing processes, fight fraud and increase trade efficiencies. The platform is backed by 15 bank and commodities investors, which include ING, ABM Amro, and oil giant Shell.

Gwynne Master, managing director for Lloyds Bank commercial banking, described the international trade process as cumbersome and time-consuming, adding:

“The process of trading a single commodity can take over 100 days, involves many players, considerable paperwork, and risk. Trade is particularly onerous for our commodities clients, where faster turnaround times and a streamlined channel are key requirements.”

Master added that Lloyds bank decided to work with Komgo to speed up the international trade process for its corporate customers, by “significantly streamlining and digitising the process.”

Crypto is drawing the attention of big-name banks

In related news, Cointelegraph reported that according to Peter Wuffli – the former CEO of major Swiss multinational investment bank UBS – large banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse are paying more and more attention to the emergent crypto asset space and industry developments, adding :

“From what we hear, interest has clearly picked up since the licenses were granted. Bank executives are asking their middle management to figure out whether this is just another fintech fad that comes and goes, or whether it is really transformational.”

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