According to a report from CoinDesk Korea on Sunday, the program, which was first released in July, is now officially named as the Initial DID Association. Besides Shinhan and NH banks, two major payment processors – BC Card and Hyundai Card – have also joined the program as of late, bringing the total number of participants to 11.

Four more major institutions including the Shinhan and NH Nonghyup banks have joined a South Korean decentralized identity initiative that’s aimed to secure and share personal information using blockchain.

The consortium now includes Samsung Electronics, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, as well as Korea’s three major mobiles carriers – SK Telecom, KT and LG U+. It also includes Koscom, an IT company 76.6 percent owned by the Korea Exchange.

The project, which is backed by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), aims to develop a mobile product that will allow for the secure storing of personal identification information with blockchain technology. Users of the system will be able to prove their identities for online transactions and for the validation of qualifications or credentials.

Initial will be used at first for certificates from six Korean universities, as well as for English test scores. It will then be expanded to the submission of loan application documents, such as income tax withholding and loan certificates. According to the earlier reports, the system is expected to be up and running in 2020.

While the project is expanding, competition in the blockchain identity space is also increasing. On Oct. 14, the Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (KFTC), a payment settlements organization, said that it will have its own mobile ID solution using blockchain up and running by the end of the month, according to a report in the Dong-a Ilbo.

Major Chinese Bank Updates Blockchain Platform After $50 B Transacted

The China Construction Bank (CCB) officially released the second version of its blockchain trading platform, which reached 360 billion yuan ($50 billion) in cumulative transaction volume.

CCB will actively promote blockchain platform

On Oct. 9, Xinhua news agency reported that CCB, one of the big four banks in the People’s Republic of China, announced the release of “BCTrade 2.0”, a blockchain trade finance platform that digitizes trade and financial services between a reported 54 domestic and overseas CCB branches and 40 external organizations, including a number of state-owned and foreign banks.

The platform conducts trade and financing activities, such as accounts receivable and trade financing, and aims to provide a regulatory system for trade finance to enable real-time monitoring of various financial activities. Deputy governor of the Construction Bank Ji Zhihong said that the bank will actively promote the blockchain platform and invite more industry peers to join.

In March 2019 the CCB released its 2018 report showing that the blockchain trade finance platform by the end of 2018 had already transacted 200 billion yuan ($30 billion).

Since the launch of the trading platform, cumulative transaction volume has to date reportedly exceeded 360 billion yuan ($50 billion).

Eight Institutions to Get China’s Digital Currency

Cointelegraph reported in August that according to unconfirmed sources, the People’s Bank of China is giving its first round of central bank digital currency (CBDC) to online retail giant Alibaba, Internet giant Tencent, five banking organizations and one unknown entity.

Major Asian Blockchain VC Firm Launches New Bitcoin Tracker Fund

Major Asia’s blockchain-focused venture capital firm CMCC Global has launched a new institutional tracker fund for Bitcoin.

Custody by Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed firm

Called the Liberty Bitcoin Fund, the Bitcoin index fund deploys Anxone, a custodial solution developed by BC Group, tech and digital asset company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to a press release published on Sept. 17.

As one of Asia’s first blockchain VC firms, Hong Kong-based CMCC Global has initiated the Liberty Bitcoin Fund in a move to provide institutional-level access to Bitcoin without the burden of buying and safekeeping coins, the press release notes. The new fund is claimed to be the first of its kind in Asia.

Offline insurance to protect from thefts

As noted by the firm, the Liberty Bitcoin Fund is available only to accredited investors and provides weekly liquidity, while fund investors will be able to receive monthly net asset value statements in United States dollars, which can be used for internal accounting and tax filings.

The fund is regulated as a mutual fund in the Cayman Islands and provides offline-stored comprehensive insurance to protect from both a physical or digital theft, CMCC Global explained.

BC Group, which owns a portfolio of various blockchain companies, including cryptocurrency trading platform Anxone and digital asset brokerage OSL, launched its proprietary custody solution in April 2019.

As reported by blockchain analytics platform Crystal on Sept. 11, Hong Kong is one of the top countries with the largest number of registered digital currency exchanges along with the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Singapore.

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