The blockchain/crypto week at a glance

Coin Rivet brings you its pick of the best news stories you didn’t have time to read this week

Revolut bags banking licence

Crypto friendly FinTech Revolut’s application for a European banking licence has been approved by the European Central Bank.

“This licence will help us towards our goal to build an account where users can manage every aspect of their financial life, with the best value and using the best available technologies,” it says in a blog post.

Orbs joins Kakao Investment’s blockchain journey

Kakao Investment has invested in hybrid blockchain platform Orbs.

“With Kakao’s consumer applications counting more than 50 million active users worldwide, the investment in Orbs represents a significant endorsement of the long-term potential of our technology,” says Daniel Peled, Orbs CEO and Co-Founder. 

“Kakao Investment’s relationship with Orbs reflects our regional strength and the potential we offer to make blockchain a powerful growth engine for its business units. Kakao was among the first major tech companies to recognise that blockchain is the future, and Orbs is excited to be a bigger part of that journey.”

PwC and Bitfury announce Russia blockchain initiative

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has partnered with Bitfury Group to create a blockchain accelerator for Russian businesses, a press release announced.

Hello Tractor in AI, blockchain partnership with IBM Research

IBM Research – Africa has teamed with Hello Tractor in Africa to pilot an agriculture digital wallet based on AI and blockchain. Check out this blog post for further details.

AriseBank settles ICO scam charges

Crypto venture AriseBank is to stump up nearly $2.7 million in fines to settle ICO fraud charges, according to a US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) announcement.

SolarisBank in crypto partnership with German stock exchange

German FinTech SolarisBank and Stuttgart Exchange Group are developing infrastructure for a crypto trading venue, set to launch in the first half of 2019.

“With its combination of technology and banking expertise, solarisBank is a great partner for us to offer central services along the value chain for digital assets. solarisBank’s Blockchain Factory supports us in taking trading in cryptocurrencies and tokens to the next level and in setting new standards in transparency and reliability” says Alexander Höptner, CEO of Boerse Stuttgart.

BlockFi preps crypto savings account

BlockFi, a crypto-to-USD lender, has raised $4 million as it looks to launch new products, including an interest-earning crypto savings account and credit and crypto-backed credit cards. The company plans to roll-out the savings account in Q1 2019.

Bitwala claims major moment for banking and crypto sectors

In what it claims to be a sector first, Bitwala has launched a German banking solution for cryptocurrency users.

“This is a major moment for the banking and cryptocurrency industries. Money has always changed with time. As digitisation spreads, the world is now entering a hybrid future where Blockchain-borne and state-backed currencies complement eachother,” says Jörg von Minckwitz, President and Co-founder of Bitwala. 

“Our 30-strong team did a stellar job in developing a service within the confines of banking regulation as a bridge between the traditional and crypto economies. Over 40,000 customers, and counting, have already signed up for the new Bitwala account.” 

Cubits a victim of “serious criminal act”

Crypto payment platform Cubits has entered into administration, after falling victim to “a serious criminal act, perpetrated from outside the organisation, which has critically impacted its business”. Further details here.

Vermont tackles blockchain opps, challenges

Four Vermont state agencies have established a working group to study the opportunities and challenges presented by blockchain technology, according to an announcement this week.

It’s BCH for OKEx 

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is to list Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH) according to an official statement issued this week.

KFC Venezuela responds to Dash rumours

KFC Venezuela boss, Antonio Sampayo, has denied a recent announcement that it will start accepting altcoin Dash.

KFC has been in discussions with Dash, he said, but nothing has been finalised. Processing payments with Dash “is not a fact, nor has the publication of any news about it been authorised”, he insisted.

Gemini ushers in crypto on the go

Gemini has launched a mobile crypto trading app.

Tyson Hackwood to drive Crypto.com Pay growth

Cryptocurrency payment platform, Crypto.com, has appointed former PayPal/Braintree exec, Tyson Hackwood, as SVP, Head of Global Merchant Acquisition.

Galaxy Digital backs Good Money

Digital banking platform venture, Good Money, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by crypto investment bank Galaxy Digital.

State Farm blockchain solution ‘has many benefits’

US-based insurance company State Farm is testing a blockchain-based solution for auto claims subrogation, it announced this week.

UNICEF’s Innovation Fund announces blockchain investments

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is to invest up to $100,000 in six companies, Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers to solve global challenges using blockchain technology. Further details here.

ErisX brings in big hitter as CSO

Crypto exchange ErisX has announced the appointment of Matt Trudeau as its Chief Strategy Officer.

“ErisX is a needed evolution to the way individuals and institutions trade digital assets and I am pleased to be a part of this initiative,” says Trudeau, who has led and assisted in 10 global market launches including Instinet, Chi-X, IEX and Tradewind. “Offering spot and regulated futures contracts on one platform, ErisX is pioneering a solution that connects digital and traditional asset classes.”

Facebook on blockchain hiring spree

The social media giant has added several blockchain-related jobs to its careers page in recent weeks.

Bitmain ends Israeli activity

Bitmain is closing its development centre in Israel and laying off 23 employees, Globes reports.

Australian specialist insurer backs blockchain trial

Truck and transport insurer National Transport Insurance (NTI) is participating in a blockchain trial which aims to boost food safety, improve animal welfare and monitor export security for Australian beef. Further details here.

Shinhan Bank announces blockchain initiative

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank is working on a blockchain-based work process project, The Korea Times reports.

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