ETHEREUM

Santander Launches First End-to-End Blockchain Bond on Ethereum

Spanish bank, Banco Santander, has issued the first public end-to-end blockchain bond utilizing Ethereum.

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Banco Santander is itself the issuer of the $20 million bond, while one of the Group’s units purchased the bond at market price.

José García Cantera
José García Cantera

“Santander is at the forefront of the profound digital transformation of the financial sector and this transaction is one example,” stated José García Cantera, Chief Financial Officer at Banco Santander.

“We want to take advantage of any technology that can accelerate that process, so that our customers thrive and be faster and more efficient, and blockchain is one of those technologies.”

The bond carries a quarterly coupon of 1,98%. Santander Securities Services is acting as tokenization agent and custodian of the cryptographic keys.

Santander Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), the bank’s global division that supports corporate and institutional clients, acted as dealer for the issuance, continuing the work which started in Santander’s blockchain lab in 2016.

“Our clients are increasingly demanding the best thinking and technology in how we serve them in their capital-raising efforts,” said José María Linares, global head of Santander Corporate & Investment Banking.

“This blockchain-issued bond puts Santander at the forefront of capital markets innovation and demonstrates to clients that we are the best partner to support them on their digital journey.”

Santander used the public Ethereum blockchain, one of the more advanced open source blockchain technologies.

This allows Santander to achieve the milestone of tokenizing the bond securely and registering it in a permissioned manner on the blockchain.

The cash used to complete the investment (on-chain delivery-versus-payment) and the quarterly coupons have also been tokenized, i.e., represented digitally on the blockchain.

Thanks to this automation, the one-year maturity bond has reduced the number of intermediaries required in the process, making the transaction faster, more efficient and simpler.

The goal for Santander CIB is to engage with our most innovative clients as we move from the project stage to product development.

For this project, Santander received support from London based startup Nivaura, a regulated fintech company which builds innovative solutions that digitize and automate key processes in capital markets, as well as legal advice from global law firm Allen & Overy.

Santander InnoVentures, the $200 million venture capital fund, invested last February in Nivaura.

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ETHEREUM

Domain Name Registrar EnCirca Adds Blockchain Domain Names

EnCirca announces that it is the first ICANN Accredited Registrar accepting applications for Ethereum’s .ETH domain names.

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Ethereum’s .ETH was created to map human-readable domains names to blockchain wallets, facilitating ease of use.

As illustrated by Facebook’s recent Libra announcement, cryptocurrency and blockchain use is becoming widespread and growing rapidly.

“Billions of internet users will soon have blockchain wallets for sending and receiving crypto-currencies”, says Tom Barrett, President of EnCirca.

“In response, EnCirca has made it easy for brand owners to protect their trademarks on the blockchain.”

Blockchain domain names are not regulated like .COM or .ORG domain names.

So, the traditional trademark protection mechanisms to prevent cyber-squatting of brand names are nonexistent. T

hus, brand owners are advised to defensively protect their trademarks in the .ETH top-level domain as soon as possible.

The Ethereum Naming Service has two different application processes, depending upon the length of the desired domain name.

Short Character .ETH Domain Names (3 to 6 characters)

Short names, such as Apple.ETH, are expected to be in high demand and will attract multiple applicants.

To ensure that these short domain names are allocated to those who have already used the same string in a pre-existing domain like .COM or .US, Ethereum will award registrations to the applicant demonstrating the longest continuous use of the same name in an existing domain name extension, such as .COM, .US, .ORG etc.

Long character names, such as Microsoft.ETH are available now on a first-come, first-served basis.

These long strings have been publicly available since May, 2017 and nearly 300,000 names have already been registered.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN, ETHEREUM

E*Trade Prepares to Launch Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Popular trading platform E*Trade is reportedly going to begin cryptocurrency trading according to sources familiar with the matter.

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Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) will be the only trading options available at first, but the anonymous source claims E*Trade is considering adding other cryptocurrencies in the future.

A spokesman for E*Trade declined to comment.

If these allegations are genuine, E*Trade would become one of the largest securities brokerages to facilitate cryptocurrency trading, competing directly with blockchain startups like Coinbase.

In 2018, Coinbase reached a valuation of $8 billion, projecting $1.3 billion in sales.

Trading platform Robinhood, currently valued at $5.6 billion, recently added feeless cryptocurrency trading.

BTC is trading at 5,306.96 (+0.83%) at press time, according to Coinpaprika.com.

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BLOCKCHAIN, ETHEREUM

Samsung SDS Adds Blockchain Solution to Enterprise IT Package

Samsung SDS CEO Hong Won-pyo has announced the company will be adding blockchain technology solution to its enterprise IT package.

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The new “Digital Transformation Framework” tools will feature many new updates including intelligent enterprise and next generation ERP/SCM/IPA, intelligent factory (manufacturing/logistics/plant intelligence), cloud security, and innovative technology platforms (AI/blockchain/IoT).

The company recently released Nexledger Universal, utilizing its own consensus algorithm, the Samsung SDS Nexledger Consensus Algorithm (NCA).

The blockchain can also use the Hyperledger Fabric and ethereum blockchains.

“Blockchain is a technology that is used in all areas of business including finance, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution,” said Hong Hyeong-jin, CEO of Samsung SDS’ Nexledger project.

“We are upgrading the company’s blockchain platform at Nexledger to meet the demand. As digital convergence is accelerating, convergence services are expanding across industries. Blockchain technology is also being used in financials where payments are made through manufacturing, distribution, and distribution. We will upgrade Nexledger to meet customer needs.”

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BLOCKCHAIN, ETHEREUM

Microsoft Announces New Blockchain Development Kit for Ethereum

Microsoft has been investing a lot into the development of Blockchain based technology.

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Azure Blockchain is the cloud offering that’s part of making Enterprise Blockchain more approachable and easier to develop with Blockchain.

Recently, Microsoft released the first Preview release of the new Azure Blockchain Development Kit for Ethereum, as an extension to Visual Studio Code.

Chris Pietschmann Founder, BuildAzure.com
Chris Pietschmann
Founder, BuildAzure.com

This Visual Studio Code extension for Azure Blockchain provides developers an enhanced experience for building Blockchain apps utilizing Azure Blockchain Service, or even the public Ethereum network.

It also enables you to utilize popular, open source Blockchain tools such as Solidity and Truffle.

This proves even further the investment and dedication that Microsoft is putting forth towards the use of Blockchain ledger technologies in the Enterprise, or even on the public blockchain networks.

Solidity Smart Contracts
Author, Build, and Deploy Solidity Smart Contracts from VS Code

You can find the “Azure Blockchain Development Kit for Ethereum” Visual Studio Code extension here:

https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=azblockchain.azure-blockchain

Since Visual Studio Code is cross platforms, so is this extension.

This extension is supported on both Windows 10 and macOS.

This offers flexibility in development for either of the two primary platforms you may be using as your local development machine.

Or, you could also use Visual Studio Code and it’s extensions (including this one) running within a Virtual Machine in Azure; such as a “Visual Studio 2019 VM in Azure.”

Additionally this extension has the following system requirements:

  • VS Code 1.32.0 (or greater)
  • Python 2.7.15
  • Node 10.15.x
  • Git 2.10.x

in the “open source development tool” theme that Microsoft has been adhering to in recent time, the “Azure Blockchain Development Kit” extension for Visual Studio Code is Open Source and hosted on GitHub.

In addition to using the extension to develop Blockchain solutions, you can also contribute to the extension by submitting pull requests or reporting issues.

You can go check out the source code for the extension at the GitHub project site, here:

https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode-azure-blockchain-ethereum

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