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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BLOCKCHAIN, ETHEREUM

Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior to Utilize Blockchain Technology

LVMH, who owns more than 60 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, will begin utilizing blockchain technology to track the authenticity of items.

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The new project will utilize a data privacy focused version of ethereum called Quorum, which was developed by JPMorgan.

LVMH has assembled a stealth full-time blockchain team over a year ago, working with ethereum design studio ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure.

The project, nicknamed AURA, is expected to be live by May or June with Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior.

“To begin with AURA will provide proof of authenticity of luxury items and trace their origins from raw materials to point of sale and beyond to used-goods markets,” stated a source familiar with the project.

“The next phase of the platform will explore protection of creative intellectual property, exclusive offers and events for each brands’ customers, as well as anti-ad fraud.”

LVMH has a reported revenue of $53 billion in 2018.

The firm is hopeful other luxury companies will use the AURA protocol to increase anti-counterfeiting measures.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN, ETHEREUM

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 to Feature Native Bitcoin, Ethereum Wallets

Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, Galaxy S10, will feature wallet functions for bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and two other tokens.

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A Samsung official spoke to reporters about all of the phone’s newest features during the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.

The new smartphone will feature wallets for COSMEE token (COSM) and Enjin’s token (ENJ) as well.

Enji can reportedly send and receive ERC-20 tokens and ERC-1155 crypto game assets.

In December, Samsung denied rumors of an integrated cryptocurrency wallet stating the accusations were just “rumor and speculation.”

However, in January, leaked images of the Galaxy S10 suggested the new smartphone would support an ETH wallet.

HTC launched a new smartphone Exodus, which promises to support multiple DApps.

“Since its launch ten years ago, the Galaxy S series has stood for premium innovation – offering consumers an incredible experience, and the ability to find the device that’s right for them,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.

“Galaxy S10 builds on that incredible legacy, and delivers breakthrough display, camera, and performance innovations. With four premium devices, each built for a unique consumer in mind, Samsung is leveraging a decade of industry leadership to usher in a new era of smartphone technology.”

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN, ETHEREUM

Nasdaq to Bring Bitcoin, Ethereum Indices on Feb. 25

Nasdaq has announced they have partnered with blockchain data and research company Brave New Coin and plan to add indices for bitcoin and ethereum later this month.

The Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and the Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX) “are each designed to provide a real-time spot or reference rate for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH respectively, quoted in USD, and based on the most liquid ends of their markets,” Nasdaq explains.

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“Both indices are calculated using a methodology that has been independently audited against key IOSCO principles.”

The BLX is one of the most widely-referenced BTC indices among crypto traders and has been calculated back to 2010.

Likewise, the ELX has been calculated back to 2014.

Last month, Nasdaq, Citigroup Inc., and several others led a $20 million funding round of blockchain start-up, Symbiont.

The New York-based company, Symbiont.io, applies blockchain technology to capital markets, and has developed its own blockchain, called Assembly, allowing financial institutions to utilize to share and verify data.

In November, Nasdaq announced a partnership with VanEck to “bring a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” sometime this year. However, no further specifics have been disclosed on the potential contract since then.

Stay tuned to BlockchainDaily.News for further developments regarding Nasdaq’s blockchain plans.

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