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One of the biggest arms in Russian investment disc and the largest bank in the corporate and investment banking business of Russia, Sberbank CIB implemented the first of its kind blockchain based commercial bond transaction in the country. Joining hands with Russia’s telecoms expert MTS and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) smart contracts have been placed using commercial Rouble-denominated bonds.

blockchain bond

The Bond Deal

Sberbank CIB was the main organizer of the event. Sberbank was the main buyer of the issue of MTS bonds. Bonds have the maturity term of 6-months and the total sum of RUB 750 million. The annual rate of the bond in the OTC market stays at 6.8%.

The blockchain bonds technology was completely provided and supported by NSD. A full Delivery versus Payment (DVP) settlement model was based on blockchain bonds. This enabled a laidback transfer of securities and funds simultaneously. It is based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.1 to carry out the transactions.

Commercial bonds are placed on an over-the-counter (OTC) market through the private subscription. These commercial bonds are unsecured fixed-income securities.

The system implemented is highly transparent, including bond placement, circulation and record keeping. The system only operates using digitalized assets making it extremely secure and sheltered.

All the three entities had access to the transaction into the blockchain platform. Including the issuer, the central depository, and the investor. Considering all the obligations and necessities of the Russian legislation in dealing with all the accounts was made necessary. Confidentiality was kept foremost priority in dealings throughout.

All the participants could transfer and exchange the documents online and check the subsequent transaction’s status in the actual time it occurred. The full execution of the deal was able to be seen, from the placement of the bonds to the receiving of the cash.

This collaboration between the MTS and the Sberbank CIB is the first of its nature which enabled blockchains and blockchain bonds to gain the status of an industrial technology which accelerated securities settlement and certified confidentiality.

The initiators claim that the main aim is to an exemplary digital asset accounting infrastructure joining hands with market leaders. Infrastructure plays a crucial role for institutional investors to enter the market and for the increase in market’s capitalism and market’s successful development. The infrastructure plays an essential role in the flourished market growth.

Future Plans

Sberbank has already shown interests in blockchain projects previously. Last year the executive member of the company announced that the bank is in process cooperating with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on a project which is on a distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The delay in the project is mainly because of some unsolved and pending matters including some slow interaction of blockchain applicants. The Sberbank CIB has though forecasted great hopes and high expectations from the initiative. He also declared involvement of the bank in further other blockchain based projects.

Sberbank has also announced its blockchain laboratory which will develop blockchain based solutions. It will carry out pilot projects, product prototypes and implement applied business solutions for Sberbank CIB.

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Cryptocurrencies in Russia: Government Is Settling Up Conflict on Draft Crypto-Law

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The Russia Federation is getting closer to decide the law, covering the trading of crypto-tokens and ICOs (initial coin offerings) within the country, Russia.

On Monday, a report was released by RIA, which is a Russian news agency that according to Alexei Moiseev (Russian deputy finance), the jurisdictional conflict amid the Finance Ministry and Bank of Russia associated with the subject of draft crypto law to rule cryptocurrency-related activities in Russia has been settled.

Alexei Moiseev has told the journalists that the final word about this conflict of cryptocurrency trading is linked to the Central Bank, which means it belongs to it. At this time, it seems like the Ministry has chosen to relinquish this issue to the core financial regulator.

russian cryptocurrencies

Alexei Moiseev’s Statement

Alexei Moiseev stated:

“Yes, the disagreement with the CB has been resolved and this issue has been entrusted to the CB. The CB will make decisions [on this matter]”

The new Russian draft law on cryptocurrencies will permit coin trading after proper verification. The Central Bank, also sometimes referred as CB has shown some serious uncertainties earlier and expressed that the digital currencies have to be legal in Russia and suggested to do this only with the ICO tokens. However, the Finance Ministry opposed this, telling that the whole ban of Russian cryptocurrencies would just make a shadow market.

Well, this issue deserves to be mentioned that how digital currencies reemerged just after the local presidential elections, as they’ve remained in the background for the past few months. Seemingly, now that the President has managed to secure his position again, local issues and draft laws are once again getting back on the agenda.

Reports

It’s been reported before that a draft has been filed by the Finance Ministry, which would execute a threshold for ICO and its activities related to it in Russia as an exertion to let the token sales under a delimited environment. The law must let these token offerings to be traded with Russian rubles as further assets drew differing sentiments from the Bank of Russia, and the Central Bank of the Company. These two government bodies have achieved a consensus according to Moiseev, as he said:

“Yes. The central bank will make a decision”

What RIA has to say about it?

According to RIA, the Bank of Russia may now consider the option of permitting investors to exchange tokens distributed under the proposed ICO framework with fiat money. Though, “crypto to crypto” trading might not be allowed there.

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US Congress Features Cryptocurrencies for The Very First Time in Its Joint Economic Report

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On 13th March, an annual Joint Economic Report was published by the US Congress in which the Congress dedicated a whole section to the Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, for the very first time.

Joint Economic Report

The Joint Economic Report (2018) contains a whole chapter that provides the insight of the effect of Blockchain and cryptocurrency on today’s US economy and includes scrutiny and recommendations for the rest of the year. According to the report, 2017 was the year of cryptocurrencies, and highlighted the extensive concern over Bitcoin.

joint economic report

The combined value of all Bitcoins in distribution equalled to approximately $15.5 billion, by the starting of 2017; however, it boosted almost 14-fold to over $216 billion by the end of the year. Cryptocurrency market cap was certainly influenced by high prices and such cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin also experienced the same gains.

But at the same time, the report also stated that leading economists, like Chair Janet Yellen (former Federal Reserve), still don’t think that cryptocurrencies meet the standard definition of money, and for him, Bitcoin is a highly-speculative-asset.

A stirring surge has been shown in the price of crypto and Blockchain assets, which leaves few crucial economic indexes behind such as;

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • S&P 500

The report says;

“…If digital currencies become less volatile in the future, valuing items in those denominations could become easier and individuals might begin using them more frequently as a medium of exchange”

Recommendations

There are few recommendations in the document, showing certain concern, as all of the authors advise government agencies are about to consider and analyze new customs for the technology. They specifically distinguish Blockchain’s potential to enhance agency competence and guarantee security against cyber-attacks.

The report also says;

“Policymakers, regulators, and entrepreneurs should continue to work together to ensure developers can deploy these new Blockchain technologies quickly and in a manner that protects Americans from fraud, theft, and abuse while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations”

The analysis also highlighted that Blockchain has demonstrated largely resistant to hacking and has a lot of potential applications. Even though Blockchain and cryptocurrencies still stir up clash, the analysis that was shown in the report proves that administrative associations cannot avoid the innovative technology of Blockchain.

The report also noted that the technology can be used in other fields like;

  • Healthcare
  • Securing critical financial
  • Energy infrastructure.

The Subcommittee on Securities, Investment and Capital Markets assembled for a hearing that was dedicated to ICO (Initial Coin Offerings), Blockchain development and cryptocurrencies in the US, making it quite simple understand that more regulatory clarification would be necessary from the US government.

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How To Use Tor Browser On iPhone?

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This brief guide teaches you how to use Tor-enabled internet browser on your iPhone device to put a stop to ad services, ISP, or cookies tracking your online activities.

Tor prevents these entities from tracking your use by encrypting the route to your iPhone’s IP address through different servers all across the world. This ultimately makes it virtually impossible for anyone to track your IP address without advanced knowledge or software.

Remember that there are several sites on Tor that do not show up during usual browsing. Some of the sites may contain harmful or illicit content. Visit them at your own discretion.

Steps Involved In Using Tor on iPhone:

  1. Go to App Store
  2. Tap Search
  3. In the search bar, type Tor
  4. Choose a Tor-enabled browser
  5. Tap Get
  6. Tap Install
  7. Open the Application
  8. Tap Connect to Tor
  9. Start browsing

Related: A beginner’s guide to Tor Browser

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Why Trump had to ban Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro in the US?

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An executive order has been issued by the U.S. President Donald Trump to ban the US Citizens from buying Petro cryptocurrency. Petro is first state-issued cryptocurrency developed by the government of Venezuela.

Further more, Trump has issued strict orders to the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to implement this ban. Earlier this year, the Treasury Department also announced sanctions on four Venezuelan government officials.

buying petro

Why was Petro Launched?

The cryptocurrency Petro was launched in February 2018, which could be purchased through US dollars and euros. At the time of its launch, it was claimed to be backed by the oil and mineral reserves of the Venezuelan government. According to some critics, if investors once started buying Petro, it could easily support the official currency of Venezuela, which is steadily falling down mainly due to US-imposed financial sanctions.

Reason for Trump’s Ban on Petro

As mentioned above, the ban was an attempt to put pressure on the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his undue policies. As a result, the efforts of Maduro’s government to boost their foreign currency reserves have been greatly affected.

US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin stated that President Maduro destroyed the Venezuelan economy which gave rise to a destructive humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Instead of improving the present condition of their citizens, the Venezuelan government is trying to bypass the US sanctions through its Petro digital currency. In short, the Venezuelan President is trying to loot the resources of his people.

Effect of Trump’s ban on Petro

According to many critics, it is probably a quiet big blow for the Venezuelan government. Since most of the cryptocurrencies and their present market value is based upon the US dollar, so when we take the role of US out of that scene, the interest and potential rate for any of the cryptocurrency is also automatically reduced.

At a stage when Petro was struggled to create some serious interest among foreign governments, the ban by Trump will be extremely fatal. Earlier this year, Poland had also shown an interest in trading food and medicine with the Venezuelan government for the Petro, which was denied due to the sanctions imposed by the US president.

Let us know your point of view about all this in the comments below!

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