Bank of Canada: Digital Currencies Need Regulation to Grow

Researchers from the Bank of Canada maintain that digital currencies such as bitcoin need government intervention for it to flourish long-term. The report, Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies [PDF], examines the period in Canada when private bank notes and government issued notes or ‘Dominion’ notes were in circulation at the same time in the 1800s. The report states that because the notes shared the same characteristics of today’s digital currencies, it can draw from the experience as to how today’s digital currencies might function. It adds that private digital currencies are likely to be counterfeited too. However, while a central bank can issue its own digital currency, it finds that doing so is unlikely to push out...

New Zealand Court Rules Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited to the U.S.

New Zealand’s high court has ruled that accused Internet pirate Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the United States, according to stuff.co.nz, a New Zealand news site. Dotcom’s lawyer said he will appeal to the Court of Appeal.   The U.S. claims Dotcom, a long-time bitcoin advocate, and associates Finn Batato, Bram der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann engaged in money laundering and copyright infringement, costing copyright holders more than $500 million. Largest U.S. Copyright Case The case has been called one of the largest copyright cases brought by the U.S. Today’s ruling comes more than five years after authorities raided Dotcom’s Auckland residence. The court ruled that the evidence established a case against Dotcom. It also ruled in favor of one of Dotcom’s...

Japan’s Largest Bank is Testing Digitized Checks on a Blockchain in Singapore

Japan’s Largest Bank is Testing Digitized Checks on a Blockchain in Singapore

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest bank, has chosen blockchain technology as the core infrastructure toward testing the digitization of checks using Singapore’s Fintech-friendly regulatory sandbox installed by the country’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. First announced [PDF] last year, the Proof of Concept (PoC) testing is the result of a joint endeavor between the bank and major Japanese conglomerate Hitachi. The two companies developed a blockchain-based infrastructure to issue, transfer and collect electronic checks. With the PoC testing, the bank issued and settled checks while the Hitachi Group’s companies in Singapore received the electronic checks and then deposited the funds. “The project is to digitalize entire...

Asian Fintech Startups See a Record $5.4 Billion VC Funding in 2016, Driven by China

Asian Fintech Startups See a Record $5.4 Billion VC Funding in 2016, Driven by China

Fintech startups in Asia gained a record $5.4 billion in venture-capital funding last year, up from $4.8 billion in 2015. According to data from venture capital research firm CBInsights, Asia accounted for nearly 20 percent in the number of Fintech investments worldwide. Notably, however, the deals are far more substantial in the region with 43% of the global funding taking place in Asia, in 2016. A driving factor towards the increase in the volume and value of investments is the money poured into the Asian Fintech sector by major Chinese companies. The $5.4 billion is recorded across 165 transactions or funding deals in 2016, up from 162 in 2015. On the global stage, the $5.4 billion VC investments into Asian financial technology startups is almost...

Bahrain to Host Inaugural Middle East & Africa Fintech Forum

The first edition of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) FinTech conference will be held in Bahrain to foster discussion about the challenges and opportunities presented by the emerging sector. The first edition of the conference will be hosted by Arab Financial Services, a prominent electronic payment processor based in Bahrain. The event will be sponsored by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency overseeing economic development strategy in the country and; the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), also based in Bahrain, according to local media. The forum, themed “Fintech Disruption of the Financial Industry” will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bahrain Bay on March 29. AFS chief executive B Chandrasekhar stated: Fintech is...