Santander Trials Blockchain-Powered Smart Contracts for Payments

Santander Trials Blockchain-Powered Smart Contracts for Payments
July 21, 2020


The cryptocurrency market remains range bound, with Bitcoin (BTC) continuing to struggle around $9,300. In the past 24 hours, Bitcoin has remained flat to trade at $9,182. Ether (ETH), the native crypto of Ethereum blockchain, has lost 0.6% to trade at $236.79. XRP has lost 1.4% to trade at $0.1957. Major altcoins which have gained ground in the past 24 hours include  Monero (XMR-$69.74, 0.6%), LEO (LEO-$1.17, 0.9%), Huobi (HT-$4.26, 0.2%), and IOTA (IOTA-$0.2571, 4.1%). Major altcoins which have lost ground in the past 24 hours include Ethereum Classic (ETC-$6.05, -0.6%), Litecoin (LTC-$42.25, -0.8%), Tron (TRX-$0.0172, -1.1%), EOS (EOS-$2.58, -0.1%), Dash (DASH-$69.22, -1.5%), Bitcoin SV (BSV-$169.92, -0.6%), ChainLink (LINK-$7.33, -8.6%), Cosmos (ATOM, $3.89, -6.3%), Stellar (XLM-$0.0951, -4.2%), Tezos (XTZ-2.78, -6.3%), Bitcoin Cash (BCH-$223.87, -1.3%), Cardano (ADA-$0.1190, -3.6%), Binance Coin (BNB-$17.65, -2.2%) and OKB (OKB-$5.16, -0.2%).


Government level initiatives

Bank of Thailand on the third stage of its digital currency

The bank of Thailand has taken another step in its plan to roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has started piloting its CBDC by allowing it to be used by large corporates. It is the third stage in the creation of the digital baht. Vachira Arromdee, BOT’s assistant governor, stated that the central bank intends to extend the range of testing by including more companies in the near future. Specifically, in September, the BOT intends to launch the digital currency for dealings with Hong Kong’s central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The country’s central bank also intends to facilitate the use of digital baht by the public in order to minimize charges related to financial transactions. However, that will begin after the successful trial of commercial transactions, the bank noted.


Private sector initiatives

Banco Santander completes PoC through blockchain smart contracts

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander and four additional banks, with headquarters in Spain, have completed a PoC (Proof-of-Concept) for payments through blockchain-powered smart contracts. The PoC was carried out in coordination with IberPay, the firm that monitors the Spanish Payment system. IberPay had stated that the PoC had “confirmed the feasibility of applying blockchain technology to the field of payments” and its ability to link and operate in harmony with the national payment platform.

Smart contracts mechanize the execution and remittance of payments after achieving pre-determined criteria. Along with IberPay and Banco Santander, other four Spanish banks involved in the deal were Banco Sabadell (5th largest Spanish bank), Bankia, BBVA and Caixabank. Grant Thornton acted as consultant to IberPay for piloting the PoC, which utilized an interbank blockchain network having seven operating nodes. During the trial, the system effectively carried out more than 20,000 automated near-instantaneous transactions.

The average time taken to complete a payment was 2.5 seconds, making it feasible to be a part of real-world applications. IberPay has stated that its PoC worked “with the maximal guarantees of security, efficiency, traceability, and integrity, as well as compliance with current regulations.”


Hanwha Group participates in a financing round by CrossAngle

Multinational South Korean enterprise Hanwha Group is strengthening its cryptocurrency-related initiatives with another investment. The company’s subsidiary Hanwha Investment & Securities has taken part in a 4 billion won ($3.30 million) financing round conducted by cryptocurrency company CrossAngle.

Singapore-based CrossAngle intends to use the funds raised through Series A2 investment round to build a framework for providing cryptocurrency-related data services for institutions. CrossAngle is developing Xangle, a public cryptocurrency reporting service aimed at offering transparent info related to cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC).

In an attempt to offer transparent service, Xangle obtains, validates, and embeds corporate reports related to global ventures and firms that have launched digital assets. The platform facilitates public access to its off-chain corporate reports and on-chain statistical data and analysis.

Xangle’s international partner network has over 60 exchanges spread over Japan, South Korea, China, Russia, Southeast Asia, the US, and also European jurisdictions. The firm currently offers public access to data of more than 800 cryptocurrencies.



Venezuela prohibits crypto mining operations in state-funded housing

In yet another attempt to dissuade people from adopting cryptocurrencies, Venezuelan Minister of Habitat and Housing, Ildemaro Villarroel, has stated that crypto mining operations will not be permitted in any state-funded housing that comes under “Gran Misión Vivienda” project (Great Home Mission).

Villaroel pointed out that any kind of hardware linked to cryptocurrency mining is prohibited in public housing due to “high power consumption” and for “violating” the power supply guidelines of the government.

The minister further stated: “In this coordinated work, we have detected the harmful effects of these elements of high electrical demand in the public houses of the Gran Misión Vivienda project.”

Gran Misión Vivienda is a program run by the Venezuelan government to provide housing to citizens under the low-income category, in order to minimize the effect of economic issues that have plagued the country, much before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Disclaimer: Any financial trading analysis offered here is our opinion and is not intended as advice or direction for investors. We cannot guarantee the success of any trades made as a consequence of this article, and we encourage traders to incorporate a strong money management strategy to limit losses when they enter the markets. Please use this article as part of your own research before formulating strategies prior to trading.

Ian Maguire

Ian Maguire

Ian is our resident contributor to the latest going ons in the cryptomarket, keeping up to date with the latest icos and coins

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