UnionBank of Philippines to Use Blockchain For Transactions

UnionBank of Philippines to Use Blockchain For Transactions
August 1, 2019


The cryptocurrency market is trading in a mixed manner. While Bitcoin (BTC) has managed to climb back above the $10,000 level, many of the major altcoins remain in the red. At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin has gained 3.6% to trade at $10,022. Likewise, Ethereum (ETH) has gained 1.2% in the past 24 hours to trade at $214.21. However, XRP, the native currency of Ripple is trading at $0.3162, representing a loss of 0.4%. Other altcoins which have lost ground in the past 24 hours include Bitcoin Cash (BCH-$322.73 -2.2%), Cardano (ADA-$0.0594, -1.5%), Stellar (XLM-$0.0836, -0.1%), Tron (TRX-$0.02224, -0.2%), Leo (LEO-$1.30, -2.6%) and Cosmos (ATOM-$3.63, -0.4%). The altcoins, which have appreciated in the past 24 hours, include Litecoin (LTC-$96.69, 6.3%), EOS (EOS-$4.35, 3.2%), Monero (XMR-$81.22, 3.9%), Huobi (HT-$4.76, 0.8%), Dash (DASH-$106.03, 1.1%) and OKB (OKB-$2.76, 4.76%).


Government sector initiatives

US DoD considering blockchain systems for cybersecurity

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is contemplating blockchain-based systems for cybersecurity as a portion of its digitization plan. The DoD disclosed plans for blockchain tech in its road map for the next four years. The document titled DoD Digital Modernization Strategy: DoD Information Resource Management Strategic Plan FY19–23” reveals that the DoD’s research branch, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is presently involved in a minimum of two blockchain research projects centered on cybersecurity.

Initially, DARPA is testing blockchain technology to develop a totally new or enhanced transaction and communication system. The system is expected to enable communications between units and headquarters and also between the Pentagon and intelligence officers. Secondly, DARPA is trying to develop a blockchain-powered “unhackable code,” reflecting the technology’s ability to obtain intelligence on hackers who attempt data base intrusion.


Private sector initiatives

Seagate trials blockchain system to combat false HDDs

A renowned hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer Seagate technology has begun the trial of its blockchain-powered system designed to battle fake HDDs. The trial is being conducted in partnership with IBM. The duo announced the partnership in November 2018. The venture intends to assist integrators, business associates, and manufacturers to validate HDDs in a better manner using IBM’s blockchain platform.

According to Manuel Offenberg, Seagate’s data security research group managing technologist, IBM has joined the trial as “customer of these drives, as well as the technology provider for the underlying Hyperledger Fabric platform.” The blockchain system developed by Seagate has been designed to enhance the hard drives supply chain and monitor products delivered to the clients and returned to the company.

With this initiative, Seagate aims to guarantee that HDDs sent back to the company due to defects does not contain any personal information of the customer. Offenberg stated that Seagate wants “to make sure that these devices have no PII [personally identifiable information] data on them.” He further said: “When a drive fills in a customer’s system and the drive comes back as part of its returns process, if we can prove that the drive was cryptographically erased, and therefore, the information is no longer on the device, then, from a risk perspective, this reverse supply chain can treat that device differently.”


UnionBank of Philippines launches stable coin connected to the peso

UnionBank of Philippines has introduced a payment centered stable coin pegged to the country’s fiat currency peso. The bank-backed crypto, named PHX, is deployed on UnionBank’s i2i platform. The term i2i stands for institution-to-institution, island-to-island, and individual-to-individual. The blockchain-powered clearing system links UnionBank to rural banks in the country.

UnionBank’s senior vice president, Arvie de Vera has highlighted that the Unionbank-issued PHX is structured to act as “a stable store of value, medium of exchange and is a programmable token with self-executing logic. It enables transparent and automatic execution of payments.”

Three rural banks, namely Summit Rural Bank in Luzon, Progressive Bank in Visayas, and Cantilan Bank in Mindanao have already completed purchase, transfer and redemption dealings and even domestic payment transfers using PHX. The stable coin simplifies audit and compliance issues while fixing reconciliation issues. At the outset, the crypto will be made available to participants of the i2i network and can be bought through direct debit from their UnionBank accounts. Notably, PHX can be exchanged for pesos and transferred to corresponding UnionBank accounts of customers.



Ripple collaborates with universities as part of its UBRI

Cryptocurrency giant Ripple has partnered with Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo as part of its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). Ripple announced its new Japanese partnerships in a press release on July 30th. Ripple provides financial resources as well as expertise and technical resources to support research. UBRI is currently partnered with 33 universities, as per the press release.

Ripple’s senior director of global operations, Emi Yoshikawa has stated that there is a huge enthusiasm among Japanese students to learn about blockchain technology. Emi Yoshikawa said, “Japan is quickly becoming a leading force in crypto assets and blockchain. The region has always been forward-thinking and exploring ways to improve the current financial system […] We have seen high levels of interest from the academic community on topics around blockchain and crypto. Ripple is committed to engaging and inspiring students to become part of the workforce of the future, across areas such as blockchain, distributed computing, banking, and fintech.”

Students involved in blockchain research will receive scholarships from the University of Tokyo. Furthermore, the university’s economics department will also arrange public seminars on blockchain and settlement.

Furthermore, the university’s economic professors are also involved in research on the budding financial system, and also the infrastructure for the supervision of crypto assets and blockchain technology-based systems.

At Kyoto University, some of the areas in which the students are conducting blockchain research are remittances by immigrant workers, digital identity administration for refugees, and supply chain management.

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.


Andrew Wright

Prior to founding tradersasset.com in 2014, Andrew worked as a proprietary trader, then as a market maker. As a market maker, he traded options in over 100 stocks, he then began trading currency pairs in 2013. Andrew still actively trades both, and prides himself on educating and informing traders on the benefits of both Binary Options and Forex.

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