Crypto Throwback Thursdays: Santander, Deloitte, and Wells Fargo

What do Santander, Watford FC and Wells Fargo have in common?

They’re in the first edition of our exciting new digest of the biggest weekly crypto news, that’s what.

Every Thursday, we’ll be summarising the most important cryptocurrency and blockchain news for you, so you can spend less time scouring the internet and more time out in the real world. Let us help reduce your screen time. Breathe in the fresh air. Admire the architecture of the building you’re in. Enjoy the company of an old friend. Choose life.

After you’ve read this of course. This is important.

Santander issues first end-to-end blockchain bond

Multinational banking giant Banco Santander announced that it has launched the first end-to-end blockchain bond on the public Ethereum blockchain. The bank issued the bond directly onto the blockchain, where it will remain.

Banco Santander is the issuer of the $20 million bond, while one of the Group’s units purchased the bond at market price, with no outside investors involved. The move opens the door to a potential secondary market for mainstream security tokens in the future.

Santander’s chief financial officer, Jose Garcia Cantera, explained that: “Santander is at the forefront of the profound digital transformation of the financial sector and this transaction is one example.

“We want to take advantage of any technology that can accelerate processes so that our customers thrive and be faster and more efficient, and blockchain is one of those technologies.”

Deloitte tests Bitcoin payment for staff

How do you pay for lunch at your office? If it’s with cash, maybe you should start considering other opportunities in more forward-thinking companies. For example, Deloitte, where they now accept Bitcoin at their staff canteen.

Earlier this week the Luxembourg Times reported that ‘Big 4’ auditing firm Deloitte now offers employees the option to buy their lunch with Bitcoin. The initiative has been set up as a way of testing the technology’s usefulness.

Laurent Collet, a partner at Deloitte’s advisory arm, told reporters: “We think it’s good to have our employees assess this new technology.” Collet did, however, say there are no plans to allow clients to pay in Bitcoin in the near future, though their attempts to familiarise themselves with the technology are a positive move that will warrant observation.

Harbor tokenises real estate funds worth $100 million

Investment startup Harbor has moved from direct token sales to enabling companies to tokenise existing securities. On Monday, Harbor announced the creation of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain representing the shares of four real estate funds worth $100 million.

Traditionally, iCap’s investors must commit to a multi-year lock-up period. To get out of the lock-up period early, they would have to find another investor who would take it over. This is a lengthy and costly process. Harbor has automated this process by establishing a private marketplace platform for its clients’ investors and broker-dealers to trade security tokens.

Wells Fargo to launch stablecoin in 2020

US-based financial behemoth Wells Fargo is developing a USD-pegged stablecoin that will run on the firm’s first blockchain platform, built on Corda Enterprise, the paid-for enterprise version of R3’s blockchain technology.

The concept will carry out a pilot for internal transfers next year. The firm said in a press release that the stablecoin will be used to settle internal cross-border payments across its global network. Its international locations will also be able to move funds between each other using the stablecoin.

Only US dollars will be available to transfer initially, but other currencies will likely be introduced before being available at all branches worldwide.

Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo, said in a statement: “As a result of the increasing digitisation of banking services globally, we see a growing demand to further reduce friction regarding traditional borders, and today’s technology puts us in a strong position to do that.

“We believe [digital ledger technology] holds promise for a variety of use cases, and we’re energised to take this significant step in applying the technology to banking in a material and scalable way. Wells Fargo Digital Cash has the potential to enable Wells Fargo to remove barriers to real-time financial interactions across multiple accounts in multiple marketplaces around the world.”

Bitcoin Sleeve Sponsor for Watford

The English Premier League (EPL) had a cumulative global audience of 3.2 billion for all programming in the 2018/19 season – a huge figure that dwarfs global leagues in other sports.

This makes EPL sponsorship big business, providing an opportunity to reach people in all corners of the globe. Which makes news that the Bitcoin logo (₿) will appear on the shirt sleeve of Watford FC this season all the more exciting.

The move is part of an educational drive led by sports betting brand, as part of a wider campaign to improve awareness and education around Bitcoin.

Scott Duxbury, Hornets’ Chairman & CEO, said: “Placing the Bitcoin logo on a Premier League shirt is something that challenges the accepted norm. We’re excited about the partnerships and the potential for new global conversations that it could help start for our club.”

The sponsorship will be crowd-funded. Anyone who holds Bitcoin will be granted the exclusive opportunity to share in the same perks as Watford FC sponsors, including the use of the Bitcoin box for eight people, exclusive Watford FC merchandise, and opportunity to bid for public LED space shown live during matches.

Hedera Hashgraph has launched its long-awaited public network

Hedera Hashgraph has launched its long-awaited public network, backed by some of the world’s largest corporations, including IBM, Boeing and TATA. There are 26 dapps and solutions already running live on the Hedera Hashgraph platform.

The decentralised public network is targeting enterprises and claims to be capable of processing 10,000 cryptocurrency transactions per second (TPS), although this figure has been disputed.

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