1. Chinese City Looks Into Blockchain To Fight Tax Evasion
The Chinese city of Shenzhen is collaborating with local internet giant Tencent to adopt blockchain technology to tackle tax evasion. The Shenzhen National Taxation Bureau and Tencent have launched the ‘Intelligence Tax’ innovation lab to innovate the taxation process. This will be carried out by combining academic research with emerging technologies, blockchain included. Currently, a blockchain-based digital invoice is also under development. It would be the first product created in the lab. The immutable nature of blockchain means the invoice in question cannot be counterfeited. The project is taking place on Tencent’s blockchain platform.
2. South Africa To Call Cryptocurrencies “Cyber-tokens”
The South African Reserve Bank has decided to use the term “cyber-token” rather than cryptocurrency, as it is not considered legal tender by the central bank. Deputy Governor Francois Groepe discussed the matter with the press in Pretoria yesterday, May 24th. However, as we previously reported, the bank has developed a FinTech unit to deal with blockchain and cryptocurrencies, in terms of policy and regulation. Therefore, despite a disagreement over which term to use, cryptocurrencies are not being banned in the country. The bank is actually focusing on a potential regulatory framework.
3. Bangkok Bank Joins R3’s Marco Polo Trade Finance Initiative
Bangkok Bank, the biggest lender in Thailand, and major player in South East Asia, has joined the Marco Polo trade finance initiative. The project was created by R3, an enterprise software company, and TradeIX, an open platform for trade finance. The plan is to simplify and improve the trade finance process through the use of blockchain technology. Financial institutions such as ING, BNP and Commerzbank have already joined the project. At the moment, the three main areas of focus are: risk mitigation, payables finance and receivables finance.
4. ICO Market’s East vs West Divide
There is a perceivable divide between the East and West in terms of ICOs. CoinDesk investigated the matter during Blockchain Week in New York City. In the west, the main focus is the idea behind the project, while in the east the objective is to ensure (quick) returns. Sora Ventures Managing Partner Jason Fang cited Asians’ passion for gambling as one of the reasons behind the difference. Furthermore, the Asian market moves at a different pace, with buy and sell happening faster. On the other hand, in Europe and the US, there is stronger financial knowledge and more diversified portfolios, which helps with the issue of volatility.
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