30/01/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. UNICEF to Offer Equity-free Investments to Blockchain Startups

Yesterday, we reported about the WWF using blockchain technology. Now, another organisation has decided to explore its potential. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced on its website that it is offering $50–90k equity-free investments to blockchain startups that have the potential to benefit humanity. Participants will have until February 28th to apply. The initiative will be managed by the organisation’s Innovation Fund. Examples of proposals UNICEF is interested in are Smart Contracts, Data Analytics, Mining and Tokens. However, this is not the first time the organisation has been involved in the financing of blockchain technology. It previously partnered with the Ixo Foundation to launch a “proof of impact” protocol and Project Amply.

2. Philippines SEC to Regulate Cryptocurrency and ICOs

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is drafting regulations aimed at cryptocurrency transactions and Initial Coin Offerings. It should be finalised by the end of the year. Emilio Aquino, SEC Commissioner, said that the regulations will cover issuance and registration of cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, investors’ financial literacy, the eligibility of issuers, and cybersecurity guidelines for the cryptocurrency market will also be included. An increase in popularity in the past year led the country to the decision, in order to protect investors and cut risks.

3. SBI Ripple Asia Wants to Bring DLT to Securities

SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between Japanese investment firm SBI and American DLT payment startup Ripple, announced it is joining forces with 18 securities firms to investigate how the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) could benefit securities products. Distributed ledger technology refers to what people generally think of as blockchain technology. However, the blockchain is only one type of distributed ledger technology. The main goal of this consortium is to improve customer experience and cut administrative costs through the employment of emerging technologies, especially DLT. A DLT Advanced Experiment Working Group will be launched. Among the securities taking part, we can find SBI Securities, Daiwa Securities, and Nomura Securities. SBI Ripple Asia previously formed another consortium with 47 banks to trial the use of Ripple’s technology in Interbank transactions.

4. Hong Kong Launches Campaign to Educate Public on Cryptocurrency and ICOs

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and the Investor Education Centre (IEC), a subsidiary of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has launched a campaign aimed at educating the public on cryptocurrency and ICOs. The government of Hong Kong shared the news on January 29th. The initiative is not going to be limited to TV ads, but delivered through various channels. The public will be reached through the metro system as well as social media. FSTB Under Secretary Joseph Chan said that the government wants to ensure potential investors fully understand cryptocurrency and ICOs before getting involved. It is also possible to find various informational articles on the IEC financial education website Chin Family.

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