Blockchains and Banks

Bitcoin bundled together various existing technologies in a unique fashion to create something genuinely new — an almost unhackable, replicated database with no master server, via updates which are based on quickly verifiable effort rather than permission. Blockchains (permissioned chains) remove the genuinely new bit, but they are the current focus of activity in the Financial Services sector. Why?

Source: Blockchains and Banks — Medium

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Lessons from the Home Depot security breach and the looming chip card in the US horizon.

As a deadline approaches for new chip-enabled credit and debit cards to thwart data breaches, banks and credit unions are applying another sort of pressure by suing retailers over lax security.

Source: As Online Data Theft Escalates, Banks Look to Retailers to Bear the Losses – The New York Times

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Russia’s bitruble to be world’s first state-controlled cryptocurrency

Bitruble will be very similar to Bitcoin, but unlike any other cryptocurrency, it will be regulated by the Russian Central Bank

Source: Russia’s bitruble to be world’s first state-controlled cryptocurrency | Russia & India Report

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Global Investment Banks Back Blockchain Initiative

A number of the world’s largest investment banks are teaming up to develop standards for blockchain technology. This signals that the blockchain is officially entering the mainstream of the financial system.

Source: Global Investment Banks Back Blockchain Initiative

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India – An intrepid Approach for Financial Inclusion

Aadhaar is the ​federal government’s ​biometric identification system in India, which currently has 820 million residents registered – a phenomenal base – somewhere around 2/3 of the population. By all reports, the basic technologies, both the biometrics and the database, are well thought of and functioning well. Various industries – health, elections, etc. and not just finance – are attaching themselves to the database to take advantage of the proof of identity it provides.
People in the western world may be appalled by this central, government-controlled identity system, with potential threats to individual control over identity. This can be a challenge, for any jurisdiction with strong institutions. But in the developing world, the overwhelming need to have access to a transnational account, and to receive payments meant for them into that account (with low risk of identity fraud) – is more important.

Source: India – A Good Approach for Financial Inclusion — Payments Views from Glenbrook Partners

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Amazing read on Apple’s long-run strategy to challenge the financial industry after bending telecom carriers.

MPD CEO Karen Webster walks thru Apple’s mobile carrier playbook over the last 8 years and draws some interesting parallels to its entry into mobile payments.

Source: Are Banks At Risk Of Losing Out To Apple Pay? | PYMNTS.com

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Former Secret Service agent guilty of bitcoin theft

A former US Secret Service agent pleads guilty to stealing bitcoins during the investigation of the Silk Road website.

Source: Former Secret Service agent guilty of bitcoin theft – BBC News

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