Stellar Became the First Blockchain that Complied With the “Sharia Law”

stellar received sharia license

As we mentioned in our article about the first authentic Arabic cryptocurrency (Dubaicoin), the countries of the Middle East were one of the last ones to consider such innovative technologies as blockchain and digital coins.

The thing is, that the citizens of these countries are muslim, which means that all spheres of their life are controlled by religion. All inventions are carefully examined and approved only if they comply with the so-called “Sharia law”.

Stellar which is a blockchain-based network payment platform was inspected by an agency specializing in providing official certificates for companies and projects that meet the “Sharia law” requirements. The agency found Stellar applicable for the certificate. The post about this appeared on the Twitter account of the platform.

According to the post on the official site of Stellar:

The Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), a leading international Sharia advisory agency licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, has reviewed the properties and applications of Stellar and has promulgated guidance and guidelines that enable Sharia compliant applications of Stellar technology in Islamic financial institutions.

Stellar’s representatives view the certificate as an important step in the development and expansion of their platform, since now it is available for thousands of new customers from Islamic countries.

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The List of Bitcoin Mainstream Trends Which Will Dominate in 2019

Bitcoin is one of the most famous cryptocurrencies in the world. It is actually the first one, thus, no matter what might be, it has already gone down in history. Even though the cryptocurrency may not be that popular right now, due to various reason, some changes are already inevitable, hence, let us just check on trends which will become a part of everyday life in 2019.

1. Bitcoin ATMs

The number of Bitcoin ATMs is growing rapidly. It is a kiosk which allows a person to buy/sell Bitcoins in cash or by credit card. They actually look like an ordinary terminal, yet, it is connected not to bank account, but to Bitcoin exchange. The number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world accounts for 4292 at the time of writing.

Source: www.statista.com

Such ATMs will definitely encourage people to use cryptocurrency, since now it becomes more understandable for ordinary people. If people get accustomed to use Bitcoin ATMs, then crypto will see a bright future.

2. Central banks and Bitcoin

Some people do not want to get involved in crypto as it lacks regulation, including bank regulation. However, in 2019, one of Bitcoin trends may become partnership between central banks and cryptocurrency.

Several banks have already introduced systems how to work with crypto. Bank of America, for example, has officially patented a system for saving crypto actives for significant corporations. Moreover, this week, one of the biggest American banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co, has announced that it developed its own digital coin – JPM Coin.

Perhaps, such implementations will bring positive effect on the relationships between crypto and financial institutions.

3. Bitcoin in smartphones

Since the beginning of the third millennium, a cell phone has become an integral part of our everyday life. By using a smartphone we can do almost everything that is connected to our work, study, leisure, or hobby. Financial transactions, including crypto operations, are no exception.

On May, 2018, Huawei Technologies Corporation provided users of its smartphones with the opportunity to use Bitcoin wallet BTC.com. At the end of the past year, HTC company released the smartphone Exodus, powered by blockchain. A person can only purchase the phone with digital currencies.

It is too early to say whether these phones will be successful and useful or not, yet still it is very important that world is trying to meet the needs of everyone.

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The Recent Filing of Apple to SEC Suggests Its Interest in the Blockchain Technology

It has been detected that one of the latest listing of Apple submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission called “Conflict Minerals Report” mentioned the blockchain technology as one of the methods to deal with the issue stated there.

The issue itself regarded the mining, production and shipment of minerals used to produce smartphones and other electronic devices.

We have covered the topic earlier and informed you about the company Ford that cooperated with IBM and other giants in order to combat child labor in Africa. Their primary goal was to focus on cobalt mines in Congo, where minors were and maybe still are working illegally.

Meanwhile, Apple has some big plans on that cobalt, since this mineral is crucial for the company to manufacture their devices. However, using cobalt from the infamous mines in Congo would mean direct support of the human rights abuse.

Many experts have repeatedly pointed out that the supply chains of Apple were involved in multiple scandals involving the violation of human basic rights. Thus, the company had to make sure it got rid of the “dirty” reputation.

Apple is deeply committed to upholding human rights across its global network of suppliers that support the manufacturing of its mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and related accessories. Apple works to safeguard the well-being of people involved in its supply chain and to protect the places where materials are sourced,” the filing reads.

Conflict Minerals Report was mainly about the work ethics of Apple and the possible ways to ensure the legitimacy of supply chains, using the blockchain technology, as well as educating other businesses how to use blockchain for security purposes.

Thus, we might draw a conclusion that Apple is getting closer to using the blockchain technology, even though it is indirect so far. Bigger step towards using the potential of blockchain might follow soon.

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A Major Japanese Bank Is Developing a Blockchain-Based Payment Network Due in 2020

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is on the most prominent financial institutions in Japan, moreover, it is the world’s fifth largest bank in the world. Located in Tokyo, MUFG has branches in 50 countries all over the globe and over 150 thousand employees.

The financial group provides services in the various fields like leasing, asset management, commercial banking, credit cards, securities and others. It also constantly collaborates with the largest banking establishments in America, Europe and Asia.

MUFG and blockchain

Following the example of its competitors and partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group decided to involve innovative technologies in order to upgrade and advance its payment systems.

According to the official press release of the bank, it is partnering up with the Massachusetts-based company Akamai Technologies, which is a leading provider of content delivery and site accelerating services.

MUFG and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (“Akamai”) announced today that they have agreed to strengthen their strategic alliance towards the full-scale launch of a new payment network business and establishment of a joint venture, Global Open Network, Inc.,” is mentioned in the press release.

The main purpose of the collaboration, the development of a blockchain network for payments, is planned to be launched in 2020.

As stated by the bank representatives, they want to experiment with “diverse payment schemes” which will allow to expand their range of services.

We remind you that another global financial establishment, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, is also working on implementing cutting-edge technologies and launched a financial management app.

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Report: Blockchain Investments Cannot Overcome Fintech Funding

European blockchain companies set a record in 2018, however, they are unable to overcome funding that comes to financial technology companies.

Blockchain boom in 2018

At the end of 2017, the rate of Bitcoin skyrocketed to incredible price of $19,000. As the first cryptocurrency began gaining popularity, people started to wonder about the technology that stayed behind. After that people understood that blockchain can be used not only in crypto, but also in other spheres of life.

Some companies began to create their own blockchain and implement it into financial sector, political sector, etc. For example, Western Union supports cryptocurrency and blockchain, and it seeks the ways of their implementation; LG Uplus released a blockchain cross-border payment system.

After the cryptocurrency prices collapsed, the blockchain technology remains to be quite popular topic on different IT conferences and summits.

Blockchain investments cannot overcome fintech funding

According to Innovate Finance’s ‘2018 FinTech VC Investment Landscape‘ report, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in Europe has witnessed a series of significant deals, but notably just four deals amounted to over $300 million. These deals include such projects, as Paxos (Bankchain), Dfinity, SEBA Crypto, Bitfury. They raised from $65 million to $103 million in different periods of the year.

Analysis shows that fintech companies are much more popular among investors than blockchain. European challenger banks Revolut and N26 alone raised $461 million across 7 deals. They closely followed by personal finance and wealth management ($333.61 million), and alternative lending and finance ($306.64 million) industries.

Fintech’s big picture

If we take the investments of all financial companies all over the world, we will see that they raised $36.6 billion from venture capital investors.

The leader in fintech investments is China, Chinese company Ant Financial set a record for  both fintech and venture capital, raising $14 billion. In overall, China led with $18.9 billion invested across 90 deals.

Next place is taken by the United States; it has raised $10.6 billion across 1,042 deals. The United Kingdom followed on in third place with $1.7 billion invested across 261 deals.

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: The Representatives of JP Morgan and Fundstrat Share Their Opinions About Bitcoin’s Future

Another week has passed, yet Bitcoin still shows quite plain dynamics on the graphics. In fact, its price has not changed significantly since January 10th. Bitcoin price is $3459 at the time of writing.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Since Bitcoin’s price has recently stabilized, many institutional players began changing their attitudes towards cryptocurrency, let us see what the representatives of global companies think.

JPMorgan

The Global Market Strategist at JPMorgan, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, reckons that due to Bitcoin’s stagnation many big players will return to the industry. The volatility has “calmed down” and it means that investors can give Bitcoin second chance. He also said:

“The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future. The cryptocurrency market was a new market. It went through a bubble phase [and] the burst.”

In his interview to CNBC, he stated that the cryptocurrency could not grow, because it was not regulated, but now the situation can differ.

Fundstrat

Wall Street research firm, Fundstrat Global Advisors, is sure that the cryptocurrency may see  new lows soon.

“The price structure for most cryptocurrencies remains weak and appears vulnerable to a pending breakdown to lower lows,” Robert Sluymer, the spokesman of Fundstrat, said.

In addition, Sluymer stated that the price can vary from $4200 to $3100 or ever lower. If it suddenly hits more than $4000, it would mark a 25% increase over today’s prevailing prices. However, Robert emphasized that the technical fundamentals of Bitcoin remain weak, so the price can have downward tendency to the price mark of $3100 or even lower – $2700. The representatives of Fundstrat have also suggested that 250 small-cap coins are at risk, as they all are vulnerable to market jumps.

There are some reasons why Bitcoin price may fall down:

  1. Lunar New Year. During this period, Asian traders have relatively weak activity which may bring consequences to Bitcoin’s rate. The unofficial holidays will last till February 19.
  2. Uncertainty with the US budget. The Congress and the President of the US cannot reach an agreement, this will have influence on financial markets.
  3. Trade war between US and China.

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SEC is Looking for Partners to Collect Blockchain Data

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have published an announcement that they are in search of companies that are involved in analyzing blockchain data.

According to official information, the SEC is looking for both large and small companies. As part of the cooperation, the regulator expects companies to provide data on the “most widely used” blockchain registers based on the volume of transactions in order to “monitor risk and improve compliance” associated with cryptocurrencies.

In addition, the companies will have to provide the Commission with information on how this data is extracted, transformed and verified.

Those who would like to cooperate with the SEC should send an application by e-mail with a brief description of their activities until February 14.

We want to remind you:

Does Blockchain Bring a Threat to the US National Security?

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