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Money 20/20: Visa, Chain Expand on B2B Connect

Source: bitcoin

B2B Products

On Sunday afternoon’s lead-off keynote address at the Money 20/20 Conference in Las Vegas, Visa and Chain joined to collectively promote their new, blockchain-inspired payments platform, B2B Connect.

Also read: Altcoin Report: Monero Shutting Down Until January

Visa and Chain Use Blockchain for B2B Transactions

Leveraging benefits from shared infrastructural ledger technology, including global scale, transparency, and cryptographically-backed security, the Visa B2B Connect product is built on Chain’s proprietary Chain Core software. The product will go live with a pilot in early 2017, though successful tests have already been conducted.

Vicky Bindra, Global Head of Products and Solutions at Visa, began by telling the story of how international payments today are rather clumsy. The compartmentalized nature of payment systems makes it difficult to identify when payments arrive at corresponding banks.

Traditionally, payment systems need to wait on a complex web of signed messages to cascade through banks and record, process, clear, reconcile, and settle in order to complete a transaction.

Speaking to this, Bindra pointed out that “It can take weeks to solve that issue, and cause a headache for buyers and suppliers looking to engage in international trade. . .and this in an environment where business expectations have sped up. We want things faster, we want to engage with consumers more quickly.”

Coupled with a recent explosion in international trade volumes, updating payment rails will likely alleviate these pressures and unleash unrealized business potential.

Speaking second, Adam Lubin, CEO of Chain, explained blockchain technology as part of a larger story in the evolution around how technology has impacted the ways by which goods, communication, and money has changed over time.

For example, with music, there has been a transition from raw music, to recorded music, to digitally stored music, to cloud-based streaming. Under each scenario here, music was involved yet what changed was the medium through which this moved.

As Mr. Lubin succinctly stated, “A blockchain enables a new medium for money.”

This news follows Western Union’s April announcement of a global, B2B platform for settling payments. Seeing a shipped product in the permissioned blockchain space is exciting news, as prototypes are beginning to transition from theory to reality.

Visa and Chain’s collaboration shows the potential of collaboration between Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and it is evident that the initiative will effect a wide array of customers worldwide given the vast network Visa works with.

What do you think about the VISA B2B connect platform?  Can VISA and Chain’s collaboration demonstrate future wins for permissioned blockchains? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Visa.

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Money 20/20: Visa, Chain Expand on B2B Connect

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R3 Seeks $200 Million In Funding

Source: bitcoin

R3

The innovation firm R3 CEV is a consortium focused on “empowering the next generation of global financial services technology.” According to the Financial News publication, the New York-based company has just announced its looking to raise $200 million USD from the some of the 42 banks involved with the group.

Also read: Talking Crix with Founder Dmitry Koval

R3 Is Looking For It’s Banking Buddies To Invest

Financial News reports that discussions are just beginning and the group’s developers led by David Rutter have already been simulating the firms proof-of-concept. Back in April, the company revealed some info on its protocol Corda which they’ve been testing for the past six months. R3’s chief technology officer Richard Gendal Brown details in a recent blog post that Corda isn’t like your typical blockchain. The work has been researched and catered to at R3’s development lab and products produced will not be owned by investors.

Distributed ledger technology has offered the world a new look at finance and can change the environment with a multitude of new technology use cases. Legacy institutions who are working with R3 include JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and more. At R3’s Collaborative Lab, Tim Grant, stated back in March:

“This is the first time many ledgers have been run in parallel by many institutions in a rigorous, scientific way,”

According to the Financial News publication, a source said that one proposed idea on the table to raise money is a ten-year stake in the company and its operations. R3’s development lab was described by David Rutter in an interview with American Banker’s Robert Barba. Rutter explained the lab is under supervision and financial institutions are allowed to participate. Rutter states:

David Rutter, R3 CEV

“It brings a technical discipline to make sure the experiments are run in a controlled fashion. We are taking a thoughtful approach to choosing our use cases in part because we are not venture-backed. We don’t have to spin up some use case and promote how we are going to make billions of dollars in a short period of time. So, build the foundation first, then have a lab where very smart people come in and test proof of concepts. From there, we pick what we build to commercialize it.”

The difference between Corda and your average blockchain is the prototype is designed with industry standards and regulatory processes in mind. There is no native currency and CTO Richard Gendal Brown has established publicly on the R3 blog the Corda protocol is “not a blockchain.” If the company raises the $200 million, it will surely help push this new framework to global institutions. As the Financial Times states the conversation of funding has just begun but the firm is looking for backing from its banking constituents. With the blockchain fervor spreading across the finance world they just might get it.

R3 Is Not the Only Firm Trying to Sell This Technology

However, the R3 consortium has lots of competitors nipping at the blockchain phenomenon. On April 6th, a successful test of blockchain technology and smart contracts were used to manage post-trade lifecycle events for credit default swaps. The test was run by blockchain-based companies Axoni, and Markit amongst some legacy institutions. The banks who backed the working group included Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan. So R3 has stiff competition in the privatized digital ledger field with the same financial institutions shopping the fintech market. Alongside these companies, there are others looking to offer enterprise blockchain solutions. Businesses like Chain, Gem, and projects such as Hyperledger are most likely also sweet talking and showcasing product to the same investors. 

What do you think about R3 CEV looking for $200 million in funding? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of R3 CEV websites and Linkedin

 

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R3 Seeks 0 Million In Funding

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