Renewable energy trading in Singapore runs on blockchain

The Singapore Power Group (SP) has initiated a marketplace, powered by blockchain, for renewable energy certificates (RECs).

In a statement, the utilities provider said the blockchain-based platform, which was unveiled at the ASEAN Energy Business Forum, will help SP increase transparency and efficiency in its processes in REC transactions.

Samuel Tan, chief digital officer at SP, said, “Through blockchain technology, we enable companies to trade in renewable energy certificates conveniently, seamlessly and securely, helping them achieve greener business operations and meet their sustainability targets.”

The new trading system will enable various organizations trade in RECs, which are considered tradable, non-tangible energy commodities. According to information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “RECs are issued when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.”

SP’s blockchain-powered marketplace will support local, regional and international RECs, as well as different supply options such as types of sellers and renewable energy sources.

The platform will match buyers and sellers automatically according to their preferences, helping companies achieve their sustainability targets, according to the utilities provider. So far, SP has already signed its first contracts with City Developments Limited (CDL) and DBC Bank (DBS), while solar developers including Cleantech Solar Asia, LYS Energy Solutions and Katoen Natie Singapore have also agreed to place their solar assets on the SP marketplace for sale of RECs.

With its blockchain-powered marketplace, SP hopes to help big and small organizations achieve their green targets while also strengthening cross-border sustainability efforts.

This is not the first time Singapore involving itself in blockchain-powered energy solutions. Early this month, a decentralized peer-to-peer electricity network that would allow its users to produced and trade renewable energy was announced by SkyLedger. States like Nevada are also involved in blockchain powered energy. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada announced earlier this month that it will be implementing the blockchain in its energy credit tracking system.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Singapore gov’t-owned venture firm makes ‘strategic investment’ in Binance

The Vertex Ventures network has announced a “strategic investment” in Binance, as part of a wider deal that will result in the creation of Binance Singapore.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volumes, is the latest company to secure the backing of Vertex Ventures, a group of investment companies indirectly owned by the government of Singapore.

Vertex, with around $2.5 billion in assets under management, will partner with Binance on the launch of the new Singapore exchange as part of the deal, which will provide fiat-to-crypto exchange for Singapore-based customers.

Headed by legendary CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known in crypto circles as CZ, Binance first announced its intention to expand into Singapore back in September. While on today’s volumes Binance is primarily a crypto-to-crypto exchange, the Singapore project is being seen as a bid to broaden the company’s fiat exchange offering.

Choon Chong Tay, managing partner at Vertex Ventures China, described CZ as “one of the most well-respected entrepreneurs in blockchain with high inspiration to build and promote the blockchain ecosystem.” His counterpart at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, Joo Hock Chua, said the group was looking forward to working with CZ and Binance in developing the new project.

The move follows on from a similar launch in Uganda, with the first customer deposits in local currency being accepted from this week. In a country where only 11% of the population currently holds a bank account, Binance considers this an exciting market for the emerging cryptocurrency sector.

A compliant platform in Singapore would put Binance on the right side of regulators in the island country, after the firm’s high profile difficulties in some jurisdictions, including New York, where they have been accused of “operating unlawfully.”

After relocating from Hong Kong to the more crypto-friendly jurisdiction of Malta, Binance hopes the Singapore project positions them as a regulated platform for regional Asian trade, with legal and regulatory certainty as a compliant exchange.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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MCO Visa Cards start shipping in Singapore

HONG KONG, October 22, 2018 — Today, MCO Visa Cards began shipping to customers in Singapore. The MCO Visa Card is a prepaid card range that features high-end metal cards with no annual or monthly fees, airport lounge access for select cards, free ATM withdrawals, tap-and-pay functionality, and competitive interbank rates.

Reservations for the MCO Visa Card are made using a mobile wallet app which includes a three-minute customer onboarding process. Using the Wallet app, customers are able to manage their card usage, transactions, with the ability to freeze or unfreeze their card with a single tap.

The Wallet app also allows users to securely buy, sell, store, send, and track cryptocurrencies – allowing users to spend fiat currency converted from cryptocurrency without currency exchange fees.

Kris Marszalek, Co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com said: “We are thankful for the support of all our partners and our community. During this process, our team has grown tremendously and worked incredibly hard to achieve this milestone. This is an important step towards our mission of accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.”

Note: All cryptocurrency exchanges to fiat currency take place before users transact on the Visa network.

About Crypto.com

Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, seeks to accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency. Crypto.com is headquartered in Hong Kong. For more information, please visit: www.crypto.com

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India’s Zebpay sets up overseas operations

After suspending its trading operations in India, cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay is reportedly setting its sights on “global domination.”

Zebpay has yet to make an official announcement about its overseas operations plans. However, Indiabits tweeted last week that the Indian crypto company has set up entities in Singapore and Malta, which reportedly will enable it to “provide cryptocurrency exchange and OTC services to 20 countries in Europe.”

On its website, Zebpay identified Awlencan Innovations Malta Ltd., a Maltese registered company, which owns and operates the Zebpay VFA Exchange Platform in Malta. Awlencan Innovation Pte. Ltd., meanwhile, is a Singapore-based blockchain company that was formed in May 2018.

Zebpay is planning to offer cryptocurrency exchanges services and OTC services to 20 countries in Europe, according to Indiabits. These countries include Belgium, Malta, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Slovenia, Portugal, Poland, Netherlands, and Latvia.

Zebpay will not extend its services to restricted jurisdictions, especially those sanctioned by the United States like Iran and Venezuela. The company will also not offer its services to the customers in U.S. and Japan.

For its new operations, Zebpay stated that it would exercise strict know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering processes. All customers will be allowed to have only one account. Any accounts with same identification details will be closed.

The decision to increase its global reach comes two weeks after the company announced that it would be shutting down its cryptocurrency exchanges in India. According to reports, Zebpay closed shop in India following the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on all crypto-related businesses.

At the time, Zebpay stated that they were unable to continue their operations in India as they could not find reasonable ways to run their services without drawing the ire of the authorities. Despite being one of India’s largest cryptocurrency, the current crypto situation forced Zebpay to look for better markets. Many entities in the country have challenged the RBI ban. The matter has been taken to the Supreme Court and is yet to be resolved.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Regulator seeks to ‘bring together’ Singapore’s crypto operators, banks

Singapore’s financial regulatory body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has taken it upon itself to “bring together” cryptocurrency companies and the banks, following complaints from crypto operators about the difficulties in setting up bank accounts in the sovereign city state, Bloomberg reported.

In an interview with the news outlet, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said the goal of the agency—which also operates as the country’s central bank—“is to bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there is some understanding they can reach.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore may be willing to help crypto startups, but Menon clarified that the financial regulator will not be attracting crypto startups to Singapore using “an extremely lax regulatory environment.” According to Menon, banks are treading carefully in dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges and firms whose nature “is a bit different,” which means “banks may need to employ other ways in which they can establish bona fide.”

“I hope we can bring minds together on this so we that we can get over this hurdle,” Menon said, according to the report.

Singapore is working towards developing its financial technology sector as a means of creating jobs. The country, however, taking a cautious approach when it comes to the cryptocurrency industry, although Menon pointed out that its regulatory system is different from China—which bans crypto activities outright—and Japan, which has adopted a more welcoming approach to the nascent sector.

In Singapore, cryptocurrency activities fall under three categories: the first are utility tokens, which are used for purposes like payments, and therefore need “hardly any regulation.”

Digital tokens make up the second category, and these are governed by the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), according to Menon. Currently, only few initial coin offerings (ICOs) have made it to second category, since “most of them are careful to steer clear” of the line lest they incur “the full weight of the SFA.”

The third group, according to Menon, is composed of payment tokens like “highly risky” Bitcoin due to its price swings.

Menon explained, “If they are not security, then we don’t have a problem with it. We’ve seen quite a lot of ICO activity that is not security related. And there’s a lot of interesting business models out there trying to raise capital in interesting ways, which as far as the consumers are aware of what these are, we have no issues.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Singapore set to receive first fiat-to-crypto exchange

According to the media outlet Financial News, Singapore now has its first fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange. The platform, EurekaPro, is already accepting beta testers and over 8,000 individuals signed up the first week the testing was offered.

The exchange will make it easier for consumers and businesses to purchase and exchange cryptocurrencies. EurekaPro will support a number of Asian currencies, including the Singapore dollar, the Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit, among others.

According to the platform’s CEO, Junus Eu, “Our platform represents a unique proposition for the blockchain space in Southeast Asia, by removing or reducing entry barriers to the crypto market that may otherwise prevent consumers from adopting blockchain technology.”

EurekaPro was founded by Eu in conjunction with Kin-Wai Lau and Douglas Gan. The company began as the Sweden-based Overswitch and has operations in that country, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia.

While cryptocurrency is gaining ground around the world, nowhere is this more evident than in Southeast Asia. It is currently the fastest growing market and is seeing strong adoption, in particular, among the middle class. Out of all the countries in the region, Singapore and Thailand are currently leading the way and have maintained an inviting atmosphere for cryptocurrency.

Last month, Singapore proved its trust in cryptocurrency at the Singapore Consensus conference. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which acts as the country’s central bank, indicated that it was ready to accept cryptocurrency. The head of the FinTech Ecosystem division for MAS, Damien Pang, indicated that the bank would not be looking to regulate the technology, but would obviously regulate the purpose.

To assist with its endeavors, the MAS has partnered with the NASDAQ exchange, Deloitte and Anquan in order to create solutions for exchanges and for payment settlement solutions that could incorporate digital currencies and security assets.

Not too far behind, Thailand has been moving quickly to draft regulations for cryptocurrencies. It is also working on developing guidelines to classify different crypto as securities or currencies, depending on their purpose, and has introduces a series of regulations for initial coin offerings (ICO). Since the implementation of the ICO regulations, new offerings have dropped off substantially, a strong indication that only serious players are now willing to participate in the space.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Shipping giant teams up with IBM to put ‘Bill of Lading’ on blockchain

Pioneering tech firm IBM has reached an agreement with one of Singapore’s leading shipping companies, Pacific International Lines (PIL), over a blockchain solution that seeks to simplify Bill of Lading documentation.

The crucial shipping document, which itemises a ship’s cargo as a consignment receipt, is set to be given a digital makeover by the technology, replacing traditional paper-based systems with a blockchain-tracked alternative.

The partnership with Pacific International Lines will see the launch of a new ‘e-BL’ electronic bill, which will exist solely within the blockchain environment.

The document is especially important in maritime and shipping law, both as proof of cargo ownership, a paper representation of the conditions of consignment, and as a transferable receipt for cargo at different stages of the shipping process.

With a view to speeding up the shipping supply chain, PIL Executive Director Lisa Teo said the blockchain platform would be a significant improvement on the currency Bill of Lading process. In a statement, Teo said, “Traditionally, information flow is predominantly handled via manual processes and the supply chain is slowed down when there are many points of communication within its framework.”

According to the PIL executive, “The use of blockchain technology to allow for the direct exchange of documents and information via the decentralized network to boost transparency, eliminate disputes forgeries and unnecessary risks will be key for this industry to progress.”

With the bill of lading transferred between parties, there is an in-built scope for loss and fraud – issues the blockchain solution will eliminate.

The project comes around a year after IBM reached an agreement with the Port of Authority of Singapore to explore applications of blockchain technology relevant to the sector.

At the time of the agreement, the CEO of the Port Authority of Singapore Tan Chong Mong said that blockchain in shipping could help streamline international trade. According to Tan, “Blockchain has the potential to reduce inefficiencies and gaps within the supply chain, promote more cost-efficient transactions and facilitate the continued growth in world trade.”

The project is the latest to come from IBM in the shipping sector, one of several areas where the IT giant is pioneering new technologies on the blockchain.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Singapore could be the first country to fully embrace crypto

Singapore is embracing a winning attitude toward cryptocurrency. The country recently held its Singapore Consensus 2018 conference, designed to discuss the future of the industry and help Singapore craft guidelines for its use and acceptance. As the conference showed, Singapore is way out in front of other developed countries in terms of understanding crypto and preparing for its future.

One of the conference participants was the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The MAS has developed a clear distinction between different types of digital assets and puts them into one of three categories – payment tokens, security tokens and utility tokens. To make that determination, Damien Pang, who heads up the FinTech Ecosystem division for the MAS, explained, “MAS takes a close look at the characteristics of the tokens, in the past, at the present, and in the future, instead of just the technology built on.”

Pang also indicated that the agency has no plans on regulating the technology itself, but will regulate its purpose. Neither will it introduce regulations for all crypto products under one umbrella. He indicated that payment and security tokens will certainly require some form of oversight because of their nature, but utility tokens don’t need to be covered by the same framework.

Singapore has always been on the cutting edge of a number of industries, including entertainment, healthcare, education, tourism and FinTech. It now wants to maintain that edge by pushing forward with creating the necessary framework for cryptocurrency adoption.

Across the globe, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are having to struggle against regulations – or the lack thereof – in order to advance adoption. Some countries make it difficult for businesses to engage the space, which means fewer are willing to take the step forward. Singapore is the exact opposite and is setting the bar pretty high. Because of its position, it was the first country chosen by crypto.com for its new cryptocurrency debit card program.

Singapore has recognized what many cannot see – that cryptocurrency may very well have a permanent place in the financial world. While the country isn’t ready to totally embrace the industry, it is certainly open to the possibility of crypto being on the same level as fiat. This past February, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and MAS chairman said, “As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here. But we will be subjecting those involved as intermediaries to our anti-money laundering regulations…”

It’s still early in the life of cryptocurrency and no one can predict where we will be in five or ten years. This is why it is so fascinating to be alive now and be a part of the currency evolution. Undoubtedly, crypto is here to stay and this is supported by the continued increase in awareness and adoption and the fact that governments are starting to take the industry more seriously.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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South Korea’s Upbit to open Singapore crypto exchange in October

Kakao affiliate Dunamu, which operates South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is gearing up to open a Singapore-based exchange in October, Yonhap News reported.

According to the South Korean news outlet, Dunamu opened a branch in Singapore in February, and now plans to launch a new crypto exchange in the country as part of its bid to tap into the Asian market.

Upbit Singapore head Kim Kook-hyun was quoted by Yonhap saying, “As Singapore has proactively supported blockchain technology, our advancement into the nation will help us secure many chances to lead a variety of relevant projects and to have global competitiveness.”

In a statement, Kim said the new exchange will support crypto-to-crypto pairs as well as integrate the services of its partner exchange, Bittrex, to its system. For enhanced security, Upbit will have 24/7 real-time security monitoring and a firewall system.

Dunamu CEO Sigroo Lee said Singapore’s strong support for blockchain was one of the reasons they chose the Asian country as its first overseas destination.

“We don’t want to lose out on the opportunities now…If we wait until the Korean crypto exchange environment improves, we could lag behind our global competitors,” Lee said in a statement. Dunamu is also looking at expanding to other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as adding more crypto-to-fiat trading pairs to its system. Upbit, however, has no plans to create its own token, according to Lee.

Upbit is not the only firm interested in tapping into Singapore’s crypto friendly ecosystem. Japanese instant messenger, Line, chose Singapore as the home of BitBox, its crypto trading that launched in July. Binance is also running a beta test of Binance Singapore its recently launched exchange. Binance will also be pairing its native token with the Singaporean dollar.

As part of its launch, Upbit Singapore is offering free trading on the SGD market for 30 days from the launch date. To qualify, users will have to complete the sign-up process, including Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process Verification level 2, by Oct. 5.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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South Korea’s Upbit to open Singapore crypto exchange in October

Kakao affiliate Dunamu, which operates South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is gearing up to open a Singapore-based exchange in October, Yonhap News reported.

According to the South Korean news outlet, Dunamu opened a branch in Singapore in February, and now plans to launch a new crypto exchange in the country as part of its bid to tap into the Asian market.

Upbit Singapore head Kim Kook-hyun was quoted by Yonhap saying, “As Singapore has proactively supported blockchain technology, our advancement into the nation will help us secure many chances to lead a variety of relevant projects and to have global competitiveness.”

In a statement, Kim said the new exchange will support crypto-to-crypto pairs as well as integrate the services of its partner exchange, Bittrex, to its system. For enhanced security, Upbit will have 24/7 real-time security monitoring and a firewall system.

Dunamu CEO Sigroo Lee said Singapore’s strong support for blockchain was one of the reasons they chose the Asian country as its first overseas destination.

“We don’t want to lose out on the opportunities now…If we wait until the Korean crypto exchange environment improves, we could lag behind our global competitors,” Lee said in a statement. Dunamu is also looking at expanding to other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as adding more crypto-to-fiat trading pairs to its system. Upbit, however, has no plans to create its own token, according to Lee.

Upbit is not the only firm interested in tapping into Singapore’s crypto friendly ecosystem. Japanese instant messenger, Line, chose Singapore as the home of BitBox, its crypto trading that launched in July. Binance is also running a beta test of Binance Singapore its recently launched exchange. Binance will also be pairing its native token with the Singaporean dollar.

As part of its launch, Upbit Singapore is offering free trading on the SGD market for 30 days from the launch date. To qualify, users will have to complete the sign-up process, including Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process Verification level 2, by Oct. 5.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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