Visa starts first phase of blockchain B2B payments system

Global financial services corporation Visa has introduced the first, pilot phase of its blockchain-based business-to-business payments service, B2B Connect
17 November 2017   439

Visa contemplates to use the platform to facilitate cross-border payments by relieving direct payments between institutions, cutting out the middleman the industry currently relies on.

The platform, made with the help of blockchain startup Chain, is designed to provide secure and transparent payments between enterprises.

At the moment, the Visa has many partners that working on the project. Some of them are U.S. - based Commerce Bank, South Korea's Shinhan Bank, the Union Bank of Philippines and the United Overseas Bank, based in Singapore.

This week's announcement is just the first step as we work towards a commercial launch of Visa B2B Connect. We are beginning to process bank-to-bank test transactions with select clients. Additional banks, including corporates, will follow soon.

 

Kevin Phalen

Global head of solutions, Visa

Visa's existing partners can use the company's application programming interface (API) to create their own platforms, according to a press release.

German Financial Regulator Clarifies Stance on ICOs

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) has clarified its position on ICOs
22 February 2018   55

German financial regulator admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies. According to an advisory letter, BaFin provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. It is important because the results of a new survey showed that more than two-thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.

In this letter, BaFin educates the public and explains how tokens are typically generated, how blockchain works and that ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects. The note states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins, and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

The authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. If businesses or individuals have any doubts about regulations, they should approach BaFin.

According to BaFin, companies should fulfill any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. The transactions may be prohibited if relevant regulatory requirements are not met.

The authority also states that legal classification of tokens requires precise examination. It will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. The token should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms in order to be classified as a security.