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Singapore Fintech Industry News - Jan 2018

oBike introduces delivery service

Singapore-based oBike has introduced delivery service oBike Flash, a mobile app which allows users to deliver small items between any two points in Singapore, within two hours. Each item can weigh no more than 10 kg. A separate app allows users to apply for delivery jobs, not limited to using oBike's bicycles. Last July, Amazon launched two-hour delivery through Prime Now.

Orioncoin unveils Loyalty Program blockchain platform

At BlockShow Asia 2018 in Singapore this January, Orioncoin (ORC) Chief Executive Officer Woanjen Tang said that the company’s loyalty program based on ORC cryptocurrency can be redeemed throughout various loyalty programs or simply cashed out. ‘The Final Frontier of Cryptocurrency’ was ORC’s main topic at BlockShow Asia. The Orioncoin crowdsale is ongoing till March 18. ORC will soon launch some new blockchain Internet of Things (IOT) products and two online platforms for Orioncoin.

HelloGold launches audited gold-backed token

HelloGold Foundation has launched GOLDX, the world's first audited gold backed token. GOLDX is backed by 99.99% investment-grade gold independently vaulted in Singapore. The smart contract was audited by Zero Knowledge Labs and ChainSecurity while the gold is audited by Bureau Veritas and insured by XL Group. Operations backing the gold are based on best practices from SPDR GLD, the world's largest gold exchange-traded fund. GOLDX can be purchased with Bitcoin or Ethereum (ETH) within minutes. As an Ethereum Request for Comments 20 (ERC20) token, it is transferable between ETH wallets. The minimum purchase amount is 100 GOLDX.

Coincheck hackers attempt to sell stolen XEM cryptocurrency

Jeff McDonald of the New Economy Movement (NEM) Foundation, which is behind the XEM cryptocurrency, said he had traced stolen XEM coins to an unidentified account, and that the hackers had begun trying to spend the coins on six exchanges. The location of the account was not yet known and McDonald could not confirm how much of it had been spent. Hackers made off with US$ 532.6 million from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc in January. XEM is the world's tenth biggest cryptocurrency.

SpherePay mobile wallet to launch its own cryptocurrency

Singapore-founded SpherePay will be the first local mobile wallet company to roll out cryptocurrency, together with ODYSSEY (OCN) to build the first shared economy platform in the world. It had earlier announced a partnership with oBike that saw the company acquiring over five million users in South East Asia. OCN is the only provider in the shared economy of blockchain project in South East Asia for cryptocurrency transactions. The company will officially open the encrypted currency wallet and Quick Response code payment function in March 2018. It will release 10 billion SAY tokens, 40% of it on Initial Coin Offering.

Cryptocurrency based on Waste-to-Energy crypto mine concept

A Singapore-based open-source crypto community Netwex Coin launched their first cryptocurrency, NXE, on Feb 1. The Initial Coin Offering crowd sale for NXE will continue until March 2, after which it is expected to be listed on the exchanges at a value of US$ 10. The price ranges from US$ 0.8 to US$ 1.2, with 10 NXE coins free at the time of sign-up. Netwex will contribute the revenues to fund waste-to-energy crypto mine. A referral program allows users to utilize their NXE coins to buy air tickets at the Netwex website.

EBCoin launches new Cryptocurrency Exchange in Japan

EBC Foundation, the company behind the blockchain fintech project EBCoin, officially announced a new cryptocurrency trading exchange based in Japan. Negotiations are on to list their EBCoin currency (EBC) on local Japanese exchanges BitFlyer, GMO Coin and Zaif. Their Japanese partner is Integro Welfare. The new exchange will also list EBC against various other currency trading pairs. The Japanese government has introduced legislation to officially recognize cryptocurrency as a payment method.

Spackman Group to fund artist and content projects via cryptocurrency

Spackman Entertainment Group Limited proposes to launch K Coins - Korean entertainment utility tokens - through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). K Coins will grant holders access to premium content. They can be used towards the participation and/or purchase of artist-based projects, such as photography works, fan meetings, concerts and merchandise. The proposed ICO is in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in Singapore, including legislation for combating money laundering and terrorism financing. Spackman Group makes investments into entertainment companies and film and has a track record for consecutively producing eight profitable movies since 2009.

Japanese airline confirms future BTC payment option

Japanese low-cost airline Peach Aviation has confirmed that their plan to allow Bitcoin (BTC) as payment has been postponed until March, and not cancelled. The airline had partnered with crypto exchange BITpoint Japan for the new BTC payment system as well as for plans to open Bitcoin ATMs at airports around Japan. Japanese broadcasting corporation NHK World had published an article last week, which has since been removed, that said Peach Aviation officials had questioned the dependability of cryptocurrency after Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck was hacked, and in light of recent market volatility.

Singapore Airlines to launch ‘first’ blockchain loyalty app

Singapore Airlines will release a “groundbreaking” blockchain-based app for frequent flyers by August 2018. The app for its KrisFlyer program has passed a “successful proof-of-concept exercise” with Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village. Now looking to sign up Singapore-based merchants, customers participating in the program will ultimately be able to spend frequent flyer miles at point-of-sale in exchange for goods and services. Blockchain’s entry into civil aviation has accelerated considerably over the past year, with various airlines and airport authorities now studying its uses for increasing efficiency.

Qtum launches satellite with SpaceChain Foundation collaboration

Qtum Foundation Pte Ltd (Qtum) launched a standardized CubeSat carrying Qtum's blockchain software technology on a Raspberry Pi device. The blockchain is based on the benefits of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Qtum is an UTXO-based smart contract system with a proof-of-stake consensus model. Its scalability allows it to be adaptable for supporting third-party technologies. The Decentralized Governance Protocol supports parameter changes such as those to the block size, gas limit, gas scheduling, and block time. Qtum posted a market valuation of over US$5 billion this January.

Will bitcoin replace gold?

As Warren Buffett once criticized gold, Jamie Dimon and Joseph Stiglitz now dismiss bitcoin. Stories of new monthly price lows, regulatory crackdowns and "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" paint a grim, short-term picture for bitcoin. Yet, bitcoin persists due in no small part to investors who have firmly set long-term time horizons. With all-time returns exceeding one million per cent, these determined investors are actively bootstrapping bitcoin to be a contender with gold. Bitcoin could take the store-of-value baton from gold into the age of cryptocurrency.

World Tokenomic Forum launches social enterprise venture fund for blockchain

World Tokenomic will take live the Sandcastle Social Enterprise Fund this April. The fund is focused on early stage, protocol and decentralized application investments for cybersecurity, infrastructure, identity, payments, and social impact companies.

The innovation is highlighted by a tiered give-back distribution of between 20%-40% of the General Partners' Carried Interest profits to non-profit organizations whose missions support next-generation entrepreneurs, global startup ecosystems, social enterprises, blockchain advocacy groups, and research organizations and university incubators who make up the social impact members of the World Tokenomic Forum consortium.

Crypto platform RPAY opens ICO in January

RPAY, a peer-to-peer, decentralized network over blockchain technology, opened its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in January while the release of the alpha version of the application is scheduled in the second quarter of the year. The Ethereum blockchain-based application allows buyers and sellers to exchange goods using the new blockchain-based cryptocurrency, R Token (RTK). Consumers pay using cryptocoins set against the R Token price wherever they may be in the world. RPAY Mall opens in May 2019. The estimated revenues of the retail sector worldwide are expected to grow by 3.8 percent annually and hit US$ 28 trillion by 2019.

Cosima Foundation’s digital advertising blockchain DATx for accurate targeting

Cosima Foundation has initiated DATx, an open-source system for digital advertising, built on blockchain technology combined with artificial intelligence and big data solutions. DATx can showcase complete user behavioral patterns and will leverage on Qtum’s blockchain platform to bridge the compatibility differences between blockchain systems. Avazu, the first advertising platform to be compatible with DATx, will enable DATx to customize native advertisements and acquisitions of its customers. DATx will establish itself as a user-oriented behavior archive for advertising needs but will upgrade its protocol to one that recommends content by next year. Its official cryptocurrency, DATx token, is now open for sale to institutional investors.

Briton accused of US$ 30 million crypto fraud

A class action against Daniel Harrison, the founder of Monkey Capital LLC, a Delaware company, and Monkey Capital Inc, a Singapore-based company, alleges that Harrison used the companies for "fraudulent purposes". Six plaintiffs alleged that investors ploughed more than US$ 5 million worth of bitcoins into an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in return for options called a coeval, which could in turn be exchanged for a cryptocurrency called Monkey Coin. The ICO never took place and the plaintiffs did not get back their bitcoins. The class action states: "800,000,000 of the Monkey Coins were issued to Daniel Harrison, who quickly converted them to other cryptocurrency and fiat currency … presently valued at US$ 30 million." One of the original plaintiffs, Jeffrey Heberling, recently committed suicide.

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