Power Ledger Extends P2P Power Trading Trial

Energy-focused blockchain startup Power Ledger has extended its peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading trial into its next phase in the Australian city of Fremantle.

Power Ledger revealed the continuation of its p2p solar power trading trial aimed at tracking rooftop solar energy traded between households in Fremantle. The households participating in the project can set their own energy prices in the market.

Power Ledger initially started the trial last November, ostensibly processing nearly 50,000 transactions on its blockchain-enabled platform per month since then. In was said in the release:

“Western Power’s smart meter data was fed into Power Ledger’s blockchain trading platform and then exported to Synergy’s billing system, to ensure a secure and accurate recording of the energy trading.” (Neutral)

Swiss Private Bank Says 400 New Clients Wanting to Tap its Future Blockchain Offerings

Swiss private bank Maerki Baumann has had a deluge of 400 new clients wanting to tap its future blockchain offerings since it revealed its interest in the sector.

The Zurich-based institution — which has $8.2 billion in assets under management but faces stiff market competition and an erosion of its margins — has opted to embrace blockchain to rejuvenate its business. In an interview with Swiss Info, Maerki Baumann CEO Stephen Zwahlen said that the bank’s revelation it would be launching a crypto business already signals a dramatic reversal in fortunes, adding:

“In our traditional business, we usually have to run after each client. It’s […] rather rare for clients to just knock on our door. We suddenly had 400 people wanting to talk with us. And they were exactly the kind people we had been struggling to access for 10 years […] they were typically between 30 to 40 years old, very well educated and with an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Zwahlen also said that “It cannot be that innovative Swiss companies have to go to Liechtenstein for corporate banking services,” he said. “Many of them represent a great opportunity to further develop our financial centre.”

Maerki Baumann’s initial focus — approved by its board in March — will be to offer business accounts and advice for startups launching security token offerings and by early 2020, it aims to establish partnerships with crypto specialists to introduce outsourced storage and trading services for Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets.

The third stage of Maerki Baumann’s planned crypto business will be to provide advisory and asset management services for private banking clients who want to invest in new crypto assets such as tokenized shares. Anticipating great demand and payoffs for this new area, Zwahlen said:

“I would expect over time that digital assets such as crypto/blockchain might even take on a greater significance than our traditional private banking business, particularly in terms of asset growth.” (Positive)

Xendpay Joins RippleNet to Open Up New Payment Corridors to Four Asian Countries

Ripple has announced that Xendpay, a rather unique UK-based international money transfer firm, has joined RippleNet in order to open up “new corridors” to Bangladesh, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia, as well as to enable “real-time payment rails to Thailand.”

According to Ripple’s blog post, not only does Xendpay offer “some of the most competitive rates on cross-border money transfers” but also “gives customers the option to waive fees with its Pay What You Want service.” This feature means that you can “change the transfer fee to what you think is fair when making your money transfer.”

Bhavin Vaghela, Xendpay’s Head of Product Innovation, says:

Most of our customers are migrants who are sending money back home. This money is vital to support their families: to pay rent or mortgage, electricity bills, medical fees and education costs. Being an online service allows us to reduce our overheads and pass the savings on to these clients, for whom every penny counts.

Ripple says that Xendpay is “popular in countries with established and growing migrant communities, including the U.K. and Europe, as well as Canada, South Africa and India.”

This is what Ripple has to say about Xendpay’s “Pay What You Want” feature:

What makes Xendpay truly unique is the company’s Pay What You Want feature that allows customers to waive fees on transfers totaling around $2,500 over a calendar year. This ensures that the full extent of a customer’s hard work is appreciated by their families. The Pay What You Want feature also extends to businesses, who can waive fees on transfers totaling around $5,000 per calendar year.

Until it joined RippleNet, Xendpay found that sending anything other than USD to new countries a difficult task since “dealing in smaller currencies required direct partnerships with local banks and the set-up and maintenance of complex API arrangements for each one.” (Positive)