Coinbase Considering New Token Listings

Coinbase is reviewing eight new tokens for listing on its exchange platform but without giving a clear deadline of when the review process will end. According to the statement, each asset will be evaluated “to assess factors like security, compliance, and the project’s alignment with our mission of creating an open financial system for the world.”

The eight tokens include Alogrand, Cosmos, Dash, Decred, Ontology, Waves, Matic Network, and Harmony. Two of them, Matic Network and Harmony, launched IEOs through Binance launchpad.

Meanwhile, all eight tokens are tradable on Binance, one of Coinbase’s most formidable exchange rivals. The move to expand its digital asset offering may signify that Coinbase is steering the exchange in the direction of Binance, that is, to have a more diverse listing that can drive up the trading volume on the platform. (Positive)

Bittrex Crypto Exchange Switches to ERC-20 Implementation of USDT

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has completed switching Tether (USDT) from the OMNI-based implementation of the stablecoin to the ERC-20 standard on the Ethereum network.

Bittrex announced that USDT deposits and withdrawals are now open in a tweet on Aug. 5. The exchange had temporarily suspended USDT deposits and withdrawals while making the switch.

With the move, Bittrex is looking to provide its users with faster, cheaper and more inter-operable transfers of USDT. Specifically, the exchange will lower withdrawal fees to 1 USDT. The announcement further explains:

“Once the swap is complete, all USDT from Omni network addresses can no longer be sent to Bittrex, and USDT from Bittrex accounts cannot be sent to Omni network addresses.”

Bittrex also notes that it will re-enable the USDT wallet once both the exchange and the Tether team come to an agreement that the migration is satisfactory. (Neutral)

VeChain has Partnered With Australian Winemaker to Release a Case of Blockchain-Encrypted Wine Bottles For Sale

Public enterprise blockchain platform VeChain has partnered with Autralian winemaker Penfolds to release a case of blockchain-encrypted wine bottles for sale, as part of its Wine Traceability Platform (WTP) initiative.

More specifically, the launch of Penfolds Bin 407 in July marks the beginning of VeChain’s WTP phase 2, per a press release from VeChain on Aug. 6. The bottles from this case are reportedly available at the Waigaoqiao International Alcohol Exhibition & Trading Center, D.I.G.’s  Flagship Store and the Sen Lan Shang Du in Pudong New District.

As per the press release, each bottle inside Bin 407 comes attached with an encrypted N.F.C. chip. This chip reportedly contains the bottle’s product information on a blockchain, which can be accessed with a chip reader. These details reportedly include the bottle’s provenance information, which is verified by third-party auditors.

A number of companies are beginning to issue blockchain verification systems for wine. For example the big four audit firm Ernst & Young announced that it’s Ethereum-based blockchain solution will be used to verify the authenticity of imported European wines in Asia. This solution would reportedly be implemented on the e-commerce platform Tattoo, for use by Blockchain Wine Pte. Ltd.

On a slightly different note, retail giant Overstock announced its move into blockchain-based wine futures back in Oct. 2018. Overstock reportedly also intended to fight wine fraud, but in this case by means of developing a digital trading platform for wine futures. This would reportedly result in a secure supply chain that verifies wine industry products. (Positive)

Overstock’s tZERO Wins Patent to Settle Tokenized Securities on a Public Blockchain

Security token trading platform tZERO, a subsidiary of retail giant Overstock, has received a patent for technology that enables settlement of tokenized securities on a public blockchain.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, tZERO said that the technology, Time Ordered Merkle Epoch (TOME), can help record trade data and the resulting on-chain settlement data into public blockchain ledgers.

Giving an example, the firm said, off-chain trade data and on-chain settlement data occurring on an Ethereum mainnet can be combined and anchored into the Bitcoin blockchain for “added resiliency, security and transparency.”

TOME will also help the platform produce an auditable and immutable record of those transactions. “It can be used in our suite of products, as well as licensed to companies across various industries that are seeking to maintain a tamper-proof and auditable record of time-series-based data,” said tZERO CEO Saum Noursalehi. (Positive)

Seychelles Stock Exchange Lists Tokenized Security

Seychelles’ stock exchange (MERJ) has just listed a tokenized security for trading, becoming the first in the world to do so.

The exchange, MERJ, is licensed by the Indian Ocean nation’s Financial Services Authority as a securities exchange, clearing agency and securities depository (CSD), and is launching the token to represent its own equity.

MERJ said it will follow the listing by offering 16 percent of the tokenized shares in a public offering later in 2019. The exchange is also in discussion with “several companies” over potentially listing their tokenized shares on its platform.

Edmond Tuohy, CEO of MERJ, said:

“MERJ has fully leveraged its end-to-end ecosystem to deliver the world’s first publicly listed securities token. We are combining the best of the old world and the new to provide a key piece of missing infrastructure for the growth of digital assets.”

MERJ said it is using the ethereum blockchain to record the share register ownership, saying that, currently, “it is the best supported protocol for these purposes.”

Now seen on MERJ’s listings page, the tokenized security takes the ticker symbol “MERJ-S” and is currently trading at $2.42, with a stated market cap of $21,015,781.

More widely, MERJ also has plans to cut costs for investors and issuers by using blockchain technology to streamline a number of securities markets processes, including issuance, shareholder registers, compliance, distribution and voting.

Founded in 2013, MERJ says that being licensed as an exchange, clearing house and CSD, it’s well placed to “deliver on the many benefits of tokenization.”

“Whether they’re issuing tokenized or traditional shares, companies are not going to want to go to a jurisdiction that doesn’t meet high international standards because it will attract greater scrutiny from global regulators,” said Tuohy. “We’ve spent three years working with our regulators to build a robust and compliant framework for issuers wanting to leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technology within a publicly listed environment.” (Positive)

Investment App Robinhood Wins License to Operate in UK

Robinhood, a stocks, ETFs and crypto investment app, has been given the green light to operate as a broker in the U.K.

Allowing the firm to now launch its offerings in the U.K. market, the firm’s subsidiary, Robinhood International, has received a broker’s license from the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the firm announced on Wednesday.

With the news, Robinhood also revealed that it’s appointed former TransferWise exec Wander Rutgers as president to lead its U.K. operations from a new London office.

At TransferWise, Rutgers had most recently served as head of treasury and product, after a time as head of banking and expansion, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before arriving at Robinhood, he’d also led product at investment and savings app Plum.

On the new U.K. license, Rutgers said:

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to take the first important step towards bringing our investing platform to customers in the U.K. I’m thrilled to be a part of Robinhood and our effort to expand into a new international market.”

Back in January, the firm received a “BitLicense” from New York Department of Financial Services, bringing its U.S. coverage to 30 states. (Positive)