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Volvo Cars Joins Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network, Launched by IBM, Ford, and Volkswagen Group; Advancing Ethical Sourcing of Minerals Continues to Scale With This Network

Vlad Poptamas

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The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), a blockchain network committed to strengthening human rights and environmental protection in mineral supply chains, today announced that its digital supply chain for cobalt has moved beyond pilot phase and is progressing toward use in live production computing environments starting in spring 2020.

Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and assured by RCS Global Group, RSBN will have continued participation from founding members including Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen Group, LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt.

Volvo Cars joins responsible sourcing leaders in the RSBN

Starting today, Volvo Cars will join the network as its newest member with further partners from the auto, tech and mining sectors expected to join this year.

RSBN and its pioneering participants are building an open, industrywide blockchain platform to trace responsibly produced minerals from source through to end product, with RCS Global assessing each participating entity against responsible sourcing requirements set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and industry bodies.

We are setting in motion a process of mainstreaming responsible sourcing practices across major industries,” said Dr. Nicholas Garrett, CEO of RCS Global Group. “We’ve reached significant new milestones as we’ve moved beyond testing, proving the merits of this coupled technology and assurance model can extend to a wide range of participants across every tier of the supply chain and to other minerals. The early addition of Volkswagen Group and now Volvo Cars to this collaboration confirms that blockchain technology together with responsible sourcing assurance can help address critical sustainability issues impacting the entire industry,” he adds.

Volvo Cars eyes practical implementation starting in spring 2020
Volvo Cars will be the first company in the consortium to fully apply the RSBN solution in its LG Chem supply chain beginning in spring 2020.  The automaker also plans to apply RSBN to other key minerals found in its batteries, including nickel and lithium in the future.

Volkswagen AG has been working with relevant battery suppliers to address the need for supply chain due diligence and is now aiming to significantly increase its supply chain mapping and auditing activities for key battery mineral supply chains.

Through the RSBN, and other initiatives, Volkswagen AG is utilizing technology toward securing better supply chain traceability and transparency and to connect this information with the sustainability performance of supply chain partners.

Ford states that as they are preparing to launch their global all-electric Mustang-inspired SUV next year, the RSBN becomes an important tool to strengthen transparency and visibility into its global mineral supply chain. Expanding this network beyond cobalt to other battery minerals will compound the RBSN’s positive impact on human rights protection and labor practices.

Achievements of pilot test phase
In initial testing, the RSBN blockchain demonstrated how cobalt produced at Huayou’s industrial mine site in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could be traced through the supply chain to LG Chem’s cathode and battery plant in South Korea, and then to its final destination, a Ford plant in the United States.

An immutable audit trail captured on the platform delivered corresponding data providing documentation for the initial ethical cobalt production, its maintenance and its ethical provenance from mine to end manufacturer.

RCS Global Group builds on its supply chain mapping and auditing activities for global OEMs and key battery mineral supply chains and has successfully assessed and validated each supply chain participant against responsible sourcing standards developed by the OECD, as well as the good practice requirements of relevant industry organizations like the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) Blockchain Guidelines.

Expansion to other minerals
Next to expansion into other battery metals, including lithium and nickel, the platform is also actively working to progress the solution to support tracing other common metals including tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, also known as 3TG. Further announcements will be made over the initial pilot consortiums in the additional raw materials.

Statements regarding future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.

 

SOURCE IBM

Blockchain

Paytah Supports Global Growth Strategy

Vlad Poptamas

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FINANCIAL INCLUSION THROUGH INNOVATIVE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

 

Considered as one of the top payment service providers in Europe, Paytah

Payment Solutions (PAYTAH), which uses cutting edge financial technology applications, is also the first finance institution to offer IBAN (International Bank Account Numbers) running on blockchain.

A participant of the European Payment Council, this user-friendly and cost-effective banking service alternative is one of the first crypto-friendly payment service providers. Its services include instant transfers within Paytah accounts, Euro transfers to external accounts via SEPA, Euro deposits through SEPA, International wire and credit card transactions, private encrypted messaging between client/Paytah or client/client.

Designed to ensure payment safety, product quality and data integrity throughout the life cycle of a regulated product, the personalized IBANs and SEPA help facilitate the process of opening a business or individual account less the bureaucracy, thus, a much faster service. This brings Paytah at the forefront of financial innovation and continues to help in the growth of the company.

Paytah Founder and Chairman Marco Lavanna, who has successfully steered the company since late 2018, affirms that “Paytah provides true agility and responsiveness towards the market. We give first class customer experience while transactions are faster, more affordable, and highly safe. We are fully compliant with the European Payment Council, as we have proudly launched the Paytah Wallet, a wallet account application, meticulously developed to be seamless and user-friendly.”

Paytah is committed to finding solutions to challenges in the online finance sector as it expedites growth for companies and individuals.

 

SOURCE Paytah Payment Solutions

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Riot Blockchain Outlines 2020 Strategic Priorities

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: coincentral.com

 

Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) (“Riot” or the “Company”), one of the few Nasdaq listed public cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States, has announced updated strategic priorities for 2020, including a more targeted focus on bitcoin mining.

Since 2017, Riot has concentrated on developing its cryptocurrency mining operations and investing in blockchain-focused technologies. Historically, the Company has produced newly minted bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), and litecoin (LTC). In line with the initial strategic objectives, Riot also invested in several companies and internal initiatives with the intent of building and supporting blockchain technologies.  Going forward, Riot reinforces its confidence in bitcoin by focusing on bitcoin mining and pursuing opportunities more directly related to bitcoin mining.

Cryptocurrency Mining: Riot recently completed a full network upgrade at its Oklahoma City mining facility with the objective to increase operational efficiency and performance. As previously mentioned in a press release issued on February 11, 2020, Riot procured 4,000 S17 miners from Bitmain during December 2019. As of mid-February, the deployment of 4,000 S17s was completed at the Oklahoma City mining facility resulting an overall hashrate of 240 petahash per second (“Ph/s”), consuming approximately 12 megawatts of energy.

The Company plans to provide updates on monthly production levels, commencing with a report shortly after the February 2020 production totals are reconciled. Such production updates are anticipated to continue for at least three months.

Strategic Partnership: To assist the Company in evaluating its strategic growth opportunities, Riot has engaged XMS Capital Partners. Headquartered in Chicago, XMS is an independent global financial services firm with expertise in M&A and strategic advisory. XMS will help Riot navigate the dynamic bitcoin landscape and advise the Company on potential strategic transactions in bitcoin mining related operations. The Company does not have a defined timeline for any transaction and cannot provide any assurance whether or when a transaction will may be announced or consummated.

RiotX Exchange: In order to concentrate its focus on cryptocurrency mining, Riot has opted to sunset further development of Riot’s U.S.-based digital currency exchange, known as the RiotX Exchange (“RiotX”), originally initiated in early 2018. Riot considered a number of factors when evaluating the RiotX decision including, but not limited to, the evolving regulatory environment, cybersecurity risks, and the current competitive landscape facing U.S. based cryptocurrency exchanges. Riot is considering opportunities to divest the limited assets associated with the RiotX in the best interest of the Company and its stockholders.

 

SOURCE Riot Blockchain, Inc.

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Centotrenta Servicing redefines credit securitization management with IBM Blockchain Platform

Vlad Poptamas

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Centotrenta Servicing announce the HyperMast STS platform, an end to end credit securitization management platform based on IBM blockchain technology designed to address financial sector requirements for their clients including data quality, process security, flow traceability, and the reduction of processing time and paper-based processes.

Centotrenta Servicing S.p.A, an Italian financial services company, currently manages approximately 200 securitization transactions per year in Italy with a combined value of 15.6 billion euros. As a servicer, Centotrenta Servicing is responsible for servicing the portfolio, collecting the receivables, providing cash and payment services, and monitoring the compliance of the securitization transaction with applicable laws and the prospectus.

Starting February 2020, the HyperMast STS platform project enters a phase of industrialization, and additional network participants including paying agents, originators, servicers, intermediaries, credit institutions and investors, law firms and technology companies are encouraged to join.

The HyperMast STS platform aims to provide the financial market with a tool to connect the entire ecosystem, made up of originators, servicers, intermediaries, credit institutions and investors –and allow them to interact in the different phases of the securitization operation in a transparent, secure and traceable way.

Based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), HyperMast STS offers real advantages for the stakeholders of the operations, providing them with a greater level of interaction between them, a greater sharing of processes and, greater confidence in the processes and degree of guarantee of the financial assets.

In addition to the technology partners IBM and Blockchain Reply, Reply Group companies specialized in innovative projects based on DLT technology, they are part of the ecosystem led by Centotrenta Servicing and including BNP Paribas Securities Services as account and paying agent bank, other banks, advisors and prestigious law firms.

The choice of the IBM Blockchain Platform was due to its robustness and reliability, and its capabilities when creating DLT permissioned environments, combining efficiency, operational versatility with a hybrid cloud model, and data privacy control.

The platform addresses the core processes in securitization operations such as forming and signing the initial contracts (block sale), and the contracts underlying the securities issuance activities (block issue), and the definition of a “smart contract”.

The prototype was completed in November 2019 and addressed several key issues, such as possible ways of interfacing with the Bank of Italy systems (Infostat, FE129), issues related to security and user profiling, data protection management and digital signature mechanisms that allow the various actors to sign the HyperMast STS platform regulations and perform onboarding according to their role.

 

SOURCE IBM

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