Deutsche Boerse Establishes Centrally-Steered Unit Dedicated to Blockchain, Crypto Assets

Germany’s joint stock company Deutsche Boerse (DB) has established a dedicated unit for blockchain and crypto assets, Finextra reported September 3.

The newly established “DLT, Crypto Assets and New Market Structures” unit will comprise a 24-person team led by Jens Hachmeister, and will explore the disruptive potential the technology could have for financial markets infrastructure, as well as the new products DB could develop to enhance its existing offerings. As Hachmeister outlined:

“Deutsche Boerse has been active with the technology in a first phase of ideation and exploration […] However, these explorative steps have not been coordinated on a group-wide level. In order to use the full potential of the technology for our businesses, to generate efficiencies and create revenues, a centrally steered approach is necessary.”

Hachmeister noted that blockchain could innovate and streamline many traditional segments across DB’s value chain, including functions such as pre-IPO listing, trading and clearing, settlement and custody, and could even be of service for DB’s financial data and analytics arm.

He conceded that while “blockchain will not be the answer to all our questions,” “expectations are high,” and that DB’s move is driven by shifting currents in the financial landscape:

“The digital economy in general is heading for decentralisation. In [the] future, there will be more peer-to-peer governed marketplaces and less intermediaries. In that regard, blockchain has the potential to disrupt the capital markets infrastructure.”

As Cointelegraph reported recently, DB has recently made a million euro investment to become a minority shareholder in blockchain-based liquidity provider HQLAx. The fresh investment followed the two parties’ joint initiative this March to develop a blockchain-based securities lending platform using R3 Consortium’s Corda platform.



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Deutsche Börse Establishes Centrally-Steered Unit Dedicated to Blockchain, Crypto Assets

Germany’s joint stock company Deutsche Börse (DB) has established a dedicated unit for blockchain and crypto assets, Finextra reported September 3.

The newly established “DLT, Crypto Assets and New Market Structures” unit will comprise a 24-person team led by Jens Hachmeister, and will explore the disruptive potential the technology could have for financial markets infrastructure, as well as the new products DB could develop to enhance its existing offerings. As Hachmeister outlined:

“Deutsche Börse has been active with the technology in a first phase of ideation and exploration […] However, these explorative steps have not been coordinated on a group-wide level. In order to use the full potential of the technology for our businesses, to generate efficiencies and create revenues, a centrally steered approach is necessary.”

Hachmeister noted that blockchain could innovate and streamline many traditional segments across DB’s value chain, including functions such as pre-IPO listing, trading and clearing, settlement and custody, and could even be of service for DB’s financial data and analytics arm.

He conceded that while “blockchain will not be the answer to all our questions,” “expectations are high,” and that DB’s move is driven by shifting currents in the financial landscape:

“The digital economy in general is heading for decentralisation. In [the] future, there will be more peer-to-peer governed marketplaces and less intermediaries. In that regard, blockchain has the potential to disrupt the capital markets infrastructure.”

As Cointelegraph reported recently, DB has recently made a million euro investment to become a minority shareholder in blockchain-based liquidity provider HQLAx. The fresh investment followed the two parties’ joint initiative this March to develop a blockchain-based securities lending platform using R3 Consortium’s Corda platform.



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OECD Announces ‘First Major International Conference’ Dedicated to Blockchain in Public Sphere

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has officially announced a Blockchain Policy Forum in a release on the OECD website August 28.

The OECD states that the event will be held in Paris September 4-5 and will mark the first major international event of its kind, dedicated to blockchain technology. Organizers plan to focus on the use of blockchain tech in government activities and public initiatives as well as regulatory aspects.

The Blockchain Policy Forum also plans to discussing the technology’s potential global economic impact, privacy and cybersecurity, inclusiveness, the promotion of green growth and sustainability, and governance and enforcement practices.

More than 400 “senior decision makers” are visiting the forum, the OECD reports. According to the event schedule, top officials from Slovenia, Israel, Russia, Finland, Italy, Serbia and other countries are to participate in discussions.

Hyperledger, Ripple, IOTA and other blockchain company’ executives will also speak on blockchain application in different areas, according to the OECD’s published schedule.

As a prelude to the event, the OECD’s Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Competition Committee has launched a leaflet called “Blockchain Technology and Competition Policy,” which briefly explains the technology and its utilization for government and public needs. Taxation and regulation issues worldwide are also mentioned in the document.

The OECD was established in 1961 to “promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” There are currently 36 members states of the OECD, including the U.S., Germany, Mexico, the U.K., South Korea, and Turkey.

In March of this year, cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation formed a topic of discussion at the G20 summit in Argentina. For the G20 financial leaders, the conclusion of the meeting was that they needed more time, plus more data from a number of other bodies before instituting anything specific.



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Union Square Ventures to Invest in Crypto and Blockchain Long-Term Without Dedicated Fund

Union Square Ventures (USV), a private equity and venture capital firm, has plans to invest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies over the course of the next 10 years, CNBC reports June 29. Those plans, however, do not include establishing a separate fund.

Albert Wenger, managing partner at USV, told CNBC that “we see a lot of upside to keeping it under the same roof.” Despite prevailing the bear market in cryptocurrency, the company has an optimistic long-term view of the industry. Wenger said:

“Investors are rationally pouring a lot of money into this sector, because I think people are seeing the winning blockchain here might be worth a trillion, or a couple of trillion dollars. It’s not at all crazy to think that.”

Though Wenger echoed Steve Wozniak’s statement, that blockchain is a bubble similar to that of dotcom era, he argued that the risk could be justified for those investors who diversify their investments. “Certainly, for any one particular project there’s an extremely high chance it won’t work. As a result, if it works, the rewards will be very high,” he said.

Speaking about initial coin offerings (ICOs), Wenger called them an “innovative new financing mechanism,” though he said they are not suitable for every blockchain project. CNBC, with reference to research firm Autonomous Next, reported that in 2017, ICOs raised $6.6 billion and have reached $9.1 billion this year. Wenger asserted that the amount investors have raised in an ICO is not necessarily an accurate indicator of success. Wenger reportedly owns Bitcoin (BTC) and says that he is aware of the risks to retail investors:

“I don’t think you should be in the space and say ‘I’m only going to hold Bitcoin.’ At the moment, this whole space is a high risk space, and I don’t think anybody should be investing all of their life savings.”

New York-based USV specializes in startup financing, investing in organizations that apply technology-supporting applications, as well as Internet and web services that establish large networks. USV’s portfolio exceeds 100 companies, containing a number of crypto investments, which include digital currency exchange Coinbase and Ethereum-based virtual collective game CryptoKitties.

In April, USV and Andreessen Horowitz urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission  to consider a cryptocurrency exemption at a private meeting. The crypto investors argued that ICO tokens should not be considered as investments, but as products that can be used to access services of startup companies. It would reportedly allow startups to carry out token sales without observing formalities such as business reviews and financial reports.



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