Saudi Arabian developmental institution the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) has partnered with a Tunisian startup to develop interbank blockchain tools, a press release confirmed Nov. 29.

IsDB, which will conduct the project through its private sector subsidiary, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD), wants to improve Islamic financial institutions’ liquidity management and increase overall efficiency.

The institution signed an agreement with Tunis-based iFinTech Solutions, a dedicated outfit which describes itself as an “Investment Advisory Firm focused on alternative financial solutions based on Islamic principles.”

The impetus behind using blockchain for the initiative lies in the relative disadvantage Islamic banks have on the worldwide stage, with institutions restricted from funding options provided by international central banks, Reuters noted Dec. 3.

Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, added in the press release:

“IT will always play an important role for the financial system. We will consistently pursue our strategy of service orientation and help our partners with innovative Sharia compliant FinTech solutions.”

Saudi Arabia has traditionally copied many other jurisdictions in maintaining a risk-averse official stance on cryptocurrencies while championing blockchain.

In September, the country saw its first bank join blockchain consortium R3’s Corda platform, a month after regulators urged consumers not to trade cryptoassets.

The debate around the industry’s compatibility with Islam also continues, Turkey adopting a conservative stance which, as Cointelegraph reported, subsequently proved particularly unpopular with one U.K. mosque.

Last week, an Abu Dhabi-based bank also announced it had completed the “first” suduk (a legal instrument also known as “sharia compliant” bonds) transaction with blockchain.

This post is credit to cointelegraph

Japan’s Shinsei Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with blockchain startup ConsenSys to widen its exploration of the technology’s applications for finance, Cointelegraph Japan reports Nov. 8.

According to an English-language press release published the same date, the MoU entails a business alliance between Shinsei Bank, Hong Kong-based restricted license bank Nippon Wealth, Singaporean private equity fund Tribay Capital, and ConsenSys. The latter was founded in 2014 by Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin, and is currently headquartered in New York.

The alliance between the four entities will focus on exploring the use of ConsenSys’ decentralized applications (DApps) to develop new financial products and services, with Nippon Wealth spearheading a study of blockchain infrastructure and protocols for the banking sector.

According to the press release, Nippon Wealth has “completed a capital injection through a third-party allocation of shares of OJBC Co., Ltd., its owner. The alliance means that Tribay Capital will become a new shareholder of Nippon, with Shinsei Bank nonetheless remaining its majority shareholder — retaining 50 percent of shareholder rights, according to CT Japan.

Following the study, the parties have indicated they will roll out blockchain-related offerings and details of new services on their banking platforms “at a later date.”

This week, a cybersecurity subsidiary of Japan’s Nomura Research Institute (NRI) announced a new blockchain security alert tool while also confirming a partnership with ConsenSys.

As recently reported, blockchain is becoming a key focus of Japan’s traditional financial sector, with multinational IT firm Fujitsu announcing late October its plans build an interbank settlement platform using blockchain technology as part of a joint project with nine domestic banks.

Also in October, Japanese financial services giant SBI Group debuted a Ripple (XRP)-powered settlement system that harnesses Ripple’s xCurrent solution to enable domestic bank-to-bank transfers in “real time.”

This post is credit to cointelegraph

On Monday (5 November 2018), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (better known simply as “Deloitte”) and Attest, Inc. announced via a press release a new collaboration “to assist government clients with digital identity solutions to help solve for a host of government challenges.”

Chicago-based Attest is a blockchain startup founded in March 2018 by two former Illinois state government employees: Cab Morris, who is the CEO, and Jennifer O’Rourke, who is the President of the company.

Attest is currently building two products: “Attest Wallet” and “Attest Enterprise”.

Attest says that Attest Wallet is “a more secure and efficient way for consumers to manage and share personal data”, and builds “consumer trust and confidence by providing unparalleled privacy, security and control”. As for Attest Enterprise, Attest describes this as a “powerful and secure, user-centric identity management toolkit for governments and businesses.” Apparently, these tools can “be integrated into any system with two simple APIs.”

According to a report in Forbes published yesterday, Attest Wallets will “let users store digital versions of a wide range of government and corporate IDs in a single place”, and they are being designed to “let users control who sees what and how the information is monetized, if at all.”

Attest’s CEO Told Forbes:

“I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement but a truly digital version of your social security card, your driver’s license, your health records. But one that allows you to cryptographically authenticate to a variety of different service providers in a way that you would typically with Facebook Connect or Google Sign-in.”

Morris had this to say about his company’s strategic partnership with Deloitte:

“We are excited to work with Deloitte to bring blockchain-enabled technologies such as decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials to government. Identity is foundational to nearly every government service and is the basis for trust and legitimacy in the public sector.

“Combining government’s robust identity verification infrastructure with a platform engineered for security, privacy and scale can also unlock tremendous value for both citizens and businesses outside of government. A government-issued digital identity has the potential to reduce costs and risk for businesses in all industries, while also providing citizens with greater security, privacy and control over personal data.”

Marc Mancher, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP (and government and public services practice’s automation service business leader), stated:

“Blockchain requires a digital credential and in government, requiring a digital credential gets complicated pretty quickly. Attest brings a set of solutions to help address this issue of digital credentials, making the use of solutions that require that digital identity more appealing technology for government clients.”

This post is credited to cryptoglobe