The New York-based commercial bank has created a payments solution that is powered by a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain.


Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank, has partnered with trueDigital Holdings, LLC, a New York-based global financial technology firm, to launch a new digital payments platform.

The new platform is dubbed “Signet” and will enable real-time payments for commercial and asset management clients of the bank.

The platform leverages a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain to allow institutional clients to make payments in U.S. dollars 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Signature Bank generated $155.4 million in net income for the third quarter of 2018 and currently manages $45 billion in assets.

U.S. dollars

Issues with the Currently Used Systems

Currently, banks use the Swift interbank platform or the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network for cross-border transfers. These systems take around 3-4 working days to process payments and are generally unavailable during weekends.

The Signet platform lets users of the service move funds in 30 seconds by converting U.S. dollars into ERC-20 tokens. However, only the bank’s customers can use the service currently. In the future, the bank may be able to connect to other financial institutions that adopt the system without the need of an intermediary.

Signature bank co-founder and CEO DePaolo said:

We have to do this, otherwise we’re not going to exist. If you’re not involved in blockchain, in five years, you won’t be around as a bank.

Solution Design and Launch Details

The digitized U.S. dollars called Signets are designed to work only on the Signet platform and would not interoperate with other exchanges or applications built on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the announcement on trueDigital’s website, the firm plans to launch additional currencies and paired transactions in early 2019.

Blockchain

“This will significantly reduce costs, counterparty risk and settlement times,” said Sunil Hirani, founder and CEO of trueDigital.

The Signet Platform will be ready for use by commercial clients of the bank on January 1, 2019, at 12:01 am ET. Only customers who have a minimum balance of $250,000 will be able to use the service. Initially, the transactions are reported to be free of any transfer fee.

Customer funds on the Signet platform will be FDIC insured, up to permissible amounts defined. Users of the platform must comply with the bank’s anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer requirements.

The platform has been approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Maria T. Vullo, Superintendent at the Department of Financial Services, says:

New York continues to support and help advance innovation through sound state regulation. And with products such as Signet, which provide lower-cost ways for businesses to efficiently make payments.

What are your thoughts on this development? Let us know in the comments below.

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

Despite Bitcoin (BTC) losing over 73% of its value this year, the long-range outlook for BTC and cryptocurrencies is positive among a growing number of freelancers who say they prefer to be paid in digital currency over fiat.

According to a new survey on the peer-to-peer platform Humans.net, 18% expressed a clear preference in receiving payments in crypto over fiat.

Another 11% expressed interest in receiving partial payments in digital currency, bringing the total number of interested participants to 29%.

Over 1,100 US freelancers were surveyed about their openness to being paid in crypto. Freelance workers include self-employed writers, tutors, designers and developers.

Four percent of users say they have already accepted payment in crypto.

Humans.net is a blockchain-based freelancer marketplace with over 200,000 users and 59,000 providers. It joins a range of freelance job boards where employers and workers spend and earn crypto, including Blocklancer.net and Ethlance, which allow freelancers to earn Ethereum, and Jobs4Bitcoins, a subreddit of over 20,000 subscribers connecting freelancers and employers.

Despite a growing number of platforms geared toward crypto freelancers, relevant jobs listings and searches rise and fall with the price of Bitcoin, as it did with Xbtfreelancer.com, a platform for Bitcoin freelancers that’s primarily visited by UK residents.

Source: Alexa

Site traffic peaked in January 2018 when Bitcoin hit an all-time high of nearly $20,000, and then steadily dropped as Bitcoin’s price declined.

As long as living costs are pegged to dollars and fiat currencies, crypto wages are a calculated risk. It will likely take a Bitcoin price surge to restore Bitcoin-related job searches, along with confidence in crypto wages, to peak levels.

This post is credited to dailyhodl

The developer that formalized the code underlying most initial coin offerings (ICOs) – ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard – has proposed a new approach in a bid to make the funding schemes safer for investors.

Speaking in Prague on Tuesday at Devcon4, ethereum’s annual developer conference, Fabian Vogelsteller proposed a “reversible ICO,” or RICO, that would allow token investors to take back their funds at any stage in that project’s lifespan. Specifically, the concept involves the creation of a special-purpose smart contract that allows investors to “reverse their funding commitment.”

“You are able to withdraw the funds you committed at any point of time and you do this by simply sending back your tokens,” Vogelsteller told the audience.

Once ether has been refunded, other investors can buy in, Vogelsteller continued. Because this is likely to lead to fluctuation in the value underlying a project, Vogelsteller said the startups will need some “base funding” from private investors outside of the ICO as well.

According to Vogelsteller, the methods “makes scams unlikely.” Because investors can withdraw funds at any time, ICO startups are more directly incentivized to commit to their promises. Additionally, it “allows projects to fail naturally” without the risk of token investors losing funds as the project collapses.

ICOs have increased in popularity in the past two years, attracting over $20 billion in accumulative funding, according to the CoinDesk ICO Tracker.

Vogelsteller said Tuesday that many of the companies pursuing token sales deviate from ethereum’s vision of decentralization. Flooded with large amounts of capital at the early stage of a project, companies are encouraged to “[buy] lambos rather than doing something useful.”

Because of his role in the ICO boom as the author of the ERC-20 standard, Vogelsteller said he felt “obligated to come up with something better.”

Intended to be a more usable orientation of founder of ethereum Vitalik Buterin’s own attempt toward a safer ICO scheme, the first step for RICO is to test the code in the wild. Toward this end, the developer will deploy the method within his own startup, a fashion-and-design industry blockchain named Lukso.

As Vogelsteller told the audience:

“It brings the balance back between the community and the project and I think this is really important.”

This post is credited to coindesk