Brazil’s largest private bank has partnered with United Kingdom bank Standard Chartered to create a blockchain-based platform for small loans, according to a press release published by Itau Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Itau Unibanco, also a major Latin American banking group, and Standard Chartered both offer international banking services. The two entities have successfully conducted a proof-of-concept (PoC) for the mentioned platform, based on Corda Connect developed by New York-based blockchain startup R3.

Moreover, Itau and Standard Chartered, joined by United States multinational financial services company Wells Fargo, have issued a club loan of $100 million to test the platform. According to the release, the points of trial contract were effectively negotiated during the experiment, and the document was then checked for compliance with the conditions set and finally signed by both parties.

Ricardo Nuno, the head of treasury department at Itau, said that blockchain technology improved the communication between the banks, which is normally comprised of 2,000 words for a similar matter, Reuters writes.

Nuno further added that the money was not actually transferred, as it was a trial, but that the platform will definitely allow for that in the future.

Germana Cruz, head of financial institutions for Latin America at Standard Chartered, told Reuters that the company might use the results of the trial to issue loans on blockchain in the region.

Global banking groups have previously used blockchain to increase the speed of syndicate loan issuance, along with cutting operational costs. In 2017, seven major international banks —  including BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, HSBC, and ING — partnered to conduct major tests in the blockchain technology-based marketplace for syndicated loans, called Fusion LenderComm and supported by R3.

Another banking giant, Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), carried out a blockchain-based syndicated loan of $150 million in October. French banking group BNP Paribas and Japan’s bank holding Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) also participated in the trial.

Cointelegraph has also reported that U.K.-based bank Natwest was set to launch a similar blockchain platform based on R3 Corda technology in the syndicated loans market in November.

This post is credited to cointelegraph

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