- A Guide To The Different Banks Embracing Bitcoin
Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies people are embracing. It’s a revolutionary technology and one that threatens the current order. However, many banks are also embracing it.
Cryptocurrencies can put current currencies in the haymaking place, making the likes of the tech used in GDPR and PSD2, discussed here on the Captia ITPS blog, look old before their time.
Bank #1: BNP Paribas
The French bank BNP Paribas is one of the few banks that are embracing the use of bitcoin among its customers. According to the International Business Times, BNP Paribas is considering the potentiality of adding bitcoin to the bank as one of their currency funds. The possible involvement of this bank in crypto space follows the publication of an article by one of its economic analysts, Johann Palychata. Palychata reported in the publication Quintessence that the involvement in this crypto space could either improve trading for BNP or lead to total disruption for customers.
Bank #2: Societe Generale
Societe Generale, also known as SocGen, is another French bank interested in working with a bitcoin-focused financial developer. SocGen is well known for being the third largest French bank regarding assets and is utilized by many corporations in the country.
Société Générale placed an advertisement listing for an IT developer to assist with bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchains on the 2nd of July, 2017. According to the listing, the IT developer would be responsible for research and development of both blockchain and cryptocurrencies within the bank. Unfortunately, the advertisement failed to provide specific information on the tasks and no reply was received from SocGen when contacted by CoinDesk – a company that assists with in-house development software.
Bank #3: Citi Bank
Citi Bank reported their interest in using a digital currency to the UK government via a Freedom of Information Request or FOI. According to the International Business Times, Ken Moore (the head of Citi Innovation Labs) had been exploring the distribution of ledger technology for several years. Moore also revealed that Citi bank had constructed at least three blockchains and were currently testing their own type of cryptocurrency known as Citicoin.
Sponsors of Consensus, CoinDesk reported in their conference that Citi Bank would be revealing information regarding plans for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency implementation in their organization. The reveal was said to be conducted at an event in New York.
Bank #4: UBS
UBS, a Swiss investment bank, announced earlier this year that it would be opening a blockchain technology research laboratory. The laboratory would be located in one of the major financial districts in London. At the time of announcement, UBS stated that the work was being carried out to lessen the gap that exists between FinTech and banking. The aim was to determine how technological innovation could assist improvements in traditional banking techniques.
According to the group CIO at UBS, Oliver Bussmann, the innovation laboratory at Level39 provides a unique platform for people to explore different emerging technologies and understand the impact it has on the banking industry. A report in March 2014 outlined the widespread advantages of this development, as well as the various benefits of introducing bitcoin to the banking world.
Bank #5: Barclays
One of the most popular UK banks, Barclays, revealed in the last month their plan for a trial usage phase for bitcoin technology. Previous reports by CoinDesk show that Barclays agreed to the cryptocurrency by signing a contract with the Swedish bitcoin exchange Safello. According to the bank, the aim of this trial was to determine how blockchain technology could improve their financial services and strengthen the bank’s operations.
South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company
The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.
The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.
Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.
While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.
“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”
The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.
Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked
Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.
On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.
“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.
Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.
However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.
Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
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