China Construction Bank Grows Blockchain Platform

China Construction Bank’s vice president has revealed that the bank has added new abilities to its trade finance blockchain platform, including cross-chain and inter-bank transactions.

Since its launch last year, the platform has processed over $53.5 billion transactions between exporters, banks and non-bank financial institutions. These new abilities will allow it to provide better financial services for the nation’s exporters, according to CoinDesk.

In other news, the Marco Polo Network has announced that it has secured its first Russian-German import-export operations financing project.

Alfa-Bank and Novolipetsk Steel Company (NLMK), along with Commerzbank, Germany, and Vesuvius GmbH, Germany, have launched a pilot project of cross-border payments via Marco Polo. The project will work to build a digital end-to-end trade finance and supply chain finance solution on a blockchain platform.

“We launched our first distributed ledger technology in trade finance as early as 2017. Since then, corporate blockchain solutions have been considerably elaborated, and earned our clients’ confidence and proved their applicability to real business processes. Projects such as Marco Polo create added value for clients, ensuring more international trade transparency and manageability thanks to integrated bank payment, finance and discount instruments,” Dina Merkulova, head of trade finance at Alfa-Bank, said in a press release.

“Our decision to take part in the pilot project was prompted by our intention to optimize the process of interaction with partners based on blockchain technology. We expect Marco Polo to ensure seamless collaboration of several sides engaged in international trade operations (banks, suppliers, insurance companies, etc.) with a flexible access to working capital financing instruments to the parties,” added Anna Sokolova, NLMK director for treasury.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now has a question on crypto ownership on its 1040 income tax form.

Cointelegraph reported that the question states, “At any time during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”

And Block Matrix, which created an app that allows users to send bitcoin through their social media accounts, has secured a $2 million investment for the development of a new app for the retail sector.

“We are trying to break down the barriers to allow everyone to use bitcoin,” said founder Pete Cheyne.

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