Dublin-based Currencyfair will be smiling wryly this morning at news that Australian regulators are looking into forex fee. The country's competition watchdog will look at charges that Australian forex providers are profiteering from overly high charges. "The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Tuesday it would look into price competition among providers of foreign exchange services to consumers and small businesses, noting that the cost of sending money overseas from Australia was 11 per cent higher than the average among G20 countries. 'Complaints have been made about a number of suppliers, including the big four banks, a number of online transfer companies, Travelex, Western Union and PayPal,' the regulator said." Currencyfair was founded by Australian Brett Meyers while living and working in Dublin. Its original market was the Irish-Australian corridor.
The Wall Street Journal's attempts to ridicule digital assets took a weird turn recently. Last Friday the WSJ published a story titled 'How dirty money disappears into the black hole of cryptocurrency', writing that US digital exchange ShapeShift was facilitating the trading of digital currencies such as Monero, known to be difficult if not impossible to track. Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees yesterday responded to the story (on Medium, of course) by explaining that the WSJ reporters didn't understand blockchain, and had misrepresented transactions. All of this is entirely possible, as the number of reporters and industry people who understand and can explain blockchain is lamentably small. More comically, however, all of this took place amid a torrent of recent news stories about money-laundering involving global and regional banks.
Fourteen Italian banks, including the majors, have successfully finished the first phase of a blockchain trial, using two months of real data. The project is being run by ABI Lab, the research arm of the Italian Banking Association. "The objective is to provide data transparency and visibility, faster transaction execution and the possibility of performing checks and exchanges directly within the application," according to ABI Lab. Now the trial will move on to an operational phase where the 14 banks will try to apply distributed ledger technology to the interbank process. The banks involved are Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella, BNL BNP Paribas Group, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM, CheBanca!, Credito Emiliano, Crédit Agricole, Credito Valtellinese, Iccrea Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi Banca and UBI. The collaborators have elected to use the Corda DLT platform developed by R3. It remains unclear how these national projects will tie together.
UniCredit, Intesa Sanpaolo and Credit Agricole scored two stars in the 2017 benchmarking project. The maximum score is five stars.
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