Archive for month: August, 2016

Four Major International Banks Set to Use Blockchain Technology

Four of the world’s major international banks are set to develop their own custom version of digital currency. The aim is to cut down on the time and costs currently associated with clearing and settlement in financial markets. This announcement is the latest in a recent string of similar realisations by financial institutions, for whom the power of harnessing blockchain technology is finally starting to dawn.

Blockchain equals Cost-Effectiveness

Banks are struggling with low returns, making cost effectiveness more important than ever. In addition to providing savings, they now see that blockchain offers a chance to build more efficient systems. Savings made by this new implementation would likely free up capital traditionally held against trading risk, thus improving liquidity. UBS, Santander, Deutsche Bank and BNY Mellon are the four major forces behind the development. The banks are currently working with UK firms ICAP and Clearmatics Technologies to create the new blockchain based system.

The above banking institutions  claim that outdated systems have held them bank from operating together in a cohesive manner. Large back offices were initially created to overcome the problem. However, all that this accomplished were huge streams of paperwork for long-suffering employees to organise. By using blockchain, funds can be transferred between the banks and a truer record of transactions generated. Transactions will be stored on the blockchain, creating far less paperwork whilst still providing a solid record of the transaction. This will then be reflected in the relevant fiat account.

Creating a Cryptocurrency

Whilst many outlets have reported that the banks mentioned above will be creating a new cryptocurrency for wider use, this is not strictly true. What they are really doing, is creating coins using blockchain technology which will be directly convertible into existing currencies in order to be deposited for use at central banks. They wish to, in theory, put dollars, euros and pounds on the blockchain. It will be used solely as a ‘utility settlement coin’. The currency will be traded between the banks to pay for securities without the traditional delay associated with money transfers.

The Distributed Ledger

The Head of fintech innovation at UBS made a statement where he talked about the current struggles that banks, exchanges and clearing houses have in maintaining a clear record of transactions. The distributed ledger would provide all of these institutions with a shared, true copy of the required data. The system will provide savings in areas of payments, securities trading and compliance.  In a recent report by Santander, Oliver Wyman and Anthems, it is stated that savings of up to $20bn a year by 2022 could be generated by the system’s implementation.

Future Challenges

Although the theory behind creating a distributed ledger is solid, the banks must now work to generate support from central banks. Should they receive the backing necessary, they hope to have the ledger up and running by 2018.

A further challenge will be creating a blockchain which can handle the huge number of transactions required, at a high speed. At present, Visa is capable of handling around 24K every second.

Whilst we have all been well-aware of the benefits of digital currency, it is only now that central financial institution have begun seeing its full potential. An official announcement is expected to be delivered soon with further details.


Keeping Scotcoin Scottish

When Scotcoin was created, our aim was to directly impact and assist those living in Scotland. Whilst digital cryptocurrency  such as Bitcoin has sought to make a huge impact on a global scale, we felt that there were huge opportunities to use this type currency effectively at a local level.

In recent years, many people have openly expressed displeasure at the handling of our financial systems. In fact, many Scottish citizens have been left feeling powerless and disenfranchised as a result. The goal of Scotcoin was and still is, to give the people of Scotland an alternative. However, as we all know, there is a tendency for Scottish innovation to be colonised by international investors. We have thought this over and have arrived at a strategy to prevent this from occurring.

Unproductive Speculative Behaviour

Recently, the issue of Scottish property not being used to benefit Scotland has featured heavily in the media. In addition to Scotland fighting for more control over its governing powers, the land registry has become a prominent issue. As it stands, there are far too many areas of derelict property in Scotland whose owners are benefitting from tax exemptions. This constitutes unproductive speculative behaviour, which is something that we do not want to see happening to our digital cryptocurrency.

Although the present team involved with Scotcoin differ from the original, we do know that large Scotcoin accounts are held by Scottish investors. The original distribution was to people with provable Scottish addresses. The hard fact is that Scotcoin is worth more if it is in active circulation. Hoarding coins will do little to increase the rate of widespread adoption. Therefore, by hoarding coins you are actively impeding the growth rate making a poor investment decision.

Encouraging Widespread Adoption

In the long term, a far better strategy would be to hold on to a few and trade the others in small amounts. By having the coins well-distributed, they become more available for everyday trading. As we’ve mentioned, this kind of consistent use is a far better way to gain value than restrictive trade on crypto exchanges.

To do this, we need merchants to accept Scotcoin. By doing so, you not only gain an efficient purchasing system but you will also be helping to increase the value of the coin.

In the short term, we are willing to buy back coins from retailers. We hope that this will provide a semblance of security in the minds of would-be merchants, that there will be no cash flow problems caused by accepting Scotcoin.

It has always been our aim to use Scotcoin to benefit the people of Scotland. In our previous post, we talked about our passion for helping small businesses thrive by providing start-up loans. However, for these to have significant value we need merchants willing to accept the coin. Setting up a wide network of traders and bringing the coin into mainstream trading will provide the people of Scotland with a viable alternative to the pound sterling.

For further information on how you can get involved or to answer any queries, contact us.

Scotcoin and Small Business Growth

We are very proud of our roots as a Scottish currency. As such, we want our digital currency to help the Scottish economy thrive- starting with small businesses. By the end of the 1st quarter of 2016, small business confidence in Scotland had fallen into negative territory. In fact, small business confidence in the UK as a whole had fallen to its lowest level in 3 years. We must do more to support and nurture small businesses in Scotland. It something we firmly believe in and is one of the reasons why we offer a 1million Scotcoin loan to local start-ups. It is our hope that such businesses in Scotland will look to the opportunities presented by Scotcoin to create a mutually beneficial partnership.

Small Business Roadblocks

We’ve just passed 1 year since the Our Land campaign which urged Holyrood to be bolder in the face of land reform. One of the major blocks to affordable land in our country is private ownership of land. As a result, problems arise when attempting to provide affordable housing and sourcing premises for small businesses. To mark the occasion, many have resurrected the campaign across social media to call for changes to the tax system. Small business in Scotland must be able to thrive. However, they must be given the tools to do so.

Why Scotcoin?

It was stated in the Q1 Small Business Index that 69% of small businesses admitted to being worried about the domestic economy. In light of Brexit, it is likely that this figure will only have risen. One of the many reasons why we promote Scotcoin is because it offers another solution in times of uncertainty such as these.

By becoming a Scotcoin merchant, you gain a reliable payments solution. You also gain holdings which are unaffected by political factors, such as the event mentioned above. Scotcoin is a decentralised cryptocurrency and as such is not held by one central bank. Despite concerns over the volatility of digital currency, it’s fair to say that traditional currencies have not fared much better of late. Business owners need only look at a comparison of Pound sterling exchange rates from the last 6 months to see just how volatile traditional currencies can be.

How do I begin using Scotcoin?

As we mentioned above, start-ups can apply for a 1 million Scotcoin loan to help them get off the ground. By accepting Scotcoin, you can help new entrepreneurs to thrive and contribute to providing a less hostile environment for Scottish small businesses.

We have previously written about how easy it is to become a Scotcoin merchant. Check out the blog post to learn how to get started. All you really need is a smartphone. We’re working to create a wallet specific to merchants which we hope to release in the very near future. Its arrival will make it even easier for businesses to become Scotcoin merchants.

Full instructions on how to purchase Scotcoin can also be found in the Getting Started section of our site. Or, if you wish to learn more about blockchain then check out our certified CPD course. We believe that Scotcoin offers Scottish business a viable alternative to the pound, one which can help Scottish businesses grow. However, it must be a collaborative effort. How would you like to join the revolution?

Lessons to be learned from the Current Volatility of the Great British Pound

As we reach September many will argue that 2016 has seen a year of upheaval within the United Kingdom. Big political decisions have resulted in the UK successfully exercising its right to democracy and many members of our society will tell you that this will have far reaching consequences. Whether you are a Brexit supporter or Brexit cynic, there can be no doubt that the recent referendum has had a profound effect on our beloved Great British Pound.

As of this week the pound was down a further 1.5% against the dollar. Currently the pound is sitting at around $1.3120 for the dollar and at €1.1799 at for the Euro. While this wasn’t completely out of the blue, market analysts are expecting a fresh wave of Brexit-impacted data to have further detrimental effect on the GBP and even the UK index as a whole.

This drop has naturally affected many business and organisations such as the pharmaceutical company Hikma which suffered a dramatic plunge with its shares down a massive 17% leading the company to explain that such a fall would result in a drop in profits for one of its generic drug facilities. The well-known insurance provider Aviva actually benefited with a 7% increase leading to a respectable 13% half year rise in operating profits.
We discussed back in June the potential for cryptocurrency to act as a safe haven due to the uncertainty surrounding the pound and whether a potential exit from the EU would hold further consequences. Fast forward a month and here we are discussing the pounds current predicament. With the forecast still looking bleak for the pound perhaps it is time we refresh ourselves on the advantages of cryptocurrencies in these times of economic uncertainty.

What we love about cryptocurrencies are their relative resistance to the usual forces that influence our global economy. Scotcoin hasn’t been affected at all by Brexit nor would it be affected by a financial institution such as an international bank collapsing. In many cases cryptocurrencies benefit from traditional economic failures. This is due to a number of factors – some are simple and some are far more complex! Essentially cryptocurrencies are not controlled by a bank, they are not regulated by the government (as of yet) and their value is based on their trade interaction between users.

While some circumstances can cause  currencies to fluctuate more dramatically than usual – no currency can ever be completely stable – now is a prime time to invest in Scotcoin as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. Our goal is to grow the overall value of Scotcoin exponentially over a period of time. With this in mind why wouldn’t you want to buy a product that is currently on the up as opposed to the poor, downward trending pound Sterling?  And do you really want so little interest on those pounds in the bank that you can’t even buy a packet of crisps? Check out our exchange or send us a tweet, text, email or call and we’ll be happy to help! “