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Swiss Post, Swisscom Developing New Blockchain Platform on Hyperledger

Swiss Post, the country’s national postal service, and state-owned telecoms provider Swisscom have united to develop a blockchain platform.

The two announced Thursday that they are using Hyperledger Fabric to build their “simple, secure and sustainable” private blockchain infrastructure, intended to be utilized by their own, as well as other companies’, applications.

The infrastructure is designed to meet the high security levels required by banks, while all data hosted will remain within Switzerland, they added.

The announcement indicates that the system is more energy efficient than public blockchain offerings, stating:

“In contrast to “public blockchains” (e.g. bitcoin and ethereum), this private blockchain infrastructure requires much less energy, since it can only be used by identified users who have a contractual relationship with the providers of an application. This enables more efficient agreement procedures as well as significantly higher security and performance.”

The first pilot blockchain apps are scheduled for launch in Q2 2019, with use cases said to be focusing on corporates and government agencies desiring to digitize business processes in a “secure and verified” manner.

Swiss Post and Swisscom also said they are open to accepting other partners to join them on the project. Ultimately, they desire “to enable the Swiss economy to quickly obtain a leading position when it comes to using this promising technology.”

The two companies are already using blockchain technology for several use cases.

Swiss Post’s financial services unit PostFinance, for instance, launched a pilot project in May that provides smart energy billing via blockchain. It also stores temperature data on a blockchain for monitoring pharmaceuticals in transit.

Swisscom is working with its subsidiary, Daura AG, on a blockchain system that facilitates the issuance, purchase and sale of shares.

Swiss postal mailbox image via Shutterstock

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Swiss Food Manufacturer Partners with ETH-based Blockchain Service to Track Tuna Products

Consumers of Gustav Gerig tuna will be able to access a raft of information about the product using the Ethereum blockchain.

A Swiss food manufacturer has become the “first” in Europe to use the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain to track fish products, a press release confirmed Nov. 28.

Gustav Gerig AG, which has operated since 1923, partnered with global tuna marketing company Pacifical c.v. to allow clients to certify the origin of its tuna range using blockchain technology.

Tins in the range will soon sport a QR code that consumers can scan in order to find out information such as the production date, type of tuna, and even the boat used to catch it.

The blockchain implementation is being provided by Thailand-based Atato, a blockchain service provider building enterprise-geared decentralized applications in partnership with Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin’s startup ConsenSys.

“In providing an optimal level of transparency the company will enable all its clients access to data on exactly how the Pacifical MSC tuna was sustainably caught through the following information: which captain, vessel, catch timing, method and area, where and when it was processed,” the press release explained.

Food supply chains and provenance have increasingly turned to blockchain in order to increase fairness and security along with transparency.

As Cointelegraph has reported, initiatives have focused on industries ranging from chicken to rice in recent months.

Pacifical began partnering with Atato in August in order to bring blockchain’s benefits to tuna distribution.

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Abu Dhabi Bank Reports ‘First’ Blockchain-based Transaction of ‘Sharia-Compliant Bonds’

Al Hilal Bank has completed “the world’s first sukuk transaction” using blockchain technology.

Al Hilal Bank, based in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced it has completed “the world’s first sukuk transaction” with the use of blockchain technology, Reuters reports Nov. 26.

Sukuk, a legal instrument also known as “sharia compliant” bonds, allows investors to generate returns without infringing on Islamic law.

Reuters notes that Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank has used the distributed ledger technology (DLT) to “to sell and settle in the secondary market a small portion of its $500 million five-year sukuk,” adding:

“Al Hilal Bank is aiming to transform the sukuk market through embracing blockchain and integrating it into their infrastructure, paving the way for innovative digitized Islamic sukuk.”

According to a spokeswoman for the bank, the deal was worth $1 million, sold by Al Hilal to a private investor. Reuters adds that Swiss-based fintech company Jibrel Network, which has offices in Dubai, participated in the transaction.

Earlier this month, a Swiss startup, dubbed X8 AG, had received an Islamic financial certification from the Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) for the company’s Ethereum-based stablecoin, as Cointelegraph reported Nov. 12

Back this summer, the Shariyah Review Bureau had released guidance for Stellar, an open-source platform for distributed payments, to deploy their technology in Islamic financial institutions. Stellar has claimed to be the first distributed ledger protocol to obtain sharia compliance certification, Cointelegraph wrote July 18.

Previously this spring, an Indonesian fintech startup published a report titled, “Is Bitcoin Halal or Haram: A Sharia Analysis,” concluding that Bitcoin (BTC) is “generally permissible” under sharia law, Cointelegraph reported Apr. 12.

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Switzerland Approves First Bitcoin-Cryptocurrency ETF with Ticker $HODL

The Bitcoin ETF $HODL, offered by Amun Crypto, will begin trading on Switzerland’s Six Swiss Exchange beginning next week. The ETF’s earnings will be linked to five different cryptocurrencies.


The ETF is being offered by Amun Crypto, a U.K. based fintech company. It will begin trading on Six Swiss Exchange next week. Six is Switzerland’s chief stock exchange, as well as the fourth largest in Europe.

According to the Financial Times, the ETF “[…] has been designed to track an index based on the movements of five leading cryptocurrencies.”

Roughly half (48%) of the ETF’s assets will be invested in Bitcoin (BTC) 00. The rest will be put towards bitcoin cash, XRP (30%), ethereum, and litecoin.

New Kid On the Block

Financial Times‘ writer Matt Flood notes that the ETF has been crafted in close accordance with the standards expected from traditional exchange-traded funds. This is according Hany Rashwan, Amun’s top executive.

Rashwan describes the aims of the ETF:

The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies. It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments

The Times reports that while competitors like CoinShares and Grayscale exist, they differ in legal form, whilst only being linked to one cryptocurrency. Seeding for the ETF will be fostered by Jane Street and Flow Traders, and it will trade using the ticker $HODL.

The Financial Times highlights the ETF’s arrival amid the lowest drop in BTC price 00 in over a year. The ETF is has been particularly the source of much hype in the cryptocurrency space. An exchange-traded fund product is expected to facilitate institutional buying of bitcoin.

Switzerland seems to be perpetually fixed in the crypto news cycle whether its happenings in Crypto Valley or the present ETF. Progress seems to abound.

In October, Bitcoinist reported on Crypto AG’s recently-granted cryptocurrency asset management license. A month earlier, Bitcoinist also wrote on Switzerland’s status as a top global Bitcoin destination.

What are your thoughts on the Bitcoin ETF $HODL? Share your thoughts below!


Images and media courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@boscryptocnn, @MANT121266), YouTube (ThinkCrypto).

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Major Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Lists World’s First Multi-Crypto ETP Amidst Market Collapse

The fourth largest European stock exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange, will list the world’s first multi-crypto exchange-traded product next week.

Switzerland‘s principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange will list the world’s first multi-crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP) next week, the Financial Times (FT) reported Saturday, Nov. 16.

Backed by the Swiss startup Amun AG, the first global multi-crypto ETP will be listed under index HODL, and will track five major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).

According to the article, each cryptocurrency will acquire a certain market share within the upcoming ETP, with Bitcoin accounting for around half of the ETP’s assets. The rest are set to be divided in fractions, with 25.4 percent in now-second cryptocurrency XRP, and 16.7 percent in Ethereum, while Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin will acquire 5.2 and 3 percent of the market, respectively.

Amun’s co-founder and chief executive Hany Rashwan commented that the upcoming ETF is organized in a way to comply with the same strict policies that are required by traditional ETPs. According to Rashwan, this will provide a well-regulated tool for trading cryptocurrencies for both institutional and retail investors that are limited in the field by crypto-unfriendly environments.

The Amun ETP index will be managed by the German index unit of investment management firm Van Eck, according to major Swiss news agency Finews.com. While Amun AG is based in the Swiss “crypto valley” town of Zug, it is reportedly a branch of Amun Technologies, a U.K.-based fintech company. The firm first announced their plans to introduce a crypto ETP in late September this year, according to Bloomberg.

According to Amun’s official website, SIX Swiss Exchange is the fourth largest stock exchange in Europe with a market capitalization of $1.6 trillion. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, head of securities and exchanges at SIX Thomas Zeeb claimed that blockchain-based digital exchanges will entirely replace conventional ones in “about ten years,” citing a large interest in cost advantages of the technology by brokers, banks, and insurance firms.

ETPs represent a type of security that is priced derivatively and trades intraday on a national securities exchange, based on investment tools such as commodity, a currency, a share price, or an interest rate, according to New York City-based investing and finance website Investopedia. ETPs can reportedly be actively managed funds, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and others.

Some experts have predicted that adoption of Bitcoin ETFs will be a “way bigger deal” than a cash settlement Bitcoin futures contract, and hence will be a bigger basis for the growth of crypto markets.

In Sweden, XBT Providers already have a Bitcoin ETP called Coinshares, which has attracted around $1 billion since 2015 when it was listed on major Swedish exchange Nasdaq Stockholm.

Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stopped accepting public feedback on their Bitcoin ETFs policy review, following the previous denial of nine applications to list and trade various BTC ETFs from three companies, including ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares.