Tag Archives: Start-ups

Banks Get Behind Blockchain Technology

Banks Get Behind Blockchain Technology

It’s looking like 2015 will be a break out year for the application of blockchain technology in the banking and finance sector. Banks are starting to really embrace the technology with many trialing blockchain based applications and some are even investing directly in startups in the space.

Banks are getting behind blockchain technology in a big way. Many are starting to see the possibilities of running clearing, settlement and internal fund transactions through a blockchain.

Below is a list of financial institutions that are currently experimenting with blockchain technology. Some are further down the track than others – but all are keenly investigating the technology’s potential.

About The Table

In the table below I’ve included a list of financial institutions who’ve been mentioned in the media as experimenting with Blockchain technology. The list is a work in progress. As information changes and further banks begin experimenting with Bitcoin/blockchain technology I’ll add or amend entries in the table.

If there are any errors or omissions please feel free to flick me an email at me@alantsen.com

Bank Country Technology Stack / Activities
ANZ Australia Ripple
Commonwealth Bank Australia Ripple
Westpac Australia Ripple
Barclays Bank  UK Bitcoin (Safello)
Santander Bank UK Internal proof of concept
UBS UK Research lab
DBS Bank UK Hackathon
USAA US Internal research
Bank Of New York Mellon US Bitcoin (BK Coin)
LHV Bank Estonia Bitcoin (Coloured Coins)
BBVA Bank Spain Internal experiments
ABN Amro Netherlands Internal experiments
ING Bank Netherlands Internal experiments
Rabobank Netherlands Internal experiments
BNP Paribas France Internal Research
Société Générale France Internal research and experiments
Fidor Germany Ripple
CBW Bank US Ripple
Cross River Bank US Ripple
 Citibank  US Own Tech (Citicoin)
 NASDAQ  US Bitcoin (Chain)


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Some Thoughts On The ATO’s Bitcoin Guidance

Some Thoughts On The ATO’s Bitcoin Guidance

Earlier today the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released its much anticipated guidance on the taxation treatment of bitcoin. Along with the guidance paper they released a slew of draft rulings.

In their media release the ATO stated that:

“[We have] consulted extensively with bitcoin experts, businesses, industry bodies and other external stakeholders to develop this guidance and explain the obligations of bitcoin users.”

Reading the guidance (and more so the draft rulings) it is clear that they have invested a fair amount of time in understanding what bitcoin is and how it’s being used. In many ways the ATO has released a very complete picture of how they see bitcoin for tax purposes.

Although many have been quick to find fault with the guidance provided by the ATO, the truth is that they have provided a great deal of clarity to businesses and consumers. Further, the depth of analysis provided by the rulings released today gives a solid grounding to the ATO’s view – which is more than what’s been issued by other tax authorities.

Some Important Points To Note

The guidance paper that was released by the ATO contains very little ‘meat’ and should be taken for what it is – a general guidance paper. Much of the interesting content is actually contained in the draft rulings that accompanied the guidance paper. For the most part, this is where lawyers and accountants will be spending their time over the next few days.

Having said this, it should be noted that the rulings released by the ATO are all still in draft form and still under consultation. This means that those who wish to engage with ATO can still do so.

Be A Better Growth Hacker By Learning To Stalk Your Most Engaged Users

Be A Better Growth Hacker By Learning To Stalk Your Most Engaged Users

Ok, let me start with a quick clarification (/disclaimer). In this article I won’t be advocating peering into your customers’ homes and seeing what they do at night. That would just be creepy. Instead, I’ll be looking at ways you can better adjust your product through observing what your most engaged customers are doing.

Which Customers Should I Stalk?

This is the question that many find hard to answer. The reality is that not all customers are created equally and looking at them all as a lump of data can lead to product changes that can push you down the wrong side of the hockey stick. This is generally amplified when you have a small data set to work from.

Let me propose an alternative approach. Why not try stalking your most fervent user? After all, they’re the ones who have found the value in your product. They’re the ones who (for one reason or another) have found the ‘magic’ in it. Besides, focusing in on the positives will give you an idea of what is actually working – which is generally the stuff you want to double down on anyway.

Things I’m (currently) excited about in 2010

The new year seems to be bringing with it a plethora of new and exciting gadgets, ideas and start-ups. Here is a short list of things I’m really excited about in 2010.

The Apple Tablet

Rumour has it that the iSlate (as it seems it will be called) is going to be released on either the 26th or 27th of January. The excitement this thing is creating on the net is amazing.

Personally, I think the real story from the Apple tablet release will be what it will do for Apple in the business market. Most business people love mobile anything (think the laptop, Blackberry, iPhone etc), and if the iPhone was Apple’s entree into the business space the tablet could be its main meal. The possibilities that the tablet creates in the mobile computing space for entrepreneurs is amazing. Bring on the iSlate.

The First Post

So this is my first post.

I assume it is customary (if not polite) to give those who are reading this a brief insight into what this blog is about. If this is the case – I’m sorry to be rude, but I’m just not sure yet.

Having said this, I do intend to blog on the wonderful world of business. I’m passionate about start-ups and brilliant new business ideas. I’m also passionate about how businesses can make a difference in the community.  So expect these topics to make regular appearances.

I hope you enjoy my random musings and don’t forget to drop me a line at hi@alantsen.com.