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Ethereum (ETH) News Roundup 2 September – 15 September 2019 | $20m Crypto-Bond

September 12th

$20 Million End-To-End Blockchain Bond Issued By Santander On Ethereum

Banco Santander has issued an “end-to-end” bond on the ethereum blockchain, which the Spanish bank describes as the “first ever” of its type.

The ‘one year maturity-bond is valued at $20 million, and carries a quarterly coupon of 1.98%. It was issued directly onto ethereum, and will “continue to exist only on the blockchain”.

Santander expects the bond to lay the foundation for future developments which will be led by its Corporate and Investment Banking unit (CIB), and will be used as a basis for discussions with what it describes as its “most innovative clients” as the team moves “from the project stage to product development”.

CIB also acted as the dealer for the issuance of the bond, whilst Santander Securities Services has been chosen to act as the ‘tokenization agent’ and custodian of the cryptographic keys.

Partners in this blockchain bond project include London-based startup Nivaura, and Allen and Overy; the latter of which, Santander reportedly sought legal advice from.

Nivaura is a UK-based startup and regulated fintech company which provides solutions for digitization and automation of “key processes in capital markets” including, in this case, automated securities issuance. The company received investment from Santander InnoVentures back in February 2018, and was also an original member of the Allen and Overy ‘Fuse’ “cohort”.

The bank also took the opportunity to directly praise the ethereum blockchain for two reasons. Firstly, the blockchain has allowed the bank to “achieve the milestone of tokenizing the bond securely and registering it in a permissioned manner on the blockchain.”.

Secondly, the automation which it has facilitated has reduced the number of intermediaries that would be required in accomplishing the above; “making transactions faster, more efficient, and simpler.”.

José García Cantera, Chief Financial Officer (Banco Santander)

“Santander is at the forefront of the profound digital transformation of the financial sector and this transaction is one example. We want to take advantage of any technology that can accelerate that process, so that our customers thrive and be faster and more efficient, and blockchain is one of those technologies.”

José María Linares, Global Head of Santander Corporate & Investment Banking (Santander)

“Our clients are increasingly demanding the best thinking and technology in how we serve them in their capital-raising efforts. This blockchain-issued bond puts Santander at the forefront of capital markets innovation and demonstrates to clients that we are the best partner to support them on their digital journey.”

September 5th

Layer-2 Scaling Solution Arbitrum Gets Funding From Coinbase Ventures

Distributed ledger technology startup Offchain Labs has reportedly received an investment of undisclosed value from Coinbase Ventures, which it is using to fund development of its ethereum scaling solution Arbitrum.

The news follows the companies seed funding which took place back in April 2019, when Offchain Labs successfully raised $3.7 million from multiple parties. This initial round from earlier in the year was led by Pantera Capital, which was joined by Compound VC, Jake Seid (Stone Bridge Ventures), and Raphael Ouzan (Blocknation).

Arbitrum is a second layer ethereum protocol for ethereum that enables users to create smart contracts which are “easier to develop at a massive scale, with production level security” – using ethereum solidarity code.

Coinbase Ventures is the investment arm of the titular exchange, and has previously invested in the likes of Dharma, Etherscan, and Celo.

Ed Felton, Co-founder (Offchain)

“We’re working to build a platform for smart contract development that provides what we think developers want, a combination of scalability so that you can scale to more transactions per second, more users, and to contracts that have more code and still have more data in them.”

September 5th

Ledger Live Adds Support For Over 1k ERC-20 Tokens

In the v.1.14.0 update to its Ledger Live mobile app, the eponymous Ledger has announced new support for 22 coins on its Nano S and Nano X models of its hardware-wallet devices, in addition to “an extensive list of ERC-20 tokens” (over 1,250 in total).

This update is to allow users to manage multiple different crypto assets “in real time” on Ledger Live, whilst also “letting them send and receive coins from their mobile devices through a single app” without compromising control of private keys.

Ledger claims that this update will take the application “to the next level… a game changer for the industry and only the first step of bigger things to come.” whilst continuing to claim that it aims to “add even more crypto assets to the platform” in the future.

Ledger vs Trezor

Back in March, Ledger brought its greatest rival into the headlines when it released an expose covering five vulnerabilities in two models sold by competitor Trezor.

These flaws were found by company division ‘Attack Lab’, which describes itself as a team whose goal is to hack into Ledger and competitors’ products to identify and report on software and hardware flaws.

September 10th

Winklevoss Twins’ Exchange Launches ‘Gemini Custody’ – With Mostly Ethereum and ERC20 Tokens

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded and led by renowned venture capitalist twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has just launched its ‘Gemini Custody’ product with support for 18 cryptocurrencies out of the gate. This selection includes ETH, in addition to a handful of ERC20 tokens: ZRX, REP, BAT, BRD, DAI, MANA, ENJ, FXC, GUSD, KNC, LOOM, MKR, and OMG.

Like with its exchange, Gemini has focused largely on security features in advertising its new eponymous custody product. Features such as offline cryptocurrency storage (‘cold storage’), hardware security keys (via WebAuthn), and a withdrawal address whitelisting tool.

The company is hosting a webinar to discuss Gemini Custody in more detail on October 7, 2019 at 12:00pm ET.

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Information correct as of 18:46 PM (GMT+1), 16th September 2019