Ripple continues to improve its AML compliance by partnering with Coinfirm and declared that it has invested over $500 million into 20+ companies to date through Xpring, Ripple’s ecosystem initiative to build the Internet of Value.
Welcome to the bi-weekly roundup of the most discussion-worthy news content related to Ripple’s blockchain network and cryptocurrency XRP. In addition, a brief look at periodical price movements of XRP.
Coinfirm Signs Contract with Ripple To Investigate XRP AML Compliance
Ripple has been confirmed to have signed a contractual agreement for regulatory technology (‘regtech’) startup Coinfirm to “shine more light” on how XRP is being used. Specifically regarding potential breaches in AML compliance.
Identifiers and methods which Coinfirm is set to employ during investigation for Ripple will include:
- Does the entity that owns the address is registered in a country deemed high risk?
- Does an address is owned by an exchange that allows anonymous trading?
- Have tokens been processed by a ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler service?
- Do the funds come from a known theft or hack?
- Are there signs of ‘clustering’?
- Cross-referencing of transaction histories from suspect funds and accounts.
According to Coinfirm‘s announcement, a report then “grades the address as low, medium or high risk and gives it a score of 0 to 99, with 99 being the highest risk for money laundering.”, thus improving AML compliance of Ripple.
Coinfirm CEO Pawel Kushkowshi (ex head of global AML for the Royal Bank of Scotland) reassured that the information provided would not include the identities “associated with” the public addresses in which the identified ‘suspect’ funds is stored or has passed through Ripple.
“I won’t know who you are personally. We don’t do any personal data”
This statement is a reference to the fact that Coinfirm is based within the EU, and is thus subject to the recently implemented General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR).
To comply with GDPR, the data received by the Coinfirm must – by law – NOT include “the personally identifiable information required by the FATF”.
The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is a voluntary membership organisation which comprises of 37 member countries and recently published it’s ‘Draft Guidance for a Risk Based approach – Virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, June 2019’.
Officially, each respective state can implement the stipulated requirements as they see fit; however Steven T. Mnuchin, United States Secretary of the Treasury, warned during a recent FATF Plenary Session in Orlando, Florida that:
“The FATF Standards are only effective if jurisdictions around the world actually take measures to implement them. Failure to enforce well-defined consequences for inaction could undermine the credibility of the FATF’s peer review process and of the organization as a whole.”
Mnuchin additionally invokes the consequential “supervision” that were imposed upon Iran following its “willful failure to address its systemic money laundering and terrorist financing deficiencies”.
Xpring: One Year Anniversary
In a recent retrospective entitled ‘Building the Internet of Value: One Year Later’, Xpring declared that it has invested over $500 million into 20+ companies to date.
Xpring is the incubation and entrepreneurial investment arm of Ripple, and an initiative which intends to contribute to the construction of a so-called ‘internet of value’ for the organisation.
One of these ways is by funding projects (of varying team size and ambition) that are creating new use cases for the XRP token, key examples of which listed below,
- Forte – $100 million investment – Gaming Platform.
- Securitize – U.S. securities project – Unlocks liquidity in the trillion dollar private securities market with compliant and easily tradable assets.
- Bolt Labs – Payment project – Privacy-focused payment channel network supporting multiple digital currencies – Scales off-chain transactions while preserving privacy.
- Robot Ventures – Crypto ‘scout fund’.
- Dharma – Peer-to-peer lending marketplace that enables users to easily borrow and lend cryptocurrency from anywhere in the world.
- XRPL Labs – from Wietse Wind – Develops applications for the XRP ledger, including xumm, a signing app for users and developers, and other projects.
In summary, the author lists the two primary goals of Xpring, which are to:
“Build the best crypto infrastructure through contributions to open source crypto protocols such as the XRP Ledger and Interledger projects
“Help innovative blockchain projects grow through partnership and investment.”
Furthermore, the three key areas which Xpring claims to be working on at present are as follows:
- For developers building on the ‘core ledger’ – Xpring provide a set of tools and claim to be “active contributors to the XRP Ledger and Interledger”.
- Provision of a cryptocurrency tech stack which is broadly interoperable between chains and layers to “deliver the best experience for both developers and end users.”
- Xpring frequently invests in emerging decentralized finance projects built upon cryptocurrency.
- Projects include: debt, derivatives, stablecoins and other synthetic assets.
Interledger was created in 2015 by Stefan Thomas and Evan Schwartz, and is an open-source protocol suite which aims to connect together all types of ledger, “from digital wallets and national payment systems to blockchains and beyond”.
Multinational Brewer Adds 10 Cryptocurrency Payment Methods To Crowdfunding Project
BrewDog is a multinational brewer based in Scotland, UK which recently added 10 different cryptocurrencies to its roster of payment methods for its ‘Equity for Punks’ branded crowdfunding project.
The newly supported payment methods are as follows,
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)
- Ether (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- OmiseGO (OMG)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Augur (REP)
- and 0x (ZRX).
Equity for Punks launched back in 2010 and buying in for £25 GBP earns you the title of ‘BrewDog Equity Punk’, along with the following perks:
- Exclusive first options on all our new beers.
- Preview nights at every new BrewDog Bar opening.
- Lifetime discount in all of our BrewDog Bars of up to 10%.
- Lifetime discount in our online shop of up to 20%.
- Free Equity Punk ID card with bar discount electronically stored.
- A free copy of our book Craft Beer for the People.
- A free birthday beer, every year, on us.
- 10% bar discount when booking a table of 10 or more.
- An invite (with a +1) to our amazing annual #PunkAGM.
- Membership of our shareholder brewing collective.
Furthermore, as a means of commemorating “this new way of doing business”, BrewDog is offering a promotion wherein anybody who invests in the initiative via cryptocurrency will also receive six cans of ‘Cryptonite West Coast IPA’.
“Equity for Punks has seen our community of BrewDog shareholders grow into an incredible number – over 114,000 people now own part of our business.“
“So today we are pledging to give more beer lovers the chance to join that community.“
“We are extending our ground-breaking Equity for Punks until April 2020. And at the same time we are giving you another way to invest.”
This isn’t the first time BrewDog has flirted with cryptocurrency, having previously opened its Canary Wharf branch of its pub-chain in October 2018 with fanfare because customers could pay for pints (or food) upon launch using Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
At the time, the company cited that it hoped to extend cryptocurrency payments across all UK ‘BrewDog bars’. At present, these payments are facilitated by partner Centbee.
Information correct as of 01:15 AM, 11th July 2019