Collaborating Authors

Oman Sees First Trade Finance Transaction on Blockchain


Oman Oil and Orpic Group and HSBC Bank Oman SAOG have conducted the country's first blockchain-based trade finance transaction. Oman Oil and Orpic Group and HSBC Bank Oman SAOG have conducted the first trade finance transaction on the blockchain in the country using R3's Corda platform. As news publication the Oman Observer reported on Nov. 23, Oman Oil and Orpic Group -- one of the largest oil and gas businesses in Oman -- and HSBC Bank executed the country's first blockchain-based trade finance transaction: a sale of polypropylene to Abu Dhabi National Carpet Factory. The transaction was carried out using R3's Corda, an open-source blockchain platform. In the transaction, HSBC Oman advised a fully digitised letter of credit on the blockchain, while Oman Oil and Orpic Group was the beneficiary of the letter of credit.

Bitcoin hits $15,000 and is already trading at $19,000 in Korea


If you bought 1 bitcoin yesterday, it would've cost you $12,000 and someone in your family probably would've called you a mad man. Just one day later, however, you'd be able to sell that bitcoin for $15,000.

M-banking grows 138 percent in Brazil


Mobile banking is taking off in Brazil with a 138 percent adoption growth registered between 2014 and 2015. According to numbers by the Brazilian Banking Federation (Febraban), the number of banking transactions carried out via a mobile device has gone up from 4,7 billion in 2014 to 11,2 billion in the following year. New tax sparks fears for the future of Uganda's mobile banking A number of African countries are big users of mobile money transfer, but changes to how the service is taxed could see Ugandan users returning to more low-tech options. Currently, m-banking accounts for 21 percent of 51 billion operations that take place across the 17 largest banking institutions in Brazil. The increase is significant given that in 2012, mobile accounted for less than 1 percent of all banking transactions.

Square is speeding up EMV chip card transactions


Anyone who has encountered a "NO CHIP, PLEASE SWIPE" sign while trying to pay via credit or debit card has probably noticed the switch from magnetic stripes to EMV chips hasn't been the smoothest. According to one study cited by the New York Times, it takes an average of eight to 12 seconds just to complete a transaction. While folks outside the country might scoff at American impatience, Square went ahead and did something about it: driving down checkout times with its latest update to the Square contactless and chip reader. Square says it now takes a snappy 4.2 seconds from the moment you dip your chip until the transaction is completed. And they'd like to see that turnaround time driven down even further, to an even three seconds.


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For millions around the globe, digital payment apps such as Venmo are replacing cash as the preferred method of payment between friends and vendors. Apps like Venmo bring a unique blend of convenience and social interactions into financial transactions. In this paper, we study the role of social relationships in the adoption of the Venmo digital payment system. We collect records of all 91 million public transactions conducted on Venmo since its introduction, a social graph connecting most of its 10.5 million users, and analyze the interplay between social relationships and financial transactions. We find that Venmo communities are very densely connected compared to other interaction networks, and are often driven by specific niche applications. We are able to extract both user-to-user and user-to-vendor transaction communities, and show that they exhibit dramatically different structural properties.