Australian blockchain firm, Chrono Tech, has been experiencing difficulties securing a banking partner amid the launch of an Australian dollar (AUD)-pegged stablecoin earlier this month. The AUD Token (AUDT), available on Chrono Tech’s platform, can be redeemed 1:1 for Australian dollars held by a licensed Australian bank. However, as Chrono Tech’s CEO, Sergei Sergienko, reveals, securing a banking partner was not easy. In a recent interview, Sergienko discussed his company’s transition from planning a “labor hour token” to launching a stablecoin, and the regulatory and banking climates for crypto companies in Australia.
Sergienko said that “the hardest challenge” involved in the stablecoin’s development and launch was finding a bank that could hold it in reserve:
“There was discussion with a couple of the big four [Australian banks], and everybody in their research teams were excited about it, but nobody wanted to take the first step.”
Despite getting turned down by Australia’s oligopoly, Chrono Tech quickly found that many smaller banks were looking at blockchain as an exciting niche:
“The new banks are very receptive towards crypto, because as they struggle to gather adoption and [try] to switch people to them, they are looking at crypto as a niche of sorts. They don’t throw you out the minute they hear crypto.”
That said, he’s reluctant to name the bank in case the publicity gives them cold feet.
Sergienko said that he hopes the fiat-backed ERC-20 token will become a popular means for Australians to transfer money and make payments, both domestically and internationally:
“The ideal use case for it is when somebody pay for something or gets money in an account in AUD, and they want to send it their friends, or pay for something — a service in the U.S. or whatever — they just click a button and the guy on the other end will receive in a couple of Ethereum blocks.”
He states, “What I would like to see happening is AUD converted into AUDT, AUDT converted into USDC or USDT, [and] then converted into USD — all seamless and integrated. That’s what we are striving for.”
The company initially began work on something called a ‘Labour Hour Token’ (LHT) in 2016. That was a token backed by legally-binding contractual obligation to provide real-world labor hours. However, they shifted to the creation of an AUD-backed stablecoin roughly 12 months ago:
“It became apparent that [LHT] was too hard for people to understand, so we thought a stablecoin based on AUD would be more appropriate, since we are based in Australia.”
Sergienko noted that Chrono Tech encountered few regulatory challenges in issuing the stablecoin, stating that it “definitely was not difficult” to get the licensing required to convert between cryptocurrencies and fiat currency. AUDT was launched at the start of March and is integrated into the Chrono Tech ecosystem. Chrono Tech’s platform also includes PaymentX — an automated cryptocurrency payroll solution for individuals and businesses, TimeX — a Plasma-based hybrid exchange, and LaborX — a cryptocurrency-powered freelance marketplace.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Binance Supports An Ontology Upgrade
Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, has announced on July 5 that it will support the upcoming Ontology 2.0 network upgrade. Ontology 2.0 will include the integration of a number of community-led upgrades to its MainNet. Binance says that it will end support of Neo Enhancement Protocol 5-based, or NEP5, ONT tokens deposits. Any future deposits of NEP5 ONT will not be credited to users’ Binance account, it indicates. Deposits and withdrawals of ONT will be stopped starting July 6 at 9 a.m. UTC. Users will be notified when the Ontology upgraded network becomes stable and deposits and withdrawals are reopened, says Binance.
The Ontology network upgrade will not result in a new token creation and ONG staking rewards for ONT will not be affected. Ontology uses a dual token (ONT and ONG) model. ONT is the coin and can be used for staking in consensus, whereas ONG is the utility token used for on-chain services. MainNet ONT started to release ONG as soon as Ontology MainNet went live two years ago. According to Ontology, from 9 to 12th June 2020, it will give its community the opportunity to have a say in the development of its governance and staking economic model, especially for the Triones node results. However, The Ontology Foundation’s first three-year bonus to the top 49 nodes and the distribution method remains unchanged.