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BANKING TECHNOLOGY, RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Weekly Global News Wrap Up: Why authorities must be concerned about bitcoin; Is Orange the new bank?

And leading banks develop blockchain-based payments system with fintech firm R3.

From Reuters: Telecoms giant Orange launches its own bank on Thursday, aiming to win 25 percent of France’s online banking market by capitalizing on the rising use of smartphones to steal share from established lenders with inferior technology. The launch is part of a push by the French firm to find alternative revenue streams and retain clients in the face of a price war in the telecommunications sector. It is also a test for the telecoms and banking industry, marking the first attempt in a major developed market by a telecoms company to launch a standalone bank.

From CNBC: The head of a major U.S. bank said Thursday that the anonymous nature of digital currencies like bitcoin is what authorities should be most concerned about, and that banks offer more security. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan pointed out that while major financial institutions send trillions of dollars digitally all the time, cryptocurrencies don't clearly disclose who is involved in a transaction.

From Reuters: Fintech firm R3 and 22 of the world’s biggest banks have together developed an international payments system that would allow existing central bank currencies and any new digital ones to be transacted via the blockchain, R3 said on Tuesday. The blockchain, which first emerged as the architecture underpinning cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a shared database that updates itself in real-time and can process and settle transactions in minutes using computer algorithms, with no need for third-party verification.

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