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Blockchain: UK Investment Firm London Chelsea Limited to Offer London Digital Bonds Backed by Real Estate

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London Chelsea Limited says it has partnered with SolidBlock to offer a digital asset fund that invests in real estate.

According to a release, London Chelsea Limited will sell a “London Digital Bond” described as a digital security backed by property. London Chelsea is a firm that advises on the buying and selling of residential investment properties in London and the Home Counties.

Yael Tamar, co-founder of SolidBlock, commented on the collaboration:

“We are creating a digital age financial instrument that provides the stability and upside potential of prime London residential properties, combined with the flexibility of trading on a top digital securities platform.”

SolidBlock is a primary issuance platform that intends to facilitate the tokenization of assets which can then be traded on an exchange or ATS. SolidBlock says it will begin its global fundraising on July 1st for London Digital Bond. The company states that the offering will be available to global investors starting from £10,000. This is the first digital asset to be offered as a security in the UK facilitated by SolidBlock.

“Cross-border residential real-estate investment is marked by inaccessibility and inflexibility,” said Ramon Vega, head of investments at London Chelsea. “Today’s investors don’t want their money locked in, and they need more choice in terms of which properties they wish to invest in. Blockchain-based securities enable exactly that, and we believe they will have a significant impact on our industry.”

Tamar said that one of the side effects of COVID-19 is the onset of digital transformation in a variety of industries like real estate.

“London Chelsea together with SolidBlock is leading this trend in the UK,” Tamar claimed.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/06/163399-blockchain-uk-investment-firm-london-chelsea-limited-to-offer-london-digital-bonds-backed-by-real-estate/

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JD Digits, the Fintech Division of Chinese Online Marketplace JD.com, to Conduct IPO at China’s STAR Market

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JD Digits, the Fintech-focused division of Chinese online marketplace JD.com, is reportedly planning to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) at China’s STAR Market, which is based in Shanghai. This, according to a filing submitted by several securities companies.

As first reported by TechNode, the planned IPO appears to be a part of JD.com’s business plan which involves taking its affiliates public in the coming years. JD.com may soon be floating shares of JD Digits and also its courier business (JD Logistics). The e-commerce giant’s own secondary listing took place in Hong Kong in June of this year.

JD Digits’ listing on the STAR Market will most likely involve a new technology board, which launched on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in July of last year. The board reportedly prefers firms specializing in the semiconductor and manufacturing sectors.

Four Chinese securities companies reportedly entered “pre-listing tutoring agreements” with JD Digits on June 28, 2020. The agreements should help the firm with filing an IPO on the STAR Market, according to a filing submitted to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the nation’s main securities regulator.

The CSRC notes that firms must be tutored by licensed or authorized brokers before they are allowed to launch IPOs in Chinese stock markets.

Established in August 2017, JD Digits is valued at RMB 133 billion (appr. $18.8 billion) after securing RMB 13 billion in capital back in 2018.

JD Digits was previously known as “JD Finance.” The company currently manages several loan businesses and also offers AI and blockchain-focused products and services which mainly involve city governance and agriculture initiatives.

JD.com, which is already listed on Nasdaq, also began listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange on June 18, 2020. It’s only the third Chinese technology company to introduce a secondary listing in the city-state after competitors Alibaba and gaming firm Netease.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/07/163582-jd-digits-the-fintech-division-of-chinese-online-marketplace-jd-com-to-conduct-ipo-at-chinas-star-market/

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European Innovation Council Prize on Blockchains for Social Good Awards €5 million to Six Winners Focused on Financial Inclusion, Renewable Energy, Other Projects

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The European Innovation Council (EIC) Prize on Blockchains for Social Good has reportedly awarded €5 million to six winners, who were chosen based on their potential to develop scalable, “deployable” and “high-impact” blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT) solutions for addressing societal challenges.

As noted in the announcement, the winning solutions propose DLT applications for conducting fair trade and supporting a circular economy, which aims to provide greater transparency in production processes and quality information. These blockchain-enabled applications also aim to increase accountability while supporting financial inclusion and renewable energy initiatives.

The stated goal of the EIC (European Innovation Council) Prize on Blockchains for Social Good was to identify and support the efforts of software developers and civil society in looking into the applications of DLT to address common social problems.

The Prize proposed to cover several different areas such as traceability and performing fair trade; enabling financial inclusion; supporting decentralized circular global economies; maintaining transparency in public processes; taking part in democratic decision-making processes; and the effective management of public records.

The Prize aimed to award €1 million to five innovative or high-potential blockchain projects (but then ended up handing out awards to six projects).

Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation Research, Culture, Education and Youth stated:

“The proposed solutions show how blockchain can create positive social change by supporting fair trade, increasing transparency in production processes and e-commerce and contributing to financial inclusion by exploring decentralized economic structures.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market remarked:

“Participation from 43 countries in the Prize on Blockchains for Social Good has shown us the potential to address local and global challenges with blockchain technology…Europe has to fully recognize and support European technological innovations to address both industrial and sustainability challenges.”

The “Quality content” winner was WordProof, which created the WordProof Timestamp Ecosystem, a technology that can “prove authenticity” and “make information verifiable, which ultimately would be leading to more trust in internet content.”

The “Traceability & Fair Trade” winner was PPP, which created Proof Points to “allow businesses to prove their social impact across the supply chains behind their business and products.”

(For more details on the other winning applications, check here.)

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/07/163583-european-innovation-council-prize-on-blockchains-for-social-good-awards-e5-million-to-six-winners-focused-on-financial-inclusion-renewable-energy-other-projects/

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Survey from Fintech Lender and Digital Bank Zopa Reveals UK Millennials Aim to Save More than Senior Citizens for Emergencies After COVID-19

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Nearly a third or 33% of UK residents say they were financially unprepared for the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting challenges.

Around 38% of UK residents responding to a survey conducted by Fintech Zopa said they’re now preparing their savings for another potential emergency situation that could come after another (possible) nationwide lockdown goes into effect.

Zopa says that younger people, which mainly include millennials (born in the early 80s to early 90s), appear to be leading the way when it comes to making significant changes to their savings habits. According to the survey by the peer to peer lender, people between 24 and 39, living in the UK, are twice as likely to put funds aside right now to deal with potential emergencies than those who are over 55 years of age (senior citizens).

According to Zopa, the average UK resident aims to save around £6,700 by the end of 2020 in order to prepare for unexpected life events.

Millennials also aim to save about £21,500 by 2025, which is a bit more than around £18,900 saved by Brits who are over the age of 55 and the country’s (savings) average of approximately £20,700.

Clare Gambardella, chief customer officer at Zopa, said that the last few months have “really put the nation’s finances under a microscope.” The Coronavirus crisis appears to have caused many Brits to reconsider how they save and spend their money.

Gambardella added that the Fintech lender can now see that where it’s possible, UK residents are using this current time to develop “good financial habits – particularly the younger millennial audience.”

Gambardella further noted that the Fintech firm is launching its bank at a time when clients need products that can help them achieve their financial goals. Zopa has over 15 years of experience in offering “simple, fair products and award-winning levels of customer service to over half a million customers,” Gamnbardella confirmed.

The company now looks forward to offering the same level of quality with the launch of its bank.

After an extensive regulatory journey, Zopa was recently awarded a full bank  license as it transitions from a top online lender to a Fintech offering a growing portfolio of financial services.

Zopa Bank will sit alongside its existing peer to peer business (Zopa Limited), as part of the overall Zopa Group. Zopa currently holds a high user rating with 96% of Zopa’s Trustpilot reviews being either 4 or 5 stars – something that bodes well for customer acquisition. As a P2P lender, Zopa approves approximately £1 billion of personal loans per year.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/07/163584-survey-from-fintech-lender-and-bank-zopa-reveals-uk-millennials-aim-to-save-more-than-senior-citizens-for-emergencies-after-covid-19/

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