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Global Times: Financial Street Forum, a bellwether of China’s financial reform, highlights robustness, openness




China’s vibrant financial sector, a solid underpinning of the economic prowess and a crucial part of the country’s reform and opening-up, is set to anchor the world’s second-largest economy toward higher-quality growth and amplify its role as a stabilizer of the global markets amid varied uncertainties, senior officials and prominent domestic and foreign industry leaders told an influential financial forum in Beijing on Monday.

The Financial Street Forum 2022, an annual event widely viewed as the bellwether of China’s financial reform and opening-up, opened in the capital city on Monday and will run through Wednesday.

Coming shortly after the successful conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which stressed high-quality growth and continued opening-up, this year’s event, also marking the 30th anniversary of the construction and development of the capital’s Financial Street, further cements Beijing’s indispensable role of China’s financial sophistication and innovation as well as the nation’s leading role in championing a more open global economy, analysts said.

Rising prominence

The Beijing Financial Street’s rising to prominence in the country’s financial landscape that has earned it the name of the national financial management hub is seen epitomizing the country’s financial reform and innovation at large.

In a speech at the forum on Monday, Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC), the country’s central bank, praised the great achievements in the construction and development of Beijing Financial Street over the past three decades.

“The Financial Street adheres to the road of financial development with Chinese characteristics, and has played an important role in serving the country’s economic construction and social development,” Yi said, adding that the PBC will put into practice the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress to build a modern central banking system, implement prudent monetary policies, serve the real economy, prevent financial risks and deepen financial reforms.

Home to the country’s financial regulators and a rising number of domestic and foreign financial institutions, Beijing has made great progress and contributed a lot to China’s financial industry in recent years. Beijing’s financial sector saw its added value amount to about 287 billion yuan ($40 billion) in 2021, up 160.6 percent compared with 10 years prior.

In particular, the Beijing Financial Street located in Xicheng district, dubbed as the “brain” of China’s finance and sometimes referred to as China’s Wall Street, has contributed nearly 40 percent of the city’s financial added value since 2012.

It hosts the central bank, the securities, banking and insurance regulatory commissions, as well as headquarters of large domestic and foreign financial institutions. Known as the national financial management center, the street serves as a confluence of financial policymaking, supervision and asset management, among other aspects of the capital’s financial functionalities.

There have been a series of major developments in the rise of the Beijing Financial Street in recent years. For example, the Beijing Stock Exchange, which officially opened in November 2021 to support small and medium-sized enterprises, is also located at the block of Financial Street.

In a major move, the Beijing Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday officially launched a benchmark index – the BSE 50, which rose by 2.55 percent on its first day, highlighting investors’ confidence in the performance of the capital’s stock bourse.

The capital where the famed financial street is located is reputed to become an important part of the country’s financial reforms.

“I think it is already [an important part] by many aspects because many decisions are taken in Beijing and those decisions quite often are financial decisions,” Hugues de la Marnierre, Group Country Head for French bank Societe Generale in China, told the Global Times on the sidelines of the forum on Monday.

The country has done a lot in opening its financial sector to overseas institutions and “the trend is good,” he said.

“Precisely the topic we had today was to exchange ideas between us and brainstorm. And I think that’s very good. It’s why I’m delighted to be here because it also gives an international flavor to the discussions.”

Unwavering opening

Apart from the feat of the Beijing Financial Street over the past decades, the forum on Monday, which also marks its 10th anniversary and drew nearly 400 industry heavyweights from around the world, was also focused on China’s financial opening, amid turmoil in global markets.

China has committed to opening wider at a high standard and said it will not change its commitment to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, Chinese officials said.

As part of the unwavering opening push, China will deepen reforms and innovation of the over-the-counter market, known as the New Third Board, as well as push high-quality expansion of Beijing Stock Exchange, Yi Huiman, head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said at the forum on Monday.

In the process of opening to the world, China has coordinated opening-up with security, strengthened risk monitoring on cross-border funds to make it visible and manageable, the CSRC head noted.

As one of the latest moves of the country’s unswerving effort to expand all-around opening-up, China on Friday unveiled cash management rules for overseas institutional investors looking to the country’s bond market. From June, qualified overseas institutional investors were allowed to invest in the exchange bond market either directly or through the connectivity.

China has basically put in place a management system of pre-establishment national treatment together with a negative list in the financial sector. It has completely lifted restrictions on foreign ownership in the banking, securities, fund, futures and life insurance sectors. The country has promoted the connectivity of cross-border securities markets and improved the qualified institutional investor system.

The promulgation and implementation of a series of measures have fulfilled the commitment to a greater financial opening-up.

Despite sluggish global investment sentiment, China remained a strong magnet for foreign companies backed by these endeavors. In the first 10 months of 2022, China saw an increase of 17.4 percent year-on-year in actualized foreign direct investment, totaling $168.34 billion, official data showed.

A global stabilizer

Guided by the 20th CPC National Congress, the 2022 Financial Street Forum will discuss how finance will serve the real economy, industrial chain, green development, digital infrastructure, the country’s development and revitalization, energy security, as well as international cooperation and financial globalization.

On the premise of ensuring energy security, the orderly promotion of green and low-carbon transformation will become an important growth point for high-quality development, and bring unprecedented huge opportunities to the financial sector, so as to realize a virtuous circle between the financial sector and the real economy, according to the forum.

According to the report delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress, China must continue to focus on the real economy in pursuing economic growth.

China’s financial industry has made great contributions to helping real economy transform to higher quality, while supporting the growth of many companies through fundraising.

Analysts also noted that the global economic recovery is fragile and faces serious challenges from high inflation, supply chain disruptions, and energy and food crises. With steady economic growth, wider opening-up of the financial sector and a vibrant market, China has become a rare factor of certainty in the current international environment.

While global financial volatility is increasing, China’s financial market remains dynamic and stable. China has made substantial progress in financial opening-up and integration into the global market, and such a strong momentum is expected to continue in the future, they said.

Besides, China’s rapid and healthy development of the financial industry is also making great contributions to the world’s financial stability, at a time when market volatility is increasing globally as a result of geo-political tensions and irresponsible monetary policies launched by certain countries, experts noted.

This year’s annual conference of the Financial Street Forum focuses on fintech, which is generally based on how the financial sector will serve the real economy, Pan Helin, co-director of the Research Center for Digital Economics and Financial Innovation at Zhejiang University, told the Global Times on Monday.

“The 2022 forum is more pragmatic, touching upon financial innovation, the difficulties and pain points in the practice of financial sector, and discussing feasibility and offering more diversified solutions. In addition, this year’s annual conference also put more emphasis on the collaboration of cross-border financial innovation,” said Pan.

SOURCE Global Times


Mozrt’s Collaboration with BOK Financial: Revolutionizing Cross-Border Payments




Mozrt, an award-winning payments technology platform, and BOKF, NA, one of the U.S.’s 25 largest banks, announce their plans to reshape cross-border payment services and elevate the capabilities of financial institutions.
At the heart of this collaboration lies Mozrt’s commitment to delivering advanced cross-border and FX payment capabilities to BOK Financial’s broad network of downstream or correspondent banks, magnifying efficiency and convenience for their clients. By combining the strengths of both entities, this collaboration empowers financial institutions of all sizes to seamlessly offer international payment capabilities to their customers.
The Mozrt MFX platform delivers real-time FX rates, allowing downstream correspondents to initiate and book cross-border payments. This all takes place within a highly secured platform, leveraging the latest in MFA and multi-level approval technology.
“The platform enables Mozrt and BOK Financial to introduce a suite of features designed to simplify processes, enhance security, and ultimately better serve downstream correspondents.
We’re excited to be providing a tech-forward solution that simplifies international payments, ensuring they are straightforward and hassle-free,” said Heath Hartley, BOK Financial. “The Mozrt platform offers robust beneficiary creation, validation, and management, facilitating accurate and efficient transactions.”
Furthermore, the collaboration facilitates a seamless transition for existing digital banking platforms, allowing single sign-on (SSO) or utilization of a custom, FI-branded portal. Mozrt’s modular design enables easy integration into various points across the front, middle, and back offices.
By delivering a user-centric online FX origination experience, this Mozrt – BOK Financial relationship equips financial institutions to meet the dynamic demands of the digital era.
Jeff Althaus, Founder & CEO of Mozrt, expressed his enthusiasm about the companies’ plans: “We are thrilled about the potential impact of Mozrt’s collaboration with BOK Financial in redefining cross-border payment services. Working alongside an innovative institution like BOK Financial enables us to provide a holistic solution that simplifies international transactions and accelerates our clients’ digital transformation.”

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MapMetrics expands to peaq from Solana following addition of Solana compatibility to peaq’s Multi-Chain Machine IDs




peaq, the blockchain for real-world applications, announces the expansion of its ecosystem and product offering. MapMetrics, a Web3 drive-to-earn navigation app, will leverage peaq as part of its decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN) powering a Google Maps-style service. The development comes as peaq adds Solana compatibility to its Multi-Chain Machine IDs.

A Solana-originating project, MapMetrics will leverage the now Solana-compatible peaq IDs to build functions of the MapMetrics DePIN on peaq. These will include assigning peaq IDs to the navigator devices on its DePIN, using these IDs to authenticate the data collected by these devices, and a community voting mechanism.

Free navigation apps have become trusty companions for countless people around the world, with Google Maps alone boasting over a billion users. But despite a lack of an upfront cost, they come with a price of their own. When something is free, you are the product; when navigation is free, your personal data is being monetized. From leveraging the user’s position data for valuable insights on specific locations to serving them targeted location-based ads, the companies behind such apps profit from our sensitive data, sometimes without giving much thought to its privacy and protection. And in the case of massive companies like Google, they combine this data with the data sourced from all other Google-related data points to create digital models of ourselves, able to predict our behavior than ourselves.

MapMetrics is changing the equation by putting navigation on Web3 rails. It uses location trackers that enable users to share their anonymized data with the network, earning cryptocurrency and NFTs as rewards. While featuring its own ad engine, it makes sure that no private user data is exposed to the advertisers and shares the ad revenue with the community. It boasts 3,500 devices in the network and 5,000 users across 73 countries.

As part of its integration with peaq, MapMetrics will use peaq’s Multi-Chain IDs to enable devices to connect with the peaq network. It will build and deploy some of the core functions powering its navigation DePIN on peaq, using peaq IDs to authenticate and sign the anonymized data that the devices collect. It will also tap peaq to build a community voting pallet — a building block that other projects will be able to use as well — which will enable the community to contribute to its Google Maps-style navigation service by adding the locations of speed cameras and other objects and validating it with votes.

This comes as peaq expands the compatibility of its peaq IDs to include Solana. Enabling this is an address map running as part of the peaq storage pallet, pallets being modules for building blockchains in the framework that peaq runs on. This map works like an address book, linking addresses of different standards used on various networks and thus enabling cross-chain communication and information exchanges.

For example, with this integration, a solar panel with an ID on Solana will be able to connect to an energy marketplace on peaq. The previous updates made peaq IDs compatible with Binance’s BNB Chain, Ethereum Virtual Machine, and Cosmos. peaq’s steps toward its Multi-Chain vision have already eased the transition for projects coming from Algorand and Polygon, and will now unlock new opportunities for MapMetrics and other projects in the Solana ecosystem.

The peaq ID compatibility expansion enables teams originating on Solana to expand and leverage peaq’s DePIN functions without friction or fragmentation. With peaq Multi-Chain IDs, Solana-originated projects can easily tap peaq for some of their crucial functions.

“With its DePIN-focused functions and economics, peaq is the perfect home for DePINs,” says Brent van der Heiden, CEO of MapMetrics. “We are excited to be joining this bustling ecosystem, and the newfound compatibility between peaq IDs and Solana addresses is making this process significantly more convenient.”

“We believe in an open, Multi-Chain Web3 with seamless communication and value exchange between a plethora of protocols,” says Till Wendler, co-founder of peaq. “By making peaq IDs compatible with Solana, we take another step toward bringing this vision to life — and it’s invigorating to see excellent projects such as MapMetrics use this technology to solve real business problems with the DePIN model.”

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Spool hones in on bringing institutions into DeFi by launching its expansive V2 upgrade




Spool DAO, or Spool, the platform allowing institutions and users to build customizable risk-managed DeFi products, launches its V2 upgrade. Spool’s new platform expands its original DeFi infrastructure and tools, with heightened decentralized access and new capabilities. Institutions of all sizes can now leverage its slate of new features and interface updates to build, manage, and explore DeFi products with unparalleled flexibility, risk reduction, and security.

Despite crypto’s whirlwind year, DeFi’s blue-chip protocols managed to largely withstand the industry-wide chaos. But that doesn’t mean the DeFi landscape hasn’t changed at all. Looming regulatory steps, such as the new bipartisan bill entering the U.S. Senate, aim to monitor DeFi apps similarly to banks, setting the stage to accommodate increasing interest from legacy financial institutions. Banks and institutions clearly see potential in crypto and DeFi’s financial possibilities, but they lack the proper tools to enter it easily, compliantly, and on their terms.

To meet this institutional need, Spool now provides a completely rebuilt platform for risk-managed and automated DeFi yield. Created from the ground up to be faster, more efficient, more composable, and easier to use than its predecessor, V2 represents a leap for Spool and institutions expanding their DeFi presence. The upgrade expands upon Spool’s core offering and introduces several key features to maximize the effectiveness of institutional DeFi investment. These features and enhancements include:

    • Multi-Asset Smart Vaults: Institutions creating Smart Vaults can now build them to contain a range of yield strategies using multiple assets. Multi-asset Smart Vaults enhance functionality in addition to Spool’s classic auto-swapping and auto-rebalancing capabilities. Investors can simply create or pick an existing Smart Vault that matches their investment preferences, and send the assets they have available. The assets are then automatically swapped and implemented in audited and battle-tested smart contracts to attain the best yields possible while allowing funds to be withdrawn at any time.
    • Smart Vault Guards: Institutions building Smart Vaults can now dictate which users can deposit or withdraw from the Vault based on specific criteria, mirroring traditional investment funds. This helps institutions tailor DeFi offerings not only to regulatory compliance but to their specific client needs as well. Institutions can create KYC and AML-compliant Smart Vaults, for example, and only allow access to vetted investors through whitelisted wallets. Other parameters include NFT or Token Gating (where a user must hold a specific NFT or token amount to access the vault), and Time Locks.
    • Actions: Spool builders can now implement customizable actions tied to user activities such as entering or exiting a Smart Vault that is configured during its creation. Actions help support institutions by creating a framework that feels familiar to traditional finance and includes features such as deposit or withdrawal fees, deposit insurance fees, and automated asset swaps that help streamline the once-manual process for yield farming.
    • Liquid Staking Derivatives (LSDs) Support: LSDs are tokens issued in return for staking cryptocurrency through a staking provider. This comes in handy for networks such as Ethereum, where validators must hold a minimum of 32 ETH to access staking and validator privileges. LSDs also allow users to withdraw staked ETH, which validators cannot do. As strategies using LSDs become more popular and prevalent, adding support in V2 enables greater convenience.
    • Advanced Automation: One of DeFi’s major obstacles lies in manual asset management within yield farms. V2 improves upon Spool’s original automation features while maintaining decentralization and self-custody. Once assets are within a Smart Vault portfolio, V2 automatically rebalances them between various strategies configured in the Vault. Spool also now offers automated collateral conversion, meaning clients investing in a Smart Vault can utilize any underlying asset they have available. Spool automatically converts the asset before investing, granting increased ease and choice.
    • Deposit NFTs (dNFTs): D-NFTs provide users with an immutable NFT receipt of their Smart Vault deposits, enabling the withdrawal of funds. ERC-20 Smart Vault Tokens (SVTs) are created by burning D-NFTs and act as yield-bearing stablecoins, which can be easily transferred or traded on a secondary market, creating a new liquid financial instrument.

Check out Spool’s video here:

More detailed video with features overview can be found here:

Among these new features, Spool V2’s completely redesigned interface allows institutions and asset managers to have a birds-eye view of their Smart Vault portfolio. The platform champions accessibility while providing the comprehensive tools and oversight that institutions require. This includes tools for easily white-labeling Smart Vaults for client access with their own branding and unique insights into Smart Vault performance based on customizable KPIs.

By enabling the codeless creation of financial services and products backed by audited financial primitives, institutions that don’t have DeFi-specific teams are now able to easily access DeFi. The upgrade’s capabilities set the stage for large-scale institutional partnerships in the pipeline for Spool, following a steady stream of integrations and collaborations leading up to its launch.

“We are incredibly proud to launch Spool V2 after countless months of our team developing, testing, and listening to the feedback and needs of our institutional partners,” says Philipp Zimmerer, Lead of Token Strategy of Spool. “This lands at a pivotal moment in crypto in a year that has been all about responsibly rebuilding the industry and forging a new path for DeFi. Improving access, flexibility, and security will not only garner further institutional support but set a new standard for what DeFi can make possible for any investor.”

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