Revolut has received a European banking licence from the European Central Bank

The Revolut app can also be used to manage crypto currencies. However, it will be several months before the British FinTech start-up can call itself a bank.

The crypto-affine FinTech start-up Revolut has received a specialised European banking licence on the recommendation of the Lithuanian central bank. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Central Bank has granted Revolut a licence for e-money institutions. The former was granted to Revolut Technologies UAB, the latter to Revolut Payments UAB.

The Lithuanian central bank announced this on its Bitcoin news website on 13 December

A Bitcoin news member of the Management Board of the Lithuanian Central Bank justified the decision with Lithuania’s benevolent attitude towards the development of Bitcoin news business areas in the FinTech sector:

“The development of a competitive and innovation-friendly environment in the financial sector is one of our strategic goals. We want to ensure that the Lithuanian financial sector provides high quality services to consumers and creates a favourable ecosystem for business development”.

Accordingly, the announcement of the licence receipt on Revolut’s Bitcoin news blog reads euphorically:

“We are delighted to announce the Bitcoin news today that our application for a European banking licence has been approved by the European Central Bank. As you can imagine, this Bitcoin news are quite a big milestone for us. This license will help us achieve our goal of creating an account in which you can manage every aspect of your everyday financial life”.

No full banking license (yet)
Until then, however, various tests still have to be carried out and agreements made with the European financial regulators.

“In the coming months we will be building and testing a lot behind the scenes and working closely with regulators to remove all restrictions on our license so that we can introduce full current accounts, overdraft facilities and everything else you would expect from a bank.

As the license is not a full banking license, Revolut is not allowed to offer investment services for the time being. Revolut does not say in the press release how or whether the receipt of the license(s) will affect the crypto functionality of the smartphone app.

The competition is one step ahead in this respect: on December 12, the Berlin start-up Bitwala announced the launch of its blockchain account. Bitwala’s FinTech partner solarisBank already holds a full banking license.

NEO-Bug: “No theft of tokens possible”

On the weekend a message of a bug at NEO-Nodes made the rounds. The NEO bug discovered by the Chinese software giant Tencent is supposed to make it potentially possible for attackers to withdraw crypto currencies from wallets of NEO node operators. NEO co-founder Erik Zhang now gave the all-clear – at least in part.

On December 1, Tencent Security on the Chinese social media platform Weibo announced the discovery of a bug in the NEO block chain. Accordingly, the operators of NEO nodes expose themselves to crypto-piracy if they use the standard configuration.

This is what the Tencent announcement says about the Bitcoin formula:

“The monitoring of the famous Bitcoin formula blockchain project NEO […] revealed the risk of remote piracy. When a user starts the Bitcoin formula with the default configuration and opens the wallet, the digital currency can be stolen remotely.”

Tencent recommends three things to the node operators:

1. update of the NEO client to the latest version

2. not using the RPC function and changing the BindAddress in the configuration file to 127.0.0.1

3. if not: change RPC port, enable HTTPS-based JSON RPC interface and adjust firewall policies accordingly

So far, so FUD. What, in contrast to the Tencent warning, did not make the round so fast was the answer from NEO co-founder Erik Zhang, who was only a few hours away.

Erik Zhang: “Normal” Bitcoin trader are not affected

Zhang is trying to reassure the mean NEO-Hodler: https://www.forexaktuell.com/en/bitcoin-trader-scam/ “Normal Bitcoin trader don’t have to worry because the RPC function is disabled by default. RPC can only be accessed via the NEO-CLI client. Since this is a command line program, technically inexperienced users do not run the risk of opening the door to hackers through careless configuration adjustments. Zhang closes:

“In summary, there is no danger of remote piracy for the conventional NEO user”.

Since Zhang does not deny the security gap, one can assume that operators of NEO nodes are in danger of being robbed. It is probably for this reason that Zhang points to the bounty program that NEO launched this year under the name “NEO Vulnerability Bounty Program”. Anyone who finds a relevant and above all unknown NEO bug is entitled to a reward from NEO.

The guidelines of the Bounty Program state:

“If vulnerabilities are published before NEO repairs or publishes them, the reward is void.”

Tencent will therefore not be able to claim a reward for discovering the NEO bug.