China’s central bank has created a system to transfer paper checks to Blockchain. It took one year to develop the system, and in 2017 a prototype was successfully tested in a virtual environment. Paper business checks in China function like money orders, except that recipients can also exchange them with other entities read more
OK Cashbag, founded in 1999 in South Korea, remains the most popular points program that enables clients to accumulate cash by purchasing at a wide range of partnering shops. Points can be used, tracked, combined, gifted, and shared.
SK Planet, the e-commerce arm of communication giant SK Telecom that operates OK Cashbag, presented the plan to utilise a Blockchain system to tokenise points earned by users in order to run the service more securely. Currently, 1 point equals to 1 Korean won, and if the project works out, points will be also converted into stable coins, such as the U.S. dollar-pegged tether cryptocurrency.
The plan, temporarily called OKX, is waiting for approval of the regulator under the Electronic Financial Transactions Act mandate.
Traveling is fun except when it’s not: frequently a trip gets overshadowed by a headache caused by annoying delays, cancellations, baggage losses and, what’s even worse, overbooking. As long as our world has room for improvement, we won’t get tired of listing problems that Blockchain can help solve. This time we decided to consider the air travelling sector. read more
Business and financial software developer from California Intuit has been granted a patent for processing bitcoin installments via text message.
Published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, the patent details how a network of virtual accounts could empower two users to transfer funds utilizing their phones. The patent was filed in 2014, not long after the company had launched its QuickBooks Bitcoin Payments service that allowed small businesses to accept bitcoin instead of fiat currency.
Once we stop associating Blockchain with cryptocurrency only, we will see the nearly unlimited potential of the distributed ledger. Multiple countries are developing innovative projects intended to create a comfortable ambiance for citizens, and make a large range of processes easier, cheaper, faster and erase the need for uncountable intermediaries.
Now, how about a small quiz? read more
Volkswagen developed an inter-vehicular blockchain system to increase road safety and prevent incidents. The system will unite nearby vehicles in a network allowing them to communicate with each other and notify drivers of potential collisions:
“In Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication messages are exchanged between vehicles to enable novel safety-relevant use cases. Most of the currently known use cases provide warnings to alert a driver about an imminent event, such as two vehicles colliding with each other,” the patent’s excerpt explains. The messages will be cryptographically signed, and information stored on Blockchain.
Yesterday, on June 4, Denmark has joined a total of 24 European Union members marking its support of pan-EU blockchain standards and solutions.
Danish Minister for Industry Brian Mikkelsen reported that Denmark will be the first country to implement Blockchain technology into the ship sector that historically plays a crucial role in the country's economics. It will allow registering water-crafts in the ship records, as Mikkelsen explained.
The allies were founded in April aiming to develop and spread the technology of Blockchain in Europe.
The Liverpool City Council (LCC) will be collaborating with the Poseidon Foundation to become a climate-positive city in the nearest future.
Climate Saving Ambitions
Liverpool is going to use blockchain technology in an effort to reduce its impact on the environment and become the world’s first climate positive city by 2020. And by 2030, the Council aims to offset more than 110% of the city’s carbon emissions by placing over 15,000 energy-saving LED streetlights across 2,000 streets and consequently decreasing energy consumption by 40%. read more
Malta approved 3 Blockchain and crypto bills in the 2nd reading in Parliament yesterday, June 26. The first two of them, Technology Arrangements and Services Bill and the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, provide regulation of digital ledger technologies under the control of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. read more
The world’s first cryptocurrency auction will be held by Blockchain platform Maecenas at a fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate in the UK on June 20. The platform creates tamper-proof digital certificates linked to works of art on the blockchain, and this lot is one of them: a painting by Andy Warhol from 1980 Reversal series. Buyers can obtain 49% ownership using ART token, BTC or ETH.
The painting “14 Small Electric Chairs” by Warhol is worth $5.6 million.
Not a long time ago, in March 2018 Alphabet Inc. that runs Google and Youtube has declared to ban all crypto-related ads, and in April – all apps that have something to do with mining.
The ban was excused as a measure to protect users from fraudulent offers, however, on June 4 The Independent has published an article suspecting Google in implementing the ban in its vested interest: read more
We should “get rid of the negative connotations”, said Mary Beth Buchanan, former U.S Federal Prosecutor about Bitcoin on Monday, June 4 at the conference Money20/20 Europe in Amsterdam.
In the past, she used to deal with a great number of crimes and states that saying there are more crypto crimes than usual ones is rather unfair, since, unlike fiat, cryptocurrency can be traced. read more
The city of Zug in Switzerland is about to try out a blockchain-powered municipal vote at the end of this June. The upcoming event will implement the city’s digital ID (eID) system launched in November 2017. Using the new system, citizens get the chance to vote via their mobile devices, yet results of the vote won’t be counted since this is a trial. Crypto Valley in Zug became an international hub for the crypto and blockchain community, and today Switzerland is considered to be one of the blockchain-friendliest countries.
Opera began to test a mobile browser with a built-in crypto wallet, thus becoming the first major browser creator to facilitate crypto trading. As the makers say, it is going to be a new version of the familiar Opera browser for Android that contains an easy in use crypto wallet functionality supporting Web3 API. The project is now in private beta available for users to join. This simply means that users no longer need to install any services to send and receive crypto money – the wallet is already there for them.
"We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow…By becoming the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0, we would like to contribute to making the internet of the future more accessible,” Charles Hamel, the product lead on Opera Crypto, explained.
UK housing minister Eddie Hughes calls the government on to focus on the Blockchain technology and benefits it can bring. According to Hughes, Blockchain has the potential to “enable social freedom, to increase efficiency, and to rebuild societal trust.” As a role model for authorities, the minister uses Estonia, which is now considered to be the leader in the Distributed Ledger Technology. His report named Unlocking Blockchain, other than listing Blockchain use cases in details, also refers to AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a key technology to be considered on the par with DLT.
Iran is going to issue its own cryptocurrency as way to sidestep new sanctions enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Preparing the Grounds to Adopt Blockchain Technology
The U.S. announced its withdrawal from a 2015 atomic agreement with Iran in May reactivating economic sanctions that will forbid Iran's access to U.S. dollars next month.
The plan to build up an "indigenous" digital money is on the agenda of the government’s Science and Technology Department, as indicated by Iran's official news outlet PressTV. "We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country," Alireza Daliri, the department’s representative head in charge of investments, was cited as saying in the report. read more
The more companies adopt blockchain the less decentralized it becomes: for some of them the transparent concept is unacceptable. A good solution would be a private blockchain controlled by a few people which, however, breaks the initial idea of Blockchain.
Consequently, the technology separates into 3 types: the classical public blockchain where transactions are carried out openly out of anyone’s control, consortium blockchain where transactions are agreed upon certain nodes and the last one – fully private centralized blockchain. Specialists foresee the blurring of borders between those three in the nearest future since each of them has advantages that together create an efficient system read more
The co-founder of employment data platform LinkedIn Eric Ly is launching an ICO to raise $20 million in a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) sale. The funds are raised for a platform called ICOHub launched in April. Its goal is to create a network for more reputable token sales as a verifiable source of data on Blockchain projects and the teams behind them.
This year Block Show Europe conference is taking place in the capital of Germany. One of the speakers, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, has expressed his skeptic vision of cryptocurrency and blockchain:
“...Right now, we are in a bubble, the crypto world is absolutely, definitely in a bubble. I don’t think there’s many people who would deny that.” Wales doesn’t predict when will the bubble pop, but most importantly, as he says, it will.
As blockchain-based technologies are being developed at a faster pace every day, the popularity of cryptocurrency grows in a geometric progression. ING International Survey prepared a research named “Cracking the code on cryptocurrency”, in which examines people’s engagement in the crypto industry. They carried out a survey across Europe, the United States, and Australia, and here are the results: read more
Taking the opportunity to write here on Cointrend I would like to bring up an essential for 2018 topic: artificial intelligence and how Blockchain could improve it.
Let’s take a close look at Artificial Intelligence from a user’s point of view. We’ve all noticed how our privacy is being attacked but we keep ignoring those pesky long texts and putting checkmarks under them. Centralized giants, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, utilize Machine Learning to collect our personal data and decide what ad or whose publications to show depending on our interests. So basically the most common use of artificial intelligence is dispensing personal data. Doesn’t sound like fun, eh? read more
Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Veerathai Santiprabhob brought the project up at Nomura Investment Forum Asia (NIFA) in Singapore. Creating a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) for internal use is a “new way of conducting interbank settlement”, says Santiprabhob. It is expected to help decrease the time spent on transaction and validation and expenses since fewer intermediaries will be needed read more
South Korean leading electronics company Samsung announced the implementation of blockchain in a new logistics platform. The project named Cello 3.0 was created by the Samsung’s subsidiary Samsung SDS and built around artificial intelligence (AI).
“We will provide services to global e-commerce sellers with CelloSquare 3.0, which combines cutting-edge IT with Samsung SDS global logistics operation experience”, read more
The co-founder of employment data platform LinkedIn Eric Ly is launching an ICO to raise $20 million in a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) sale. The funds are raised for a platform called ICOHub launched in April. Its goal is creating a network for more reputable token sales as a verifiable source of data on Blockchain projects and the teams behind them.
The South Indian State of Kerala will utilize Blockchain to distribute dairy products, vegetables, and fish. The Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) is heading the project which will also use the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to make the supply network work efficiently. read more
A Blockchain pilot project aimed at issuing warrants cuts the time to register a contract by more than 70% (from one week to 48 hours). The technology was successfully tested in Spain in collaboration of leading financial institutions, among them – Banco Santander, BBVA, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Société Générale banks. read more
Chat app Kik encourages its users to earn and spend kin – the app’s domestic cryptocurrency after the launch of “crypto-economy” announced Wednesday. Users are able to get kin tokens in the Kin Marketplace Beta by completing polls, quizzes and creating tutorials. Tokens can be spent to purchase premium tools inside the app. read more
People's Bank of China’s (PBoC) Digital Currency Research Lab is further extending its current research efforts to cities outside of Beijing to support the launch of fintech, including blockchain, ventures.
Supporting Real-Life Projects
The lab has partnered with the municipal government of Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu region, to open a fintech center in a move to develop and apply pilot programs with banks and academic organizations.
For the first time, bitcoin mining projects have been added to the list of “unicorns” – a rating of privately owned companies valued over $1 billion.
Climbing up to the Top
Hurun Research Institute based in Shanghai published a report featuring 3 Chinese cryptocurrency companies: Bitmain is ranked 13th on the list since its value reached as much as 70 billion yuan (approximately $10.3 billion). Two other firms to be listed are Canaan Creative valued at $3 billion and Ebang worth circa $1.5 billion, which are at the 32nd and 53rd positions respectively.
The Bank of England (BoE) has revamped its payments framework making it compatible with distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), Reuters detailed Monday.
What’s So Great About Great Britain’s Payments System
Real-Time Gross Settlement system (RTGS) is fundamental for banking and trading in Britain and conducts transactions worth circa £500 billion every year – around 33% of the nation's economic output. The updated system is going to be launched by 2020, and will be resistant to digital assaults while being accessible to an extensive number of smaller organizations. This would empower them to use the framework directly, rather than through an intermediary of a large bank. read more
CryptoKitties, a virtual game, the main point of which is collecting and breeding adorable cartoon cats on Blockchain has announced its future collaboration with Taiwanese phone maker HTC. CryptoKitties will roll out a mobile version of the game by the end of 2018, at first available only in the U.S. Last December, a few days after the game’s launch, users had spent over $1 million, and the Ethereum networked was so overloaded that temporarily slowed down. According to the company, CryptoKitties is intended to broaden people’s vision of Blockchain’s abilities.
South Korea’s legislature is developing new rules on cryptocurrency, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Blockchain technology. Lawmakers will introduce drafts of the bills at an extraordinary session of the National Assembly between July 12 and 26.
KT Corporation, one of the two biggest telecoms organizations in South Korea, has created its own blockchain network expecting to spread the innovation crosswise over areas including ID confirmation, data roaming, and energy exchange.
Increasing Transactions Speed
The firm announced its KT Network Blockchain on Tuesday, naming a throughput of 2,500 exchanges per second (TPS) due to reconciliation with the existent high-speed network. Additionally, the organization asserts it can speed up to 10,000 TPS before the year is over and to as high as 100,000 TPS by 2019. read more
Japanese leading information & communication technology (ICT) company Fujitsu is launching a new Blockchain productization framework: it allows clients to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in just 5 days. The service will include everything from lessons on Blockchain basics to the assessment of the proposed use cases and prototype building by the fifth day. Assessments will be led by experienced experts providing ideas and insights. Afterwards, clients can choose to keep working on the product or leave it as it is. The price for the service starts at $9,000. The framework is built around the proof-of-business approach enabling clients to test their projects going through the whole business process in a brief period. Currently, Fujitsu holds around 50 patents on Blockchain technology projects and multiple related services.
Fan Wenzhong, the head of the International Department of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, warned against “mythologizing” Blockchain during a fintech summit in Shanghai.
Wenzhong does not recognize the technology as a “revolution”, reminding that the concept of multi-entry bookkeeping has been around for centuries, and the earliest human transactions needed no centralized control, thus decentralization “is not a new trend”. However, the regulator admits the innovative aspects of Blockchain and its significant meaning.
Mike Novogratz's crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital released an announcement about a $134 million loss as crypto markets had stooped.
Galaxy Digital’s trading business lost $13.5 million, had $85.5 million of unrealized losses on digital assets and a $1.1 million paper loss on investments, according to its first quarterly report. The young firm also posted $22.9 million paper losses on investments in its principal investing business. read more
This morning, bypassing the dull routine, I had directly dived into the seething pool of unhackneyed minds’ outgivings on Medium and ran into an article that seized my attention: "Why Everyone Missed the Most Mind-Blowing Feature of Cryptocurrency." I ingested the text for breakfast and by the lunchtime had already formed my response. So, what does the author consider the most mind-blowing feature of cryptocurrency? I wish he let us know the answer somewhere at the beginning of the 16-minute long read, but alas. And I won’t be indulgent either. read more
Based in Dubai, an international court that manages civil and commercial disputes in the financial industry is willing to launch a so-called "Court of the Blockchain" to streamline legal deals.
Collaboration with Smart Dubai to Build a Blockchain-Based Platform
The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts reported on Monday that it is collaborating with the government-backed Smart Dubai initiative to frame a team that will focus on building up the blockchain-based legitimate platform. read more
Since the very invention of the blockchain technology in 2009, enthusiasts, as well as unenlightened but curious people, have been putting forward assumptions about what can it be possibly used for. Although years pass and promising startups make bids for revolutionizing the world, we don’t see much change happen. Still, considering its potential we made a list of industries that we wish it took charge of in the nearest future.
What most likely comes to your mind first when you hear “blockchain” is cryptocurrency, and not without purpose: the technology has a lot to do with digital money. Yet, it would be disrespectfully to neglect other use cases, and these are some of them: read more
Cryptocurrency ascents and falls from grace, and perhaps the comeback story of the year as Bitcoin survives the assault of abuse from regulators and cynics is nothing short of Hollywood drama. An industry platform the Bitcoinist is introducing a crypto’s own show: Coincast TV starring Blockchain and Bitcoin.
The Crypto Show Produced by the Professionals
The new weekly business tv program is set to showcase blockchain firms, crypto assets, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to an audience all over the world, as indicated by the Bitcoinist.
Coincast TV, made by ICO advisor DigitalX and a reputable crypto business news platform Multiplier Crypto, will be broadcast on Sky News Business and syndicated crosswise over Apple TV, the Wall St Journal and related social platforms, reaching around 200 million watchers globally. read more
A high-end global payments giant Mastercard has won a U.S. patent for accelerating cryptocurrency transactions, according to the document published on Tuesday, July 17, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The new public blockchain-based method will allow clients to manage “fractional reserves of blockchain currency”, thus associating fiat assets and blockchain money. Up to that moment, cardholders could only pay for things using legal tender – a currency recognized as official money by the government. Mastercard proposed to make purchases using bitcoin stored on a credit card. read more
As a blockchain innovation trailblazer in the subcontinent, the Indian state of Telangana has signed MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with diverse blockchain-based startups and experts to enlarge the use of the prospering technology in administrative operations.
Making State Administration See-Through
Telangana's I.T. and Industries head Jayesh Ranjan mentioned the implementation of blockchain in "six or seven" government applications. Previously, the state had tested blockchain-based land registry and pension platforms to increase transparency and decrease the risk of frauds in two spheres dominated by intermediaries. read more
The government of Australia has given A$2.25 million ($1.7 million) to the Sustainable Sugar Project, as Foodnavigator-Asia reported on July 30.
Blockchain Knows Where It Comes From
Run by the Queensland Cane Growers Organization, The Sustainable Sugar Project will be using blockchain to track the provenance of sugar supplies within Australia. The technology will purportedly enable purchasers to clearly observe where sugarcane originates from and demonstrate the provenance of the farm. read more
Japanese leading tech company Sony is to patent 2 hardware approaches for facilitating and maintaining blockchains.
The two filings named "Electronic Node and Method for Maintaining a Distributed Ledger" and "Device and System" are uncovering that the organization is working on blockchain-related hardware concepts. Potentially, these devices will be included in a future product. Earlier, Sony has filed patent applications focused on blockchain use cases, such as education data management and security. read more
Apologizing, Starbucks has cleared up that it won't be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) or any other digital money, disproving the deceiving reports published by Bloomberg and CNBC.
Headlines Leading to Confusion
August 3, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) operating New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) reported its plans to build a new “global platform and ecosystem for digital assets” called "Bakkt," together with global companies including Starbucks, BCG and Microsoft. read more
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is pausing its intention to open a cryptocurrency exchanging desk, as Business Insider reported September 5.
Vague Regulation Environment to Pause the Project
In December, Bloomberg announced the bank’s plan to launch a crypto-centered unit by the end of June 2018. Sources claimed that Goldman Sachs was willing to become "the first large Wall Street firm to make markets in cryptocurrencies."
However, since the regulatory policy remains rather vague, the bank has brought down the priority of the project. It might take some time before a regulated bank could exchange digital assets, claim the sources.
The Philippines is about to present new regulations allowing startups to legitimately raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
All Tokens Are Securities Expect When They Are Not
Before the regulations go into effect, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is waiting for the people’s feedback concerning the draft rules published on Thursday, August 2nd. read more
Researchers from one of the major universities in China reportedly have built up a decentralized exchange, not for crypto assets but rather for unused power.
Enabling Users to Trade Energy
In January, a group from China's Fudan University has filed a patent application, which was released last Friday, August 3. The document introduces the workings of an electricity exchange based on blockchain, that will assign power sellers and purchasers as nodes on the network and enable them to safely trade unused power without middlemen.
Iran has recognized crypto mining as a legal activity, making steps toward issuing its own cryptocurrency; the news prompted a rapid rise in Bitcoin’s price on local exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Mining Is a Lawful Activity
As indicated by a local media outlet IBENA associated to the Central Bank of Iran, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme Council of Cyberspace said that digital money mining "has been accepted as an industry in the government."
Even though a final policy legislating for mining hasn’t been presented yet, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (ICT), the Central Bank and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance has come to consensus.
The future is just around the corner. As Slate reported September, 25, West Virginia is the first state that will use blockchain for voting in elections. Boston-based startup Voatz provided an app that uses blockchain encryption to enable U.S. citizens who are currently abroad to participate in voting.
The CEO of the Tron blockchain and coin (TRX) told decentralized application (DApp) developers to stop using Ethereum platform and start deploying their DApps on The Tron blockchain instead.
Twitter user Afri Schoedon published a tweet in which stated:
Various financial regulators from over the globe are teaming up to facilitate the development of financial technologies including those of distributed ledger – such as blockchain.
The Creation of a “Global Sandbox”
The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) unites regulators from Hong Kong, the U.S., Australia, Abu Dhabi and 7 other members, as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced.
A mobile app based on blockchain will enable American troops serving abroad to cast their votes in West Virginia in the federal elections this November.
Just Take a Selfie
Using facial recognition software, the platform named Voatz will match users’ "selfie-style video of their face" to their government-issued IDs, as indicated by CNN. Once endorsed, voters will be permitted to cast their ballot on the application. Then, votes will be anonymized and stored on the blockchain.
A state government in India is teaming up with a global IT services giant to establish a district devoted solely to blockchain startups.
Favorable Blockchain Environment for Newbies
The information technology department of the Telangana state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tech Mahindra thus setting in motion the construction of what they call the country’s first "blockchain district."
Opera Ltd, the Norway-based company running the browser used by 322 million people, introduced a desktop version with a built-in crypto wallet.
Going Further With Crypto Integration
Last month, CoinTrend announced the launch of Opera browser for Android with a cryptocurrency wallet in it. The company received a positive reaction from the public and decided to roll out a desktop browser open for crypto.
The China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is seeking ways to step up blockchain adoption in the country.
Moving Forward with Blockchain
According to the MIIT, today the blockchain ecosystem is in its initial stage. In an effort to create a healthy development of the industry, they have proposed various measures to accelerate the promotion of blockchain apps in China.
Honeyminer, a crypto mining application that gives clients the chance to earn bitcoin with laptops, is quickly gaining popularity.
The app was launched in June, and its client base has reached 50,000 since then. A third of the new users are located in developing markets, and 5 percent hail from Africa, according to the company.
"We've stumbled into something that was far bigger and more international than we imagined." Honeyminer co-founder stated.
Chinese police have captured 3 people who had reportedly stolen bitcoins and other digital currencies worth approximately $87 million.
Tracking Down the Suspects
Chinese media Xinhua reported that the three were arrested on August 15 after a months-long investigation.
Judges, lawmakers and industry specialists in South Korea are shaping a group to discuss legitimate issues associated with blockchain.
Topics to Be Discussed
Named the Blockchain Law Society, the group is holding its founding meeting on August 24 in the Seoul Central District Court. Members will bring up both regulatory issues around blockchain and its use cases in the lawful space.
Enthusiasm for blockchain technology is weakening, according to a recent research by Gartner.
Blockchain is a Little Down Lately
In the report entitled "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" Gartner included blockchain, alongside four other emerging technologies, as one of five innovations that can erode the brink between humans and machines. Blockchain innovation is at the edge of the "trough of disillusionment" stage in the cycle, however, it predicts that the innovation may come to the "plateau of productivity" within the following decade.
Steve Wozniak, Apple Inc’s co-founder, computer engineer and inventor claimed that he trusts bitcoin over the today’s financial system.
‘It’s Kind of Like the Internet’
Explaining, Wozniak expressed his fascination and trust concerning Bitcoin’s underlying technology: “it’s based on mathematics. There’s a certain number of Bitcoin that can ever exist… Mathematics to me is like nature. It’s much better than human beings… I trust those things of nature more than what man makes up. Man makes up currencies, controls them, issues new US dollars every year. Bitcoin was immune to that.”
The volume of trading on crypto exchanges is 80% lower this year, and analytics mark a significant decrease of people using decentralized apps (DApps).
Cryptocurrencies Are Waning
About half of the crypto market volume accounts for 5 top cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, making over $12 billion rotate within it. One third of the sum accounts for Bitcoin and one tenth – for Ether. Consulting agency Diar confirms that all altcoins’ prices depend on Bitcoin’s fluctuations.
The current situation with Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in South Korea is very precarious. The government banned any types of ICO and anonymous crypto trading. We’ve already reported about new regulations introduced by the government.
Now there is a chance that ICO is going to be legal again.
Right now is a wonderful moment for blockchain-focused startups willing to expand to the U.K. to do so, and the Department for International Trade detailed, why.
Greenhouse for Blockchain Startups
In its latest update for businessmen wishing to deploy their firms in the U.K., the Department for International Trade reported that Entrepreneur First (EF), a London-based company accelerating startups, is presently funding blockchain projects, too. EF is a government-recognized firm empowered to approve companies for entrepreneur visas.
Сhinese regulators are fighting against announcements anyhow related to cryptocurrency, and giant mobile payment platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay declare to be collaborating with the government in the fight.
Taking Drastic Measures
Five regulatory organizations in China, including the People's Bank of China and the Banking Regulatory Commission, warned against any digital currency-related fundraising and exchanging operations.
Lourdes Miranda, a financial crimes investigator, and Ross Delston, Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), said that Pyongyang is about to create its own cryptocurrency. They added that North Korea is using cryptocurrency like bitcoin (BTC), not just for mining but money laundering.
Hong Kong announced its new special immigration policy meant to pull in talented individuals specialized in innovative technologies.
Talent Show for Adults
The Hong Kong government published a Talent List on Tuesday covering 11 professions currently eligible to get benefits when applying for the city's Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS).
One of the covered fields is dedicated to "innovation and technology experts in, but not limited to, ... artificial intelligence, robotics, distributed ledger technologies, biometric technologies and industrial/chemical engineering, etc." The new policy is a part of an effort to strengthen Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness, according to the release.
To be approved for the program, candidates specialized in blockchain must hold a bachelor or above degree and have previous working experience. Applicants will be given points to compete which each other based on 2 tests: General Points Test and Achievement-based Points Test.
QMAS was launched in 2006 and is aimed at helping successful candidates enter and settle in the Chinese region without having to primarily get a job offer from a local firm.
S7, one of the largest airline operators in Russia, has tested an application based on blockchain to track information associated with refueling planes.
Smart Contracts Speed Up Literally Anything
According to the press release, the company trialed the application together with its fuel provider, Gazpromneft-Aero, and Alfa-Bank, Russia's major private bank, on a local flight based out of the Tolmachevo International Airport, Siberia.
The CEO of the Tron blockchain and coin (TRX) told decentralized application (DApp) developers to stop using Ethereum platform and start deploying their DApps on The Tron blockchain instead.
Twitter user Afri Schoedon published a tweet in which stated:
And got replies from the CEO of Tron and from the inventor of Ethereum.
The University of Malta has signed an agreement with the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) to offer a €300,000 ($351,000) blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) scholarship, Times of Malta announced August 29.
Making the Future Bright for the Technologies
The grant is established for students specializing in information and communications technology (ICT), engineering, finance and law. It will be split over 3 years. Students studying blockchain and DLT can apply for the fund to benefit for Master's and PhD researches.
A billionaire, a crypto-tycoon, and the biggest investor in blockchain projects Li Xiaolai said that he stops investing in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and in any other blockchain projects. As Li Xiaolai is the most influential businessman in the Chinese crypto world, his name is associated with nearly 99% blockchain startups. He also advised users to ignore projects that have his name on it.
California released a bill calling for the creation of a working group on blockchain, which has passed in both Senate and Assembly and is now waiting for the governor’s approval.
The Brightest Minds to Come Together
The bill, main point of which is to form a group of specialists from different fields to focus on blockchain, defines the technology as “a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized ledger or database.”
Large financial and technical entities Alibaba and IBM from China and the U.S. respectively are leading in the new top-list that ranks companies by the number of blockchain patents filed.
The World’s Leaders in Blockchain
iPR Daily, a Chinese media outlet focused on intellectual property, released a report showing the total amount of patents filed by each of the world leaders. It demonstrates that Chinese web giant Alibaba is at the top of the list with 90 blockchain patent applications.
IBM, an American technology company, has to date filed 89 applications, while Mastercard possesses third place with 80 patents. With 53 blockchain-focused patents, Bank of America made it to fourth place.
The Durov brothers, creators of social network VK and Telegram messenger, claim that the issuance of their cryptocurrency – TON – is going to be a major event in the crypto world in 2019.
What Do We Know About TON
The new cryptocurrency will be tested and audited in the next quarter, and by the end of the year, the system’s wallet will begin its operation. The coin will be available in the very beginning of the next year. TON is a name for both token and the network, but later, after the token issuance, the coin will be renamed Gram.
The government of South Korea is multiplying its efforts to test the blockchain technology in the public sector by presenting new projects and increasing funding for the next year.
Doubling the Effort
The Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) – a sub-association of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – said it intends to increase the number of blockchain pilots in the public segment from 6 to 12 in 2019.
Next year, the budget meant for blockchain pilot projects will consist of over 10 billion Korean won, which is approximately $9 million.