Daily News Digest Featured News

Thursday April 12 2018, Daily News Digest

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United States

Ripple looks to back the next Uber by investing $ 25 million into a blockchain-focused fund (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Ripple, which owns about 60 billion of the 100 billion ripple, or XRP, tokens ever created, said Wednesday that it would invest $25 million of that digital currency into the fund for early-stage investments.

The company’s aim is to bankroll “clever” entrepreneurs who can find additional uses for Ripple’s blockchain technology, a company representative said Wednesday.

A cryptocurrency startup is investing cryptocurrency in a cryptocurrency fund that invests in other cryptocurrency startups (recode), Rated: A

Two things are unusual about this: This is a rare example of a startup funding a venture capital firm, as opposed to the reverse, and it’s a venture capital firm that has previously funded it, too. Ripple is part of Blockchain Capital’s portfolio, and the company said this is the first fund that it has ever backed.

JPMorgan Sued Over Cash Advance Fees for Cryptocurrency Purchases (Bloomberg), Rate: AAA

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was sued for charging “sky-high” interest rates and fees to customers who used their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Brady Tucker, a Chase credit-card customer in Idaho, claims the bank in January began treating his cryptocurrency buys as cash advances instead of purchases, and charging him interest rates of as much as 30 percent a year and additional fees.

Tucker is seeking class-action status for the suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. He seeks a refund of all related fees plus $1 million in damages.

Why Telegram Might Just Cancel Its Public ICO (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

While half of the ambitious $1.2 billion the messaging giant hoped to raise was supposed to come from an ICO open to public investors, recent SEC filings confirm Telegram has already raised $1.7 billion from two private sales. Now, sources with knowledge of the deal believe the company is likely to scrap its public sale altogether.

The reason? Raising money from the public could be way more trouble than it’s worth.

Telegram considers cancelling its ICO (CoinGeek), Rated: A

One big reason that it might be contemplating turning around is, unsurprisingly, potential pushback from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Another reason is the lack of a tangible product or service. The Telegram blockchain, the Telegram Open Network (TON), currently only exists on paper. By the letter of the law, then, Telegram is offering nothing more than the “dream” of a future network.

Crypto Diehards Stand by Celebrity-Hyped Coin U.S. Calls a Fraud (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

A week after U.S. authorities arrested two men behind an initial coin offering that raised more than $25 million, their digital token continues to trade.

The value of a CTR Token initially plunged following the arrests of Farkas and Sharma. But it then stabilized and started to rise. The coin tumbled again after the Binance platform delisted it on April 8. Yet, on it trades.

ICO party

Initial Coin Offerings: Regulating Without Overregulating (Forbes), Rated: A

Ease to market, regulatory freedom and quick liquidity are just a few reasons this trend is on the rise. Startups can leverage this tool to raise money quickly without having to go through venture capitalists or investment banks. The freedom from regulation enables innovation, and the ease and liquidity of the product mean that investors get a return on their investment more quickly.

SEC preparing cryptocurrency fraud crackdown, Jay Clayton’s biggest enforcement move yet (Fox Business), Rated: A

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a massive crackdown on alleged fraud in the cryptocurrency business that could result in dozens of enforcement actions against companies and individuals in the next year over the sale and promotion of this burgeoning and under-regulated industry, FOX Business has learned.

Beware of the Latest Coinbase Phishing Site (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: A

A new Coinbase scam is making the rounds as we speak, and it seems to be crafted quite cleverly. This new scam trying to mimic the official site quite well. Additionally, emails are sent from an email address that is pretty similar to the real deal.

Bittrex temporarily ceases new user sign ups once again to improve their interface (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

Bittrex, the US-based blockchain platform for real-time trading and security services had to go offline for a while last night after an overwhelming response from new users. The registrations are temporarily withheld until all functionalities are back in operation normally. The platform paused all registrations and operations and are working restlessly since then to fix the interface and reopen signups again.

Can Litecoin (LTC) Overthrow Bitcoin with Amazon? (CryptoRecorder), Rated: AAA

The latest rumors that Litecoin might possibly end up pairing up with Amazon made us question the allegations, so we accepted the challenge and checked what’s behind the scenes along with measuring the odds of having the mentioned partnership coming to a reality.

To get back to the main point, it is thought that Amazon might soon want to join the crypto currents given the fact that Amazon has been operating ahead of its competition with implementing digital publishing, Amazon Kindle, Amazon FBA and same-day delivery feature.

That is why it is considered that Amazon might soon get interested in implementing blockchain technology with the potential usage of cryptocurrencies for making fast purchases via blockchain-based ecosystem. And which currency would be the best to support this potential scenario – apparently and in accordance with the general opinion of blockchain experts, Litecoin would most probably have the honor.

LTC Recovers as Litecoin Smart Contracts Set to Go Live (CryptoSlate), Rated: A

Abra, a digital wallet app, announced in mid-March that it would be using the Litepay platform as the core of their application protocol.

The most interesting element of this partnership, however, is that Charlie Lee has referenced smart contracts on the Litecoin network as part of the announcement.

Bitcoin Bubble Continues To Deflate As Long Blockchain Gets Delisted (Investor’s Business Daily), Rated: AAA

Another pin was stuck into the bitcoin bubble after it emerged Wednesday that Long Blockchain(LBCC) is being delisted by Nasdaq, which had earlier cited the company for “statements designed to mislead investors.”

The stock sank 37% to 1.10 on the stock market today, hitting a record low. Long Blockchain will remain a public company following the delisting and its shares will continue to trade.

Is Blockchain Hype, Revolutionary, or Both? (Tech Policy Institute), Rated: A

Will blockchain technology revolutionize the economy, or is it mostly hype? In principle, the technology holds out the promise of a reliable, trustworthy way of recording asset ownership and transfers in countries with corrupt or otherwise inefficient institutions. Even in countries with reliable institutions, blockchain may provide a method of recording transfers that are otherwise not valuable enough to track cost-effectively with traditional mechanisms. The potential economic gains are enormous. Yet, the underlying economic and institutional problems are generally harder to solve than simply putting assets on a blockchain. The last step between humans and machines seems to be blockchain’s weakest link, where error, corruption, rent-seeking, and other incentives can impede economic efficiency. This essay asks a series of questions about blockchain, implications for institutions and future research. How do we think about gains in economic efficiency from this new technology at the margin? How does the hype for blockchain compare to past new technologies? Is blockchain a response to corruption?

Read the full paper here.

Sorry, Blockchain: Tackling The Ad-Fraud Problem In A Tech-Driven World (Forbes), Rated: A

As blockchain applications are explored, there has been a lot of excitement about the potential of fighting ad fraud. With over $7 billion wasted per year in digital advertising, the industry is ripe for a solution. The ad-fraud problem comes from non-human bot traffic.

A blockchain CEO was told women can’t make it as leaders. She now has millions in funding (CNBC), Rated: A

During her MBA studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hope Liu refused to join the Women in Management club.

The former UBS executive and current chief executive of a blockchain company had been working in finance for six years prior to her MBA program, and did not feel the need to join a society dedicated to increasing opportunities for women in business.

She received $20 million in funding for her start-up, Eximchain, which says it is building a public and scalable blockchain that ensures privacy for businesses.

Many Scientific Studies Are Bogus, but Blockchain Can Help (Scientific American), Rated: A

Faulty science has dire ramifications. Every year, our nation funnels billions of dollars into research that is then used to make crucial policy decisions with even larger implications in lives and dollars. It’s imperative that science give us facts, not false impressions.

That’s where the emerging information technology known as blockchain could come to the rescue. By authenticating and certifying published research data using the blockchain, the scientific community could reduce errors and regain the public’s confidence.

Bringing Blockchain Into Industry 4.0 (Forbes), Rated: A

Welcome to Industry 4.0, the new age where smart technology and smart appliances are moving us closer and closer to a fully digitized society. Potentially valued at almost $4 trillion by 2020, studies show that businesses everywhere will be able to benefit by embracing the fourth industrial revolution. And, with the emergence of blockchain, we’re already on the pathway there.

Bitcoin Evangelist Turned Foe Says He Still Owns Cryptocurrency (Bloomberg), Rated: A

bitcoin cash
Source: Bloomberg

One of the most outspoken proponents of Bitcoin Cash, the digital token that spun off from Bitcoin in August amid a heated debate in the digital-money community, still holds some of the original cryptocurrency because, well, everyone knows it’s smart to diversify.

Why Bitcoin is bullshit, explained by an expert (Vox), Rated: A

To get some answers, I reached out to Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley. Weaver teaches a course on blockchains and seems to think the technology is, at best, misguided and, at worst, a fraud. So I asked him to lay out his case in the simplest possible terms.

Nicholas Weaver

None of the cryptocurrencies are truly decentralized. They’re actually centrally controlled by the miners, who can basically rewrite history at will.

Sean Illing

There are plenty of people who see cryptocurrencies, however flawed, as a step in the right direction because they at least take power away from governing authorities and give individuals more freedom. But you seem to think this is bullshit. Why?

Nicholas Weaver

Well, there are multiple arguments. These systems require an obscene amount of energy to function. And the blockchains are not decentralized and they’re not efficient, so that undercuts the two main points in their favor. But the cryptocurrencies don’t work either, because they don’t actually work as currencies.

Very few people have followed it like I have for five years and still find it ridiculous, but that’s because I’m an academic and I have the space to do it and I find parts of it, especially the criminality, interesting. But the arguments in defense of this stuff are getting loonier and loonier.

Wall Street is “Building Bridges” to Bitcoin (CCN), Rated: A

Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at Etoro, says that Wall Street is prepared to inject “new liquidity” into bitcoin, and that’s exactly what the market needs.

Americans may owe $ 25 billion in crypto taxes — but how much will they report? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Tom Lee, a market strategist with Fundstrat Global Advisors, estimates that US households have about $25 billion in tax liability from cryptocurrency gains in 2017. (The IRS classifies virtual currency as property, so it taxes it as capital gains.)

Lee arrives at his $25 billion estimate this way: The overall cryptocurrency market gained $590 billion in value in 2017; Lee figures that 30% of crypto holders were in the US, totaling $187 billion in gained value; US households realize an average 52% of capital gains each year, and Lee applies the same ratio to crypto, yielding $92 billion in US taxable crypto gains; Lee then assumes a 50/50 split of long-term vs short-term capital gains, meaning an average gains tax rate of 27%, which gives you $25 billion in taxes owed from crypto gains.

Banks Have Found A New Product: Cryptocurrencies (Forbes), Rated: A

As I attend conference calls with C-Suite executives at the largest financial institutions in the world several times per month, I am witnessing the movement continuing to grow. Banks and technology services companies are realizing the real potential of both cryptocurrencies and the underlying distributed ledger technology behind them as important assets for their organization.

Townhouse Listed for $ 30 Million—or $ 45 Million in Bitcoin (WSJ), Rated: A

Claudio Guazzoni de Zanett said he’ll accept $29.95 million in U.S. dollars or about $45 million in digital currency for his six-story townhouse on New York’s Upper East Side. The currencies he will accept include bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, he said.

International

Big Four Consulting Firms Dip a Toe in Initial Coin Offerings (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

ICOs generated $5.6 billion last year, driven by speculative investments, according to a report from research firm TokenData and Fabric Ventures, a blockchain investment fund.

When Egor Gurjev decided to hold an ICO last year for his cloud-gaming startup Playkey, he enlisted the help of Deloitte. The firm spent about six months offering legal advice before Playkey’s ICO, which raised $10.5 million in December, Gurjev said.

KPMG started taking on ICO clients mid-last year after almost nonstop interest, said Eamonn Maguire, U.S. blockchain lead at the firm.

At PwC, ICO work has been mainly limited to clients in Asia and Europe.

Ledger Wallet Users Continue to See Bitcoin Cash Blackout (CCN), Rated: AAA

Ledger Wallet users were unable to access Bitcoin Cash in the past day due to a parser break with the new version of Bitcoin-ABC, the Bitcoin Cash node. The company reported on its website it has fixed the problem, and that all systems are currently operational.

Ledger Wallet users complained on Reddit that the situation was not resolved 20 hours after the break occurred.

The Demand For Blockchain Engineers Is Skyrocketing, But Blockchain Itself Is Redefining How They’re Employed (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Even though the average salary of a blockchain engineer in Silicon Valley is $158,000, programmers who have experience in Solidity (language for creating smart contracts) is in short supply and high demand.

Ethereum has been running a bounty program for developers who find bugs and security flaws since 2015.

Developers who want to move into the blockchain space can use FundRequest to work directly on awesome projects like Request NetworkSingularityNET, and Lendroid.

Is studying computer science or attending a coding school the best way to get started programming in blockchain? Lavine Hemlani of Accelerate’s coding school believes so. Their blockchain programming in 4-weeks is one of their best-selling courses. Accelerate is seeing both a demand from employers and programmers to develop this skill. No surprise since the market cap for all cryptocurrencies grew from $17.7 billion to $565.1 billion in 2017 with projected growth to $1 trillion in 2018.

Physical Assets on the Blockchain: Why Bother? (Coin Central), Rated: AAA

Tokenization of real-world assets has generated a lot of publicity over the past year. The key to understanding this trend is to look at it from a legal perspective. The actual physical objects don’t change just because they’re on the blockchain. However, tokenizing physical assets on the blockchain does make it more transparent who owns what.

The real challenge for putting physical assets on the blockchain is the permanence of blockchain transactions.

Blockchain platform to combat child labour in mining (Global Trade Review), Rated: A

Two entrepreneurs are turning to blockchain technology to help businesses combat child labour, the financing of armed conflict and environmental devastation in their supply chains.

Under the tagline “the blockchain for raw materials”, Dorae is currently piloting an Ethereum-based solution that tracks a mineral’s journey from source to end-user. The aim is to make global supply chains for anything from smartphones to electric cars more responsible.

That revolution starts in Central Africa, more specifically DR Congo, a hotspot for minerals mining, but also a country hugely troubled by armed conflict and a poor human rights record.

The Number of Cryptocurrency Exchanges Has Exploded (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA

Calculating the number of crypto exchanges in the world is a lot harder than it sounds. Coinmarketcap lists 208, and there are dozens more listed on other cryptocurrency tracking sites. In addition, there are hundreds of regional exchanges that are only accessible within certain countries and continents. Canada has Einstein Exchange. Africa has Golix. Australia has ACX and will soon have Nauticus, a multi-asset exchange that is launching this year. Blockbidhas also just gained its Australian license.

cryptocurrency exchanges
Source: Bitcoin.com

There are now over 500 exchanges to choose from – and that number is growing with every passing week.

Five Things to Keep in Mind while Raising Funds through an ICO (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

Jurisdiction, regulation and compliance

Even though ICOs allow capital formation by raising funds through cross-border sources, the business still needs to consider the regulations of the country where the ICO has been originated as well as from where it expects to receive funds.

Fund requirement and utilization

Just like red-herring prospectus during IPO or an investment pitch to VCs, the business should clearly communicate the requirement of funds and how does it plan to utilize it.

What kind of tokens should be issued?

The company should clearly state the type of token, the strategic purpose of the solution, and things that differentiate it from others to receive the desired subscription.

Safety and security
Therefore, the company looking for raising funds through ICO should clearly state the safety mechanism, i.e., how the company plans to protect the issued tokens from hackers, scammers and phishers.

Building and managing the community
This community involves the investors, regulators, security experts, analysts and advisors, and other relevant influencers.

Galileo Debuts Global Cryptocurrency API Solution (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Galileo, a U.S.-based payments processors and program management firm, announced on Wednesday the launch of its Galileo Cryptocurrency API to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and mainstream payments. According to Galileo, the cryptocurrency solution enables customers to seamlessly deposit funds denominated in cryptocurrencies to their accounts, and spend those funds with the ease and immediacy they’re accustomed to when using payments cards or mobile applications.

Why Cryptocurrencies Can Make A Big Comeback (ValueWalk), Rated: A

Many of the thousands of cryptos currently trading in the market on exchanges are indeed “finished”. In fact, the vast majority of the 2017 generation of cryptos will die out.

Some will die out more quickly, like Centra (CTR) which took in over $30 million in an ICO last year, after being endorsed by none other than boxer-slash-convicted-woman-beater Floyd Mayweather.

Even after a near-70 percent correction, the crypto market is still only back to where it was in mid-November of 2017. This is a bear market. And it will pass.

Why a fully trust-less view of Blockchain is dangerous for business (TechRepublic), Rated: A

In a blockchain utopia, society (and economic transactions) work precisely because no one has to trust anyone else anymore. But the truth is that trust is actually the foundation for modern society and economies, and blockchain doesn’t eliminate the need for trust, but merely shifts trust from people, and the institutions they create, to software.

Yes, software. What could possibly go wrong?

How Much Does It Cost To List An ICO Token? (Investopedia), Rated: B

According to a new blogpost by Autonomous Research, listing an ICO token on a cryptocurrency exchange can cost promoters anywhere between $1 million and $3 million.

European Union

Immutable ledgers meet European data protection (Financial Times), Rated: A

This time it’s the turn of – wait for it – the “ GDPR Cash token”, which promises access to “a community of GDPR experts” who can help businesses find their way around all 11 chapters and 99 articles of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, due to come into force on May 25.

 

THREE WAYS THE CRYPTOMARKET CAN REGAIN LOST GROUND (Irish Tech News), Rated: A

During the first quarter of 2018, the cryptomarket lost a little over 48% of its January 1st value. The market capitalization dropped from around $612 billion at the start of the year to $261 billion on March 31st.

Due to this drop, would-be investors who adopt a wait-and-see attitude and crypto critics may be quick to say the crypto bubble is true, but the downhill trend of cryptocurrencies is slowly coming to a halt. On April 8th, the cryptocurrency market cap increased slightly to $267.5 billion with corresponding increases in the top three crypto coins – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

Smart Valley Decentralized Project Scoring Platform: Token Buyers Can Submit Requests Starting April 11 (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

It is hard for project token buyers to evaluate an ICO and distinguish between a great idea and a scam; it is even harder for founders to develop a quality ICO and launch it legally. The Smart Valley solution is a system of decentralized expert scoring. The company, which is preparing for the first fully compliant Swiss-based ICO, will start accepting prior requests for tokens on April 11.

  • Projects are evaluated using a unique automated solution: experts and community members vote on the project, resulting in a decentralized, reliable, multidimensional assessment;
  • Highest-rated projects are published on the platform and are made available to token buyers;
  • Founders can hire community experts to perform the full cycle of pre-ICO, ICO, and post-ICO activities, including marketing, legalization, smart contract development, etc.
  • token buyers choose the best projects, purchase tokens, and follow how their money is spent;
  • Efficient arbitration systems;
  • A non-invasive neural-control interface (NCI) will be used to evaluate projects and experts: this testing method provides allows to analyze competences of project team members and experts with a 95% accuracy rate. This recently patented NCI is made available by the developers exclusively for Smart Valley. The technology will eliminate the risk of scam and fraud and help make Smart Valley scoring services even more scalable.

Polish Crypto Investors Are Protesting Unfair Taxations On Crypto Incomes And Profits (Cryptona), Rated: A

Polish cryptocurrency investors have decided to protest the government’s decision to tax all crypto transactions even those that do not make profits. The crypto community has launched an online petition against the finance ministry, and the petition is gaining support day by day. The taxes imposed on cryptocurrency is as high as 32%, and all purchases and sale will be taxed similarly to the transfer of property regardless whether the parties are making results or not.

Welp, There’s a Cryptocurrency Wallet for Young Children Now (Motherboard), Rated: A

Well your wait is over thanks to Pigzbe, an adorable cryptocurrency hardware wallet and interactive app, powered by a “family-friendly” token called Wollo. It will also teach families “cryptocurrency values” such as “volatility,” according to the white paper. It’s the latest project by designer Filippo Yacob and his team, whose previous company Primo Toys released a wood block set designed to teach young children to code. Pigzbe is based in Switzerland and the UK.

FXPRIMUS ‎Adds More Cryptocurrencies to Its Platform (Finance Magnates), Rated: B

Users can now ‎trade Ripple, Dash, Iota, and Bitcoin Cash alongside the ‎already installed cryptocurrency CFDs.‎

United Kingdom

Bank of England Eyes Private Blockchain Oversight (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Partnering for the project with Chain, a blockchain startup that develops infrastructure protocols, the Bank of England released a paper on Wednesday setting out how it is exploring how to maintain a high level of data privacy among participants over a distributed network, while at the same time facilitating transactions of different financial assets.

Millennials snubbing cards for digital currency (P2P Finance News), Rated: A

MILLENNIALS are rejecting credit and debit cards for wearables and mobile phone wallets, research claims

A poll by banking software provider Crealogix Group, found 44 per cent of under-35s have never used a credit card while 11 per cent said they shun debit cards.

In contrast, almost half said they use mobile phone wallets and 43 per cent use wearables such as smart watches as a payment method.

China

China to Strengthen Anti-Cryptocurrency Measures (Finance Magnates), Rated: AAA

In a blow to those that had hoped that China might relax its stance of cryptocurrency, the People’s Bank of China published an article yesterday entitled “Effectively Strengthening Virtual Currency Supervision to Firmly Maintain National Currency Issuing Rights”, according to a report in The Beijing News.

Specifically, the article states that the central bank does not consider virtual currency to be real currency and that effective measures need be taken to effectively strengthen monitoring and supervision of all types of virtual currencies.

How Venture Capital Cooperation Is Going to Change The Future Of Ontology (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

On 4th April 2018, the team behind Ontology announced its cooperation with four major venture capital firms namely Sequoia China, Matrix Partners China, Danhua Capital (DHVC), and ZhenFund. The main purpose of this cooperation is to initiate Co-Builder Plan. The aim of this plan is to build, serve, and govern the entire blockchain ecosystem together. Through these partnerships, ONT would be able to develop, outreach, and incubate a distributed trust ecosystem to support real business applications as well as to create a new generation of public blockchain infrastructure. Each of these four venture capital firms is likely to add something new and effective to the existing blockchain ecosystem of Ontology.

Australia

Australian Blockchain Startup DigitalX Launches Crypto Investment Fund (BlockTribune), Rated: AAA

Blockchain startup DigitalX is launching a new investment fund for cryptocurrencies.

Based in Australia, DigitalX is software solutions company focused on the global digital payments industry developing FinTech products and services in mobile bill payments and remittance space. The company’s AirPocket is designed to provide consumers the ability to make cross border payments and send remittances in any currency, from anywhere, anytime, regardless of transaction size.

Digital currency exchange business registration does not constitute endorsement (Finance Feeds), Rated: A

Australia’s financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC has earlier today sought to draw the difference between being a registered entity and being endorsed. In a notice on its website, the agency said that the registration by AUSTRAC of a digital currency exchange or remittance service provider does not constitute an endorsement of that business or compliance with any anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations.

Asia

$ 658 Million Cryptocurrency Fraud Allegation Spurs Vietnam Probe (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Vietnam’s deputy prime minister ordered an investigation into allegations of a cryptocurrency scam involving $658 million, the latest report of fraud to hit the lightly regulated market for initial coin offerings.

Corporations Bypassing Korean ICO Regulations With Overseas Subsidiaries (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

Major corporations in South Korea are increasingly establishing cryptocurrency subsidiaries and launching initial coin offerings outside of the country due to prohibitive regulations. They are seeking opportunities in countries like Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, and Gibraltar.

Recently, the parent companies of the two most popular chat apps, Line’s Naver and Kakao Corp, announced that they have established crypto and blockchain subsidiaries in Japan.

Loom Network Pledges to Fix Scaling Issues with the Ethereum Scaling Solution (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

The Loom Network have stressed on developing a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) application for Ethereum based solidity applications for allowing them to run on the main chain as well as on other private/semi-public chains.

The goals of the LOOM Network Team are clearly defined in brief below:

  • To enable a trusted and secure passage of communication with the off-chain world through “oracles”.
  • To automatically notify users of state changes through SMS or push notifications, which in turn saves on computation fees.
  • To enable decentralized apps by any developer to run faster and with lower costs.
  • To enable free trials in order to attract newer users to the platform.
Canada

Canada Banks Ban Users From Buying Cryptocurrency (Investopedia), Rated: AAA

Even while major banks have issued bans on digital currency transactions, Canadian cryptocurrency investors have looked to other means. Over the past three weeks, P2P platform LocalBitcoins has seen trade activity increase six-fold, from $1.2 million in trades to $7.2 million as compared with the three-week period just prior.

Coinsquare aka Canada’s Coinbase Launches TV Ad Campaign Ahead of September IPO (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare released its first television advertisement on Monday. The ad will start running on TV later this week. The campaign is aimed at attracting more users.

Latin America

Brazilian University Launches Cryptocurrency Masters Programme (Bitoin.com), Rated: B

Sao Paulo-based Fundacao Getulio Vargas {FGV} has announced what it claims is the country’s first Master’s degree in cryptofinance.

MENA

Inside the Jordan refugee camp that runs on blockchain (MIT Technology Review), Rated: AAA

A few times a month, Bassam pushes a shopping cart through the aisles of a grocery store stocked with bags of rice, a small selection of fresh vegetables, and other staples. Today he’s wearing a black sweater tucked into denim jeans, which are themselves tucked into calf-high boots caked in mud. The Tazweed Supermarket, where he’s shopping, is on the periphery of a 75,000-person refugee camp in the semi-arid Jordanian steppe, six and a half miles from the Syrian border.

Though Bassam may not know it, his visit to the supermarket involves one of the first uses of blockchain for humanitarian aid.

For the WFP, which transferred over $1.3 billion in such benefits in 2017 (about 30 percent of its total aid), transaction and other fees are money that could have gone to millions of meals. Early results of the blockchain program touted a 98 percent reduction in such fees.

 

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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