Category Archives: Blockchain Infrastructure

Large Indian Bank Clamping Down on Cryptocurrencies

One of the largest banks in India is asking its users to consent that they won’t be using their accounts to trade Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The bank also asks for authorization to immediately shut down an account if it’s associated with digital currencies. 

Things Are Not Looking Good in India

On April 6th, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordered all regulated financial institutions to refrain from working with cryptocurrency-related businesses of any kind.

The move was met with a swift response from the industry which challenged the order. However, a few months later, on July 3, the Supreme Court of India upheld the ban, delivering a heavy blow to the entire field.

It wasn’t long before this took its toll on the industry. In October, India’s very first Bitcoin ATM was shut down and both of the founders of the company which operated it were arrested.

In December, Live Bitcoin News reported that the country is allegedly planning to end its statewide cryptocurrency ban. Purportedly, the Government has created an interdisciplinary committee which is figuring out ways to legalize and regulate the cryptocurrency industry instead of banning it straight away.

However, a month later, one of the country’s biggest banks has also gone against crypto.

HDFC Jumps on the Anti-Crypto Bandwagon

A Twitter user CryptoIndia YT (@Cryptoindia) shared that HDFC has requested users to confirm that they won’t use their bank accounts for trading Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

Additionally, the bank has also requested its clients to “authorize the bank to close the above account without any further notice if it is observed in future that transactions have been carried out for Bitcoin/virtual currencies.”

HDFC is currently the third largest bank in India and it has around 89,000 employees throughout its branches.

What do you think of HDFC going against cryptocurrencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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Source: Bitcoin News

Thailand’s Stock Exchange Eyeing a Digital Asset License

Thailand’s Stock Exchange (SET) is reportedly planning to apply for a digital asset operating license. If granted by the country’s Finance Ministry, the license will see the SET becoming an authorized digital asset exchange. 

SET Eying a Digital Asset License

According to a report from the Bangkok Post, SET intends to apply to the country;’s Finance Ministry in order to obtain a license for operating with digital assets. If granted, the exchange will be able to establish a cryptocurrency trading platform.

According to the Chairwoman of the Association of Securities Companies, and vice-Chairwoman of the board of governors of SET, Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, the exchange wants to start catching up with the growing trend in cryptocurrency investing.

While the SET’s attested its interest in the field, according to Pattera, it won’t be rushing into it:

We [securities firms] are not in a hurry to enter the digital asset trade, as some companies are still managing their core businesses, while cryptocurrencies are just one of the [digital] asset classes where brokers can adapt their trading platforms to serve digital trading. […] Securities firms are currently waiting for the SET to apply for a license. For us, digital assets are expected to grow in the future as investors gain more understanding of this asset class.

Thailand and Blockchain

Thailand’s involvement with cryptocurrencies and blockchain goes back some time.

Live Bitcoin News reported that the country’s Revenue Department is planning to use blockchain technology as well as artificial intelligence in order to crack down on tax evasion, as well as to improve refunds and tax filing.

Additionally, the Bank of Thailand has also stated that they would be using DLT-based technology to issue their own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

What do you think of SET’s decision to apply for a digital asset license? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoin News

Logistics Giant UPS Reveals Equity Investment in Blockchain e-Commerce Platform

Blockchain-based e-Commerce platform for B2B has revealed a partnership, as well as an equity investment by logistics giant UPS’ Strategic Enterprise Fund. 

Blockchain-Based E-Commerce Platform

According to an official press release, logistics giant UPS, through its investment arm – the company’s Strategic Enterprise Fund, has made an equity investment in e-commerce oriented company Inxeption.

The company has designed a B2B e-commerce platform based on blockchain technology, intended to integrate segments such as product design, supply chain, and manufacturing. The idea is to enable merchants to grow revenues and increase online sales in a more scalable way.

Speaking on the matter, UPS’ Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren, outlined:

Inxeption’s technology is attractive to UPS because it helps unlock new efficiencies for customers using B2B e-commerce platforms. […] UPS creates alliances and partnerships to gain market knowledge and position the company as the shipper of choice in ecommerce.

UPS And Blockchain

This is not the first engagement of the logistics giant with the field of blockchain technology.

Last year, the company filed an application for a patent with the Patent & Trademark Office of the US.

The company was seeking legal protection for a system which uses blockchain technology to store different types of data within a distributed ledger.

In general, blockchain technology has seen positive reception in the shipping industry. Again in 2018, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank managed to ship and track 17 tons of almonds using distributed ledger technology.

Additionally, Live Bitcoin News reported that IBM and Ford have teamed up in a pilot project which uses blockchain to track ethically sourced minerals.

What do you think of UPS’ latest investment in a blockchain-based e-commerce platform for B2B? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoin News

IBM, Ford to Use Blockchain in Tracking Ethically Sourced Minerals

In a push to support human rights and environmental protection, IBM, Ford Motor Company, amid other corporate moguls, will pilot a blockchain project to track ethically sourced minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Blockchain to Track Ethically Sourced Minerals

Blockchain-based technology will be used to track the sourcing and distribution of ethically sourced minerals – cobalt, in particular, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the official release,

The blockchain pilot aims to introduce more transparency into the global mineral supply chains. Participants in the project are marquee companies representing each major stage of the supply chain. These include Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, RCS Global, and LG Chem.

Each of the participants in the designated network will be validated against the necessary sourcing standards, as developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Besides participant validation, blockchain technology will also guarantee data immutability, making information accessible by all permissioned participants in real time.

IBM’s Blockchain Platform

As the pilot scheme is already in progress, the release also reveals that the project will use IBM’s Blockchain platform powered by Linux’s Hyperledger Fabric.

IBM’s been heavily invested into blockchain technology as the company has over 400 people working on projects involving it. It’s also been involved in other supply chain network-oriented projects revolving around the usage of blockchain before.

Speaking on the matter was Manish Cawla, GM, Global Industrial Products Industry at IBM, who said:

With the growing demand for cobalt, this group has come together with clear objectives to illustrate how blockchain can be used for greater assurance around social responsibility in the mining supply chain. […] The initial work by these organizations will be used as a precedent for the rest of the industry to be further extended to help ensure transparency around the minerals going into our consumer goods.

What do you think of the blockchain-based project to track ethically sourced minerals? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

 

The post IBM, Ford to Use Blockchain in Tracking Ethically Sourced Minerals appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News

Kyle Samani: Dominance of Ethereum Among Blockchain Developers Will Be Challenged, But How?

Kyle Samani, the co-founder of the $75 million cryptocurrency fund Multicoin Capital, has said that Ethereum will eventually challenge Bitcoin’s dominance over the market. 

A Shift to Decentralized Exchanges

The founder of the Austin-based multi-million dollar cryptocurrency fund Multicoin Capital, Kyle Samani, has shared his take on the current stage of the cryptocurrency market.

He holds that it hasn’t all been doom and gloom despite the tumultuous 2018. According to the expert, one of the hottest trends on the block will be decentralized exchanges.

He believes that Binance’s plan to introduce a decentralized exchange will cause a massive shift in the cryptocurrency space.

Binance realizes that the greatest disruptive threat to their business is decentralized exchanges. […] On a long enough time scale, they believe it is likely to become a dominant form of exchange. As such, they’re aiming to disrupt themselves by pioneering here. I expect that they will create incentives to encourage customers to trade on the decentralized exchange instead of the centralized one, and will actively bridge liquidity pools. – He said.

In addition, he also said that other platforms might follow in the footsteps as Binance, as soon as it brings its decentralized trading platform to light.

Ethereum to Be Challenged Fiercely

Ethereum’s dominance as a platform providing an underlying infrastructure for the development of decentralized applications will be challenged fiercely going into the short to medium-term future, according to Samani.

He holds that a group of very well-funded projects will be able to pose a threat to Ethereum as the leading smart contract platform.

All of the new blockchains are aiming to challenge Ethereum. […] I expect by the end of the year the percentage of total developers building on Ethereum will be lower than it’s right now, simply because of the competition. […] At the end of 2019, I still expect Ethereum to be the market leader among smart contract platforms. But there is a real probability that by the end of 2020, this is no longer the case. – Said Samani.

What do you think of Kyle Samani’s take on the current state of the cryptocurrency field? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of BizJournals

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Source: Bitcoin News

Unauthorized Crypto Exchanges in Malaysia Will Carry a Jail Sentence

Malaysia will officially regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the overall trade of cryptocurrencies. The law which introduces the regulations will come into force on Tuesday, January 15th. 

Malaysia Regulates ICOs and Cryptocurrency Trade

According to a Reuters report, Malaysia will regulate ICOs and the trade of cryptocurrencies.

Citing the country’s Finance Minister, the report outlines that digital currencies and digital tokens will be classified as securities, putting them under the regulatory purview of the Securities Commission of Malaysia.

In turn, the commission is expected to introduce a regulatory framework by the end of Q1 2019. It needs to define the requirements for the issuance of ICOs, as well as the process of trading digital currencies on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

Back in November, Live Bitcoin News reported that the country was supposed to regulate ICOs in the first quarter of 2019.

Speaking on the matter, the Finance Minister of Malaysia said:

In particular, we believe digital assets have a role to play as an alternative fundraising avenue for entrepreneurs and new businesses and an alternative asset class for investors.

Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

While the framework is yet to be put in place, after the law on digital currencies and digital tokens come into effect on January 15th, the industry will have to consider the increased scrutiny of the country’s Securities Commission.

According to a local media TheStar, failing to comply with the new regulations can result in a 10-year jail sentence and a fine of up to RM 10 million.

The law on digital currencies and digital tokens will come into effect on Tuesday and any person operating unauthorized initial coin offerings (ICOs) or digital asset exchange faces a 10-year jail and RM10mil fine. – reads the report.

What do you think about the new regulations introduced in Malaysia? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock; 

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Source: Bitcoin News

Nevada Gov’t is Using Ethereum For Public Records, Smart Move?

Some counties in northern Nevada have reportedly been using blockchain technology to store a digital version of government records, including birth and marriage certificates. The blockchain of choice is that of Ethereum. 

Marriage Certificates on the Blockchain

Washoe County in Nevada has devised a digital marriage certificate program which uses the Ethereum blockchain to store digital versions of government records – reports Reno Gazette-Journal. 

Supposedly, the program has already served around 950 customers by the end of 2018. Additionally, Elko County is also testing blockchain to create certified digital copies of birth certificates.

The news caught the attention of Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin.

“I actually think ultra-high-assurance storage of very small but high-value files is a totally legitimate use case for public blockchains. Great to see Nevada experimenting with Ethereum for this.” – Tweeted Buterin.

Blockchain Technology in Public Fields

Washoe County’s digital marriage certificate program is not the first case of public authorities recognizing the merits of blockchain technology.

Earlier in 2018, Live Bitcoin News reported that Chilean parliamentarians Giorgio Jackson and Miguel Angel Calisto presented a resolution before the country’s lower house of Parliament. They suggest implementing the technology within all of the public fields of the country.

…with this technology we could also transparently and unalterably track the management and work carried out by the different public agencies, with their indicators and all the figures collected, reducing the possibility that this information is used maliciously with others. – Noted Calisto.

The Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan is also taking steps towards implementing blockchain, as well as smart contracts, to improve the country’s public services.

The second biggest state of the UAE – Dubai, is also working on a project dubbed “Smart Dubai”, aiming to launch a government-backed blockchain platform. Dubai has teamed up with tech mogul IBM on the project.

What do you think of the use of blockchain technology in public sectors? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

The post Nevada Gov’t is Using Ethereum For Public Records, Smart Move? appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoin News

Vitalik Buterin Positive on Plasma-Like Scaling on Ethereum: Real Progress

Vitalik Buterin has expressed his positivity on a Plasma-like scaling solution on Ethereum, which allows for handling 500 transactions per seconds or more. 

‘Amazingly Cool’ – 500 TPS on Ethereum

Developers at a start-up called Matter Inc, in collaborations with the Ethereum Foundation, have launched a Plasma-like scaling solution.

Ignis, as the project is called, allows Ethereum to handle 500 transactions per second (TPS) or more, which is a significant improvement of the current 15 TPS.

According to the official Medium article describing Ignis, the solution changes the way transactions are verified by users with a new approach.

In Ignis verification of transactions by users is replaced by the following approach: operator(s) proposing blocks must submit a SNARK proving that the new block is correct, which is verified automatically by the smart contract. No incorrect block can ever be included by an operator, so users do not need to always be online and constantly monitor transaction activity. – Reads the article.

Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has already expressed his positivity on the matter, calling the solution “amazingly cool.”

Ethereum’s Plasma

Plasma is intended to be a layer-two scalability solution. In other words, it’s not supposed to improve the blockchain itself but instead create a special construction connected to it and, as such, provide greater throughput.

In its essence, Plasma could be described as a child-chain that’s designed to conduct off-chain transactions.

The idea is to run entire applications which feature thousands of users and secure minimal interaction between Plasma and the main chain of Ethereum.

Additionally, though, Plasma should also be able to generate its own child-chains, eventually producing numerous branched blockchains, each one of which is connected to the main one.

Because operations on all of those sub-chains wouldn’t have to be replicated across the main network, they could essentially move a lot faster and substantially reduce the transaction fees.

Put simply, the intention of Plasma is to enable Ethereum’s blockchain to continue handling a large volume of smart contracts while, at the same time, only broadcast completed transactions.

Back in 2018, Buterin said that Plasma and another scaling solution called Sharding could scale Ethereum by 10,000X.

What do you think of Ethereum scaling to handle more transactions per second? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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Source: Bitcoin News

Cryptocurrencies a “Fairy-Tale Story”, ECB Policymaker Says

A policy maker from the European Central Bank considers cryptocurrency to be a “fairy-tale story.” He’s also expressed his negativism on the matter, discarding the digital assets as a “complete load of nonsense” despite the bank’s position on the matter.

Cryptocurrency a “Fairy-Tale Story”

The governor of Estonia’s central bank and European Central Bank policymaker Ardo Hansson has expressed his stance on the matter of cryptocurrencies and their current decline.

The bubble has already started to collapse and maybe we should just see how far this collapse goes, and what is left when we’ve reached a new kind of equilibrium. […] I think we will come back a few years from now and say how could we ever have gotten into this situation where we believed this kind of a fairy-tale story. – Said Hansson.

Additionally, Bloomberg also reported that Hansson has warned authorities that they may need to focus on additional investor-protection aspects while highlighting concerns that cryptocurrency can be used of illicit activities.

It does seem like Hansson insists on a completely unsupported narrative, as experts have recently clarified that cash and not cryptocurrencies remain king when it comes to illicit activity financing.

Unconsolidated Position

Hansson’s negative position on the matter of cryptocurrencies doesn’t seem to fall in line with the stance of the ECB itself.

While the bank has recently dismissed the possibility for a central bank-issued cryptocurrency, it hasn’t really demonstrated any kind of steep negativism towards the field.

In fact, Live Bitcoin News reported in November that the president of the ECB himself has said that a digital currency could widen the range of economic actors.

In principle, a central bank digital currency could meet demands for both the security and digitalisation of the economy. It could also allow monetary policy to reach a wider range of economic actors more directly. – Said Draghi.

What do you think of Hansson’s position on cryptocurrencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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Source: Bitcoin News

Binance’s Launchpad to Announce One Project Each Month

Binance’s token sale platform called Lauchpad will be announcing one project every month in 2019. BitTorrent and Fetch.AI are to pilot the initiative. 

‘Distinguished Token Sale’ Platform

Binance’s Launchpad is a platform which attempts to legitimize token sales while supposedly providing the featured project’s team with additional advisory, insights, and experience.

According to an official blog post from January 3rd, Binance will begin announcing one new token launch every single month in the upcoming year.

The first two projects which are ‘coming soon’ to the platform are BitTorrent and Fetch.AI.

The file-sharing pioneer BitTorrent was sold to TRON’s Justin Sun earlier in June. The company will be issuing a new BTT token which is designated to improve file sharing amongst its 100 million monthly active users spread across 138 different countries.

The other project which will be initially featured on Launchpad is Fetch.AI  – an AI-driven decentralized blockchain network, attempting to enable digital entities to transact without the need of human intervention.

Questionable Timing 

Binance’s intentions are to provide additional support to the listed projects while putting them through a rigorous review process to guarantee validity.

According to the blog post, some of the factors that the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by means of market capitalization, include a screening of team members, large-scale adoption readiness, project maturity, and so forth.

It can’t go unnoticed, however, that funding of ICO projects has been on the low progressively throughout the entire 2018.

Live Bitcoin News reported recently that the prolonged bear market of 2018 has taken its toll on ICO projects, who’ve turned to day trading in order to stay afloat. In addition, prices of cryptocurrency ICO projects has fallen by 95% on average throughout the year.

What do you think of Binance’s intentions to begin listing projects on its Launchpad platform? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below! 

 

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Source: Bitcoin News

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