Japan's Financial Regulator Launches Global Blockchain Governance Initiate

Japan’s financial regulator announced the launch of its global Blockchain Governance Initiative Network (BGIN) on March 10. The BGIN intends to foster the “sustainable development of the blockchain community.”

The Financial Services Agency Japan (JFSA) announced the new initiative during the “BG2C – Special Online Broadcasting Panel Discussion,” which the JFSA hosted in partnership with Nikkei Inc.

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Blockchain as a Tool to Combat Coronavirus

COVID-19 — more commonly known as the coronavirus — has unleashed massive shock waves among the worldwide health, science, government and business communities as societies are trying to contain the virus. At the moment, the scale and velocity at which the coronavirus is spreading are proving difficult to manage because the regional clustering of the outbreak has moved beyond the initial Hubei province of China to South Korea,

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New Malta Government Says It Still Wants to Run a ‘Blockchain Island’

Last week, the financial watchdog of Malta came forward with an unexpected statement. Apparently, Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange that had been enjoying a close relationship with local authorities, is not authorized “to operate in the crypto currency sphere,” as the regulator’s press release stressed. 

While the Malta Financial Services Authority has yet to license any cryptocurrency business — and not just Binance — under the country’s widely marketed cryptocurrency framework,

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MIT Professor: Blockchain Is Good on Its Own but Not Good for Voting

Computer scientist Ronald Rivest has said that blockchain is not the right technology for voting, although it can find proper application in a number of other areas.

Rivest delivered his opinion at the RSA Security Conference, held in San Francisco earlier this week, technology-focused news outlet ITWire reported on Feb. 28. Rivest — who is a cryptography expert and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — called voting an interesting problem that requires a more stricter approach compared to many existing security applications.

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The State of Blockchain: Experts Weigh in on Adoption Around the World

Blockchain usage is exploding around the world. But despite the technology’s many vocal advocates, the spread of technology is never even. Adoption is limited by a number of factors, including infrastructure development, local resources and regulation.

As happens with the spread of any emerging technology, certain regions are pulling ahead of the pack.

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Egyptian National Bank Turns to Blockchain to Boost Remittance Business

Another major financial institution has partnered with blockchain-based payments firm Ripple.

The National Bank of Egypt has signed a cooperation agreement with Ripple to establish new channels for inward remittances, according to a Feb. 11 report from local daily news site Youm7. 

The agreement reportedly makes the National Bank the country’s first to venture into the blockchain sector. 

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Chinese Insurance Firms Use Blockchain to Process Coronavirus Claims

Insurance firms in China use blockchain to manage coronavirus-related claims amid the outbreak. English-language local news outlet South China Morning Post reported on Feb. 9 that this month Chinese online mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao added the coronavirus to the illnesses eligible for the maximum one-time payout of around $14,300 (100,000 yuan).

Blockchain used for insurance claim processing

Xiang Hu Bao is not an insurance policy,

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French Food Company Looks to IBM’s Blockchain Network for Better Sourcing

IBM Food Trust blockchain platform has onboarded one more French manufacturer seeking to enhance transparency of product provenance and supply chain.

The Avril Group, a vegetable oil, eggs and protein manufacturer, and the owner of brands Matines and Lesieur, has begun using IBM Food Trust network to ensure traceability of its products,

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US: IBM Leads Top Patent Assignees With Patents in AI and Blockchain

Tech giant IBM cemented its patent leadership in the United States, with over 9,000 received patents, including in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, in 2019.

With the 9,626 patents secured, IBM became the company that received the most patents in the U.S.ever and the leader on the list for the 27th consecutive year,

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IBM Offers Blockchain Solution for Casual Labor Contracts

Tech giant IBM is developing a new blockchain product that will automate the reconciliation of casual labor contracts.

Technology news site CIO reported on Feb. 3 that IBM considers the blockchain particularly well-suited to tackling the pain point for businesses of resolving discrepancies across thousands of casual work contracts.

A casual work contract — sometimes known as a contingent work contract — is a non-permanent employment relationship,

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As the WEF Warms Up to Crypto, Its Head of Blockchain Talks Empowerment

The 50th World Economic Forum is over, and Cointelegraph was happy to cover the most important highlights from the event and reflect on the role of crypto in Davos discussions. 

The person who knows more than anyone about the potential that our favorite technology could have on the WEF community is its head of blockchain and decentralized ledgers.

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CV Summit United Blockchain Leaders and Enthusiasts in Davos

If you wanted to go deep on blockchain at the World Economic Forum, you needed to attend the conference’s side events.

Perhaps the largest of these crypto-friendly events was CV Summit, an all-day conference organized by CV Labs. The Switzerland-based organization (operated by CV VC) endeavors to offer crypto entrepreneurs whatever resources they need to succeed,

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Cardano’s Commercial Arm to Help Uzbekistan Form Blockchain Task Force

The Cardano blockchain’s commercial arm, Emurgo, has partnered with the government of Uzbekistan to form a blockchain task force to develop regulations for security token offerings (STOs) and exchanges (STXs).

In a Jan. 20 press release, Emurgo revealed its new cooperation with the Uzbek government and Kobea Group &  Infinity Blockchain Holdings — the official Technology Advisory Agency for Uzbekisitan’s Digital Economic Development Project — aimed at the development of a legal framework for STOs and STXs in Uzbekistan.

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Interview With Daniel Marco on the State of Blockchain in Catalonia

Several years ago, a blockchain strategy for Catalonia was revealed to the world, presenting a comprehensive outline of how a government — albeit a local one — can in time switch to being an e-government. Such a model would be backed by various blockchain systems that would accommodate the needs of the citizens for digital identities and voting,

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US Treasury to Complete PoC of Blockchain-Based Grants Payment System

The United States Treasury Department has almost completed tests of a blockchain-based grants payment capability as part of the exploration of how the tech can improve such operations.

As the Business of Federal Technology reported on Jan. 10, the Treasury Department launched a program designed to discover whether blockchain could provide more efficiencies into the operations of a blockchain-based grants payment system.

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What Happens If the US Loses the Blockchain War?

While Mark Zuckerberg was fighting with the United States Congress over Facebook’s Libra, China took another step forward in the global technology race. President Xi Jinping called on his country to “seize the opportunity” in order to become a leader in blockchain technology as it tries to do likewise with artificial intelligence.

This could be an opportunity for China,

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China Continues to Streamline Its Blockchain Patent Application Process

The National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) in China continues to clarify the guidelines for blockchain patent applications, which are set to become effective as of Feb. 1.

At the end of December 2019, the NIPA announced the revised guidelines to patent applications for new emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data,

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Bitcoin 2020 — Blockchain's New Year Resolutions

Most of us believe in the “New Year — New Me” rhetoric: I’m going to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthy, stop being lazy, spend more time with family and whatnot. Yet, losing weight usually only turns into losing motivation instead.

But then, it doesn’t really make sense to laugh at our absurdities,

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China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange Launches Index of 50 Blockchain Firms

The stock exchange of China’s technology capital Shenzhen, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE), launched an index tracking the performance of 50 blockchain firms.

According to an announcement on Dec. 24, the index will be based on the stocks of 50 companies listed on the SSE that participate in the blockchain industry.

The top 50 blockchain-related stocks are ranked based on their average daily market value over the past six months.

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We Totally Misunderstood Blockchain

The fad is dying. A recent CB Insights report that was cited by Bloomberg announced a 60% decline in blockchain startup investments this year, down to $1.6 billion. But at the same time, large enterprises such as Microsoft, Walmart, IBM and Samsung have either deployed their own blockchains or joined partnerships to use the technology.

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Thailand Integrates Blockchain to E-Visa System for Higher Security

Thailand, one of the most-visited countries in the world, will soon apply blockchain to its Electronic Visa On Arrival (eVOA).

Thailand’s new blockchain-powered eVOA system intends to speed up and protect the digital visa application process and will soon be available for five million visitors from 20 countries.

eVOA operator partners with Australian travel firm for the blockchain-enabled service

The upcoming eVOA feature is a joint effort of Australian travel company ShareRing and Gateway Services,

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UN to Prevent Hong Kong Migrant Workers Exploitation with Blockchain

Blockchain financial services firm Diginex and the United Nations-led International Organization for Migration (IOM) jointly launched a blockchain tool aiming to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers in Hong Kong.

According to a Diginex press release published on Dec. 16, the tool was designed to be used by about 1,500 Hong Kong-based migrant domestic worker recruitment agencies and some associated agencies in worker-sending countries.

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Soccer Teams Like Juventus Look to Score With Blockchain Push

On Dec. 2, Italian soccer giant Juventus revealed that the long wait for its much-hyped fan token had finally come to an end. In regard to the matter, news of the deal first came to light back in 2018, when it was revealed that the token would allow holders to take part in a host of voting and polling-related decisions.

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A Reality Check: Blockchain and DLT in International Trade

Distributed ledger technology, colloquially termed “blockchain,” is making a bold promise to help bring the trade industry into the digital age. To help shed light on the intricate workings of the technology and the role that it is playing in the international trade industry, Trade Finance Global partnered up with the World Trade Organization earlier this month to produce a 56-page report titled “Blockchain &

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SoftBank Releases Debit Cards With Built-In Blockchain Wallet

Japanese holding company SoftBank has introduced a new debit card featuring a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.

According to a press release on Dec. 1, SoftBank developed a debit card featuring a built-in blockchain wallet in collaboration with United States-based wallet card developer Dynamics. The new product is called SBC Wallet Cards and can be used as a traditional debit card or blockchain wallet.

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