TRON Launches Accelerator Program for DApp Developers

Decentralized Internet project TRON (TRX) is launching a $1 million accelerator program to support developers building DApps and products on the TRON protocol, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 16.

The initiative aims to facilitate consumer adoption of blockchain technology through TRON’s ecosystem following the recent acquisition of peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent, Project Atlas, and payment service Poppy app. TRON’s protocol currently processes more than one million transactions and 600,000 wallets.

The startup will purportedly accept submissions to its accelerator through December, while the winners will be announced at TRON’s first international summit in January.

In October, TRON and China’s largest Internet search provider Baidu announced they will cooperate on cloud computing resources. The partnership between the two firms remains focused on the purchase and use of Baidu’s basic cloud computing resources, rather than being a connection “at the blockchain business level.”

Also in October, TRON’s CEO Justin Sun claimed its update dubbed Odyssey 3.1 would see it beat Ethereum on speed and EOS on cost. The changes include the launch of the TRON Virtual Machine, which would allow developers to test smart contracts before they transfer to the TRON mainnet.

As of press time, TRX is the 11th top cryptocurrency, trading at around $0.018, up by 0.27 percent on the day, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Japan: Messaging Giant LINE Launches Trading of Its LINK Token on Native Exchange

Japanese messaging app provider LINE Corporation announced that its newly-developed LINK (LN) token is now tradeable on its native BITBOX cryptocurrency exchange in a press release Tuesday, October 16.

LINE, which launched BITBOX in July, will offer trading against three cryptocurrency assets – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT) – out of a total of thirty currently available on the exchange. BITBOX does not offer fiat trading.

In future, LN holders will be able to spend their holdings in LINE’s decentralized application (DApp) system, also currently under development, the press release notes.

“We’re very pleased that users are now able to trade LN on BITBOX, which is a major step forward in our plans for creating a token economy,” LINE CEO Takeshi Idezawa commented in the release, continuing:

“We think it is important to promote co-creation and mutual growth with LINK, while ensuring BITBOX continues to develop as a user-friendly platform that adds value to those who use it and contribute to our services.”

Along with promotional activities such as an airdrop of TRON (TRX) tokens for LN holders, the move marks the latest step in the company’s continued efforts to embrace the crypto economy.

As Cointelegraph reported in August, LINE’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary Unblock launched a $10 million “corporate token fund” with the aim of “boosting the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.”

Separately, internet conglomerate GMO Internet Co. Ltd revealed plans earlier this month to launch a cryptocurrency stablecoin pegged to the Japanese yen.

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Binance Launches Its First Fiat-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Major international crypto exchange Binance has announced that its fiat-to-crypto exchange will open in Uganda this week, the company reveals Monday, Oct. 15.

CEO and founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), had told Cointelegraph in an exclusive interview in June of plans to open the Ugandan crypto-fiat exchange.

As per Binance Uganda’s press release, the new branch will officially start accepting deposits and withdrawals of Ugandan shillings (UGX) Wednesday, Oct. 17. Binance Uganda notes that exchange has already begun its know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.

An additional press release reports that Uganda’s national fiat can only be traded with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but that the exchange is planning to add more pairs soon.

A Cointelegraph analysis of cryptocurrency in Africa noted that although the Bank of Uganda issued a warning to investors about cryptocurrency risks in March 2017, the country’s government has showed interest in using blockchain technology.

Binance’s CFO Wei Zhou says that company’s first fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda will help maintain sustainable economic stability in Africa, noting that the company plans to bring “more innovations to the region.”  

As Cointelegraph previously reported, this year Binance has revealed plans to open several fiat-to-crypto exchanges.

In August, Binance LCX — a joint venture between Binance and Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) — had announced plans to launch a fiat-to-crypto platform in Liechtenstein and offer trading between Swiss francs (CHF) and euros (EUR) against major digital currencies pairs. However, the exact date of the launch was not revealed.

Later in September, Binance had stated it will soon start private beta testing of a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore, which will presumably support the Singapore dollar.

Binance is the largest international crypto exchange by 24-hour adjusted trading volume, seeing almost $1.8 billion in trades on the day to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

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UK-Based Crypto Platform Launches $1.45 Million Crowdfund Campaign to Bank the Unbanked

Nebeus, the London-based crypto platform, has launched a 1.1 million pound ($1.45 million) crowdfunding campaign as they set out their ambitious goal of bringing financial services to people around the world. According to the World Bank, there are 1.7 billion adults globally who remain unbanked, yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone that they could use for online banking. The Nebeus’ campaign went live on Sept. 24, 2018 and has already attracted more than 400,000 pounds ($527,490).

The goals of the campaign

Backed by industry expert Brett King, the Nebeus campaign will last until October 23, 2018. Currently operating in 45 countries, they now plan for expansion across Europe, Asia and South America. The company wants to make banking simple for people and encourages a wider use of cryptocurrency in everyday spending, offering user-friendly Bitcoin wallets and its recently launched Exo card. The new prepaid card allows users to seamlessly convert crypto into fiat, making transactions convenient online, offline and even at ATMs.

“We want to create an ecosystem where those who add value are rewarded, and those

who consume services and products can do so in a competitive and secure

environment, built on blockchain technology. Our current campaign will bring us a step

closer to achieving this,” Konstantin Zaripov, co-founder and CEO of Nebeus, said.

How the platform works

Nebeus is a new crypto bank which facilitates crypto-collateral Bitcoin loans globally. The company says it is working on “bridging the gap between crypto and fiat finance through the use of blockchain technology.” According to the company, 30,000 users of the Nebeus platform have already created active blockchain-based wallets.

The fintech startup was founded in 2014, and the peer-to-peer (p2p) exchange platform was launched at the end of 2017. Nebeus has already enabled the transaction of 34 million euro ($39.9 million) and facilitated 1.9 million pounds ($2.23 million) in p2p Bitcoin loans. Their trading platform allows users to purchase and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum with instant deposits into their accounts.

Nebeus’s open API allows third parties to develop value-added products and services on top of the Nebeus platform or incorporate Nebeus’s services into their existing ecosystems.

The Nebeus card, launched in the summer of 2018, allows for converting cryptocurrency into fiat and also has some additional features. For example, all the users’ cryptocurrencies can be stored, easily accessed and managed in a Crypto Basket. Moreover, the Nebeus card functions as a regular debit card. It is accepted in over 40 million locations and can be used in stores, for online payments or for ATM withdrawals. The card can be issued to consumers worldwide.

The expansion to unbanked regions

In June 2018, Nebeus announced it was entering the African market through local telecommunications and mobile money. The company said that cryptocurrency users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana have received full access to the startup’s “crypto bank.” The company expects to enable over 400 million people with crypto services through help of local partners that already have an established network in the region.

Some of the latest research from the World Bank proves that Nebeus’s targeting of mobile money is justified. The organization’s analytics came to the conclusion that “in Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile money drove financial inclusion.” While the share of adults with an account with a financial institution remained flat in the region, the share with a mobile money account has almost doubled since 2014. Moreover, mobile money accounts have spread from East Africa to West Africa and beyond.

However, there are still a lot of unbanked adults in other continents too. According to the World Bank, account ownership in Europe and Central Asia was 65 percent in 2017 (58 percent of adults in 2014) and 71 percent in East Asia and the Pacific.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Korean Mobile Carrier LGU+ Launches Blockchain-Based Overseas Payment System

South Korea’s LG UPlus, a mobile carrier owned by the country’s fourth largest conglomerate LG Corp., is launching a blockchain-based cross-carrier overseas payment service, Korea Times reports today, September 16.

Last Thursday, September 13, LG UPlus had signed an MoU to develop the new service alongside three global partners: Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecommunications, Japan’s SoftBank, and U.S.-based TBCASoft. Through the new service, users of one telecoms carrier will be able to frictionlessly complete transactions on the payment networks of another.

According to the Korea Times, the first trial of the LG UPlus partners’ blockchain-based cross-carrier payment system (CCPS) is slated for the beginning of 2019.

CCPS will reportedly deploy blockchain to enable a prompt settlement mechanism in cross-carrier services. This will mean that users can avoid fees on overseas credit card transactions, and are insulated from the effects of fluctuating foreign exchange rates as they are ultimately billed through their carrier in their home currency.

For example, the service will allow LG UPlus Korean subscribers to purchase retail goods when using their cellphones in Taiwan and Japan, while Far EasTone users from Taiwan will enjoy the same convenience in Korea and Japan.

Ling Wu, founder and CEO of TBCASoft, told the Korea Times that the cross-carrier payment system is the first in a planned series of telecoms-specific blockchain-based solutions, noting that systems designed for “identity and authentication” are next.

Far EasTone, SoftBank, and TBCASoft are all among the initial founding members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), a global blockchain consortium of telecom carriers that launched in late 2017. As reported earlier this summer, CSBG has recently unveiled the creation of a new blockchain working group that will focus on global remittance services, as well as adding six further major global telecoms firms to its ranks.

Just last week, Softbank unveiled a new proof-of-concept (PoC) in partnership with Synchronoss Technologies and TBCASoft to use CCPS to allow users to conduct peer-to-peer money transfers globally using legacy messaging services such as SMS and email.

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Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Launches Enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in a press release published today, August 17.

The new tool, dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform, aims to enable businesses to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch.

According to the press release, the service will offer smart contract functionality for “public and private enterprise clouds.” JD outlines a range of potential use cases for the platform:

“The technology can help companies streamline operational procedures such as tracking and tracing the movement of goods and charity donations, authenticity certification, property assessment, transaction settlements, digital copyrights, and enhance productivity.”

JD presents the BaaS tool as the “latest expansion” of its Retail as a Service (RaaS) strategy, through which it aims to make advanced technologies and infrastructure accessible to other businesses and industries.

The platform will host an app store that offers different “blockchain bottom layers, tools and software” that have either been developed in-house or by independent software developers. While these latter are not specified in the press release, JD says it will oversee and implement “stringent quality control over the offerings on the app store.”

The first partner to use the platform is reportedly the China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) for creating a blockchain-based electronic invoice system to trace “fapiao” — the Chinese term for official tax authority-approved invoices.

As Cointelegraph has reported, major firms including WeChat giant Tencent, alongside China’s municipal authorities, have recently been turning to blockchain-based e-invoice systems in order to achieve a frictionless link between enterprise and consumer entities and state tax services.

While JD is by no means a newcomer to the blockchain space,  other Chinese corporations have preempted its BaaS offering. In April, telecoms giant Huawei revealed its Hyperledger-powered BaaS tool, which is similarly geared towards cloud-based smart contract development and efficient blockchain solutions for businesses.

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ZUEN Chain Launches ICO Backed by World’s First TotalWellness Blockchain Alliance Platform


This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

The Global Wellness market is a Trillion Dollar industry that stands as one of the largest consumer markets in the world.  Virtually untapped, ZUEN Chain stands to introduce a revolutionary blockchain technology to the market that will completely disrupt the current status quo.

Singapore – August 3rd 2018, ZUEN Capital made headlines this week with the announcement of their ICO launch that is expected to shake up the Cryptocurrency industry in totality. ZUEN Capital is a Singapore-based Total Wellness company that aims to bring a revolutionary change to the currently fragmented market by introducing the world’s first Total Wellness Blockchain Alliance Platform, known as “ZUEN Chain”. ZUEN Chain will allow consumers and product providers to connect in a whole new and efficient way, totally cutting out the middlemen. ZUEN Chain will be the first “Tripadvisor” like platform for the blockchain world.

Set to launch the ICO in August 2018, The ZUEN Chain ecosystem is decentralized and allows providers to connect with consumers efficiently in a trusted and transparent approach.  ZUEN Chain adds a new paradigm to the Global Total Wellness Industry. The ZUEN Chain platform is Blockchain driven and links the Total Wellness businesses globally, bringing transparency to a new level and building an efficient alliance platform for partners to connect, share resources and provide their services to each other. It also aims to develop a ground-breaking platform that addresses the challenges of the Global Total Wellness Industry.

Zuen Capital’s upcoming ICO is expected to be a well-rounded ecosystem that allows everyone involved to benefit in multiple ways, including:

  1. For the consumers–An easy to use online marketplace that is feature rich. Consumers receive tokens as rewards for providing feedback or referrals. Immutable reviews by other consumers make it a more trusted shopping process.
  2. For the providers – Providers will receive unparalleled service and support as well as a marketplace to sell their goods to eager consumers waiting to buy. This ecosystem will also connect providers to profit from cross-advertising. The benefits are wide and far-reaching for both the consumer and provider.

The ZUE tokens have become prominent on a global scale after the three major events were hosted by the ZUEN community. A large number of potential and impending investors gathered at the event and signed up for the purchase of ZUE tokens. ZUEN Chain kick-started its Private Placement on the 22nd of April 2018, at Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore. It also hosted a seminar on the 11th of May, 2018 at Hotel Furama City Centre, Singapore as the second major event. The conference roofed a range of topics regarding the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Industry. On the 20th of May 2018, ZUEN Chain hosted another major event at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore, focusing on the Total Wellness Industry. The three events marked the importance of the Blockchain Technology in Total Wellness Industry and the benefits that it provides for all investors.

Moreover, ZUEN Chain is also partnered with TTEX and CMBDEx, a decentralized exchange for the cryptocurrency.

Those interested in participating in this ICO should visit their official website at https://zuenchain.io or click here to download their Whitepaper.  And Users can subscribe to the official telegram channel https://t.me/zuenchain and claim their free Airdrop tokens!

Media Contact:

ZUEN Capital
Attn: Media Relations
Kaki Bukit Techpark1,
Singapore
[email protected]

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New Ripple-Based Decentralized Exchange Launches in San Francisco

A new Ripple (XRP)-based decentralized crypto marketplace, DCEX, has now opened registration for retail and institutional accounts, according to a press release published July 30.

The new San Francisco-based platform runs on technology developed by blockchain firm AlphaPoint, and will initially offer 15 crypto-crypto trading pairs, all against Ripple as a base currency. These include Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS (EOS), IOTA (MIOTA), and ZCash (ZEC), among others, with further altcoins to be listed in the future.

DCEX will also reportedly make all of the assets included in the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) — which tracks the top ten “most liquid” crypto assets and presents itself as an “institutional benchmark” for the crypto market — available in one location for investors.

According to the press release, DCEX believes that using XRP as a base currency will allow for “high-speed transfers” that can help investors to better take advantage of “price inefficiencies” in their arbitrage among currency pairs on different exchanges.

The marketplace claims in the release that its network will facilitate “up to one million transactions per second,” and will also enable participants to connect to APIs to facilitate “high frequency” crypto trading strategies, as well as to margin trade.

DCEX, reportedly registered with FINCEN, is taking “initial steps” towards becoming a fully compliant and regulated operator under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory agencies, the press release notes.

As a Cointelegraph analysis outlined this spring, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are gaining traction in the cryptosphere, both on ideological grounds and due to perceptions that centralized platforms are more vulnerable to thefts, such as the industry record-breaking hack of $532 mln in NEM from Coincheck earlier this year.

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Singapore Airlines Launches Blockchain-Based Loyalty Wallet, Co-Developed by Microsoft

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its own airline loyalty digital wallet that uses blockchain technology, it announced July 24. The software has been co-developed by Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village, according to the press release.

The new wallet — dubbed ‘KrisPay’ after SIA’s ‘KrisFlyer’ loyalty programme — converts frequent flyer miles into digitized ‘KrisPay miles’ that can be used to pay for retail purchases via a mobile app.

As minimum expenditure, users of the wallet can spend 15 KrisPay miles (equivalent to about  S$0.10, or US$0.73) to make or offset purchases at point-of-sale for food and drink, petrol, beauty treatments, and other products from selected retailers.

According to SIA, KrisPay miles are currently accepted at 18 merchants island-wide, with more merchants to reportedly be added to the platform in future.

As Cointelegraph reported, SIA first successfully tested the proof-of-concept for its blockchain-based loyalty wallet back in February.

U.S. tech giant Microsoft, meanwhile, has been steadily investing in blockchain technology, with early moves to implement an off-chain Ethereum-based protocol by its cloud computing arm, Microsoft Azure, in summer of last year.

This February, the firm announced plans to integrate blockchain-based decentralized IDs into its Microsoft Authenticator app, and Azure formally announced the release of a blockchain app creation service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, in May.

Most recently, Microsoft has been working to integrate blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) for supply chain management solutions, as well as partnering with two major Asian tech companies on an enterprise blockchain platform.

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Blockchain Investment Fund Launches in China’s Nanjing to Develop Public Projects

China’s relentless march towards blockchain development is continuing, with reports indicating that a Chinese city will be supplying capital for a $1.5 billion blockchain fund.

China’s Admiration for Blockchain Technologies Continues with the Nanjing Fund

Nanjing, the capital of the Jiangsu province in Eastern China, has just launched a blockchain-centric fund with 10 billion Chinese yuan ($1.48 billion) in funding, as per a report from the technology-focused news source ZDNet.

The Nanjing-based fund will be focused on promoting public blockchain projects in China, along with encouraging and facilitating the so-called “token economy” in legacy systems. To make this fund a reality, the city of Nanjing collaborated with the Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance, a Beijing-based consortium of independent blockchain firms and research institutes from the Chinese government.

Representatives from the two independent entities announced the project at the first-ever Industrial Public Chain Summit (IPCS), which was attended by blockchain industry leaders along with prominent governmental officials from Nanjing, namely Luo Qun, who is the deputy secretary of the Community Party of China in the city.

The fund has its eyes on promoting and funding the use of blockchain technologies in cross-border platforms, content distribution, healthcare, energy, the transfer and ownership of intellectual property, and environmental protection. Not only will this project provide capital and resources for funding recipients, but it will also aid blockchain companies to move their headquarters to Nanjing in a bid to help the blockchain space develop locally as well as abroad.

It was revealed that the first beneficiaries of the substantial amount of funds will be the UDAP Foundation, which is planning to connect real-world items and crypto assets, and the community surrounding the TokenX platform.

Commenting on the development of blockchain adoption, Yuandao, the chairman of the Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance, stated that the use of these technologies is like a snowball effect, with adoption resulting in even more innovative technological breakthroughs.

This fund is one of many others creating over the past months in an attempt to spark a “blockchain revolution” in one of the world’s largest economies.

Huobi, a popular Asian exchange, recently launched a similar program in a small Chinese province and teamed up with a local technology firm to create a so-called “Global Cultural and Creative Blockchain Lab,” focused on local blockchain firms and startups.

China Still Adverse to Cryptos, Despite Positive Blockchain Sentiment 

As reported by NewsBTC in late May, Xi Jinping, the president of the Chinese government, personally endorsed blockchain technologies in a speech given at a meeting with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Engineering. The Chinese president noted that blockchain technology has been accelerating the rate of “breakthrough applications,” indicating that he sees the use of this variety of technology in traditional systems.

Despite seeming to be falling head over heels with blockchain, Chinese regulators still seem to be adverse to cryptocurrencies, with the Central Bank of China recently calling the country’s ban on cryptocurrency trading a resounding success. According to data cited by Chinese regulators, the Chinese Renminbi (Yuan) now accounts for less than 1% of all fiat-crypto transactions, with this figure being a far cry from pre-ban levels.

It is currently unclear whether China will open their arms to cryptocurrencies ever again, but it seems that the country’s love for all-things blockchain won’t be ceasing anytime soon.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Chinese City of Nanjing Launches $1.5 Billion Fund for Local Blockchain Projects

Nanjing, the capital of China’s Jiangsu province, has launched a 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion) investment fund for blockchain development, ZDNet reports July 23.

Nanjing unveiled the major new fund at the inaugural Industrial Public Chain Summit (IPCS), together with the Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance –– a Beijing-based alliance of enterprises and government research institutes.

Among the high-level regional government officials reportedly in attendance at ICPS was the deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China in Nanjing, Luo Qun.

Oh Kap-soo, chairman of the South Korean government-backed research institute Global Finance Society, was also at the summit and advocated for the two countries’ collaboration to foster technological innovation.

As part of the initiative, Nanjing will reportedly encourage and assist blockchain companies to establish a base in the city. ZDNet cites blockchain asset management startup UDAP Foundation as an early beneficiary of the fund.

Wang Xiaohui, deputy chairman of Tsinghua University’s Internet Industry Research Center, spoke at the summit of the need for global cooperation, industry integration, consensus, and autonomy to ensure the future success of a tokenized economy.

Blockchain is rapidly making inroads at all levels of Chinese government, with another major government-backed blockchain fund unveiled in the city of Hangzhou this April.

Bolstered by president Xi Jinping’s public endorsement of the the technology this spring, China’s IT Ministry has been the latest government body to embrace innovation, with its deputy director this month advocating for an “industrial” scale adoption of blockchain across all areas of the economy and society.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has meanwhile been exploring blockchain integration, last month filing a new patent for a digital currency wallet, as well as for a blockchain-powered system designed to tokenize paper checks.

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Bitcoin Price Booms, App Launches and Acquisitions: This Week in Crypto


Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week’s edition of The CCN Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Also make sure you check out last weeks interview with Bridge CEO Stephen Hyduchak.

Price Watch:

  • Bitcoin increased nearly 18% this week after months of slow decline. The price peaked at just over $7,500 Opinions are mixed on wether or not this trend will continue. BitMEX CEO Authur Hayes said in an interview with CNBC this week that prices would likely go higher, but not hit $10,000. He further explained that he “would like to see us test $5,000” for the currency to really bottom out. The opinion sharply contrasts with that of long time bear Barry Silbert who speculated that Bitcoin’s price had finally bottomed. He’s attributed this to a large influx of institutional money, which now makes up 56% of the nearly $248 million invested in the GBTC. Other bulls include former Goldman Sachs executive Christopher Matta who speculated that Bitcoin could see $15,000 this year and Billionaire Marc Lasry who speculated Bitcoin could see $40,000 within a few years.
  • Ethereum is up 5% this week to $466.65. The currency hit the crucial $500 level before falling back down to $466.65 resulting in the respectable gain we saw this week.
  • The Entire Market Cap is up 11% this week following large price increases by Bitcoin and a mini-bull run across the entire market. Stellar, which was also awarded Sharia certification this week, increased by nearly 35% before sliding nearly 10% as the market receded. This phenomenon is representative of a larger trend across the market which affected TRX, XRP, ADA, and EOS among others. It’s also noteworthy that CoinMarketCap has removed it’s volume requirements for cryptocurrency exchange listing.

Government:

  • Chile to re-open Exchange Orionx’s Bank Account: Chilean Court of Appeals has recently ruled that state-owned Banco Estado has to re-open the account of bitcoin exchange Orionx, after it seemingly illegally shut it down.
  • G20 Watchdog develops ‘Vigilant’ monitoring framework: The Financial Stability Board, a global finance monitoring watchdog created by the G20, has published a new framework for monitoring cryptocurrencies. The framework aims at” identifying financial stability concerns in a timely manner”.
  • Dogecoin listed on Robinhood Crypto: Dogecoin, the parody cryptocurrency created in 2013, became the fifth currency to be listed on the app. Current currencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The coin is an odd choice considering it’s low market cap and rank, and the fact that it’s own creator doesn’t support it.
  • BitPay receives 8th BitLicense: Cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay has become the eighth firm to receive a “BitLicense” from the NYDFS. BitPay becomes the first standalone payment processor to be allowed to process cryptocurrency payments for New York merchants and residents.
  • Brazilian Police Bust Gang Who Used Bitcoin to Launder Millions of Dollars: Brazil’s Federal Police has recently arrested 12 individuals connected to a gang that allegedly used bitcoin to launder “millions of dollars” earned smuggling drugs into Europe, Asia, and Africa.
  • Hong Kong Trade Finance Will Fight Fraud With a Blockchain-Based Platform: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has partnered with Chinese Ping An to release a blockchain-based trade finance platform. The joint effort is expected to speed-up the process and prevent fraud. The effort now includes 21 enterprise participants.
  • SEC Shutters Kodak-Branded Bitcoin Mining Rig ‘KashMiner’: The developer behind the purported and much-publicized Kodak-branded bitcoin mining equipment has officially halted operations. The company, which originally claimed to be a licensee of the Kodak brand, has been exposed as having no ties to Kodak and having a product which was simply a Bitmain miner with Kodak branding.

Enterprise:

  • MLB to Launch “MLB Crypto” dApp game: Major League Baseball announced this week that it would be launching a dApp for buying and selling digital avatars representing moments in baseball games. The move comes as a way to attract younger crowds to baseball who have largely shunned the sport.
  • Go Blockchain Game to Launch: Lee Sedol The Go World Champion who lost to Google AI AlphaGo in 2016 has announced a blockchain based version of Go, in collaboration with The Blockchain, Inc. The project, named GoBlock will run on the Ethereum network and follow in the steps of other Ethereum based games such as MLB Crypto, CryptoKitties, and CryptoZombies.
  • Thai Bond Market Association to Launch ‘Bond Coin’: The Thai Bond Market Association has announced that it will create “Bond Coin”:  a custom token on a private blockchain between permissioned participants including issuers and investors alongside regulators and registered firms.
  • BlackRock Exploring Crypto: BlackRock, the largest exchange traded fund provider with over $6.3 trillion assets under management, is reported to have created a working group to look at ways to gain exposure to blockchain. and cryptocurrencies
  • EURS Onboards First Institutional Client: STASIS, the crypto ecosystem which recently launched the stablecoin EURS that is paired exactly against the Euro recently announced that it had onboarded its first institutional client. This marks a major milestone for Malta based STASIS and stable coins as a whole.
  • Messaging Giant LINE’s Cryptocurrency Exchange Begins Global Operations: Japanese mobile giant LINE has officially launched operations of its Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX with support for 30 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. The exchange, announced on Tuesday, will support crypto-only trading pairs.
  • PwC Director Quits, Joins Cryptocurrency Exchange as CEO: A director at ‘big four’ accounting giant PWC  in Australia has quit the firm to join crypto exchange bitcoin.com.au as its newest CEO. The company hopes to bring crypto products to corporate pension plans and capitalize on millennia’s love of crypto and a trend toward self-managed funds.
  • Boeing to Use Blockchain to Track Unmanned Air Vehicles: Boeing is partnering with artificial intelligence firm SparkCognition to develop a decentralized blockchain based platform capable of ‘tracking unmanned air vehicles in flight and allocate traffic corridors and routes’ to ensure secure transportation, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday.
  • Kik Beta App ‘Kinit’ Goes Live on Google Play after $100 Million ICO: Kik rolled out its much anticipated standalone app, KinIt this week. Kin has raised over $100 million so far and this app is the first standalone app to utilize Kin.
  • Oracle Launches Blockchain Cloud Service Platform: Oracle has formally launched its much-anticipated blockchain service, and many global organizations have already jumped aboard the platform. The platform, originally reported in May, is based on Hyperledger Fabric and includes a full featured IAAS.
  • Mastercard Files Patent to Link Cryptocurrency With Fiat Accounts: The patent describes a method for the storing of both fiat and cryptocurrencies under one profile. The patent follows patents by Mastercard for anonymous transactions, travel itinerary bidding, and coupon authentication. It remains unclear wether these patents are meant to maintain Mastercard’s hold over the payment space or if they intend to do anything with the patents.
  • $20 billion Hedge Fund Joins Coinbase: A$20 billion hedge fund — whose name was not disclosed by sources — began using Coinbase Prime following its launch earlier this year, perhaps a sign that cryptocurrency is preparing to emerge as a mainstream asset, at least among alternative investments.

Crypto Giants:

ICOs:

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Huobi Launches Service to Build Crypto Exchanges in the Cloud

Huobi, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange platform by trade volume, is now offering a business arm to help customers build their own digital asset exchanges.

Dubbed the Huobi Cloud, the service is set up to provide clients “a one-stop solution … [to enable] its partners to build secure and stable digital asset exchanges quickly,” according to the official press release, though it did not provide specifics on what it will offer these partners.

The company goes on further to explain:

“Over the past five years, Huobi has accumulated rich and valuable [research and development], security, compliance and operational experience through its digital asset trading platforms … Huobi is looking to share its expertise and experience with the entire blockchain ecosystem and through this, develop the industry further to achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.”

As such, Huobi Cloud is envisioned to strike up new global partnerships in an attempt to “promote the rapid and healthy development” of the blockchain space worldwide.

The announcement comes a day after the exchange announced it was making efforts to deepen alliances within the industry through the establishment of the “Huobi Blockchain Plus Industry Alliance.”

The Alliance will focus on “community-based operations” to bring together experts and academics in the blockchain field to work together and leverage Huobi’s “ecological resources.”

These resources give members access to “jointly building blockchain labs with partners free of charge, sharing the research capability, technical capability and Blockchain Plus practical experience accumulated by Huobi Group over the past five years,” among others.

Indeed, the cryptocurrency exchange giant has been making efforts to build stronger networks for the blockchain industry in recent months. In June, after launching a new investment option for retail investors, Huobi revealed they would be facilitating an investment fund envisioned to raise $93 million for blockchain startups in both China and South Korea.

Huobi image via Piotr Swat / Shutterstock

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Huobi Strategic Partner HBUS Launches API for Large-Scale US Traders

HBUS, the U.S. “strategic partner” of Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, confirmed the release of its API for “experienced traders” in some U.S. states, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

HBUS highlighted that the API was geared to high-volume users who required live pricing data and other tools. In addition to price tracking, the API will also offer historical price data, support for margin trade customization support, setting buy and sell limits, and retrieving trade history.

Due to the difference in regulation across the U.S. HBUS noted that residents of Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington would be unable to use its services.

The move marks the latest in Huobi’s continued expansion this month, which in addition to launching HBUS has included the release of a separate platform geared to the Australian market.

Fellow Chinese operator OKEx and Hong Kong’s Binance have also recently made international commitments. Earlier this week, OKEx announced a partnership with the Malta Stock Exchange to create a new institutional grade security-tokens trading platform, and Binance revealed plans to back a decentralized, tokenized bank also in Malta.

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Huobi Launches Huobi Cloud for Establishing and Operating Digital Assets Exchanges

Huobi Group has announced the launch of a new platform, Huobi Cloud, that will allow users to build digital asset exchanges on top of Huobi’s existing platform.

According to a statement shared with Cointelegraph, more than ten multinational companies have already become partners with Huobi Cloud. The new product is aimed at establishing over-the-counter (OTC) and digital asset exchanges. Partners will also be able to use the order integration and wallet systems, as well as the asset management and clearing system of the Huobi Global platform. Leon Li, Chairman of Huobi Group, commented on the launch:

“In this era of significant and strong adoption of blockchain technologies, Huobi is looking to share its expertise and experience with the entire blockchain ecosystem and through this, develop the industry further to achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.”

According to the statement, Huobi Cloud comprises of four approaches, including exchange, OTC, operational, and eco-system solutions. The exchange solution supports exchange platform publishing, token-related services, hot and cold wallet separation, a risk-trigger mechanism, and other services. The OTC solution verifies the authenticity of the trading of fiat currencies like U.S. dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Chinese yuan, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT).

Founded in 2013, Huobi is currently the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trade volume, with offices in Singapore, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. At the end of June, the company partnered with JD Cloud, a subsidiary of China’s largest online retailer JD Group, to explore blockchain technology applications and cloud computing, focusing on financial services, Internet of Things (IoT), and supply chain fields.

In June, Huobi also announced the launch of its new public blockchain, the Huboi Chain Project (HCP). According to Huobi Group, the new platform will be used for “value exchange, fundraising, securitization and more.” With the release of HCP, Huobi also aims to decentralize its own operations.

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Singapore: Gov’t Owned CrimsonLogic Launches Global Cross-Border Blockchain Platform

Singapore e-government service provider CrimsonLogic has unveiled its cross-border blockchain network for global trade, according to a July 18 press release.

Dubbed the Open Trade Blockchain (OTB), the platform is principally designed to boost the efficiency of trade corridors between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations.

Various operators have already signed up to join OTB, including the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co., TIFFA Group, and Singapore’s Commodities Intelligence Centre.

According to Eugene Wong, the chairman of CrimsonLogic and its subsidiary, GeTS, which will operate the platform, blockchain tech can “help create greater trust amongst cross-border traders,” adding

“Trade volume between ASEAN and China would become the single largest transaction between two regions and we hope to facilitate this.”

The move marks a further venture into the blockchain revolution for Singapore, CrimsonLogic being owned by a city-state governmental authority and port operator.

In April, a meeting of ASEAN nations saw Singapore pledge wide-reaching support for blockchain throughout the area, with finance minister Heng See Keat noting that distributed ledger tech can “promote financial inclusion for underserved and underbanked segments in ASEAN.”

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‘World’s First’ Trade Blockchain Launches in Singapore to Link China and ASEAN Nations


A Singapore-based e-government service provider – notably owned by a government body and a port operator – has launched a blockchain platform focused on cross-border trade between ASEAN nations and China.

Singapore-based CrimsonLogic, an e-government solutions provider with a presence in over 20 countries, announced [PDF] details of its ‘inclusive and extensible blockchain service’ that the company says will will ‘boost overall efficiency, security and transparency’ for global trade.

The company launched the blockchain platform through its fully-owned subsidiary GeTS, labeling it the GeTS Open Trade Blockchain Platform. The platform will function as a permissioned blockchain network comprised of trusted nodes operated by accredited participating companies. Shippers, freight-forwarders and other key stakeholders in a trade flow will benefit from the blockchain platform, the press release added, due to enhanced security and seamless sharing of trade documents including a cargo’s origin certificate and commercial invoices.

In essence, the blockchain platform will offer a user-friendly interface with ‘drag-and-drop simplicity’ to share trade documents between port operators, shippers and buyers/sellers, enhancing transparency and efficiency in a trade and supply chain.

CrimsonLogic chairman Eugene Wong put the spotlight on trade between China and ASEAN nations as the primary focus of the trade blockchain, explaining:

“We believe that our Blockchain technology can help create greater trust amongst cross-border traders in ASEAN and along China’s BRI and Southern Transport Corridor. Trade volume between ASEAN and China would become the single largest transaction between two regions and we hope to facilitate this.”

Although the blockchain will remain a permissioned (private) blockchain, the company confirmed its ‘open infrastructure’ will enable developers to build new layers and services for specific use-cases in the trade flow.

CrimsonLogic is notably co-owned by the Port Authority of Singapore (PSA) – one of the world’s largest port operators – which sees a 45 percent stake in the company. As reported by CCN last year, PSA entered a partnership with technology giant IBM to develop proof-of-concept blockchain solutions for supply chain networks in the region. IBM has also been working with the PSA for early-stage trials of transnational container shipments tracked on a blockchain, further underlining the wider shipping industry as a prime sector for disruption by decentralized blockchain tech.

Singapore Port image from Shutterstock.

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Government-Backed Blockchain Trade Platform Launches in Singapore

CrimsonLogic, a Singapore-based e-government service provider owned by a government agency and a major port operator, has announced the launch of a blockchain platform focused on cross-border trade.

The firm’s fully-owned subsidiary GeTS launched the service on Wednesday, according to a press release. Dubbed GeTS Open Trade Blockchain, the platform is a permissioned network that is run and validated by accredited trade compliance firms acting as nodes.

On top of the open infrastructure, companies in the cross-border supply chain industry can develop decentralized applications for specific needs. The goal is to enable different parties, such as ports, shipping companies and customers, to view and transact trade-related documents in a distributed way to improve supply chain efficiency and transparency.

Eugene Wong, chairman of CrimsonLogic and GeTS, said in the announcement:

“We believe that our blockchain technology can help create greater trust amongst cross-border traders in ASEAN and along China’s Belt Road Initiative and Southern Transport Corridor. Trade volume between ASEAN and China would become the single largest transaction between two regions and we hope to facilitate this.”

Currently, CrimsonLogic’s biggest shareholder (with 55 percent ownership) is IE Singapore, a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which fosters the growth of Singaporean businesses overseas.

In February, PSA International, which operates ports in South America, Southeast Asia and Europe, became the other major stakeholder of CrimsonLogic through an acquisition of the remaining 45 percent of the firm.

The blockchain effort follows a pilot program conducted by PSA and IBM last year that tested a proof-of-concept aimed to automate trade document transactions via a distributed network for supply chain partners.

Earlier this year, the companies claimed the proof-of-concept successfully tracked and transacted trade information during a cross-border shipment from China’s Chongqing city to Singapore.

Cargo ship image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Baidu's Blockchain Photo App Launches With Its Own Token

Chinese internet search giant Baidu has launched a proprietary token to incentivize users of its new blockchain-based photo validating and sharing service.

The firm announced on Wednesday during a press conference in Beijing that the photo sharing platform – called Totem – is now live and features a dedicated token called Totem Point, according to a local news report. The launch marks the first blockchain application to be released on Baidu’s private XuperChain network.

Baidu said it will initially generate 4 billion Totem tokens with an annual inflation rate of 4.5 percent to encourage individuals and institutions to submit original photographs.

According to a white paper also revealed today, the quantity of tokens awarded will depend on the validation process, including the quantity and quality of images submitted by a user.

Whether or not the Totem token can be traded for cash or other cryptocurrencies has not been disclosed as yet. Similarly, its full use case scenarios have not been spelled out, although Baidu did say that the token could ultimately be used across different applications built on top of the XuperChain network.

Baidu first announced the Totem initiative in April – without mentioning the token – describing it as a distributed platform that creates a traceable chain of tamper-proof data to protect photo sharers’ intellectual property.

After platform users upload their original images through the application, the blockchain’s participating nodes, such as invited third party photo stock agents and copyright protection organizations, will validate the originality of the images. If approved, the nodes timestamp the images’ critical information and store it on Baidu’s blockchain, producing verifiable data that could be vital in the event of a copyright dispute later on, the company said.

As a next step, Baidu aims to expand the blockchain rights protection system to include other types of digital media asset such as videos, an addition expected by the first quarter of next year.

Photos image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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