Seoul to Implement Blockchain in Citizen Cards, the Mayor Reveals

The South Korean city of Seoul will implement blockchain technology in its citizen cards, Korean publication Queen.co.kr reports on May 20.

Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, has participated in the ongoing event “Korea Future Forum (KFF) 2019 & Blockchain Tech Show,” reporting on the city’s achievements in embracing major technologies including blockchain and artificial intelligence.

The mayor highlighted the role of blockchain in storing data, noting that the value of data “has become even more important than before.” According to Park, the city of Seoul will implement blockchain in collecting urban and administrative data to enable new services such as integrated authentication system of citizen cards, as well as tools for easy access to various administrative services.

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Cryptocurrency Transactions Now Available On WhatsApp

You will probably have heard of WhatsApp. It’s one of the most popular apps out there today that is free to use, cross-platform and used by millions worldwide. Well, we say millions but in fact, more than one billion people across 180 countries use the app.

Users the messaging app will now be able to both send and receive cryptocurrencies thanks to the Lite.Im bot. There will only be two cryptocurrencies available for the time being but ass the system starts to gain traction, other digital tokens are anticipated to join in.

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Just 732,000 addresses own at least 1 BTC

There are currently 732,982 Bitcoin addresses that hold more than 1 BTC. Compared to the over 20 million known addresses, this figure represents a small amount of “whole bitcoin” owners.

The basic definition of money covers a unit of account, medium of exchange, and a store of value. There is hardly any doubt as to whether BTC satisfies the first two even if the mechanics behind its operation might not be efficient at times.

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Microsoft Is Building an ID Verification Platform on Bitcoin

Microsoft is leveraging blockchain technology to create a trustless digital identity scheme, but its not launching a token or building a private blockchain to do so. Its building on Bitcoin instead.

Announced on May 13, 2019 , Project ION is an open-source, Layer 2 network built out of the public key infrastructure protocol Sidetree. In practice, “it is akin to Lightning, in that there is no secondary consensus among ION nodes,” a source close to the network’s development told Bitcoin Magazine .

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Poloniex Now Offers Bitcoin Margin Trading for 14 Altcoins

Last week, Circle’s cryptocurrency exchange subsidiary, Poloniex, added Bitcoin-based margin trading for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV, bringing the total altcoins available for with leverage to 14.

According to the announcement, the following altcoins are now available: Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum Classic (ETC), XRP (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Monero (XMR), Factom (FCT), Litecoin (LTC), Bitshares (BTS), Dogecoin (DOGE), Dash (DASH), MaidSafeCoin (MAID), STR and Clams (CLAM).

“Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV won’t be the last, either, because we are working on adding other tokens and base pairs for margin,” stated the Circle team.

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Nestlé And Carrefour Trial Blockchain For Greater Food Transparency

Swiss food and drink multinational Nestlé and French hypermarket chain Carrefour are trialing blockchain to provide consumers with greater transparency in the food sector.

From April 15, 2019, the technology will be applied to the famous Mousline instant mashed potato brand, available on shelves in Carrefour stores around France, to enable consumers to access reliable and unfalsifiable information on the supply chain and production of the products.

Nestlé and Carrefour will test the blockchain platform with Mousline purée over the next few months.

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ING Bank Releases Blockchain Privacy Tool Bulletproofs

Dutch global banking and financial services corporation ING introduced its new cryptographic blockchain development called Bulletproofs.

Bulletproofs represents an extended technology for ING’s previous blockchain privacy-focused developments such as zero-knowledge range proof (ZKRP) and zero-knowledge set membership (ZKSM).

ING bank first launched ZKRP in November 2017, enabling market participants to maintain anonymity in a transaction while still confirming its accuracy. For instance, the tool allowed a mortgage applicant to prove their salary within a certain range without revealing the exact figure.

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StackOverflow Developer Survey: 80% of Organizations Do Not Use Blockchain

Major developer community website StackOverflow has surveyed nearly 90,000 developers, and the results published on April 9 show that 80% of organizations are currently not using blockchain.

As well, 12.7% of the developers responded that organizations use blockchain for non-currency applications, 4% for cryptocurrency-related applications, 2.1% accept crypto as payments and 1.3% are implementing their own cryptocurrency. StackOverflow also claims that developers in India are the most likely to say that their organizations are using blockchain technology.

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EU Blockchain Observatory Releases Report on Tokenization, AI and IoT

The European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum released a report entitled “Tokenization of physical assets and the impact of IoT and AI” on April 10.

The report, authored by Dr. Tim Weingärtner, a professor at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts – School for Information Technology, features the “digital twin” concept, which refers to a digital replica of the physical world. This mirror world would be consist of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, big data, tokens representing physical objects, blockchain as a trusted ledger and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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Major Web Browser Firefox by Mozilla Now Blocks Web-Based Cryptojacking

Major open-source browser Mozilla Firefox has launched new protections against crypto mining malware in its new browser versions, according to a blog post published on April 9.

In its latest Firefox Nightly 68 and Beta 67 versions, Mozilla has enabled a new level of protection against crypto mining and fingerprinting hack attacks in a part of the browser’s Content Blocking suite of protections.

The new browsing feature has been developed in collaboration with privacy and security software firm Disconnect, and represents a collection of blacklists of malware domains associated with fingerprinting and crypto mining scripts.

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Coinbase Crypto Exchange Debuts Visa Card for UK Customers

Major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched Coinbase Card, that enables its United Kingdom-based customers to pay in-store and online with cryptocurrency. The development was announced in a blog post published on April 10.

The Coinbase Card is a Visa debit card powered by customers’ Coinbase account crypto balances, which allows them to make purchases with digital currencies worldwide. Coinbase instantly converts customers’ cryptocurrency funds into fiat currency in order to complete the purchase.

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New York rejects Bittrex Bitlicense application

According to the press, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) decided to reject the BitLicense application from the Bittrex exchange.

According to the New York Tax Office’s official report sent to Bittrex CEO Bill Shihare, New York, Bittrex Bitlicense rejects the lack of stock exchange policies and controls against AML, Know Your Customer (KYC), and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) ). Bittrex ranked 54th in the CoinMarketCap list of digital currency exchanges in terms of adjusted trading volume.

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EU Launches International Blockchain Association

The European Union has officially launched the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) — with IBM, Accenture and Deutsche Telekom among the 100-plus members to have signed the association’s charter at a ceremony at the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on April 4.

INATBA was legally formed last month as an offshoot of the EU’s European Blockchain Partnership, with the explicit aim of “supporting interoperability, developing specifications, promoting standards and regulatory convergence to support the development and exploitation of innovative blockchain technologies.”

Launching ceremony Hosted by European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and EC Director-General Roberto Viola, the ceremony began with the hashing of the association’s charter to a variety of blockchains, including Iota’s (one of many crypto-focused members of the association, in addition to Ripple, ConsenSys and the Sovrin Foundation).

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Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitfinex Removes $10k Minimum Equity Requirement

Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange based out of Hong Kong, announced that it had removed the minimum equity for its users in a Medium post published on April 9.

Per the announcement, the company reconsidered its requirement — which had been set at $10,000 — due to demand from traders. The exchange’s CEO, Jean-Louis van der Velde, is quoted in the post as stating:

“We simply could not ignore the increasing level of requests for access to trade on Bitfinex from a wider cohort than our traditional customer base.

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Opera Releases New Browser With Built-In Crypto Wallet and Web 3.0 Explorer

Major web browser Opera is releasing a new browser with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. The development was announced in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 9.

Opera’s new browser Opera 60 (codenamed Reborn 3) features a native cryptocurrency dubbed Opera Wallet and a Web 3 explorer, which enables users to conduct transactions and interact with the blockchain-based internet, also known as Web 3. The browser also provides a virtual private network (VPN) feature in a bid to enhance users’ privacy and security.

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Russian Gas Giant Gazprom to Use Blockchain in Gas Supply Agreements

The Russian prime minister has welcomed an initiative to use blockchain in agreements over gas supplies by the country’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom, local finance news outlet Vestifinance reports on April 4. The news agency operates under Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (RTR), a major TV channel.

The head of Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom, Alexey Miller, has met with Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev to report on the development of applications powered by distributed ledger technology (DLT).

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Verbatim appoints Clive Alberts as President

Verbatim, the leading data storage company and part of the Mitsubishi Chemical Group, has appointed Clive Alberts as President for its EUMEA operation. The position was previously held by Hidetaka Yabe who returns to Tokyo, Japan to undertake a General Manager’s role within the Corporate Marketing Department at Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.

Alberts (45) previously worked for Freecom (2001 – 2010) as Head of Sales and Marketing for the DACH and CEE region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Central and East Europe).

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IBM Hints at Stablecoin Cross-Border Payments Solution for Financial Institutions

The head of blockchain solutions for IBM, Jesse Lund, has hinted that bank-targeted stablecoins will be a major forthcoming development for the tech giant’s blockchain-powered cross-border payments solution. Lund made his remarks during an interview on financial news channel Cheddar on March 15.

While more details are set to be imminently announced next week, Lund told Cheddar that “market demand” is driving IBM to develop a stablecoin solution for financial institutions.

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Crypto Exchange Bittrex Cancels Its First ‘Initial Exchange Offering’

United States crypto exchange Bittrex has cancelled its first token sale, dubbed an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), which it had been planning to host on its Malta-based counterpart, Bittrex International. The news was announced in an official statement published on March 14.

Earlier this week, Bittrex International had announced plans to host the IEO today, March 15, allowing investors to use Bitcoin (BTC) to purchase “XRD” tokens, developed by international gaming data blockchain project, Raid.

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Google Deletes Crypto Malware Targeting Blockchain.com

A Google Chrome browser extension tricking users into participating in a fake airdrop from cryptocurrency exchange Huobi claimed over 200 victims, a security researcher reported in a blog post on March 14.

The extension for Chrome web browser, with the name NoCoin, gained 230 downloads before Google deleted it, according to Harry Denley, who runs cryptocurrency scam database EtherscamDB.

Denley noted that hackers had purposely disguised the malicious extension to look like a tool protecting users from cryptocurrency malware or so-called cryptojacking.

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