Nina von Schweinitz

KW 28: Volvo invests in blockchain technology firm Circulor, Signs of a new bull run, Austria wants to integrate Bitcoin across the board

Volvo invests in blockchain technology firm Circulor: Volvo Cars has made an investment in blockchain technology firm Circulor through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm. Volvo previously used Circulor’s traceability solution to track cobalt in its batteries. Much of cobalt mining happens in Africa under questionable conditions and involves child labor. In the era where more consumers are becoming concerned with how the products they buy are produced, the ability to verify the entire supply chain may provide a competitive advantage. Volvo may also be planning to use Circulor’s solution to trace carbon emissions. The investment in Circulor by Volvo Cars allows both companies to expand their focus beyond cobalt, for example by looking at increasing traceability of mica, a mineral used as isolation material in the battery pack of electric Volvos.,
Signs of a new bull run: 61% of bitcoin’s circulating supply has remained untouched for more than a year, mirroring the conditions leading up to the last BTC bull-run. According to data compiled by crypto analytics firm Glassnode, the amount of bitcoin remaining dormant for one year or more has reached an all-time high of 61.33%. The previous high was established at 61.28% on Jan 15, 2016, when the price of BTC was still trading for $360.
Austria wants to integrate Bitcoin across the board: As early as this summer, Austrians will be able to pay using Bitcoin, Dash and other cryptocurrencies in many places in Austria. The payment service provider Salamantex wants to enable payment with different cryptocurrencies at more than 2,500 acceptance locations. The prerequisite for this is that retailers activate the payment option. The dealers themselves receive the money in euros, so they are spared from exchange rate fluctuations or the like. Salamantex believes that it is an ideal time to integrate contactless payment options into everyday retailers.
Daimler cooperates with Ocean: The Ocean Protocol is a data-sharing platform based on blockchain technology that has successfully completed a proof-of-concept with German automaker Daimler. The successful test shows how Mercedes-Benz and other automotive companies can monetize data streams across supply chains as well as internally. The test between Daimler and Ocean comes at a time when other industries have also been testing the application of blockchain to improve the supply-chain transparency and security as in the case of IBM and Norwegian seafood producers. The automotive industry has also seen a growth in interest with giants like Daimler, General Motors, and BMW, researching the use of blockchain on applications going as far as self-driving cars.
Wirecard: Effects on the Bitcoin ecosystem
Reverse takeover: Crypto investment company Arcane Crypto plans to go public through takeover
Market: Miners cause Bitcoin prices to decrease
Plagiarism: Berlin “Blockchain Queen’s” doctor title revoked
Competition for Bitcoin: Japan and Lithuania test digital central bank currency
Nexo co-founder Antoni Trenchev thinks that the Bitcoin price could continue to rise to the $50,000 mark in 2020.
Blockchain in electricity trading: Decentralization and networking are increasingly used in the energy industry. Blockchain technology holds many innovation opportunities and new business models. According to a survey by the German Energy Agency (dena) and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin), 50% of participants in the utility market already have experience with blockchain pilot projects, or at least plan to gain experience. There are a variety of options especially in the area of ​​organization and process optimization. For example, the electricity trade between owners of photovoltaic or biogas plants and consumers could be solved with a combination of so-called “smart meters” and the blockchain. Smart meters are electricity meters that can send and receive digital data. They can also be used to measure the electricity production of decentralized systems and consumer consumption. It is conceivable that customers with increased electricity requirements could buy electricity directly from the producers via blockchain. This clearly shows that transaction technologies not only have enormous potential for new business areas, but also in areas in which processes can be further automated, offering great advantages for companies.
Sustainable fashion through blockchain: Fast fashion, i.e. cheaply produced clothing that is quickly sorted out and thrown away, has long been a thorn in the side of activists and sustainability fans. Luxury fashion brands now want to take advantage of the consumption break caused by the coronavirus and use blockchain technology to their advantage: Many consumers have long paid attention to supply chain transparency and fair production conditions for their clothing. Clothing companies can use blockchain technology to provide consumers with detailed information about the origin and delivery routes of their garments, as well as the working conditions under which they were produced. In this way, companies can create more trust among customers, bind them better and thus increase sales. Of course, this is associated with larger investments, which is why more expensive brands are relying on the technology to strengthen their ecological footprint and thus gain competitive advantages.
“For most assets you buy, the more they go up in price, the less value they have to gain, and the more risky it becomes. Bitcoin is in the unusual position of being exactly the opposite of this.”
Bill Miller, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Miller Value Partners, on the benefits of Bitcoin over traditional investments.
KlickOwn completes first security token offering: KlickOwn, a real estate crowdfunding platform based in Germany, has completed its first security token offering for a property. KlickOwn had listed a digital bond for a building located in Lüneburg, Germany. The digital security has raised its €1.5 million goal for a digital security that is anticipated to generate a 5% return annually. Investors could participate in the offering for as little as €10 – due, in part, to the low-cost blockchain-based securitization process.

KW 27: Blockchain transformation of the Australian stock exchange delayed, No changes in Swiss tax law, There are more lost than traded bitcoins

Blockchain transformation of the Australian stock exchange delayed: The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has further delayed its switch to blockchain after public lobbying from key stakeholders. The exchange cited a number of reasons for the change including the current pandemic, accommodating changes requested by stakeholders, and providing a larger window of opportunity for development. As one of the first large stock exchanges to commit to using distributed ledger technology, ASX has been working on the transition to blockchain since December 2017.
No changes in Swiss tax law: The Swiss Federal Council has evaluated the question of whether changes to Switzerland’s tax law are necessary with regard to blockchain and distributed ledger technology. However, the currently applicable legislation has proven itself in this regard, which is why no adjustments need to be made, the federal authority concluded.
There are more lost than traded bitcoins: Chainalisis had wanted to study the Bitcoin blockchain in order to obtain information about usage patterns. But something else stood out: More than 60 percent of bitcoins are in the hands of companies or individuals. These kept their stocks for a long time and never sold more than 25 percent. According to the analysis, another 20 percent are considered “lost”: they have not moved in five or more years. Around 3.7 million of these “lost bitcoins” are undetectable. Around 19 percent or 3.5 million bitcoins are held by traders who move them frequently.
Bitcoin Group SE publishes annual report 2019: Bitcoin Group SE has published its annual report for the past year. Although the company’s sales fell from 11.33 million euros to 6.30 million euros, the significant increase in earnings per share from 31 cents to 43 cents and an operating profit of 3.24 million euros means that the mood in Herford is still good. The continued strong demand for cryptocurrencies is also having a positive impact on the business.
Ghana: Peer-to-peer trading volume for Bitcoin increased by 257 percent
German Federal Network Agency: Results of the hearing on blockchain technology
Great Britain: Study indicates growing relevance of cryptocurrencies
Markets: Binance apparently buys majority stake in Swipe
Giant transaction: Bitcoin transfer puzzles
61 percent of Bitcoin stocks have not moved for a year or more. Experts expect a bull run similar to the record year 2016/2017.
Blockchain cooperation for seafood: IBM, Atea and the Norwegian Seafood Association Sjømatbedriftee have teamed up to increase the food quality and safety of fish and seafood by exchanging supply chains via the blockchain. In this way, the sustainability of the products offered can also be made transparent and traced by the consumer. The Norwegian Seafood Association’s CEO, Robert Eriksson, believes that using blockchain could create a competitive advantage for the entire industry.
60 percent of Germans have never heard of blockchain: According to a survey by the “Digital for All” initiative, six out of ten Germans have never heard of the term blockchain. Around 20 percent of those surveyed stated that they knew the term but could not explain it. The survey was held on the occasion of the first nationwide digital day on June 19, 2020. More than 1,000 people aged 16 and over were interviewed. The aim of the digital day is to sustainably increase the digital participation of the population.
“The fact that established companies such as Nasdaq and Microsoft are now opting for blockchain and offering it to their customers is a signal that the technology has now been adopted by the mainstream.”
Fintech specialist Ben Jessel on NASDAQ plans to provide companies with a platform that could be used to release digital assets based on distributed ledger technology.
Top investor criticizes crypto industry: Jason Calacanis is a top investor because of his lucky hand for “unicorn” investments. However, he is not a big fan of the crypto industry. He made his displeasure clear on Twitter when he announced that “99 percent of crypto projects are rubbish” and led by “idiots”. In his opinion, only about 1 percent of all crypto projects could really “change the world.”

KW 25: Blockchain could revolutionize land purchases in Africa, German crypto bonds aren’t making any progress, Blockchain in the working world

Unilever uses blockchain for supply chains: Consumer goods company Unilever has announced a set of measures for sustainable business practices to achieve net-zero emissions by 2039. Along with reducing its carbon footprint, the company aims to have a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023 leveraging traceability solutions that use satellite monitoring, geolocation tracking, and blockchain. Additionally, the company is introducing a new regenerative agriculture code for its suppliers and will implement water stewardship programs for local communities in the coming years.
Blockchain could revolutionize land purchases in Africa: Blockchain technology, on which digital currencies like Bitcoin are based, could have the potential to revolutionize land purchases in Africa. In many countries on the continent, the real estate industry is suffering from corrupt authorities and outdated, analog land registers. Those who sell real estate are often not the actual property owners. Kiberu Nagenda, head of the blockchain consultancy Bit2Big, wants to remedy the situation. Projects are currently underway in Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria, among others, to increase security and simplify real estate registration with the use of blockchain. In Uganda, the land registry has already been converted to the digital Lands Information System. According to Dirk Siegel, who heads the Blockchain Institute at the consulting firm Deloitte, the technology offers great potential for Africa.
“New York Times” explores blockchain for photo and news provenance: The “New York Times” has built a blockchain prototype for “The News Provenance Project” to verify the source and edits of a photo. The media company has been exploring solutions to weed out fake news and misinformation, and last year announced it was working on a blockchain pilot with IBM Garage. Developers at IBM Garage built a solution that tracks a photo’s journey from capture by the photographer, through editing, to publication. This information is stored in the form of photo metadata on the blockchain and can be shared with network members.
German crypto bonds aren’t making any progress: The German government had planned to pass a law for so-called blockchain bonds in 2019. These offer the advantage of not requiring any documents thanks to good traceability. This would have given Germany the chance to become one of the leading countries in blockchain technology. According to the finance ministry, the issuance of electronic bearer bonds should still be possible during this legislative period. So far, however, no concrete progress has been made and there is no timetable for an implementation. The civil law concept for the transfer of electronic securities apparently poses problems. Opposition politician Frank Schäffler criticized the government’s announcements on the subject as a “marketing gag”. He is worried that Germany could lose touch with modern technology. The EU, on the other hand, is already one step ahead and last week presented its final report on the further development of the Capital Markets Union, which talks about crypto assets and the integration of blockchain technology into European financial market regulation.
Instead of a Bitcoin ban: Russia’s ministry of economic affairs calls for a realistic approach
Openchain and MultiChain: Develop blockchain technology with open source
Swiss Federal Councillor: Schneider-Ammann renews his crypto affinity
Power Ledger: Green energy for residential complexes – thanks to blockchain
Identity Overlay Network: Microsoft launches beta version of a decentralized identification system on Bitcoin network
Blockchain has potential to be the cornerstone of digital infrastructure: The potential of Bitcoin and other blockchain applications could be far greater than previously thought, according to mathematician Rene Pickhardt. “Bitcoin is a technology with a great number of possible uses”. However, too few people understand how Bitcoin works. Pickhardt is currently researching the question of how Bitcoin could be used to pay faster. Another big area of application is the conclusion of contracts thanks to Bitcoin and blockchain. “In many situations, the physical signature is still considered the universal means of signing a contract,” Pickhardt explains. But digital signatures are now more difficult to forge than analog ones. Norway is already showing what is possible thanks to digital signatures. The BankID system has been in use there for 16 years, enabling digital signatures for transactions, from grocery shopping to purchasing a house. Doctor appointments can also be arranged in this way. Pickhardt believes that the system could be greatly improved with the use of blockchain technology.
Blockchain in the working world: Software company SumTotal sees the blockchain as an opportunity to verify degrees and qualifications during the job application process. Thanks to this type of verification, employers would be able to focus more on the information given to them by the applicants themselves. However, SumTotal is going one step further. The blockchain could also be used, for example, to record the entire career of an employee, for instance when the employee is being promoted. This would also have clear advantages for employees who change companies. According to SumTotal, other possible applications in the working world include smart contracts, identity management, the management of individual content access, or access to sensitive areas of a company via biometric evidence.
“We should view cryptocurrencies as a ‘high-tech call for help’ in the face of government instability […]. What the blockchain does is provide the architecture for cryptocurrencies.”
Publisher Steve Forbes on the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency firm collapsed due to Ponzi scheme by late founder: Last year’s collapse of Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform Quadriga CX was due to a Ponzi scheme operated by founder Gerald Cotten, who died suddenly in December 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) wrote in a report. “What happened at Quadriga was an old-fashioned fraud wrapped in modern technology,” staff at the OSC wrote. Facing losses when the price of crypto assets changed, Cotten covered the ensuing shortfall with other clients’ deposits, according to the report.

KW 24: Tezos Foundation continues development of cryptocurrency, BTCE to be listed on German stock exchange, China working on blockchain platform for steel industry

Tezos Foundation continues development of cryptocurrency: The Swiss Tezos project which started in 2018 wants to ensure innovations in research with the use of the so-called “Blockchain 3.0”. Instead of a “proof-of-work system” like the one Bitcoin uses, the Tezos Coin (XTZ) is based on a proof-of-stake system that is much more energy efficient. “Tezos has deliberately created clear structures to ensure predictability and transparency for users,” said the foundation’s president Hubertus Thonhauser. The XTZ has meanwhile become the tenth largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization.
BTCE to be listed on German stock exchange: London’s ETC Group will list a centrally cleared Bitcoin exchange-traded product on the German stock exchange’s Xetra electronic trading market later this month. In a statement released on June 9th, ETC Group said the product, known as Bitcoin Exchange Traded Crypto (BTCE), tracks the price of BTC and is 100% physically backed by the cryptocurrency. “With BTCE, we are transporting Bitcoin into the fold of mainstream, regulated financial markets,” Bradley Duke, chief executive officer of ETC Group, said. “Investors get the benefits of trading and owning Bitcoin through a regulated security while having the optionality of redeeming Bitcoin if they choose,” he added.
Nium issues Visa cards in Australia: Fintech platform Nium has partnered with payment giant Visa to offer card issuance in Australia. The agreement will enable Nium to carry out real-time fund transfers to both physical and virtual Visa cards. It can also facilitate secure digital payments via tokenization for in-stores, online payments and at ATM points. “One of Nium’s primary goals is to improve business efficiency through the introduction and facilitation of financial technology, and this partnership with Visa allows us to do that at scale,” Nium head of cards product Gitesh Athavale said.
Turkish bank processes first crypto payment: Germany’s Commerzbank and Turkish bank İşbank have completed a live, commercial pilot transaction over the Marco Polo platform for open account trade finance. The transaction involved the export of laminated glass interlayers from German firm Kuraray Europe to Turkish company Şişecam. The companies digitally processed the order and delivery details via Corda blockchain technology on the Marco Polo trade finance network. According to Commerzbank, this transaction marks the first ever Turkish-German transaction via the trade finance network, and the first time a Turkish bank has performed a trade finance transaction using distributed ledger technology.
Japan: Home builder uses blockchain to simplify rental contracts
Fintech: Finexity opens blockchain platform for third-party providers
Blockchain poll: Russians decide on constitutional change
Fashion label COS: H&M extends partnership with VeChain
South Korea: Blockchain start-up launches NFT marketplace for gaming sector
Around 6 million Bitcoins are kept in so-called multi-signature wallets. These are wallets that require a certain number of signatures for transactions.
China working on blockchain platform for steel industry: China’s main trade association for metals is developing a consortium blockchain to cover the entire steel supply chain. China is the world’s largest producer (51%), as well as the largest consumer of steel. The steel trade association set up the Steel Industry Chain Blockchain Alliance in 2018. Chen Leiming, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the China National Association of Metal Material Trade, sees Chinese overcapacity and a lack of coordination within the supply chain as the two primary challenges facing the steel sector. Additionally, Leiming says there’s a lack of coordination between upstream, midstream and downstream players. He suggests using technology such as blockchain to improve productivity and efficiency in the movement of goods.
Central bank digital currencies endanger private banks, says fed: The Philadelphia branch of the United States Federal Reserve has published a new report that warns about the potential effects of issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The Fed said that after the introduction of a CBDC, the central bank would become a deposit monopolist, attracting all deposits away from the commercial banking sector. This monopolization could endanger maturity transformation, according to the Fed, which is the practice of financial institutions borrowing money on shorter time frames than they lend it out.
“Bitcoin is the most commercially successful application of blockchain technology. It has its market as a private currency, but it is also limited to its existence as a private currency.”
Wu Xiaoling, the former vice president of the Chinese central bank, on the success of Bitcoin.
Brave browser CEO apologizes for automatically adding affiliate links to cryptocurrency URLs: Brave, the open-source browser designed to prioritize privacy by blocking third-party ads and trackers, is facing criticism from users for redirecting URLs from cryptocurrency companies to affiliate links that Brave profits from. Brave co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich tweeted that the company had made a mistake and was correcting it.

KW 23: Journalism platform Civil closes, China working on blockchain platform for steel industry, Uruguay launches first blockchain network for cannabis

Journalism platform Civil closes: Decentralized, blockchain-driven journalism marketplace Civil has closed its doors. Civil was founded in 2016 as one of the first companies to explore the potential for blockchain and cryptocurrency in the media space. The startup’s goal was to allow publishers to establish a trusted newsroom by staking its CVL token, and then users could also spend CVL to reward publishers or stake it to have a say in the governance of the platform. The team and technology behind Civil have been folded into ConsenSys, the New York-based Ethereum incubator which backed Civil. The team will now work on Ethereum-based identity solutions going forward.
China working on blockchain platform for steel industry: China’s main trade association for metals is developing a consortium blockchain to cover the entire steel supply chain. China is the world’s largest producer (51%), as well as the largest consumer of steel. The steel trade association set up the Steel Industry Chain Blockchain Alliance in 2018. Chen Leiming, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the China National Association of Metal Material Trade, sees Chinese overcapacity and a lack of coordination within the supply chain as the two primary challenges facing the steel sector. Additionally, Leiming says there’s a lack of coordination between upstream, midstream and downstream players. He suggests using technology such as blockchain to improve productivity and efficiency in the movement of goods.
Uruguay launches first blockchain network for cannabis: A company in Uruguay has decided to launch the world’s first blockchain-based app to allow the tracking of medical cannabis. Uruguay Can is a leading cannabis producer that works on agro-industrial integration projects for medicinal and recreational cannabis. The company’s new platform is built on æternity, a decentralized and scalable blockchain protocol and is set to be put into operation next June and July, just in time for the planting season.
New funding program from Wayra and Telefónica: Telecommunications group Telefonica is starting a cooperation with the innovation hub Wayra and wants to win the support of startups from future technologies such as AI, blockchain, big data and IoT for its activation program. The young companies will be given the opportunity to access Telefonica’s digital platforms. This enables them to test their infrastructure on a global scale and to establish their solutions on the market.
Career choice: Rather software developer than blockchain developer
Marketing: The unrecognized potential of the blockchain for advertising
Free trade: Blockchain in China’s master plan
Fake news: Blockchain and journalism
Corporations: BMW, Bayer and Amazon rely on the blockchain
Bitcoin has reached $10,378 on the crypto exchange despite the recent halving.
BSI presents new blockchain study: Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) analyzed and evaluated blockchain applications in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the security levels in the blockchain ecosystem. According to the BSI, almost all offers tested cannot have an “official security certificate”. According to the IT security agency, most of the blockchain products examined have a high level of security, and no major vulnerabilities have been identified, but there are some fundamental problems. This often includes shared blocks of code between examined products, especially in cases where sophisticated encryption methods are used, as well as a large number of dependencies on external libraries that are available in outdated versions.
Samsung joins Gemini crypto exchange: US crypto exchange Gemini has partnered with technology giant Samsung Electronics for wallet integration. The partnership means US and Canadian customers can use the Samsung Blockchain Wallet in conjunction with Gemini’s mobile application. The partnership is reportedly the first of its kind. Downloadable on Samsung Galaxy phones, the tech giant’s wallet acts as a crypto storage location. A result of the collaboration, the wallet can now connect with the Gemini exchange.
“Using blockchain technology, digital central bank money can be passed on just as securely in virtual space as paper money in real space. Confidence in the intrinsic value of digital money could be created by strictly limiting further issuance. That could be guaranteed with a ‘smart contract’, a kind of electronic watermark, integrated into the blockchain.”
Thomas Mayer, founding director of the Flossbach-von-Storch research institute, has called for the use of blockchain in finance.
Minecraft meets blockchain: Blockchain game technology company Enjin announced that their plugin “EnjinCraft” is now available on the popular video game, Minecraft. According to the announcement made by Enjin, the blockchain plugin will allow players to integrate, trade, and use blockchain gaming items through the servers. This type of integration between the worlds of gaming and blockchain is the first of its kind.

KW 22: Facebook rebrands cryptocurrency wallet to Novi, Vodafone, Energy Web to link power grid assets, Blockchain gets university credit

Facebook rebrands cryptocurrency wallet to Novi: Facebook has announced that it has renamed a key component of its ambitious cryptocurrency project known as Libra. Henceforth, the company’s digital wallet, which it hopes to launch late this year, will be known as Novi instead of Calibra, which was said to have reminded some too much of the now outsourced cryptocurrency Libra. Libra continues to struggle with regulatory headwinds and partner decline. Facebook announced the Libra network last June with hopes of launching its cryptocurrency in 2019, but the project soon became mired in political and regulatory controversy.
Vodafone, Energy Web to link power grid assets: Vodafone has entered into a deal with blockchain network Energy Web to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs) with power grids using IoT and blockchain technology. For renewable energy generation, energy assets including solar panels, wind turbines and batteries need to communicate with the grid and require a secure identity to do so. Hence the partnership plans to deploy SIM-centric blockchain technology (SCB) with IoT connectivity from Vodafone Business.
Blockchain gets university credit: While blockchain isn’t a mainstay yet in college curriculums, more universities are offering courses exploring the technology and business and industry use cases, for example the Melbourne Institute of Technology. It’s an area of intense focus at RMIT University (formerly known as Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Melbourne Technical College), which has set up a Blockchain Innovation Hub that draws students from the business and technology schools and offers courses in blockchain technology to both groups of students.
Blockchain developers earn less than mobile developers: According to the latest report from DevQuarterly, blockchain developers overall earn much less than developers working on mobile apps, websites, and custom software, as well as data scientists. There are also significantly fewer developers working on blockchain technology, indicating that the industry is still in its infancy. DevQuarterly found that there are 467,000 web developers worldwide, earning between $61 and $88 per hour. The second-largest workforce was mobile developers, with 379,000 people worldwide earning between $57 and $84 per hour. The third-largest workforce was data scientists, who were by far the biggest earners out of all the different types of developers. According to the report, the 281,000 data scientists around the globe earned between $73 and $103 per hour.
Real estate: Investments via blockchain
Bavaria: Innovation award for first blockchain cooperation in the judiciary
AIT project: HotCity wins Austrian Blockchain Award
Business: The blockchain and possible business models
Tokensoft, a digital securities platform for enterprises and financial institutions, has used blockchain tech to distribute equity to investors in a $4 million funding round.
China’s congress proposes blockchain development fund: The National People’s Congress, China’s parliament and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the most powerful political advisory body in the country, begun their annual sessions on May 22. A deputy to the National People’s Congress has suggested setting up a special fund for blockchain industry development. If accepted, this fund would be led by the government. The aim of the fund is to support the development and growth of a number of promising blockchain enterprises, encourage blockchain technology innovation, and cultivate a number of unicorn enterprises in the blockchain space.
World Economic Forum sets framework for blockchain: The World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council has developed sixteen principles to protect users and preserve the values of the technology so that all can benefit. Rights are grouped into four broad pillars: Transparency & Accessibility – the right to information about the system; Privacy & Security – the right to data protection; Agency & Interoperability – the right for individuals to own and manage their data; and Accountability & Governance – the right for system users to understand available recourse. “The blockchain ecosystem needed a baseline for designing applications that preserve the rights of users,” said Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Data Policy, World Economic Forum. “During our council meeting, we realized we could help curb many of the mistakes and missteps seen so far if we were able to provide developers, governments and executives with a ‘Bill of Rights’ style document.”
“Halving is not directly relevant to market liquidity or price. But it is an indispensable gear in the mechanics of bitcoin. It ensures that the computing power required to maintain the network is available and is a fundamental factor in increasing the market value.”
Bitcoin expert Christoph Lymbersky explains the importance of halving.
Buy Maradona with tokens at a fantasy game: Argentinian world soccer player Diego Maradona can now appear as a digital trainer in a fantasy football game. Collectibles company Panini America releases officially licensed trading cards based on blockchain that feature iconic athletes. The game company has developed a type of collection system that is reminiscent of Panini trading cards – but is digitally verified with blockchain. With the tokens collected, players can use Maradona as a coach for their teams.,

KW 20: Telegram gives up on its blockchain currency and platform, Switzerland supports blockchain plan, How the blockchain can help fight fake news

Telegram gives up on its blockchain currency and platform: Messaging app Telegram has shelved its blockchain project called Telegram Open Network (TON) after a protracted legal battle with US legal authorities, founder Pavel Durov said in a blog post. The blockchain project and cryptocurrency raised about $1.7 billion from investors in 2018, at the height of the initial coin offering frenzy. Telegram had been working for more than two years on a blockchain platform called TON and a cryptocurrency to be named Gram. In October last year, the US SEC sued to shut it down because Grams, the tokens to be distributed to investors, were unregistered securities. In March, a US judge affirmed the SEC decision and ruled that the Gram token couldn’t be distributed not only in the United States, but also globally.
Austrian government supports blockchain app for waste heat registration: Austria’s HotCity initiative has announced a blockchain proof-of-concept to crowdsource waste heat for use in other processes. Starting with Vienna and Graz, the Austrian government-funded project aims to make neighborhoods energy efficient and develop plus-energy districts. The platform enables citizens to find and submit data from sources such as physical inspections, photos, or Google Maps. Based on the collected data, HotCity can map the quality and quantity of waste heat sources. For their participation, citizens will be given reward points, or tokens which will be recorded on the Ignis Child Chain, a part of the Ardor blockchain ecosystem. These tokens could potentially be used for other vouchers and services.
Ripple joins ISO 20022 panel: Ripple has become a member of the ISO 20022 standards body, which is driving a new data standard for payments and data messaging between global financial institutions. The company claims to be the first distributed ledger technology focused member of the group, which includes a number of international commercial and central banks along with payment processing entities like SWIFT and Visa. ISO 20022 proposes a single standardized approach in methodology, process and repository to enable communication and interoperability between all global financial organizations.
Switzerland supports blockchain plan: The Swiss National Council Commission has approved a proposal for a law amendment to make Switzerland more attractive as a location for the development of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. The country wants to position itself on new capital markets and tread unbureaucratic paths in blockchain technology. This is an important step forward, especially in the current economic crisis.
Progress: Blockchain – where does the path lead?
Crisis: Swiss company mobilizes blockchain know-how to fight coronavirus
Retail: Closing financing gaps with digital securities
Health care: Blockchain – an opportunity for medicine?
Art: A shred of Warhol
The European Blockchain Institute in Dortmund will receive funding of 7.7 million euros.
How the blockchain can help fight fake news: In times of crisis, fake news on social networks is booming and causing uncertainty. Entrepreneur Alex Berezovskyi sees potential in the blockchain to track transparency and identify manipulated messages. An information system based on the blockchain could help people trace the origin of a message right down to the author. Manipulated articles and incorrectly summarized sources could easily be identified. However, Berezovskyi believes that education and political will are also needed to fight disinformation.
The number of women in crypto and blockchain is skyrocketing: According to analysts, the number of women in the cryptocurrency industry increased by 43.24% in the first quarter of 2020. As global financial conditions tightened, many people began to invest in real estate, gold and cryptocurrencies. Assuming that females tend to be more pessimistic than males about the global economy, their confidence in cryptocurrency could significantly increase in 2020. As such, many women found a safe haven in digital assets.
“The blockchain enables workers worldwide to work together and form a decentralized, autonomous organization. So, there would be neither a boss nor hierarchies.”
Lawyer and blockchain expert Biyan Mienert on the application areas of blockchain in everyday working life.
Grammy winner publishes music as a token: Grammy-winning DJ RAC has released a personal token on a newly launched Ethereum-based marketplace called Zora. The team behind Zora first gained traction in late 2019 when it put out Saint Fame, a decentralized autonomous organization that has created an Ethereum-based fashion house. The new platform aims to help other creators follow Saint Fame’s successful experiment and launch limited-edition products themselves. The pitch, according to the project’s creator Jacob Horne, is to let brands capture their products’ resale value.

KW 19: US Democrats call for distribution of state aid via blockchain, Libra initiative has new members, Why Bitcoin’s predecessors failed

Digital Ministry NRW supports European Blockchain Institute: The North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy supports the European Blockchain Institute in the German state with 7.7 million euros. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML and chairs of the Dortmund University of Technology are involved in the institute. Prof. Michael Henke, Director of the Fraunhofer IML, said: “With the project to build the Blockchain Institute, Fraunhofer IML is creating an institute that is unique in Europe and will drive digitalization in science and practice. Blockchain as a key technology has the potential to make data exchange tamper-proof and to automate a large number of processes in the value chain and to autonomize it in the future.”
TH Lübeck issues blockchain certificates for online courses: For the first time ever, the Technical University of Lübeck has issued the MOOC (“Massive Open Online Course”) final certificate on the subject of network security via the blockchain. The solution was created as part of the “IMPactDigital” and “Digital Campus” projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The metadata are standardized according to the OpenBadges standard and the data protection conformity is checked via an external legal opinion. In the future, the technology should be freely accessible as open source.
US Democrats call for distribution of state aid via blockchain: In order to speed up and improve on the distribution of US state aid in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, some Democratic congressmen are demanding the use of blockchain technology. They believe this would also preserve the United States’ technological lead in the world. In a joint letter to the US Treasury Department, signed by eleven politicians, it is stated that the ministry should “be encouraged to use private sector innovations such as blockchain and DLT to support the necessary government agencies, distribute aid funds as well as track them”.
Libra initiative has new members: Facebook’s own cryptocurrency Libra has gained some new backers after prominent supporters had left the project. In addition to the Heifer International charity, the financial service provider Checkout is now supporting the project. Checkout is the 24th member of the Libra association. Checkout will help create a necessary regulatory framework that is of the utmost importance to the project.
-Advertisement –
AI&I vTalk with Luciano Floridi: The development of a corona tracing app is shaping the public debate. Aside from data protection, complex ethical questions arise from the use of such an app. On May 12th from 5 pm Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Information Ethics at the University of Oxford, will speak about the trust of European citizens in the use of mobile tracing apps and the ethical principles of government, business and science in the second edition of the AI&I vTalk.
People interested in participating in the discussion and asking questions to Professor Floridi are invited to visit the Vodafone Institute’s YouTube channel.
NEAR Protocol: Ethereum 2.0 competitor receives 21 million dollars from crypto venture capitalist
Paxful: Bitcoin donation campaign to curb coronavirus spread in Africa
Markus Miller: “The euro will fail – digital central bank money will replace cash”
Crypto & Corona: How Bitcoin will benefit from the reopening of the economy
Celsius: “Crypto savings bank” Celsius reaches deposits of 50,000 Bitcoins for the first time
So far, 10 million Ethereum blocks have been mined. The significant milestone was reached last Monday.
China’s crypto strategy: China is making every effort to achieve a technological lead in the area of the blockchain. However, the People’s Republic does not believe in Bitcoin. On the contrary, cryptocurrency trading was banned in China in 2017. This year, the penalties for bitcoin mining have been increased again. China wants a cryptocurrency that is completely under state control. The country’s government hopes for a digital payment system that could fight money laundering, gambling and terrorist financing. China’s state digital currency, called DC / EP, has been in a test phase since March. The Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an and Chengdu already have apps that can be used to pay with the digital currency. China actually offers the best conditions for a digital currency. Services such as Alipay from Alibaba or WeChat Pay from Tencent are widespread. Both platforms have one billion users each. Data protectionists criticized China’s plans and accused the state of monitoring its citizens even more through the introduction of the digital currency.
Why Bitcoin’s predecessors failed: Bitcoin has long been the best known and most popular cryptocurrency. The idea of ​​a cryptocurrency began in the 90s of the last century. The mathematician Eric Hughes wrote in a manifesto back in 1993: “Data protection is necessary for an open society in the electronic age”. Before Bitcoin was developed, there were a few predecessor models. For example, the DigiCash principle developed by cryptographer David Chaum. Unlike Bitcoin, DigiCash was organized centrally. In 1997 Adam Back invented Hashcash, a digital currency based on a hashing algorithm. The mining known today has already been applied to this currency. Other digital currencies followed, but none could prevail. Probably the most important factor why Bitcoin ultimately became the leading cryptocurrency was the global economic crisis of 2008, which severely affected people’s confidence in the traditional financial system.
“If you look at the annual performance of all asset classes, you are a bit amazed. Because Bitcoin is now number one.”
Salah-Eddine Bouhmidi, Head of Markets at broker IG, speaks about the potential of Bitcoin.
Indian Bitcoin exchanges call for clarity: Crypto exchanges don’t have it easy in India. The crypto-trading ban of the Indian central bank RBI was only toppled in March. The court ruling on the issue, however, hardly provided any clarity. In an open letter, Indian Bitcoin exchanges now called for clear rules from the RBI. They are particularly focused on how to tax the cryptocurrency business. Some Bitcoin exchanges are calling for the cryptocurrency business to be exempt from the tax on goods and services. “[…] if we paid GST for the entire transaction, most platforms would not be able to survive,” the letter said.

KW 18: Ebang files IPO for stock market listing, Bitkom warns of Europe’s technological lag, BSDEX is considered a reputable crypto exchange

Ebang files IPO for stock market listing: Ebang International Holdings, one of the leading manufacturers of bitcoin mining equipment, is taking another stab at going public. Ebang is seeking to raise up to $100 million through an initial public offering (IPO) in the US. Ebang said it intends to list its shares on either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq Global Market, under the ticker symbol EBON.,
Bitcoin price could drop again: American banking giant Goldman Sachs has made a bleak prediction for the S&P 500 and its one that will impact Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market. According to the firm, the major US stock index will eventually retest 2400 points around mid-year before a stronger rally back to nearly 3000 points takes place. However, due to Bitcoin‘s continued correlation with the S&P 500, not only could this point to another stock market collapse but another epic crash in the cryptocurrency market.
Bitkom warns of Europe’s technological lag: The digital association Bitkom has warned that Europe could be left behind when it comes to digital currencies. “Digital currencies can become a decisive competitive advantage in a digital and globalized world,” said Bitkom expert Julian Grigo. Europe should take a global leadership role in this area. The Dutch central bank recently proposed a digital central bank currency. The Netherlands could be a suitable place for this project.
Libra changes concept: The Libra Association has unveiled a host of new changes to its proposed stablecoin project. Facebook’s David Marcus confirmed that the Libra stablecoin project will see a host of single-currency stablecoins developed alongside a multi-currency one. Among the changes being enacted, according to Marcus, is replacing the originally planned transition to a permissionless form of governance to a market-driven open and competitive network. The move – along with other changes – constitutes a nod to the regulatory pressure the project has faced since its official inception last summer. A white paper strongly indicates that Libra could come to serve as a platform for central bank digital currencies. Such moves could change the face of Libra over time if central banks move to launch such initiatives.
Corona app: New coronavirus app combines blockchain and data protection
tBTC: Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain
HTC Exodus: The blockchain phone will soon allow crypto mining
Video game: New blockchain gaming with “proof-of-gameplay” approach
Defense: How to report risks with the blockchain
Start-up Accelerator BoostVC has raised 40 million US dollars in funding. The money will be used to finance blockchain projects.
Why many Bitcoin analyses are superfluous: No subject has seen more analysis than that of Bitcoin’s changing prices. Especially in times of the coronavirus crisis and ahead of the upcoming halving, reports that provide a price forecast are piling up, with bullish expectations, i.e. rising prices, predominating. Such analyses are often incomplete and merely reflect current market sentiment. So-called falsificationism could help here. The scientific method of the philosopher Popper states that a good scientific theory should be falsifiable or contestable. So it should be possible to set up a counter thesis.
BSDEX is considered a reputable crypto exchange: With BSDEX, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange offers a platform for the trustful and regulated trading of cryptocurrencies and their safekeeping. Peter Großkopf, one of the two managing directors of the technical operating company of “Börse Stuttgart Digital Exchange” (BSDEX), believes that banks and exchanges will have good chances to make progress in the area of cryptocurrency in the next few years, since they already have an edge over startups that don’t yet comply with existing regulations. The Stuttgart stock exchange has an advantage in terms of experience and legal background. Startups often cannot compete with that. Großkopf’s goal is to make Stuttgart Stock Exchange the European market leader for digital systems, which include cryptocurrencies. The stock exchange could be particularly interesting for non-technical investors and institutions, who put a lot of weight in the confidentiality of established stock exchanges.
“I believe the Bitcoin white paper is one of the most groundbreaking pieces of computer science in the past 20-30 years – it’s poetry.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is committed to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Crypto account to fight Venezuela’s inflation: A Colombian startup wants to help Venezuelans and provide them with Bitcoin-backed US dollars. Venezuela is suffering from hyperinflation. The FinTech Valiu therefore wants to start a Bitcoin-based synthetic dollar bank account, which could be particularly interesting for exiled Venezuelans. Instead of Venezuelan bolivar or Colombian pesos, they could then transfer bitcoins or US dollars to Venezuela to support their relatives.

KW 17: Cryptocurrencies are recovering, China pays officials with cryptocurrency, Companies want to use blockchain to secure corona test results

Cryptocurrencies are recovering: Now that the dust has settled on the historic collapse the cryptocurrency market experienced earlier this month alongside the stock market, gold, and many other traditional assets, Bitcoin and altcoins have begun to recover. In a weekly comparison, Bitcoin’s value increased by 1.1% to now 6,928 US dollars. According to a report by Coin Metrics, the Binance exchange is one of the clear winners of the crisis. BitMEX, on the other hand, had to give up a large share of the market.,
China pays officials with cryptocurrency: For the first time ever, officials in China are being paid with the digital currency Central Bank Digital Coin (CBDC). The technology includes Alibaba’s Fintech Aliplay. In addition, the Chinese Blockchain Service Network will be accessible internationally for the first time. The network is intended to promote the development of blockchain-based applications. Alipay already has a blockchain platform that is designed for Chinese medium-sized companies.
Austrian Blockchain Award winners announced: This year’s Austrian Blockchain Award recognized projects in four different categories. The “Hot City” project by Picapipe GmbH won in the research category. The company developed a gamification-based application that can be used to obtain relevant data on the location of waste heat sources. The project “Health Impact Transfer Token (HIT)” won the award in the non-profit category. The token enables the financing of preventive health measures, whereby social services are privately pre-financed and publicly reimbursed if successful.
Using blockchain for supply chain management: The company Cargo Smart wants to use the blockchain to optimize supply chain management, especially in shipping. To this end, Cargo Smart is working with the shipping company COSCO Shipping Lines and the car manufacturer Tesla. A pilot project was started in December 2019. COSCO and the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) were able to improve the freight release process by improving the pickup process for Tesla. The verification steps in freight delivery will be reduced significantly, for consignees and their forwarding agents as well as for shipping companies.
Ant Financial: “China’s Amazon” launches its own blockchain platform via Ant Financial
System integration: Challenges of blockchain interoperability
Corona crisis: Shopping with blockchain license: Spanish researchers develop coronavirus app
Automotive industry: Ripple joins the Mobility Blockchain Initiative from BMW, IBM, Ford and others
A major customer has invested 30 million US dollars in Northern Data AG, which plans to build a data center for Bitcoin mining.
Tech companies expand fintech division: Big tech companies are increasingly investing in financial technologies and thus competing with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Google, for example, is currently developing a smart debit card that will be integrated into the Google Pay app. The card will be released later this year. Apple has also published its own credit card together with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. Facebook is known to be working on its own cryptocurrency called Libra. After a long silence, Facebook announced that it would develop several stablecoins that represent different fiat currencies. The project differs from Bitcoin in the way that Facebook would have access to its users’ customer data thanks to the currencies.
Companies want to use blockchain to secure corona test results: German company CENTOGENE and Cologne blockchain start-up Ubirch have developed a solution to systematically lessen the effects of the pandemic lockdown. The companies plan on using the blockchain to store corona test results, which are then accessible from anywhere. This could allow people who already have antibodies for the virus to move about more freely. The two businesses are working on a possible cooperation with the health authorities to offer a kind of immunity pass as soon as mass tests of antibodies are available.
“If the global economy slowly recovers and breathes new life into the world through multi-million-dollar cash infusions, then Bitcoin will most likely be in better shape than ever.”
Marshall Hayner, the managing director of Metal Pay, on Bitcoin’s development in the wake of the corona crisis.
Hacker returns stolen cryptocurrency: In a surprising turn of events, the hacker who stole $25 million in cryptocurrency from the DeFi platform has since returned the money. Most signs indicate that this was due to the hacker accidentally leaking data which could have led to their identity being discovered. The refund reportedly happened in two parts: on April 20th, sources say the hacker returned $2.79 million. The following day, the remaining amount of the stolen money was also returned.,