KW 10: IBM and Ubirch develop digital Covid vaccine passport, Christie’s auctions off digital artwork, More crypto trading planned on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange


IBM and Ubirch develop digital Covid vaccine passport: The US company has beat its competitor Telekom and was awarded the development contract for the digital Covid vaccination certificate in Germany. IBM will develop the digital passport together with the Cologne-based startup Ubirch. The startup is considered an expert in digital certificates and already has experience when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ubirch has already developed solutions for the digital ID in the Zollernalb district (Baden-Württemberg), which rely on IOTA and Ethereum. In addition, Ubirch manages the Covid test results of the test center at Frankfurt Airport, which is why this cooperation sounds like a suitable choice for rapid development.

Christie’s auctions off digital artwork: Mike Winkelmann never used to call himself an artist. But that was before he made $3.5 million in a single weekend from selling his artworks. In December, he auctioned off multiple editions of three digital artworks, each priced at $969, and 21 unique works, most of which sold for about $100,000 each. It was only the second time he had put his art on sale. The digital artist, who goes by Beeple, has created a drawing every single day for the last 13 years. On Thursday, a two-week-long online auction of a composite of the first 5,000 days of the project will begin at Christie’s, which says it’s the auction house’s first sale of a solely digital artwork. It will also be the first time that Christie’s will accept payment in the cryptocurrency Ether.

More crypto trading planned on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: Deutsche Börse is reacting to the unbroken boom in cryptocurrencies by further expanding its trading offering. In the future, products that are „physically secured with Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash“ can be traded. „With the expansion to Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, we are creating further investment opportunities to trade crypto products efficiently in the regulated exchange environment,“ said Stephan Kraus, head of the ETF segment at Deutsche Börse. A similar product has been around for Bitcoin since last year.

NBA Blockchain Committee: The American basketball league, the National Basketball Association (NBA), has created a blockchain advisory committee comprised of a number of its billionaire owners such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Called the “Blockchain Advisory Subcommittee,” the new association’s members include Monumental Sports owner Ted Leonsis, Bain Capital and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and Utah Jazz co-owner Ryan Sweeney. The announcement comes on the back of the recent success and popularity of Top Shots, a digital card collectible game built by licensing partner Dapper Labs.

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In order to get the digital yuan to the people quickly, the Chinese government gifted 50,000 randomly selected citizens a virtual envelope with 200 yuan (25 euros) each in the corresponding mobile phone app.


JPMorgan creates new unit for blockchain projects: At JPMorgan Chase, the firm’s digital currency JPM Coin is being used commercially for the first time this week by a large technology client to send payments around the world, said Takis Georgakopoulos, the bank’s global head of wholesale payments. That development, along with other behind-the-scene moves, persuaded JPMorgan to create a new business to house its blockchain and digital currency efforts called Onyx, Georgakopoulos said last week in a phone interview. The unit has more than 100 dedicated staffers, he said.

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Ethereum’s EIP 1559 update to make blockchain faster and cheaper: The implementation of the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559 is considered the largest and most influential update of the blockchain in recent years. It aims to make the Ethereum network cheaper and faster by restructuring the transaction fees. The regulation was decided in the course of the All-Core-Developers-Call on March 5, 2021 and is to flow into the London-Update.


„Cash is a piece of freedom – and Bitcoin will never replace it.“
Bundesbank board member Burkhard Balz in an interview with the “Wirtschaftskurier”.


John McAfee charged with fraud: Businessman John McAfee, creator of the McAfee anti-virus software, has been charged in the US with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. McAfee and his bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson Jr are accused of promoting cryptocurrencies to McAfee’s large Twitter following to inflate prices. The currencies were then allegedly sold, making the pair $2m (£1.45m), prosecutors said.

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