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.

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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.

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