KW 30: Wirex becomes first Mastercard Principal Membership partner, Pentagon wants to track Bitcoin transactions, PayPal reportedly partnered with Paxos to launch its crypto service

NEWS

Wirex becomes first Mastercard Principal Membership partner: Mastercard has expanded its cryptocurrency program to make it easier for companies in the space to issue their own payment cards. The company has signed a deal with Wirex that makes the London-based start-up the first “native” cryptocurrency platform to gain principal membership. This effectively means that Wirex can now directly issue cards on Mastercard’s network. Thanks to the membership, Wirex card users will be able to immediately convert their crypto holdings into fiat currency, which can be spent at points of sale that accept Mastercard. Wirex is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and has a license to issue crypto cards in Europe. Prior to partnering with Wirex, Mastercard collaborated with blockchain payments provider BitPay this June to launch a prepaid card for crypto users in the United States.
cnbc.com, cointelegraph.com

Pentagon wants to track Bitcoin transactions: Last week, about 130 Twitter accounts of prominent people, including Joe Biden and Bill Gates, were hacked. The hackers sent out tweets from the compromised accounts asking people for Bitcoin payments. A top Pentagon investigative unit is now looking for information about hiring a crypto analytics service to quickly detect criminal and suspicious cryptocurrency transactions around the world. The US Army Criminal Investigation Division Command is looking to license an application to help them track and trace illicit cryptocurrency transactions.
cnn.com, forbes.com

PayPal reportedly partnered with Paxos to launch its crypto service: PayPal is said to have partnered with Paxos Crypto Brokerage to launch its crypto service. A formal announcement could come as soon as this week, “Coindesk” reported. The offering would make PayPal one of the most prominent mainstream companies to offer cryptocurrency purchases. PayPal and its Venmo subsidiary would be bringing direct buying and selling of crypto to some portion of the company’s 325 million users. The new Paxos brokerage, an API-based solution for making crypto services easy for businesses to roll out, allows cryptocurrency buying, selling, holding and sending capabilities – while handling all regulatory compliance aspects.
coindesk.com

BaFin’s transitional regulation runs until November 30th: In the fall of 2019, the German government passed the law implementing the Amending Directive to the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The new law has already led to some legal ramifications: The government has placed blockchain, bitcoin and tokens under the supervision of Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). This is a unique route within the EU. With the new regulation, corporate crypto transactions – the safekeeping, securing or management of crypto values – are now a financial service that requires a license. A transitional solution will apply until the end of November, companies operating in this area must have obtained a permit from BaFin by then.
blockchain-insider.de

Blockchain: End of the hype: what works, what doesn’t? handelsblatt.com
Romania: On the way to crypto regulation btc-echo.de
ECB: Will there be a crypto euro? focus.de
Cryptocurrencies: Banks search for an answer to Libra stuttgarter-zeitung.de
Two-year plan: Beijing relies on blockchain technology cvj.ch

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

Ethereum accounts for 51 percent of value held on the blockchain.
coinjournal.net

BACKGROUND

New York Times wants to use blockchain to combat misinformation: The Research & Development team at the “New York Times” has been exploring a number of different solutions to address the issue of misinformation online. One of those explorations experimented with blockchain technology. The team built a prototype that leveraged blockchain to surface a news photo’s metadata, or under-the-hood information that exists in image files, on a simulated social media feed. The researchers wanted to see whether visible contextual information, such as the photographer’s name and the location depicted in the photo, could help readers better discern the credibility of news photos in their social feeds.
nytimes.com

Blockchain and the e-file for patients: The German government recently agreed to introduce the so-called “electronic patient file” (ePA). Health insurance companies were entrusted with the implementation of the digital file, which stores, among other things, medical records, vaccine cards and maternity logs. The e-file is intended to bundle all important patient data and make it available to authorized doctors, hospitals or pharmacies. But there is increasing criticism of its implementation: the concept is outdated, central storage is at least negligent. In fact, it would be conceivable to use blockchain technology for the development of the e-file in order to have a decentralized storage of patient data.
computerwoche.de

QUOTE

“Bitcoin emits as much CO2 as entire countries.”
Blockchain researcher Ulrich Gallersdörfer works at the Faculty of Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich and published a highly regarded paper on the ecological balance of Bitcoin last year.
dasinvestment.com

BLOCKBUG

Experts say Twitter breach troubling: A breach in Twitter’s security that allowed hackers to break into the accounts of leaders and technology moguls is one of the worst attacks in recent years and may shake trust in a platform politicians and CEOs use to communicate with the public, experts have said. But while the scope of the incident was massive in its own right — impacting accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett — it could merely be the tip of a very large iceberg with vast security implications. Cybersecurity experts and policymakers now worry that the bitcoin scam may mask a much more troubling data breach involving the personal communications of the world’s most powerful people.
apnews.com, cnn.com

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