Singapore: Ubin ready for launch: The Monetary Authority of Singapore and state investment firm Temasek have announced that the blockchain-based multi-currency payments network Ubin has proven its commercial potential after tests with more than 40 companies. A prototype developed by Temasek and J.P. Morgan began undergoing testing last year to see how well it would integrate with commercial blockchain applications. Its potential uses include faster, less costly cross-border transactions; foreign currency exchange; and smart contracts for escrow and trade.
Berlin blockchain startup Lition: The Berlin-based green tech startup Lition Energie is an electricity provider licensed by the Federal Network Agency that sells green electricity via its website. Customers can choose their own electricity producers on the platform, including biogas or solar systems. The Blockchain startup has already accumulated millions in sales.
Blockchain solution for billing roaming payments: Spanish Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and the British provider Vodafone are testing a blockchain solution for billing roaming discount contracts. The calculation of inter-carrier payments is a tedious task, so commercial roaming processes will now be dealt with between mobile operators. Intelligent contracts can thus speed up billing between operators. Blockchain startup Clear has developed blockchain-based settlement and clearing networks for global industries. Eran Haggiag, co-founder and CEO of Clear, explains that the blockchain has enormous potential, can automate many of the manual processes in the industry, and offers significant benefits to companies and their customers.
PayPal develops its own cryptocurrency: PayPal has confirmed that it is developing capabilities in the cryptocurrency space, according to a letter to the European Commission. In the letter, the payments giant admitted to “continuously monitoring and evaluating global developments in the crypto and blockchain/distributed ledger space,” stressing that it favors a “harmonized” regulatory approach that wouldn’t compromise innovation.
Volvo invests in blockchain group to track electric battery materials ft.com
India’s Farmer Producer Company model explores blockchain for food traceability ledgerinsights.com
“Aikon”: US rapper Akon creates his own cryptocurrency in Africa finanzen.net
United States: Democrat urges Apple and Google to curb foreign app data sharing ft.com
Managing digital identities: The industry association Bitkom wants to help users manage their digital identity themselves without being dependent on a central identity service provider. “Self Sovereign Identity Use Cases – from vision to practice” is the name of a Bitkom paper that explains how self-sovereign identity works and introduces four use cases of decentralized digital identities. The user receives a one-time digital certificate from trustworthy authorities which includes certain personal identity characteristics such as address or age. This can then be used for identification and authentication without the provider’s further consent.
Crypto-Currency Act of 2020: On March 9th, US senator Paul Gosar introduced the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020,” a bill that looks to choreograph a wide range of digital assets to answer to the appropriate regulator. Gosar’s legislative assistant explained that the bill aimed to provide not only clarity, but legitimacy to crypto assets in the United States. The language of the bill would seem to cement the status of digital assets like Bitcoin as crypto-commodities rather than crypto-currencies. The classification of “crypto-currency” reads “representations of United States currency or synthetic derivatives” — more reminiscent of stablecoins like Tether.
“Europe needs the programmable euro.”
Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner, head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and Jonas Groß, project manager and research assistant at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, explain why Europe doesn’t need a blockchain-based digital, programmable euro in order to avoid losing its global importance.
Introduce the programmable euro! The monetary system is changing – Facebook has started project Libra, with which it wants to create a worldwide payment system by the end of this year. China has announced its own digital currency called DC/EP, which has been in testing since April. And Europe? Europe threatens to lose importance globally if it doesn’t respond with its own digital currency. The advantages range from the programmability of cash flows through smart contracts to higher efficiency in cross-border payments. In order to avoid undesirable dependencies in the area of payment systems, Europe should quickly take initiative.