Lolli Starts Partnership With Safeway To Drive Bitcoin Adoption Up

You have probably already heard of Lolli. The company helps consumers who use its app by giving a small percentage of the purchases made on the app back in Bitcoin. The company is well-known for its mission of making crypto more accessible this way.

Most consumers are used to names such as Mastercard and Visa, but most of them do not use Bitcoin or other cryptos because they are afraid of what they don’t know. Lolli’s strategy is to give these cashbacks in Satoshi (BTC’s smallest unit) in order to make more people hold BTC and understand how interesting it is.

Today, Lolli revealed an important new partnership: the company is starting to work together with two major grocery chains, Safeway and Albertsons. The CEO of Lolli, Alex Adelman, talked to Yahoo Finance today and affirmed that the new partnership is done and that its goal is to turn BTC into a part of everyone’s daily life.

This is a big deal. While Safeway is responsible for 900 grocery stores in North America, Albertsons has 2,300 of them. At the moment, no more details have been released, but Lolli offers a rebate of 3.5% on the transactions made with the app, so this deal will possibly follow a similar pattern.

Lolli also made a partnership with Hotels.com recently, a considerably big travel company. The service has a total of over 320,000 listed hotels in 19,000 different places.

By using the app on grocery stores during a whole year and then using Lolli for travelling on a vacation, someone can earn a decent amount of BTC, which is certainly going to be handy. The goal is to make the service so irresistible that it would seem crazy not to use it.

Many people believe that the price of Bitcoin will skyrocket soon (it is already up at least 200% this year), so taking any Satoshi is certain profit. Will this be enough for you to use Lolli? That’s up for you to decide, but even with stable prices, saving 3.5% in each purchase is really not a bad deal when you look at how much you saved during the whole year.

With the expansion of its services, Lolli is bound to get a considerably bigger share of the market.

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Croation Postal Corporation Pilots Crypto-to-Fiat Conversion Services

Croatian crypto holders wishing to swap their BTC, ETH or XRP coins for the local currency now have no reason to worry, thanks to Hrvatska Pošta. The state-run postal corporation announced this on Thursday, saying they are piloting crypto exchange service for the country’s cryptocurrency community.

The pilot service is happening in three post offices in Zadar, a coastal city, and permits holders of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple and EOS to convert them to Kuna, a local fiat. The whole process is short and straightforward as users only have to fill an application and scan a special QR code.

The service is a collaboration with Electrocoin and takes place in the city of Zadar. Already, the service has started having been rolled on July 15, even though the official announcement was made on July 24.

According to Hrvatska Pošta, the decision to pilot the service was informed by the need to gauge the market’s interest in crypto-to-fiat conversion service. Ultimately though, the Croatian Post expects to roll over the service to other cities across the country, including the popular tourist hubs.

Throughout this whole endeavor, however, it will be heavily dependent upon the experience of Electrocoin, which has reportedly been running crypto brokerage services for five years now. Electrocoin’s website claims to be offering its services across the European Union.

Croatia Eager to Embrace Crypto Even Further

While the decision clearly underscores that the country is open to the cryptocurrency revolution, it also explains the needs of a growing crypto community in the Southeastern European country.

The surge in Bitcoin and digital asset enthusiasts coupled with this new service is expected to force the Croatian Post to use its entire network of 1,016 postal offices.

Other European Countries Launch Theirs

Croatia, meanwhile, isn’t the only European country eager to be part of the rapid cryptocurrency revolution. Liechtensteinische Post AG, Lichtenstein’s equivalent of Hrvatska Pošta, announced plans to launch a similar service in February.

Yet, just recently, Gustav Gstoehl, the regional director of Lichtenstein’s official postal service said theirs has registered immense success. He said that they would expand the services further by increasing user’s daily limit by 20 times from 1000 Francs to 20,000 Francs.

Cointelegraph had earlier reported that the Austrian Post had embarked on releasing an array of Blockchain-based collectible stamps from June. The special stamps, the first of their kind across the planet, were reportedly launched in two parts: normal stamps, but inscribed with an Ethereum unicorn, and a special authenticator to be scanned using QR code.

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Metamask Finally Launches The Beta Of Its Ethereum Wallet Mobile App

The long-awaited new version of Metamask was released on Beta phase today. The popular Ethereum (ETH) dapp browser has just decided to unveil its mobile app to the world this week.

This new version is set to bring all the functionalities that you can use on your desktop computer to Android and iOS mobile devices. According to the creators, the product can be used together with all the plug-ins released so far.

A blog post that was created for the launch affirms that the Beta testing phase will be mainly used in order to gather some feedback about user experience and potential bugs before the v.1 is launched later in 2019.

The goal of Metamask Mobile will be to be more than “just another wallet”, according to the blog post. The idea is to create a real bridge that will let people easily access the decentralized web and use browsers now on their phones, so they can access it from anywhere in the world.

This new mobile app will have its own crypto wallet in which users will be able to store non-fungible tokens (think about Crypto Kitties if you want to know what they are) for collectibles based on the Ethereum technology.

It was also reported that the mobile version will have an improved onboarding experience and that it can be completely synched

Metamask’s desktop app version currently has over 250,000 users, so there is a pretty good chance that the product will reach a pretty big market. The mobile app was officially announced at the end of last year, so people are waiting for it for a long time. Earlier this year, the company had at least 1.1 million transactions in a single month, most of them happening on the ETH blockchain.

Even though fewer people are interested in dapps these days when compared to 2017 when they started to blossom, Metamask retained a considerably big portion of its users and will possibly get even more users now that the new app is set to be launched.

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Share Internet Data (SID) Partners With LDJ Capital For A Digital Banking Solution Project, LDJ Digital

Share Internet Data Ltd (SID), an internet crowdsourcing company has recently confirmed through a press release that they are partnering with private equity firm LDJ Capital to work on a new project called LDJ Digital.

According to their website, one of the key mission SID project is:

“To lift as many people as possible out of poverty by means of giving the less fortunate a way to access the Internet.”

SID proposes a solution that is different from the current methods being implemented. Currently, users only obtained the Internet directly from traditional service providers or mobile network operators or Wi-Fi hotspots. SID aims to offer smartphone users the possibility of accessing crowd-sourced internet shared by other users on their ecosystem.

This can even be accessed even if the user has no coverage or no data credit or simply no Internet access at a given location but they are nearby other SID smartphones who do have Internet access. It is done by using their innovative crowdsourced Internet in a peer-to-peer or peer-to-multi-peer structure overseen by a patent-pending proprietary technology.

A user can trade tokens for megabytes of shared internet which will be implemented through utomated way through contracts secured by a blockchain. Such trades will create a liquid token (virtual voucher) market that could possibly trigger the unleashing of a vast amount of people coming out of poverty simply by the fact that they would have finally a means to access the Internet.

Given below is the video that sums up how this technology works.

SID Chairman and LDJ Digital CEO, Jose Merino said:

“Free access to the internet opens the floodgates of access to a host of other global resources. Financial inclusion is one of the logical results of this. The SID ecosystem is set up to support a robust community that embraces educational, social, and financial inclusion among others.”

Another project that is working on solving a similar problem is Napster creator Shawn Fanning’s company Helium. With 200X the range of Wi-Fi at 1/1000th of the cost of a cellular modem, Helium’s “LongFi” wireless network. Its transmitters can help track stolen scooters, find missing dogs via IoT collars and collect data from infrastructure sensors.

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Fidelity-Backed Blockchain Accelerator Startup Studio Welcomes Over 50 Members

In order to keep the blockchain industry moving along, blockchain accelerators have started to arise with greater popularity. A Fidelity-backed accelerator has had substantial success lately, adding more members to their already-successful platform.

  • Blockchain accelerators are growing in popularity around the world.
  • Startup Studio, backed by Fidelity, has over 50 members, and recently onboarded 20 more players.

Startup Studio is a blockchain accelerator, which is primarily backed by Fidelity. The accelerator already has over 50 members, including major players like the Ethereum Foundation, Blockchain Capital, and Messari. Now, in a blog post, it appears that over 20 different organizations have joined. This announcement was released by IDEO CoLab Ventures, which supports the blockchain accelerator program.

In their announcement of the new members to the program, IDEO commented,

“Today, we’re excited to share the humans behind them – and many more – who deeply care abut the blockchain community and helping entrepreneurs and developers in it succeed.”

So far, some of the notable industry players that have been on boarded with Startup Studio include:

  • Denelle Dixon, the CEO of Stellar Development Foundation
  • Ryan Selkis, the co-founder and CEO of Messari
  • Joey Krug, the co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital
  • Robbie Bent, of ecosystem support at Ethereum Foundation

The list includes many other players.

The Startup Studio started receiving support from several major global firms – Fidelity, Deloitte, and Amazon – on July 11th. The goal of this accelerator is ultimately to offer workshops for skill-building within blockchain startups. Some of these skills include law and engineering, product design, smart contract development, finance and hiring, and other areas of interest.

Internationally, through the last few months, blockchain accelerators have started to grow in popularity. Four months ago, a blockchain accelerator called Tribe– supported by the Singaporean government – managed to secure BMW and Intel as two major partners. Both of these companies will offer help to the startups that are chose to receive support.

Fusang Finally Announces its Strategic Partnership with Point95 Global and Proxicoin

Fusang Group, a Hong Kong-based provider of institutional infrastructure for the Asian Blockchain economy, has confirmed its strategic partnership with Point95 Global and Proxicoin. Although they agreed a while ago, it was only until on Tuesday that the company made it public.

The deal had already been signed earlier this year, and it then allowed Proxicoin to be listed among the first tokens to be supported by the exchange. But the partnership, according to the Group, is bound to boost their security token offering and allow Point95 to market different securities listed on the Fusang exchange.

The Group’s Chief Executive spoke highly of the partnership. According to him, Fusang and both PCN Media and Point95 Global share one common vision of seeing the conventional financial system get transformed into a streamlined, borderless and more efficient Blockchain-powered ecosystem.

Fusang Group Targeting the Asian Securities Token Market

Fusang rolled out their tokenized securities platform in March this year, having obtained a permit from the Malaysia regulators. It became the pioneer to launch such a platform across Asia.

But even as it announces the partnership, the exchange is still holding talks with several other potential partners. The Group is eager to have more service providers onboard in its quest to streamline the exchange’s infrastructure as it gets it ready for a launch slated for later this year.

Chong also spoke about it, saying that even though they have a huge vision for the industry, the Group knows too well that it would take time for it to be achieved. The, however, admitted that the partnership announced would be the first of many that will ultimately forge a formidable base for their vision.

Already, Fusang has it’s crypto custodian service operating having been launched. The service targets a majority of the vast Asian institutional investor base.

Point95 Global’s chair, Jingyuan Ye, also praised the potential that the crypto-asset market commands. Calling it “infinite,” he said that this potential would only be realized if institutional investors exploit it.

According to him, cryptocurrency exchanges have been struggling to navigate the rigorous regulatory nature, what Fusang will ease through because of its unique approach that focuses on compliance and regulation ahead of anything else.

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Media Blockchain Pilot Welcomes McDonald’s, Virgin Media, and Nestle for Advertising Purposes

The cryptocurrency industry has brought blockchain industry to the masses, and there are many companies have already started running trials of their own. With the recent blockchain trial of Jicwebs, three new companies are joining in.

  • Jicwebs has a blockchain trial that is presently active, involving many major companies.
  • The goal of the pilot is to improve digital advertising.

Blockchain technology is being adapted to many different use cases, leading to the blockchain trial by the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards.

There have already been multiple major companies to be added to this trial, and it looks like the Jicwebs has added a few more. According to an article by The Block, which referenced The Drum, the trial will now include McDonald’s, Nestlé, and Virgin Media.

The three companies will be involved with the pilot to show exactly the ways that they can use the fintech as a way to improve their digital advertising side with more transparency and trust. The pilot is planned to go through the rest of this year, though the first phase will primarily look at how blockchain technology can impact advertising. Going forward, the trial will also touch on the way to “optimize the supply chain and gain operational efficiencies for all involved” with the tech.

Kat Howcroft, the senior media and budget manager for McDonald’s, explained that the use of blockchain

“offers us the opportunity to see a truly transparent picture of our investment across the digital supply chain. We are also eager to understand the potential impact that this may have on our ROI and efficiency.”

Along with Nestlé, McDonald’s and Virgin Media, their respective media agencies will be involved as well, which include Zenith, OMD UK, and Manning Gottlieb OMD. Other participants will be announced as the trial continues and further supply chain mapping is completed, which will end up including publishers and tech vendors. Right now, the Fiducia blockchain platform in London is supporting the trial.

Nestle has already ventured into the blockchain industry, and it has been using the tech to provide information about the condition and origins of their food since 2017. Head of media communications, Steven Pollack, commented that the brand was “excited” to be involved with the pilot. He added,

“Blockchain is a new technology being tested in many diverse industries. It’s great to be one of the first brands to gain insight into its potential in programmatic.”

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Binance GBP (BGBP) Stablecoin Officially Gets Listed On Binance Jersey Crypto Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance has involved itself in an array of goals from listing, to launching and expanding. Earlier this year, the popular exchange revealed its plans for a fiat-to-crypto stablecoin, which they dubbed as BGBP. According to Coin Desk, said plans have been realized, as the stablecoin has officially been listed on Binance Jersey.

As per the claims made, Binance GBP (BGBP) will be pegged as the UK pound and this was the same period in which the Binance Jersey was officially launched. The reason for said endeavor was to attract European traders. According to The Block, the Jersey-based crypto exchange currently houses nine cryptocurrencies pegged against GBP and euro.

The Chief Financial Officer, Wei Zhou, previously shared the reasons for selecting Jersey as the exchange to list the stablecoin as being its

“highly developed digital infrastructure, robust regulatory framework and world-class financial services sector.”

As of Friday, July 19, 2019, Zhou shared the level of interest Binance community has had in stablecoins and how the pure demand alone was enough of a reason to list the BGBP. In particular, he shared that,

“There has been an overwhelming demand in the market and Binance community for more stablecoin diversification, including a GBP-pegged stablecoin, and listing BGBP is in response to it.”

A tweet made out today by Binance Jersey revealed that all UK users can instantly deposit GBP free of deposit and withdrawal fees as well as 10$EUR upon registration.

Bitcoin Consuming Fiat like a Black Hole, 1 Satoshi Now Worth More than Several National Currencies

  • Bitcoin’s smallest denomination now worth more than many national currencies
  • Several countries developing their own central bank digital currency
  • While the world’s leading cryptocurrency continues to grow, national currencies are being devalued by the governments.

Amidst the ongoing environment which has recession looming on the horizon, countries running amok with hyperinflation, trade wars, and geopolitical issues, national currencies are losing their value constantly.

However, sometimes governments devalue their own currency deliberately against another currency. It is basically a tool used by monetary authorities to boost exports, shrink trade deficits, and to reduce sovereign debt burdens.

This tool, however, can also have intended consequences that are self-defeating. These negative effects involve uncertainty in global markets that can spur even recessions.

Brazillian real is one such example that has plunged substantially since 20011 but this steep devaluation couldn’t’ offset problems like plunging commodity prices and crude oil, resulting in a sluggish growth in the country.

“Bitcoin Gives You Privacy, and Takes the Government’s Away”

On one side, we have national currencies that are controlled by governments, at times printed out of existence. On the other hand, we have Bitcoin, a deflationary digital asset that offers a way out of the crisis designed by governments by creating the fiat money out of thin air.

The leading cryptocurrency is currently trading around $11,600, this appreciation in price has its smallest denomination now worth more than several national currencies.

Iranian Rial, Vietnamese Dong, Indonesian Rupiah, Guinean Franc, Sierra LeoneanLeone, Laotian Kip, Uzbekistani Som, and Venezuelan Bolívar Soberano has much less value than 1 Satoshi that is 0.00000001 BTC.

As put by crypto enthusiast Rhythm Trader,

“Bitcoin is consuming fiat like a black hole.”

It won’t be long before Bitcoin takes over every currency out there.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the issues with fiat currencies and sanctions, various countries are also taking a special interest in cryptocurrencies.

We have already seen Sweden along with Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and lately China considering their own central bank digital currencies. Soon, every country will have their skin in the game.

“Digital fiat gives government privacy and takes yours away. Bitcoin gives you privacy, and takes the government’s away,”

points out Rhythm Trader.

 

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Uber Health and Ethereum Startup Partner Up To Transport Patients with Solve.Care

The ride-sharing company Uber has recently decided to take an important step in order to connect with the blockchain technology to improve its services. Uber Health, a subsidiary of the company, has granted access to its fleet to a blockchain company called Solve.Care.

Solve.Care is focused on the Ethereum blockchain and its goal is to connect all the healthcare system together. The service is expected to go online later this year.

The main idea is that the clients of the platform will be able to take care of all the process of going to the doctor using the technology. For instance, they can schedule their appointments and book rides using the service.

Now, with the Uber subsidiary working together with them, this has opened Uber’s doors to crypto. Clients will not need to pay Uber drivers with their crypto, they can easily just use fiat instead if they wish to. Drivers will also have access to a range of payment options. The service will also help the patients to share the costs of the service easily with their insurance, too.

According to Dan Trigub, the Uber Health head, this is just the beginning of the change. He, who earlier worked on Lyft, affirmed that the partnership will be expanded soon.

Uber Health was originally created back in March 2018. Trigub affirmed that several companies are already using the API of the company and it was created in order to be fully compliant with the U. S. Health Insurance Portability.

The service is specialized in offering rides for people who do not want to miss their appointments and has been doing great so far.

Solve.Care works in a similar way and it shares an interest in not letting the patients losing their appointments. According to it, around $150 billion USD is lost annually due to missed appointments, a huge number that could have been avoided with a better structure surrounding this system.

The company was originally founded last year in Tallinn, Estonia. It had an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), just like many other blockchain-based startups that were created recently. While the all-time high of the tokens was $0.51 USD, their price has doubled since the beginning of the year and now it stands around $0.32 USD.

Solve.Care’s CEO Pradeep Goel affirmed that using an open-source platform such as Ethereum can be good in order to eliminate redundancies and to help clients to find doctors and reducing insurance fraud. The goal of the company is to eliminate most of the costs and issues that can get in the way of patients receiving their treatment.

Uber And The Blockchain

This is far from the only time in which Uber is linked to cryptocurrencies. Now, the technology that was popularized by Bitcoin is starting to be taken more seriously by companies.

For instance, the company is now focused on joining other 26 companies at the Libra Association. This association will be responsible for running Facebook’s Libra token, a global stablecoin that will be launched next year.

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Celer Network’s Cygnus Alpha-Mainnet Goes Live on Ethereum, Targets Blockchain Gaming Space

The launch of Cygnus, an alpha mainnet has effectively opened Celer Network, a San Francisco-based blockchain startup, for business. According to the company, the market today craves for this “advanced layer-2 scaling platform” even as it takes shape.

With the launch of the Cygnus mainnet, Celer Network is unleashing Blockchain scaling solutions in a totally new dimension. For DApps on the mainnet, the network will offer real-time, zero-fee interaction coupled while allowing swift micropayments and low latency interoperability. This simply means that Celer will serve as a platform for developing user-friendly, responsive DApps for iPhones.

Cygnus’ launch also marks the start of the planet’s first Ethereum-based Generalized State Channel Network. The alpha mainnet is expected to be operational from the day it goes live whereby it will allow its end users to use it and earn free coins on the partner app, CelerX.

Dong, Celer’s CEO, sees it as a way of breaking down the benefits of Blockchain to gamers and app developers. He said that even with the ‘cutthroat’ level of competition in the gaming industry, the network is ushering a new method of building and monetizing apps and games. Players also rack in lots of cryptocurrencies in free in-game rewards, something that benefits them as well.

The network which, almost four months ago, amassed a whopping $4 million worth of startup capital, thanks to an IEO on Binance Launchpad, seems to have targeted Blockchain gaming. The platform’s off-chain solutions, smart contracts, and the new scalable “gateways” have clearly underscored its reputation.

Celer Network, in a post, stated that they are solemn in their quest to allow developers to code other aspects and leave the network handle all that pertains Blockchain, including matching and payment resolution. Integration is a breeze as it needs no prior coding experience. One only needs to add two new lines of code, the whole process taking just 10 minutes!

Meanwhile, Celer Network has Integrated Dai into its layer-2 app Network

The rollout of Eridanus is, however, coming at a time when the network is announcing the formation of a strategic partnership with MakerDAO. Celer Network has recently been growing tremendously, and the new partnership is a testament to that.

This new association will bring Dai, the world’s first Ethereum Blockchain-powered decentralized stablecoins to the network’s layer-2 scaling platform. Also, part of the partnership has seen Celer reward those who download its native mobile app, CelerX, with $10,000 worth of Dai tokens.

Further, integrating MakerDAO into Celer Network will automatically allow app users to conveniently send micropayments and play their favorite eSport games free of charge. As for those new users with no prior experience on how Blockchain works, they will “onboard” and use DApps and Blockchain games without even having first to buy Ethereum.

According to the co-founder of Celer Network, Mo Dong, having Dai at the heart of their operations simply means all their users will no longer have to battle rampant price volatilities. This, he says, will go a great way in pushing their adoption campaign even further.

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Kakao Says Its Klaytn Blockchain Is 15x Faster Than Ethereum Per Its GroundX Subsidiary

Kakao, a South Korean Messaging application claimed that its recently launched Klaytn blockchain network is extremely fast, in fact, its 15x faster than Ethereum . Leading South Korean news outlet, the Korean Herald reported on July 9, that that GroundX, a subsidiary of Kakao organized a press conference in the capital city , Seoul claiming that Klatyn can successfully mine a block in as little as a second, while ethereum normally takes around 15 seconds.

A Whole New Blockchain

The new ‘lightening’ blockchain is said to provide a transaction throughput of 300 per second, which is way faster than ethereum’s 20 transaction a second output.

Commenting on the features of the new blockchain, Ground X CEO, Jae-sun stated in a statement many projects that were discarded and branded impossible, will not come into reality, he said:

“I believe it would be the initial version of a mobile blockchain version. With the reduced response time, many projects that we believed unfathomable could eventually come true.’’

The main purpose for the creation of the Klaytn mainet is to bring about the massive adoption of blockchain based services.

The whitepaper revealed that the Klaytyn blockchain is designed with a hybrid approach that adopts the concepts of consensus nodes (CNs) and ranger nodes (RNs) to achieve both scalability and the desired level of transparency.

A Private Blockchain

The Consensus Nodes are usually invited partners on the network, that form a private blockchain together to batch and confirm transactions by running a Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm.

However, it does not stop anyone from the public from joining and participate as a RN, who are generally assigned the duty of double checking blocks that have been duly propagated by CNs.

Furthermore, the new blockchain platform stated that established firms in South Korea, like electronic giant LG have teamed up with the firm in a governing council position, and also stated that new and exciting blockchain projects are also on the way, and will be released as early as the ending of July, 2019.

South Korea is gradually becoming a blockchain haven, as virtually all its major firms like Samsung, LG and other established firms and organizations are incorporating the blockchain technology into their services.

The stiff regulations and policies often meted out to established blockchain and start-ups in the USA is pushing most blockchain firms into Asia, especially South Korea and Singapore

Bitcoin Exchange Guide in December reported that most countries in Asia are now relaxing their anti-blockchain policies, and are now open to new and innovative ideas.

Singapore and Thailand are regarded by some crypto analysts as the new blockchain centers, as the regulations and policies in the country are considered crypto friendly, which highlights the reasons most blockchain start-ups are trooping in their folds to the countries.

The NEM foundation in Malaysia is also helping to educate the citizens about the importance of crypto, while citizens are urging the Chinese government to relax its stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain.

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Shell Oil Partners With Blockchain-Based Startup LO3 To Enable Local Energy Trading Via Exergy

The world’s fifth-largest oil and gas firm whose net worth is $262 billion has partnered with a blockchain-based firm LO3 that is located in New York, Forbes reports.

Europe’s giant oil and gas firm has pumped in an undisclosed amount of dollars in LO3 Energy whose platform Exergy monitors energy using the blockchain technology.

In the recent past, Shell has been keen on exploring the blockchain technology in its operation and this partnership marks the fourth public investment in a blockchain-based startup, Forbes said. The other three platforms that Shell has invested in are Vakt, Komgo, and Applied Blockchain.

As per the report, the gas and oil company has the leverage to turn its investment in LO3’s native tokens referred to as XRG and this will help in incentivizing the platform and there will need to access the decentralized energy grid. Initially, LO3 had planned to fund its project using an initial coin offering (ICO) using its XRG token, however, it has halted the idea until further notice.

The LO3 platform or Exergy is developed to monitor the flow of energy as it is included to a shared energy network in a locality. This will allow the residents who buy their power in the locality to be absolutely certain that it was indeed generated from a clean source windmill, a solar panel or a gerbil operating on a treadmill.

If triumphant, LO3 and its rivals in the growing “transactive energy” sector, could alter the work of the conventional electricity transmission and distribution firms such as Con Edison in the United States and Western Power Distribution in the UK from just installers of underground cables, to administrators of more coherent, distributed local energy grids.

Shell Ventures investment director Kirk Coburn explained the partnership:

“As we move into a less carbonized future, Shell aims to invest in innovative companies that will help enable the energy transition. LO3 Energy fits right in that space.”

More Partners

The partnership also brings in other players in the energy sector from around the world like Sumitomo Corporation Group based in Japan.

Although the details of the investment were not disclosed Coburn was categorical that he will be part of LO3 board as an observer and could later become a full board member if there are future investments.

Lo3 is also reportedly developing another token apart from XRG known as Anergy to enable consumers to sell data regarding their energy usage to various third party firms in the future.

Currently, although LO3’s Exergy is developed on the Ethereum blockchain there are plans to design it to integrate with the EOS blockchain.

Cointelegraph reports that LO3 is not the only one to develop a peer-to-peer energy distribution network. A few weeks ago Power Ledger, based in Australia, said it will soon release its decentralized energy distribution network in Austria’s second-largest city, Graz. just like LO3, Power Ledger also wants to optimize energy management first before eventually moving to zero-carbon energy.

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Philippines’ Central Bank Abandons Plans of Launching Own Cryptocurrency

Philippines’ Central Bank is reportedly ready to halt its planned launch of a digital currency and wait for at least five years. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, according to Phillstar Global, a local news outlet, is rethinking issuing its own digital currency as it monitors the global crypto space.

Benjamin Diokno, the bank’s governor, spoke about it, saying they chose to halt it after a meeting with experts from Switzerland’s Bank for International Settlements(BIS) last month. The outlet reported that he revealed the unexpected turn of events after consulting his Swiss counterparts.

The bank is reported to have shelved the decision even as it keeps its eyes on Bitcoin as well as the other Altcoins’ susceptibility to promoting illicit activities, including terrorism. Diokno, aware of the rampant volatility of these coins, seemingly knows that it could seriously hamper the bank’s native coin’s value once it’s launched.

According to him, even though the bank is open to innovations, it must remain responsible for the sake of the Filipinos. He, however, said they would wait for five years.

Spoke about Libra

The governor, however, gave his thoughts on the Facebook-backed cryptocurrency, Libra, and the divided opinion it has initiated across the world. Libra, although it is yet to be released, has created jitters among mainstream financial institutions, with its proponents backing it as an agent of revolution in the lucrative remittance market.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ department tasked with technology risk and innovation supervision has been closely monitoring the latest happenings in the crypto industry. It has in the past reported a more than double growth in the volume of transactions, rising from 2017’s $189.18 million to hit $390.37 million in 2018.

But it’s still interested in establishing a crypto economy

But even as the bank won’t be launching a native cryptocurrency, its participation in activities related to digital currencies in Philippines is still evident. It is only recently that the bank released a regulatory framework intended to manage all crypto-related activities in the country.

The circular stated that all ICOs would need to first seek permissions from the institution before operating.

A week ago, the bank also gave 11 crypto assets a go-ahead to operate in Philippines after Economic Zone Authority Cagayan had allowed 37 others to also operate. CEZA, as it is known, is a government-approved organization for tech-based organizations.

 

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Financial Commission’s Blockchain Association to Launch Security Audit Certification

The Financial Commission’s Blockchain Association has today launched a new security audit certification targeting Blockchain operators. The commission which comprises of all business that transact using digital assets partnered with SmartDec, a cybersecurity-oriented tech consultancy firm in the initiative.

The duo embarked on developing a Security Audit Certification, knowing too well the need for reliable security checks and tests on the various Blockchain-powered systems. The group additionally expects to use it in smart contracts and ensure the businesses using Blockchain suitably meet the laid-down standards on security and data protection.

SmartDec’s Understanding of Blockchain and Smart Contracts is Unrivaled

For the Financial Commission’s Blockchain Association, having SmartDec at the heart of its operations helps meet its goals with ease. This is because, the cybersecurity-oriented agency’s focus on all-things research, security, privacy and auditing Blockchain, and smart contracts will greatly help.

It primarily deals with Blockchain-based projects and smart contracts on popular networks, including Ethereum and Tezos. The security consultancy company’s cutting-edge technology carefully analyzes the data before running the code based on the needs of the customer. It furthermore helps startups in the Blockchain space spot bugs and other hidden security loopholes.

Joining the Blockchain Association is Beneficial

Blockchain technology, together with all crypto-related products, has lately been a subject of a hot topic. In fact, countless companies are already looking at ways through which they can harness and implement it in their operations. For those that have already launched Blockchain-powered systems and applications, however, joining the Blockchain Association is a smart move, especially because of the benefits promised.

One of the merits of being a member will be the opportunity to meet, interact and even seen advice from the leading legal and compliance professionals. Also, the group promises to ensure that Blockchain firms iron out all issues relating to crypto exchanges, store of digital assets, as well as the whole topic of regulations and compliance.

The past two years has seen the Financial Commission (FinaCom) reveal its approach on ICOs and exchanges, especially how it will increase scrutiny. The commission sees it as of higher importance in the industry’s quest for increased overall security.

There’s a Blockchain Warning List in Place Already

Already, there’s an instrument that allows investors to scrutinize a project and tell whether it is a scam, courtesy of FinaCom. ‘Blockchain Warning List,’ as it’s called, gives crucial information, including that of asset providers with questionable behaviors.

For a platform to be listed on the ‘Blockchain Warning List,’ it doesn’t have to have been proven to be running fraudulently. Everything is based on customer reviews and complaints. Interestingly, those in the list include suspicious wallets and exchanges, as reported by traders.

Meanwhile, the commission could soon start accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum payments for regulatory services, having made the decision in 2018.

 

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Korea’s Shinhan Bank To Scrutinize Crypto Accounts

The crypto industry faces a number of setbacks worldwide and one of these setbacks is the fact

that several banks across the world refuse to provide banking services blockchain and crypto related businesses.

This is a major setback because banking services are essential in the 21st Century for any business to succeed and by denying the services for the crypto industry, it stunts their growth.

Restrictions On Korea

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of many in the industry, these practices continue to grow and it has been reported on July 1, 2019, that one of South Korea’s biggest bank intends to put heavy regulations in place on accounts that have been linked to crypto exchanges. The bank in question is Shinhan bank and they intend to put special measures in place that will involve dedicated staff who will work on analyzing the transactions associated with several bank accounts.

“We have set up a comprehensive plan for the elimination of telecommunication and financial fraud… We will continue to implement preventive measures so that customers will not be harmed in the future,”

a bank official said.

The reason for this new development is that the bank is trying to distance himself from claims that have been floating around but they are supporting financial criminals. This is due to the fact that a number of cases have come up in the last few years that involve the exchanges and it is well known that the crypto industry comes under even more scrutiny than usual.

As part of these measures, the bank will, later in July, launch an artificial intelligence monitoring system that we use deep learning to identify fraudulent transactions in record time and with more accuracy.

While these may put the crypto industry under more scrutiny, there might be some benefits to this as crypto exchanges have recently fallen victim of hacks such as Bithumb and even Binance. By subjecting accounts to this sort of scrutiny, fraudulent transactions such as moving funds that have been gotten illegally can be tracked down and the industry can receive more protection as a result. Also, should the crypto industry comply with these regulations over time, not only will criminals be caught and shady activity is prevented but the industry will gain the trust of not only major financial institutions but the public as a whole.

It should also be noted that not all banks are quite equipped to deal with the crypto industry as it has been stated in previous reports that certain banks do not feel that the industry is significant enough that an entire department be set up or to review account on a case-by-case basis and instead they find it easier to implement a blanket ban.

In the case of this bank, it seems they intend to make use of both artificial intelligence as well as a review of accounts to track activity rather than implementing a blanket ban which shows that they are at least willing to give the industry the benefit of the doubt.

There is hope, however, that banks will worldwide have to begin putting measures in place to deal with crypto transactions in light of Facebook’s upcoming token. Because the token will be used so widely across the world due to Facebook’s influence many banks are already preparing themselves ahead of time by having discussions with people from Facebook about the matter. Hopefully, come out this will bring in a new dawn or acceptance of crypto by banks and other financial institutions across the globe.

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Nordic Growth Market (NGM) Lists Mini Futures Cryptocurrency Contracts Backed by Vontobel

On Thursday, 4th of July 2019, Nordic Growth Market (NGM), a Swedish stock exchange, announced that it has listed Ether-based as well as Bitcoin mini futures.

Vontobel, an investment bank, which recently launched tracker certificates on LitecoinEtherBitcoin and Ripple will be backing the derivative products.

Per the listing, Tommy Fransson, the deputy chief executive at Nordic Growth Market said:

“It is with great pleasure we list Mini Futures on cryptocurrencies from Vontobel. It has a big interest among investors. This listing further strengthens the crypto products offering at NGM.”

E-mini

Mini Futures, which are often called ‘e-mini’, are quite similar to the standard futures contracts in all things apart from its value, which is a fraction of the standard futures contracts.

E-mini NGM traders can benefit both from hikes or dips in performance of an asset because the exchange allows both long as well as short positions.

In addition, Nordic Growth Market (NGM) offers cryptocurrency derivatives traders with leverage.

A Very Lucrative Market

Due to the high volatility of crypto-assets, there has been a rise in the demand for cryptocurrency backed derivatives, hence the launch of the mini futures.

This high demand for crypto-backed derivatives can be seen in the statistics report by CME Group which recently hit 1.7 billion dollars worth of Bitcoin futures in a single day as well as an increase in new user registration for trading Bitcoin futures.

Many other platforms are looking to benefit from this highly lucrative market as they look into offering cryptocurrency based services.

ErisX and LedgerX License

ErisX, a cryptocurrency trading platform was recently issued a license from the United States commodities regulator to provide crypto futures contracts to its customers.

In June 2019, LedgerX, also got a license from the US commodities regulator to provide physically delivered Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives.

Vontobel Statement

In addition, Roger Studer, the head of investment banking at Vontobel, said

“The new Mini Futures on cryptocurrencies will give investors new instruments to trade cryptocurrencies in bullish as well as bearish market environments. They will also enable crypto investors to hedge long crypto positions, Vontobel underlines its claim to deliver innovative products, liquid market access as well as best services to its customers and confirms its position as one of Sweden’s leading providers of structured products.”

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Fujitsu Labs Releases Blockchain ID Tool for Online Transactions

Online transactions, for all their benefits, have their downsides are one of these is a fact that sometimes they are not secure and are sometimes prone to breaches which could lead to the loss of funds on the part of those who make use of them.

Now, Fujitsu Laboratories is looking to combat this as they have unveiled a digital identity exchange technology which aims to increase the security that surrounds various online transactions.

To do this, the technology is built on blockchain and helps those who make use of it to confirm the identity of other parties that are involved in various transactions to make sure that they are dealing with the correct parties. Besides confirming identity, the technology also evaluates the validity and trustworthiness of the other party’s credentials.

This helps to address common issues that are found in the world of online transactions as people often claim to be other people in order to get their victims to hand over funds or make certain online transactions under false pretenses of the use of this technology the identity of those that the users are dealing with can be confirmed at any given time.

Also, the credentials that have been brought forward by the other party can be gauged for how trustworthy it is and this will reduce instances of fraud and users being taken advantage of by dishonest persons.

Confirmation of Identity

“The rapid advance of digitalization in recent years has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in the number of online transactions in which users cannot see one another face to face, making it difficult to judge the credibility of the other party and leading to heightened concerns around trust.

With reports of fraud and instances of people falsifying personal credentials like work history and professional qualifications growing increasingly prevalent, ensuring the circulation of high-quality, reliable identification data poses an urgent challenge to users and businesses alike,” the press release says.

The new technology also evaluates the parties that are taking part in the transaction and looks at their past transaction history in order to determine their relationship as well as other parties they have engaged in.

By doing this, it can determine the reputation of all parties involved and whether or not they have a history of fraudulent and dishonest behavior and should they have such a history, it will be reported to the other party who can choose not to engage with them.

Fraud takes place all over the world and all facets of life but across the internet, it is sometimes harder to determine but with the use of new technologies such as these, those who are known to be fraudulent in their dealings will have nowhere to hide and will likely be exposed.

“A trustworthiness score is attached to each user by weighting factors including how many trusted users evaluate them highly. Even if a user colludes with a third party to improperly raise their evaluation, the graph-structured relationships will reveal information such as the weakness of their relationships with other users, giving the system the potential to identify misrepresentations,” the release says.

Fujitsu has also said that the technology will help to secure more online services on also have user-friendly features such as graphics that will help visualize the relationship between various uses.

 

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Cosmochain’s FitsMe Platform Looks to be Acquired by Kakao

Investment in crypto startups and blockchain technology is still on the rise as according to reports, Kakao might be acquiring a product called FitsMe from blockchain firm, Cosmochain. Kakao, the parent company for KakaoTalk which is South Korea’s biggest messaging app, already dominates South Korea’s messaging business by more than 90% and is looking to expand its empire.

FitsMe is a service focused on recommending beauty products and this means that Kakao is still marching forward in the beauty industry as well. This acquisition will be handled through the company’s venture division, Kakao Investment. At the moment, neither Cosmochain nor Kakao has announced any specific details regarding the amount being considered or how much of a stake in Cosmochain will be acquired by Kakao. Cosmochain has also said that a decision on whether or not Kakao will also be acquiring its management rights is yet to be made.

A while ago, it was announced that Kakao Investment was considering this acquisition because it was looking to put forward a new beauty service by connection Kakao Hairshop, a platform that lets you make a hair salon booking, to Cosmee, Cosmochain’s blockchain decentralized app (DApp) social media. Cosmochain has said that the investment is unconnected and has “nothing to do with Kakao Hairshop.”

Cosmochain has now officially announced that Cosmee will be discontinued as its major functions will be incorporated with FitsMe.

“FitsMe service that was newly launched on June has ranked on the top 10 of the beauty category at Google Play Store. We are shutting down COSMEE because we will incorporate its key functions into FITSME”,

said a Cosmochain representative.

The representative also explained that Cosmochain will not stick with the beauty sector alone but will also expand into fashion.

“Cosmochain will expand its business into women’s lifestyle data platform by collecting purchase and preference data on not only beauty, but also plastic surgery, skin care and fashion.”

FitsMe will be powered by Klatyn, Kakao’s blockchain platform.

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Two GNT Co-Founders Resign To Open Non-Profit Golem Foundation

Two of the founding executives of the multi-million Golem Factory are leaving the startup to head up a new non-profit R&D effort known as Golem Foundation. The new foundation will pursue riskier yet ambitious research and development initiatives.

In a press release, Golem Factory CEO, Julian Zawistowski, stated that the goal of the foundation is to pursue fresh, innovative and experimental yet riskier opportunities as per the Golem proposition and to enhance the Golem Network Token (GNT).

The statement said that Julian Zawistowski and the immediate former COO in Golem Factory, Andrzej Regulski are set to leave the company leaving the reigns to CTO Piotr Janiuk and lead software engineer Aleksandra Skrzypczak.

Explaining the developments, Zawistowski said that the Golem project has reached a stable phase. In this regard, part of the team can easily diversify and research different business or tokenomics avenues.

Skrzypczak explained the new model in details to CoinDesk:

“After several years working together, we came to the realization that in order to keep the research and development of the Golem Network stable and focused, while not relegating the thirst that any technologist has for constant innovation, spinning off a new entity within Golem’s ecosystem is the best way to boost the efforts.”

The four men started Golem Factory in 2016 and managed to raise about 820,000 ETH or about $240 million as per the current market metrics, to develop a distributed computation platform on based on Ethereum blockchain.

Popularly known as Airbnb for computers, the project is basically an option to the cloud computing platforms where a user is free to buy or let out idle computational resources.

Golem was released on the Ethereum mainnet at the start of 2018 with a product beta launch that was referred to as Brass Golem. Currently, the team is poised to launch its next beta that will be released in the coming fall and will be known as Clay Golem. In addition, the developers are also developing Golem Unlimited that will enable the formation of subnetworks on Golem and will be run by data center-like setups so as to increase the network reach.

Although the team is pursuing the technical roadmap for the Golem community, the newly created Golem Foundation will be operating independently and will have its own goals.

Zawistowski explained the mandate of the new foundation:

“In the beginning, we want to start with thorough research of alternative approaches that contribute to the long-term vision behind Golem and create novel and out-of-the-box solutions useful for Golem and GNT. Exploring these options requires a limited period of time working in a semi-stealth mode.”

More Details To Be Announced Later

Currently the company has not yet announced the details or the areas of focus by the research and development team. However, Skrzypczak was categorical that privacy related tools will be part of the Foundation’s plans. The details will be shared in the near future in order to keep the Golem community updated.

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