China’s digital currency adds support for AliPay – the Alibaba payment app with over 700 million users

And just like that, the Digital Yuan has its route into the mainstream

Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor

Alibaba’s controversial financial services arm, the Ant Group, has been welcomed into trials of China’s digital currency.

China’s state-controlled media on Monday reported that the Alipay app has added a feature allowing transactions in the Digital Yuan. Alipay has over 700 million monthly active users in China alone.

State-backed journal China Securities Journal reports that functionality to link to a bank is currently limited, and that no merchants are listed. Nor has the feature been made available to all users. But the Journal reports that real-time, anonymous, transactions are possible.

A second Journal piece reports that an Ant-Group-backed bank has also linked accounts to the Digital Yuan, as have some other banks.

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Blockchain in Entertainment Industry to Help Develop New Business Models

By Ejiofor Francis  Updated by Leila Stein 

  • Blockchain will break up entertainment monopolies.
  • This technology will put the power back in the hands of the creators.
  • Many industry problems can be solved through the blockchain.

The innovations in blockchain technology are evolving at the speed of light. Industries are planning to deal with current challenges with the help of these technological advancements. 

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BMW, Ford back development of vehicle ‘birth certificates’ built on the blockchain

The solution will track a car throughout its sales history, clamping down on mileage tampering and fraud.

By Charlie Osborne 

BMW, Ford, and major technology companies have indicated their support for a new blockchain project to assign “birth certificates” to vehicles. 
Announced on Tuesday, the initiative is focused on developing technologies able to track a car from its manufacture and beyond, including when the vehicle has changed hands, its maintenance history, and records of mileage and any past damage. 

The developer of the system, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), says that this could stop second-hand sellers from misleading buyers, could wipe out the use of tools including roll-back odometers, and could “better track and protect vehicles’ true identities.”

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Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech create blockchain system for P2P energy trading


Beginning in April, the electronics giant and university R&D team will evaluate and tweak the new trading system’s performance before commercialization. 

By MARIE HUILLET 

NEWS 

Mitsubishi Electric has teamed up with researchers from the prestigious Japanese university, Tokyo Tech, to jointly design a blockchain-based trading system that can support more flexible, peer-to-peer energy trading.

Announced on Jan. 18, the new system is intended to support the efficient use of surplus electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources. In particular, it is hoped that the trading system can ensure that at any given moment, there will be the maximum available amount of surplus electricity accessible on the market for consumers. 

Peer-to-peer energy trading set-ups allow consumers and prosumers to engage in direct trading as buyers and sellers. To make their new system less reliant on hardware-intensive, high-volume computations, Mitsubishi Electric and Tokyo Tech have customized their blockchain system in order to optimize matches and make clearing buy and sell orders more efficient. 

According to the announcement, a distributed-optimization algorithm, which differs from most blockchain technologies, enables customer computers to share their trading goals and data and then to “optimally match buy and sell orders using minimal computations.” As well as requiring fewer computations, what Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech call their “new mining method” can be executed on a micro-computing server. The four steps involved in the method are as follows:

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JPM Coin debut marks start of blockchain’s value-driven adoption cycle

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Despite its centralized design, JPM Coin’s real life utilization represents a step toward the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

JPM Coin debut marks start of blockchain’s value-driven adoption cycle.

On the heels of PayPal announcing its decision to enter the crypto sector early next year, Bitcoin (BTC) has continued its strong performance and has been hovering around the $13,500 mark for nearly a week now. In this regard, the payment giant’s foray into the crypto market has been hailed as a game changer, especially when it comes to improving the mainstream perception of the digital asset industry as a whole.

Not only that, JPMorgan Chase announced that its native digital currency offering — the JPM Coin — has finally been deployed for mainstream use by one of the firm’s technical associates. The token is designed to facilitate JPMorgan Chase’s various cross-border monetary transactions.

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How Blockchain will End Commercial Banks

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Daniel Masters, CoinShares executive chairman

JP Morgan’s former global head of energy trading, Daniel Masters, was among the first traditional investors to get into bitcoin, helping craft the value proposition that many institutional investors now embrace. COINSHARES

As much as bitcoiners and crypto enthusiasts try to deny it, bringing in converts from traditional finance is the best way to legitimize and publicize the industry in the eyes of many investors.

One of the earliest executives to take the leap was CoinShares executive chairman Daniel Masters. After a long and distinguished career as a commodities trader with JP Morgan and elsewhere, he serendipitously stumbled upon bitcoin after the commodities supercycle ended following the global financial crisis. Masters immediately saw the potential of bitcoin and blockchain, and he realized that his background as a technologist and commodities trader was tailor-made to make him an ambassador for this new industry to a net set of individual and institutional investors.

At the same time, through building his crypto investment management company, he was able to look into the future of this industry and see what developments lie ahead, as well as upcoming clashes between crypto insurgents and entrenched financial incumbents. Forbes sat down with Masters to get his thoughts on the future of this industry.

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No internet, no problem. Venezuela gets bitcoin satellite node

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Venezuela deployed its first Bitcoin satellite node.

It allows for a node on the ground to receive Bitcoin transaction details from a Blockstream satellite without internet.

Venezuela has poor internet connectivity.

Venezuela has its first Bitcoin satellite node capable of processing transactions without an internet connection.

The Venezuelan “space node” was set up in the country by Anibal Garrido and the Anibal Cripto team. It uses technology from Blockstream, which contracts satellites—in this case, EUTELSAT-113 – to broadcast data between points via offline connections. That’s huge in a country where internet infrastructure is lacking.

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MIT is helping the Boston Fed build a CBDC that can be scaled for consumer use

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MIT is helping the Boston Fed build a CBDC that can be scaled for consumer use

Can MIT help the U.S. catch up to China in the CBDC race?

The MIT Digital Currency Initiative, or DCI, is helping the federal reserve bank of Boston build a digital currency with the goal of scaling for consumer use. The DCI’s director Neha Narula told Cointelegraph:

“We’re trying to build a high throughput, low latency transaction system that could be used by consumers and could handle the security and resilience required for a national currency.”

The multi-year collaboration between the two organizations is still in very early stages and not much information is being released to the public. Yet the focus is not on building a newer version of interbank digital ledger, but rather something that the consumers would be able to use. It is hard to estimate the required transactional throughput of such technology, but considering that the U.S. population is around 330 million and the fact that the dollar is the most widely used currency in the world (some nations have even officially adopted it), this number would have to be rather high.

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Boom or bust? Welcome to the freewheeling world of crypto lending

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LONDON (Reuters) – It sounds like a surefire bet. You lend money to a borrower who puts up collateral that exceeds the size of the loan, and then you earn interest of about 20%.

What could possibly go wrong?

That’s the proposition presented by “DeFi”, or decentralised finance, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platforms that allow lenders and borrowers to transact without the traditional gatekeepers of loans: banks.

And it has exploded during the COVID-19 crisis.

Loans on such platforms have risen more than seven-fold since March to $3.7 billion, according to industry site DeFi Pulse, as investors hunt returns at a time when central banks across the world have slashed interest rates to prop up economies battered by the pandemic.

Proponents say DeFi sites, which run on open-source code with algorithms that set rates in real-time based on supply and demand, represent the future of financial services, providing a cheaper, more efficient and accessible way for people and companies to access and offer credit.

But with the promise of high rewards comes high risk.

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The Future of Money: How cryptocurrency and the blockchain will change society

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Anarchy reigns supreme in the future of finance, decentralizing the power of banks and, in some cases, the state. But will cryptocurrencies and the blockchains that underlie them solve our financial woes, or only worsen existing inequalities?

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9 predictions for 2020–2029

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The world as we know it is about to change fast.

I like to think about the future a lot, so this year I decided to make some predictions.

My predictions for this decade

  • Federated Learning will unlock value from previously inaccessible sensitive data.
  • Deepfakes will impact democracy and bring about a need for publisher certified content.
  • Nationalism will rise around the world, the internet will splinter.
  • eSports will take a huge chunk of attention and advertising dollars from sports.
  • Blockchain will get adoption in enterprise. Mainstream adoption will struggle until there are key custody solutions that everyone can use.
  • Self-driving cars will open up new business models. Regulations will be the main barrier to adoption.
  • Welfare systems will get strained.
  • Digital currencies and negative interest rates will open Pandoras box.
  • Search will get reimagined.

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Bitcoin’s guardian angel : Inside Coinable billionaire Brian Armstrong’s plan to make crypto safe for all

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Near the foot of San Francisco’s California Street stand the august stone pillars of a bank dating to the 19th century. A few paces away sit the offices of Coinbase, the largest American exchange for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. It’s a beehive of software engineers and young marketing executives. There, the worlds of by-the-books banking and crypto-anarchism collide.

In style and philosophy, Brian Armstrong, the 37-year-old billionaire cofounder and CEO of Coinbase, is in the camp of the financial anarchists. He sits, jammed alongside lieutenants, in a row of tiny desks resembling library carrels. He wears a black T-shirt, black pants and shiny white sneakers. He talks about a brave new world in which we are liberated from the shackles of giant banks and government-controlled money supplies. During an expansive interview, this usually reserved and press-shy entrepreneur declares why he got into this business: “I wanted the world to have a global, open financial system that drove innovation and freedom.”

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