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Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News Update 20th January 2020

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Ethereum 2.0 Around The Corner?

The world’s most famous Altcoin, Ethereum continues to develop the next stage of its evolution with the sharding-enabled Ethereum 2.0, a group of developers will focus on the existing chain to maintain its operability during the transition. Dubbed Ethereum 1.x, the project’s goal is to maintain Ethereum’s (ETH) usability while the Serenity upgrade is being worked on.  

Swiss Crypto Bank Raises $95 Million In Funding Round

Seba, which is a relatively new Swiss-based digital asset bank holding regulatory licensing, looks to attempt a secondary capital raise to garner over $95 million in additional funds. During the raise, Seba aims to secure 100 million Swiss francs, which is about $96 million, “from new investors, including financial institutions, family offices and individuals,”.

EU AML Regulations May Be Bad For Blockchain

On The 10 Of Jan this year,  the European Union’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), was officially signed into law. The legislation will give sweeping powers to compliance organizations and law authorities. Aside from tracking dirty money to offshore paradises, the law brings about a series of restrictive demands on crypto companies in a way never seen before. 

What Will Blockchain Do For Oklahoma?

Mr. Nathan Dahm who is a senator from the great state of Oklahoma wrote a new bill for his state which looks to build a state-backed innovative financial institution around blockchain technology, establishing a new classification of institutions. He said speaking about the legislation: “I’ve always been interested in cryptos since bitcoin first came out but once I heard what Wyoming (especially Rep Tyler Lindholm) was doing I decided to pursue something in Oklahoma,”

Grayscale – $600 Million Dollar Rise In Institutional Investment

Grayscale — which is one of the most well-known institutional investment firms in the crypto space — has revealed that institutional investment into crypto went sky-high in 2019., Grayscale recorded inflows of more than $600 million in 2019, which is more than the inflows from 2013 through 2018 combined. It is perhaps surprising that Grayscale has seen record crypto investment levels, especially if you consider that nine out of 10 of its products have seen losses in 2019.

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NBA & NFL See a Future In Non-Fungible Tokens, But Not Contract Tokenization

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NBA & NFL See a Future In Non-Fungible Tokens, But Not Contract Tokenization
NBA & NFL See a Future In Non-Fungible Tokens, But Not Contract Tokenization

NFT NYC, is a crypto event taking place a couple of hundred feet from Times Square dedicated to non-fungible tokens. While most of the companies at NFT NYC are early-stage startups still looking for their users, two attending organizations have hundreds of millions of fans around the world. Adrienne O’Keeffe, associate vice president of partnerships at the NBA, and Sophie Gage, counsel at the NFL Player’s Association, joined a panel to discuss the value of blockchain technology for big brands. 

“This is a new way for fans to connect with our games”, says O’Keeffe. But Gage, who is a lawyer, notices “there is a lot of uncertainty: are these utilities, are these securities?” Panini, who is a giant in the traditional players’ cards market, has issued blockchain-based cards for NFL, MLB, NBA as well as for various soccer teams. “It’s a new area for growth. There is a lot of untapped potential”, observes Gage.

The NBA has experimented with both public and private blockchains, each with its own pros and cons. Public blockchains allow more freedom and greater engagement at the expense of control. Private blockchains give you greater control, but you trade freedom and engagement for it. O’Keeffe also shared her advice to blockchain entrepreneurs looking to sell their products to the NBA:

“We have met with dozens of companies in the space. They were coming to us with capabilities, not products.”

Many NBA and NFL players are into crypto. Perhaps the boldest venture in the area was Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie trying to tokenize his NBA contract. The NBA eventually shut it down — Gage and O’Keeffe both believe we won’t see contract tokenization anytime soon.

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Dubai Government Set To Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium In Early 2020

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Dubai Government Set To Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium In Early 2020
Dubai Government Set To Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium In Early 2020

One of the financial hubs of the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is continuing to expand blockchain-driven developments. The Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai has established a Know Your Customer (KYC) blockchain consortium with six major banks. Dubbed “KYC Blockchain Consortium,” the new blockchain-powered regulatory platform is designed to accelerate processes like an exchange of digital customer data and documents while ensuring security. 

Scheduled for launch in Q1 2020, the KYC Blockchain Consortium will purportedly become the first project of its kind in the region, the report notes. Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director-General of the DED, outlined that the effort aims to bring more investment to the region:

“Our strategic alliance with banks to launch the first KYC blockchain platform in the UAE is an important step towards continuing to attract investors to this market.”

Additionally, the consortium-powered ecosystem hopes to boost business as well as regulatory compliance in the UAE. According to the report, the UAE Central Bank and Smart Dubai authority will be monitoring operations of the KYC Blockchain Consortium. The UAE’s newly reported blockchain comes in line with the general growth of blockchain spending in the region. 

Image result for kyc blockchain

Governments across the Middle East and Africa region are projected to see at least a 400% surge in their investment to blockchain-based solutions in four years. In October 2019, the UAE accepted cryptocurrency regulation after releasing the draft law for public comment. As reported, the UAE has taken a very positive stance to the crypto and blockchain industry as the country is already hosting a number of blockchain-based initiatives such as digitized trade projects the “Digital Silk Road” and the document exchange platform known as the “Bank Trust Network.”

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CBSG PoB Transactions With Their Cross-Carrier Payment System Successful

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CBSG PoB Transactions With Their Cross-Carrier Payment System Successful
CBSG PoB Transactions With Their Cross-Carrier Payment System Successful

Further developments to blockchain technology are being tackled every day. One of the biggest challenges is how best companies working on blockchain can make their services not only accessible but also practical for users in different countries. The Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) Consortium is one such collaboration doing just that. Launched in September 2017, the group provides a secure way for telecom customers to make digital payments directly with their carriers using blockchain technology.

Blockchain platform TBCASoft, a founding member of the CBSG, announced in a Feb. 18 press release that Taiwan-based Asia Pacific Telecom Co. Ltd. (APTG) and a US mobile carrier successfully completed Proof-of-Business (PoB) payment transactions. Using the Cross-Carrier Payment System (CCPS), a blockchain network developed by TBCASoft, transactions can be paid directly in the user’s currency through their mobile carrier. 

Image result for Asia Pacific Telecom Co. Ltd.

The CBSG worked with local merchants in Taiwan to complete transactions through APTG’s payment system, Gt Pay. All participants were mobile subscribers with a US-based carrier. APTG Vice President of Marketing Mei-Hui Teng commented on the success of the PoB:

“[We] will be one of the first carriers to launch the cross-border payment service and commercialize it in the Taiwan market. We foresee the strong growth of overseas travel and the popularity of the e-wallet service; our cross-border mobile payment service will create a considerable benefit to APTG’s subscribers. The service can help travelers reduce foreign transaction fees and enjoy the benefits of mobile cashless payments.”

They’re not the first blockchain platform to see the advantages of working together. Samsung Pay partnered with the payment platform Finablr on Oct. 3 to offer cross-border payments to its users.

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