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Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News Update 6th January 2020

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Burger King Venezuela Takes Bitcoin Payments

Bitcoin (BTC) has come to Burger King in Venezuela as a new partnership opens up cryptocurrency payments with the fast-food chain. A single Burger King branch in the Sambil area of Caracas now accepts Bitcoin, along with altcoins Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Dash (DASH), as well as stablecoin Tether (USDT).

Blockchain Making Strides In The Energy Industry

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Ireland has presented a framework for the forward selling of renewable energy in the form of nonfungible blockchain tokens. The working paper mentions the use of smart contracts for real-time offsetting of the token holders’ energy consumption, for effective management of energy in a distributed framework. The paper mainly investigates the forward selling of electricity between energy generators and consumers in a cyber-physical network.

Coinbase CEO Chimes In On Future Crypto Apodters

The next wave of people coming into the world of cryptocurrency won’t care about the asset class, this according to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.  “The next 100M people who get exposure to cryptocurrency will not come from them caring about cryptocurrency, but because they are trying to play some game, use a decentralized social network, or earn a living, and using cryptocurrency is the only way to use that particular application.”

IMF Says Cryptocurrency Can Help People In The Philippines

A technical assistance report published by the International Monetary Fund has said that the IMF has urged, the central bank of the Philippines, to collect and study data from cryptocurrency exchanges. The report identifies the island country, with a population of 105 million, as a potentially important crypto market and suggests that the BSP should focus on cross-border flows using cryptocurrencies

China May Make It Easier To Start Blockchain Projects

The National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) in China continues to work on the guidelines for blockchain patent applications, which are set to become effective as of Feb. 1. At the end of December 2019, the government agency announced the revised guidelines to patent applications for new emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data, and business rules and methods.

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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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