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Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News Update 6th November 2019

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New York Court Cracks Down On Crypto Fraud

A New York court has ordered defendants to pay $4.25 million in penalties for investment fraud involving the cryptocurrency ATM Coin. On Nov. 1, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has entered an order against several entities for committing fraud and misappropriating client funds. The defendants include a couple of individuals, and four related corporate entities: United Kingdom-based Blue Bit Banc, Turks and Caicos-located Blue Bit Analytics and two firms from New York — Mercury Cove and G.

Researchers Say 1 Crypto Whale May Have Triggered 2017 Crypto Explosion

Researchers have continued with their claims about market manipulation in winter 2017, now stating that a single whale was responsible for Bitcoin’s historic price surge. The development was reported by Bloomberg on Nov. 4. John M. Griffin and Amin Shams — of the universities of Texas and Ohio — they made the case that market misconduct was allegedly behind Bitcoin’s bull run to an all-time high of $20,000 in December 2017. They reportedly argue that an analysis of Tether and Bitcoin transactions from March 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018, consolidates their view that a single entity — transacting via Tether’s sister firm, crypto exchange Bitfinex — is behind the manipulation.

Maltese Government Working With German Blockchain Company

The Maltese government agency supporting business development, Malta Enterprise, signed a memorandum of understanding with Blockchain-as-a-Service service firm T-Systems, parent company Deutsche Telekomin recent days. Deutsche Telekom launched the Blockchain Ecosystem (GBE) in October 2019. Now, the Maltese agency will become T-System’s first partner gaining access to the Blockchain Ecosystem, which can reportedly be used to track a product’s value chain from raw materials to delivery alongside other tools that can facilitate blockchain development.

Bitfinex Exchange Supports BTC bench23 Addresses

The crypto exchange Bitfinex now supports Bitcoin (BTC) bech32 addresses generation and deposits to bech32 addresses. Following the launch of Bitcoin withdrawals on bech32 addresses on Oct. 29, and the Bitfinex official announcement on Nov. 4 that the exchange now also supports Bitcoin deposits to bech32. A bech32 Bitcoin address is a Segregated Witness (SegWit) address format specified by Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 0173.

DX.Exchange Is Looking To Merge Or Sell

Less than a year after launch, the Nasdaq-powered digital trading platform DX.Exchange is temporarily shutting down as it looks to complete a merger or outright sale. The Estonia-based platform announced on Nov. 3, informing users that “the costs of providing the required level of security, support, and technology is not economically feasible on our own.”

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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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One Million UEFA Tickets Set To Be Distributed Through Blockchain in 2020

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One Million UEFA Tickets Set To Be Distributed Through Blockchain in 2020
One Million UEFA Tickets Set To Be Distributed Through Blockchain in 2020

Soccer fans in Europe will join the ranks of early blockchain adopters thanks to a new initiative by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). According to a Feb. 17 announcement, UEFA will distribute over one million soccer match tickets via a blockchain-enabled mobile application. 

The organization claims that this new ticketing system will make “entry into the stadium smooth, safe and secure.” The new blockchain-based mobile ticketing solution is meant to prevent the duplication and replication of tickets by “QR codes only being activated by Bluetooth once fans are in close proximity to the stadium.” The app will be available for download toward the end of May for both Android and iOS devices. Tickets will be delivered no later than seven days before the match and “UEFA expects to deliver over one million mobile tickets to fans across all 51 matches.” 

UEFA decided to adopt this system in an attempt to facilitate ticket distribution to what is expected to be the most in-demand UEFA cup ever. UEFA also stated that digital ticketing will help curb paper consumption and be more convenient for soccer fans:

“Supporters who purchase ‘Follow my team’ tickets will receive their mobile tickets only once their team has qualified for a specific match. The ability to deliver mobile tickets to fans close to matchday will considerably enhance the fan journey, as fans will no longer be required to visit ticket collection points to exchange ticket vouchers. ”

The initiative builds on the successful deployment of the mobile ticketing system in August 2018 for the UEFA Super Cup soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid held in Tallinn, Estonia.

Image result for UEFA Tickets

Many sports franchises and event organizers are turning to blockchain for ticketing, as the technology promises to be a highly effective way to prevent forgery and ensure convenience. Ticketmaster’s vice president of blockchain products Sandy Khaund said that the technology can prevent secondary ticket markets from popping up and ensure that “tickets end up in the right hands.” The CEO and founder of EventChain, Ashton Addison, said:

“The whole point of implementing blockchain in the ticketing industry is to bring back fairness to the artists, event organizers and fans. For example, a major problem facing the industry is counterfeit tickets. Blockchain can prevent this by allowing attendees to verify the authenticity of their tickets. This also turns tickets into scarce digital assets, which are unable to be double sold.”

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MoneyGram Discloses Real-Time Remittance Tech, Based on Visa not Ripple

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Remittances giant MoneyGram announced a new service allowing real-time money sending, but the solutions of its blockchain partner Ripple are not involved. MoneyGram recently announced FastSend, a new service that allows its customers to send money in real-time to a phone number via a dedicated website or mobile application.

Kamila Chytil, MoneyGram Chief Operating Officer explained that FastSend uses Visa’s Direct Original Credit Transaction to deliver funds to bank accounts through a Debit card deposit. While DLT is not involved, the dedicated website and app make use of an open-source cloud-based microservices. Chytil also pointed out that while Ripple is not involved in this service, the firm uses blockchain-based extensively in other areas:

“Today, MoneyGram is utilizing Ripple’s On Demand Liquidity product which allows MoneyGram to trade FX at a corporate level using XRP. It’s a back-end treasury function that’s not consumer facing. The technology is helping to solve the most expensive and time consuming aspect of the current process by reducing the amount of money the company needs to park around the world, which will eventually reduce working capital needs.”

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Furthermore, Chytil said that MoneyGram is also evaluating other use cases “where blockchain could help solve data privacy and regulatory obligations through distributed ledger technology.” Overall, she spoke highly of DLT and cryptocurrencies, noting that the firm believes blockchain to be the future of global cross-border payments and money transfers. Chytil also praised the cryptocurrency market for being always active — unlike traditional markets — and the ability of crypto assets to shorten the delivery times of the currency. Lastly, she said that MoneyGram is looking at multiple use cases to maximize the use of Ripple’s tools and is integrating with the latest version of Ripple’s service suite to offer cash-out service to all network members. Ripple is seeing increasing adoption among financial institutions as a provider of DLT services.

This month, Bangladesh-based Bank Asia — which holds over $3.4 billion of assets — has joined Ripple’s RippleNet blockchain-based financial services network. Ripple’s crypto-asset XRP, also recently hit a 7-month high of $0.33. Still, over the last 25 hours to press time the cryptocurrency later lost about 7.82% of its value.

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