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Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News Update 8th November 2019

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Coinbase Opens Tezos Staking For USA Customers

The cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase recently said that it has expanded access for staking the cryptocurrency Tezos (XTZ). They announced that the platform is now introducing staking rewards for all Tezos holders on Coinbase so that each eligible U.S. customer can earn interest on their XTZ holdings for depositing and holding the token on the platform

Nervos To Launch Its Mainnet

The Nervos Network, which is an open-source public blockchain project, has announced the launch of its mainnet dubbed “Lina.” In an announcement on Nov. 6, the Chinese blockchain network founded by the creators of Spark Pool, which is the largest Ether (ETH) mining pool, stated that its mainnet is now fully developed, so miners and developers will be able to utilize the network starting Nov. 16. Nervos Network opened its token sale via CoinList on Oct. 16 and has since raised $72 million, exceeding its initial goal of $67.2 million.

China Working With Hong Kong Central Bank On Blockchain

In recent days the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) confirmed it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The deal aims to create a Proof-of-Concept for a trade finance platform from Q1 2020, linking two existing projects: the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s eTrade Connect and the People’s Bank of Chinas Trade Finance Platform.

Sophia The Robot Chimes In On Cryptocurrency.

The robot named Sophia returned to the Web Summit stage, where she was asked many questions from participants and journalists, including questions about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.  When asked about crypto she said, she knows what cryptocurrencies are but she does not use them. Even though this caused a bit of a stir among crypto enthusiasts, she also said that she does not use money at all. 

Binance Working With Ukraine Government On Legislation

The global crypto exchange Binance is set to collaborate with Ukrainian authorities to establish cryptocurrency-related legislation in the country. According to the announcement, the Ministry, Members of Parliament (MP) and commercial companies are planning to finalize the relevant bills and introduce them to the Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, by the end of 2019. Binance is setting the pace across the globe so far as the growth of its platform.

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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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