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Blockchain Pilot Makes Waves in Russia’s Energy Sector

Earlier this week, Russian tech startup Waves announced it has been testing a blockchain solution for payments in the retail electricity sector. The pilot program was initiated by Rosseti, Russia’s national energy grid operator, which is looking to automate and make transactions between energy producers, suppliers and consumers more transparent. Now that the first stage has been successfully completed, the partners will proceed to scale up their efforts. Ultimately, they envision rolling the blockchain-powered solution out nationwide. Blockchain and energy: What makes them work together? According to Wood Mackenzie, a…

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New York AG Finds It ‘Perverse’ For Bitfinex and Tether to Criticize Investigation

In a filing with the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, New York Attorney General Letitia James roundly criticized the efforts of Bitfinex and Tether to halt her office’s investigation into the companies. Bitfinex and Tether are under investigation for an accounting coverup in which Bitfinex is alleged to have improperly transferred $625 million that had been backing the Tether stablecoin in order to conceal Bitfinex’s liquidity shortfall. In the filing from Dec. 4 but made public on Dec. 12, Attorney General James wrote that Bitfinex and Tether are…

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Bitcoin Miner Canaan’s Shares Plunge 40% Since IPO in November

Chinese Bitcoin (BTC) mining giant Canaan Creative’s depositary shares have seen a 40 percent drop in value since November initial public offering (IPO). Canaan was the first Bitcoin mining giant to go public on a major United States stock exchange, and successfully navigate an IPO. However, the mining giant’s stock has taken a severe beating since its IPO on Nov. 21. The company’s stock price value went as high as $13 per share on the day of the launch, only to take a painful nosedive to today’s value of $5.25,…

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Libra Updates White Paper, Removes Dividends for Libra Association

The white paper for Facebook’s proposed Libra currency has been quietly updated, according to a Dec. 10 article written by Georgetown University law professor, Chris Brummer. Aside from expected amendments reflecting the revised Libra Association members, the biggest change is the removal of dividends payable to those early investors. Change in use of interest on reserve assets While the initial Libra white paper published in June specified that interest on the reserve assets would be used to cover system costs, keep transaction fees low, support growth, and pay dividends to…

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Swiss Government Quashes ‘E-Franc,’ Says Current Risks Outweigh Benefits

The government of cryptocurrency-friendly Switzerland has shot down the idea of issuing a digital Swiss franc, for now. According to a Dec. 13 press release published on the Federal Council’s website, the Federal Council approved a report exploring the opportunities and risks of issuing a digital form of the country’s national currency, the franc.  Following an analysis, the Federal Council concluded that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) cannot meet expectations for payment efficiency, effective monetary policy, and a more stable financial system. The council said: “Universally accessible central bank…

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Uphold and Salt Partner to Bring Liquidity to Millions Using Crypto-Backed Loans

Uphold, a digital money platform providing access to investments and payments using blockchain technology, has announced a partnership with crypto-backed lending company Salt. Together, the two plan to provide users with cash or stablecoin loans using cryptocurrencies as collateral. Uphold’s 1.7 million users can now secure loans through Salt against their holdings in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), and XRP. The integration of the two platforms provides enhanced access to liquidity, enabling users to unlock additional value in their crypto holdings. Robin O’Connell, Uphold’s…

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US Health Insurance Giant Piloting Blockchain to Secure Medical Data

Anthem, the second-largest health insurance company in the United States plans to use blockchain technology to secure medical data of all 40 million members over the next three years. On Dec. 12, Forbes reported that Anthem plans to use blockchain technology to give patients secure access to their medical data, while also giving them the possibility to share that data as they see fit. Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux said at the 8th Annual Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York: “What blockchain potentially gives us the opportunity to do is not…

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Review: Scorpion Case Is a Hardware Wallet Carrier That Over-Delivers on Protection

With self-sovereignty comes great responsibility. Being your own bank can be scary. After all, there’s a reason banks became a feature of modern society: they control the custody of assets, assume the risk of these assets and insure them for their customers.  This is why most Bitcoiners hold security as the highest virtue. If you want to be your own bank, you need to make sure you’re taking every step necessary and available to secure your bitcoin from theft, seizure and damage. In this regard, no measure is too extreme.…

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Franklin Templeton Closes Funding Round For Blockchain-Based Social Impact Platform

Proof of Impact, a blockchain-based, global marketplace for natural and social capital has closed a funding round led by American asset management firm Franklin Templeton Investments. On Dec. 12, Proof of Impact announced that it closed its first institutional investment round led by Franklin Templeton, a global fund manager that manages around $700 billion in assets.  The scale of Franklin Templeton’s investment remains unknown, but as part of the agreement, a Franklin Templeton representative will take a seat on the Proof of Impact board. Proof of Impact co-founder Fleur Heyns…

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Blockchain and AR a Winning Solution at Elev8CON’s Startup Showcase

Eight companies gathered on stage at Elev8CON in Las Vegas on Dec. 10 to demonstrate how they are applying blockchain technology to solve real-world problems and improve financial industries. The startup showcase session featured Gridfinity, a cloud-based mining company; Appliqate, a blockchain-based affiliate marketing solution; TemTum, a scalable blockchain network; DreamView Studios, a computer-generated imagery company for e-commerce; Knowbella Tech, a blockchain-based intellectual property platform; System9, a blockchain solution for institutional marketing; NGRAVE, a military-grade hardware wallet; and BlocWatch, an enterprise-blockchain focused security company. While all of the startups demonstrated…

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