Blockchain and Cryptocurrency news from August 2020
The world is combating the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to bring economic activities back on track. Various technology solutions are playing their part in this effort. Blockchain is playing a key part too. We summarize key news in August 2020 from the blockchain-cryptocurrency space.
Blockchain to the rescue of the supply chain sector during the pandemic
Governments, businesses, and society are using tools like lockdown, quarantine, travel ban, etc. to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures have helped, however, they impose a significant economic cost. Many sectors have faced a significant downturn.
The supply chain sector is one of them. Lockdowns have forced companies to close their facilities. Many workers had to work from home at a reduced capacity. Businesses in this sector are trying to turn things around, and blockchain is helping them.
For example, J. M. Smucker, the American company is using a blockchain-based platform to trace a single-source coffee brand. The company is using Farmer Connect, a blockchain platform from IBM. Blockchain is providing J. M. Smucker with visibility over its supply chain.
Key Blockchain-Cryptocurrency news from North America
The USA leads the landscape for almost all cutting-edge technologies. China could deny that space to the USA in the case of blockchain, according to a senior executive at Ripple. Chris Larsen, the co-founder and chairman it Ripple believes that China has made rapid strides in the blockchain landscape. Larsen states that China is aggressively adopting digital payment. He believes that China has prepared well to launch its “Central Bank Digital Currency” (CBDC). Larsen thinks that controlling the majority of crypto mining operations gives China an edge. He has asked for pragmatic regulations in the USA to promote blockchain.
Darren Soto, a US Congressman is working exactly on that. Soto, the co-chair of blockchain caucus is trying to educate members of the Congress on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He has also asked the IRS to provide better tax-related guidance on cryptocurrency transactions.
Many countries are facing the menace of cryptocurrency scams, and Canada is one of them. Government officials in the country are taking this challenge seriously. They are sensitizing the Canadian citizens about scam stars. For example, the local government in the city of Waterloo, Ontario have issued a general warning. The warning stated that 78 residents in the city have been impacted by these scams in 2020, and they have lost over $430,000. The scams involved Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrency transactions.
Important Blockchain and Cryptocurrency-related developments in Europe
A government-owned bank in Switzerland is embracing cryptocurrencies. Basler Kantonalbank (BKB) will launch its cryptocurrency services through a banking subsidiary. Bank Cler is that subsidiary. Bank Cler will allow its customers to store and trade cryptocurrencies. It’s still developing the required products and services for that, and it hasn’t announced a launch date yet.
In the UK, “Doctor Who” will soon come on blockchain as a game. BBC Studios has partnered with Reality Gaming Group for this. They will jointly develop a blockchain-based game for “Doctor Who”, the popular TV series. Players of this game will be able to digitally trade popular characters of “Doctor Who”. The game will have cryptographic tokens for these characters, and these will be “Non Fungible Tokens” (NFTs). This will ensure the uniqueness of each digital trading card. BBC Studios and Reality Gaming Group plan to release the PC version of the game in 2021. They haven’t announced a timeline for the mobile version of the game.
The German government is exploring blockchain to modernize how Germans transact in securities. German laws mandate paper-based certificates to secure financial instruments that are considered as securities. The Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) are creating legislations to use blockchain for securities. Using blockchain for securities will improve efficiency and regulatory compliance. The two ministries have introduced draft legislation already, which is under debate and discussion.
Key Blockchain/Crypto news from Australia
The renewable energy space is attracting plenty of interest and investments, and blockchain can play a key role here. Blockchain-powered renewable energy trading systems can expedite the adoption of renewable energy.
Power Ledger, an Australian blockchain firm is making important progress in this area. The company has earlier developed blockchain-based platforms and tools to support energy trading. These platforms and tools also support renewable asset financing and renewable energy trading. Several countries like Australia, Japan, the USA, and Japan are using these tools. In August 2020, Power Ledger announced the launch of its renewable energy trading marketplace in Thailand and Southeast Asia. For this project, Power Ledger has collaborated with BPCG, a renewable energy company in Thailand.
Important Blockchain/Cryptocurrency news from Asia
Huawei, the Chinese technology giant has created a blockchain platform for the city government of Beijing. The city government will use this platform to better manage data concerning its citizens. This platform will manage various kinds of data like medical records, property registration records, real-time vehicle parking status, etc. Huwaei is using its cloud services infrastructure for this blockchain project. This new platform is a part of the overall “New Infrastructure Initiative” in China, which uses blockchain to transform digital governance.
Police in South Korea has seized the assets of Coinbit, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. The media and law enforcement agencies estimate that the exchange faked 99% of its trading volume. Law enforcement agencies stated that Coinbit made $84.26 million using fraudulent trading practices like wash trading. In May 2020, an insider had alerted Seoul Shinmun, a media outlet about fraudulent trading in the exchange. The investigations followed this lead.
Blockchain will soon help recruiters in Japan. Persol Group, one of the largest HR companies in Japan plans to use a blockchain platform for recruitment. The company has partnered with NEC Corporation, the Japanese IT and electronics giant for this project. The proposed blockchain system will help the Persol Group to manage personal data securely. It will improve the authenticity of the information. Persol Group and NEC are working on a proof-of-concept (PoC), and they haven’t yet indicated a launch date.
The world faces a turbulent time. Socio-economic and geopolitical complexities were already testing the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the challenges. Our ability to transform challenges into opportunity depends on how smartly we work. Technology solutions including blockchain play a key role here. Expect more important developments in the blockchain/cryptocurrency space. Watch this space.