Blockchain 

Georgian Gov’t, IOHK Partner to Develop Blockchain in Education, Ministry Services

The government of Georgia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with blockchain technology firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) to implement blockchain-enabled projects across business, education and government services. The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 17. The MoU has been signed between the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science and IOHK, and will see the two entities collaborate on developing the technical, commercial and operational capacities to foster blockchain projects and support fintech businesses in the blockchain and digital asset sector. IOHK…

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Bitcoin 

Russia’s Largest Bank Confirms It Will Not Develop Crypto-Related Services

The CEO of state-owned Russian bank Sberbank has officially confirmed the institution’s decision to not develop crypto-related services, local financial publication Banki.ru reports on June 7. Herman Gref, Sberbank CEO and a former minister of economics and trade of Russia, claimed that the bank has never had any ambitious plans in the crypto space. Instead, the bank will now focus on blockchain applications for its services. Gref reportedly made his comments in an interview with local free-to-air TV channel NTV at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. Gref stated that…

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Blockchain 

Malaysia’s Stock Exchange to Develop Blockchain PoC for Security Borrowing and Lending

Kuala Lumpur-based Bursa Malaysia, the country’s stock exchange, is working on a blockchain-enabled security borrowing and lending proof-of-concept (PoC). English-language local media Bernama reported on the developments on May 6. Per the report, the initiative aims to develop greater transparency and address other challenges of borrowing and lending securities in Malaysia. More precisely, the exchange’s CEO, Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, reportedly said that the PoC should increase the efficiency, speed and capacity of the aforementioned services, which should consequently bring greater demand. Swift claims that the benefits of the PoC…

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Blockchain 

Austin Transportation Partners With Iota Foundation to Develop Interoperability Ecosystem

The government transportation department in the city of Austin, Texas partnered with nonprofit Iota Foundation to develop a more interoperable transportation ecosystem. The Austin Transportation Twitter account reported on the partnership on April 25. The tweet contained a link to an event — which took place on April 29 — featuring Dominik Schiener, co-founder of the Iota Foundation, and local authority holders delineating the scope of the partnership. During the meeting, the speakers describe their visions of a system in which every transit system can interact with the same payment…

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Blockchain 

China’s Tencent to Develop Blockchain Medical Tools With Waterdrop After Investment

Chinese internet giant Tencent will work with a local disruptor insurance company to develop new blockchain solutions, Bloomberg reported on April 30. Waterdrop, which forms part of China’s rapidly-expanding crowdfunded health insurance industry, will leverage Tencent’s existing presence and experience in the field to create as yet undefined blockchain tools. The move follows the closure of Waterdrop’s Series B funding round in March, led by Tencent, which raised 500 million yuan ($74.2 million). At the same time, the company is looking for fresh financing, Bloomberg revealed, along with seeking a…

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Blockchain 

British Virgin Islands, Blockchain Firm Develop Crypto Payments System for Emergency Aid

The British Virgin Islands — a United Kingdom Overseas Territory in the Carribean — has partnered with blockchain firm Lifelabs.io to launch an alternative crypto-enabled payments infrastructure for residents across its network of islands. The development was reported in a BVI government press release on April 18. The partnership notably heralds a particular focus on using a crypto infrastructure to support the reliable and swift transfer of aid and access to funds in emergency scenarios. The BVI government will implement Lifelabs’ blockchain Platform as a Service (PaaS), which reportedly reduces…

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Blockchain 

Telegram’s TON Partners With Wirecard to Develop Digital Financial Services

The development team behind encrypted messaging service Telegram’s forthcoming blockchain ecosystem Telegram Open Network (TON) has partnered with German financial services provider Wirecard. The latter revealed the news in a press release on April 17. TON Labs, which also functions as a knowledge base for decentralized project development, will work with Wirecard to develop new digital financial products, the press release reports. The partnership comes a week after sources hinted that TON had moved to private beta testing mode, a watershed moment for the project since its massive private initial…

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Blockchain 

US Researchers Develop Blockchain Protocol to Fight Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Portland State University (PSU) researchers have made a blockchain protocol to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from filling the market, according to a press release published on April 15. PSU researcher and professor of computer science at the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, Nirupama Bulusu, in collaboration with PSU computer science doctoral student Naif Alzahrani published a work dubbed “A new product anti-counterfeiting blockchain using a truly decentralized dynamic consensus protocol.” In the paper, the researchers described a new blockchain-based method to record transactions geared to facilitate the fight against…

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Blockchain 

Princeton Expertise-Backed Startup Raises $3.7 Mln to Develop Smart Contract Scalability

Offchain Labs, a blockchain startup co-founded by a professor at Princeton University, has raised $3.7 million in a seed round led by crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital, TechCrunch reports on April 3. The new funding round was also supported by Compound VC, Raphael Ouzan of Blocknation, Jake Seid, managing director at Stone Bridge Ventures and others. With the investment, Offchain aims to solve major problems associated with enterprise blockchain implementations by bringing more scalability and privacy. By deploying its own protocol, Arbitrum, Offchain developers intend to bring make smart contracts…

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Bitcoin 

US SEC Seeks Crypto Specialist Attorney Advisor to Develop Plan for Crypto Securities

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking to hire a crypto specialist attorney advisor for its Division of Trading and Markets (TM). The new job listing was posted on March 29 to the official government employment portal, USAJobs. The successful candidate will reportedly be tasked with establishing “a comprehensive plan to address crypto and digital asset securities” in coordination with TM staff and members of other SEC offices and divisions. The new hire would be expected to develop and maintain expert-level industry knowledge of crypto and digital…

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