Blockchain 

Firm Behind Zcash to Introduce New Version of Protocol With Sharding

The Electric Coin Company (ECC), the firm behind second-biggest anoncoin zcash (ZEC), intends to build a new scalable zcash blockchain, cryptocurrency news outlet Forklog reports on June 22. Per the report, chief engineer at ECC Nathan Wilcox said that the firm should “make Zcash usable by 10 billion people by 2050” if it can. Still, Decrypt notes that achieving this would require zcash’s blockchain to be able to manage thousands — or millions — of transactions per second. Forklog states that ECC is considering implementing sharding, a scalability solution that…

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Ethereum 

Phillipine Government Tech Department Signs Deal With Blockchain Firm

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the Philippine government has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with U.S.-based blockchain firm Monsoon Blockchain Storage, according to a report by GMA News Online on June 19. The MoA reportedly stipulates that Monsoon is to act as a blockchain consultant and advisor to DICT, offering services such as cost-benefit and socio-economic analyses regarding blockchain solutions in the Philippines. DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. commented on how the MoA will benefit the Philippines, saying it will “directly benefit our continuous…

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Blockchain 

BNP Paribas Venture Arm Among Investors to Inject $16.5M in Fintech Firm Token

Fintech firm Token has received a $16.5 million injection from investors including the venture arm of banking giant BNP Paribas, a news release announced on June 18. The self-described open banking platform says it will use the capital to further develop its TokenOSTM operating system — and “accelerate new ways of innovating payments with digital money and ID solutions.” According to the company, its ecosystem enables banks, customers and developers to complete transactions securely, instantly and with less friction. Token claims more than 4,000 banks have connected to its platform, with Mastercard recently coming…

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Blockchain 

Blockchain Firm Algorand Raises $60 Million in New Token Sale

Blockchain company Algorand has raised over $60 million in a token sale on financial services platform CoinList, technology-focused news outlet The Block reported on June 19. The Algorand Foundation — a firm that implements an open source public ledger and cryptocurrency payment system utilizing the Byzantine Agreement message-passing protocol — has reportedly raised $60 million in a sale of its native Argos token. The recent equity funding was on top of the $66 million the company raised over the past year from investors such as venture capital firms Union Square…

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Ethereum 

Web Server Security Firm Cloudflare Announces Launch of Ethereum Gateway

Web server security service firm Cloudflare announced the launch of its Ethereum gateway in a blog post on June 19. Per the announcement, the gateway — which is part of the company’s broader Distributed Web Gateway toolset — lets users “interact with the Ethereum network without installing any additional software.” The system purportedly allows one to access the network and interact with smart contracts through a custom hostname. Furthermore, the new tool can be used in combination with the firm’s Interplanetary File System (IPFS) gateway launched in September 2018: “In…

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Ethereum 

Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software

Big Four auditing firm PwC announced the release of a cryptocurrency auditing software solution in a press release published on June 19. Per the release, the tool newly added to PwC’s Halo auditing suite can be used to “provide assurance services for entities engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.” The firm claims that, with the new addition, the Halo suite permits PwC to provide independent evidence of private-public key pairing (to establish crypto asset ownership), and gather information about transactions and balances from blockchains. PwC further notes that it is already employing…

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Blockchain 

Blockchain-Based Energy Trading Firm to Optimize Solar Energy Distribution in Austria

Blockchain-based energy trading firm Power Ledger will roll out its peer-to-peer (P2P) network in Graz, the second-largest city in Austria, according to an announcement on June 18. The Australia-based company has partnered with E-NEXT, an innovation arm of major Austria’s energy utility Energie Steiermark, to launch its blockchain-powered energy trading platform in and around Graz. The initiative is an attempt to optimize energy distribution and to contribute to the city’s transition towards zero-carbon energy, the release notes. As such, Power Ledger’s technology is expected to enable rooftop solar energy-based households…

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Bitcoin 

Fidelity-Backed Crypto Analytics Firm to Integrate Twitter-Based Crypto Sentiment Feed

Crypto analytics firm Coin Metrics partnered with Social Market Analytics (SMA) to collaborate on a feed of real-time sentiment towards cryptocurrency based on social media data, according to a press release on June 17. The new partnership intends to collect and analyze data posted by crypto community on social media in order to provide a new tool to help crypto traders to track social media sentiment data to build their portfolio strategies. The new product will initially target sentiment data solely on social media giant Twitter, Coin Metrics CEO Tim…

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Bitcoin 

Iceland’s Financial Regulator Approves Blockchain-Powered E-Money Firm

The Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), Iceland’s sole financial regulator, has approved the first blockchain-powered e-money firm in the country, crypto media outlet CoinDesk reported June 14. Reykjavik-based Monerium, backed by blockchain software company ConsenSys, has reportedly been approved by the Icelandic financial watchdog to provide fiat payment services using ethereum (ETH) blockchain. According to the report, Monerium has become the first company to operate under an electronic money framework, a major European regulatory framework that enabled the firm to offer blockchain-powered e-money services across the European Economic Area (EEA). Monerium…

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Bitcoin 

Crypto-Enabled Payment Firm Square Recruits Former Google Product Director Steve Lee

United States-based bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto announced that it recruited former Google product director Steve Lee in a tweet published on June 12. Square Crypto was announced in March of this year when the organization joined Twitter, and planned to hire crypto engineers and designers to work on the bitcoin and crypto ecosystem, paying them in cryptocurrency. Just hours before announcing Lee’s recruitment, the official Twitter Square Crypto account asked — in what appeared to be a joke — the community to welcome the company’s “summer intern and…

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