Blockchain 

Travelport and IBM Work on Blockchain Platform for Hotel Commissions

Artificial intelligence-enabled travel platform Travelport, IBM and travel management company BCD Travel are jointly developing a blockchain platform to streamline hotel commission reconciliation. Per a press release on Aug. 20, the companies are collaboratively working on the creation of a blockchain-based platform in a bid to optimize hotel commission processing. Specifically, the product will purportedly allow users to track and account for commission payments hotels owe for services that travelers bought through booking agencies. Travelport and IBM are working within the framework of the IBM Garage — a consultation program…

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Blockchain 

Barclays May Be Ending Work With Coinbase, Transactions in GBP to Slow

Disclaimer: this story is breaking and will be subject to updates. British banking giant Barclays has reportedly cut ties with United States crypto exchange Coinbase. As Coindesk reported on August 13, unnamed industry sources have said that Barclays will no longer be banking for Coinbase, severing a relationship that began when Coinbase opened a Barclays account in March 2018. The news is expected to hit the crypto community hard, as, in addition to linking a major crypto exchange with a heavy hitter among the traditional banking establishment, the break may…

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Bitcoin 

What Are Crypto Banks and How Do They Work?

Bitcoin once promised that it would help realize the lofty goal of making individuals “their own bank.” To understand the many services that banks truly provide is also to realize how preposterous this claim was in 2008, when Bitcoin’s white paper made it. More than a decade later, the grandfather cryptocurrency is still on the peripheries of traditional finance, yet the decentralized industry that it has spawned can indeed replicate many financial services on the blockchain, all of which were formerly exclusively in the realm of banks. Is DeFi banking?…

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Bitcoin 

CFTC Policymaker With Long History of Work on BTC Futures Leaving

Amir Zaidi, the director of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC’s) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) is rumored to be leaving the CFTC within weeks. Multiple anonymous sources aware of the situation have confirmed this claim, according to a report by Bloomberg Law on Aug. 8.  Zaidi has been the director of the CFTC’s DMO since January 2017. He is acknowledged as being responsible for creating Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading policy, as well as rewriting market regulations for over-the-counter swaps. One source added that former DMO director Vincent…

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Blockchain 

Facebook to Work ‘However Long It Takes’ to Win Regulators on Libra

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company will work as long as it takes to appease regulators’ concerns over its Libra stablecoin. Zuckerberg delivered his statements during the firms Q2 results conference call on July 24. During the call, Zuckerberg said that — some years ago — Facebook would have just released a new product without prior warning, but now the company has changed. More precisely, he stated: “We’ve opened a period of – however long it takes to address regulators and different experts and constituents’ questions…

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Ethereum 

KPGM to Work With Microsoft, Tomia and R3 on Blockchain Telecom Solutions

Business advisory firm KPGM has partnered with tech companies Tomia, Microsoft and R3 to create a blockchain-based settlements solution for the telecom industry, in anticipation of 5G network services. KPMG announced the partnership and product plans in an official blog post on July 16. As per the report, the planned blockchain solution intends to make use of smart contracts in order to reduce disputes between carriers and mobile operators. Such smart contracts would reportedly include critical information for this purpose, by providing details such as correct rates, destination and bilateral…

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Blockchain 

Malaysia Launches Work Visa Program for Blockchain Tech Professionals

Malaysia has launched a work visa program targeting tech freelancers that addresses a demand for blockchain capable talens, local news outlet the Star reported on June 18. The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) — a government-owned organization that oversees the tech sector — blockchain organization Nem Foundation and job marketplace Jobbatical have jointly launched the program. The program aims to attract foreign professionals who will have the right to stay in the country for up to 12 months to provide blockchain-related services or undergo training at a Malaysian company. MDEC…

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Blockchain 

National Fisheries Institute and IBM’s Food Trust Work on Seafood Blockchain Traceability

United States seafood trade association National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is working with IBM’s blockchain supply chain solution Food Trust to trace seafood, food-related news outlet FoodOnline reports on June 11. Per the report, this is the first effort to track multiple seafood species jointly pursued by multiple companies. Furthermore, NFI members representing harvesters, importers, processors, cold storage, foodservice restaurants and retail are all reportedly involved in the program. The project is purportedly funded by the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF), whose chairman Sean O’Scannlain commented on the development: “Traceability is…

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Bitcoin 

Bitcoin Investors ‘Celebrate the Life and Work of Judas Iscariot’

Charlie Munger, billionaire investor and vice chairman of American holding conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, again criticized bitcoin (BTC), financial markets-focused news outlet Markets Insider reported on May 4. Munger — who was invited to an event by an unnamed digital currency investment group, but did not attend it — stated that bitcoin investors “celebrate the life and work of Judas Iscariot.” Munger thus reiterated his negative stance towards cryptocurrencies. Last February, Munger described the leading cryptocurrency as “totally asinine,” at the 2018 annual general meeting of the Daily Journal Corporation. He…

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Blockchain 

Coinbase Closes Chicago Office and Scales Down Work on Matching Engine

Major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase shut down its Chicago office and scaled down the development of its matching engine, Fortune reports on April 23. Per the report, the exchange will consolidate the high-frequency trading matching engine efforts into its San Francisco office. Coinbase also purportedly laid off about 30 employees and will relocate some to the area of the other office, while others will work remotely. According to local news site Chicago Inno, when the company announced the opening of the Chicago office in May last year, it planned…

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