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Bing becomes latest to ban cryptocurrency ads

Cryptocurrency advertising will be absent from Bing by the end of July…

Following the lead set by Google, Facebook and Twitter, the search service Bing has confirmed that it’s now set to ban cryptocurrency advertising too.

The announcement came on the Bing Ads blog, where advertiser policy manager Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo said that “because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviours, or otherwise scam consumers”.

She added that “to help protect our users from this risk, we have made the decision to disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency related products, and un-regulated binary options”.

The policy change will be implemented across the Bing Ads network starting in June, with full rollout expected in late June and early July. It’ll be completed by the end of July.

Whilst some have found (temporary) ways around the ad bans on other platforms, it does add to the growing feeling that some kind of cryptocurrency regulation is needed. In lieu of it, more and more big platforms are taking the easier way out, and simply implementing blanket bans. Bing is unlikely to be the last to do so.

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Adopt blockchain or be disrupted, warns FedEx CEO

red Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx, told an audience this week that those who don’t embrace blockchain technology will be left behind and disrupted.

The head of the logistics company sees great potential in blockchain technology to improve cross-border transfers, and relayed these thoughts to the crowd at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York.

“Blockchain has the potential to completely revolutionise what’s across the border, ” he said. “For cross-border shipments, ‘trust’ is legal requirement for every transaction. What blockchain has is a potential for the first time ever to make the information available for everybody.

“If you are not operating at the edge of new technologies, you will surely be disrupted. If you are not willing to embrace new technologies like the internet of things and blockchain to face those new threats, you are, maybe subtly, at some point… going to extinction.”

In February, FedEx joined the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA) in order to explore how best to utilise blockchain in its business.

CIO Robert Carter, also speaking at the event, added: “We move easily 12 millionshipments a day and that moer than doubles during the peak seasons. While we absolutely believe this technology is going to scale, right now it makes sense for us to do this in our freight world.

“The application of these custody chains… is so critical to the information aspect. We’re operating on this place between the physical world and the digital world.”

Russia Could Be Working with Ethereum’s Platform for Payments

Bank of Russia may be ready to use blockchain technology for sending and receiving payments. The information released by the news outlet Izvestiya on My the 4th. According to the reports, Bank of Russia could be using the Ethereum platform to speed up payments.

Bank of Russia Wants Faster Transactions

Different companies, banks and governments all over the world are working with blockchain technology so as to improve transaction speeds and reduce costs. This time, the Bank of Russia may be the next in the list of institutions working with this technology. According to banking sources the plans for using Ethereum have been confirmed.

The main purpose of the central bank of Russia is to transfer payments on SPFS – a local version of the SWIFT system. If the integration turns out to be successful, then, the system could potentially become ‘more reliable’ than SWIFT itself, which had several issues, hacks and security concerns in the last years.This is not the first time that blockchain technology sees adoption in Russia. At UseTheBitcoin we have reported many times that Russia is a country very interested in exploiting distributed ledger technology. Indeed, it has even explained its plans to create its own virtual currency known as CryptoRuble.

A senior official at fellow bank BKF said:

“Implementing blockchain technology undoubtedly raises the level of protection for SPFS in relation to hacker attacks. This is especially pertinent given the slew of banks, including Russia’s Globeks, which have fallen victim to hacker attacks via SWIFT.”   

The size of the savings by switching to blockchain technology are not specified and yet unknown. What is important to mark is that the current costs of using SPFS is around ($0.03) per transaction. Moreover, the reduction of costs should also be linked with the increased security. Banks will be losing less money from problems in the network, hacks, security issues or other circumstances.

Back in February, we wrote that Russia’s largest state bank, Sberbank, was going to launch a virtual currency exchange in Europe, showing that the interest for virtual currencies is growing.

GoChain is a working high performance blockchain

The problem with current blockchains 

The current consensus mechanisms with PoW and PoS face the problem of being too slow. Ethereum’s 13 transactions per second and lack of scalability make its uneconomic use questionable in the future. Alternatives like NEO and EOS exist but bring along their own disadvantages. Currently, most businesses run their platforms on Ethereum and changing to a different blockchain is difficult.

Ethereum: 7-15 tps,🛴 GoChain: 1300 tps 

Gochain is a decentralized cryptocurrency and blockchain that is compatible with Ethereum, but faster. You can use it with current Ethereum wallets, smart contracts and decentralized applications.

To allow 100 times more transactions per second, it relies on Proof of Reputation to reach consensus, which is a stronger and more secure version of Proof of Authority. This algorithm will be far more energy efficient, needing about 0.001% of the power used to currently mine Ethereum. Also, the nodes will be spread geographically, to prevent them from being taken over by governments or, like currently, being pseudo-decentralized with the majority of the miners being in China.

They already built 1M/s solutions and have a 1000/s testnet 

The team consists of founders, long-term investors and software engineers with years of experience in distributed cloud systems and high scale applications.

Team

The team is lead by Jason Dekker, who was a hedge fund manager who has managed in excess of $250 million, angel investor, board member and advisor with an exit to a public company.

Chief Solution architect Travis Reeder has over 20 years of experience developing high-throughput, high scale applications and cloud services and has founded successful technology companies and has raised tens of millions in funding from some of the top VC firms in Silicon Valley

Verdict (8/10)

There is a strong need for high scale and robust blockchains and GoChain is a step in the right direction. The testnet and mainnet updates at a pre-ICO stage is a very positive sign and the team behind the project is strong.

Worth having a look at if you’re in the market for a solid ICO to back – https://gochain.io/

Spanish Bank BBVA Issues First-of-Its-Kind Corporate Loan Through Blockchain

The use of blockchain considerably reduced the time of entire loan process – from negotiations to signing the loan – from a few days to just a few hours.

Global banking institutions across the globe have now spear-headed the process of using the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) famously called the Blockchain technology for its services and products involving transactions. According to the latest Financial Times report, Spain’s second-largest banking group – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) – has now become the first global bank to issue a loan using the blockchain technology.

The loan worth €75 million ($91.33 million) has been issued to one of the bank’s corporate clients and the entire process of the loan disbursement – right from to negotiations to signing the loan – has been done on the blockchain. The entire system for this trail uses two different blockchains –  the public Ethereum blockchain and the private digital ledger.

The bank hailed the use of the blockchain technology as a breakthrough achievement as it significantly reduced the time of negotiations from days to a few hours. Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA chief executive said: “Blockchain can offer clear advantages for all sides in the corporate loan market in terms of efficiency, transparency, security. It’s another strong example of how disruptive technology can be used to add value to financial services, something that is central to our strategy.”

Carlos also revealed that the bank has several more transactions in the immediate pipeline apart from this pilot project with the Spanish telecom giant Indra.
Although the reports are sparse on the use of private blockchain, the report says that the negotiating terms between both the parties – bank and borrower – have been simultaneously recorded and updated on a mutual blockchain while keeping each other informed about each stage of the loan process.

While talking about blockchain, Indra’s Director of Financial Services Borja Ochoa said that it was “destined to become one of the technologies that will change the way we interact with products and financial services” and that the pilot “strengthens the position of BBVA and Indra as leaders in the practical application of blockchain technologies”.

This is not for the first time that BBVA is using the blockchain technology to streamline its banking services. The Spanish banking giant is a part of the R3 consortium and has invested significantly in developing the entire blockchain-based banking process. Last year at the end of 2017, the bank for the first time used the blockchain technology for yet another pilot program that was aimed at automating the document presentation for import-export operations between Latin America and Spain.

This considerably reduced the transaction time for sending, verification, and authorization of foreign trade from 7-10 days to a mere 2.5 hours. Ricardo Laiseca, BBVA’s Head of Global Finance for Corporate and Investment Banking says “BBVA is involving its clients in project processes such as requirements definition, development, and implementation. In this way, BBVA provides its customers with not only the best financial solutions but also the most advanced technical and innovative capabilities.”

Another Spanish banking giant – Banco Santander has push-forward its blockchain pursuits and has recently joined hands with blockchain startup Ripple in order to improve its services for instant global fund transfers.

 

 

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WordPress To Accept Bitcoin Using Lightning Network.

Many e-commerce organizations have taken a step forward in the world of cryptocurrencies and decided to integrate Bitcoin as a payment method such as Microsoft, Overstock and Newegg. Due to this trend, e-commerce platform providers such as Shopify and WordPress have integrated plugins so that users have the option to integrate Bitcoin as a form of payment on their websites. But recently we have seen how scalability problems and fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have meant that some companies such as Steam have suspended their payments in Bitcoin. One of the biggest scalability problems was the transactions fees in Bitcoin, which in December of 2017 came to be worth up to $20 per transaction.

Because of this, the community has been working on Bitcoin network solutions to improve, lower transaction costs and make the network much faster. One of these solutions was the implementation of Segwit (Segregated Witness) which has already been implemented by more than 32% of the network.

Blockteam Inc, a company founded in 2014 that works in blockchain technology, is one of a number of institutions that provide funding for the development of Bitcoin Core, (the predominant network client software) and the implementation of the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN).

On their blog, Blockstream has published the released of a new Lightning App (LApp), a WordPress plugin called Lightning Publisher that allows users of WordPress publisher to instantly accept payment in Bitcoin via LN.

 

WordPress is used by 60.3% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 30.4% of all websites. And more than 20% e-commerce stores are powered by Woo-commerce, a WordPress e-commerce plugin.

By introducing a LApp for WordPress, Blockstream is edging one step closer to the universal acceptance of Bitcoin and the end of scalability problems and high transaction fees, reducing it to just USD cents.

Unmasking Crypto Users: Amazon’s New Role In The Cryptomarket

Amazon has won a patent for streaming data services which will allow subscribers to get real-time transaction details of cryptocurrency, but there’s an edge for law enforcement agencies too.

The patent is meant for computing technology to build a data streaming marketplace, so when a company gives information to a specific marketplace, the users can subscribe to get the streaming data. This will help developers to collect information from various sources and compile it so that they can provide better information on variables. As per the document that was filed, Amazon Technologies won this patent which might help agencies that work on law enforcement to unmask crypto users.

This is how it will work. The marketplace will enable its subscribers to avail of individual data feeds and this, in turn, will provide data in real time. Although looking at the data feeds by itself will not make much sense, beneficial data is extracted when agencies subscribe to many feeds which can be analyzed to spot correlations.

In this process, users have an option to make changes to the data so that it is useful to them. This will help them check data from various sources even before it brings together the data stream.

Real-time dashboards, alerts, drive references and creating other decisions on real-time business, are some of the things that the Amazon data analytics service could allow.

Initially, the popular news website CoinDesk brought to light what the patent documents say. According to their report, a developer can,

build real-time dashboards, capture exceptions and generate alerts, drive recommendations, and make other real-time business or operational decisions.”

In the filing, Bitcoin transactions were stated as examples to explain what the patent included. Lines from the patent read:

“For example, a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream. A group of telecommunications providers may subscribe downstream to the combined data stream and be able to correlate the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of the transactions to countries of origin. Government agencies may be able to subscribe downstream and correlate tax transaction data to help identify transaction participants.”

This technology may add value to the data that is brought to users but, with this kind of marketplace, the government can tie up with telecommunication providers to get details of IP addresses of transactions.

However, such blockchain tracing tools might not be extremely useful right from the start, as it may take time for law enforcement agencies to familiarize themselves with the blockchain technologies and its systems.

Amazon is not the only company having registered a blockchain patent. In fact, over the recent years, nearly 500 blockchain tech patents have been filled from various organizations in the US alone.

Singapore’s government is launching !! Developers Buckle UP!!

Singapore’s government is launching a challenge that will reward successful blockchain projects with funding.

In an announcement , Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said the challenge aims to boost blockchain innovation as part of a wider goal of the digital transformation in the city state.
According to the fact sheet for the challenge, the bureau is specifically targeting two categories of blockchain applications: “enterprise” and “transformation.”

The agency further explains that it is looking for distributed ledge technology that can either streamline business operations or that more broadly envisions changes in social interactions, such as within public services.

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