Iceland: Draper Associates Leads $5 Million Funding Round for Blockchain-Based ID Platform

Iceland’s blockchain-based identity verification platform Authenteq has raised $5 million in a funding round led by Draper Associates and Capital300, the American tech website VentureBeat reports on Jan. 14. Following the two-week funding round, the company revealed its intention to conduct the second closing of the Series A financing for additional investors in the coming…

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Blockchain-Powered Prediction Platforms: Governance and Uses Beyond Gimmick Markets & Death Pools

The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Cointelegraph.com Like many other ICO success stories and subsequent leaders in their respective market segments, Augur, the preeminent platform for decentralized predictions, faces constant public scrutiny. The latest episode that drew public attention is the allegation, voiced by cryptocurrency…

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University of Bahrain Will Issue Diplomas on the Blockchain Employing Blockcerts

The University of Bahrain will issue diplomas on the blockchain, English-language local media Trade Arabia reports on Jan. 13. According to the aforementioned article, the university employs the Blockcerts open standard in partnership with Learning Machine, a startup providing a system to issue verifiable official records using a blockchain-anchored format. As Cointelegraph reported in September…

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Blockchain Research Now Granted Tax Credit in South Korea

South Korea’s government has added blockchain to the fields of research and development eligible for a tax credit meant to boost innovation, English-language local media TheNews.Asia reports on Jan. 8. The local Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced the proposed changes to the enforcement decree of last year’s tax law, which will be enforced in…

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Washington’s Douglas County is Looking to Build a Blockchain Innovation Campus

Local officials of United States’ Douglas County located in central Washington want to build a blockchain innovation campus, local daily newspaper The Seattle Times reports on Jan. 11. According to the aforementioned article, the county is already used to hosting a substantial crypto mining industry. Crypto miners have been attracted to various central Washington counties…

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Pakistan’s First Blockchain-Based Remittance Service Launched Using Alipay’s Technology

A Pakistani financial institution has rolled out a cross-border remittance service based on blockchain technology developed by Alibaba affiliate, Alipay. Telenor Microfinance Bank and Malaysian fintech firm Valyou have partnered to offer the service to that will operate between Malaysia and Pakistan. The service is expected to enhance the efficiency and speed of remittances from…

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Major Indian Bank Threatens to Close Accounts of Users Transacting in Crypto: Report

Kotak Mahindra Bank — India's second largest private sector bank by market cap — is allegedly requiring account holders to refrain from dealings in cryptocurrency. The claim was made by Twitter user “Indian CryptoGirl” (@Desicryptohodlr) in a tweet posted Jan. 8. According to the screenshot provided in Indian CryptoGirl’s tweet, Kotak Mahindra Bank makes explicit…

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ConsenSys Backs Icelandic Startup Co-Founded by Ex-Chair of Country’s Central Bank

Ethereum (ETH) blockchain startup and incubator ConsenSys has participated in a $2 million seed funding round for Iceland-based blockchain startup Monerium, according to a press release from the firm, published Jan. 11. The startup counts the former chairman of Iceland’s central bank among its four founders. The funding round was reportedly led by Icelandic venture…

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Bitcoin is a ‘Fad,’ But Even NASA is Investing in Blockchain

Bitcoin birthed the concept of blockchain technology, and now even organizations as technologically advanced as NASA are considering its benefits. Yet cryptocurrency is often described as a fad, a bubble, and even worthless. NASA Eyes Hyperledger Blockchain for Air Traffic Management Ronald J. Reisman, an aero-computer engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center, has put…

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Mongolia Partners With Stablecoin to Use Blockchain for Lending Services, Money Transfers

Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar has partnered with a stablecoin company to release instant money transfer and lending services, Asia's largest tech media platform e27 reported on Jan. 11. Ulaanbaatar City’s administration has agreed to partner with a South Korean blockchain company, dubbed Terra, in order to eventually replace the current payment methods for utility…

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NASA Publishes Proposal for Air Traffic Management Blockchain Based on HyperLedger

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has proposed an air traffic management blockchain, according to a paper published on the agency’s official website on Jan. 10. The proposed system would employ an open-source permissioned blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services. The document notes: “This framework features…

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Pakistan Taps Blockchain Developed by $150B Alipay, But Forbids Bitcoin

The government of Pakistan is reportedly using a blockchain platform developed by Alibaba’s Alipay. But, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin remain banned in the country for payments. The initiative of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of Pakistan to utilize a blockchain application to combat money laundering demonstrates the typical “blockchain not Bitcoin” narrative pushed by central…

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China Gets More Blockchain Censorship Powers Under New Rules

China’s crypto angst has shown no sign of abating as we enter a new year. Another raft of restrictive regulations has just been implemented for blockchain companies in the People’s Republic.Data Privacy Not Applicable in ChinaThe Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has just introduced more regulations for companies dealing with distributed ledger technology. According to…

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China to Enforce Regulation for Blockchain Companies in February

China’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China(CAC) in a detailed document outlined a final draft of regulations concerning cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. The rules will come into effect starting February 19, and provide a set of guidelines that blockchain companies are required to follow. According to the CAC’s director: The Regulations on the Management…

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US Representative Soto: Most Cryptos Need CFTC’s Light Touch, Not SEC Oversight

United States congressman Darren Soto has said that most cryptocurrencies should not be regulated under the country’s securities regulator. Soto made his comments in an interview with financial news channel Cheddar on Jan. 10. According to Soto, crypto should be overseen by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) —…

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New York Economic Dev. Non-Profit NYCEDC Opens Blockchain Center

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced that it is opening its Blockchain Center in Manhattan, Bloomberg reports today, Jan. 10. The organization told reporters that the center is part of a partnership with international trade organization Global Blockchain Business Council and affiliates of New York-based venture capital fund Future Perfect Ventures.…

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