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Despite a hotly contested presidential race, a new consensus among US congress members shows that they need to learn more about bitcoin and blockchain technology before any action is taken.
It is well documented that many lawmakers around the world are unsure of both bitcoin and the blockchain technology that supports it. Even the legitimacy earned in Japan was done so after the Mt. Gox scandal. The result of legal guidelines has been an upsurge in trade for bitcoin in the Japanese market.
Blockchain is once again at the center of an initiative to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs, this time in the field of correspondent banking. A blog post by the team, comprising of a partnership between Wells Fargo, Swift and ANZ, has described the prototype system they have created using blockchain. Using a distributed ledger to create a real-time transaction log, the system will track payments made on the swift platform to enable banks to track such payments much quicker. The system should offer significant improvements over current methodology.
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One of the largest democratic processes regularly undertook, the elections for the European parliament span 28 countries and 400 million voters, choosing representatives for over 500 million people. Constantly looking to improve trust, transparency and convenience in those elections, the EU has released the latest white paper on the viability of digital voting systems. Here they look at blockchain as a potential solution and compare building a blockchain based platform compared to an entirely bespoke system. Noting the cost saving and security of blockchain as significant aspects that work in its favor.
Less than a month after the Sydney Stock exchange announced its intention to press forward with the development of its own open blockchain solution, they have just announced the successful test of their prototype blockchain platform. In partnership with blockchain open source startup Bit Trade Labs, Sydney Stock exchange formed APX Settlement Pty Limited to oversee the project, who announced the latest development. From here they are now looking to further collaboration with cybersecurity experts to ensure security integrity remains intact through the development process.
One of the key technical challenges for Bitcoin is the issue of congestion within the blockchain that drives the entire digital currency. Slowing transactions and confirmations as a result, it is an issue that much of the cryptocurrency industry is looking at, with several proposed solutions under development. One of those, from Blockstream, is the Lightening Network, that takes the approach of separating transactions away from the main blockchain. They recently announced the first successful micro transaction using the system, and this could be a significant moment in the ongoing development of the digital currency.
Recent comments made by Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder and billionaire entrepreneur, suggest his belief that “blockchain could produce an economic revolution”. At an event in London, he stated this revolution could have a global impact, affecting numerous countries worldwide.
Bring on the Lawyers!
State of Jersey Amends Laws Covering Crypto Exchanges
Fed Launches Study of Digital Currency and Blockchain Tech
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Several organizations showed off blockchain prototypes at a Sibos event in Geneva recently. There was plenty of discussion regarding the technology. Russia’s National Settlement Depository(NSD) and South Africa’s Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) came away from the event having signed a letter of intent to begin initiatives using distributed ledger protocols.
There are an ever growing army of people who are using the internet and its ability to allow us to make connections around the world to build a career. Freelancers, contractors and entrepreneurs in ever greater numbers are providing work to businesses and individuals all around the world, and Bitwage has been providing a secure, bitcoin based payment system for these people for a while. Now they are making this service even more attractive with the addition of a verification service to help build trust between customers and providers through their My Employment service.
Blockchain, the technology underpinning the digital currency revolution, has attracted much attention in its own right due to its astonishing adaptability. Across a wide range of industries and systems, blockchain is being researched and developed to add more efficiency, security and operational improvements. Now the largest mining company in the world is also adopting blockchain. Using the Ethereum blockchain, BHP Billiton are looking to improve efficiency and accuracy in their supply chain, along with adding an easier to use system for partners to track material movements throughout the system.
Spain Labels Cryptocurrency Mining as Taxable Economic Activity
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There is much talk about blockchain and its various applications and possibilities, so hearing about a vision for the future of blockchain applications from another perspective is always welcome. Thomas Jordan, president and chairman of the board of Switzerland’s central bank, recently gave his views on blockchain and how it was changing the banking industry. The decentralization behind blockchain is the exact opposite of the history of the banking industry, and he noted that the introduction of the technology was turning his industry on its head in many ways.
Innovation, new ideas, new approaches, all these are essential to the advancement of the digital currency industry and blockchain technology itself. The UK Government has a history of recognizing this and has demonstrated it once again with the launch of its latest initiative. A competition to encourage new ideas and new applications for blockchain and distributed ledger with a £15 million fund for rewarding companies involved is another boost to the UK digital currency industry.
When Bitcoin made its debut in 2009, few people thought that the technology behind it could change the world, but in ever increasing numbers, this is how researchers are seeing blockchain. The latest is automotive multinational Wanxiang, who have announced their new smart cities initiative will utilize blockchain at its core. With the current focus on their existing business, the ways in which blockchain can be used to streamline the management of electric vehicle servicing demonstrates the versatility and importance being placed on the technology.