Digital Currency Weekly Recap 2-7-2016
UN’s ECLAC Recommends Caribbean Pursue Cryptocurrency Innovation
A recent report from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has focused a spotlight on FinTech development in the Caribbean with its recommendation that those nations explore the potential benefits of digital currency. That report, Opportunities and risks associated with the advent of digital currency in the Caribbean, was developed to provide greater insight into cryptocurrencies for decision-makers in that part of the world.
The paper’s author examines the current state of technology usage in the region, and ultimately concludes that there is potential for the Caribbean to become a center of digital currency and FinTech innovation. Citing the region’s mediocre payments infrastructure and a perceived lack of participation in the online marketplace, the Commission’s report urges leaders in the area to increase their efforts to integrate new technologies into their economies.
Among its recommendations, the paper proposes that these nations work to develop a more inclusive strategy for exploring these technologies, to ensure that the public has an opportunity to consider and weigh in on any broader decisions. Additional recommendations include a cooperative approach among the countries of the Caribbean to take advantage of cost savings and develop a regional marketplace for FinTech.
Factom Partners with China for Smart City Project
As China moves forward with plans to develop new, so-called “smart cities” to cope with its rapid urbanization, infrastructure within those planned cities is of paramount concern. Factom, a company specializing in blockchain-focused record verification, is helping in those efforts by developing blockchain-powered systems that will be used in some eighty of these smart cities.
The effort is being conducted in concert with consulting firm iSoftStone, and will be focused on bringing blockchain technology to bear in the management of city services that rely on big data - including critical data like traffic sensors and pollution counts. The plan is to also utilize these technologies within the cities’ financial sectors, data exchanges, and other areas that will rely on big data.
Survey Shows BTM Users Reluctance to Offer Altcoins in ATMs
Coin Telegraph recently published an article providing some insight into the results of a survey they conducted with Blockchain ATM owners to assess their opinions about offering altcoins to their customers. While there was some support for offering currencies other than Bitcoin if customers demanded it, most of the respondents asserted that no such demand had yet materialized.
Major Japanese Bank Unveils Its Own Cryptocurrency
Amid the ongoing effort by banks around the world to learn more about the blockchain and its potential benefits, one Japanese bank just announced that it has created its own digital currency. That currency, the MUFG Coin, was developed by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) as part of its effort to duplicate Bitcoin’s features and functionality apart from the miner-dependent network that powers that coin’s blockchain platform.
MUFG has apparently been conducting trials of their network for the last several months, exploring peer-to-peer transaction capabilities for remittances and pursuing options for reducing transaction costs. It is worth noting that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has been identified as one of 42 banks currently united in the R3CEV blockchain consortium.