Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson has made no secret of her love of technology, and she’s certainly not shy about expressing her appreciation for Bitcoin, the blockchain, and other aspects of the digital currency universe. In a speech to the attendees of the Consensus 2017 conference on Tuesday, she doubled down on that support for digital currency technology, and announced that Fidelity will soon provide its customers with the ability to track their cryptocurrency holdings on the Fidelity website.
With blockchain technology gaining increased attention from an ever-expanding array of industries, it was only a matter of time until the auto industry began to take serious notice too. Toyota Research Institute’s announcement at Consensus 2017 yesterday revealed that Toyota is serious about exploring the technology as it seeks to develop the vehicles of the future.
DNotes has announced that its upcoming DNotes 2.0 upgrade will include innovative features and applications relating to smart contracts, blockchain technologies, mobile applications, and global payments systems. The upgrade is expected to launch later in 2017, and the company is unveiling a new Bitcointalk Forum in preparation for the event.
Earlier this month, the largest bank in Dubai, Emirates NBD, unveiled plans to integrate blockchain technology into its checks as it launched an initiative that has been referred to as “Cheque Chain.” The project involves adding printed Quick Response (QR) codes to the bank’s checks, with each code eventually registered on the Emirates NBD blockchain to strengthen authenticity and reduce fraud. As the bank’s Group Chief Operating Officer Abdulla Qassem observed at the time:
If anyone at the Internal Revenue Service thought that the agency’s quest to force Coinbase to give up its customer records was a battle that would be fought only in the courts, a new development this week may have them questioning that assumption. A May 17 letter from three Congressional Republicans to IRS commissioner John Koskinen indicates that some in Congress may be prepared to flex their oversight muscle to protect taxpayers from the IRS’ unprecedented John Doe Summons.
With the help of payment gateway BitcoinPay, Czech online retailer Alza has moved to begin accepting Bitcoin payments, according to reporting by Lupa.cz. The decision was reportedly made in response to growing interest from the company’s customers in the Czech Republic and around the world. At the same time, Alza has also begun to install Bitcoin “exchange machines” in its Prague and Bratislava showrooms to enable consumers to buy Bitcoin using the Czech Koruna or the Euro.
The ransomware attack that began on Friday may have been slowed for the moment, but there are indications that another similar attack could occur as soon as Monday morning, according to Europol Director Rob Wainwright. In comments to the BBC, Wainwright confirmed that the cyberattack spread to 150 countries, victimizing thousands of people and firms.
An official from the Palestine Monetary Authority recently told Reuters that there are plans for the Palestinian government to launch its own digital currency within the next five years. According to the head of the PMA, the introduction of such a currency could help to provide Palestinians with greater protection from Israeli interference in Palestine’s economy.
DNotes Launches New Website – Aims to Bridge the Gap Between the Centralized and the Decentralized World.
After a period of relative silence as the DNotes team migrated from ecosystem building to technology development, the company recently launched its new website – showcasing one of its many initiatives to bridge the gap between the centralized and the decentralized world.
Dutch point-of-sale software firm Countr POS and cryptocurrency payments processor Coinify have announced a deal that will expand Countr’s merchant network payment offerings by including options for fourteen digital currencies. Countr has committed to releasing a new version of its app on June 1, 2017, with expanded options that will provide the company’s 3,000 retail partners with the ability to conduct cryptocurrency transactions at the point-of-sale.
The Australian government’s 2017-18 Budget was released on Tuesday, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the country have at least one provision that should put a smile on their faces. After more than a year of waiting for the government’s promised GST tax relief to materialize, Bitcoin users will no longer need to worry about the existing double tax on the digital currency. The government’s new policy as of July 1, 2017 will see digital currency taxed in the same way that more traditional fiat currencies are treated.
Japanese exchange Coincheck is reportedly set to begin offering its Bitcoin customers interest-paying accounts. The offering will be a first for the country, and will enable Bitcoin holders to deposit their digital currency in fixed deposit accounts that earn interest at one of four different rates ranging from one to five percent.
It has been more than a year since the Australian government committed itself to remedying the nation’s double taxation scheme for cryptocurrencies. The delay in crafting a fix has left some observers wondering whether the issue had been set aside entirely. In a statement released this week, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the issue.
Blockchain firm Coinsbank recently announced that ticket sales for its second annual Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2017 event will be ending soon. Tickets are available until May 11th, and the cruise will depart on May 25th from Cape Liberty Port in New Jersey. Scheduled passengers include an impressive assembly of leading tech innovators from the blockchain world, as well as a host of business executives, developers, and representatives from a variety of startups.
In the past few months, there have been a flurry of reports indicating that a growing number of central banks around the world are researching the potential benefits of issuing their own digital currencies. Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has been giving serious thought to cryptocurrency as well, as evidenced by statements from Norges Deputy Governor Jon Nicolaisen at a recent gathering of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo.
U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin recently announced that it will be working to incorporate blockchain technology into its supply chain and software development processes. In a press release last week, Lockheed Martin revealed that it is working with Guardtime Federal to implement a blockchain solution that should enhance efficiency and security as the firm continues its work for the U.S. government.
The University of Melbourne is reportedly set to test blockchain technology for student credential records in an upcoming trial that will utilize the US firm Learning Machine’s Blockcerts system. That system is already being tested by several universities around the world, according to Learning Machine’s Natalie Smolenski. The University of Melbourne will be the first Australian school to experiment with Blockcerts.
Add West Virginia to the growing list of U.S. states actively working to ensure that digital currencies like Bitcoin are included in their states’ anti-money-laundering laws. With judges and others questioning whether existing AML legislation can be applied in cases involving cryptocurrencies, state lawmakers have been rushing to modify statutes to meet the challenge. WV lawmakers have now passed a bill that criminalizes the use of digital currency in any money-laundering scheme.
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) recently released a request for information (RFI), seeking input on useful applications for blockchain technology. UNOPS is seeking the information in concert with six other UN agencies, as part of a multi-agency effort to leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technology to increase efficiency, accountability, and transparency in peacekeeping, development, and humanitarian aid efforts.
Spotify has announced that it has acquired Mediachain Labs, in a move that could help the popular music-streaming firm address concerns about its artist attribution system. According to a statement on Spotify’s website, Mediachain’s development team will be relocating to Spotify’s offices in New York City: