Monday, September 24, 2018

Walmart's Veggie-Tracking BLT: Blockchain Lettuce Technology - New York Times

New York Times

Walmart's Veggie-Tracking BLT: Blockchain Lettuce Technology
New York Times
The giant retailer will begin requiring lettuce and spinach suppliers to contribute to a blockchain database that can rapidly pinpoint contamination. Walmart says it now has a better system for pinpointing which batches of leafy green vegetables might ...

from blockchain - Google News

a16z Puts $16 Million Behind Stablecoin Platform MakerDao

a61z invests in MakerDAO

Stablecoins are becoming big business these days. In a $15 million deal, Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z crypto fund is buying 6 percent of the total MakerDAO maker (MKR) token supply. The investment will give a16z a financial and governance stake in the dai stablecoin.

A16z made the announcement today, September 24, 2018. MakerDAO also received $12 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital in December 2017.

A stablecoin is a token pegged to another asset, like the dollar. Stablecoins can provide a hedge in the volatile world of crypto trading, especially in exchanges that have no direct link to banking. MakerDAO has two main tokens: dai and MKR. A separate token, MKR works alongside dai to help dai maintain its 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar.

A16z sees a world of opportunity for stablecoins. “The same volatility that is holding back crypto for payments is also limiting its use for a host of other financial services and products,” a16z partners Katie Haun and Jesse Walden said in a co-written statement.

“Today, it’s not really practical to make a long-term loan in bitcoin because you’d have to consider two independent risks: first that the loan would be repaid, and second, whether the bitcoin would be worth more or less at the time the loan came due.”

The purchase of MKR marks the first investment from a16z’s dedicated $300 million crypto fund. The move was driven by Haun, a former federal prosecutor who led the investigations into the Mt. Gox heist and Silk Road.

According to the terms of the partnership, MakerDAO, a project that runs on Ethereum smart contracts, will receive the operating capital over three years. Dai adoption and regulatory support are  main priorities, says a16z. To reach those goals, Andreessen Horowitz and a16z will be offering expertise in areas ranging from sales and business development to marketing, talent and more.

A16z is not the only company to set its eyes on MakerDAO. ConsenSys, a production studio for Ethereum-based startups, has partnered with MakerDAO on two social-good projects: Bitfröst and optiMize. Blockchain money transfer company Wyre has also partnered with MakerDAO.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin considers MakerDAO one of the “most interesting” projects running on Ethereum. “The way that whole construction works and how it is designed to be decentralized is fascinating,” he said in a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine.

Still, MakerDAO faces some stiff competition. Currently, there are 29 active stablecoins in the market, all vying for a piece of the action. Tether is by far the most popular, with a $2.8 billion market cap. The difference between tether and dai, however, is how the two assets are collateralized.

Tether is supposedly backed by fiat (the company tells us this but has had no official audit to support those claims). MakerDAO, on the other hand, is collateralized with ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain. But because ether is a volatile asset, if you want to buy $100 worth of dai, you have to deposit $150 worth of ether.

How dai works is not inherently easy to understand either. MakerDAO uses an elaborate scheme of tokens, smart contracts and “autonomous feedback mechanisms” to maintain its peg.

To get dai, for instance, you send ether to an Ethereum smart contract. You then lock your ether into a collateralized debt position (CDP) and draw out a loan of dai against that. To redeem ether, you send dai back to the CDP, along with accrued interest that can only be paid for with MKR.

After interest is paid, MKR is burned, removing it from the total supply. The logic here is that if the adoption and demand for dai and CDPs increase, so too will the demand for MKR. In terms of its governance role, MKR will also enable a16z to vote on certain “risk parameters” of CDPs.

MKR is currently trading at $459 with a total supply of 1 million. If the demand for MKR skyrockets, that will be a boon for a16z. But first, a16z needs to convince crypto traders that dai is a better bet than tether, or fiat, for that matter.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

from Bitcoin Magazine

5 burning blockchain career questions answered - TechGenix (blog)


5 burning blockchain career questions answered
TechGenix (blog)
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that many aspiring techies, developers, designers and other IT professionals approach the burgeoning field of blockchain and cryptocurrency with trepidation. Thankfully, we have assembled a list of five questions to ...
One Ledger to Rule Them All? What Does an IoT with Blockchain Look Like?DesignNews

all 4 news articles »

from blockchain - Google News

Walmart Tells Produce Suppliers to Use Blockchain by Next September

Walmart will begin tracking leafy greens using IBM's blockchain technology starting late next year, the company announced Monday.

from CoinDesk

Walmart is going to use blockchain to stop the spread of E. coli and other diseases in lettuce - CNBC


Walmart is going to use blockchain to stop the spread of E. coli and other diseases in lettuce
Grocery giants Walmart and Sam's Club are requiring their lettuce suppliers to get on the blockchain bandwagon. Those providing leafy green vegetables to the grocery chains will need to upload data about their foods to blockchain within a year, the ...
Walmart implements IBM's blockchain for food traceabilityZDNet
Walmart is betting on the blockchain to improve food safetyTechCrunch
Walmart picks blockchain to track food safety with veggie suppliersCNET
Adweek -CoinDesk -The Packer
all 48 news articles »

from blockchain - Google News

Winklevoss’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Exploring The Lucrative UK Market

london red bus

While it may not compete with Binance as the largest exchanges in the world, Gemini crypto exchange is certainly among the most renowned. Founded and led by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the exchange has recently had its stablecoin approved and now, it’s eyeing the UK crypto market. According to sources familiar with the matter, Gemini has already hired consultants to advise on the move to the U.K. With London being the European financial capital, the move will give Gemini a great boost in its global expansion especially in the wake of aggressive European expansion by some of the largest crypto exchanges.

Targeting The U.K Market

Gemini Trust Company has already hired consultants to advise on its entry into the U.K market, the Financial Times reported today, September 24. Citing two sources familiar with the process, FT reported that the exchange, which was founded in 2014, intends to set up shop in the U.K as it seeks to get its piece of the European market.

According to the sources, Gemini is also close to filing an application with the U.K financial markets regulators. In the U.K, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been the most involved in the crypto sector despite lacking the full legal mandate to properly police the industry.

In moving to the U.K, Gemini will be competing with San Francisco-based giant Coinbase which has continued to stamp its authority in the European markets with several key moves. Just three weeks ago, Coinbase announced that it had launched support for four new British Pound-altcoin trading pairs. The new trading pairs are meant to consolidate its position as one of the most convenient platforms to purchase crypto with fiat in the U.K. Coinbase also announced last month that it would integrate GBP support into its platform, giving its clients the ability to make same-day deposits and withdrawals. Coinbase has also applied for and received an e-money license from the FCA for its fiat operations as well as partnered with Barclays bank to facilitate easier payment to U.K clients.

The U.K crypto market has been largely loosely regulated, with the FCA being the only organization that has made steps to enforce order in the industry. However, this could all be changing soon with U.K MPs urging the government to stamp its authority in the sector to protect investors from fraud and to prevent money laundering.

In a report submitted to parliament last week, the MPs urged the FCA to take the lead in regulating the industry “as a matter of urgency.” While most countries have sought to formulate new laws to encompass the new asset class, the MPs advised against it, stating that “bringing crypto-assets into the scope of existing regulation, rather than creating a new framework specifically for the assets, would be the quickest way of doing this.” The report further urged the government to crack down on crypto exchanges in line with new EU anti-money laundering regulations and impose greater KYC requirements.

Gemini’s move into the U.K will give it a big boost and could push its daily traded volume significantly higher from the 61st position it currently holds in global rankings.

The post Winklevoss’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Exploring The Lucrative UK Market appeared first on NullTX.

from NullTX

Brave Publishers Can Now Have Their Identities Verified with Civic

Brave Publishers Can Now Have Their Identities Verified with Civic

Civic, a digital identity firm, has collaborated with Brave, the privacy-based browser with a blockchain-based digital advertising platform, to provide identity verification services to Brave’s content creators. Verified content creators on Brave now have the option of verifying their identities using Civic’s identity verification service in order to get paid Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) via their Ethereum wallets.

Brave’s blockchain-based digital advertising platform is built on the strength of the Brave browser, which uses user attention as a metric for rewarding publishers with BAT ERC20 tokens. BATs are derived from user attention and can be used to “obtain a variety of advertising and attention-based services on the BAT platform.” Brave users can opt to anonymously reward publishers for content they find interesting by donating BATs through Brave’s integrated payment system.

Civic is an identity verification platform that allows consumers to authorize the use of their identities in real time. Leveraging Civic’s Reusable KYC, Brave’s publishers will be able to verify their identities and ensure authenticity through the Civic App, which also provides customers with control over the use of their personal information.

In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Civic CEO and Co-Founder Vinny Lingham said the partnership provides another “important use case for digital identity” as it allows Brave publishers to enjoy the convenience and simplicity of decentralized identity verification.

“With rising awareness of consumer protection and data privacy issues, it’s great to see two privacy-focused organizations coming together and leveraging blockchain technology to find better, more secure alternatives for the future,” he concluded.

Brendan Eich, the CEO and co-founder of Brave, also hailed the partnership with Civic, which he says would afford Brave’s publishers and creators the opportunity to “safely collect their tokens and get rewarded for their content.”

According to Civic, its Reusable KYC allows users to “safely and securely verify their identities” on the BAT platform in order to receive payments without sharing unnecessary data.

Having a digital identity that you can reuse eliminates the “day-to-day hassles of proving who you are,” said Lingham.

“Civic’s identity platform is all tied to the idea of a decentralized reusable identity. Just imagine a secure, trusted digital identity that would be accessible from your mobile device, never stored in a centralized database, and accepted anywhere you go, from applying for a bank account to entering a bar to boarding a flight.”

In the case of Brave, publishers who are Civic users can swiftly connect to the Civic App — which guarantees privacy and authenticity — to verify their identities on the Brave platform.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

from Bitcoin Magazine

SBI Remit is Using the Blockchain to Make Money Transfers Between Japan and Africa

SBI Remit, a Japanese money transfer company, is teaming up with a venture-backed firm to use its new treasury management service that uses the blockchain for increased transparency and liquidity to small and medium-sized businesses operating between Japan and Africa.

SBI Remit and BitPesa

The service is provided by BitPesa, which has raised $10 million to turn the Bitcoin blockchain into an enterprise payment rail.

Normally, consumers moving money from Japan to Africa have to rely on banks and other middlemen to make their transactions, first exchanging yen into U.S. dollars or euros, then into African currencies. BitPesa, on the other hand, uses a combination of the Bitcoin blockchain and other services to create new currency pairs which greatly simplify the process.

The partnership follows a path already laid out by BitPesa, and specifically targets cosmetics companies, electronics companies, and the lucrative used car market between Japan and Africa. It enables direct currency pairs between Japanese yen and the fiat currencies of Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Forbes.

Generally speaking, by embracing the decentralized nature of the blockchain BitPesa illustrates how useful Bitcoin is for real world applications. Not only does this system permit remittances to be completed in less than an hour — thanks to the blockchain’s fast settlement times — it will also help jump start African commerce with Japan on a larger scale by adding a much-needed layer of trust and transparency, according to Nobuo Ando, SBI Remit director.

“Many companies are doing trade with African countries and they are suffering from the high cost and the slow speed and not very precise administration,” said Ando. “So this is the market that we would like to go in, together with Bitpesa.”

Moving Funds from Asia to Africa

Historically, individuals and businesses conducting trade between Japan and the countries BitPesa serves had to move Japanese yen through multiple correspondent banks. As noted, along the way the yen was frequently converted to more liquid intermediary currencies like the U.S. dollar or the euro, which added lofty fees each step of the way.

According to World Bank estimates, the average remittance fees for this process can reach 7%, but the real cost is often much higher. It can also take several days to complete. By removing these correspondent banks and secondary currency exchanges from the process, BitPesa is able to provide similar services almost instantly for less than 3% of the total transaction.

To avoid fluctuations in the price of both fiat currency and Bitcoin, Elizabeth Rossiello, BitPesa founder, said her company’s treasury services are designed to insulate their customers from risk on either side:

“If it makes sense for us to settle using cryptocurrency or fiat currencies then we do,” Rossiello said. “And in this case, we’re happy that SBI feels the same way, so we’re open to using digital or fiat currencies to settle between us.”

Looking ahead, the remittances market in sub-Saharan Africa it is expected to grow 7% this year to $41 billion. Although this number is just a fraction of the worldwide remittance market as a whole, with relatively little competition for African business Rossiello is confident her company can use the lower costs of the Bitcoin blockchain to help catalyze commerce between Africa and the rest of the world.

Rossiello, who is among the earliest founders of a Bitcoin company established BitPesa in 2013 when the cryptocurrency was trading between around $100 and $1,000. As of today, Bitcoin is trading at over $6,600.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post SBI Remit is Using the Blockchain to Make Money Transfers Between Japan and Africa appeared first on NewsBTC.

from NewsBTC

Major Thai Bank to Test Visa Blockchain Solution for Cross-Border Payments - Cointelegraph


Major Thai Bank to Test Visa Blockchain Solution for Cross-Border Payments
Thailand's fourth largest bank, Kasikornbank, has recently joined the blockchain-based Visa B2B Connect program for cross-border payments, local newspaper The Nation reported Thursday, September 20. According to The Nation, Kasikornbank is the “first” ...
Thailand's Kasikornbank to Pilot Visa's Blockchain Cross-Border ...CCN
KBank-Visa to pilot blockchain-based B2B paymentsThe Nation

all 9 news articles »

from blockchain - Google News

Walmart Is Putting Lettuce on the Blockchain - Adweek


Walmart Is Putting Lettuce on the Blockchain
Walmart and Sam's Club have asked their suppliers of leafy greens to start using blockchain technology to ensure “real-time, end-to-end traceability from farm to table” and to “speed up identifying, researching and reacting to food safety situations.”.

from blockchain - Google News