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Microsoft Co-Develops Blockchain-Based Loyalty Wallet

Singapore Airlines is working alongside Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village to develop its own airline digital wallet that works in line with blockchain technology. The new wallet is able to convert flyer miles into a digitized format that can be used to pay for further retail purchases on a mobile application.

Microsoft has been further investing in blockchain technology, this initial investment is a stepping stone to what’s more to come. They have already begun implementing an off-chain Ethereum-based protocol which is in line with its cloud computing arm known as ‘Microsoft Azure.’ They are planning to further integrate a decentralized blockchain app, which is focused on a creation service.


A New Blockchain Start-up is Disrupting the Crypto-Credit Card Market

Blockchain start-up Decoin are beginning to change the whole crypto-credit card platform. Decoin have already kickstarted its development of an exchange platform that promises to redistribute coin revenue. They are offering to put forth its very own crypto-credit cards that consist of five types of cards which are operated directly with the coins wallet. This will allow coin holders a vast amount of flexibility to spend their digital currency across a wider variety.

Decoin is already making strong progress, they are storing 97% of funds offline in cold storage while another 3% is currently being insured. They are prioritizing user security as they want to ensure the users of its promised safety. Decoin is working with funds from all over the world to further increase the reach of its platform.


New Mining Software Allows Bitcoin to be Earned With a Laptop Once Again

Promises of bitcoin mining potential may take us back to the early days of cryptocurrency.  Crypto mining startup Honeyminer, has made this possible as it launched as a free beta last month while gaining thousands of downloads during its beta launch. Honeyminer gives participates access to a dynamic mining pool which can be run on a diverse computing scale. The pool itself mainly focuses on GPU-friendly currencies and can be converted into bitcoin.

Noah Jessop, an adviser at Honeyminer stated: "The miner doesn't have to do the math or manage all the configurations and settings, or manually check the prices." Honeyminer aims to help people find block rewards in a quicker fashion, connecting miners together while increasing the hash rate.


South Korea’s Largest Telephone Company Plans to Launch its own Blockchain Network

South Korean Telephone Company KT Corporation, have been working hard to establish a blockchain layer in order to make its nationwide network more secure and transparent.  Head of KT Blockchain  Centre Seo Young-il states that blockchain networks will help address issues with security. He also feels that blockchain will help with the company’s overall data management. The new network will enable KT to reduce the risk of hacking across its digital data, which in turn will increase relations with its clients.

KT is also planning to extend its blockchain roaming services with some of Japans top providers such as NTT Docomo. KT’s blockchain will help Docomo calculate roaming bills in a real-time platform while improving the internet speed connection for customers.


CFA Is Getting A Crypto Section Next Year

The Chartered Financial Analyst program, known for their level of difficulty, is about to get much tougher. The three part test covering various aspects of finance, is about to add topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain as examinable material from August 2019. Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum for the CFA institute, said "We saw the field [of crypto] advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable… This is not a passing fad."

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be part of a new CFA curriculum called “ Fintech in Investment Management” alongside other topics in emerging financial technology such machine learning, automated trading and artificial intelligence.


Bancor experiences security breach

On Monday, Bancor halted all operations as they investigated a security breach, which involved more than $12 million. The exchange confirmed the breach on its twitter account,  saying that no user wallets were compromised. As reported by Cointelegraph, the stolen tokens included Bancor’s native token BNT which the platform was able to freeze. User funds remain intact due to Bancor not holding any cryptocurrency in hot wallets or otherwise on their behalf.

Bancor's head of communications, Nate Hindman, told CoinDesk that while the team had been able to block the transfer of an estimated 2.5 million BNT tokens – worth an additional $10 million although it was not able to do so with the other 25 000 ETH and 230 million NPXS tokens, both worth a total of $13.5 million.


Youtube accused of negligence in Bitconnect Fraud Lawsuit

In a class action lawsuit tied to the collapse of BitConnect, YouTube has been implicated in the turmoil. BitConnect’s shutdown in January triggered a number of investor lawsuits which became a consolidated class-action following a court ruling in June. The lawsuit blames YouTube for negligence in not policing the content on the site, particularly promotional videos  that garnered over 58 million views and luring thousands of victims.

As per the lawsuit, YouTube “failed as a gatekeeper to protect its users”. Meanwhile, Google, YouTube’s parent company, moved to ban cryptocurrency ads in March. David Silver, founder of the law firm that filed for the class action suit, urged the company to take responsibility for its alleged role.


Bank of Korea: Crypto investment poses insignificant risk to local markets

As per South Korean’s central bank, Bank of Korea (BOK), the outstanding balance of virtual currency accounts in domestic banks totalled $1.79 billion as of December 2017. The BOK considers this figure, equivalent to roughly 8% of the total deposits operated by the country’s brokerage houses, to be very low. The report suggests that crypto markets do not pose a threat to traditional local financial markets.

Just last week, 3 Korean government ministries revealed a draft version of new blockchain industry classification standard, which recognized crypto exchanges as regulated financial institutions for the first time.


Gemini to hire former NYSE CIO

Cryptocurrency exchange has hired former New York Stock Exchange chief information officer Robert Cornish to serve as its first chief technology officer. The exchange, found by the Winklevoss twins, announced Friday that Cornish would be in charge of Gemini’s technology team and strategy. Furthermore, Cornish would be overseeing the deployment of Nasdaq’s SMARTS market surveillance, a technology previously acquired by Gemini.

The news comes after Gemini received approval to expand its cryptocurrency offering in the state of New York, adding zcash to its list of tradeable coins. With this news, Cornish becomes the latest of Wall Street executives to migrate to the world of blockchain and crypto.


Huobi’s New Voting Rules Anger Crypto Fund ‘Supernodes’

Last Friday, Huobi published an update which outlined that they will be relying on 2 separate group of funds to help with deciding on new listings. The first type, “Standing Nodes” will include 14 large traditional venture capital firms. The second type, “Selected Nodes” will include 31 smaller, crypto-specific venture firms such as Node Capital. The new rules stated that all projects for the public voting list must be supported by a standing node and any projects not supported by them will be removed from the list of projects.

This new rule effectively gave Standing Nodes a stronger role in deciding which tokens can be listed on HADAX. This new ruling received backlash from various token funds who felt they had been demoted, accusing HADAX of being “discriminative and authoritarian”.


Russian Military Building A Blockchain Research Lab

A local newspaper reported on Friday that the Russian Ministry of Defense would be launching a research lab to analyse how blockchain technology can be used to mitigate cybersecurity attacks. Russia’s military technology accelerator, referred to as ERA, will be launching a special scientific lab to determine whether blockchain can be used to identify cyber attacks and protect critical infrastructure.

One of the priorities at the ERA is the detection and prevention of cyber attacks on important databases. To achieve that, an organization has formed a team of information security specialists. Alexei Malanov, an anti-virus expert at Kaspersky Lab explained that online intruders often clean up access logs on devices to hide traces of unauthorized access to the device. By using a distributed ledger, the risk of that happening is minimized.


Alibaba Looking To Eliminate Middlemen in Blockchain Payments Payment

China e-commerce giant Alibaba has filed for a new patent that explores the use of blockchain technology to speed up international payments. This patent was filed with the China State Intellectual Property Office in January of this year and was revealed last Friday.

Aimed at tackling the broad concept of adjusting account balances over the blockchain, the company explained how the system could be used to facilitate cross-border transactions that specifically involve a  third party vendor. This news comes just days after the company’s payment affiliate Ant Financial   announced the launch of a blockchain-based remittance service.

 


F1 Champ Alonso To Adopt KodakCoin

To safeguard his image rights, Fernando Alonso is planning to use Kodak’s blockchain-powered platform to safeguard his image rights. The 2 time Formula One racing champion announced at a press release: I'm very excited to know that I have the ability to reward my fans and professional photographers for their creativity, and that the content they produce can be protected by a single platform."

As per the press release, WENN Digital Inc. announced on June 28 that it had signed an agreement with Alonso to protect both his professional and personal images videos. WENN Digital Inc is Kodak’s partner in developing KodakCoin along with a new blockchain system to store and manage image copyrights.


Crypto Exchange Huobi Poaches App Executive

Former managing director of Meitu’s global business, Frank Wu, will now lead HBUS – the new U.S strategic partner of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi. Meitu is China’s top photo-retouching app, which went public in Hong Kong in 2016 with a valuation of $5 billion.

Wu will join HBUS, a fledgling U.S exchange, as CEO and manage its operations and oversee the platform’s technology development going forward. As per its website, the San Francisco-based exchange plans to start trading early next month.


Andreessen Horowitz Just Launched a $300 Million Crypto Fund

Silicon Valley investment giant Andreessen Horowitz has launched a new $300 million fund, named a16z focused on cryptocurrencies. This move to vastly expand the scope of its activities should come as no surprise, considering that he already has invested millions in a number of notable start-ups, including crypto exchange Coinbase.

General partner Chris Dixon described the fund as having a long term approach stating “We structured the a16z crypto fund to be able to hold investments for 10+ years." The fund will also include former federal prosecutor and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Haun as one of its co-leads.


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Fintech Review

Fintech Review is a magazine focusing on the intersection of finance and technology in the modern age. We provide you with details and reviews of the latests fintech news, while analysing market trends and ventures so you don't have to. You will also find interviews wit hkey industry leaders and opinion pieces from those experienced in the game.

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