Crypto News

Blockchain Technology To Be The Next Target For South Korea Government Investment

Park Won-soon, mayor of Seoul, South Korea, announced last week at a conference in Zug, the crypto valley of Switzerland, a Blockchain Urban Plan to turn the South Korean capital into a smart city by 2022, based on blockchain technology. The project requires an investment of $108 million and covers 14 public services in five areas, according to local sources.

Among the areas covered by the plan presented by Won-soon are the management of vehicle records, non-duplicable elections, management of donations, and labor protection. It is part of the program that the first decentralized services serve as a “test bed” and then undertake the innovation of all administrative services of the metropolitan government, the official said.

In the area of labor protection, for example, the city and the private sector can draw up a smart contract for part-time workers or those not covered by insurance policies. The agreement will determine the type of coverage that corresponds to each worker, according to the hours worked, as well as automate the payroll.

Park Wan-soon explained that by 2022, 200 companies focused on blockchain technology are expected to be operating and that 73 of them will already be active as of 2019. These companies will work in collaboration with the technology business accelerator Gaepo Digital Innovation Park and Mapo Seoul Startup Hub.

South Korea plans to invest $100 million in blockchain technology and crypto exchange

“There are many areas where blockchain technology is applied (…) I will contribute to the activation of the industry by applying it to management, to this end we will create an environment where companies can work freely and cultivate their talent,” said Park Won-soon
Metropolitan Mayor of Seoul, South Korea.

This initiative could have positive effects on the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology ecosystem, a field in which South Korea is one of the leading countries. Until the beginning of this year, the trade in crypto coins was not regulated in any way, and it deprived the participants of self-regulation in that ecosystem.

Seven months ago, the South Korean financial authorities established a set of measures that regulate the cryptocurrency exchange, along with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Also, South Korea implemented strict Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies.

Such measures, according to local media, have not had the expected effects. The new identification system for crypto exchange platforms, for example, has only been adopted by 4 of the trading platforms, namely, Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinoine.

Crypto Games News

Blockchain Gaming: Ubisoft Leads The Blockchain Games Alliance to Implement Blockchain Technologies in The Industry

The Blockchain Games Alliance announced the affiliation of a total of 8 members to the project, with the aim of developing crypto and blockchain technologies in the video games industry. The French company Ubisoft is leading the Blockchain Games Alliance which also enjoys the presence of ConsenSys.

Ubisoft to lead the Blockchain Games Alliance in implementing blockchain technologies in the video games industry

The announcement was made at the Blockchain Games Summit that took place in the French city of Lyon during the last days of September. Ubisoft, together with ConsenSys and the startups Enjin, Fig, Alto, Ultra, EverdreamSoft, and Gimli have become the first members of this alliance, thus inaugurating the project at international level.

The project aims to develop a set of common standards and practices with a view to integrating crypto networks and blockchain technologies into the video games industry, thus accelerating innovation in this ecosystem. “We offer an open forum for all stakeholders to share knowledge and collaborate on research that fosters new ways of creating and playing games,” said the Blockchain Games Alliance.

“The Blockchain Game Alliance advocates a universal standard in the blockchain gaming space to create a more interoperable and transparent ecosystem that benefits stakeholders by promoting innovation and ensuring economic viability,” said Nicolas Gilot, Ultra startup CEO.

The renowned games developer, Ubisoft, is not new to blockchain gaming

Ubisoft becomes one of the most outstanding members of this blockchain gaming alliance due to its enormous history in the video games industry. Sagas such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, among others, are some of its most famous products.

The firm has been working for several months now on the Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Laboratory to develop and implement crypto and blockchain technologies in its games, achieving this goal in the HashCraft game with the help of its blockchain department director, Anne Puck.

Crypto News

Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) Issued New Guidelines For Crypto and Blockchain Technology Companies and Banks

According to Reuters, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) issued a guide recently for banks that want to do business with crypto-related companies to solve out issues regarding the access for firms related to cryptocurrencies into the Swiss banking sector. The guidelines were built with the support of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), to maintain Switzerland as a center for businesses based on crypto and blockchain technology.

According to the press release, just a few of the 250 Swiss banks have agreed to receive funds raised through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), while Switzerland’s fourth-largest bank, Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB), closed the accounts of more than 20 crypto startups so far this year.

CVA Director Oliver Bussmann said that about 530 startups related to crypto and blockchain technology had been established in the Swiss Crypto Valley, in Zurich and Zug. These companies need access to banking services to make their operations viable. However, the banks claim that, by signing contracts with these companies, they could violate their anti-money laundering (AML) rules as well as other regulations. Bank sources argue that some of the startups that carried out ICO did not adopt the necessary controls to their investors.

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) new guidelines make a difference between ICO-financed blockchain technology companies and those crypto-related firms finance with fiat money

“We believe that, with these guidelines, we will be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups, simplifying dialogue and facilitating the opening of accounts,” said Adrian Schatzmann, the Strategic Advisor at the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA).

Both the SBA and the CVA are confident that the new rules will create clarity for banks about the assessments they must make, and for crypto and blockchain technology companies about the information they must provide when opening a bank account. In this sense, the guide distinguishes between companies based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) that raise capital through ICOs and those that do not use this mode to raise funds.

The new guidelines also make a distinction between companies that are financed with cryptocurrencies, usually Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) and those that are funded through fiat money. According to the text, blockchain technology-based companies that do not receive financing through ICOs should be treated under the same parameters as any other commercial company.

Startups that use ICOs, on the other hand, should adhere to particular criteria depending on whether the financing is through fiat currency or if it is through cryptocurrencies.

Crypto News

Blockchain Technology Implemented For Payments Processing by Dubai’s Department of Finance

Smart Dubai, the developer of Dubai’s Blockchain Strategy technology program, announced the upgrade of the DubaiPay mobile payment application. The new version of the app includes a real-time payment settlement system backed by a blockchain system developed by Smart Dubai.

The new payment system aims to streamline transactions and enable real-time payment processing through a network whose operations can be backed up by a blockchain. This update constitutes the inclusion of the Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF) in a supposed decentralized system of cryptocurrency that Smart Dubai has been developing for over a year. However, the technical characteristics, such as privacy, algorithm, and developers involved, are still unknown.

Smart Dubai states that the new upgrade of DubaiPay will provide “visibility of the funds; immediate disputes and resolution of claims” in the operations of the Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF). These features will serve to reduce the 45-day period it takes to settle payment in DoF, where currently workers must manually and physically verify the payments collected, make deductions, and reconcile the documents.

Dubai takes significant steps towards becoming a smart country based on blockchain technology

The project, developed by Smart Dubai and the Department of Finance (DoF), requires the collaboration of several government entities to operate. At present, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have already been included, as the agencies participating in the test. And it is expected that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Department of Tourism and Trade Marketing (DTCM) and other customs and municipal agencies to start working with decentralized technology, too.

“Guided by its leadership’s vision for the future, Dubai has been a pioneer in adopting cutting-edge technologies – especially those of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and adapting them to meet the needs of our citizens, residents, and visitors, in a bid to transform Dubai into the happiest and smartest country in the world. Blockchain technology is one of the most promising technologies, attracting more investments each year. The new strategy seeks to increase government efficiency by transferring 100% of government transactions to the blockchain network,” said Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, General Manager at Smart Dubai.

Crypto News

Alibaba And IBM Ranks The First In Number Of Blockchain Technology Patents Filed This Year

Technology giants Alibaba and IBM are competing for first place in a new list that ranks global entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date, published on August 31st by iPR Daily. iPR Daily, a specialized intellectual property medium, says it has consolidated data from China, the European Union, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, in addition to consulting the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) International Patent System.

Alibaba of China has just sealed first place, having filed a total of 90 patent applications related to blockchain technology, while IBM has so far registered a total of 89. In third place is Mastercard, with 80 claims, followed by Bank of America, with 53.

IBM, for its part, has consistently expanded its participation in blockchain technology in various fields of this industry. It recently signed a $740 million, five-year agreement with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation in federal departments, including defense and home affairs.

China, despite its negative stance on cryptocurrencies, remains the world’s leader regarding the blockchain technology patents

The fifth on the new list is the Central Bank of China, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), which has filed a total of 44 patent applications dedicated to blockchain technology projects, including its centralized digital currency.

As reported earlier this year, WIPO data previously indicated that the most significant number of patent applications for blockchain technology in 2017 came from China, which filed 225 patents that year, compared to 91 in the Americas, and 13 in Australia.

China’s adoption of the new blockchain technology is counterbalanced by an increasingly harsh stance against decentralized cryptocurrencies, which has intensified further in recent weeks. This divided position is reflected by Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, who has expressed his support for the blockchain technology, although he views crypto coins with skepticism.

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