Pro-Bitcoin Square Headlines London Stock Exchange’s Blockchain ETF

Invesco, an American firm, and Elwood, a British digital asset investment company, announced the launch of a blockchain ETF on the London Stock Exchange today. The exchange-traded fund features 48 companies with ties to the blockchain industry, including some – like Square – that have dabbled directly in the bitcoin or crypto space. Invesco & Elwood Team up for UK Blockchain ETF The London Stock Exchange just listed a blockchain ETF, providing investors with broad exposure to companies that are active in the crypto space, including Square and Overstock. |…

As the Blockchain Hype Dies, Why Should We Care About Practical TestNets?

The blockchain era has largely been defined by grandiose promises and ambitions, but little to show for it. For most companies, even those that successfully complete ICOs, we usually hear loud guarantees of life-changing and revolutionary technology. In the end, however, these “game-changers” end in the same place most others do, the dustbin of history. Reports of a vast majority of blockchain projects fizzing out or simply vanishing have become common, and those applications still around are forced to shoulder the burden and standard of the industry. In this climate,…

‘Biometric Blockchain ATMs’ Scan Your Face to Fight Dark Web Card Fraud

Cutting-edge blockchain ATM prototypes are being rolled out in Saudi Arabia with a unique take on granting users access to funds. The ATMs use biometric scanners to scan the face of each account holder as part of a five-factor authentication process secured by a blockchain app being used by the largest ATM provider in the Middle East. Biometric Facial Recognition With Blockchain Face-scanning verification has the potential to make PIN codes obsolete. Source: CCN / Conor MaloneyThe ATMs are the result of a partnership between Alhamrani Universal (AU) and blockchain…

Blockchain-for-Banks Startup Switches From Hyperledger to R3’s Corda

MonetaGo, a software development company that builds private blockchains for financial institutions and central banks, has decided to change its underlying architecture from Hyperledger Fabric to R3’s Corda platform. The New York-based firm, which has been testing its blockchain-based anti-fraud platform for receivables financing in India, cited concerns with how Hyperledger Fabric would scale up once large numbers of participants joined the system.  MonetaGo CEO Jesse Chanard told CoinDesk, “As we looked at the different scalability pieces of Hyperledger, we saw that it could get challenging, at least at the current throughput…

Digital Asset’s Europe Head Is Latest to Leave Enterprise Blockchain Startup

The upheaval continues at enterprise blockchain company Digital Asset (DA), with the news that Gavin Wells will step down from his role as head of Europe next month. Oliver Hugh-Jones, head of business development for Europe, will assume all of Wells’ client-facing responsibilities, a spokeswoman for DA confirmed to CoinDesk Thursday. Wells’ departure was reported earlier by Risk, a financial industry publication.   “I joined Digital Asset to learn about the technology, but I stayed because of the people I met there,” Wells told the magazine. It is not clear where…

Apple Taps Blockchain to Ethically Manufacture Your iPhone, Macbook

When you think of Apple, you think iPhone, iPad, or even privacy concerns. You probably don’t think conflict minerals used in the manufacturing of its devices or how blockchain could prove the cure for an ethical supply chain. Well, you should. The tech giant has filed a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicating it is studying ways to implement Blockchain in some form or fashion. Reading Between The Lines Apple submitted a filing called the “Conflict Minerals Report; Summary of Apple’s Commitment to Responsible Sourcing.” In the…

Germany Explores Blockchain Strategy as Bitcoin Wars Heat Up

Germany ― Europe’s largest economy ― may be hopping on the bitcoin bandwagon as it explores how to deploy blockchain across various industries. The German government has launched a consultation process in a bid to formulate a comprehensive blockchain strategy before the summer begins. Berlin is a tech hub that’s home to 170 startups that could use blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin. Government sources told Reuters that industry groups and companies have been invited to offer their recommendations for incorporating blockchain to bolster the German economy. Sources say there is keen…

The Biggest US Automaker Turns to Blockchain to Help Save Millions in Identity Theft

General Motors Financial has partnered with blockchain company Spring Labs to help reduce identity theft. It’s a move that could potentially save the car maker millions of dollars in fraud costs. As CCN previously reported, 95% of carmakers expect to use blockchain technology in the next three years, but General Motors is leading the pack. The partnership will see GM Financial, the finance branch of General Motors, join Spring Labs’ Spring Founding Industry Partners Program. The initiative is designed to advance the role of blockchain in data sharing. This is…

Here’s How the Gov’t of Seoul is Using a Public Blockchain in the Real-World

The government of Seoul is using ICON, the largest blockchain project in South Korea by valuation, to process information, issue documents, and conduct a wide range of administrative tasks. On February 8, the Seoul Metropolitan Government moved forward with its plans to develop a blockchain ecosystem with the people of Seoul by creating the Seoul Blockchain Governance Team. The Seoul Blockchain Governance Team is composed of 40 college students, 30 normal residents, 20 blockchain developers, and 10 industry experts. The team will develop, test, and deploy distributed ledger-based systems in…

High School Team Places Third in Barclays Blockchain Challenge Event

If understanding how distributed ledger tech works inside banks is complex, finding ways to make different varieties of enterprise blockchains talk to each other is a doozy of a challenge. And yet, that’s exactly what a team of high school students – soon to sit their A-Level exams in computer science – has done. The team, from Bedford School in the U.K., won third place in a blockchain interoperability hackathon hosted by London-based blockchain startup Clearmatics at the Barclays Rise fintech hub in London. The challenge set by Clearmatics, which is…