FCA Launches Digital Sandbox for Tackling COVID-19 Solutions

The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it will pilot a digital sandbox intended to foster innovation from firms developing solutions addressing the COVID-19 pandemic on May 4. While applications have not opened yet the FCA welcomes initial expressions of interest from firms. FCA launches digital sandbox amid coronavirus The FCA noted that it has been exploring the concept of a digital sandbox since before the coronavirus outbreak. However, the virus prompted the regulator’s decision to launch an early pilot to trial aspects of its digital sandbox to expedite…

Paxful Launches Bitcoin Fundraising Campaign to Combat COVID-19 in Africa

Peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace Paxful announced on May 4 the expansion of its #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative in Africa with the launch of the “Africa Fund.”  The fund will use Bitcoin (BTC) donations to purchase essential resources for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. According to the announcement, COVID-19 cases are increasing in Africa “at exponential rates.” Fundraising aims to acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food packs, and provide high-risk individuals with groceries and handwashing stations. Paxful will start the fund with $15,000 and match any additional donations submitted up to…

Ethereum-Based Digital Art Platform ArtID Launches Security Token Offering

Ethereum-powered digital art platform ArtID held a security token offering to fund the further development of its marketplace. According to an announcement on April 29, ArtID is seeking five million euros (nearly $5.5 million) in the offering and reached the soft cap set at 580,000 euros within one week. Investors holding the platform’s security tokens will have access to a percentage of the company’s earnings. The offering aims to raise one million euros in a public offering and four million euros in private. An active digital artwork platform ArtID reportedly…

Local Chinese Government Launches Its First Blockchain Platform

The government of Anhui, a province in eastern China and a part of “Yangtze River Delta Economy Region”, has officially launched its first blockchain platform for providing government services. The launch occurred on April 30, according to local news reports. Starts with local law sector “Blockchain + Electronic Certificate and License” is also the first application being launched on the government’s blockchain platform, says the report. The application will initially place lawyer’s practice licenses on the blockchain. This will help to provide better transparency and authentication in the sector. The…

Chinese Internet Giant Tencent Launches Blockchain Accelerator

Tencent, the operator of Chinese social media app WeChat, is launching a blockchain accelerator.  Announced on the company’s website on April 29, the “Tencent Industrial Accelerator” is open to both early-stage and mature blockchain startups, with a total of 30 places available.  To qualify, projects must have at least one financing round behind them.  Applications are being accepted until June 6. What does the accelerator offer? Tencent’s blockchain accelerator will focus on a variety of recruitment areas including industrial blockchain solutions and blockchain applications for data sharing, supply chain financing…

Blockchain Platform Waves Launches New COVID-19 Betting Market

Blockchain platform Waves has launched a new betting market allowing users to speculate on whether the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has passed its peak. Customers can now purchase ‘COVID-UP-SEP20’ and ‘COVID-DOWN-SEP20’ tokens to bet on whether the number of new weekly cases worldwide will exceed April 4 – 10’s record of 595,802 confirmed infections before September. Waves’ tokens are purchased in exchange for the stablecoin, Neutrino Dollar (USDN). All USDN used to buy the tokens are locked in escrow until September, and then distributed among the winners. The campaign…

KFC Launches Blockchain Pilot for Digital Advertising and Media Buying

Kentucky Fried Chicken has rolled out a blockchain pilot program across the Middle East aimed at improving digital advertising and media buying. KFC Middle East expects the blockchain-powered platform to ensure greater transparency in the advertising supply chain, news publication AMEinfo reported on April 29. By deploying the platform, the company also looks to address issues like security and privacy of advertisers, publishers and consumers. Making ads data transparent on a shared database The pilot aims to show how blockchain can help improve data processing, increase the brand’s visibility and…

CipherTrace Launches A New Product to Help Banks Eliminate “Blind Spots”

April 28, CipherTrace launches Armada, a product designed to eliminate risky cryptocurrency blind spots for banks and financial institutions. Unlike other products by CipherTrace and many similar products by its competitors, Armada focuses on the off-chain data instead of on-chain data. It can work in tandem with banks’ existing monitoring tools: “To identify transactions with virtual asset service providers (VASPs), including those with weak KYC or operating as unregistered money service businesses (MSBs).” The press release further says that with the release of Armada, CipherTrace aims to provide: “Critical visibility…

The Government of Bogota Launches Free Online Blockchain Courses

On April 27, the capital of Colombia launched a series of free online courses that cover a broad spectrum of content on new technologies, including blockchain. Sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, the “Bogotá Aprende TIC” program looks forward to strengthening innovation and developing a path to the future of new technologies in the city. The contents cover topics like cloud computing, immersive experience, big data, artificial intelligence, event-driven architecture, internet of things, gig economy and blockchain. Blockchain course contents The blockchain course at its basic level will discuss…

Binance Launches Crypto Mining Pool Amid Centralization Concerns

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance launched its mining pool “Binance Pool” on April 27.  The pool will operate with zero fees until May 31, after which the rate will be set at 2.5%. The press release for the pool states that large miners can contact Binance to negotiate an extension of the fee-free period. Approximately 15 of Binance’s more than 1,000 employees work full-time towards the pool’s operation. Cross-platform integration  Binance Pool supports both Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mining mechanisms.  The pool is integrated with the rest of Binance’s platform…