Alibaba-Owned Newspaper Creating NFTs Called ARTIFACT to Archive News; Tencent Sets Up Blockchain HQ

Alibaba-Owned Newspaper Creating NFTs Called ARTIFACT to Archive News; Tencent Sets Up Blockchain HQ

SCMP also aims to create a DAO and develop its marketplace platform in the last phase of the roadmap, according to their litepaper.

China’s tech giant Tencent is planning to set up a blockchain headquarters, reported The Economic Daily, a CCP newspaper directly under the Central Committee sponsored by the State Council. Blockchain-focused VC firm, Sino Global noted,

“It is an important public opinion position for the Party Central Committee and the State Council to guide national economic work.”

Besides a blockchain HQ, Tencent will also set up a blockchain commercial computing platform in the Haidian district of Beijing. This district is reportedly at the core of the international science and technology innovation center promoted in China’s “14th Five-Year Plan.”

However, reportedly, it doesn’t have anything to do with cryptocurrency.

Tencent has also registered a series of new blockchain patents in different fields, suggesting that “the company is on the verge of launching new blockchain-related businesses,” stated Sino Global.

Baidu, the “Google of China,” also has its own open blockchain platform called XuperChain, which aims to be open source, self-developed, and controllable, claiming to have completed over 400 million transactions and serving more than 3.5 million users.

Another giant, e-commerce giant JD.com, has been actively promoting blockchain technology, focusing on product traceability. It launched its blockchain business in 2018 and a blockchain-based billing app that can digitally track CPIC (China Pacific Insurance) invoices.

Recording the History

In November 2017, Alibaba Group, Ant Financial Group & China’s Xiong’an New Area signed a strategic cooperation agreement to build a digital Xiongan blockchain implementation platform.

Alibaba Group currently holds the most blockchain technology patents in the world.

Jack Ma-owned Alibaba’s Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) has also announced that it is now creating its own NFTs to archive news.

The company released the litepaper of “Artifact,” sharing that by creating a standard for the recording of history on the blockchain, it aims to ensure immutability and decentralized ownership.

By tokenizing history as “ARTIFACTs,” everyone will have the opportunity to discover, collect, showcase, trade, and reanimate meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience, it said.

The lightpaper also mentions a roadmap for the NFT project, which states that after launching the ARTIFACTs, they will enable multi-chain minting capability for them and open them to select partners chosen and authenticated by the Council.

The last phase of the roadmap is to create a DAO to manage the authentication of ARTIFACTs and develop its marketplace platform.

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Author: AnTy

Bank Of France Governor Wants Europe To Regulate Crypto Now

The Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau has called on the European Union to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

According to him, if Europe does not make crypto regulation a priority, there could be dire consequences for the monetary sovereignty of states.

Villeroy Encourages The EU To Speed Up CBDC Plans

Speaking further at a Paris Europlace financial conference, the Central bank governor emphasized the increasing importance of digital currencies in financial markets.

He called on the EU to speed up plans in issuing a digital euro. “On both digital currency and payments, we in Europe must be ready to move as quickly as needed, ” Villeroy said. Villeroy’s statements centered around urgent ways of preventing the weakening of the Euro. He stressed the urgency saying there was little time in doing this.

He noted that many risks were surrounding the ECB’s payments control, with the digital Yuan being part of it. In addition to this, Europeans are using less cash by the day due to the growing role cryptocurrencies play in regional markets.

The use of cash decreased during the first few months of the pandemic, a movement that the governor said could lead to “marginalization of the use of central bank money.”

This is not the first time the central banker would be warning regulators against the risk of cryptocurrencies, including central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins.

During the Bundesbank conference held in September last year, Villeroy described the most imminent risk in Europe to be private financial infrastructures and monetary systems. According to him, they were positioning themselves as issuers and managers of currencies.

China’s Digital Yuan Drawing Criticisms

China is the leader in developing and deploying wholesale CBDCs. The country is currently testing its digital Yuan, where citizens in different provinces transact payments over their mobile phones.

However, the project has been considered a threat by most Western countries. This is due to the reports circulating the media that China is planning to topple the dominance of the US greenback with its digital renminbi.

However, former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan responded to these reports last month.

He said the digital yuan is not designed to replace the US dollar’s global dominance. He added that the CBDC is only focused on modernizing the traditional payment system while reducing costs and serving retail payment systems.

Meanwhile, various countries are warming up to CBDCs. The Bank of France has revealed plans to conduct further tests for its digital currency this year after completing a pilot program for its CBDC in January.

In the US, a Digital Dollar Project of five pilot projects was launched last month to test how a Federal Reserve-issued CBDC would operate.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Big Tech Critic at the White House is Revealed to Be A Bitcoin Millionaire

Tim Wu, who called Bitcoin a “bubble” at the height of the 2017 bull market while seeing its potential as a “store of value,” currently has Bitcoin as the largest holding in his financial portfolio.

Top antitrust expert at the White House Tim Wu has been revealed to be a Bitcoiner, according to a personal financial disclosure he recently filed.

A leading critic of Big Tech, Wu joined the Biden administration in March as a special assistant for technology and competition policy to the president at the National Economic Council.

While Wu has not been involved in the policy matters of cryptocurrency, this disclosure is a big support for the leading cryptocurrency and the market, which continues to see an increase in its adoption. An unnamed official White House official told Politico,

“Tim is recused from any particular matters involving bitcoin or cryptocurrency generally because of his financial interest, and has not worked on any such matters.”

Wu owns somewhere between $1 million and $5 million in Bitcoin, which is currently trading under $33k, down about 50% from its all-time high of nearly $65k two months back.

Besides Bitcoin, he also owns between $100,001 and $250,000 in FIL tokens, the native crypto of the storage platform Filecoin. FIL -6.73% Filecoin / USD FILUSD $ 76.29
-$5.13-6.73%
Volume 1.61 b Change -$5.13 Open $76.29 Circulating 77.7 m Market Cap 5.93 b
9 h Big Tech Critic at the White House is Revealed to Be A Bitcoin Millionaire 1 mon Filecoin (FIL) Launches Free Decentralized Storage Solution for NFT Markets 1 mon Microsoft-Led Consortium Invests $1.3B in Largest Decentralized Storage Facility in China to Mine Filecoin (FIL)

Bitcoin is the largest holding in his financial portfolio, between 25% to 43%, while much of the rest of his holdings are in Vanguard mutual funds. He is also an investor in a traditional store of value, owning between $15,001 and $50,000 in gold bars.

Wu actually called Bitcoin a “bubble” at the height of the 2017 bull market in December and questioned, “is it really worth anything at all?”

“Bitcoin isn’t backed by any sovereign, and unlike a stock or a bond, it gives you a claim to nothing other than Bitcoin itself,” he wrote at the time, although he added that that “illusory quality” describes most forms of money.

While its volatility makes its practical use in everyday purchases doubtful, Wu said the cryptocurrency “might work fine as a store of value that you can sell.”

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Author: AnTy

Block.one Raises $10B from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year

Block.one Raises $10 Billion from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year

After the record $4 billion ICO, Block.one has again managed to raise $300 million from Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, Galaxy Digital, and Nomura bank. EOS, meanwhile, is still down 60% from its 2018 ATH in the ongoing bull market.

Block.one, the software company behind the cryptocurrency EOS, has announced the launch of a new subsidiary Bullish Global.

Planned to be released this year itself, “Bullish” is a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange will be offering new automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools, reads the official announcement on Tuesday.

The exchange will be utilizing the EOSIO software and EOS public blockchain “to produce a cryptographically validated, provable, and immutable audit trail of all transactions processed” on the platform.

Block.one has already raised more than $10 billion for this exchange.

While the initial investment of $100 million in cash, 164,000 BTC, and 20 million EOS came from Block.one itself, $300 million were raised from the big names like Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, Alan Howard, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, and global investment bank Nomura.

“Bullish balance sheet is strong, and its vertical integration offers stability and liquidity to the cryptocurrency space. I’m happy to join Bullish as an investor and advisor as it gets started on a long and fruitful journey,” said Thiel.

Block.one is the same company that raised a record $4 billion during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) mania and received backlash from ESO investors who also filed a lawsuit against it for misleading investors in believing that EOS would be decentralized.

Since its launch at the peak of the last bull market in Jan. 2018, EOS has fallen from the top 10 cryptos list to sit at 23rd place with just over $9.3 billion market cap. As of writing, EOS is trading around $10, still down 60% from its all-time high of $22.71 in April 2018. EOS 54.08% EOS / USD EOSUSD $ 14.28
$7.7254.08%
Volume 19.71 b Change $7.72 Open $14.28 Circulating 953.3 m Market Cap 13.61 b
9 h Block.one Raises $10 Billion from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year 11 h Tech Stocks Dragging Bitcoin, Ether, & Crypto’s Down, But ‘Fundamentals Still Strong’ 6 d Bitcoin and Ether Aren’t the Top Traded Crypto’s on Binance Or the Biggest South Korean Exchange

The company is launching the exchange Bullish which will have Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, Richard Li, and Christian Angermayer as its senior advisors.

“Successfully bridging the gap between digital assets and institutional actors will shape the future of the financial sector as we witness greater mainstream adoption of digital currencies,” said Howard.

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Author: AnTy

Seven-Time Superbowl Champ, Tom Brady, Is Launching an NFT Platform Called Autograph

Seven-Time Superbowl Champ, Tom Brady, Is Launching an NFT Platform Called Autograph

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is the latest one to join the non-fungible token (NFT) mania.

While NFTs are enjoying a boom helping artists make a fortune, Brady is no stranger to this. Recently, his rookie card sold for $2.25 million, the most expensive trading card in football history.

In the NFT realm, Brady is actually launching an NFT platform called Autograph, coming in Spring, which will also produce NFTs featuring the football quarterback.

The platform itself aims to bring together the biggest names from sports, fashion, entertainment, and other areas to create and launch NFTs and share “ground-breaking experiences to a community of fans and collectors,” said Dillon Rosenblatt, co-founder, and CEO of Autograph.

The platform is also planning to have interactive offerings like physical product drop, live auctions, and in-person experiences.

Brady, along with entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt will serve as co-chairs of the platform, which has also assembled an advisory team with names like Apple SVP Eddy Cue, DraftKings co-founders Jason Robins and Paul Liberman, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, Cameo CEO Steven Galanis, Spotify’s advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff, Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish among others.

McDonald France also showed interest in digital art this week and is putting its own NFT up for sale.

Amidst this, an offline exhibition for NFTs has been kicked off in Beijing, the world’s first offline exhibition for virtual crypto-art. It may be slow, but NFTs are gaining traction in China as well.

Sun Bohan, the CEO of a Chinese crypto art center, told the local publication that 2021 would be a breakthrough year for NFTs, especially in the US and Europe. NFT’s biggest innovation, according to him, is in optimizing art trading as it bypasses intermediaries.

Meanwhile, Wang Qinwen, the producer of “Virtual Niche,” attributes the NFT market boom to the COIVD-19 pandemic, as it has pushed everything online. While it will cool down after it peaks, she believes it underlines the expansion of blockchain technology.

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Author: AnTy

NEM Group Launches ‘Interoperable’ Public Blockchain For Enterprise Users

Blockchain company NEM Group has announced the release of a new public blockchain called Symbol, per a press release today.

Symbol With Atomic Swap Capabilities

The project comes with enterprise-grade programmability and security. It will enable development teams and businesses to execute projects with minimal costs and without complexities.

Its hybrid chain structure layout will enable native compatibility with both public and private chain deployments, providing developers with the option of working with their preferred chain setup. Businesses would also be empowered to create permissioned ecosystems on private networks to store confidential information while still keeping in contact with public blockchains.

According to NEM, Symbol was created with interoperability in mind. The upgrade will see developers leverage on its state-of-the-art Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to easily integrate with existing systems and blockchains, making the shift much easier for them.

Symbol will also enable cross-chain atomic-swaps, allowing users to transfer digital tokens between the network and other blockchains. This is a major plus as atomic swaps allow users to send and receive data (usually a coin) without the presence of an intermediary.

NEM’s Symbol blockchain would also enable decentralized applications (DeFi), security tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its network. This feature dubbed “mosaics” would enable creating custom tokens, shares of stocks, signatures, votes, and others. Each mosaic would operate on a unique identifier, making it easy for the network to monitor its use.

Speaking on the launch, NEM Group’s CEO David Shaw said Symbol’s development results from key learnings the company gleaned from its NEM NIS1 public network. Symbol takes this further by providing a simple blockchain enterprise solution focused primarily on building use cases in the wider blockchain ecosystem.

Symbol would also be introducing what it termed a “delegated financial authority” protocol which would enable on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This feature would greatly streamline business processes like payroll management, according to CTO of NEM Software Kristy-Leigh Minehan. Minehan also said Symbol aims to reduce the chasm between public and private blockchains in the ecosystem.

NEM Group Moves Into CBDCs With Symbol

During the launch, the blockchain technology company said it is already moving into the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) space announcing a partnership with LBCOIN– the world’s first blockchain-based digital coin collector issued by the Bank of Lithuania working on NEM’s platform.

LBCOIN first made a foray into the digital space working with NEM NIS1 in July 2020, with the Lithuanian apex bank issuing 4,000 LBCOIN, equaling 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 physical collector coins. Symbol’s subsequent launch would see the digital coin collector migrate to leverage on the platform’s more sophisticated offerings.

The team says its NEM NIS1 protocol would still be operational catering to development teams, while its new Symbol blockchain would see enterprise-facing businesses.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Parity Technologies Proposes Common Goods Parachain on Polkadot Called Statemint

Parity Technologies Proposes Common Goods Parachain on Polkadot Called Statemint

Polkadot developer Parity Technologies is looking to address one of the key issues plaguing the Polkadot ecosystem by launching a new asset deployment platform.

Statemint To Address ‘Free Ride Problem’

Parity Technologies said in an announcement that it is looking to launch a generic asset parachain called Statemint. This solution will be the first common-good chain on the Polkadot network.

Statemint will allow developers to deploy assets- from tokenized artwork to stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) – in the Polkadot and Kusama networks. This will naturally engender a better user experience and lower fees than present solutions.

Currently, both the Polkadot and Kusama’s on-chain governance grants parachain slots through a public referendum rather than selecting slot winners through its auction mechanisms. The auction method is insufficient as it doesn’t efficiently distribute network resources on the platform.

Developers looking to ensure an even distribution of network resources will have to put up collateral in the form of Polkadot’s DOT or Kusama’s KSM network token. This collateral must have a minimum deposit, and if the asset falls below its “Existential Deposit,” the parachain will be removed to avoid a pile-up of low-value “dust” accounts.

But parachains may still be launched without an upfront collateral balance if the Relay Chain Council decides otherwise.

Parachains would also not be used as verification tools. The issuer must guarantee the authenticity of their asset value, not Polkadot (DOT)- but these chains will still be able to leverage Polkadot’s core functionality for continued interoperability.

Per the announcement, Statemint will enable developers to establish a maintenance team for their different parachains. This team will consist of an issuer, an administrator, and a freezer whose job will be to pause all token issuance and transfer.

The team, however, did not state when the project will commence.

Statemint Will Be Under DOT Token Holders’ Control

Relay Chain, which is the heart of the Polkadot ecosystem, will still retain control of the Statemint project. Relay Chain token holders will still be able to dictate the community’s direction by determining changing parameters for the Statemint project. They will be able to register new assets, adjust fee parameters, and upgrade the chain’s logic and functionality.

Polkadot has quickly established itself as a top Ethereum rival in less than five years. The blockchain platform, a fully scalable, heterogeneous network, is dubbed the next-generation of blockchain, and its layer-0 protocol brings together multiple blockchains into a unified ecosystem.

The ‘Ethereum killer,’ focused on creating an interoperable ecosystem, deployed a heterogeneous sharding technology that allows its parachains to connect and communicate with external networks. This implies that Polkadot developers will transfer and receive data from Bitcoin and Ethereum through its bridges protocol.

With developers flocking into the ecosystem, investors are eyeing the project, and industry experts are projecting a top-three finish for its cryptocurrency DOT. Polkadot (DOT) currently occupies the sixth position on the cryptocurrency chart and has a market cap of $35 billion.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Norwegian Publicly-listed Oil Company Buys $58 Million Worth of Bitcoin

Aker has established a new unit called Seetee to invest throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem. Co-founder Kjell Inge Røk­ke calls it not investing in Bitcoin the “riskiest decision.”

Norway’s Aker ASA is establishing a new unit dedicated to investing throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem, announced the company on Monday.

The new unit called Seetee AS would have an initial capital of 500 million Norwegian crowns ($58.6 million). The company is planning to keep its liquid assets in BTC, the industrial holding company said.

Seetee has already made its first Bitcoin purchase of 1,170 BTC with a strategy to HODL.

“Aker’s de­ci­sion to en­ter Bit­coin through See­tee is the re­sult of a long and fun­da­men­tal dis­cus­sion about val­ue,” states the shareholder letter. It further calls, not investing in Bitcoin the “riskiest decision.” Aker co-founder Kjell Inge Røk­ke wrote,

“Bitcoin may still go to zero. But it can also become the core of a new monetary architecture. If so, one bitcoin may be worth mil­lions of dollars. The asym­me­try is in­ter­est­ing to a port­fo­lio.”

As of writing, Bitcoin is trading around $51,000.

Besides using Bitcoin as a treasury asset, the company will also build and in­vest in projects and companies in Bit­coin’s ecosystem.

The unit will also establish mining operations and integrate blockchain technology with Aker’s industrial operations. For this, the company would collaborate with Canada’s Blockstream. Aker ASA Chief Executive Oeyvind Eriksen said,

“These technologies have the potential to reduce frictions in our day to day lives, enhance the security of our digitally-driven economies, and unlock new business models for innovation.”

Aker, controlled by Norwegian billionaire investor Kjell Inge Roekke, derives most of its income from the oil and gas industry. And the company doesn’t see “a long-term problem related to Bit­coin’s electricity consumption.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman

Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Gary Gensler is expected to be named the Chairman of the US securities and exchange Commission by President-elect Joe Biden, reported Reuters.

Gensler has been leading Biden’s transition planning for financial industry oversight since November.

This is good news for the crypto market as Gensler, who was a blockchain professor at MIT, has shared crypto-friendly views.

“Gary Gensler deeply understands crypto & has strongly supported bitcoin for years. His selection as SEC chair signals a policy shift in favor of a bitcoin ETF,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound Finance.

While bullish for the Bitcoin BTC 7.35% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 37,348.49
$2,745.117.35%
Volume 69.69 b Change $2,745.11 Open $37,348.49 Circulating 18.6 m Market Cap 694.67 b
2 h German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170 Million in Cryptocurrency Transactions 4 h Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman 4 h Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip; Goldman Sachs says Still Just 1% of Institutional Money
and board cryptocurrency market, this might not be that good for XRP XRP 2.50% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.31
$0.012.50%
Volume 4.87 b Change $0.01 Open $0.31 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 13.9 b
4 h Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman 7 h Acting SEC Enforcer Leading Ripple Lawsuit to Step Down; XRP Fights to Stay on Exchanges 1 d Ripple Hires Former Amazon Executive As SVP Of Engineering to Strengthen Cross Border Payments
as he has publicly called it a security. Last month, the SEC sued Ripple and its two top executives for selling unregistered XRP security.

Gensler “went on record in 2018 saying there’s “a strong case” that XRP is a security, signaling no shift on that issue,” noted Chervinsky.

Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs banker and is prompting concerns among Wall Street firms of tougher regulation. In contrast, Jay Clayton, who left his SEC Chairman post on Dec. 23rd, a former Wall Street lawyer, was criticized by Democrats for his ties to many companies he was overseeing.

While the crypto market is looking to win some, it may lose some as well as it is speculated that the Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, the former general counsel at crypto exchange Coinbase, might leave the top US banking regulators office this week.

During Brook’s term, OCC took a crypto-friendly approach, with the most notable one being allowing crypto companies to secure national banking charters. This Tuesday, Brooks also wrote about regulators needing to get ready for self-driving banks, aka decentralized finance (DeFi).

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Author: AnTy

Decentralized Exchange IDEX Launches v2.0 With A Heavy Focus on Enhancing User Experience

IDEX has launched a new update called IDEX 2.O promising to enhance user experience on decentralized exchanges (DEX) amid growing popularity and users. The hype around defi (decentralized finance) in 2020 has propelled DEX’s to the forefront of discussions.

IDEX 2.0 is solely focused on improving the user interface and how consumers interact with DEX’s. While decentralized exchanges have been in the game for quite some time, centralized exchanges (CEX) have garnered all the attention and transaction volume.

IDEX is promising to bridge the gap between centralized and decentralized exchanges for users. Among the prominent changes that come with the version, 2.0 include front-running and failed-transactions. Failed transactions have been the biggest Achilles heel for the DEX. With IDEX 2.0, users won’t have to sacrifice the ease of maintaining and using truly decentralized platforms.

Alex Wearn, the IDEX CEO, addressed the issues which have plagued and limited the reach of decentralized exchanges and said,

“Decentralized exchanges put the users ‘closer’ to the blockchain. This means that they have to deal with some of the shortcomings of blockchains themselves.

In particular, this could include things like long wait times for transaction and trade execution. The open nature also exposes users to issues like front-running and trade failures.”

IDEX 2.0 promises to improve on this concerning issue and offer several improvements over the existing systems. Some of the key features include,

  • Frictionless onboarding, if you’ve traded on any centralized exchange, then you will know how to use IDEX 2.0
  • Instant trade execution
  • Front-running protection
  • Guaranteed trade settlement
  • Private order books
  • Capacity for thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of orders per second

DEX Protocols Have Highest Transaction Failure Rates

Uniswap, one of the most popular DEX’s which has seen a significant bump in the transaction volume; in fact, it has generated more volume than many mainstream centralized exchanges on several occasions. Despite such heightened popularity and user growth, Uniswap has also registered significantly higher translation failure rates.

As per a report published by Dex Tokenlon, Uniswap registered a whopping 22%+ failure rates during the peak trading hours as of the first couple of weeks in September. While the success of defi has been quite unprecedented, so was the transaction failure rate. This could prove to be one of the biggest points of frustration for active users and traders and, in many cases, turn away the new users.

Apart from Uniswap, many other popular Dex has registered similar failure rates, and in many cases, a defer rate of 10%. IDEX, in its report, noted that these DEX are required to “keep order matching and execution off-chain, guaranteeing successful trades all while keeping the user in control of their assets.”

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Author: James W