Blockchain This Week – Traceable Zcash, Crypto Payroll, Digital Dollars and Many More

Hey there! This article outlines the key events and news in Blockchain this week. From traceable Zcash transactions to Digital Dollars, get to know what happened this week in less than 5 minutes. 

99.99% of Zcash transactions traceable – How is it possible you ask?  Zcash (ZEC) is known for its strong anonymity feature succinctly (ahem!) named as Zero-knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge – ZKSNARK. Hence, it is shocking to hear only 0.09% of the ZEC transactions last month were untraceable

What-if Smart Contracts become non-editable –  Ethereum protocol tornado.cash launched an “immutable smart contract” earlier this week. An immutable contract would mean that the code is set in stone and cannot be modified. But as the saying goes, “To err is human”, what happens when a bug in the code leads to catastrophic results. 

Crypto Wallets under attack – A hacker who claims to possess databases of several crypto wallets including Ledger and Trezor, is allegedly selling them for premium bids. These databases hold the name, address, email, and phone number of thousands of users and are believed to be stolen by exploiting a bug in the e-commerce website Shopify.

Blockchain for Clean Energy – Power Ledger, a Blockchain firm from Australia, has signed up to be the technology partner for a joint public-private venture with Thai energy agencies and green energy experts. The solutions include peer-to-peer energy trading, carbon credits trading, and renewable energy certificates (REC)

Virtual social media powered by Blockchain – Global Blockchain Business Council or GBBC has jumped on the bandwagon of VR powered social media. They deem Blockchain essential to prevent identity thefts and content copyrights as reality and illusion closes in on social media.

Telegram throws in the towel – Popular messaging app Telegram has officially given up on Telegram Open Network and GRAM token and withdrawn its appeal against the U.S. Federal court injunction. But good news for liberal crypto advocates – TON lives on in the form of many spin-offs such as Free TON and NewTON.

On Crypto Payroll – Bitwage, an international crypto payroll firm, is offering a bitcoin-based 401(k) pension plan for the employers struggling to meet the 75% payroll requirement set in the U.S. government’s PPP program. Employers can offer to pay their employees with crypto while the employees can use crypto to trade in traditional asset classes. A win-win?

Visa powered crypto – Cryptocurrencies are all set for mainstream adoption. A swiss startup Edioo has partnered with a key member of Visa Europe to offer a crypto debit card. This card is underpinned by regulated stable coins. People can use their native EDO tokens to buy stablecoins, which during card payments will be matched 1:1 with equivalent fiat.

Answer questions, earn cryptocurrency – Are you an expert giving advice and answering queries on social media? Now, you have a unique opportunity to earn some crypto while answering the questions. CCTip has come up with a novel idea where users get paid when they answer questions or share polls on Twitter. CCTip says they have added support for 200 cryptocurrencies and plan to add more social media platforms.

LG and its new found love for Distributed Ledgers – This week LG, the Korean tech giant, was all over the news for two reasons. First, they announced that they have partnered with US-based Evernym to develop a decentralized authentication system. This Blockchain driven system is intended to replace the international driving licenses and passports. Finally, LG joined Hedera Hashgraph’s governing council as their 14th member. 

Google has its own plans with Distributed Ledger Technology – Meanwhile, Google, another tech giant who had recently joined Hedera Hashgraph governing council, has made another investment in the DLT space. They are set to be the validators and launch partner for Theta mainnet 2.0, a network run by the crypto streaming app Theta. They are also the preferred cloud provider for running theta mainnet nodes.

Facebook does another tweak in its ambitious crypto initiative – At the same time, Facebook announced this week that it would re-brand the digital wallet as Novi, to avoid confusion with the broader Libra network. This wallet will support multi stablecoins-fiat pegging. 

No funds to bail crypto companies – At times when governments across the world are diligently working on saving SMBs, the Swiss Government has refused to provide any relief to the battered crypto companies of Zug, a Swiss town. But, Heinz Taennler, the finance director of Zug, saved the day by announcing a loan facility of $15.4 million.

Louisiana lawmakers take a step forward for legalize crypto affairs – Even when the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. is questionable, Louisiana lawmakers have advanced a bill which, if implemented, will legalize crypto businesses in the state. This bill has now been submitted to the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and International Affairs for approval.

GE Aviation employs Blockchain for efficiencyGE Aviation has partnered with TE-Food, which operates predominantly in the food supply chain sector. The new solution extends the TRUEngine offering already in use by GE and adds TE-Foods’ expertise in digital identification and verification of physical assets.

Sim cards for solar panels? – Many households today are generating their own electricity – solar and wind. The solar panels and the wind turbines need to connect to the grid and are required to be uniquely identified. Vodafone has partnered with the blockchain platform Energy Web to provide sim-centric blockchain-based identities for the devices.

Drug tracing on Blockchain – Bayer China, a leading pharma company, has chosen VeChain as the technology partner for a blockchain-based drug tracking initiative. Drug counterfeits is a prevalent problem in the pharma industry. An irrefutable and verifiable trace will go a long way in addressing the widespread issue. 

Pay artists royally with digital tokens – Royalty payments have long been considered unfair towards artists. EMusic, the digital music store, has set out to change this. With eMU token, artists can now be paid directly without intermediaries such as collection agents, which will allow artists to earn more. EMusic also plans to reward the fans for sharing music and reviews.

NBA with crypto, what’s not to like? – NBA fans moonlighting in crypto, here is a news for you. Dapper Labs, creators of Cryptokitties, have come up with a game where players can own, trade, and play with tokens, which represent key moments in NBA history. This game is currently available in beta. 

Brave Together – Brave, the web browser popular for its privacy and crypto-payments features, has achieved another milestone. They have launched an in-browser, fully-encrypted, no-new-account-signup-required video service called Brave Together. This service, which allows encrypted video calls between two parties, could not have come at a better time.

Pass on the crypto legacy to your progeny – Starting Jan 1, 2021, Chinese citizens will be able to pass on their cryptocurrencies and other digital assets as an inheritance. This would mean the private keys which guard the crypto assets can be shared with your descendants.

Connecting the connected networks – Today we have several blockchain networks, many of them serving the same purpose. If Blockchain has to be the internet of the 21st century, these various networks have to find a way to work with each other. ICON, South Korea’s largest public blockchain attempts to achieve this. They have devised a protocol that defines how interoperability can be achieved between the networks.

Digital Dollars in the cards – Digital Dollar project, an initiative exploring the digital version of the U.S. dollar has released the whitepaper delineating the digital dollar features. The digital version of one of the prominent currencies of the world opens up several potent use cases.

Final tidbit, ever wondered the software that created the first bitcoin run on which Operating System? Wonder no more! Laszlo Hanyecz a.k.a “Bitcoin Pizza Guy” who worked with Satoshi Nakomoto in the earlier days of Bitcoin says Nakomoto used a Windows machine to develop Bitcoin.

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