Blockchain This Week – Combating Corruption to Playing Chess

What happened in the realm of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain this week? Here is a quick recap.

WEF to combat corruption with Blockchain

World Economic Forum is working to develop Blockchain-based solutions to root out corruption. The project is called the Transparency Project. The proof-of-concept will be tested on the public education food program in Columbia, where there have been reports of rampant corruption.

Bitcoin takes a RYDE

On June 17, RYDE, a carpooling app from Singapore, announced the launch of its cryptocurrency wallet. Starting June 22, commuters using RYDE’s services will be able to pay for the ride in Bitcoin. Terence Zou, CEO of RYDE, asserts that RYDE is set to be a game-changer for cryptocurrency adoption in Singapore.

Pocketing the windfall

Here is a new twist in the million-dollar fees story. Etherchain, one of the mining pools, bestowed with $2.6 million transaction fees last week, has announced that they are going to distribute the windfall among the miners who participated in that block. This announcement came four days after a user paid $2.6 million for transferring $87000. Etherscan was the mining pool that earned the reward fees by mining the block, which included this transaction.

Blockchain for a greener world

Corporate giant Unilever, revealed its 1 billion Euro fund aimed to combat climate change using Blockchain. The firm expects to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023.

Blockchain for U.S. Air Force

Tracking millions of aircraft parts in the supply chain is quite hard. U.S Air Force is exploring Blockchain technology to improve the visibility of their supply chain. SIMBA Chain, a Blockchain firm from South Bend, Indiana, has obtained $1.5 million and has two years to develop Blockchain-based supply chain logistics for the U.S Air Force.

Layoffs

We.trade, one of the promising Blockchain-based trade finance platforms, has announced the layoffs this week. According to Ciaran McGown, the General Manager of We.trade, the need to reduce the number of roles in technical and product areas, is the reason behind layoffs. But, some reports cite the failure of some We.trade’s investors to reinvest, as the possible cause.

The Whales of Bitcoin

After the May 11 halving event, which reduced the mining rewards from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, the price of the bitcoin has remained below $10,000. Nevertheless, the number of large investors, who hold more than 1000 bitcoins have increased to 1,840 this week, an increase of 2% from the first week of May. The accumulation of bitcoins by these investors who are often called “whales” suggests an increase in their confidence in bitcoins.

Increased Difficulty

Meanwhile, this week saw an uptick in the mining difficulty levels, which was the most since January 2018. The difficulty level, which determines the effort and the cost involved in mining a block, surged by 14.95%. It triggered bitcoin sell-offs by some miners to remain profitable.

Now is a chance to own a Ferrari!

Yes, a crypto startup has created tokens that represent pieces of a rare, limited-edition 2015 Ferrari F12 TDF. There are still 440,000 tokens up for grabs. Tokenizing rare collectibles such as cars is not new. In the past, the rare collectibles have outperformed the S&P 500, which makes it a valuable investment.

Digital tokens for children

At the same time, French gaming giant Ubisoft has launched 55 collectibles of the popular franchise Rabbids as tokens on the Ethereum network. Ubisoft plans to donate all the proceeds from this sale to the UNICEF fund.

UNICEF’s crypto investment

UNICEF, itself, has an investment fund, which has given eight companies, 125 ETH amounting to $28,600 this week. The companies are using this money to scale up their technologies.

Settle disputes with Blockchain

The London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation (LCAM) has launched an arbitration service that uses Blockchain. Arbitrators and mediators will use this service to settle disputes for the businesses hit by the pandemic. LCAM said Blockchain would add security and transparency to the process.

Increased interest in Blockchain says the survey

This week, the Deloitte Blockchain survey revealed that this year had shown an increased adoption of enterprise Blockchain. Twice as many firms surveyed have added Blockchain to their ecosystem compared to 2019. According to the survey, over half the respondents consider Blockchain to be their top five priorities. 

Login without passwords

While a South African bank reports loss of $60 million due to stolen access key, a Blockchain cybersecurity firm, Unbound Tech, has launched a secure decentralized means of authentication. The firm says the access keys are stored on multiple devices and used to sign messages without revealing the key to any party. According to the firm, this adds the much-needed security.

Traveling to Korea for medical reasons? Use Blockchain

In Busan, South Korea, a public-private consortium has announced its plan to offer a Blockchain platform for medical tourism. The aim is to assist people who travel to Asian countries for medical treatments. The platform will connect the patients to the network of hospitals and banks.

China mulling over a new regional digital currency

Ten members of the top political advisory body of China have proposed a new digital currency backed by a basket of currencies, including Chinese yuan and Japanese yen. The purpose is to gain further independence from the US dollar and improve trade relations in East Asia.

Worried about high gas fees or slow network? Worry no more

High gas fees and slow transaction confirmation are two concerns of the Ethereum network. Matter Labs, an emerging technology company, based out of California, launched zkSync on Ethereum mainnet to allow users to send tokens without fretting about the gas fees or network speed. The product is currently launched in beta.

Internet on Blockchain

Peer-to-peer wireless network Helium, announced that it would expand its operations to Europe. Helium Tabs, the company behind this wireless network, will start shipping the network’s hotspots to Europe in July this year. These hotspots are the nodes running the decentralized Helium network. Users will be rewarded Helium (HNT) tokens for operating the hotspots.

And finally, Chess on Blockchain

Decades after AI defeated the world chess champion, Blockchain, has made its debut in the chess arena. Silvio Micali, the founder of Algorand, played a game against Sergey Karjakin, the Russian grandmaster, and the game was recorded on Blockchain. Silvio believes recording the game immutably on Blockchain will help address the cheating problems in chess while safeguarding the game’s integrity.

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