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Blockchain This Week – OKEx, Stone Ridge, Breitling

OKEx Suspends Withdrawals

OKEx, one of the top crypto exchanges based out of China, suspended the withdrawals from its platform purportedly after one of their custodians of the private keys was taken away by the Chinese authorities for an investigation. This action resulted in a plunge in the prices of Bitcoin and the native OKEx coin – OKB. The exchange says no customer funds are affected. They say that the withdrawals would resume immediately after their keys holder is available to authorize the transactions. Meanwhile, an anonymous user transferred US $22 million worth of Bitcoin into OKEx, but will have no means to withdraw as of now.  

Stone Ridge Goes Big on Crypto

Three years ago, Stone Ridge, the asset management company that manages close to US $10 billion in assets – embarked on the crypto journey by creating a subsidiary, the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). This subsidiary today has homegrown tools for executing cryptocurrency trades. It as well as offers custodian services to their customers’ digital assets. In 2017, Stone Ridge quietly raised US $50 million that helped to establish the crypto asset subsidiary. Now, it has reached another milestone as it raised another $50 million in the fundraise led by Fintech Collective, with Bessemer Ventures and Ribbit Capital, bringing the total money raised to US $100 million. Stone Ridge also revealed that NYDIG is acting as custodian of 10,000 of the parent company’s bitcoin, valued at $115 million at today’s price.

Ethereum 2.0 Closer to Launch

Ethereum Foundation launched Zinken testnet this week. It is the last scheduled testnet for testing the genesis operations for Ethereum 2.0 network. This successful launch that follows an unsuccessful launch of the Spadina testnet in September is assumed to herald the impending public launch of the proof-of-stake Blockchain.

Authorities and Blockchain

Spain Lawmakers Get Crypto

Last week, the members of the US congress received US $50 worth of bitcoin as campaign contributions from the Chamber of Digital Commerce PAC. Similarly, this week, all 350 members of Spain’s lower house – the Congress of Deputies – received 1 Euro worth of crypto in their emails. As per Tutellus, a Blockchain platform that spearheaded this plan, the contribution was not a donation but an attempt to promote the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

ECB Seeks Public Input on Digital Euro

On Oct 12, the European Central Bank launched a survey intending to garner the opinions of citizens, enterprises, NGOs, and other organizations on the Digital Euro. It has asked the survey takers to rank the possible features of a future digital currency in order of importance.  The ECB believes a digital euro would not replace but complement physical cash. 

Russia Releases Paper on Digital Ruble

Meanwhile, the Russian central bank corroborated their government’s plans to issue a CBDC and released a paper explaining the digital Russian ruble this week. According to the Bank of Russia, the digital currency will be an additional form of money alongside cash and non-cash. It will have all the necessary features to work like cash. 

Opposition to Libra Coin Continues

This week, the representatives from the Group of Seven or G7 nations released a joint statement stating their opposition to the launch of Facebook’s Libra project. The central bankers and finance ministers of these nations announced that they would halt such global stablecoin projects unless these schemes have the required regulatory oversight.

US Election Race Calls on Blockchain

The Associated Press (AP), the world’s most trusted news agency, has counted the votes in all US elections since 1848. Now, they have teamed up with Blockchain company Everipedia to deliver these vote counts in a trusted and transparent manner. Everipedia will publish the race calls on Blockchain using a Chainlink-powered oracle. Additionally, AP will cryptographically sign the information they release on Everipedia, and their public key will be available on Everipedia for anyone to verify.

Firsts in Crypto World

First Mining Hardware Marketplace

This week, Asic Jungle launched a beta version of purportedly the first-ever mining hardware marketplace. As per Artem Bespaloff, the CEO of the company, the marketplace offers a trusted platform that connects ASIC buyers and sellers securely without any middlemen.

First Newswire for Crypto News

Several journalists reporting on a wide range of topics rely on newswire services for various reasons – story ideas, fact-checking, etc. Every industry usually has its newswire services. However, until now, the crypto industry lacked such a press release distribution service. A Blockchain PR company MarketAcross intends to address the vacuum with the launch of Chainwire, a dedicated PR distribution service for the Blockchain and cryptocurrency sector this week.

Digital Collectibles and Celebrities 

Fans Use Blockchain to Earn a Win for Their Favorite Football Team

Sports teams have always found unique ways to use Blockchain in engaging with their fans. This time a football team in Cyprus, Apollon FC, took the fan engagement to the next level. It allowed the fans to vote on how the players need to line up and what should be the formation of the team for a match. The fans voted using their fan tokens issued using Blockchain. Surprisingly enough, this bargain paid off, and the football team won the friendly game against the rivals Aris Limassol by six goals to zero.

Titanic Actress to Star in Movie Based on Crypto Ponzi Scheme

The OneCoin Ponzi scheme saga continues to play in the courts of law. Meanwhile, a movie narrating its story is being made and stars Kate Winslet of the Titanic fame. Kate will also produce this movie named Fake!, that is based on an unpublished book by one of the victims of the scheme, Jen McAdam.

DC Comics to Sell Batman Crypto Artwork 

DC comic artist Jose Delbo has partnered with crypto artist Trevor Jones to create four artworks – two animations and two paintings – featuring Batman. The digital tokens representing these illustrations are sold on the digital artwork marketplace, MakersPlace, this week.

And Finally, Now Track Your Time on Blockchain

The luxury watchmaker, Breitling, announced this week that all their new watches would be equipped with Ethereum-based digital passports. Owners of the Breitling’s timepieces can use Blockchain to obtain information about them, including its warranty status. They can also conveniently transfer the ownership of the watches using Blockchain. With the complete history of ownership transfers stored on Blockchain, it is easier for the new owners to obtain the proof of authenticity, particularly when the watch has changed hands several times.

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