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Blockchain This Week – Vaccine Cold Chain, High Profile NFTs, Bitcoin Paper

Bitcoin Org’s Emphatic Rebuttal to Craig Wright

Craig Wright, yet again claiming to be the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakomoto, the creator of Bitcoin, sent a letter to Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org to take down its copy of the iconic founding document – the Bitcoin Whitepaper. The letter cites allegations of copyright infringement. Bitcoincore.org caved into the notice and immediately took down the paper from their site. On the other hand, responding strongly to the claims, Bitcoin.org, announced that they will not give in to the intimidation and will continue to host the whitepaper. In what seems to be a rejoinder to Wright’s incriminating letter, several crypto firms, including Square, NYDIG have published the whitepaper on their sites.

NHS to Monitor Vaccine Temperatures on Distributed Ledger

The UK National Health Service (NHS) is working with Hedera Hashgraph, an enterprise-focused public DLT, and Everyware, a digital asset tracking company, to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine cold chain. Everyware will supply asset monitoring software, and Hedera will provide a trust-worthy and verifiable record of vaccine temperatures. 

NFT Art Sale for Charity

Kizuna, the crypto donation platform of Mai Fujimoto, famous across the globe as Miss Bitcoin, has partnered with Enjin, the Blockchain gaming platform. They plan to launch Japan’s first tokenized charity project. They aim to sell the artwork donated by the celebrities as non-fungible tokens. The proceeds from the sale will go to DxP, a non-profit organization that supports the youth during the COVID-19 crisis.

AC Milan Hops on to the Blockchain Bandwagon

The European football giant AC Milan announced the imminent release of the ACM fan tokens. The football club is launching them on the Chiliz Blockchain. In the next few weeks, fans would be able to win exclusive rewards, interact with their favorite players, all using their ACM tokens. 

Rare Collection of Single Malt Tokenized on Blockchain

This week, Rare Cask Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PrimePartners Corporate Finance Holdings, listed a tokenized rare whiskey collection on the Singapore-based HG Exchange. This collection of rare, high-quality, single malt scotch whisky casks, labeled Casks of Distinction, was tokenized on the Zilliqa blockchain. At the moment, only accredited investors will be able to buy, sell, and trade the tokenized shares of the premium whisky on the HGX platform. They can also choose to get the actual bottles delivered based on the number of digital tokens.

Huobi’s South Korea Arm Gets Regulatory Certification

Huobi Korea, the South Korean unit of the crypto exchange Huobi announced this week that it is now certified by the Korea Internet and Security Agency. This information security management system (ISMS) certification will give Huobi access to a security management system to ensure they are compliant with the KYC and AMLs laws charted in the country’s Special Payment Act.

Livecoin Shuts Shop

The trading platform Livecoin announced its closure, citing the alleged December hack as the reason. Livecoin earlier had halted all its operations on December 24, claiming that it was a victim of a “carefully planned attack.” Though the amount of losses due to this alleged hack was never made known, the crypto exchange plans to repay the affected users. It said that the customers could claim refunds until March 17. But they would have to pass verification procedures to get back their money. Some users, however, have refused to share their personal data with Livecoin over privacy concerns.

Energy Trading on Blockchain

Mitsubishi has partnered with Tokyo Tech University to develop a P2P renewable energy trading platform powered by Blockchain. They aim to create a system that makes matching and execution of the buy and sell orders energy efficient. 

Former Canadian PM Pins His Hope on Bitcoin

Amidst the continued price swings casting doubts among the non-Bitcoin-maximalists, the world’s premier cryptocurrency found an unlikely advocate. Stephen Harper, the former Canadian prime minister and an economist, explained in an interview that Bitcoin could possibly become a reserve currency. He expounded Bitcoin as a medium of exchange and a unit of account, and hence serves the purpose of a legal tender. Harper, however, admitted that Bitcoin is not a store of value. He also exerted that Bitcoin is not going to supplant the US Dollar.

Machine-to-Machine Payments With Blockchain

JCB, the Japanese payments platform, has teamed up with Keychain, the Blockchain firm, to develop a new micropayments solution. Machine-to-machine (M2M) interactions are believed to proliferate in the near future due to the progress with 5G and IoT. And this solution targets one of its significant use cases – M2M micropayments. If things go as planned, by 2022, car wallets will be paying road tolls without their owners’ intervention, thanks to JCB and Keychain’s Blockchain platform.

Ether Reaches a New ATH

This week, finally, the world’s second-largest crypto by market value, Ether, inched past its previous all time high and registered a new high of US $1,439.33. In January 2018, Ether had reached $1,432.88. The price, however, slumped below $1100 within days, before climbing up above $1200. At the time of writing, one Ether was $1,248.66, having posted a weekly gain of 7.95 percent.

Bitcoin Price Drops Significantly

Within 48 hours, the world’s first cryptocurrency fell from over US $37,000 to sub-30K level. This slump is attributed to a warning issued by Janet Yellen, the US President Joe Biden’s nominee for treasury secretary, that lawmakers should curtail the use of Bitcoin because of its use in illicit activities. The price, however, recovered to over $32,000, as a result of business analytics firm Microstrategy adding 314 more Bitcoin to their growing crypto arsenal. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin was worth $32,872.56.

Banque de France Completes CBDC Pilot

The Bank of France released the results of the December’s pilot on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The bank announced that using Blockchain, investors were able to buy, sell, and trade close to US $2.4 million worth of simulated shares. 

Biden Orders Rules Freeze

The US President, Joe Biden, announced a freeze on all agency rulemaking until all the proposed rules undergo a thorough review. It includes the recent contentious scheme on unhosted wallets made by the former Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. The proposal mandates exchanges to record the names and addresses of their customers who transfer over US $3,000 in crypto per day. This plan is decried by several critics and crypto advocates.

MOBI Releases Second Installment of Vehicle Identity Standards

The working group under Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, headed by BMW and Ford, has released the second installment of vehicle identity standards. These standards, called as the vehicle birth certificates, target vehicle registration to maintenance tracking. They intend to provide a verifiable and reliable vehicle history for the buyers and insurers.

Shenzhen’s Yet Another Red Envelope Giveaway

Yet another Digital Yuan lottery is underway in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. It is the city’s third red envelope giveaway. In this public trial, the city will be giving away over US $3 million worth of CBDC. The registration has opened for businesses and corporate employees staying in Shenzhen’s Longhua district during the Spring festival.

Hive Goes Big on Miners

The crypto mining company, Hive, announced this week that it has purchased 6,400 Bitcoin mining machines from Canaan. Once operational, the firm’s hash rate would reach close to 1,229 petahash per second. Deliveries of these miners are expected to start in May and complete by the year-end.

Brave Browser Integrates With IPFS

Brave, the private and secure web browser, is integrating with the decentralized peer-to-peer file system – Interplanetary File System (IPFS). As per the announcement, Brave users can access the content on IPFS just in one click.

Komainu to Hold Custody of Seized Crypto

The digital assets manager Komainu is assisting the UK police in securely storing the seized cryptocurrency. According to the service agreement with the Derbyshire Constabulary, Komainu will be responsible for giving a more “robust” means to store crypto.

And Finally, Biblical Quote in Bitcoin Block

In an interesting “revelation” this week, the block number 666,666 of the Bitcoin Blockchain had a quotation from Romans, the New Testament book of the Bible. The quote reads – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good – Romans 12.21. What makes it further intriguing is the corresponding transaction had 432,100 satoshis each, sent to two different addresses that contained the words “God” and “Bible.” Further mystifying the event, the sender paid US $50, five times more than the average, as the transaction fees, in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to get their transaction added to the particular block – 666,666.

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