Image via Shutterstock

Blockchain This Week – Blockchain, Crypto and Social Good, CBDC and Blockchain Investments

Available on Other Platforms

The UN on Blockchain as a Sustainable Solution

This week, the United Nations (UN) published an article that underscores how it sees Blockchain as a crucial element for sustainable development. The UN plans to continue exploring the uses of the technology to fight the climate crisis. It is also confident that crypto and Blockchain can play a vital role in creating a sustainable economy.

Blockchain for Water Conservation

The US state of Colorado has passed a bill that directs the University of Colorado to work with Colorado State University and the Colorado Water Institute to research on several technologies, including Blockchain, for better water management. This legislation attempts to address the state’s severe water shortage issue. The team will conduct feasibility studies and pilots and report to the state assembly on the potential of these technologies for better conservation of water.

Korea Promotes Blockchain for Social Causes

The Ministry of Science and Technology of South Korea announced this week that it is promoting the use of Blockchain in five areas. They are online voting, donations, social welfare, renewable energy, and postal service. Work is underway for a blockchain based large-scale online voting, transparent donation management, and integrated postal systems.

Hong Kong’s Pro Democracy Newspaper to Live on Blockchain

This week, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, was forced to shut down when its executives and editors were arrested, and its funds were frozen. But, in an attempt to keep free speech alive, Hong Kong’s cyber activists are backing up the newspaper’s articles on the decentralized archive storage platform ARWeave.

Gemini Buys Carbon Credits

This week, the crypto firm Gemini launched an initiative – Gemini Green – in collaboration with Climate Vault, a nonprofit founded at the University of Chicago. Gemini plans to buy carbon credits for close to 350,000 metric tons of carbon. The credits will be used to offset the non renewable energy consumed by the Bitcoin miners.

Livestock Tracking on Blockchain

E-Livestock Global launched a livestock traceability solution for cattle farmers from Zimbabwe, using Mastercard’s Blockchain. This provenance solution aims to bring an end to end visibility to the cattle supply chain. It would help the farmers prove the origin and health records of their cattle.

SafeEarth’s Charities

SafeEarth is a DeFi platform that donates 1% of its transaction fees to charities working on preserving Earth. This week, SafeEarth announced that it has successfully issued donations worth over $200.000 to scores of charities, including those dedicated to clean oceans, healthcare, and children’s education.

Blockchain for Sustainable Building Constructions

Australian property developers Mirvac has partnered with the consulting firm KPMG. Together, they are developing a Blockchain based platform to track the provenance of buildings. This initiative is commissioned by the government of New South Wales.

Pay in Bitcoin With Bakkt Visa Card

Customers of Bakkt digital wallet can apply for a Visa debit card that will allow them to pay with Bitcoin even at outlets that do not accept crypto. They can add this virtual card to their Apple or Google Pay wallets and use it for digital payments.

Buy a Diamond With Crypto

The centuries old British auction house, Sotheby’s, is accepting Bitcoin and Ether for a rare 101.38 carat diamond. The auction will be held in Hong Kong on July 9. It is the first time when crypto will be used as payment for anything other than NFTs.

MicroStrategy Buys More Bitcoins

The business intelligence firm MicroStrategy announced earlier this week that it had brought about 13,005 Bitcoins for $489 million in cash. As of Jun 21, MicroStrategy holds close to 105,085 Bitcoins worth $2.74 billion.

Israel Not Hopeful Of CBDC

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel, Andrew Abir, confirmed this week that the country’s central bank has already carried out a pilot for a digital shekel. But, he asserted that he is not optimistic about an Israeli CBDC being launched.

France Extends CBDC Experiment

Meanwhile, Banque de France has extended its trial to test the use of CBDC in wholesale transactions. It involved simulating the usage of digital currency for settlements of securities.

Palestine Central Bank Mulls Over a CBDC

Palestine relies on the Israeli shekel and Jordanian dinar for day-to-day transactions as it does not have an independent currency. The Palestinian Monetary Authority, however, is studying digital currencies and hopes to use CBDC for domestic and international payments.

US Representative Back Bill to Prohibit Donations to Hamas

Meanwhile, a group of 52 US representatives introduced a “Hamas International Financing Prevention Act” bill. It is aimed at reducing funding for the Palestinian nationalist group Hamas. People and organizations that donate to Hamas, including in Bitcoin, will be sanctioned according to this proposed law.

Hub Blockchain Bogota

Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá, announced its “Hub Blockchain Bogotá” program this week. As a part of this initiative, the government will give over 2.8 billion Colombian pesos ($750,000) to 100 companies working on Blockchain solutions.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Journey

Jamie Guevara, the deputy leader of El Salvador’s opposition party, has filed a lawsuit questioning the Bitcoin legislation. It is supported by a group of citizens who believe the law is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, ATM manufacturer Chainbytes is setting up a Bitcoin ATM manufacturing hub in El Salvador. Similarly, ATM operator Athena is planning to install 1,500 ATMs across the country.

Furthermore, President Nayib Bukele announced this week that Bitcoin law would be effective in the country from Sep 2021. He also revealed a Bitcoin giving away program. Accordingly, those using the government wallet would get $30 in Bitcoin.

Crypto Crimes

Impossible Finance Exploit

Impossible Finance, a DeFi project running on Binance Smart Chain, became a victim of a flash loan attack this week. The exploit led to a loss of 229.84 Ether worth close to $500,000 at the time of the attack. 

Fireblocks Sued for Alleged Loss of Keys

Crypto firm StakeHound has filed a lawsuit against the crypto custody provider Fireblocks accusing Fireblocks of negligence that led to the former losing over $70 million worth of Ether. It claims that Fireblocks employees failed to protect or back up the keys to the Ether. Fireblocks, however, claims that the lost keys were stored outside its platform.

Crypto Firm Founders Disappear Along With Thousands of Bitcoin 

A Cape Town law firm says that it is unable to locate Raees and Ameer Cajee, the two founders of Africrypt, a South African crypto exchange. They have reportedly vanished along with close to 69,000 Bitcoins belonging to the customers.

Crypto Crackdown

Iran Seizes Bitcoin Mining Machines

Iranian police have seized 7,000 Bitcoin mining machines from an abandoned factory west of Tehran. The city’s police chief, General Hossein Rahimi, claims that these machines were operating illegally in the country.

South African Bank Ban Customers From Buying Crypto

Earlier this week, the customers of Absa, a bank based in Johannesburg, started receiving error messages when they attempted to buy crypto on Binance and other foreign crypto exchanges. The bank confirmed these transactions were blocked as per rules set by the country’s central bank.

Chinese Miners Shift Shops

Earlier this week, a Guangzhou based logistics firm Fenghua International confirmed that it was airlifting 3.3 tons of Bitcoin mining machines to Maryland. Similarly, Shenzhen based Bit Mining has started shipping over 3,000 bitcoin mining machines to Kazakhstan.

Brave and Opera 

Privacy focused web browser Brave has launched Brave Search in beta. This new feature that rivals Google search, however, does not track users’ search queries. Meanwhile, Opera intends to make using crypto easy. Hence, it is adding Celo Dollar (cUSD) and Celo Euro (cEUR) stablecoins in its browser native wallet.

Deutsche Telekom to Run As Validators for A16Z

Deutsche Telekom, through its subsidiary T-Systems MMS operates validator nodes on Celo Blockchain. It delegates or stakes its CELO tokens to run these nodes. This week, the venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) also transferred its CELO tokens for T-Systems to operate as validators of the network.

Andreessen Horowitz Raises $2.2 Billion for Crypto Funding

Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) raised over $2.2 billion for its Crypto Fund III. This fund will be used to invest in crypto firms that are in various stages – early seed stage projects to fully developed networks.

FTX and MLB

Crypto exchange FTX announced that it is becoming the “Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB.” It has struck a sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball. Accordingly, starting with the MLB All-Star Game on Jul 13, an FTX.US logo patch will adorn all umpire uniforms. The umpires will wear the logo during the regular season, postseason, spring training, and jewel event games. 

FTX’s Tokenized Stock Offerings

FTX is also offering tokenized stocks for trading now in its exchange. Digital Assets (DAAG) is providing the stock infrastructure, and the trade will run on Solana Blockchain. Stocks of Facebook, Google, Tesla, and Square are among those that are available.

Bitcoin Briefly Falls Below $30,000

This week, Bitcoin fell below $30K and briefly went to $29470.30 before recovering to $33K shortly. The fall is attributed to a massive sell-off by the investors. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin was worth $31,219.10.

And Finally, Ethereum’s London Upgrade Is on Testnet 

Ethereum’s much anticipated London upgrade has been deployed on the Ropsten testnet. This upgrade contains the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559 that is expected to bring vital changes in the network operations. After Ropsten, the updates will be tested on Goerli, Rinkeby, and Kovan testnets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s