Blockchain This Week – Countries Chasing CBDC, Carbon Offsets, Wine, and Insurance on Blockchain, BlockFi, Steve Jobs and NFT

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France and Tunisia Engage in Cross Border CBDC Trial 

The Bank of France and Central Bank of Tunisia have successfully completed a trial that involved CBDC wire transfers between commercial banks of these countries. A consortium led by Tunisia based tech firm ProsperUs was also involved.

Korea Selects Blockchain Partner for CBDC Trial

The Bank of Korea (BOK) has selected Ground X as a preferred provider to build a pilot platform for its CBDC pilot. Ground X is a Blockchain subsidiary of South Korea’s internet giant Kakao.

Indian Central Bank Mulls Over Phased Introduction of CBDC

The Reserve Bank of India is contemplating releasing CBDC in a phased manner. According to its deputy governor T. Rabi Sankar, such a move will allow time for necessary legal changes required in the country’s foreign exchange rules. The central bank is also planning on conducting a series of pilot programs for the CBDC.

Nigerian Central Bank to Pilot CBDC in October

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would launch the trial of its CBDC by October 1, 2021. Rakiya Mohammed, the information technology director of the bank, revealed that the CBDC project dubbed ‘GIANT’ will run on hyperledger fabric, a permissioned, open-source Blockchain.

US Senators Concerned Over Digital Yuan

Three US Senators are asking the US Olympic Committee to forbid American athletes from receiving or using digital yuan during the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Republicans Cynthia Lummis, Marsha Blackburn, and Roger Wicker cite privacy as their biggest concern with the Chinese CBDC.

Chinese Officials Decry US Senators’ Claim

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian denounced the US Senators’ letter during a press briefing. He urged the senators to stop politicizing sports and refrain from creating troubles out of digital yuan.

Steve Jobs’ Real & Digital Job Application Auctioned

The auction places, Rarible and Snoofa, are hosting simultaneous auctions featuring Steve Job’s 1973 handwritten job application in two formats – the original physical copy (Snoofa) and an NFT (Rarible) version. Both auctions will last for seven days. Snoofa will accept both US dollars and Ether, while Rarible will take payments in Ether.

South China Morning Post Tokenizes Its First Draft of History 

The Hong Kong based newspaper South China Morning Post revealed two Blockchain powered projects. The first, dubbed ‘Artifact,’ is an NFT standard that allows tokenizing historic accounts and assets. The publication has also teamed up with The Sandbox Blockchain Gaming Platform, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands. Together, they will digitally recreate ‘Hong Kong’s history and iconic spaces through 118 years of journalism’ via the platform’s NFT metaverse.

Enjin Enters the UN Global Compact

This week, Enjin, the Blockchain technology company, announced that it had become the first NFT company accepted into the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. The membership is granted when a company aligns its business models with the UN’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption.

China’s First Blockchain Recorded Carbon Offset

Chinese coastal city and industrial hub Tianjin has issued China’s first blockchain-based carbon offset. AntChain, the Blockchain platform of Ant Group, is used to grant, trade, and audit these carbon offsets.

Kenyan Farmers Covered Under Blockchain Based Crop Insurance

Microinsurance company ACRE Africa is working with decentralized insurance platform Etherisc to provide insurance coverage for the crops grown by Kenyan farmers. They stated that they have processed payouts to over 17,000 small-scale farmers under this initiative.

Georgia Puts Wine on Blockchain

The European country of Georgia is adding information of its wine on the Blockchain, thus enabling investors and enthusiasts to track provenance and buy and sell associated NFTs. It has partnered with Norway-based Blockchain firm WiV Technology.

China Issues First Insurance Policy Settled With Digital Yuan

Ping An, China’s largest insurer, has collaborated with the country’s central bank to issue insurance policies that use digital yuan for settlements. This product is aimed to cover medical personnel exposed to coronavirus risk.

ETF Focused on Eco Friendly Crypto Mining

Investment adviser Viridi Funds launched Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining and Semiconductor ETF on the New York Stock Exchange this week. The ETF, which is trading under the symbol RIGZ, invests in the environment friendly cryptocurrency mining and mining infrastructure industries.

Ukraine Presents Plan for Digital Assets Industry

This week, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation presented a plan for developing the country’s digital assets industry. The report titled “Virtual Assets of Ukraine – 2030,” prepared with input from the local crypto community, is based on the research conducted between March and June this year.

LCX and Hedera Collaborate for Security Tokens Infrastructure

Liechtenstein Blockchain Innovator LCX announced a strategic partnership with Hedera Hashgraph. LCX is extending its Liechtenstein Protocol for the Hedera Hashgraph network. Hedera plans to expand its token service by adding new standards for security tokens and tokenized digital assets.

Museum Dedicated to Crypto Mining

A new museum that enables the visitors to learn about the history of crypto mining has opened in Caracas, Venezuela. It is an initiative by Criptoavila, a mining company based in the country.

Bitcoin Bounces Back From Below 30K Levels

Earlier this week, the price of Bitcoin dropped close to $29,500, wiping $19 billion off its market cap. Several other tokens, including Ether, XRP, Rune, and Matic, also fell hard. Bitcoin, however, bounced back within the next 24 hours, and at the time of writing, one Bitcoin was worth $33,501.33.

Three US States Target BlockFi

Earlier this week, the New Jersey  Bureau of Securities issued a cease and desist order to New Jersey based bitcoin services platform BlockFi to stop offering interest-bearing accounts. The attorney general of New Jersey contends that BlockFi has been at least partly funding its crypto operations through the sale of unregistered securities.

Later, a similar complaint was raised by the Alabama Securities Commission that asked BlockFi to explain why it should not be required to stop selling unregistered securities in the state.

And finally, Texas state regulators also filed for a cease and desist against BlockFi and two of its subsidiaries, BlockFi Lending and BlockFi Trading, over an alleged sale of unregistered securities.

Dfinity Hit With a Class Action Suit

​​Dfinity has been hit with a class-action suit in California alleging that the company sold its native Internet Computer Project (ICP) tokens as an unregistered security. California resident Daniel Ocampo has filed the complaint on behalf of all those who bought ICP since May 10, 2021. Dfinity founder Dominic Williams and early backers of the project –  Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz – are implicated in the suit.

Axie Infinity Generates Close to $85 Million in One Month

The crypto game Axie Infinity has generated $84.9 million in the last month. As a result, it has become one of the highly profitable platforms on the crypto market.

Documentary on Ethereum Raises Millions of Dollars

The documentary “Ethereum: The Infinite Garden” has raised 1,035.96 Ether worth $1.9 million at the time of writing, surpassing its target of 750 Ether. It is a feature length documentary about Ethereum and will feature people involved in its development, including Vitalik Buterin and Aya Miyaguchi. 

FTX Valued at $18 Billion

FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, has raised $900 million in its Series B fundraise, bringing its valuation to $18 billion. Over 60 investors participated in the funding round, including SoftBank, Coinbase Ventures, and Sequoia Capital.

EU’s Crypto Regulations

Aimed to strengthen the EU’s AML stance, the European Commission has proposed a bill to ensure traceability of crypto transfers. Furthermore, the legislation also seeks to ban anonymous crypto wallets.

Amazon Looking for a Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead

The Amazon Payments Acceptance & Experience team is looking for an experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap. The candidates are expected to have domain expertise in Blockchain, distributed ledger, CBDC, and cryptocurrency.

And Finally, Musk Owns Bitcoin

During the “B Word” Bitcoin event, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that he owns Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin. Alongside, his companies, SpaceX and Tesla, own Bitcoin. He also stated that Tesla would likely resume accepting the cryptocurrency after he does more due diligence on Bitcoin energy consumption. The B Word event featured a live discussion with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Ark Invest CEO and CIO Cathie Wood, alongside Musk.

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