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ICO: Asset-Based Coins Will Eventually Replace Small Cap Stocks, Says Kevin O'Leary | CNBC
Published on 19 Mar 2018

$400 million real estate backed ICO, SEC approved. Is 2018 Year of the asset-backed ICO?

Visa Is Very Excited About Blockchain Technology, CFO Says
Bloomberg Technology
Published on 20 Mar 2018
Mar.20 -- Vasant Prabhu, Visa Inc. chief financial officer, discusses the company's growth opportunities and challenges, competing with Amazon and his views on cryptocurrencies. He speaks with Bloomberg's Emily Chang on "Bloomberg Technology."
Snowden Leak Suggests NSA Is Extensively Tracking Bitcoin Users
Wolfie Zhao Mar 21, 2018 at 03:40 UTC  |  Updated  Mar 21, 2018 at 03:51 UTC
Quote:The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been reportedly monitoring the bitcoin blockchain with an eye on identifying users on the distributed network.

According to a report by the Intercept on Tuesday, the media outlet has obtained classified documents from the U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden which indicate bitcoin surveillance remains a top priority for the agency.
Child abuse imagery found within bitcoin's blockchain
Samuel Gibbs Tue 20 Mar 2018 12.25 GMT
Quote:Researchers discover illegal content within the distributed ledger, making possession of it potentially unlawful in many countries

Possession of Bitcoin now technically illegal worldwide?
Google is ‘actively looking’ at how it can use blockchain technology, its head of advertising says
Lucy Handley Published 20 Hours Ago
Quote:Ramaswamy added that the "frictionless" nature of the technology has applications in money transfer. "The promise of blockchain of course is twofold: one is friction-free value transfer, you can think of it as money transfer working at scale with no friction and that can have an amazing effect on society, because it's hard to move money. It always costs 2ish percent in most Western countries to move money," he said.


Google's parent company Alphabet is one of the most active investors in blockchain companies, according to a report published by CB Insights in October.
Foxconn to Manufacture Blockchain Phone From Sirin Labs
By Olga Kharif
April 4, 2018, 8:00 PM GMT+8
Quote:* The device will make it easier for people to use digital coins
* Sirin is competing with a slew of blockchain phone rivals
What is the Lightning Network?
Last updated: 21 March, 2018
Quote:Hailed as one of the most potent solutions to cryptocurrency scaling currently under development, the lightning network effectively creates a layer on top of bitcoin, enabling fast and cheap transactions which can net settle to the bitcoin blockchain.

Why Square is Poised to Become the Lightning Network and Why You Should Be Very Afraid.
1mo ago
Quote:The implications of what this could mean CANNOT be understated:

1) People will own Bitcoin on Square but their money will always be on the Lightning Network, all that money is being forced off-chained and put under control of supervision of Square, meaning the loss of censorship resistance and more. The liquidity Square gains from being a Lightning Hub will be used to invest in various ways.

2) Merchants will use Square Lightning Wallets to receive Bitcoins quickly, there is essentially little reason to keep any Bitcoins on the 1mb chain. Merchants will be incentivised to use LN and keep money in channels also.

3) Square will essentially become the Bank of Bitcoin with users not really touching the actual settlement layer. To spend their Bitcoin users have to use LN, which means they move their funds into the hub off-chain.

4) Fiat 2.0 , the bankers wet dream is reality. The incumbents basically get to stay on and keep taking fees. Users get the illusion they are using something better (Bitcoin), but they are just using the same old system the banks have used to charge them before.

5) Square is a fiat gateway, meaning merchants can receive fiat. Users can also deposit AND withdraw using fiat methods such as credit cards, this would create a entirely seamless experience.

6) Lightning Hubs are likely legally money transmitters, thus license are likely required to run them, and who better than the big banks and Paypal?

(Vested in Square for other reasons; but the development of the Lightning Network in the Bitcoin space is certainly 1 area to look out for.)
Facebook reportedly plans to launch its own cryptocurrency
With an eye towards payments on the social media platform
By Chaim Gartenberg@cgartenberg  May 11, 2018, 10:42am EDT
Quote:Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar’s Alex Heath.

Currently, there isn’t too much detail, but the company is said to be specifically focused on using cryptocurrency specifically for facilitating payments on the platform, something that could be a pretty dramatic shift given Facebook’s huge user base and existing marketplace section of the site for buying and selling goods. The company is also said to be investigating other ways to leverage the tokenized digital currency and its underlying blockchain technology across its platform, too.

The cryptocurrency efforts are said to be led by David Marcus, who earlier this week was reported to be leading a new blockchain division at Facebook “to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”

David Marcus is the VP of Facebook Messenger efforts and payments system, and a director on the board of Coinbase. He is going to step down from his current position to lead their experimental Blockchain team. Turns out that maybe Facebook is the most serious on Blockchain among Big Tech?

(vested in FB)
DACSEE Launches World’s First Decentralized Ride Sharing Platform in Southeast Asia, Presents at d10e in Tokyo
Quote:HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - April 25, 2018 - DACSEE (Decentralized Alternative Cabs Serving & Empowering Everyone), the world's first decentralized community-run, ride-hailing platform, today announced the launch of its mobile application 'DACSEE' debuting in Malaysia. DACSEE is a community-run, ride-hailing platform that facilitates relationships between drivers and passengers, and empowers users by giving them more choice, freedom, and sustainable multi-revenue channels.

The first Blockchain Uber to hit South East Asia. A decentralized Ride-Hailing service has the potential to have a cost structure that is even cheaper than Uber; as it aims to maximize returns to all stakeholders fairly (driver, passenger, and platform maintenance etc.). Not the first nor the last of many such services (decentralized social media, e-commerce, public utilities etc.) to come.
Japanese Bank to Offer Blockchain Payments in 2020
By Shoshanna Delventhal | May 22, 2018 — 3:00 PM EDT

Quote:Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has partnered with U.S. tech company Akamai Technologies to develop a blockchain technology service that the two firms say will drastically reduce transactions times without compromising security. The news marks the latest plunge by a large corporation in the blockchain space, as leaders across industries such as finance, retail, manufacturing and tech experiment with the underlying distributed ledger technology powering cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. (See also: JPMorgan Dives Into Crypto Space.)

Faster Transactions Without Compromising Security
Over the past 18 months, MUFG, the world's fourth-largest bank, has been working with Akamai to design a blockchain built on Akamai's cloud-based Intelligent Platform to handle 1 million transactions per second at latencies of less than 2 seconds. As the firms continue to work on enhancing the technology, they foresee the new service to be capable of processing 10 million transactions per second. Bitcoin, the world's largest digital coin by market capitalization, has been criticized for its long transaction times. The virtual currency can only process seven transactions per second at latencies exceeding 10 minutes.

Akamai Labs Chief Technology Officer Andy Champagne said the new blockchain service is best-suited for making traditional payments online. Ultimately, he says the service could pave the way for "micropayment-type transactions" in a world where connected devices on the Internet of Things (IoT) operate autonomously and make small orders for things such as detergent when the washer runs out of supplies. Champagne said the payment network application with Mitsubishi should roll out in early 2020.

MUFG is no stranger to the blockchain. Earlier this year, it was first reported by local news publication Mainichi that the Japanese financial giant would launch its own digital currency. The cryptocurrency, which will be pegged to the Japanese yen, is slated to launch in 2018. MUFG is also an investor in leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and has dabbled in blockchain projects with partners such as International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), financial industry consortium R3, and digital payments provider Ripple, among others. (See also: Crypto Trading Is Skyrocketing in Japan.)

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