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Could Blockchain Impact Gun Control?

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As debate rages upon the subject of gun control, a professor at Washington State University has suggested using blockchain technology to make an impact.

The topic of gun control has become a hot topic once again in the United States due to the recent school shooting in Florida. As pundits from both ideological sides of the issue rage back and forth, a new wrinkle has emerged: blockchain technology. A professor of public health at Washington State University has proposed using the blockchain to help address the issue.

Firearms and Blockchain

The professor, Thomas Heston, has floated the idea of using the blockchain to create a database to track firearm information. In a paper, Heston writes that people who own a gun can upload their information to an electronic gun safe. This data would be tied to the individual’s biometric data, like their fingerprint.

This blockchain-based database would then be used to track the creation and sale of guns, and the data would be instantly verifiable. Heston says that this approach would protect the information of gun owners from being hacked and reduce gun-related injuries. Another benefit would be that it would boost the accuracy of background checks.

Heston does say that there are certain challenges facing the use of blockchain technology in regards to gun control on a national level. He says:

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California Largest State to Recognize Blockchain Records

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California millennial Assemblyperson recently pushed a bill to recognize digital signatures and contracts recorded on the blockchain, making California one of several US States using or considering implementing the technology.

Millennial Assemblyperson Pushes Bill

Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Cal), who was elected to the state assembly at the age of 27 as the first ‘millennial’ assembly person, launched California assembly bill 2568 which would update existing laws to include blockchain technology for electronic signatures and contracts.

If the bill passes it would make California one of only a few states so far recognizing such technology but establish a precedent due to its size and economic importance.

California, as the most populous state in the US with 39 million citizens, commands a $2.3 trillion economy which reviles that of the entire UK would be a huge testing ground for blockchain implementation.

The new bill, which builds on the existing law dubbed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, paves the way for an electronic record or signature secured by the blockchain to be deemed legal and enforceable. Key revisions in the latest version include –

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Moscow Looks to Blockchain for Fair Elections

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The city of Moscow is looking to evolve their Active Citizen polling network to log votes in upcoming elections. Thus making the election process transparent to all and tamper-free.

Active Citizens Decide for Themselves

As the white house continues to deny any allegations of collusion with Russian hackers and the FBI doggedly turns over more and more evidence of Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections the city of Moscow is making moves to make sure it can’t happen there.

Since 2014 the Russian city has had a program in place called Active Citizen. This program allows citizens to vote on big projects in order to eliminate corruption. So far citizens have cast their votes on the seat colors at the new Luzhinki stadium, whether or not to participate in a major housing renovation program and the official badges that doctors will wear in all the cities hospitals.

Blockchain Tech Can Help to Ensure Fair Election Polling

In 2017 the Active Citizen program was moved on to a Blockchain network where ideally the data can never be deleted or changed and the system cannot be hacked. Today it has added a private version of the Ethereum network to the existing architecture with a view towards implementing this into the city’s voting process.

In this way, city officials hope to soothe citizen’s fears of vote manipulation while showing the world’s governments that free and fair elections can be had in Russia.

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Blockchain can Save the Asset Management Industry Billions Every Year

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Digital solutions will go a long way in the financial industry. Right now, a lot of processes still require manual labor. It is cost-inefficient, cumbersome, and introduces unnecessary delays. The asset management sector can certainly benefit from the performance increase provided by blockchain technology.

Blockchain in the Financial Sector

It is evident distributed ledgers will play a big role in the future of finance. Not just in terms of banking or remittance either. Instead, new research indicates blockchain can revamp the asset management business as a whole. More specifically, the technology can automate buying and selling of funds, which will lead to major cost reductions. Giving investors more bang for their buck is always an option worth looking into.

Looking at the current daily trading volume across the busiest markets, total savings may add up to $2.7bn. That is a rather significant amount which should not be overlooked whatsoever. Using a distributed and decentralized market infrastructure will have many different benefits. Saving on costs is, perhaps, the biggest selling point in this regard.

However, the blockchain will also introduce additional transparency. It will also lead to new industry-wide standards to automate most of the financial entries recorded by different companies. As of right now, most of that information is still inputted on a manual basis. Staffers need to be paid to complete the tasks, which is both costly and time-consuming at the same time.

Transforming Asset Management Solutions

One thing most people don’t realize is how these added costs are paid by the end investor. That is a situation which needs to change sooner rather than later. A lot of money is “wasted” on manual labor which could easily be automated in this day and age. Whether or not blockchain is the best solution in this regard, remains difficult to predict.

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AT&T and Bayer tap Blockchain to Disrupt Digital Advertising

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Digital advertising is an industry prone to disruption in many different ways. Major brands are trying to introduce a new degree of transparency to this industry in the future. Even AT&T and Bayer are banking big on blockchain technology in this regard.

Disrupting Digital Advertising

It is unclear what the future will hold for digital advertising. The current business model suffers from a lack of transparency. At the same time, advertising fraud is on the rise. Something will need to change sooner rather than later. Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant, has been vocal about issues affecting the digital media supply chain.

More specifically, the company warned about fraud and waste since 2016. Ever since that time, very little action has been undertaken to improve that situation. Using blockchain technology to alleviate some of these concerns is certainly an option worth exploring. Bayer is working together with Amino Payments.  As such, Bayer is now experimenting with blockchain-based campaigns. It is a small step in the right direction.

Interestingly enough, there is another major player working together with Amino Payments. That is none other than AT&T, the famous telecommunications provider. That company is also concerned about the fees taken by intermediaries when it comes to digital advertising. There is no real transparency to make any proper assessments in this regard as of right now.

The Role of Blockchain Technology

AT&T has now begun experimenting with blockchain-based advertising solutions earlier this year. They see merit in the “bidded programmatic space”. It is of the utmost importance advertisers know how their budget is being spent. Without any transparency solution in place, it is impossible to determine how that plays out. If advertisers don’t get their money’s worth, there’s no reason to continue with the current digital advertising model.

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The Railway Transport Moves Towards Using Blockchain Technology

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On 15 February, within the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between Novotrans, one of the largest railway rolling stock operators in Russia and the CIS, and UniversaBlockchain. The representatives of Novotrans told BitJournal.mediaabot this event.

“The main objective of our joint project with Novotrans is toperform the digitization of the train cars, transferring their statutes (loading, unloading, location) to blockchain and to include all details and specifics of the train maintenanceto the digital history of railway carriages. If all rolling stock processes are transferred to blockchain, it is impossible to fake or change any information about the railway carriage and the goods carried inside. This informationcan also be accessed by each participant of the network or transaction at any moment.

The “properblockchain” can significantly reduce production costs and speed up all the processes, and that is why this idea attracts not only big business, but government sector as well, including ArkadyDvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC Russian Railways, who has expressed his interest in the technology,” said Alexander Borodich, founder of the Universa.io blockchain platform.

The joint project came into force upon signing the agreement. It can take about a year to fully transit the company’s cars to blockchain, forNovotrans operates tens of thousands of the train cars. Universa is the blockchain project which raised $28 million in token sale. It focuses on creating smart contracts in the real economy with the wide scope of application, from electronic keys in aerial vehiclesto transactions between financial institutions. The current speed of transactions on the Universa platform reaches 22 thousand per second.

Original linkOriginal author: Guest Author
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Ripple Expands its List of Partners With Five More

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Not many other blockchain companies can boast new partners on a weekly basis. Ripple is one that can and, love it or hate it, the San Francisco based global payments provider has added to that list of over a hundred with five more this week.

In addition to banks in Brazil and India, Singaporean and Canadian money transfer service providers have also joined ranks with Ripple. According to reports Brazilian Bank Itaú Unibanco and remittance provider BeeTech have joined RippleNet in order to facilitate faster and cheaper global funds transfers. Indian bank IndusInd is also onboard alongside Canadian company Zip Remit who are all seeking to benefit from blockchain based financial transactions at a fraction of the cost.

Emerging Markets to Benefit Most

Emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China are home to 85% of the global population with almost 90% of people under 30 residing within those markets. They are a huge draw for companies such as Ripple looking to expand product adoption for xCurrent and RippleNet financial transfer platforms and networks. Over $60 billion was transferred into both India and China in 2017 and Brazil saw $600 million arrive from the US.

Head of business development at Ripple, Patrick Griffin, is confident that blockchain solutions are the way forward to improving the lives of users in emerging markets.

“The payments problem is a global problem, but its negative impact disproportionally affects emerging markets. Whether it’s a teacher in the U.S. sending money home to his family in Brazil or a small business owner in India trying to move money to open up a second store in another country, it’s imperative that we connect the world’s financial institutions into a payments system that works for their customers, not against them.”

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Fighting Corruption with More Transparent Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains

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Addressing corruption has proven to be a rather problematic venture. Both cryptocurrencies and blockchain may prove to be of great value in this regard. Their lack of anonymity and privacy will help establish a more secure ecosystem moving forward.

Cryptocurrencies Can Address Corruption

Corruption still thrives in this day and age of technological advances. Even though it became easier to hold individuals accountable for their actions, more efforts are needed. Especially when it comes to public financing, new solutions need to be created sooner rather than later. Existing technologies and countermeasures simply do not provide sufficient protection in this regard.

Two specific technologies stand out to make corruption a non-issue in the future. First of all, there are the cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other public cryptocurrencies lack both privacy and anonymity by default. When these currencies are used to exchange value, users can effectively be identified through blockchain analysis. Users converting to and from fiat currency need to verify their identity with an exchange or broker accordingly.

Although these cryptocurrencies do not transmit personal data directly, it is an option worth exploring. Any cryptocurrency can include personal information if the protocol is modified to support such solutions. This can include ID numbers, names, business identification numbers, etc. Additionally, cryptocurrencies offer near-instant transactions and cross-border compatibility unlike any other form of money which exists today.

Making Blockchain Information Even More Transparent

All of this cannot be supported without having the right technology in place. Blockchain technology, which powers all of these currencies, will need to incorporate this additional information. It seems Ethereum may be in a better position to accommodate such changes in the future. It allows for new currencies to be created on top of its infrastructure while still benefit from native technology such as smart contracts and DAOs.

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How Blockchain is Unlocking Business Investment for Retail Participants

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Great ideas often have the humblest beginnings, and it’s only after a ‘Eureka!’ moment that many realize their true potential. An excellent example is Avon, one of today’s most popular cosmetics companies, which began as a single door-to-door book salesman named David H. McConnell. McConnell noticed that he made more book sales when offering free samples of perfume to his female customers, and so he decided to drop the books permanently, setting up shop as the California Perfume Company.

His business took off, but like many, it required more working capital to get further off the ground. In his time, obtaining new business funding was only possible through banks or by borrowing money from friends and family, so McConnell likely went to the local branch and made his pitch. What eventually resulted is a multi-billion-dollar company, but what would Avon be today had McConnell failed to find investors? It likely wouldn’t exist, at least not in such an impressive state.

Investment is how a society collectively chooses which ideas are most worthy. It’s what turns a garage-based startup into a tech powerhouse listed on the NYSE, and this notion creates enormous amounts of wealth for those who can participate. With the prevalence of the internet and the dot-com era, launching a new IT company has become easier than ever, but unfortunately, the internet’s convenience doesn’t extend into the investment sphere. It’s not difficult to invest in companies that are already established via the equity markets, but what about companies that have yet to bloom?

Blockchain Breeds Change

Barriers to entry for casual business investors remain hard to overcome. One can work extensively to try and break into angel investment rounds, but the amount of paperwork and effort required are a significant investment themselves. The transactional costs to process deals are daunting as well, but even so, the best ideas usually receive their funding behind the closed doors of venture capital firms, due to their iron grip on institutional money.

Retail investors want to help startups by putting forth their own money, and rightfully so, given the potential rewards. However, the opportunities to do so are held at arm’s length, tantalizingly out of reach. It’s not that startups wouldn’t appreciate more variety in where funding comes from, especially if they can skirt the draconic equity requirements common to any VC firm, but the gatekeepers of this status quo keep it shut for selfish reasons. This has been the reality for some time, yet decentralized blockchain technology is already illustrating to the market that the tides are finally changing.

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7 speakers of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Thailand

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Cryptocurrency investments, blockchain trends and industry development vectors will be discussed at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Thailand 

On March 6, Bangkok will host a large-scale international conference on blockchain, cryptocurrency and ICO – Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Thailand. The event will be held at the five-star hotel Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit.

Leading experts of the cryptocurrency sector from Thailand, as well as international experts from other countries will speak at the conference. Names and topics of the seven speakers are already known.

Joseph Tsou is the managing director at BlockEx. He has extensive experience in financial services and he is also a fintech expert. The topic of his presentation is “Basic concepts of blockchain technology and a review of the cryptocurrency sector: trading, investments and ICO.”

Vladislav Sapozhnikov is a co-founder and CEO of a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Deex.Exchange. This expert in digital assets will talk about why decentralized ecosystems that use BitShares platform are the future of blockchain technology.

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Slovenia Is Becoming a Target Destination for Blockchain Companies

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Slovenia has always strived to become a technology-friendly country. Many governments refer to Slovenia as the Silicon Valley of Europe, but so far there has been no major breakthrough in this area; however, it seems that with the advent of blockchain technology, we are getting closer to this ambitious vision, and the government of Dr. Miro Cerar is increasingly aware of this.

To that end, the Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar, Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, and a number of State Secretaries attended a working meeting at the Viberate premises today. Together with some other successful domestic blockchain start-ups, they discussed the advantages and traps posed by this technology and the aim of making Slovenia more attractive for the domestic and foreign blockchain companies.

The initiative for cooperation between the Slovenian government and the Viberate company was created a week ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos, when State Secretary Tadej Slapnik, and the COO and co-founder of Viberate, Vasja Veber, took part in a roundtable discussion under the auspices of one of the most recognized development companies in the field of blockchain technology – Consensys.

The panel discussed the importance of cooperation between companies and government in the field of blockchain technology development and the creation of friendly ecosystems that encourage the creation of innovative companies. At a working meeting, representatives of Viberate, InsurePal, ICONOMI, and SunContract presented their activities to the President and ministers, explaining the obstacles they face in their operations in Slovenia and highlighted the areas, where the government can help make the country friendlier towards such companies.

Dr. Miro Cerar, Prime Minister of Slovenia, said:

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IBM Wants Governments to Focus More on Internal Blockchain use Cases

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Finding use cases for blockchain technology is not that difficult. Most efforts focus on the financial sector, but there’s a lot more to this technology than just finance. According to IBM, this technology can disrupt the way we think about governments altogether. Jerry Cuomo is convinced governments should embrace distributed ledgers and encourage global use of this revolutionary technology as much as possible.

There are a lot of different facets of blockchain technology. For most enterprises, it is all about streamlining financial operations. While there is merit in that approach, its important to keep an eye on the bigger picture. Distributed ledgers can be used to disrupt virtually any operation or business model we know of. Moreover, it is not just the foundation for cryptocurrencies, which are a pain in the neck for most banks and governments right now.

With IBM firmly advocating for blockchain, things will undoubtedly get very interesting. It is a transformative technology, which should be treated as such at all times. IBM fellow Jerry Cuomo is convinced this technology can disrupt governance and most business operations in  a positive way. The company is engaged in over 400 distributed ledger projects as of right now, which is rather impressive. Moreover, he further confirms these efforts span many different industries. Supply chain, healthcare, and government services are just some of the potential industries prone to disruption.

Unfortunately, it seems most of these efforts focus on the US. Although that is not a bad thing, the rest of the world needs to “wake up”, according to Cuomo. IBM has shown there are dozens, if not hundreds, of use cases for distributed ledgers. It is now up to other governments to encourage the use of this technology. Moreover, it is time governments themselves start using blockchain technology as well. Securing identities, enabling convenient payments, and revamping administrative tasks are just some of the possibilities.

Whether or not the words by IBM will fall on deaf ears, remains to be seen. The Dubai government has partnered the technology company for a citywide blockchain pilot. It is only a matter of time until the rest of the world follows this example. Before that can happen, governments may need to nudge companies in the back a bit. Additionally, Cuomo explained there is a big difference between digital currencies and blockchain. While the former uses the latter, it’s not a representation of this technology’s potential by any means.

Original linkOriginal author: JP Buntinx
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Blockchain May Help to End Seafood Slavery in Asia

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What most people don’t think about when they tuck into a plate of tuna or prawns is that much of the seafood we eat is caught and processed by slaves.

According to the Global Slavery Index, there are some 300,000 slaves working in the Thai seafood industry alone. These are people coerced from neighboring Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar with offers of decent work who soon find themselves with confiscated identification forced to work with little sleep or food and no recourse to legal help.

Part of the problem is the ease in which these workers can be smuggled into the country, hidden while they work on boats and in factories, and then disappeared either by eventually being released back to their own countries or killed and dumped at sea.

Now Nonprofit organizations see ways in which blockchain ledger technology can track migrant seafood workers as well as hold those exploiting them responsible.

Trace the seafood

The London based NGO Provenance has already adapted Blockchain technology to trace hand caught skipjack and tuna from Indonesia in a project called ‘bait to plate’. By attaching an RFID tag local fishermen use handheld devices to upload identification to the cloud. This information is recorded in Provenance’s blockchain ledger allowing an individual fish to be traced as it changes hands all the way to the end consumer.

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It’s High Time Financial Institutions Consider Crypto as a Tool for Efficient Money Transfers

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Blockchain technology is causing massive disruptions across a wide range of industries, markets, and economies. Bitcoin, the most popular blockchain application has shown the world first-hand how the decentralized nature of blockchain could cause a paradigm shift in the global economic landscape. Beyond Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies have sprung up to solve some of the biggest business and financial problems ailing the global economy.

Ripple is one of such blockchain applications – Ripple (XRP) is a real-time payment settlement system built on blockchain technology to solve the settlement problems associated with the SWIFT network that banks currently use. Ripple prides itself in connecting “banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally.”

Moneygram Adopts Blockchain to Fix Payment Inefficiencies

Earlier in January 2018, news broke that Ripple and money transfer giant MoneyGram have entered a partnership to pilot the use of Ripple’s XRP in Moneygram’s payment flows in order to unlock on-demand liquidity.  Both companies will also explore the possibility of integration of MoneyGram and Ripple’s ecosystems using xVia.

MoneyGram is one of the big name companies that facilitate the transfer of cross-border payments and remittances between business partners, friends, and family members. When you use MoneyGram’s money transfer service to make a remittance, MoneyGram won’t necessarily put your money on an airplane for onward transmission to the recipient. Rather, MoneyGram, through its partner agents and banks, will use pre-funded accounts or lines of credit. Moneygram and the banks get back together to resolve and settle transactions at a later date.

The problem, however, is that the process often takes hours, days, and sometimes even weeks to complete. In addition, the participation of traditional financial institutions means that senders and receivers have to pay a premium in transaction fees if they want a quicker settlement of their remittance.

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Blockchain Aims to Bring an End to Invasive Loyalty Programs

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Studies have repeatedly shown that customer experience is one of the most important aspects of a company’s retention rate. According to some, 45 percent of consumers say a lack of interest in customer satisfaction is the biggest obstacle companies must overcome to provide an ideal experience. In other words, it’s pretty simple–businesses need to take steps to ensure their customers that they care. By 2020, customer experience could be the key differentiator between brands, overtaking price and product.

Some companies, in order to improve customer experience, create loyalty programs that come with a foster of pride and exclusivity. Oftentimes, these loyalty programs are mediated through credit cards. Take the airline industry, for example. Hawaiian, American, and Delta are just a small sample of the dozens of airlines that offer loyalty credit cards to customers. While these cards can be useful for earning miles and other perks, they come at a steep cost–the rights to private customer data. Because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, rating agencies like Equifax can sell credit information like name, address, and payment history to credit lending institutions. This is why when someone applies for a credit card, fifty plus ads show up in the mailbox within a matter of days.

This creates a conundrum for consumers and put them at odds with businesses. Sure, loyalty programs help save money, but at what cost? Businesses also have to wrestle with questions about consumer satisfaction–is there a way to keep customers happy without compromising their data? Sandblock, a blockchain startup, believes there is. Their goal is to create an ecosystem specifically designed to provide solutions to businesses’ reward and loyalty program troubles.

By using blockchain technology and the native SAT coin, Sandblock provides consumers with incredible reward options while keeping their data anonymous and secure. The SAT token functions a base cryptocurrency on the platform, but merchants can create their own brand tokens on top of it. They can then issue customers coupons, vouchers, and loyalty point denominated in the brand token. 

How Do Consumers Use and Benefit from the Platform?

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New Technology Records Global Marriages on Blockchain

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Distributed ledgers can be used to record different kinds of data. While most efforts focus on the financial sector right now, there are plenty of other use cases for blockchain as well. Recording marriages on a distributed ledger is an option well worth exploring as of right now. Especially given the current marriage laws in the world, it is only normal better solutions have to be found.

Blockchain technology will transform most business models as we know them today. That is a positive situation, as a lot of business aspects can be streamlined and made cheaper. It now seems this same technology impacts our society as a whole in different ways as well. In the future, we may see more marriages being recorded on a blockchain. While that may sound strange, there’s a lot of merit to this concept as well.

Most marriage laws have not been changed in the past few decades. While that is only normal, it also shows the time for innovation is right now. There are some ridiculous requirements to deem a marriage valid these days. It can depend on location, the certificate issues, and so forth. A unified system to record all of these ceremonies once and for all simply makes a lot more sense. Up until now, there has been no viable solution in this regard, but that will change in the near future. After all, an invalid marriage can also affect people’s immigration status and inheritance rights.

With blockchain technology, it effectively becomes possible to address most problems. A transparent global marriage registry will open up a lot of new opportunities, assuming it will be developed in the future. Such a solution provides a permanent record of couples’ intentions regardless of international boundaries. Not only does it offer protection, but it would transform the concept of marriage altogether. Decentralizing marriages will certainly introduce a lot of interesting changes in the future.

It is only a matter of time until technology affects this particular industry in a positive manner. On paper, it changes nothing in the way a marriage is conducted officially. On the administrative site, however, it certainly introduces a few interesting changes. It effectively allows for all types of marriages to be formed, assuming they are legally acceptable. A lot of new opportunities will be created, especially when it comes to same-sex marriages and polyamorous relationships. The big question is when such a platform will be built.

Original linkOriginal author: JP Buntinx
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Islamic Endowments to be Modernized by Blockchain

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The potential applications for blockchain technology are seemingly endless. Every day a new startup applies distributed ledger technology and smart contracts that underlie cryptocurrencies to a different world scenario offering new and innovative ways to streamline existing systems. Islamic charitable endowments, called waqf, are the latest to get the blockchain treatment.

According to reports Singapore based fintech firm Finterra has developed a crowdfunding platform that uses blockchain to create smart contracts that would be linked to specific waqf projects. A waqf typically involves donating a building, plot of land, or other assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets. The concept dates back over a thousand years peaking during the Ottoman Empire.

Islamic financial markets

The company hopes to provide a more efficient way of raising funds and managing the transfer of waqf which receive donations from Muslims for social projects such as schools, mosques, and charitable organizations. CEO Hamid Rashid told media;

“We are trying to change the financial terrain in its approach to crowdfunding and development of waqf,”

The company is hoping to target core Islamic financial markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where pilot projects are already being studied in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. They hope to be up and running by June and will host a forum in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur in March. Waqf bodies in Brunei and India have already shown interest in the project.

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Global Insurers Are Starting to Provide Protection Against Cryptocurrency Theft

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Major global insurers are beginning to offer protection against cryptocurrency theft marking a significant step for the recognition of the nascent industry.

At present only insurers such as XL Catlin, Chubb, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance offer protection; however, others have highlighted that they are considering theft coverage for companies that deal with digital currencies, reports Reuters. Notably, the emergency of an insurance market for the cryptocurrency sector signals an important milestone for the industry’s acceptance into the mainstream.

The market, which has had its fair share of security issues, experienced a significant blow to investor confidence last week. Last Friday, Japanese digital currency exchange Coincheck was the victim of hackers, resulting in the theft of over $500 million worth of XEM, the token for the NEM network. Following the hack, the country’s financial watchdog ordered a report from the exchange detailing how to make improvements and how to avoid any further security breaches.

For the insurers, however, there are hurdles they will need to overcome in order to provide the right coverage.

Greg Bangs, head of XL Catlin’s North America crime coverage underwriting, explained that the company had to learn quickly about the technology through discussions with industry players and possible clients before creating its own bitcoin theft insurance. The insurer now offers yearly crime coverage of up to $25 million per incident.

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India Wants to ‘Eliminate’ the Use of Cryptocurrencies, Embraces the Blockchain

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India’s government has become the latest to say that it doesn’t consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender and that it will take measures to ‘eliminate’ the use of them.

Speaking to lawmakers today, Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, said in his budget speech that:

The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.

However, while he spoke out against the use of digital currencies such as bitcoin or ethereum, he did give praise to the blockchain, reports Bloomberg, adding:

The government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy.

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Fork Fail: US Government Institute Claims Bitcoin Cash Is ‘Original’ Bitcoin

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A US government institute has claimed Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the "original" Bitcoin while Bitcoin itself (BTC) is a "fork" in a surprising official research into cryptocurrency. In a document titled "Blockchain Technology Overview" from the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the US Department of Commerce, authors Dylan Yaga, Peter ...
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