Modern, digitized and smart city. Alibaba Group made an announcement regarding the plan of building a smart city in Xiongan New Area, China. "Our goal is not to do business in Xiongan, but with the help of our technological capabilities and innovative resources to create a city of the future that will become a prototype, a model for all Chinese cities," said Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba. In the city planning to install, for example, smart metering, intelligent parking, and cashier-less supermarkets. It is expected that the blockchain technology will be used in the sphere of services, government institutions and private companies, due to which Xiongan will become the digital city of the future.
A new achievement of bitcoin. According to the report of Bloomberg and Google Trends, ‘’buy bitcoin’’ beats ‘’buy gold’’ phrase on Google searches. Adrian Ash, director of research for the online trading platform BullionVault, said: "Against the backdrop of the American market, which beats one record after another, it's no surprise that gold is losing ground." Experts note that the rate of bitcoin increased in 2017 grew by more than six times, while the price of precious metal increased by only 11%.
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Renewable energy for mining. Tokyo based Miner Garage is planning to open the first clean energy based mining center in Kazuno, thanks to these natural resources that made mining possible in Japan. In Kazuno, a Japanese city located in Akita Prefecture, where has a fairly low average annual temperature and heavy snowfall in winter. The city is famous for using natural resources for clean energy, this is what attracted the attention of the miners. According to Takuya Omata, CEO of Miner Garage: "Initially, 600 computers will be installed in the Mining Center. It is expected that they will be mining about 10 kinds of crypto-currency."
Bitcoin, blockchain-based digital currency. It was created in 31st October 2008, as "a new system of electronic money, which is completely based on the principle of p2p without the involvement of a third party’’. Over the years, this currency has gained considerable popularity, now it is used by more than three million people around the world, and the bitcoin rate is already over $7,000. Thus, the price for this currency since 2017 has already risen by 534.61%. Experts and analysts predict that this is not the last achievement of the currency and already in the next 5-7 years, bitcoin will use up to 200 million people, and its market capitalization is more than $100 bln.
Tim Draper, American venture capital investor said that in a near future, fiat currencies will be unnecessary. He mentioned that fiat money has many limitations, so there is a significant drop in the value of the national currency outside of its country. Draper said; ‘’in five years if you try to use fiat currency, people will laugh at you because cryptocurrencies will be relevant and will be no reason to have fiat ones.’’
SegWit2x, which has been planned on mid-November has cancelled. The developers note that at the moment it was not possible to reach a consensus on increasing the size of bitcoin and further work in this direction could split the bitcoin community, and this was never the goal of SegWit2x. The purpose of the fork was to increase the block size to 2 MB and improve the scalability of bitcoin. Recall that some representatives of the cryptoworld expressed the opinion, that SegWit2x is a risky technology and gives miners and commercial organizations too much influence. There were also those who supported hard fork, noting that competitors earn on idle bitcoin. Adherents of the hard fork implementation, BitPico miners stated: "We will forge anyway, because everything is set in motion." They claim, that they have all the possibilities for this, owning thirty percent of the total bitcoin network capacity.
Arnhem, a city located in the eastern part of the Netherlands is increasingly attracting the attention of bitcoin admirers. In 2014, a project was launched to transform the structure of the city into a comfortable place for bitcoin work. Now in Arnhem most of the establishments use the cryptocurrency; from fuel oil stations to restaurants, from bookstores to hotels. In many shops and restaurants of the city, establishments make discounts for customers who pay with bitcoin. Residents of Arnhem say that the advantage of this payment method is the speed of payment and the absence of intermediaries. It is planned that the number of places where possible to pay with bitcoin will increase in the future.
European Central Bank (ECB) does not ignore cryptocurrencies. Benoît Cœuré (Bönua Köğe), the central bank’s executive board member, explained that the ECB closely follows the development of the cryptocurrency, because some countries are now moving from using physical accounts and coins to creating their own cryptocurrency, so the ECB can not ignore its spread. Cœuré also noted that he does not think the widespread use of the cryptocurrency is the risk for the existence of banks or the traditional currency, Euro.
Improvement of banking work with the help of blocking. One of the largest banks in Thailand, the Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), in conjunction with IBM Cloud Garage, launched a pilot project based on blockchain technology. The partnership aims to accelerate the work with contact databases, which is designed to increase the transparency and security of data storage, accelerate the transaction, improve the efficiency and quality of customer service institutions. Voranuch Dejakaisaya, responsible for information and operations at Krungsri Bank said, during the past year they started pilot test work and the results were quite satisfactory.