Billion-dollar unregulated gaming industry to embrace blockchain. There is a new “currency” in gaming industry so-called skins. While spending real money on virtual items and skins isn’t new, the new trend is using those skins like money themselves. People trade one skin for another or use them as a substitute for currency when placing bets on e-sports events. There is a huge black market of game skins. The annual turnover of skins reaches billions of dollars, about $5 billion in 2016 as Eilers & Krejcik Gaming research shows. According to the CoinIdol article, blockchain is capable of ensuring better protection of user assets. Two recent video games, namely Spells of Genesis and Beyond the Void, have embraced blockchain and tokenized their in-game assets.
The People's Bank of China (PBoC) has opened its new cryptocurrency research lab. According to the CoinDesk release, Yao Qian, the former deputy director of PBoC's technology department, will serve as director of the newly formed facility. Research institute has seven divisions with research interests including blockchain and fintech. A recruitment notice issued by the central bank in November revealed that the PBoC is actively developing prototypes related to blockchain-backed digital currency.
QuickBooks integration to Veem will cut operation costs in accounting. According to accountingweb, Global payments provider Veem has a new integration with QuickBooks Online to help users and accounting professionals streamline the process of making international payments. The integration will allow users to automatically sync vendor bills in QuickBooks for international wire transfers, saving time and money while enabling users to maintain supplier relationships and focus on growing their businesses. Veem’s QuickBooks Online integration is available now and free to use for current Veem customers.
Barclays will integrate the cryptocurrency into the banking system. According to CNBC, the British bank Barclays has met with Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and local financial companies to talk about how to make bitcoin safe so cryptocurrency could be implemented into into the banking system. Experts from traditional financial circles believe that the integration can take quite a long time, as cryptocurrencies are often used for illegal purposes. Nevertheless, Barclays in recent years have been increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
ID-card based on blockchain. The city of Zug in Switzerland has recently announced a new option – blockchain-based identity registration for all residents. According to coinidol.com, Zug, known as Crypto-valley, is now often compared to Silicon Valley, as it is home to many crypto-related companies. Zug provides an opportunity for all citizens to get digital identification, based on the Ethereum blockchain system. Residents can register their identity by themselves using a special app that secures personal information using blockchain technology and associates it with a crypto address.
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Global correction of cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency market correction began on the 8th of July and in recent days the vast majority of cryptocurrencies continued the downward trend. According to the coinmarketcap website, all top-10 in marketcap cryptocurrencies have undergone a correction. Bitcoin in comparison to others, faced the smallest correction, what confirms once again its relatively low volatility. The cut in prices of most crypto assets has returned the marketcap values to the spring’s rates of this year. Pavel Kravchenko, the founder of the blockchain company Distributed Lab, explained regarding the decreased capitalization that it can be a result of mass withdrawal of funds earned on ICOs. Koles Coin experts expect the situation to stabilize within two weeks.
IT giant IBM is developing a financial blockchain platform for Europe's seven largest banks. The Digital Trade Chain Consortium includes: Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit. According to ibtimes.co.uk, the blockchain-based trade finance is focused on small and medium enterprises. It is designed to simplify and facilitate domestic and cross-border trade in Europe, and to increase overall trade transaction transparency. The new solution is developed on the basis of Hyperledger Fabric technology and will be available on the IBM Cloud platform. The launch of the new platform is expected at the end of this year.
The University of Sydney has recently introduced a new blockchain-based system that can perform more than 440,000 (four hundred forty thousand) transactions per second. According to CoinIdol, the system was named after one of Australia's most deadly snakes – red belly. According to academic Dr. Vincent Gramoli, who heads up the Concurrent Systems Research Group developing the blockchain has a game-changing potential for the industry of financial transfers. “Red Belly” may help to solve one of the major weaknesses of the bitcoin blockchain performance.
Colombia caught the attention of the cryptocurrency community in late 2016 when reports began appearing that the country had outlawed digital currency. Jorge Castaño Gutiérrez, Head of the Financial Superintendency of Colombia restated that Colombia does not recognize cryptocurrency as a legal form of monetary exchange and users should be skeptical of online services guaranteeing profits. However, this does not mean that they’re illegal in Colombia. It is only safe to say that Colombia has left digital currency regulation wide open.