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Blockchain News

Audius: The Blockchain-Based Music Startup That Just Got Funded ($5.5 Million)

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Meet Audius – a community-owned music sharing platform that is planning to change the world, one blockchain at a time.

After announcing its platform which is now described as ‘the blockchain’s answer to Soundcloud’, Audius got funded in its Series A – with $5.5 million as it launches the first ever blockchain-based music sharing protocol.

The announcement revealed that the funding round was led by General Catalyst and Lightspeed, with Pantera Capital, 122West, Ascolta Ventures and Kleiner Perkins all being part of the funding.

The best way to understand Audius is through their own description, in which they state that the platform is ” blockchain-based alternative to SoundCloud to help artists connect directly with fans and monetize their work.”

The developers said that its protocol exists in perpetuity and is owned and controlled by a decentralized community of artists, music lovers as well as developers. As such, the platform is planning to disrupt the traditional music-sharing service model which many criticize for its lack of artist control and transparency.

The founder of Audius, Ranidu Lankage, is a Sri Lankan pop artist known for going platinum at 19 with the hit ‘Oba Magemai’ that brought a new age of Sinhalese pop music. There are many other artists which praise Audius’ new platform. One of them is 3LAU, an artist who is famous for his cryptocurrency knowledge and music.

3LAU shared his thoughts on Audius, stating:

“Artists need decentralized models for music sharing, and a stake in the platforms they contribute content to. Blockchain allows Audius to do this with tokens and decentralized voting-based governance so artists have a say in how the platform evolves. It’s a very elegant model and one which, as an artist, I find immensely attractive.”

This makes Audius the perfect solution for every artist who wants to connect directly with fans and distribute content to them without the involvement of a middleman. Just like SoundCloud, Audius has all the features of the building, nurturing and engaging with fans – only with the blockchain added – which preserves the artist’s account with no risk of a third party shutdown.

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Blockchain News

CTO Of IBM Advises US Congressman To ‘Get Government-Ready’ For Blockchain

The blockchain news category is recently booming on our crypto news site. Aside from the blockchain events and our full coverage on each and every one of them, the recent news is focused on a statement given by the CTO of IBM, who recently advised one US Congressman to move forward with the blockchain adoption.In a report that is titled "The Impact of Blockchain for Government: Insights on Identity, Payments, and Supply Chain" and made in collaboration with the US Congressional Blockchain Caucus, there is a series of roundtable discussions between the US Representatives Jared Polis (author of "The Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act" which proposes to abolish the crypto taxes below $600), Thomas Hardjono, who is the technical director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as Jerry Cuomo, the Vice President for blockchain technology and CTO of IBM.During the three meetings that IBM held along with MIT and members of the Congress, discussing the need for government funding of blockchain innovation and regulatory sandboxes. In that, the state would also be able to test different solutions before they are brought to the market.The US Representative Polis, stated that the state has only begun to see the real "promise of blockchain technology", which according to him, exceeds cryptocurrencies and tokens. He also stressed the importance of creating a legal framework for innovation and blockchain implementation.As we reported earlier this week, the US Congressman and Blockchain Caucus member Tom Emmer recently announced that he would introduce three bills to support the development of the blockchain technology as well as cryptocurrencies - and with that establish a safe harbor for taxpayers with "forked" digital assets.
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Blockchain News

Malaysia’s Three Largest Industries Are Tapping Blockchain Technology

The government of Malaysia is in the latest blockchain news, this time for allegedly tapping Bitcoin for its three largest industries: palm oil, Islamic finance and renewable energy.A new task force established by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) has been initiating the move to adopt blockchain in each one of these industries. The main aim is to increase the sustainability, transparency as well as logistical efficiency, as the report published last week stated.MIGHT holds talks with energy companies in order to evaluate the ways in which they could using the blockchain to increase the renewable energy adoption. The transparent nature of the system means that they must declare how the electricity was generated for buyers to scrutinize.The new blockchain adoption will allow buyers to choose to buy green or renewable energy only - whether from private owners (of solar panels) with excess energy or energy companies. The process, according to MIGHT, will be more efficient than sending energy over longer distances from non-local power stations.Meanwhile, the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), which is Malaysia's sole provider of utilities, has looked into blockchain solutions and the General Manager of Innovations said that the company has been holding workshops to identify use cases and discuss adoption with the business owners.  
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Bitcoin News

Crypto Exchange Giant Gemini To Arrive In The UK

In the past several years, the exchange market in Europe wasn’t really as big and diverse as the one in the United States or Japan because of regulation, liquidity, and infrastructure. But, in today’s news, we find out that this is about to change.The major US-based crypto exchange Gemini is in a negotiating process to expand into the European market.Gemini stated:
 “Gemini continues to explore potential jurisdictions around the globe to provide a best-in-class digital asset exchange and custodian which will enable growth and infrastructure to the entire digital asset community. Although we have no immediate plans, we will always evaluate opportunities that allow the global economy to buy, sell, and store digital assets in a regulated, secure and compliant manner.”
Gemini is a very popular exchange that managed to build its reputation throughout the years. It’s now fully compliant with all federal regulations and they are even working harder to establish a better governance and regulation so the entire crypto exchange market will be improved.At the start of the summer this year, Gemini integrated Zcash because of its anonymity features so they can use it in broader aspects of the financial market. With listing Zcash on their platform, they showed the cooperation with regulators while integrating anonymous cryptocurrencies because they were at one point in time, considered to be money laundering tools.This expansion into the UK is very important for the European crypto market because there are no alternative crypto exchanges that handle crypto-to-pound trades apart Coinbase. Coinbase on the other hand, just recently obtained an e-money license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority so Gemini will also have to file for one.
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Blockchain News

Raiffeisen Bank Branch Issues Mortgage Using Blockchain Platform

A branch of the Raiffeisen Bank International in Russia is said to have issued an electronic mortgage via local blockchain Masterchain according to a news report on September 24.In the document where all the information about the parties in the transaction is contained, there’s also the type of property that was purchased and also the credit loan and the duration is published in a decentralized depositary system. This system is based on a Russian network named Masterchain that can transfer valuable data via blockchain. This project has been developing since 2016 by a group of local banks led by the Central Bank of Russia.The director of the IT department for Raiffeisen said that the document that is verified with an electronic signature is sent to the Russian state agency that is in charge of collecting data about real estate. After this process is finished, the mortgage token is moved to the file storage which is basically the Raiffeisen Bank. This is the first kind of e-mortgage in Russia as the director notes.He also believes that if the country is connected to the platform It might just accelerate the process of getting all the needed data on mortgage and making a deal without third parties. Further negotiations are being pushed so other banks can join in as well. The next step for this bank would be to use blockchain to purchase contracts and similar real estate transactions. There are two more Russian banks according to Kommersant that want to be involved in this process and are planning on issuing e-mortgages by the end of 2018.The blockchain technology has already been tested for real estate business in the Netherlands. This is why other major Russian banks have expressed their interest in blockchain and for this reason, the Central Bank of Russia has already held a successful ICO test in order to create a draft of a possible crypto regulation.
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