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MasterCard Wins Patent For A Blockchain-Based Coupon Authentication System

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Big news comes from the offices of Mastercard. The financial services giant has recently won a patent for a system that uses blockchain technology in order to authenticate coupons. The patent is granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 31st and outlines a whole new way for merchants to minimize coupon fraud and issue targeted discounts to specific customers.

How Will Blockchain Based Coupon Authentication System Work?

The system will work in a simple way. An individual will be assigned a blockchain address, whose credentials will be stored in a payment instrument such as a credit card or a digital wallet application. Every time the user attempts to redeem a certain coupon, the POS (point-of-sale) device will interface with the private blockchain network, verifying that there is authorization and that the customer can receive the discount.

The system will also automatically transfer the coupon out of the customer’s wallet and forward it into a “burn address” (an address associated with validated coupons) preventing the coupon from being used again.

Aside from tackling coupon fraud, this system according to Mastercard, will benefit consumers as well because it would eventually provide businesses with the ability to issue valuable coupons where discounts could not be counterfeited or redeemed by people who don’t have access to these.

The CEO of Mastercard, Ajay Banga, recently said that the company will support government-created cryptocurrencies if they are developed in the future. However, he was confident that “non-government mandated currencies are junk”.

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Blockchain News

Electroneum Startup Launches New Services In Turkey

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The Electroneum startup which enables the users to mine their own cryptocurrency on their smartphones is now expanding into the Turkish market by providing services in the country as we are about to see in the blockchain news today.The latest reports show that more than 20 percent of the population in Turkey claims to own cryptocurrency and is currently number one in crypto adoption. This is good news for the Electroneum startup since it is expected to make deals with three of the country’s telecom operators to enable the users to pay for airtime with its native cryptocurrency ETN according to the CEO Richard Ells:
"The whole concept of the airtime thing was to give people an understanding that cryptocurrency has value. In Turkey, you have 20 percent ownership of crypto, but that’s still the richest 20 percent. It isn’t the poorest people who are using cryptocurrency.”
The service that was launched in Turkey last month is now available in Brazil and South Africa. Ells said that Electroneum is using the mobile top-ups to combat the negative attitude that prevails to cryptocurrencies. The research shows that there are more than 25 million unbanked people in Turkey which makes it a very fertile ground for the top-up service. In the next few weeks, the company also plans to launch a new platform that will allow the users to learn share and monetize their digital skills using the ETN  as payment with zero fees. Ells explained that the new platform ‘’AnyTasks’’ will allow for payment by traditional methods such as credit cards and then the remittance takes place in ETN so each person that is unbanked can still be able to sell their digital skills. He added that Turkey’s 3.6 million refugees can also benefit from the new platform which is cost-free:
 “There’s a great need for something of value that’s easily transferable, and easy to store and carry, especially for refugees. It’s a really interesting place for us to be.”
Together with the Non-governmental organizations, the Electroneum startup will set up a complementary platform called the Task School which will contain tutorials on how to get things done on a mobile phone from stop-frame animations and creating animated videos within social media content. Electroneum has strong links to NGOs who have become validators of the native proof-of-responsibility network.
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Blockchain Master’s Degree Now Available In Schools In Malta

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Blockchain master’s degree is now available at the University of Malta where more than 35 students have already enrolled in the program. Let’s check out the study guide in the blockchain latest news today.The ‘’Blockchain Island’’ has now a government authority to certify the distributed ledger platforms and regulations to manage smart contracts including a framework for launching ICOs. The University of Malta is now offering a Blockchain Master’s degree and Distributed Ledger Technology course which began its inaugural semester this October with more than 35 students enrolling in the island’s nation only DLT-specific program which offers these programs as a part of the very few countries which offer the same. This is one of the latest changes in the Malta education system by including blockchain degrees which marks the effort keeping the title as one of the best places for blockchain technology development in the world.The lawmakers in the country started passing blockchain-friendly laws and many high-end industry players such as Binance and OKEx moved their headquarters to the island. In less than one-year crypto companies started moving ashore and more businesses joined later. The master’s program director Joshua Ellul who also heads the Digital Innovation Authority of the country explained that in addition to the 15 companies who have already reached out to the DLT students, there is also a high demand for the government-run blockchain projects, initiatives, and contracts.Last year, the Maltese government granted 300,000 EUR to fund program scholarships. The course will train the students in blockchain law and regulation, finance and blockchain but also information and communications technology. The students will listen to the program for three full semesters and will gain exposure to two other fields. Ellul explained that the academic diversity prioritizes a broad base of knowledge and the Blockchain professionals were also experts in the sector of the industry but very few can tie the other strands together. He explained:
 “We noticed a huge problem between techies and lawyers and business professionals. There was a communication disconnect between us. We thought: ‘this would be the perfect place to have a master’s, one serving the multidisciplinary purposes of the different specializations.''
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HTC Launches First Phone That Runs A Full BTC Node-Exodus 1S

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The Taiwanese electronics giant HTC launches a new smartphone Exodus 1S which makes it possible for its users to run a full Bitcoin node on the mobile. In the blockchain news today we dive in deeper to find out more about the new phone’s features.In line with the previous announcement made on May 2019, HTC launches the Exodus 1S smartphone at the Lightning Conference in Berlin on October 19 and also started selling the first device during the event with the help of the Lightning payment network according to the press release from the company. The latest HTC Exodus 1S smartphone is a lower-cost version of the first HTC blockchain-powered phone Exodus 1 and also recently added support of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). It is currently priced at $233 and also the new device is available to buy using Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Binance Coin (BNB) according to the company’s press release. Apart from featuring send, receive, buy and sell options, HTC offered to lend and borrow options that also claim that the Exodus 1S is the first smartphone that is capable of running a full Bitcoin node.The product will be available at first for the users in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and the UAE while other regions such as Germany and Switzerland will see launches later during the year as the company noted. The Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC Phil Chen, stated that the full nodes are one of the ‘’ most important ingredients in the resilience of the Bitcoin network’’ outlining that by launching the Exodus 1S the company has lowered the entry barrier so every person can run a full node and participate in the global network. Exodus 1 on the other hand, was the first blockchain-powered phone and its launch was announced for a presale in October 2018 and was instantly available in 34 regions including UK, US, and Hong Kong. In the middle of September, the decentralized offline crypto sales company PundiX introduced the blok on Blok blockchain smartphone at the IFA trade show also in Berlin. A while later, the South Korean electronics giant LG announced that they will also develop a blockchain smartphone in response to Samsung’s Klaytin blockchain phone.
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Blockchain Scaling: What Does ‘Vertical’ And ‘Horizontal’ Mean?

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In today's blockchain news, we are focusing on the topic of blockchain scaling - and explaining what is vertical and horizontal scaling. We will cover a lot of the questions concerned with this topic and help you understand it thoroughly.

What is vertical and horizontal blockchain scaling?

In the blockchain scaling world, vertical blockchain scaling refers to the expansion of a network by adding more power and memory to a system and its core processing unit. On the other hand, horizontal scaling involves the addition of more nodes (ex. machines) to the framework of an existing system.When dealing with the topic of scalability, it is important to note that the concept is invoke when someone is looking to increase the transaction capacity of a specific platform.

Does scaling work well with blockchains?

The best way blockchain scaling works is with traditional databases. From a security standpoint, however, scalable blockchains are way more useful and pragmatic. Still, there is a trade-off involved.Since blockchain systems are already distributed networks, it is difficult to increase a network and its overall throughput by simply adding more hardware entities such as miners, nodes or validators.

How is scaling done?

Vertical scaling happens when the efficiency of each individual transaction is improved. Horizontal scaling, on the other hand, is achieved through increasing the platform and its overall throughput capacity.General blockchain scaling improvements are made through the use of a concept known as "layering" where each individual component of a particular system is made to interact with the digital counterparts in some way of sequential and hierarchical way.

When should one use horizontal or vertical scaling?

Pure vertical scaling is limited when it comes to its effectiveness - but it is relatively easier to achieve. Horizontal blockchain scaling is typically used to improve the overall throughput of a system that takes longer to develop.So, for example, if there is an issue with the virtual machine and its local memory not being sufficient to process all of the incoming transaction, a vertical scale might help and fix the problem. On the other hand, if an incoming transaction load cannot be handled by a platform and its existing hardware, employing a horizontal scale will help one rectify the issue.
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