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Calgary Becomes The First Canadian City To Launch Local Digital Currency

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The Canadian city of Calgary makes headlines today in our digital currency news for becoming the first city to launch a local digital currency in order to boost the local economy.

The new digital currency is known as the Calgary Digital Dollar and it will be used only in the city of Calgary in the Alberta Province. The digital currency will operate alongside the federal currency. The launch was initiated by the finance minister of Alberta, Joe Ceci.

Issuing a digital currency is actually an initiative of the city itself but also from small business, enterprises and non-profit organizations. Now, businesses in the city are required to accept 10 % at least of the payment in digital currency.

Joe Ceci expressed his hopes that the digital currency will boost local businesses by saying:

 “I don’t mind seeing things happen locally and people making money. It’s a lot of fun to meet people and barter and exchange. The Alberta government supports the work of Calgary Dollars in every way.”

The Calgary Digital Dollar can’t be cashed out or purchased as regular cryptocurrencies instead users can earn it by taking surveys or referring new users. The Calgary Digital Dollar can be obtained by posting ads on the Calgary Dollar website or via an app. This way users will get the digital currency as a reward which can later be used as a way to pay for your bus ticket, groceries, and other services.

This isn’t the first initiative in the world. Earlier this year in South Africa’s Orania community a similar digital currency was launched known as the E-Ora which is pegged to the South African Rand. The digital currency is issued by the Orania Chamber of Commerce.

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Blockchain News

16% Of The Biggest Crypto Exchanges Got Rated A Or A-

According to the latest Exchange Security Report conducted by the ICORating analysts, 16% of all the major crypto exchanges in the world got rated with A or A- but surprisingly enough neither of them got rated A+. Let’s find out why in the latest blockchain news below. The report shows that Kraken and Robinhood were rated A, and Poloniex was rated A- as top three most secure trading platforms worldwide. More than 135 crypto trading platforms were assessed which their daily trade value exceeds $100,000. They were rated for registrar and domain security, web security, DoS attack protection, and user account security. More than 50 percent of the exchanges got rated with B+ or B- and the remaining with C- or C+. There was not a single exchange that got A+. All of the categories were divided into sub-categories for more transparency. For example, for the user security category, password security and two-factor authentication were assessed where only 22 percent met all the criteria. For domain and registrar security, the sub-categories consisted of six-month expiration window for the high-profile domains and only 3 percent satisfied the criteria. All of the exchanges turned out to be protected from MITM attacks and Heartbleed attacks and 37 percent of the exchanges were found to be using HSTS header. ICORating’s data shows that Coinbase PRO has A- rating on number nine, BitMEX on the fourth position with A- and HitBTC ranking 13th with A-. On the other hand, Binance which is the world’s largest exchange by daily trade volumes was ranked 34th with B+ and Gemini was ranked 84th with B-.
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Blockchain News

New Crypto Wave Will Focus On Stablecoins: Swiss BTC Association Board Member

Luzius Meisser, the board member of the Bitcoin Association of Switzerland believes that the next innovation wave in crypto will focus on stablecoins and security tokens so we decided to found out more in our blockchain news today. Meisser is actually a computer scientist and economist but also a co-founder of the Bitcoin Association in Switzerland back in 2013 but more importantly, he plays a huge role in the local crypto industry where he is a member of the board of directors of brokerage company Bitcoin Suisse AG. When he was asked how what is his long-term opinion on crypto, he pointed out that initial coin offerings should undergo a massive change with the protection of the investors becoming more tangible. He also predicted that security tokens should be up for a stricter regulated wave:
 “I would say payment and utility tokens are more or less over, sometimes they make sense.”
Talking about stablecoins, he explained that their decentralized mechanism is what makes sure that they are legally considered to be payment tokens rather than securities:
 “Stablecoins are a precondition to enable average companies to bring their equity onto the blockchain, because if they issue bonds or shares they want to do so against U.S. dollars, euros or Swiss francs, because those are the currencies they calculate in, not Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).”
Meisser also pointed out that the banks in Switzerland still don’t attempt to try crypto but local startups do use them as a way to avoid banking difficulties in the country.
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Blockchain News

Bitfury Enters Music Industry With Blockchain-Based Open Source Platform Launch

The blockchain and Bitcoin mining giant Bitfury recently announced the launch of a dedicated venture that will open-source the music industry in a official crypto press release on January 16th. The spin-off, which is dubbed Bitfury Surround, will focus on tackling the complex and often unfairly proportioned flows of revenue between the artists, fans and middlemen using the blockchain technology. As the post explains:
“The Surround platform will enable the entire music entertainment industry to streamline operations through secure transfer of copyright assets, streamlined connectivity as well as better monitoring and management systems."
The launch of this new service marks the expansion of Bitfury onto various aspects beyond mining. Within the ecosystem, this week also saw the company bringing off-chain payments through the Lightning Network (LN) to their first exchange environment thanks to a partnership with Poland's BTCBIT. As the CEO of Bitfury commented about the Surround project:
"The music entertainment industry has evolved into a complex, competitive, technology-driven environment that suffers from a severe lack of transparency.We want to champion artists and help incentivize the growth of the entire industry through the creation of this open, blockchain-based ecosystem."
There are many blockchain entities which are tackling the music industry transparency for several years, with ideas such as blockchain-based streaming service being revealed in 2018.
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Blockchain News

HSBC And Its Blockchain-Based Transactions Surpassed $250 Billion In 2018

A new crypto press release is in the latest headlines on our DC Forecasts crypto news site. In it, the Financial Times quotes HSBC, one of the largest banking institutions in the world by total assets, reporting $250 billion in settled transactions in the past year using the blockchain technology. As the press release outlined, during the last calendar year, HSBC settled over 3 million blockchain-based foreign exchange transactions. All of them were processed through the blockchain platform "FX Everywhere" in which the bank says that it has processed 150,000 payments since the platform launched in February 2018. At the time, the financial services group used the technology to issue a letter of credit to agriculture firm Cargill, which covered the transportation of produce from Argentina to Malaysia and issued by the Netherlands financier ING. FX Everywhere is a platform that helps with “orchestrating payments across HSBC’s internal balance sheets,” while the reports suggest that it saw heavy adoption over the last year. The company also revealed that the settlements were made easier thanks to this blockchain-based platform. Meanwhile, this is not the first attempt by HSBC to explore applications of blockchain technology over the past year. Last year, it partnered with Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and other banks in order to finance a blockchain trade finance platform.
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