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Founder Of Alibaba Thinks Blockchain Needs To Promote The Manufacturing Industry

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One of the most successful entrepreneurs, the co-founder and chairman of the $414 billion eCommerce conglomerate Alibaba, Jack Ma, is in the blockchain news lately – again for endorsing the technology and pointing out to many potential use cases.

According to Jack Ma, artificial intelligence, blockchain and Internet of Things are all essential and need to target the manufacturing industry. As he said at the World AI Conference 2018:

“AI, Blockchain and IoT will be meaningless tech unless they can promote the transformation of the manufacturing industry, and the evolution of the society towards a greener and more inclusive direction,”

The founder of Alibaba spoke about blockchain, even not directly, but for it as part of the three technologies which most major conglomerates consider to be the building blocks of the fourth industrial revolution.

Currently, the manufacturing industry in China is valued at $3.1 trillion, while the US and other major economies are operating in multi-trillion dollar manufacturing sectors as well. However, it is the machinery that drastically changed everywhere in recent years – which is why Ma hopes for blockchain as the best way to automate the use of robotics, eliminate manual errors and speed up the existing operations.

In terms of its scalability and mass adoption, however, blockchain technology is still in its infancy – as there are public peer-to-peer networks that are currently able to handle from 10 to 50 transactions per second.

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Blockchain News

Money On Mobile Wallets: Western Union Teams Up With Cross Borders Network

One of the leading names in the money exchange business, Western Union, seems to be part of the cryptocurrency news today for its recent partnership with a cross-border payments network so that its customers can take advantage of a new solution - mobile wallets. In other words, senders can now use Western Union's growing digital network or agent location to send funds in a recipient's mobile wallet, according to a press release shared on Finextra. The network that Western Union partnered with is named Thunes. The process is simple - customers can send funds into a recipient mobile wallet directly - all they need to do is go online or visit one of the many agent locations as they do to make traditional money transfers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxar2ByB0hA Long known as the place to make wire transfers and pay bills, Western Union has advanced in the world of fintech and finally went outside the brick-and-mortar business. According to the global head of Account Payout Network named Sobia Rahman, the company is continuously making improvements. As he stated:
"“We are continuously expanding and enhancing our account payout portfolio, providing customers with multiple payout options including bank accounts, cards or mobile wallets. Our goal is to make digital money transfer services more accessible, with a specific focus on enabling mobile transactions."
The collaboration with Thunes, according to Western Union, will help the company better serve the customers who lack access to traditional financial services. They will be connected to the alternative payment solutions such as the mobile wallets. https://twitter.com/samconnerone/status/1108414600050020354 The collaboration also includes Stellar as the platform of choice for Thunes - and the distributed and open-source blockchain platform that connects financial systems. According to Thunes, Stellar provides an instant clearing, settlement and execution platform. The CEO of Thunes, Steve Vickers, commented the partnership saying:
"Our payments platform seamlessly interconnects payment providers globally and enables interoperability between diverse payment systems. By utilizing our vast networks, Western Union customers will have more flexibility when sending money across borders."
The collaboration will obviously result in better financial access for consumers - especially ones lacking access to traditional financial services - by connecting them to alternative payment solutions such as mobile wallets that can help drive better financial inclusion on a global scale.
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Blockchain News

Latin E-Commerce Giant Mercado Livre Bans Cryptocurrency Ads On Their Website

Mercado Livre is the largest e-commerce firm in Latin America and according to official reports; the company has banned crypto advertisements on their website. Let’s find out more about this shocking news in our blockchain news below. The decision was revealed by the company in an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph em Portugues which was reported earlier on March 18th. The reveal in the interview comes after the company’s users filed reports after receiving emails containing information about the change in the e-commerce giant policies. The new policies demand from the users to remove their listings with digital currency or the listings will be automatically deleted from the platform from March 19. One of the users even got a letter that said:
"We would like to inform you that as of March 19, you will no longer be able to advertise used products in the following categories: - Cryptocurrencies - Prepaid cards for games Because you have ads for used products that will soon be banned, we recommend that you end them. Otherwise, they will be finalized on the date mentioned above. "
On the other hand, Mercado Livre stated:
"Mercado Livre clarifies that as of March 19, crypto ads that are active on the site in the ‘used’ condition will automatically be finalized and new ads can only be created as ‘new products’."
The E-commerce giant has surpassed another giant fairly known to the public-Amazon in Latin America. At the start of this month, the company reportedly made an agreement of about $750 million regarding to it as an investment via the sale of common stock by making payments to the PayPal network. Tech giants such as Google and Facebook have also implemented similar bans such as this one. In 2018 also in March, Google announced they will ban all of the crypto-related ads starting from June 2018. All of the products were affected and companies weren’t able to publish crypto-related ads on the browser not even as a third-party site on the network. In January this year, Google blacklisted multiple keywords that had the word Ethereum (ETH) mentioned in the ads platform. Google stated that the crypto exchanges who aim to be noticed in Japan or the United States could be advertised on the platform but other countries could be the reason for the ad rejection.
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Blockchain News

Further Delay For Bakkt’s Plans Because Of Regulator Approval

The plans of the highly-anticipated crypto platform Bakkt to store the Bitcoins of its customers from its BTC futures receive another delay because still not being able to get approval from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Today’s blockchain news come to our website after the Wall Street Journal published a report from anonymous sources. Back in August 2018, Bakkt was first announced and the platform revealed that its first product will be Bitcoin futures that are delivered physically every day and will be a subject to CFTC approval. Bakkt also stated that they plan to hold Bitcoin for their clients as a ‘’physical warehousing.’’ The CFTC told the platform back in February that if Bakkt wants to be a physical warehouse for their customers, they have to fulfill other conditions that are not required for other platforms. The CFTC also requires ‘’disclosures of the venture’s business plan and a public comment period, which would have further delayed approval.’’ Bakkt and the US regulator are not trying to find another way that will allow for the platform to handle the futures contracts in order to fulfill the requirements. According to the report, the regulator provided Bakkt with multiple options including making the company register as a trust company. However, this could take an even longer time. In the meantime, a Bakkt spokesperson stated:
 “We are working through the regulatory review process and are looking forward to updating the market soon.”
Bakkt was initially supposed to debut in November but there have been multiple delays because of the still not obtained approval from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission. The deadline has been pushed multiple times but the regulator commissioner Dan Berkovitz told in an interview that they are currently working hard on issuing approval for several crypto-related applications including the Bakkt platform. As previously reported by DC Forecasts, Bakkt earned a stunning $740 million valuation after successfully raising more than $180 million in funding for 2018. Also, Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said that he expects for the crypto platform Bakkt to launch later this year after he was asked during an earnings call.
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Blockchain News

American Prediction Market Startup Numerai (NMR) Raises $11 Million In An ICO

In the latest digital currency news, we are focusing on one American market startup and hedge fund named Numerai (NMR) and its recent initial coin offering (ICO) in which the startup managed to raise $11 million. The aim of the money raised was the launch of a new project named Erasure, according to the company's announcement on Twitter yesterday. Numerai was first launched in 2016 under the Numeraire network, which provides a blockchain and a cryptographic token-based ecosystem that incentivizes anonymous data scientists to create predictive models. It is based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and uses its tokens for trading in market predictions within the startup's platform. According to the founder of Numerai, Richard Craib, the funds from the recent ICO will mostly be spent on hiring and training new engineers for Erasure which is a decentralized unit of Numerai's marketplace. Speaking of, Erasure is scheduled to launch later in 2019. Once it is launched, it will allow users to sell their predictions to investment funds through a public network - and the peer-to-peer InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) - with the main aim of converting their crypto wallets to the Ethereum-based marketplace, according to Craib's statement. A partner named Joel Monegro has given a statement, explaining why his firm Placeholder wanted to invest through tokens and not equity. He said:
“The way we think of our investing in decentralized crypto networks is underwriting, capitalizing the network. … As more people come to buy and sell data from each other, the role of big financial investors like ourselves diminishes over time. Then we can gradually begin to exit our position as the network becomes self-sustaining.”
Monegro also said that Erasure will take the complete Numerai idea to development - in its own fund that will crowdsource insights incentivized by token rewards and in that manner use it to “break open the investment market.” Led by VC and private equity firm Placeholder, the ICO round also included the crypto investment company Paradigm that was founded by Coinbase's co-founder Fred Ehrsam. After the news went live, the price of the Nomeraire token surged by 19% and is now trading at $5.77 at press time, according to new data from CoinMarketCap. The token is currently available on five markets including Bittrex, UPbit, Poloniex, DDEX, and IDEX. The total market capitalization at the moment is $7.7 million.
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