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Blockchain News

Indian Bank Taps Ripple (RippleNet) For Instant International Remittance



Kotak Mahindra is the name of one major private bank in India which was the latest financial institution that joined RippleNet, which is Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network. The move was made in order to enable inward remittances.

The announcement came in a PDF version where Kotak Mahindra Bank revealed that it will use the San Francisco-based Ripple’s blockchain technology in order to power inward international remittances in India. Meanwhile, it is also important to mention that India is the largest remittance receiver in the world.

Kotak (the bank) will use the Ripple blockchain software named xCurrent in order to enable end-to-end tracking of instant payments and settlements over RippleNet which is the company’s enterprise blockchain network.

The blockchain solution, however, will not use Ripple’s token cryptocurrency – which is powering a separate product within the xRapid platform.

Kotak’s plans are to reduce the average time to settle international money transfers down to minutes – instead of the several days as seen currently. The chief digital officer at Kotak Mahindra, Deepak Sharma, stated the following:

“xCurrent ticks all the boxes and enables us to offer our customers a more transparent and efficient global payments service using blockchain. Joining RippleNet also expands our payment network globally by allowing us to connect with other members.”

The bank is among the largest private banks in India, joining the private lenders Axis Bank and IndusInd as members of RippleNet, which is a network that comprises of more than 100 financial institutions including banks, payment providers, remittance operators and even one central bank.


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Blockchain News

The City Of Graz Opens A Cancer Research Laboratory That Will Use Smart Contracts On The Blockchain

In the blockchain news of today, the city of Graz and the government of Austria expressed their support to a UK cancer research company that will use the blockchain technology to detect cancer cells. The government wanted for a long time, to promote the blockchain technology and this was the perfect opportunity according to a press release released on Cointelegraph. Lancor Scientific has already created a device that can detect different cancer types and record screening results with smart contracts and they will soon open a laboratory in Graz. The cancer screening tool was first introduced in October and the tool is using artificial intelligence with 90 percent accuracy. Lancor will work with Austrian universities including the Technical University of Graz and the Medical University of Graz. Also, the Austrian minister of foreign affairs Margarete Schramböck noted that the interest in the blockchain technology is growing immensely in the country. She added:
 “Blockchain is definitely one of the new important technologies. In addition to Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition, it is one of the big issues we want to highlight in the coming period of the EU Presidency.”
The Austrian government will provide Lancor with grants over a 5-year period for research equipment, clinical trials, facilities and more. Graz is not the only city in Austria with high blockchain interest. Vienna, the capital, is trying to stimulate blockchain innovation by opening a cryptocurrency bank last year. The country, in general, is open to negotiations regarding crypto legislation. The government also issued $1.35 billion in bonds on the Ethereum blockchain in September 2018.
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Blockchain News

DLT Use Cases: IBM Files A New Patent Application For Open Scientific Research On The Blockchain

IBM is in the crypto news again for filing a patent application after evidencing that the use cases for distributed ledger technology are constantly growing. The goal of this tech giant is to create a system in which the blockchain will represent a form of the experiment consisted of individual blocks that will contain the research data, results, and analysis. Also, the blocks will contain all the post-data analysis with an option to review the effect of the modifications. IBM filed the patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office right before 2017 ended but also when IBM filed a blockchain patent with augmented reality and focused on gaming. The decision is a result of the lack of transparency for data collection according to the scientific research community and blockchain seems to be the cure for this disease. The blockchain might also solve problems related to information protection and unauthorized modifications as well. What is most interesting is that IBM is not the only company that wants to bring changes in this sector. However, other companies delivered ideas that fell short in addressing what the most important elements are surrounding the privacy, confidentiality, and accessibility. On the contrary of the many solutions provided, IBM’s solution focuses on a nimble computing environment for conducting experiments on the blockchain. The company describes a ‘’first block of research data and the second block of analysis data’’ all that representing an analysis performed on the research data. In general, the technology wants to accelerate the scientific research process by allowing researches to use more tools to help them analyze and make conclusions which will lead to a more efficient and successful experiment or research.
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Blockchain News

UK Research Shows That Private Blockchains And New EU Privacy Rules Might Go Well Together

According to a study conducted by the Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge in the UK, private blockchains have a great chance in being compatible with the new EU privacy policies, so it’s no wonder that this information is in the latest blockchain news today. The General Data Protection Regulation act that regulates how personal data is stored for people within the European Union is now in effect since May this year. According to the GDPR act, data controllers are obliged to respect all citizens’ rights in terms of keeping their private information. If a certain controller doesn’t obey the law, the fines vary from 20 million Euros or 4% of global revenues. According to the study, all crypto-related technologies could go under the rules contained in the GDPR since they publicly store private information about the citizens who live in the European Union thus:
 “There is a risk that this legal uncertainty will have a chilling effect on innovation, at least in the EU and potentially more broadly. For example, if all nodes and miners of a platform were to be deemed joint controllers, they would have joint and several liability, with potential penalties under the GDPR.”
However, blockchain operators could be treated like processors the same way the companies behind cloud technologies control the users’ data. Blockchain networks could store personal data externally to meet the rules of the privacy laws or allow nodes to delete the private key that has encrypted information. GDPR rules are really hard to comply with especially for crypto mining businesses which are why the researches urge the European Data Protection Board to create a guide of the protection law that will be clearer.
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Blockchain News

Maduro: You Can Trade Petro To Other Crypto Assets Only If You Have Bought It In 2018

As an update to the most controversial Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro, in today’s crypto news, we find out that the Petro cryptocurrency can only be traded to other crypto assets only if users have bought it by the end of 2018. According to the translated speech of the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, you can read that:
 “Anyone who buys the Petro until Dec 31 will be able to convert it into any other digital currency.”
In the past 12 months, Venezuela suffered extreme hyperinflation, therefore, the national currency of the country, the Bolivar, is basically worthless. Many citizens in the country are incapable of buying necessary things such as food and medicine since the Bolivar lost its value. According to a report from BBC:
 “A 2.4kg chicken has been costing 14,600,000 bolivars (equivalent to $2.22, or £1.74) in the capital, Caracas. Last Thursday, a toilet roll cost 2,600,000 bolivars. And a kilogram of meat cost 9,500,000 bolivars.’’
In order to change this terrible economic situation, the president Maduro created Petro that is supposed to represent the oil reserves of the country and become the new national currency. However, there are many issues with the cryptocurrency and some experts deny calling it a cryptocurrency. According to the official whitepaper, Venezuela guarantees that Petro will be accepted as a method of payment of national fees, taxes, and public services. The government also claimed that they raised more than $1 billion from the token sale of Petro. A few months later that number changed to $5 billion in the token sale. Experts believe that the government cannot have control over cryptocurrencies such as Petro and that is exactly why Petro is doomed to fail.
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