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Blockchain News

JPMorgan Exec: ‘Watch Out Wall Street, Blockchain Is Coming’

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In the latest blockchain news, the former JPMorgan head of commodities Blythe Masters stirred up the waters while speaking at the London Metal Exchange annual dinner – pointing out to blockchain and its increasing abilities in the commodity markets.

As the blockchain innovator said, blockchain introduces heightened confidentiality, reduces paper waste and improves the overall provenance and productivity. Masters became a managing director at JPMorgan at the age of 28, to later become the head of global commodities. She is widely credited for creating a credit derivative vehicle which is known as the credit default swap, popular because of the mixed effects in the wake of the global economic crash that happened in 2008. Many described her creation as the financial weapon of mass destruction.

Still, there is no denial in the fact that Masters is an expert when it comes to finance and commodities. With her new role as the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, which is a company specializing in blockchain solutions for financial services, there are only a few better-qualified people to speak on the application and the blockchain adoption in the commodities industry.

As Masters noted during her London speech:

“Supply chains are notoriously complex and inefficient. This is especially true in the metals and mining industry where many operational and commercial practices remain inefficient and antiquated, leading to critical data omissions, security vulnerabilities, expenses, corruption, and unethical provenance.”

Right now, blockchain is seen as a revolutionary technology that could improve the tracking of goods in all industries – from food to clothing.

Blockchain facilitates the exchange of critical trade documents, bills of lading, letters of credit between connected users securely and confidentially. Clearly the indications for metals mining, shipping, storage, and logistics industries are nontrivial,” Masters concluded.

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Blockchain News

Bank Of America Secures A Patent For Crypto Aggregation Systems

Bank of America is in the crypto news again, this time for acquiring a patent for a cryptocurrency aggregation system that will allow companies to store customers’ crypto deposits on a special account and offline storage in an enterprise. This way safekeeping of the funds is guaranteed. Other patents mainly focus on the blockchain technology but, this system is a huge step up for crypto. The patent was approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office yesterday. The current system of the Bank of America is made of memory for storing customers’ accounts as well as to handle crypto deposits and also to identify public keys with the relevant customer. The processor aggregates the crypto into an enterprise account. This patent application was filed in 2014 where it was noted back then that the crypto transactions are growing incredibly and that crypto transactions are becoming more common. Companies and merchants around the world also started accepting cryptocurrencies and their number is also on the rise. This move could spike further crypto adoption and could possibly encourage businesses to transact in crypto as well. However, this idea is a major turn off for many crypto users and enthusiasts because of the large gap that exists between the two worlds. Despite that, Bank of America hopes to provide an efficient system that will put fees aside and to eliminate the third-party currency exchange to conduct a currency exchange. In the meantime, Michael Wuehler who is one of the inventors of many blockchain patents suggested that these patents are meaningless and want to deceive the public’s perception of innovation and banks.
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Blockchain News

China’s Ping An Insurance Group To Build A ‘Smart City’ By Using Blockchain Technology

One of the largest insurance companies in the world, Ping An Insurance Group from China, is in today’s blockchain news for signing a cooperation agreement with the Sanya municipal government to build a ‘’ Smart City’’ by using blockchain technology. The new project will be constructed with the use of blockchain and artificial intelligence, cloud computing and huge amounts of data as the report states. The corporation designed a special strategic agreement with the Sanya municipal government in order to achieve comprehensive cooperating and build the ‘Smart City’ as a part of the major urban development strategy in China. Xinhua News, a governmental news agency, reported that the Ping An Group will invest more than $4 billion in the Sanya municipality to develop the construction of the smart city and also provide financial services and insurance fund utilization. The giant corporation released a white paper on smart cities this summer where they presented themselves as huge advocates for blockchain technology, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. This fall, however, JD Finance, a division of the Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, established a research institute that has a goal to facilitate the development of the smart city construction with the use of blockchain and artificial intelligence. Also, the Chinese city of Loudi in the Hunan province, just a few days ago launched a blockchain platform where they will store real estate data and people can avoid all long and exhausting bureaucratic processes when getting their documents for the local land and taxes.
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Blockchain News

Blockchain ‘Smart Money’ Trialed By Australia’s Science Agency And Commonwealth Bank

A new trial that was conducted by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is in the latest crypto news. In collaboration with the Data61 unit of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the trial proved that blockchain-powered smart money offers immense social and economic benefits for the insurance scheme in Australia - especially for people with disabilities. The proof of concept of this trial demonstrated that participants in Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) benefited from the increased choice and control using the smart money that they accessed via the prototype app. The participants and carers which were part of the trial benefited a lot, where the NDIS prototype app saved them between 1 hour and 15 hours per week, while the estimates said that the cost savings ranging between 0.3% and 0.8% of their revenues. As the senior principal researcher at Data61 said, this trial proved that the blockchain-powered smart money system could be applied in other public programs, stating:
“Our use of blockchain added new kinds of programmable behaviors to the smart money in the prototype system. This automation and flexibility could reduce friction and enable greater innovation in many payment environments and unlock network-effect benefits. This could include more directly connecting citizens to public policy programs, empowering people to optimize their spending through things like smart savings plans and smart diets, and reducing costs for businesses, including through the potential for self-taxing transactions.”
This is not the first blockchain trial where the CSIRO was involved. Previously, the organization collaborated with the University of Sydney, testing a blockchain application on the cloud infrastructure platform of Amazon Web Services - finding that the application was able to achieve a speed of 30,000 transactions per second.
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Blockchain News

Iran Gets Removed From SWIFT, Considers Switching To Crypto As Planned

Iran being officially removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication network by the U.S is in today’s crypto news. Iran’s Central Bank is not allowed to work in financial institutions around the world so this is why Iran is considering going crypto as soon as possible. The United States government imposed sanctions on Iran in May 2018 when they removed all the commercial banks in the country from the SWIFT network. This way, Iran is prevented from sending and receiving transactions from around the world. Steve Keen, an economist, and University professor criticized the U.S government for banning a central bank from the global financial system and said that no country should have such authority. He continued by saying:
 “The US has gone rogue, and cannot be allowed to dictate economic or political policy to the rest of the world. The sooner the rest of the world develops an alternative payments system – possibly working through SWIFT, but using a basket of currencies as the basis for a supra-national unit of exchange – the better. The USA is big enough to bully what should be an impartial means for monetary transactions between countries. This should not be possible.’’
However, the Iranian Parliamentary Commissioner of Economic Affairs, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, said that the country is working on a plan to involve cryptocurrencies as international payment methods cooperating with Russia. Already multiple businesses in Iran such as HotelsinIran which is a major booking platform started accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Many experts believe that this is a perfect way for cryptocurrencies to gain mass adoption in Iran.
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