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Blockchain News

Microsoft Japan Joins Forces With A Local Startup To Increase The Domestic Blockchain Uptake

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The Japanese arm of the famous technology giant Microsoft has recently partnered with a blockchain startup named LayerX – a story that is now everywhere in the cryptocurrency news mostly because of its high potential to “accelerate” the technology further.

LayerX is a startup that formed in August this year as a joint venture from the news curation app Gunosy and the advisory service AnyPay – overseeing blockchain integration for enterprise, including areas such as smart contracts as well as general consulting.

The startup will use the blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solution by Microsoft named Azure – seeking to promote the technology further in the domestic economy. As one press release noted:

“We will support the introduction process in its entirety, even down to technical support of finished implementations. Both companies will work toward realization of transformation of people’s lives and working practices by promoting the implementation of blockchain technology in various industries.”

Earlier this month, Microsoft also released the long-awaited cloud-based Azure blockchain development kit which was described as perfect for “connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems as well as deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks.”

This move by Microsoft Japan, however, could open up a plethora of new possibilities and continue Microsoft’s domination in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere, promoting the technology to its customers in a good way.

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Blockchain News

The Cyprus SEC Is Calling For EU Anti-Money Laundering Framework Implementation

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cyprus is calling for the implementation of the European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive into the national law that will bring crypto regulation under its provisions according to the CySEC’s announcement that reached our crypto news today. The EU directive first came into force last year on July 9 and set a new legal framework for the financial regulators in the European Union that monitor the crypto-related businesses in order to be able to protect the users, investors, and citizens from money laundering and financing terrorism. Further, the directive extends its influence to crypto exchanges and wallet providers in order to enhance their transparency requirements that are conducted by anonymous parties whether that is payments done via exchanges or prepaid cards. All of the EU member states must adopt the directive into their national laws by 2020. CySEC notes that its innovation hub received multiple reports from crypto-related entities that don’t fall under the existing regulatory framework. The agency is proposing to bring multiple additional areas of crypto-related activity in Cyprus under AML obligations such as:
 “a) exchange between crypto assets, b) transfer of virtual assets, and c) participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a crypto asset.”
Cyprus is one of the seven EU member countries that have already released a declaration that aims to promote the use of DLT in the region. Last fall, the national investment partner in the country, Invest Cyprus, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with VeChain Foundation from Singapore in order to work on multiple national level investment strategies that will be blockchain based.
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Blockchain News

US Exchange Giant Coinbase Acquires Blockchain Startup Neutrino

One of the largest United States cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers Coinbase, has officially acquired Blockchain-based intelligence startup Neutrino according to an official blog post published by the company today, Tuesday, February 19 and we are reading more about it in the latest crypto news. Coinbase stated that the company will work and operate as a standalone business in London, England but the amount of the contract still hasn’t been disclosed. The US exchange thinks that the acquisition of the blockchain intelligence will contribute to creating a more open and better protected financial system. Coinbase expects Neutrino to help the exchange giant to prevent theft of funds and to improve the hacks investigation and also have a better way of figuring out ransomware attacks and suspicious transactions. Also, the exchange pointed out that by acquiring of Neutrino will help in the adding process for more cryptocurrencies and features to the services of the exchange and will further help Coinbase to comply with current regulation. At the start of this year, Coinbase announced another acquisition of the Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup Blockspring. This startup will produce tools that will help developers to gain and process information from programming interfaces. In January, the exchange added more resources for the US customers to claim crypto trades on taxes which helped to integrate the system with the popular tax software TurboTax. Earlier this month, Coinbase launched support for EU residents who are now able to withdraw fiat currency via the payment system PayPal. Moreover, Coinbase added BTC support for its wallet and now users can store their crypto in a uniquely secured private keys wallet.
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Blockchain News

Central Bank Of Japan Examines Digital Currencies According To New Report

The central bank of Japan is now examining how the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can play out in the current monetary system of the country according to an official report published by the bank that reached our blockchain news today, February 19. According to the document, the bank explains the many possible ways how the central bank digital currencies can be implemented and used and what the consequences might be of using the CBDCs in different areas and different approaches. The report divides two possible categories of CBDCs where the first being the digital currencies accessible to the general public in a form of banknotes, and the second category will be those that are limited for large-value settlements. The categorization comes as an attribution to the report that was initially released by the Bank for International Settlements back in March last year which divided CBDCs for general purpose and wholesale CBDCs. Also, after giving a lengthy explanation of how CBDCs will not bring such a huge difference to the monetary system, the report is also focused on the first kind throughout the entire document. The report also notes that the distributed ledger technology along with the blockchain technology could be used as a token-based CBDC. Last year in October, the deputy governor of the central bank of Japan, Masayoshi Amamiya expresses his negative stance towards central bank issued digital currencies. Also, the central bank of South Korea issued a warning over the CBDCs just one week later after they claimed to never issue one itself.
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Blockchain News

Guangdong Province In China To Use Blockchain-Based Tax Payment Platform

The Chinese province Guangdong, more specifically the Municipal Taxation Bureau of the province announced that they are considering the implementation of an electronic invoice platform that will be blockchain-based mainly for the e-commerce industry according to the blockchain news media outlet Southern News Network reported today. The Guangdong Province in China is one of the most densely populated regions in the country and opening a blockchain-based electronic tax service is a huge opportunity for the merchants and customers that aim to extend their experience for the larger level of e-commerce field. The blockchain-based electronic invoice platform will allow for the taxation authority to improve the efficiency and transparency of all the invoice services according to the published press release. The Southern News Network wrote:
 “Blockchain technology has established a highly mutual trust data sharing mechanism among tax authorities, invoice service providers, taxpayers and other parties. This is a major reason for the tax authorities to take a new step in deepening the [technological] reform [by] the distribution services.”
Back in December 2018, one of the bigger cities in the Guangdong province-Shenzhen announced its success story of how blockchain technology helped with the tax invoices via the messaging app WEChat payment platform. Also, last year in November, the capital of the Guangdong and one of the most developed economic zones in China, Guangzhou, was chosen as a headquarters city for the new blockchain alliance. The alliance involves 54 different companies and is promoting blockchain technology in finances and trading. Countries around the world are opting for blockchain-based tax solutions because of the higher efficiency and transparency.
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