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SEAT Car Manufacturer To Start Working On Blockchain-Based Products Development

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SEAT, a well-known Spanish automobile manufacturer, joined the Alastria consortium in order to work on developing blockchain-based products according to the report from the company reaching our Blockchain news today.

The car manufacturer was founded in 1950 as a state-owned industrial company and it is currently Spain’s largest car manufacturer with a turnover of more than 9.552 billion Euro in 2017.

According to the announcement, SEAT joined Alastria which is a multi-industry consortium that is backed by a national network with more than 70 companies such as Telecommunications provider Telefonica, Energy Company Repsol, and Banco Santander bank. The goal of the partnership is to promote the development of blockchain technology.

SEAT also plans to see what the benefits of blockchain are in the field of finance at first, hoping to improve the currency processes and to optimize them even further but also to facilitate supply chain management.

Also, the president of SEAT Luca De Meo pointed out that the company is ‘’convinced of the relevance that blockchain technology will have in the near future.’’

Meanwhile, Telefonica and SEAT also started working together on the proof-of-concept for a blockchain product that will be able to track all of the vehicle parts that go through the supply chain of SEAT’s factory that is located in Spain.

In December 2018, the American car manufacturer General Motors also filed for a blockchain patent in order to find a solution to manage data from autonomous vehicles. Other car manufacturers such as Porsche AG also announced to be investing in blockchain and artificial intelligence with more than $176 million in the next five years.

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Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Expertise Is ‘Exploding’ Among Insurance Professionals In 2019: Study

A new study highlights the Bitcoin and blockchain expertise in the insurance industry, mentioning how it "exploded" over the past two years. The insurers who ignore blockchain technology, according to it, do so at their own peril. The report made the crypto news today. Created by Aite Group which is a global research and advisory firm, it showed that Bitcoin is among the strong sides of professionals in the insurance industry. As it showed in detail, individuals with technical expertise in both Bitcoin and insurance soared from 102 in April 2017 to 5,418 this January 2019. The ones with expertise in blockchain and insurance, on the other hand, rose even more dramatically - going from 96 in 2017 to 29,355 in January this year. Even though blockchain is not a completely immature technology in the insurance industry, there is still a lot of development ahead. More specifically, many different platforms are coming to market in the past two years as the report shows. Named “Blockchain in Insurance, 2019: A Market Overview,” this report was based on 40 phone interviews with blockchain experts, innovation directors, C-level executives, insurers, reinsurers, consulting firms and venture capitalists between October 2018 and January 2019.
“If you are not already involved in a blockchain project, you need to start looking for opportunities to test the waters with a limited use case or low-impact proof of concept,” is what Greg Donaldson said in the report, namely a senior analyst at Aite Group.
When it comes to the actual growth and the need for blockchain experts, it is constantly increasing. 'Talent growth' is a category that we can see in the report which shows dramatic results. For example, only seven individuals showed their Bitcoin expertise in April 2017 - but 390 of them did in January 2019. Similarly, only two claimed both insurance and blockchain in their expertise - but 2,260 were skilled in both in January 2019.
“The interest in this technology has created an extreme need for more experts who can help the insurance industry develop solutions using blockchain,” the report notes.
To sum things up, the report says that there is one system that is already implemented by some companies - which actually makes the insurance process more transparent and efficient. It keeps all of the customer information on a 'permissioned' blockchain - starting from the moment when a customer is offered a price quotation for a policy.
“Then once the customer purchases the policy, the customer knows the status and receives a policy and proof of insurance almost instantly,” explains Aite.
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Blockchain News

VISA Is Getting In Crypto And Looking For A Blockchain Developer Hero

Visa Inc. which is one of the largest payment processors and credit card companies, is currently seeking a full-time technical product manager specializing in blockchain for its office in Palo Alto, California. As a recent job posting to SmartRecruiters unveiled, the global card giant is looking for someone that is:
“...passionate about the intersection of payments and cryptocurrency,” and “deeply familiar with permissionless blockchain technology.”
This puts Visa in the recent news about hiring on our DC Forecasts crypto news site. The job requirement looks like Visa is one of the top blockchain companies in the crypto industry, all while the reality is that Visa is just now getting into crypto. A lot of people in the crypto atmosphere are hailing the entry of Visa to the industry as a move of mass adoption. However, we are unlikely to see mass adoption of a payment system that has the features and benefits of the most popular cryptocurrencies. https://twitter.com/cuysheffield/status/1107364060809449472 Instead, we will probably see something like JPM Coin which is Jamie Dimon's attempt to get JP Morgan into a cryptocurrency and a move that represents a US dollar in the company's internal accounting software on its centrally controlled and walled off private databses. The job description classifies VISA as:
“Common Purpose, Uncommon Opportunity. Everyone at Visa works with one goal in mind – making sure that Visa is the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Visa is hampered by its deep entanglement with the regulatory regime and the current regulation which makes it illegal for Visa to design a financial platform with the fundamental values built into Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies. For those of you who don't know, Visa and the other finance companies are legally prohibited from offering their customers with the value propositions that made Bitcoin one of the most profitable investments. They are required to survey their users as well as report to various government authorities. They are also required to wield the control they retain over the ability to make payments and hold you hostage to their rules. At the end of the day, this move is certainly surfacing something bigger for Visa which we all want to see in the near future.
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Blockchain News

UPDATE: Criminal Records Of QuadrigaCX Co-Founder Emerge In The Public

The missing funds from the Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX are still a hot topic in almost every major crypto news media outlet especially since new information shows that its co-founder has a criminal past. The co-founder was an ex-con who was charged for 18 months in jail by a Federal US prison for bank fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft. Michael Patryn or by his old name Omar Dhanani which was changed two times co-founded the exchange with Gerald Cotten who passed away on December 30, 2018. Patryn denied the allegations initially but records were obtained that show he changed his name legally twice. Patryn hasn’t commented on his criminal past and why he changed his name back in 2008 while he was living in British Colombia, Canada. After Cotten died in Jaipur, India due to Crohn’s Disease complications, the exchange went into total chaos mode since he was the only one who had the private keys of the exchange where more than $190 million customer assets were stuck. About 120,000 people were unable to access their funds or to withdraw their funds including the man who lost nearly half a million dollars in life savings. Dhanani pleaded guilty to multiple crimes he had done in the US including credit card and bank fraud when he was 22. He also pleaded guilty to multiple charges on grand larceny, burglary, and computer fraud. He was deported to Canada and there he was able to change his identity where he promoted himself as a bitcoin entrepreneur who helped Cotten establish his crypto exchange. After the exchange collapsed and customers filed reports about being unable to withdraw their funds, information broke out that the company claimed to be insolvent. Some were even convinced that Cotten faked his death in order to steal the funds from the cold wallet reserves of Quadriga. The third-party auditor Ernst & Young were assigned to track down the missing funds and some of the victims hired lawyers to try and recover their investments during the creditor protection proceedings in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. The court assigned 45 more days for the exchange to search the missing funds and the next hearing will happen in April.
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Blockchain News

IBM Head Of Blockchain Division Says The Company Is The Leader In Blockchain Technology

Jesse Lund, the head of the blockchain division at tech giant company IBM, claimed that the company is the leader in blockchain technology while in an interview so we decided to find out more in today’s blockchain news. Lund stated in the interview:
‘’What IBM’s been doing as the leader in blockchain technology for the last three years is adding security and confidence to the system.’’
Lund was talking about the cross-border payment solution of IBM which uses the Stellar Lumens network for settlement and explained how one of the most popular and oldest companies in the world aims to revolutionize the remittance market. The products which aim to be introduced to the public are challenging Ripple’s xRapid products but in order for a harmonious system to be created, all of the products will have to cooperate. He continued explaining:
‘’We’re building on a new idea, which is to be able to store monetary value electronically and be able to move that value around the world in real time… I think the problem with cross-border payments today, the inefficiencies are based on the fact that the way that banks communicate, the network that banks communicate on is separate from the network or the rails that money actually moves on. And those things are distinct and they require a lot of coordination and reconciliation after the fact.’’
Lund also talked about the SWIFT platform saying that it works similarly to a messaging platform and they aim to create a similar product as well based on the SWIFT standards.  He said:
‘’ISO standards that have come out of SWIFT are inherently part of the platform. We’re trying to help banks optimize the way that they service their customers.’’
IBM’s blockchain division has a close eye in multiple industries in order to follow what the role of blockchain technology can become in the near future. Since the company sold off its hardware-based business, IBM decided to try in the field of intellectual property. A couple of years ago, IBM didn’t think it would be calling itself the leader in Blockchain technology because they still haven’t innovated much in this field. It’s debatable whether IBM will really become a leader in blockchain technology because it has such high competition such as Samsung and Huawei but IBM has open source developers who are working hard to contribute to pool of blockchain projects.
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