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Thailand Will Track VAT Payments Using Blockchain

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The versatile use of blockchain is in the daily cryptocurrency news again – this time in Thailand. In 2014, the Revenue Department of Thailand arrested many individuals and investigated more than 60 companies for defrauding the department out of $18.29 million worth of baht in value-added taxes (VAT). Since then, the department has been unable to track a majority of the tax defaulters, losing billions of dollars in the process.

However, as of recently, blockchain appeared to be the perfect solution for minimizing tax frauds. According to the director-general of the Revenue Department named Ekniti Nitithanprapas, blockchain is even trialed in his department to explore the use in tracking VAT payments.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Nitithanprapas said that they have set up a particular innovation lab in order to test the blockchain and its potential in minimizing such cases while drawing inspirations from its use-case in the verification of BTC transactions. As he stated:

“The blockchain is expected to help verify VAT invoices which would help root out fake invoices for VAT claims. For example, when a company buys products from a second company, the former will issue VAT invoices to the latter, and both firms can use blockchain to confirm the transactions.”

Aside from this, we can see blockchain in many similar scenarios. For example, one of the most popular auditing firms in the world – PwC – has also recognized the technology’s potential for detecting errors and frauds in tax filing, stating:

“Blockchain makes fraud and errors far easier to detect because the system provides clear and transparent information about transactions and items in the network. This could be particularly useful in tracking if and where VAT has been paid, and in doing so reduce VAT fraud.”

Therefore, Thailand’s blockchain pilot marks an important step towards achieving a full-fledged solution for minimizing tax evasion in the country, all by “learning and studying tax-cheating practices to efficiently examine tax payments and compel more people to enter the formal tax system,” as the chief concluded.

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In our latest blockchain news, we have The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India finishing the blockchain pilot together with the tech giant IBM in order to improve mobile data records. The trial's results were reported today, December 12 by the Indian daily newspaper The Economic Times. The telecom regulator cooperated with other telecom providers to complete the tests so they could explore the many benefits of the blockchain technology thus improving the mobile network systems such as the Do Not Call Registry. The Vice President of IBM Research Sriram Raghavan confirmed that the company delivered proof-of-concepts and other pilots with major telecom providers including the TRAI. He explained that with the use of blockchain technology the companies will be able to store DNC data and MNP data on their own private distributed ledger with ‘’customer consent’’. This way, the government agency will have the needed tools for easier monitoring of the network and spotting unlawful acts. MNP or mobile number portability is a great feature that allows mobile phone users to keep their numbers in their phone when changing mobile network carriers. The do not call registry is basically a data record that provides the customers with the option to block incoming telemarketing calls. Back in may this year, the TRAI announced its plans to implement blockchain technology in order to prevent scams and fraud in the telecom industry. They believe that the blockchain is a great solution and that it will provide the regulators with better tracking tools.
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Samsung Files For A Smartphone-Based Crypto Trademark In The EU

The electronics giant Samsung is in our latest crypto news for filing numerous applications for blockchain-related trademark requests for smartphones. As the descriptions provided by the company noted, the three European trademark requests are based on providing crypto custody services on smartphones. From this, we can easily conclude that Samsung may be planning to make its entry into the 'blockchain smartphone' market and follow HTC with its recent release named the Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs and its FINNEY smartphone, both of which are offering crypto custody. As the Dutch tech news blog Galaxy Club first reported, the three requested patents that Samsung applied for are named ‘Blockchain KeyStore‘, ‘Blockchain key box‘ and ‘Blockchain Core‘ - all of which hinting at the direction in which the world's largest smartphone maker is taking. The timing of this news, on the other hand, underlines the fact that despite the market's downward trend in 2018, there are still some tech giants like Samsung and HTC entering the space and believing that cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be the key growth drivers going forward - and the investments are in line with this. Galaxy Club also cited an unnamed source in its report where it claims that Samsung is planning to release more information about its interest in developing a range of smartphones with specialist crypto and blockchain functionalities as part of this new strategy. If this turns out to be true, Samsung may be gambling on the adoption of cryptocurrencies as the next big user revolution that will drive sales of its smartphones.
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HTC Puts Brave As A Default Browser On Its Blockchain Smartphone

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The UNICEF Innovation Fund was announced today as a venture that will invest up to $100,000 USD in Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers as the six listed blockchain startups so far. The startups must now deliver the open-source prototypes of their blockchain applications within the next 12 months. UNICEF's Innovation Fund will also provide product and growth assistance as well as access to its network that includes experts in many fields as well as investment partners. If the tech is successfully developed, there will be further opportunities to apply them in the 190 countries covered by the organisation.
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