HS2 implements blockchain technology into its supply chain

High Speed Train

HS2, the controversial high speed railway being developed from London to Manchester, has begun to implement blockchain in parts of its procurement pipeline.

Major construction companies Costain, Skanska and Strabag took part in the trial, with oversight being provided by professional services firm Deloitte.

Deloitte’s blockchain lead, Alexander Marx, spoke at New Civil Engineer’s TechFest on December 2 about the benefits this will bring.

Explaining the...

Square rebrands as Block following Dorsey leaving Twitter

Square

Square, Jack Dorsey’s digital payments company, is renaming itself as Block in a move towards broadening its cryptocurrency and blockchain offering.

Effective as of December 10, the name change marks a recategorisation of the apps under Square’s portfolio.

Block will incorporate Square, which remains the same credit card reader business, as well as payment platform Cash App and Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal.

“We built the Square brand for our...

Bitcoin processes $187bn more in transactions per quarter than PayPal

Canary Wharf, London

The Bitcoin (BTC) network is now processing more volume in terms of transactions than payments platform PayPal, according to blockchain analysis firm Blockdata.

Looking at average transaction volumes, Blockdata says that the Bitcoin network outshone PayPal by $187 billion (£140.4bn) per quarter this year. An impressive overtake for a payments system twelve years younger than PayPal.

Blockdata reported that: “The Bitcoin network processed an estimated average of $489...

Omicron crypto explodes by 900% following Covid variant naming

Omicron Covid-19 Variant

Omicron (OMIC), an unsuspectingly named cryptocurrency, skyrocketed in value by 900 percent over this final weekend of November.

The relatively unknown crypto coincidentally shares a name with the new fast-spreading variant of Covid-19 that was discovered in South Africa.

The B.1.1.529 strain was named after the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday 26.

Whilst leading currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum...

Virtual real estate sells for record $2.4m in Decentraland metaverse

Metaverse

A piece of virtual real estate from the online world Decentraland has sold for $2.4 million (£1.8m) worth of cryptocurrency.

That’s right. For the sceptics still denouncing the perceived stupidity of NFTs, the emergence of the metaverse as a world of virtual ownership will have such individuals pulling their hair out.

Decentraland is an online virtual world where players can purchase land, explore, create, sell assets, and interact with others.

This sale of...

MoonPay: the ‘PayPal for crypto’ raises $555m in first ever funding round

To the Moon

MoonPay, a start-up that lets users buy cryptocurrency through conventional payment methods like credit cards, has raised just over half a billion dollars in its first ever funding round.

The whopping $555 million (£414.7m) comes off the back of record funding for blockchain start-ups this year. Just last week, the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange Gemini raised $400 million whilst Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys landed $200 million.

Led by Tiger Global...

ConsenSys raises $200m from HSBC and Third Point to fund Web3 vision

Fox - MetaMask / ConsenSys

ConsenSys, a leading Ethereum software company, has raised $200 million (£149m) from investors including HSBC and US hedge fund Third Point, bringing its valuation to $3.2 billion (£2.38bn).

The New York-based start-up provides a whole host of products and services for the decentralised Web3 ecosystem, most notably the app and web browser extension MetaMask.

MetaMask allows users to hold, send, and manage digital assets in a flexible wallet that can connect with other...

Gemini raises $400m as Winklevoss twins gear up metaverse plans

Gemini

Gemini, the New York-based cryptocurrency exchange, has raised $400 million (£298m) through growth equity financing led by Morgan Creek Digital.

This is the first time the company has received external financing from other companies, with private equity firm 10T, blockchain investor ParaFi, and even the Commonwealth Bank of Australia getting involved.

Gemini, which was launched by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2015, now sits at a $7.1 billion (£5.28bn)...

Blockchain Association boosts lobbying power with $4m funding injection

Capitol Building

The Blockchain Association, a lobbying group for improving public policy towards crypto and decentralised ledgers, has raised $4 million (£2.97m) in new funding.

A decentralised web advocate group, the Filecoin Foundation, provided half the funding with the promise of an additional $2 million (£1.49m) if the Blockchain Association can match it through outside funding.

Crypto exchange Kraken and Digital Currency Group – the parent company of CoinDesk – contributed...

Michael Jackson, Concordium: Bringing blockchain to traditional finance

Michael Jackson

“We’re trying to shoehorn permissionless technology into extremely permissioned environments,” reveals Michael Jackson, advisor to Concordium and former COO of Skype.

Jackson’s take is a breath of fresh air in a blockchain industry that has become bogged down in use cases that are struggling to find their feet. For years, the ideas of supply chain ledger technologies and pharmaceutical blockchains have sat stagnant in the water waiting to be realised.

As the...