Mastercard files DLT patents for tracking consumer payments

Mastercard has filed a number of new patents in the US, outlining how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be used to keep track of consumer payments. As reported by CoinDesk, the patent filings published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company describes DLT being used to record point-to-point transactions as they are processed. This would allow organisations to keep a real-time log of items procured during ongoing transactions. The company also explains how blockchain...

Chinese blockchain gaming platform Cocos-BCX lands $40m in new funding

Chinese blockchain-based gaming platform Cocos-BCX has announced $40m in new funding from investors including Binance, Neo Global Capital and 500 Startups. The platform was created by the founders of Cocos2D-x, behind global mobile games titles including Angry Birds, Clash of King and Badlands. According to a press release, the new capital will be used to accelerate development of the new platform and support its continued growth and expansion. The company’s aim is to “bring...

Blockchain could lift trade finance by $1.1T, benefiting SMEs & emerging markets

The use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) could lead to a $1T boost in trade finance available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. That’s owed to its potential to mitigate credit risk, lower fees and remove barriers to trade, according to research by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF’s head of supply chain and transport industry, Wolfgang Lehmacher, said that blockchain-based solutions “can eventually do more for SMEs in emerging markets than...

‘Blockchain of food’ Ripe.io lands $2.4m from investors including Maersk

From ensuring compliance within slaughterhouses, helping to trace contaminated stock and sustainable tuna fishing, much has been said about blockchain technology’s potential to overhaul the food supply chain. For the Ripe.io, that feat has just become more tangible. The US-based startup, which calls itself the ‘Blockchain of Food’, has secured $2.4m (£1.84m) in funding from investors including food service company innovation lab Relish Works, and the investor arm of shipping giant...

Twitter CEO tells Congress it’s considering blockchain to fight fraud

The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, told US Congress yesterday that the social media platform is considering the use of blockchain technology. It came as part of a wider hearing focused on potential political bias among tech giants Twitter, Google and Facebook, and what they are doing to prevent future election meddling in the US. As reported by CoinDesk, Dorsey was responding to a question from Doris Matsui, a representative of California, during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce...

IBM takes real-time cross-border World Wire payments out of beta

IBM is taking its Blockchain World Wire cross-border payment platform out of beta. Based on Stellar protocol, IBM says the World Wire will make it possible for financial institutions to clear and settle cross-border payments - which can take up to three days to clear - “in seconds”. According to the launch page, two financial organisations transacting together will agree to use “a stable coin, digital currency or other digital assets” as a bridge between any two fiat currencies....

Asia has seen a 50% increase in blockchain & crypto jobs since 2017

Despite a downward turn to the crypto market and China making efforts to wipe all trace of digital coins from its landscape, Asia is witnessing a boom in jobs related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. CNBC reported that recruitment firm Robert Walters had seen a 50% increase in roles related to the technology in the region since 2017, with the programming language Python being one of the skills most in demand. Those findings were paired with a rise in LinkedIn job advertisements for...

PwC to launch blockchain training scheme for 1,000 employees

The multinational professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced plans to launch a training programme for 1,000 of its staff to learn blockchain and other emerging technologies. Called Digital Accelerators and aimed at improving employees’ digital skills, the initiative will replace enrolled staffs’ daily responsibilities with “digital-heavy client work and projects”, according to information gleaned by Digiday. Employees will also receive weekly tutorials...

The role blockchain could play in building the streaming services of the future

You may think that you don’t use the blockchain, but your business is likely reliant on one of its core components. Unassumingly named ‘merkle trees’, this algorithm allows code changes made by distributed teams of programmers using git to be efficiently and reliably validated and coordinated. Without this, software development would be much more difficult. Yet, when most people think about blockchain, improving team coordination isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind. The...

One in four smart contracts behind billion-dollar projects are ‘critically vulnerable’

More than one in four smart contracts behind projects that have raised $1bn or more have critical vulnerabilities, according to audits by blockchain security firm Hosho. The findings emerged in the announcement of a partnership between Hosho and AmaZix, which aims to bring additional security services to the crypto community, including smart contract auditing and penetration testing. AmaZix claimed that Hosho’s engineers have audited more smart contracts than any other company. During...