Regional government in Russia test blockchain payments

regional government in Russia pilots blockchain payments

The Russian state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) has announced a pilot for a new blockchain-based payment system with the regional government of Kaliningrad. The agreement underpinning the pilot scheme were worked out by Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov and VEB chairman Sergei Gorkov last week. In a statement released to the press, Alikhanov said that VEB’s “competence in the area of blockchain technology” will help the regional government to “improve the quality of...

Korean regulator investigating staff insider trading allegations

FSS - insider trading

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has acknowledged allegations of insider trading by staff, and has launched an investigation. According to the Korea Times, FSS governor Cho Heung-sik has said that the allegations concern a single staff member who is accused of selling crypto-assets based on information they had about the governments upcoming regulations on the crypto-market. Choi also confirmed that the regulator would make the findings of the investigations public. The...

Billions wiped off global cryptocurrency market follows news of South Korea trading ban

Reports of SOuth Korean ban on Cryptocurrency trading

According to CNBC, over $106 billion of value was wiped off the global cryptocurrency market on Thursday following news that South Korea may be preparing a band on all cryptocurrency trading. The country’s justice minister, Park Sang-ki made comments in a press conference on 11 January that the government was “basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges”. Legislation putting the ban into force will be subject to a vote in South Korea’s National...

Date allegedly set for South Korea’s ban on anonymous crypto trading

South Korea - ban on anonymous crypto trading

Media reports have surfaced that put a date on the implementation of South Korea’s ban on the use of anonymous cryptocurrency exchange accounts. The report from Yonhap News, which cites anonymous sources, claims that the new set of regulations will come into force on the 20th of January. The ban forms part of a wider strategy to try and curb the amount of speculative investing in cryptocurrency markets. The new regulations were announced minister of the Office for Government Policy...

Defence blockchain study authorised by Trump

Trump - defence bill - blockchain study

The new $700 billion military spending bill signed by President Trump also included a mandate for a blockchain cybersecurity research study. The bill, which was signed into law by Trump on 12 December, authorises the Department of Defence to look into the “potential offensive and defensive” cyber applications of distributed database and blockchain technologies. The study will look into three distinct areas: The current efforts by “foreign powers, extremist organisations, and...

Moscow to pilot blockchain voting for city management decisions

Moscow - blockchain - Active Citizen

The Moscow government have announced a pilot project to use a blockchain-based e-voting system to allow citizens to have their say on city management decisions and urban transformation. The voting system, called Active Citizen, aims to take advantage of the fact that 72% of the city’s population currently use smartphones and virtually the entire area is covered by 4G and broadband networks. The pilot will be based on an Ethereum smart contracts based platform. It is hoped that every...

GovCoin aims to disrupt UK welfare system

GovCoin - welfare payments - jam jars

The UK government has been conducting secretive trails with tech startup GovCoin on developing a blockchain solution for welfare payments since early 2016. The trail, which was initiated in conjunction with partners Barclays, RWE npower and University College London, saw claimants use a mobile app to receive and spend their benefits payments. The transactions, with the consent of all parties, were recorded on a distributed ledger in order to help facilitate financial management. In July...

Samsung SDS wins Seoul government contract

Samsung SDS - city of Seoul

Samsung SDS, the IT subsidiary of the electronics giant, has won a prestigious contract from the metropolitan government of Seoul, South Korea’s capital. The contract is to draw up a roadmap for the application of distributed ledger technology could be leveraged for administrative use. The city’s government has set its sights on blockchain for municipal duties that actively use and store citizen’s private information. The news, broken by Korea Herald, states that the contract also...

UN and WIN want to use blockchain to prevent child trafficking

UN + WIN - child trafficking blockchain

An innovative blockchain pilot that will look to combat child trafficking has been launched by the World Identity Network (WIN), the UN Office or Project Services (UNOPS) and the UN Office of Information and Communications technology (UN-OICT). The project forms part of the broader ‘Blockchain For Humanity’ initiative that was announced on 10 November 2017 at the Humanitarian Blockchain Summit. According to UN stats, almost half of the world’s children under the age of five do not...

Can blockchain make voting more secure and transparent?

Blockchain - voting

America’s voting machines are out of date, insecure, difficult to use, and largely supplied by a single vendor whose vote-counting software is proprietary  -  i.e. its inner-workings are a secret. There could be code  -  intentional or bugs -  in there that adds votes, changes votes, or deletes votes and there would be no way of knowing. “Transparency” is the often-touted name of the game for today’s governments and corporations, yet it is sorely missing from the...