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Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – May 17th, 2019

Fri, 17 May 2019, 11:33 am UTC

ECB official sees more potential in stablecoins than bitcoin
An official of the European Central Bank (ECB) recently said that all cryptocurrencies are not created equally, Bloomberg reported. Speaking in Paris this week, Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that he sees a role for stablecoins – digital tokens pegged to fiat currencies – in the financial system.

ECB invites paper submissions on crypto, stablecoin, and DLT for payments conference
The European Central Bank and the National Bank of Belgium have issued a call for papers, including those focused on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, for a payments innovation conference to be held on 26 and 27 November 2019 in Brussels.

German state to set up European Blockchain Institute this year
The government of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has announced plans to establish a European Blockchain Institute. NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart said that the institute will begin its work in Dortmund this year at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML).

US House of Representatives launches fintech and AI task forces
The US House of Representatives has announced the launch of two task forces – one focused on financial technology (fintech) and the other on artificial intelligence (AI). Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, said that with the emergence of new technologies and their implementation in the financial services industry, Congress must make sure that responsible innovation is encouraged.

HKMA, BoT enter fintech collaboration, hint at joint central bank digital currency project
The central banking authorities of Hong Kong and Thailand are teaming up to promote financial innovation and undertake joint research projects, including one focused on central bank digital currency (CBDC). On May 12, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Thailand (BOT).

Belfast to launch city-wide digital currency this year
Belfast City Council has entered into a partnership with UK & Israel based tech startup Colu to launch a city-wide digital currency. Dubbed “Belfast Coin,” the digital currency will operate as a rewards platform, encouraging residents towards impactful behaviors to further improve the city. It is the UK’s first city-wide digital currency designed to encourage positive everyday activities.

Industry groups, fintech want Reserve Bank of India to consider including cryptocurrency in sandbox
Many technology industry lobby groups and fintech startups have urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to include cryptocurrency and other related crypto-assets in the regulatory sandbox framework, the Economic Times reported.

Company News

  • UK blockchain startup Billon Group receives $2.1M grant
  • Silicon Valley-based staking startup InfStones secures $2M from DHVC, Plug and Play
  • Privacy-centric crypto startup Nym Technologies raises $2.5M
  • Blockchain startup Agoric raises $4M from Ripple’s Xpring, Outlier Ventures and others
  • Kakao-backed Dunamu pumped $46M in blockchain startups over the past year
  • Crypto payments startup UTRUST obtains Swiss regulatory approval
  • Hacked crypto exchange Cryptopia appoints liquidators
  • US Senators ask Mark Zuckerberg to share details on crypto project
  • Crypto exchange Coinbase in talks to acquire Xapo for $50M: Report
  • Crypto-focused Brave Browser seeks over $30M in funding round: Report
  • Banking giants to invest $50M in blockchain-based settlement project: Report

Partnerships/Consortiums

Digital Currency Initiatives

Blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technology Initiatives

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Swedish central bank begins CBDC pilot with Accenture
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Feb 20, 2020 (Thursday)
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Telecom companies complete cross-carrier mobile payments using blockchain
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National Stock Exchange of Australia to develop DLT-based digital securities trading platform
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South Korean ICO project discontinued, to return $7.5M to token holders
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Samsung maintains crypto support in soon-to-launch Galaxy S20
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BIS appoints Innovation Hub heads to lead Singapore and Switzerland
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Coinbase becomes first crypto company to receive Visa principal membership
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Dubai Economy and six banks launch KYC Blockchain Consortium
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Tim Draper buys $1M worth of Aragon Tokens to create digital courts for DAOs
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Renewable energy firm Acciona commits to take CBI’s blockchain-based carbon credits trading platform global
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Crypto exchange Coinfloor to launch a simplified bitcoin buying service
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