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Volkswagen Joins IBM-Backed Blockchain Platform for Cobalt Supply Chains

Amid ethical concerns about mining cobalt, Volkswagen is joining a blockchain-powered platform to ensure the mineral is ethically sourced. Volkswagen is joining a blockchain-powered scheme to ensure the cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries for its electric vehicles is responsibly sourced. The carmaker announced its involvement in a news release on April 18. The German-headquartered company hopes the technology, built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, will “increase efficiency, sustainability and transparency in global mineral supply chains.” In smartphones to cars, cobalt has become a crucial component for consumer products, but according to an IBM blog, two-thirds of global production comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where an estimated two million miners face “profound challenges including human rights violations.” In 2017, Reuters reported that some cobalt mines use child labor and are controlled by insurgent militias. The new platform, powered by the Linux Foundation’..

Coinsquare Crypto Exchange Launches Canadian Dollar-Backed Stablecoin

Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare announced that it will be launching a Canadian dollar-back stablecoin. Coinsquare, one of Canada’s top crypto exchanges, will be launching a stablecoin backed by the Canadian dollar dubbed eCAD, according to a press release on April 4. The new coin will purportedly be backed at a 1:1 ratio with Canadian dollars. Coinsquare states that the new coin will be a reliable and stable store of value that provides investors with an alternative to similar coins backed by the United States dollar. Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare said: “The launch of eCAD will create the first transparent, affordable, and secure way of transferring value in Canada and beyond, without the risk of instability in the traditional cryptocurrency market.” The announcement did not provide a timeline for when the coin will officially be released. Stablecoins are seen by some as a bridge between the crypto sphere and traditional investors, as the backing of a currency, commodity..

Charles Hoskinson-Backed Prediction Service Launches, Offers ERC-20 Token Price Insights

Endor’s new protocol leverages artificial intelligence and targets ERC-20 tokens as one of its use cases. Predictive analytics firm Endor has launched a blockchain-powered tool allowing businesses and cryptocurrency holders to ask and answer questions based on big data. The company confirmed the launch in a press release provided to Cointelegraph on April 4. Endor, founded by two MIT researchers, has offered enterprise prediction solutions since 2014. Today’s announcement reports on the newly added Endor Protocol, which will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data sets. In addition to business strategy, the protocol will also be able to offer insights into areas such as ERC-20 token performance, executives say, including likely price and volume behavior. The protocol has its own token, EDR, which has circulated since June 2018, several months after Endor completed its initial coin offering (ICO). Endor’s product has the ability to analyze encrypted data without decryptin..

Princeton Expertise-Backed Startup Raises $3.7 Mln to Develop Smart Contract Scalability

Offchain Labs has raised $3.7 to disrupt major problems in blockchain such as privacy and scalability. Offchain Labs, a blockchain startup co-founded by a professor at Princeton University, has raised $3.7 million in a seed round led by crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital, TechCrunch reports on April 3. The new funding round was also supported by Compound VC, Raphael Ouzan of Blocknation, Jake Seid, managing director at Stone Bridge Ventures and others. With the investment, Offchain aims to solve major problems associated with enterprise blockchain implementations by bringing more scalability and privacy. By deploying its own protocol, Arbitrum, Offchain developers intend to bring make smart contracts more scalable. Offchain co-founder Ed Felten said that the firm is working on a platform that allows for the scaling of smart contracts in a way that is currently hard to do. Felten, who is both a computer science professor at Princeton and a former deputy CTO to the White House under form..

Japan: Yahoo!-Backed Cryptocurrency Exchange Set for May Launch

Newly-renamed Taotao will initially offer two cryptocurrency pairs and five for margin trading. Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Taotao (formerly BitARG) will start trading a limited range of cryptocurrencies in May, Cointelegraph Japan reported on March 25. Taotao, which is 40 percent owned by a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan, will initially trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), with margin positions available in three additional cryptocurrencies: Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ripple (XRP). Prospective users can already sign up for an account and participate in a promotional giveaway scheme. The plans originally came to light in March 2018, when Yahoo! Japan announced it would acquire a major stake in the exchange through its subsidiary, YJFX. At the time, sources suggested the purchase had cost the company around 2 billion yen (then $19 million). The move marks the internet giant’s first foray into the cryptocurrency exchange world, with Taotao having gained regulatory approv..

Bayer’s Agricultural Division Partners With ConsenSys-Backed Startup BlockApps

Bayer CropScience, an agricultural arm of Bayer pharma giant giant, has worked with ConsenSys-backed startup BlockApps since 2018. The agricultural division of pharmaceutical and life science giant Bayer AG, Bayer CropScience, is collaborating with ConsenSys-backed Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) startup BlockApps. BlockApps revealed the news to Cointelegraph on March 22. Germany-based Bayer CropScience has been working on a number of blockchain initiatives with BlockApps since early 2018, a BlockApps spokesperson told Cointelegraph. One of the largest pharmaceutical firms globally, Bayer acquired American agrochemical and agricultural corporation Monsanto in June 2018. A BlockApps representative said that more details can be expected during Blockchain for Food and Beverage Supply Chain conference that is set to take place on March 26–27 in San Francisco. The BlockApps platform aims to provide an interoperable platform for programmable business networks. Founded in 2015, Blockapps ..

Blockchain Startup Bison Trails Receives $5.25 Mln Investment Backed by Galaxy...

Following a series seed round backed by Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Bison Trail will soon launch its blockchain infrastructure. New blockchain startup Bison Trails has received an investment of $5.25 million in a seed round backed by Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital. The firm announced the fundraising in a Medium post on March 15. Led by two early stage venture capital firms Initialized Capital and Accomplice, the series seed round was also backed by both Galaxy Digital and blockchain-focused asset management firm Distributed Global. Other investors included Notation Capital, Homebrew and Charge Ventures. Bison Trails’ blockchain infrastructure is designed to offer a way to launch secure, available and geographically distributed nodes on a participatory blockchain network, the press release notes. The Bison Trails platform enables a number of blockchain tools including staking, validating, voting, transacting and securing blockchain protocols. Accomplice has c..

Binance-Backed OTC Firm Releases Anti-Money Laundering Compliance-as-a-Service Product

Koi Trading in partnership with IdentityMind have developed an AML compliance-as-a-service product supporting cryptocurrencies. Binance-backed over-the-counter (OTC) desk Koi Trading has partnered with IdentityMind, a platform for online risk management, to develop an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance-as-a-service product. The development was announced in a press release published on March 12. The parties have reportedly released an AML compliance-as-a-service product dubbed “Koi Compliance,” supporting digital currency and targeting money services businesses. The new platform will purportedly enable companies to focus on conducting their business, letting Koi Compliance to perform Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, monitor transactions, conduct sanctions screening, and keep records. Last November, Koi Trading received $3 million in investment from Binance Labs, an incubator arm of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange (as of press time) Binance. The move was purportedly ..

Paxos’ Precious Metal-Backed Cryptocurrency to Launch This Year, CEO Says

Chad Cascarilla, CEO of blockchain trust company Paxos, has revealed that the company’s gold-backed cryptocurrency will be launched in 2019. Blockchain trust company Paxos’ digital token backed by precious metals will be launched "definitely this year," said Paxos CEO, Chad Cascarilla in an interview with Fortune’s Balancing the Ledger on March 11. During the interview, Cascarilla was asked whether Paxos is working on a gold-backed coin, wherein he replied that “it is something we will see definitely this year.” “We are excited about the concept of being able to take a commodity, and I think precious metals are really obvious ones, and gold is probably the most obvious and being able to tokenize it,” Cascarilla added. In order to implement the concept, Paxos has to ensure it holds the amount of inventory “in the real world” equal to the one registered on blockchain. Cascarilla explained: “In order to put something in a blockchain, you have to make sure you have the right amount of inv..

Credit Agricole-Backed Blockchain Startup Setl Files for Insolvency in the UK

Setl, a Credit Agricole-backed blockchain startup based out of the United Kingdom, has filed for insolvency. Setl, a Credit Agricole-backed blockchain startup based out of the United Kingdom, has filed for insolvency. The insolvency notice was filed on March 7 with U.K. authorities. Credit Agricole is reportedly the world’s largest cooperative financial institution, headquartered in France. Setl was founded by Peter Randall, one of the founders and former CEO of the alternative European stock exchange Chi-X, and Anthony Culligan, founder of peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) trading venue Roolo, in July 2015. The company was granted approval from the French securities regulator to run a Central Securities Depository (CSD) in October last year. As Cointelegraph reported in January, Setl has hired former governor of the French central bank Christian Noyer as a member of its board of directors. Still, in a statement released today, the company “recognises that as an early stage technology fir..
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