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Can Central Bank Digital Currencies Be Used to Fight Financial Crimes?

Sovereign states and central banks could digitize paper money and be the concrete alternative to Libra. Paper money today is a marginal part of the currency in circulation and represents a direct relationship between the end user and the central bank. Its use is, however, unknown to the central bank; in a certain sense, it can therefore be said that like cryptocurrencies, cash can be used for illicit purposes. Central banks could start the process of digitizing paper money and thus create their own digital currency. Such a solution would have the great advantage of combating the shadow economy and illegal activities, and could be a viable alternative to corporate-backed digital currencies like Libra. Cash circulationThe amount of cash circulating in the world is around 10% of the total money supply [the author derived this calculation using information from individual central banks]. De facto, cash represents a direct and untraceable relationship between the end user and the central ..

Blockchain Startup Nets $2.4 Million in Public Funding to Fight Food...

A new blockchain solution focused on ending slave labor in the food industry received $2.4 million in public funding in Australia. Blockchain startup Lumachain has received $2.4 million in public funding from Main Sequence Ventures, a $165.6 million venture capital fund backed by the Australian government and the federal Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Lumachain’s newly-received funds will go toward staffing fees as well as international expansion, according to a report by local financial news periodical the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on July 29. Lumachain reportedly uses blockchain technology to track and trace the condition and whereabouts of food products along the supply chain in real time. According to Lumachain’s website, founder Jamila Gordon says the goal of her blockchain solution is to end modern slavery associated with food production. Gordon told the AFR: "Slavery is becoming a major issue in supply chains, both here and overseas. Aus..

The New York Times Using Hyperledger Fabric to Fight Fakes News

The New York Times has unveiled a blockchain-based project using the Hyperledger Fabric to fight fake news and guarantee the provenance of audio and video metadata. The paper of record, The New York Times (NYT), is using the Hyperledger Fabric permissioned blockchain to guarantee the provenance of digital files. According to a new website for NYT’s News Provenance Project, the newspaper will use blockchain technology to fight misinformation in the media. The project’s purported aim is to provide a platform that is widely applicable to variously-sized publications. Blockchain technology will purportedly aid the project in recording metadata about video and audio recordings that are published by news organizations. The New Provenance Project is currently in its first phase, in which it aims to create a photojournalism-focused proof-of-concept that demonstrates how such a blockchain-based system could work to scale. The site states: “Our initial work involves exploring a blockchain-based..

XRP, Libra and Visa to Fight It Out for Cross-Border Remittance...

Crypto remittance on the rise as fintech companies increasingly leverage crypto and blockchain to capture the international payments market. The increased penetration of cryptocurrency in the digital payment arena appears to be affecting the landscape of cross-border remittances. Financial institutions and other mainstream establishments are now jostling with blockchain startups for control over an industry that could possibly experience massive growth over the next few years. With more participants comes greater competition and an emphasis on creating the most robust operating technology. To achieve this aim, some players are leveraging their status as giants of their respective mainstream fields while others are pursuing partnerships and collaborations. For historically unbanked and underbanked areas of the world, the emerging landscape is one that offers greater financial inclusion and the many benefits that come with it. As these companies go head-to-head, people in places histori..

US Researchers Develop Blockchain Protocol to Fight Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Researchers at Portland State University have created a blockchain protocol to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from filling the market. Portland State University (PSU) researchers have made a blockchain protocol to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from filling the market, according to a press release published on April 15. PSU researcher and professor of computer science at the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, Nirupama Bulusu, in collaboration with PSU computer science doctoral student Naif Alzahrani published a work dubbed "A new product anti-counterfeiting blockchain using a truly decentralized dynamic consensus protocol." In the paper, the researchers described a new blockchain-based method to record transactions geared to facilitate the fight against fake pharmaceuticals by product checking and decentralization. The proposed solution represents a blockchain-based chain of information, with only users possessing a specific key to access or modify the store..

British Royal, US Ambassador Say Tech, Blockchain Can Help Fight Human...

Dignitaries and experts at a conference in Vienna noted the potential of new tech like blockchain in fighting human trafficking. Princess Eugenie of the United Kingdom and United States anti-human trafficking Ambassador John Richmond recently spoke in favor of using new technology like phone apps and blockchain to address human trafficking, Reuters reports on April 8. At a conference in Vienna, Austria hosted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), experts noted that increased internet usage has expanded the ability of traffickers to exploit potential targets. However, Princess Eugenie — the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth — reportedly noted that technology could also help fight trafficking. Eugenie, who founded the Anti-Slavery Collective in Britain in 2017, said: “I have learned about how blockchain is having a huge impact on supply chain management, and how an app in Britain can help the public report modern slavery at car washes.” Eugenie was referring..

Asia Pacific Conservative Union Launches Blockchain Ecosystem to Fight Authoritarianism

A blockchain platform meant to fight authoritarianism has been launched by the Asia Pacific Conservative Union. Two executives from the Asia Pacific Conservative Union (APCU) have launched the Liberty Ecosystem, a blockchain-based network designed to fight authoritarianism, a press release shared with Cointelegraph reveals on March 2. The co-founders of the project are APCU chairman, Jikido "Jay" Aeba, and CEO and co-founder of the organization, Yasu Kikuta. The press release describes the initiative as a “decentralized federation of local advocacy and economic development organizations seeking to combat the rise of authoritarianism in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.” Per the announcement, regimes like China invest in foreign infrastructure projects in a bid to assert control over the political sovereignty of other countries. Such use of economic power to exert political control has reportedly started to result in the exportation of the authoritarian government model to ..

Circle Introduces Market Surveillance to Fight Insider Trading, ‘Pump and Dump’...

Circle plans to ensure it is protected against malicious trading schemes and on the right side of regulators. Blockchain finance company Circle will use digital financial services company Nice Actimize’s market monitoring tools to fight manipulation, a press release confirmed on Feb. 27. Nice Actimize, which forms a branch of Israeli enterprise software giant Nice Ltd., offers professional client tools in the areas of financial crime, risk and compliance. Circle will use Actimize’s Cloud Markets Surveillance (CMS) to proactively prevent and detect malicious trading activity on its own platform, including insider trading, layering and even so-called pump and dump schemes. “Adapting innovative technology solutions, such as the financial markets compliance solutions from Nice Actimize, to meeting the potential needs of regulators and protecting our assets brings this commitment full circle,” Circle’s head regulatory counsel and chief compliance officer, Robert Bench, commented in the pre..

Sony and Fujitsu Develop Blockchain Platform to Fight Fake Educational Qualifications

Sony and Fujitsu have developed a blockchain platform for verifying the authenticity of Japanese language qualifications of foreign students. Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony and IT equipment services firm Fujitsu have created an encrypted database for educational proficiency documents, The Asahi Shimbun reports on Feb. 26. The database, which reportedly employs blockchain technology, is used to prevent forgeries of language proficiency documents, which some foreigners purportedly use to receive resident status to study in Japan. Foreigners must submit a Japanese language proficiency certificate to the Immigration Bureau in order to receive resident status to study in Japan. Said certificates can be issued by Japanese educational institutions abroad. Japanese language schools within the country will submit the certificates on behalf of institutions overseas. Illegal copies of the language certificates have reportedly been found in several different countries. The Asahi Shimbun..

Under Fire: Kik Is Gearing Up for a Fight With the...

Messaging app Kik intends to take the fight to the SEC if regulatory action is taken against its 2017 token sale. Canadian-based social media startup Kik is gearing up to challenge a proposed enforcement action from the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) over a fundraising initiative in 2017. The American securities regulator believes that Kik’s Token Distribution Event (TDE) two years ago violated securities laws. The company raised $97 million during its fundraising phase, a princely sum for a platform that has garnered millions of users since its inception. Following the SEC’s recommendation of an enforcement action in November 2018, Kik was served with a “Wells Notice,” a letter to the company that needs to be responded to in 30 days. Kik replied to the SEC in their “Wells Response” letter in December, arguing that the SEC’s regulation by enforcement approach has negatively affected the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency in the U.S. and has subsequently l..
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