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Japanese Finance Giant SBI’s Crypto Subsidiary Backs Mobile Wallet BRD

SBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, has invested in Breadwinner AG, the company behind the cryptocurrency wallet app BRD. SBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of the Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has invested in crypto firm Breadwinner AG, Cointelegraph Japan reports on Jan. 15. SBI’s crypto investment fund did not disclose the amount contributed to Switzerland-based Breadwinner, the developer of mobile crypto wallet BRD. According to the announcement, BRD operates in 170 countries and has been downloaded by 1.8 million Android and iOS users. SBI’s Interim results announcement reveals that in the six months that ended Sept. 30, 2018, SBI Holdings registered over 176 million yen in revenue (about $1.6 million). BRD has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time. SBI Group as a whole has also invested in the crypto space previously. The company announced in August that it had invested in cryptocurrency exchange LastRoots for the second t..

Banking Giant HSBC’s Blockchain Platform Processed $250 Billion in Forex in...

HSBC has been operating blockchain-based forex payments for just ten months but has seen huge growth. International banking giant HSBC settled $250 billion of forex trades using blockchain technology in 2018. The company has revealed the figure in a press release quoted by the Financial Times (FT) Jan. 14. Through its proprietary blockchain platform dubbed “FX Everywhere,” HSBC handled 3 million transactions, which translated into 150,000 payments since it launched in February. The technology allows HSBC to “conduct thousands of foreign exchange transactions within the bank, across multiple balance sheets, in dozens of countries,” FT quoted Richard Bibbey, acting global head of currencies as saying. “FX Everywhere uses distributed ledger technology to drastically increase the efficiency of these internal flows.” The release did not mention the overall payment volumes for the bank last year, Reuters referencing Bibbey as confirming the $250 billion represented a “small” portion of the ..

Mining Giant Bitmain Reportedly Suspends Mining Operations in Texas

China-based leading mining and ASIC hardware producer Bitmain has reportedly suspended its mining operations in Rockdale. China-based leading mining and mining ASIC hardware producer Bitmain has reportedly suspended its mining operations in Rockdale, public radio station Texas Public Radio reports on Jan. 10. Rockdale is located in Milam County, east of Austin, in the United States state of Texas. Steve Young, a Milam County Judge, issued a statement reporting that all Bitmain employees but two engineers and the director of human relations had been laid off, and all operations had been suspended. According to the article, Young said later that the company told him Bitmain will scale down the operation rather than shut it down, now working with only five employees instead of 15. Young reportedly stated: “They have spent millions thus far to renovate the buildings. [...] I’m told there are 7,000 or 8,000 servers out there already.” According to the aforementioned article, Young cited th..

US Retail Giant Overstock to Use Bitcoin to Pay Its Taxes...

U.S. retailer Overstock, headed by crypto enthusiast Patrick Byrne, to pay taxes in the state of Ohio using Bitcoin. United States retailer Overstock.com has announced it will pay part of its business taxes in the state of Ohio using Bitcoin (BTC), according to an announcement on its website Jan. 3. Overstock will cover commercial activity taxes (CAT) with Bitcoin starting February, using the recently launched cryptocurrency taxpayer platform, OhioCrypto.com. The company’s CEO and founder Patrick Byrne — a longtime crypto enthusiast — said in the announcement that governmental adoption of cryptocurrencies and other emerging technologies, accompanied by friendly legislation, is "the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy." As Cointelegraph previously reported, Ohio became the first U.S. state to accept Bitcoin as a payment method for taxes in November. The service is currently available only for businesses, with reporte..

Japan: E-commerce Giant DMM Shutters Crypto Mining Business Due to Declining...

Japanese e-commerce conglomerate DMM.com Ltd. will shut down its crypto mining business, citing deteriorating profitability. Japanese e-commerce conglomerate DMM.com Ltd. will shut down its crypto mining business, citing deteriorating profitability as the main cause. Local business magazine Toyo Keizai reported the shutdown on Dec. 30. The decision was reportedly taken in September 2018, and initial steps to dismantle mining operations — including selling the company’s mining hardware — will reportedly extend over the first half of 2019. DMM.com, which has over 27 million clients for its e-commerce business, first announced its entry into the crypto mining business in September 2017, with a focus on mining major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). As of February this year, the company has operated a large-scale mining farm in the city of Kanazawa. By April, DMM had even planned to open a showroom for its mining operations, intending to open acces..

Japanese Giant Mizuho Financial Group to Introduce Digital Currency for Cashless...

Japanese giant Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a digital currency for remittances and payments in March. Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a digital currency to be used for remittances and payments in March, English-language Asian media Nikkei reports Dec. 26. According to the article, the fees that the retail shops will be required to pay for accepting the currency will be significantly lower than the fees charged for credit card usage. The transfer of funds back and forth between the digital wallet and the bank account will be reportedly free, as will be sending funds to other users. Furthermore, according to Nikkei, the bank brought “about 60 regional banks on board” to promote cashless payments. Moreover, regional banks will reportedly be able to provide the service under a common name, which hasn’t been established yet. The currency will reportedly be managed by a dedicated smartphone app, and the payments will be made using QR codes. The token will be a..

US Telecoms Giant Comcast to Make Blockchain Software Available in 2019

Telecoms giant Comcast will launch its blockchain platform Blockgraph in 2019 to improve the efficiency of TV marketing and advertising. American global telecommunications conglomerate Comcast aims to make its blockchain initiative Blockgraph commercially available in 2019, according to a press release published Dec. 21. “Comcast is currently working with NBCUniversal to test Blockgraph’s capabilities with plans of incorporating it into its addressable offering in early 2019,” states the release. Comcast is a global media company founded in 2001, that provides cable television, Internet and telecoms services. Comcast is purportedly the second largest broadcasting company in the world in terms of revenue and largest TV company in the United States. The company’s consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $22.1 billion. According to Comcast, its Cable Advertising division initiated the next phase of its Blockgraph platform — a product designed to secure personal data and sha..

Gaming Giant Atari to Launch ‘Blockchain Versions’ of Two Popular Games

Atari and startup Animoca Brands will launch blockchain versions of the popular mobile games “RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch” and “Goon Squad.” Major gaming company Atari has entered into a license agreement with blockchain startup Animoca Brands to make blockchain versions of two popular mobile games. The news was announced in a press release published Dec. 18. Atari — famous for being the developer of video games such as Tetris and Pac Man — says the rights agreement allows Animoca to produce and publish blockchain versions of Atari mobile games “RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch” and “Goon Squad” globally, excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, the press release claims, has “19 million downloads” worldwide, and has reportedly seen a boost from new features that include a “Water Park” expansion, as well as a partnership with “Foodgod” Jonathan Cheban. The two firms have also reportedly entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore mutual opportu..

Telecoms Giant AT&T Seeks Patent for Blockchain-Enabled Social Media ‘Mapping’ System

Telecoms conglomerate AT&T is seeking a patent for a blockchain-based system that would create a “mapping” platform for content on social media networks American telecoms giant AT&T is seeking a patent for a blockchain-based social media history “map.” The patent application was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Dec. 13. AT&T’s patent application describes a blockchain-powered system that may include a transaction history controller to store subscribers’ data, which may be used for various purposes. The file outlines a number of particular cases, such as creating and sharing information, ideas, and career interests through virtual communities and networks. Broadly speaking, by deploying the system users could purportedly track “micro-culture transactions,” like tracing current trends at a particular time or place, or behavior of their friends. That ability, per the patent application, “may have enormous value in e-commerce, marketing, and targeted advertising.”..

South Korean Internet Giant Kakao Invests in Blockchain Startup Orbs

Orbs, an Israeli blockchain startup, has received an investment from South Korea’s largest messaging app operator Kakao. South Korea’s largest messaging app operator Kakao has invested in Orbs, an Israeli blockchain startup, Reuters reports Dec. 13. The report states that Orbs did not disclose the size of the investment. Moreover, the startup reportedly explained that this investment “builds on its existing partnership with Kakao blockchain subsidiary Ground X.” As Cointelegraph reported in October, Ground X released the testnet of its DApp platform Klaytn ahead of its scheduled release next year. The aforementioned partnership gave place to a collaboration “on blockchain applications and research and development projects.” According to CrunchBase data, Kakao has raised a total of $1.5 billion in four funding rounds. In addition to KakaoTalk, arguably the Kakao’s most well-known project, the conglomerate includes mobile payment application KakaoPay and internet bank KakaoBank. Orbs, a..
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