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Vermont State Agencies Launch Blockchain Pilot Program for Captive Insurance Industry

Vermont's Secretary of State and Department of Financial Regulation have joined forces to explore blockchain benefits in captive insurance. Two agencies in the state government of Vermont in the United States have jointly launched a blockchain pilot program for captive insurance, according to an official announcement published on Jan. 11. The Secretary of State Jim Condos and Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak have signed an agreement to join forces to explore blockchain technology and the benefits of its deployment in maintaining records in the captive insurance field. Captive insurance is an alternative form of self-insurance where a parent group creates a licensed insurance company for itself. The type of alternative insurance helps large corporations to insure their own risks and reduce their insurance premiums. Issued on Jan. 10, the jointly developed Request for Information intends to identify potential collaborators in order to launch a pilot p..

US State of Wyoming Passes Two New Blockchain, Crypto-Related Bills

The American state of Wyoming has reportedly passed two further house bills that aim to foster a regulatory environment conducive to crypto and blockchain innovation. The state legislature of the American state of Wyoming has reportedly passed two new house bills that aim to foster a regulatory environment conducive to cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation. The developments were reported by the president of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, Caitlin Long, in two tweets posted Jan. 10 and Jan. 11. To press time, only the status of one of the bills — House Bill 62 — has been updated on Wyoming’s state legislature page, showing it passed 8-1 and has since been placed on general file. The official status of the second bill — House Bill 57 — has yet to be updated, with the last update on Jan. 8. Long’s tweet today, Jan. 11, reports that Bill 57 passed unanimously. Entitled “Wyoming Utility Token Act-property amendments,” Bill 62 is significant in establishing a new asset class, defining ..

France’s Yellow Vests Plan Bank Run to ‘Scare State Without Violence’

Organizers of the “Collectors’ Referendum” expect it to be the “most effective” demonstration so far. French grassroots political movement the Gilets Jaunes — Yellow Vests — is planning a bank run similar to Bitcoin’s (BTC) Proof of Keys, sources revealed on social media Jan. 7. Dubbed the “Collectors’ Referendum,” the latest demonstration by the movement calls on supporters to withdraw all their savings and other deposited cash from financial institutions on Saturday. Speaking in a video uploaded to Facebook, an activist known only as Tahz San said the gesture aimed to “scare this (French) state completely legally and without any violence, yet more effectively than ever expected” throughout the history of the Gilet Jaunes movement. “It’s our elected officials’ worst nightmare,” he added. As local magazine Capital notes, the potential disruptive element of the Referendum could technically be considerable. The eventual turnout, however, is likely to be low enough so as to not spark a c..

German State Bank KfW Tests Blockchain App for Public Finance Management...

German state-owned bank KfW will trial its blockchain-driven app in Burkina Faso, where it also funds water supply and sanitation programs. Germany’s major state-owned bank KfW and Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Finance will test a blockchain application for use in public financial management, according to a statement posted Monday, Dec. 17. KfQ, ranked in 2017 as the country’s third largest bank by total assets, had also previously signed an agreement with the Burkinabe government in June 2018, providing the country with a credit of €7 million ($7.9 million) to finance water supply and sanitation areas. According to the recent blockchain-related announcement, TruBudget, an open source app developed by KfW, will be tested in Burkina Faso, Africa within the next six months with the assistance of global consulting companies Accenture and BearingPoint. The application will allow users to store and approve all the contracts in the sector using blockchain in real-time mode. The bank expects it..

Report: Venezuela Converts Pension Bonuses into State-Issued Crypto Petro

Venezuela has reportedly automatically converted pensioners’ most recent monthly bonus into its national oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro. Venezuela has automatically converted pensioners’ most recent monthly bonus into its national oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR), according to a report from English-language politics blog Caracas Chronicles Dec. 12. First launched as a pre-sale in February, the controversial Petro has been in circulation as one of Venezuela’s two official currencies as of August 20: the second being a rebranded fiat currency, the Bolívar Soberano (Sovereign Bolivar, or Bs.S.), which is indexed to the Petro. According to Caracas Chronicles, pensioners’ recent government payouts Dec. 7 arrived initially in Bs.S. to pensioners’ web fiat wallets, but were automatically withdrawn and converted into Petro, with the new balance reportedly accompanied by a laconic description, “savings in petro.” The blog reproduces the alleged messages sent to pensioners as fo..

Four Vermont State Agencies Establish Blockchain Working Group

Four Vermont state agencies have launched a blockchain working group to learn more about the technology and its impact on the economy. Four agencies of the state government of Vermont in the United States have jointly formed a working group to study blockchain technology, according to an announcement published Dec. 10. The working group will comprise the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), the Secretary of State, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), and will include industry experts among members. The group will purportedly begin its work in January 2019. The group will purportedly address three core issues, including the opportunities, challenges, and concerns surrounding blockchain technology, the necessity of blockchain-specific regulation, and ways to protects customers who deploy the technology or are affected by it. Attorney General Donovan stated that the group will enable state regulatory agencies to better understan..

State Farm Tests Blockchain Solution to Speed Up Auto Insurance Claims

American insurance giant State Farm is testing a blockchain product to speed up the subrogation process for auto claims. U.S.-based insurance company State Farm is testing a blockchain-based solution to speed up the subrogation process for auto claims, according to an announcement published Dec. 10. State Farm is a large group of insurance and financial services firms that provides auto insurance in the U.S. The organization was ranked 38th on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of companies. Per the company’s website, it processes 38,300 claims per day and has nearly 519,000 accounts in mutual funds. State Farm is working on blockchain-based solution to speed up the subrogation processes in the insurance industry. Subrogation is a legal right held by most insurance carriers to legally pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured, and is usually the last part of an insurance claims process. State Farm is reportedly testing a blockchain solution collaboratively with another ..

Huobi Opens First Russian Office in Partnership with State Bank’s Digital...

Huobi has launched its first branch in Russia in partnership with local state-owned VEB bank’s blockchain and crypto center. Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has officially launched its first branch in Russia on Thursday, Dec. 6, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph today. The Moscow-based exchange, dubbed Huobi Russia, is established in partnership with the state-owned Russian Development Bank’s (VEB) Digital Transformation Center and supported by Huobi’s regional exchange partnership program, Huobi Cloud. The Center of Digital Transformation was created by VEB to promote blockchain and other crypto-related technologies, as its website states. Back in September of this year, Huobi first joined Russia’s VEB Innovation Fund and became a resident of the Digital Transformation Center to share experience on crypto regulation, with the fund’s CEO claiming that Huobi’s expertise will assist in building a “legal basis that could compete with current promising j..

Inside Chilean Power Battle: Crypto Exchanges vs. State Banks

The prerequisites and aftermath of the Supreme Court decision regarding crypto exchanges accounts. On Monday, Dec. 4, the Chilean Supreme Court welcomed the decision of state-owned Banco del Estado to close the accounts of local cryptocurrency exchange Orionx. The new phase in the legal battle between the banks and several crypto exchanges — including Buda.com and CryptoMarket (CryptoMKT), which had appealed against the denial of services — may look somewhat sinister from the outside. But the main players of the Chilean crypto market assured Cointelegraph that the recent decision could not prevent them from operating in the country. Exchanges vs. banks — a brief outline of the confrontationIn March, two crypto exchanges — Buda and CryptoMKT — came out with a joint statement, claiming that some banks in Chile had closed their accounts. “We are killing the whole industry long before exploring it and understanding its approach,” the release read. CryptoMKT also claimed that another bank ..

Singapore: State Agency Backs Blockchain Accelerator Launched by Venture Capital Firm

A new blockchain accelerator set to launch in Singapore is backed by a government body supporting enterprise development. Singaporean government body Enterprise Singapore, along with other partners, has supported a new blockchain accelerator launched by a local venture capital firm, daily local newspaper The Straits Times writes Tuesday, Dec. 4. Trive Ventures has launched the initiative, dubbed Tribe Accelerator, to support later-stage startups. According to the unnamed investor cited by The Straits Times, the accelerator is designed for a six-month period and will focus on the mass adoption of blockchain, decentralized applications (DApps), and back-end digital solutions that deal with blockchain. The managers for Tribe Accelerator will initially pick up eight start-ups to participate, and the launch of the program is scheduled for Q1 2019. Apart from Enterprise Singapore — formed April 2018 to support small and medium Singaporean enterprise development — Tribe Accelerator is report..
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