Blockchain Used by Budweiser Owner InBev to Help African Farmers
AB InBev, the company behind the Budweiser brand, is helping local African farmers to prove their income using blockchain, Yahoo Finance reports on Jan. 21. A blockchain-based system developed in partnership with BanQu tracks all the local suppliers of AB InBev, replacing the paper trail. AB InBev is a multinational conglomerate born out of the merger of several established beer producers. It includes Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona as some of its most recognizable brands.
Six Major Central Banks to Collaborate on Digital Currency Research
The central banks of Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, European Union, Sweden and Switzerland created a group with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to jointly research central bank digital currencies (CBDC). According to a press release published by the Bank of England on Jan. 21, the aforementioned institutions will share their experience with other group members as they study potential use cases for CBDCs in their respective jurisdictions.
Raiz to Offer Bitcoin Fund to Australian Retail Investors in 2020
Australian micro-investment startup Raiz is set to bring Bitcoin (BTC) fund options to its users, Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports on Jan. 20. The firm cleared the last legal hurdle with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the country’s financial watchdog agency. Raiz is a fintech startup offering micro-investment services to its 300,000 registered accounts. Like the United States-based Acorns and other worldwide startups, it “rounds up” the spare change from the users’ purchases to invest it in a set of investment products, generally comprising exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Indian IT Minister Requests Blockchain Solutions to Improve Government Schools
The Indian Telecoms and IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has tasked the National Informatics Centre (NIC) with developing a blockchain-based solution for improving the quality of government schools. According to a Jan. 20 report by the Press Trust of India, the minister made the request at the inauguration of a blockchain technology center of excellence, set up by NIC in Bengaluru, on Jan. 18.
New Hampshire’s Second Bill to Accept Bitcoin as Tax Payment Fails
Lawmakers in the New Hampshire state legislature have killed a bill that would have allowed state agencies to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes. On Jan. 8, the New Hampshire House of Representatives announced a decision to retract the bill, following a motion from the General Court’s Executive Departments and Administration Committee to deem the initiative as “inexpedient to legislate.”
Canadian Regulator Issues New Guidance for Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Canadian authorities have issued new guidance to determine which digital currency trading platforms fall under derivatives law. The Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) explained new provisions in the “Guidance on the Application of Securities Legislation to Entities Facilitating the Trading of Crypto Assets” published on Jan. 16.
Liquid Cancels Sale of Telegram's Gram Tokens, Returns Funds to Investors
Liquid Exchange has canceled the sale of Telegram Open Network’s (TON) Gram tokens, according to a Jan. 10 company post. The exchange returned the funds of all investors who participated in the unofficial sale. The exchange reportedly canceled the sale due to the delay in the launch of TON’s mainnet. At the time of the sale in July 2019, it was believed that the network would be live on Oct. 31. However, the launch was impeded by the SEC’s investigation into the original Gram offering, which it argues was an unregistered sale of securities. Liquid’s terms of sale stated that all funds were to be returned to the investors in case TON failed to launch by Nov. 30, 2019.
Gemini Launches Firm to Insure Its Own Crypto Custody Branch for $200M
The Winklevoss’ Gemini Exchange has launched an insurance company to cover up to $200 million for Gemini Custody — reportedly the largest amount for any crypto custody service in the world. Head of risk at Gemini Yusuf Hussain shared the news with Cointelegraph on Jan. 16. The captive insurance company is called Nakamoto, Ltd. and will secure Gemini’s custody business for up to $200 million.
Blockchain Firm BitFury Partners With UN on Forest Project in Kazakhstan
Blockchain development firm Bitfury is set to partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on a project to conserve and increase Kazakhstan’s forestland. As the Astana Times reported on Jan. 14, the project aims to help the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% over the coming decade to meet its commitments in the 2016 Paris Agreement.
Maduro Orders State-Run Firm to Sell 4.5M Oil Barrels for Petro
Venezuela will soon sell oil from reserves of a state-run oil and gas company for its national oil-pegged cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR). Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has signed a decree to sell 4.5 million barrels of oil from the certified 30 million-barrel reserve maintained by Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-owned company officially announced on Jan. 14.