Can Blockchain E-Passports Help Save the Tourism Industry?

Can Blockchain E-Passports Help Save the Tourism Industry?

ShareRing has launched an anonymous e-passport app with contact tracing in an effort to revive the $9 trillion global tourism industry.

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Enterprise-focused blockchain company ShareRing has launched a blockchain based contact tracing solution it will offer to 2.6 million hotel and activity providers that currently use one of the company’s services. The anonymous e-passport app hopes to solve the privacy issues facing similar tracing apps.

ShareRing’s app, which focuses on tourism’s $9 trillion tourism industry, allows users to upload important documentation, such as e-visa on arrival (eVOA), passport information, travel insurance, flight and accommodation bookings and a negative COVID-19 test result. 

When a user of the app subsequently tests positive to the virus, the app will anonymously send the necessary information to the government, allowing others to be notified if they have been in contact.

The app can also integrate with eVOA systems, travel insurance companies, airlines, hotels and other relevant organisations, allowing companies to scan the app to reveal test results without revealing any personal information. ShareRing Co-Founder Jane Sadler-Kidd explained that documentation and personal information does not leave the device:

“When someone signs up for a ShareRing ID, we take their photo, video selfie, name, DOB, address, etc and store it in an encrypted file that never leaves the user’s device.  We also take a ‘fingerprint’ of the data and documentation and store that on the blockchain.”

In order to speed up adoption, ShareRing enables governments and businesses to integrate the passport app on existing solutions without using the ShareRing brand. Kidd added the Covid-19 passport was low-cost, and appealing to consumers.

“It encourages adoption among the population by building it in a way that provably safeguards their privacy.”

Blockchain is fighting COVID-19 on all fronts

Contact tracing is not the only front that companies are utilizing blockchain to fight the global pandemic. The world’s third largest pasta producer, De Cecco is adopting the Infection Risk Management solution My Care built on VeChain to help ensure the safety of employees and operators throughout Italy.

In March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a blockchain based platform MiPasa to facilitate “fully private information sharing between individuals, state authorities and health institutions.”

The Netherlands is also using the blockchain platform Tymlez to map and analyse the country’s medical supply chain, while a similar application is being used in the United States and Canada in collaboration with IBM.


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ShareRing has launched an anonymous e-passport app with contact tracing in an effort to revive the $9 trillion global tourism industry.

Even Putin Couldn’t Save This Dark Web Mastermind From Prison

Even Putin Couldn’t Save This Dark Web Mastermind From Prison

Even Vladimir Putin was not able to save this Dark Web mastermind who ran an elite invite-only cybercrime club.

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A Russian hacker was sentenced to nine years in prison by a U.S. court on June 26. The hacker, Aleksei Burkov, was previously considered to be of personal interest by Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Exclusive cybercrime with premium $5k membership fee

Burkov was accused of running a website called “Cardplanet” which sold payment card information:

“Many of the card numbers offered for sale belonged to U.S. citizens. The stolen credit card data sold on Burkov’s site has resulted in over $20 million in fraudulent purchases made using U.S. credit card accounts.”

Allegedly Burkov also ran an exclusive invite-only club for cybercriminals, where the participants could advertise stolen goods and illicit services. A required membership fee of $5,000 was used to filter out law enforcement:

“To obtain membership in Burkov’s cybercrime forum, prospective members needed three existing members to “vouch” for their good reputation among cybercriminals and to provide a sum of money, normally $5,000, as insurance. These measures were designed to keep law enforcement from accessing Burkov’s cybercrime forum and to ensure that members of the forum honored any deals made while conducting business on the forum.”

High stakes poker: Russia-Israel-USA

Burkov was arrested in 2015 in Israel. In October 2019, an Israeli-American named Naama Issachar was arrested at the Moscow airport when a few grams of marijuana were found in her luggage. Subsequently, she was sentenced to 7 ½ years.

According to the New York Times, there were talks of a possible exchange between high-ranking Russain and Israeli officials. However, Israel’s Supreme Court had already decided to extradite Burkov to the U.S., leaving Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with minimal options. Eventually, the exchange happened, but instead of turning over Burkov, Israel turned over Alexander Courtyard in Jerusalem that used to belong to the Russian Empire to Russia.

Centralized virtual currencies

Burkov’s criminal enterprise entered operation before Bitcoin (BTC) became popular. It originally dealt in early virtual currencies like Liberty Reserve, WebMoney, and even Western Union.

Philip Osborne, a former cybercrime investigator at the United States Department of Homeland Security, confirmed to Cointelegraph that these forms of payment prevailed in the early days of cybercrime. He also noticed that the centralized nature of these payment mechanisms made the job of investigators much easier.


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Even Vladimir Putin was not able to save this Dark Web mastermind who ran an elite invite-only cybercrime club.

Crypto Could Save Millennials From the Economy That Failed Them

Crypto Could Save Millennials From the Economy That Failed Them

The Millennial generation will lead humanity to an era of new financial technology as they drive Bitcoin adoption through the next decade.

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In a seminal blog post by Blockchain Capital, Bitcoin (BTC) was described as a “demographic mega-trend.” And while new technology tends to follow a path of diffusion from younger to older generations, there is another thing driving crypto adoption among Millennials: The fiat-based economy has failed them.

The demographic megatrend

An online Harris poll conducted in April 2019 found that people aged 18–34 were three times as likely to be familiar with Bitcoin as those over 65, and twice as likely as those aged 50–64. They outgunned all age groups in terms of familiarity.

Picture 1

Even more striking, 59% of millennials had a positive view of Bitcoin as a fintech innovation. The demographic surged ahead of the second-most enthusiastic group (aged 35–44), almost twice as enthusiastic about the technology as older working generations and three times as positive as retirees.

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It is not necessarily surprising that younger generations are more enthusiastic about cryptocurrency. Everett Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory depicts how new innovations are adopted.

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According to Rogers, innovators and early adopters are typically urban, educated, socially active and young.

But there is something else driving crypto into the arms of Millennials: the economy.

The toughest uphill climb in history

The Millennials are a generation that has been shaped by recessionary forces. With employment levels since the COVID-19 pandemic now falling back to levels of the year 2000, Millennials, having already been through a post-9/11 recession and yet another following the 2008 global financial crisis, now face yet another episode of what the Washington Post has identified as “slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history.”

Among the older group in the Millennial generation, sluggish growth and a jobless recovery defined their earlier working life post-GFC. The recession that will result from the pandemic this year will now define the entrance into the labor market of the younger set of Millennials. According to the Washington Post:

“Millennial employment plunged by 16 percent in March and April this year. […] That’s faster than either Gen X (12 percent) or the baby boomers (13 percent).”

Bleak employment prospects and sluggish wage growth will have defined the working lives of an entire generation.

Even before COVID-19 hit the American economy, a study last year found that:

“All the major life milestones — marriage, children, homeownership — have arrived measurably later for millennials than for the three previous generations for which we have comparable data.”

The Federal Reserve of St. Louis found that since the beginning of the Great Recession, older Millennials were the “only generation to have fallen further behind between 2010 and 2016.”

With the effects of COVID-19 about to pound them again, the generation least prepared for yet another crushing recession already have zero housing net-worth.

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 Crypto adoption highest among the generation abandoned by the system

Millennial enthusiasm for crypto is a function of more risk aversion and tech savviness among younger people. But it is more than that. The Millennial generation could see crypto as an alternative to a volatile economic structure that has repeatedly failed them.

Statistics recently released by BlockFi had the open finance player conclude that “outsized Millennial and Gen Z ownership of crypto will create generational wealth for Millennial and Gen Z families.”

Citing Charles Schwab’s Q4 2019 data, BlockFi found that the publicly listed Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust was among the largest stock holdings for Millennials, behind only Amazon, Apple, Tesla and Facebook. It wasn’t among the top 10 for Baby Boomers.

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Buffeted by recessions and jobless recoveries, the Millennial generation has borne the brunt of the hardship that economic slowdowns cause. That hardship includes the inability to recover during periods of expansion.

It is no coincidence, then, that the demographic most likely to be early adopters of new innovations is also the one most in need of an escape route to the economic freedoms crypto can bestow.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Paul de Havilland is a fan of disruptive technology and an active investor in startups. He has experience covering both traditional and emerging asset classes, and also pens columns on politics and the development sector. His passions include violin and opera.


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The Millennial generation will lead humanity to an era of new financial technology as they drive Bitcoin adoption through the next decade.

Rich Dad Poor Dad Author’s Warning: ‘Get Bitcoin and Save Yourself’

Rich Dad Poor Dad Author’s Warning: ‘Get Bitcoin and Save Yourself’

Robert Kiyosaki’s May 19 message on Twitter to buy Bitcoin was more ominous than his earlier prediction of a $75,000 BTC price.

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Businessman Robert Kiyosaki isn’t the only high-profile figure to advocate turning to Bitcoin during the current financial crisis, but he is one of the few making it sound like a life and death decision.

On May 19, the best selling author of the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” took to Twitter in a mostly all-caps message denouncing the Federal Reserve’s actions during the pandemic and his belief that assets like gold, silver, and Bitcoin (BTC) would be investors’ saviors during this crisis.

Kiyosaki’s previous tweet — written just five hours earlier — was far more ominous in its warnings, throwing shade at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a well-known figure in the United States’ coronavirus response. He expressed his concerns about a “new pandemic” and “more fear” later in 2020.

Cointelegraph reported on May 17 that the author had used Twitter to predict a Bitcoin price of $75,000 with a somewhat more subdued message: his fear of a dying economy, and belief the Fed has incompetently handled the financial crisis.


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Robert Kiyosaki’s May 19 message on Twitter to buy Bitcoin was more ominous than his earlier prediction of a $75,000 BTC price.

How You Could Save Money When Reporting Crypto Taxes

How You Could Save Money When Reporting Crypto Taxes

There is no denying that you should be paying taxes on your income from crypto, but how can you ensure that you are not paying more taxes than you owe?

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Many crypto holders are reporting their crypto transactions for the first time as a result of the United States Internal Revenue Service’s question about “virtual currency” on the 2019 tax return form.

It is a big question for some taxpayers — many have not reported their crypto gains in the past or may have done so without a great deal of precision. Should a taxpayer let bygones be bygones or file an amended return to accurately reflect their historical income from crypto? The IRS subpoenas of crypto exchanges for taxpayers’ trading histories certainly raise the stakes. To layer more on, statutes of limitations, potential penalties and/or IRS leniency may vary based on the degree of previous noncompliance.

Related: IRS Crypto Tax Return Question — Be Careful How You Answer

Decisions in one tax year have consequences in future years. This is because gain/loss amounts vary based on which crypto assets are treated as purchased or sold and when these trades occur. Sale of an asset in one year raises the question of how or when a taxpayer acquired that specific asset in the past. If an acquisition was the fruit of mining, staking or an airdrop that was not reported, a taxpayer may need to explain why this transaction was not reported as income on their previous year’s tax return.

Given the recent changes and uncertainties, new software has been designed for investors, traders and other participants in the crypto ecosystem. Such tax compliance software is necessary because, unlike traditional financial assets, trading and other activities in crypto are not reliably reported — or often not at all — on IRS information returns (such as 1099 forms). 

Trading in cryptocurrency differs from trading in traditional financial assets in a variety of ways. This includes the movement of taxpayer assets across exchanges in nontaxable transactions, paying fees in capital assets (rather than cash), differing tickers from one exchange to the next, decimal precision and the unique transactions that only occur in the cryptosphere. These are some of the reasons why traditional or generic tax compliance software often falls short in serving the crypto ecosystem.

However, not all crypto tax software is created equal:

  1. Some ignore fees associated with transacting in crypto that typically leads to an overpayment of tax on gains or an understatement of losses — which can be used to offset taxable gains. It’s important for your software to properly account for transaction fees so your taxable income is not overstated.
  2. Some do not properly address the uniqueness of crypto data, such as the differing tickers across exchanges for the same asset and varying decimal precision. Mistakes in these two areas can lead to inaccurate taxable income calculations and risk of an audit.
  3. Some do not provide sufficient flexibility for the particular taxpayer’s circumstances or blindly apply imprecise or generic tax principles. This rigidity can have adverse financial consequences for taxpayers in the absence of detailed IRS guidance. One example is the reporting of airdrops, mining and staking rewards where some taxpayers believe the IRS’s guidance is too broad when applied to different factual variations. Another example involves the potential for claiming ordinary, rather than capital, loss treatment for certain crypto assets. Ordinary losses are often easier to use for reducing taxable income.
  4. Some offer taxpayers accounting methods for crypto that are impermissible in the United States — e.g., average cost — without adequate warnings. Others do not support or display the benefits of tax optimizing methods that allow taxpayers to identify assets with the highest tax bases as the ones sold, a method known as highest-in, first-out
  5. Some only match acquisitions and dispositions on a single exchange rather than across all of a taxpayer’s different trading venues. This can have a material impact on taxable income calculations. Generally, this will also result in non-optimal taxable income calculations when applying different accounting methods such as first-in, first-out, last-in, first-out and highest-in, first-out.
  6. Some were developed in a vacuum and not subject to the rigors of independent audits for Service Organization Controls relevant to software-as-a-service providers. Only crypto software providers with the highest level of internal controls for reporting, security, privacy and processing have both SOC 1, Type 2, and SOC 2, Type 2 certifications. The use of software without these certifications increases a taxpayer’s risks — both tax and non-tax related.

The list goes on, and there are even more points that can be made in choosing the right crypto tax software for an area where there is little specific tax guidance. The lack of specific guidance for crypto does not mean that there are no rules, however. It just means that a finer-tooth comb is needed to determine which tax rules apply to crypto, and how that application differs from traditional financial assets. 

There can be advantages to such an analysis that can significantly reduce tax expenses or increase a taxpayer’s refund. A flexible tool is often needed to help users make informed decisions that can ultimately save taxes or increase a refund.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Roger Brown is the head of tax and regulatory affairs at Lukka. He has more than 27 years of experience as an international tax and financial products lawyer. He spent a decade at the national office of the Internal Revenue Service writing regulations and other guidance, and prior to Lukka, he spent a similar period of time as a partner in Ernst & Young’s financial institutions and products office. After being tasked to be the lead international tax partner on a number of Ernst & Young’s largest banking, insurance and other capital markets clients — often bridging the intersection of tax and capital markets regulations — Roger became one of the company’s leaders in the fintech and blockchain space.


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There is no denying that you should be paying taxes on your income from crypto, but how can you ensure that you are not paying more taxes than you owe?

Petro Couldn’t Save the Cartel of the Suns Conspiracy From the Sting of Sanctions

Petro Couldn’t Save the Cartel of the Suns Conspiracy From the Sting of Sanctions

The international sanctions effectively acted as an embargo isolating Venezuela economically, and Petro cannot help Maduro save the country’s economy

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At the end of February, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed its Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program, which targets peer-to-peer and darknet markets for the illicit use of cryptocurrencies. Then, in a press conference one month later, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and 14 other top officials in the country. The charges include leveraging political offices, financial systems and cryptocurrencies for conducting and concealing a massive government-run drug-trafficking, narco-terrorism and corruption operation for over 20 years. This systemic corruption raided Venezuela of billions of dollars and economically wrecked the country, according to the U.S. prosecutors.

The U.S. maintains that Maduro and the “Cartel of the Suns,” a drug-trafficking organization comprising high-level military, government officials and intelligence operatives, weaponized 250 metric tons of cocaine against the U.S., which they allegedly delivered via Central America by airplane or via the Caribbean by boat.

“Maduro and the other defendants expressly intended to flood the United States with cocaine in order to undermine the health and wellbeing of our nation,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman asserted

In a separate indictment, the Southern District of New York charged Venezuela’s superintendent of cryptocurrency, Joselit Ramirez Camacho, and others for engaging in a series of crimes in an attempted evasion of U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions. According to court papers, Camacho instructed a U.S. person to open a bank account and set up a shell corporation in Istanbul, Turkey, to be used in a scheme to launder the proceeds of their illicit activity in order to evade OFAC’s sanctions.

Alysa Erichs, the acting executive associate director of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, explained in the DOJ press release: 

“The collaborative nature of this investigation is representative of the ongoing work HSI and international law enforcement agencies perform each day, often behind the scenes and unknown to the public, to make our communities safer and free from corruption. […] HSI’s global reach and commitment to aggressively identify, target and investigate individuals who violate U.S. laws, exploit financial systems and hide behind cryptocurrency to further their illicit criminal activity. Let this indictment be a reminder that no one is above the law — not even powerful political officials.”

World’s first national cryptocurrency — Petro

The concept of national, bi-national and multinational cryptocurrencies have attracted many governments across the world, particularly those that have been sanctioned by the U.S. — i.e., Venezuela and Iran — but others as well, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, China, the European Union and Turkey

Notes: SPFS, CIPS.

The U.S. sanctions against Venezuela have largely isolated the country from the global financial system. As a way to circumvent wide-ranging U.S. sanctions and overcome chronic liquidity shortages, Wilmar Castro Soteldo, Venezuela’s agriculture minister, supported the creation of a state-sponsored cryptocurrency based on the gold standard or other resources — similar to Iran’s national cryptocurrency, Peyman — in order to save Venezuela’s economy and supplant the U.S. dollar’s hegemony.

After all, Iran is known for implementing the most creative, commodity-based, barter-style schemes to evade sanctions in modern history. These schemes have involved various countries — using the so-called “gas-for-gold” loophole — as well as the “Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges,” or INSTEX — a new cryptocurrency-based international payment gateway in the EU with barter-style features — in order to avoid the U.S. financial system and the sanctions crippling the country’s ability to trade with the world.

In December 2017, in a televised press conference, Maduro announced that his government was planning to issue a cryptocurrency/stablecoin, called the Petro, that would be backed by the country’s oil, gold and mineral reserves — and would be convertible into a number of fiat currencies, such as the Russian ruble, the Chinese yuan, the Turkish lira and the euro.

Related: Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies: Why Governments May (or May Not) Need Them

The Petro’s development was heavily influenced by former U.S. congressional intern Gabriel Jimenez. It is hosted on a blockchain platform that has been accused of being designed as a clone copy of Dash (DASH) in order to avoid detection by law enforcement officials.

Related: Sanctions Compliance for Transactions in Fiat and Cryptocurrencies Are the Same: Expert Take

U.S. sanctions

Shortly after the Petro’s launch on Feb. 20, 2019, in an executive order dated March 19, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump banned U.S. persons from buying any digital currency, digital coin or digital token that was issued by, for or on behalf of the government of Venezuela on or after Jan. 9, 2018. This ban was amended to include the risk of exposure to U.S. sanctions to any U.S. persons transacting with Venezuela’s national oil and gas company Petróleos de Venezuela regardless of the currency of the transaction.

Set against falling oil prices, the sanctions against Venezuela — which has the world’s largest oil reserves and where oil makes up 98% of the country’s export earnings — acted as an embargo that has ruined its economy. Accordingly, Maduro had to get even more innovative, pushing him further into the drug trafficking and sanctions-busting oil/gold/crypto trades. Maduro instituted measures to increase Petro’s use by announcing plans to use Petro for selling Venezuelan oil and stepped up sales of gold in sanctions-busting transactions similar to Iran’s commodity-based, barter-style schemes. 

During the past few years, Maduro has resorted to selling tons of Venezuela’s federal gold reserves as well as gold from illicit mining ventures to companies in places such as Switzerland, the UAE and Turkey using accounts in obscure banks. They transported bricks of gold — 23 tons of which was removed from the country’s bank vaults, according to published reports — onto privately chartered aircraft for flights to Istanbul, eventually intended for sale to European banks with the involvement of Colombia’s National Liberation Army. Last year, the DOJ charged a Turkish bank and an Iranian gold trader for evading U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Recently, Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft ended its operations in Venezuela, and sold all of its assets in the country to the Kremlin after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned its trading arm. Therefore, any future U.S. sanctions on Russian-controlled oil operations in Venezuela could target the Russian government/Kremlin directly.

Conclusion

It is yet to be seen if others involved in Venezuela’s international crypto-barter trades will face indictments from the DOJ for circumventing U.S. sanctions. The U.S. is offering a $15-million reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Maduro, as well as $10-million rewards for Diosdado Cabello, the president of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly; Tareck El Aissami, the vice president for the economy; Hugo Carvajal, a former director of military intelligence; and Clíver Alcalá Cordones, a retired major general.

The indictment of Maduro and his 14 cabinet members come subsequent to the conoravirus’s arrival in Venezuela — which has a nationwide quarantine in place since March 16. An oil price war and fears of a global recession have driven the price of oil to an 18-year low of $24 per barrel, less than half of what it was in February. Oil-producing countries break even at a price in the mid-$80s per barrel. 

The price of the Petro, Venezuela’s national digital currency put forward to avoid the sting of U.S. sanctions, is not known.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA, is an international tax attorney and certified public accountant who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.


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The international sanctions effectively acted as an embargo isolating Venezuela economically, and Petro cannot help Maduro save the country’s economy

Blockchain Can Save Pharmaceutical Industry $180 Million, Study Says

Blockchain Can Save Pharmaceutical Industry $180 Million, Study Says

A new FDA study shows that blockchain technology can save the pharmaceutical industry $180 million in labor costs by tracking and tracing prescription drugs

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UCLA Health and LedgerDomain, a blockchain development platform, announced a new study revealing that blockchain technology would save the United States pharmaceutical industry over $180 million each year.

The study was launched as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act Pilot Project Program. The program is part of a broader effort to develop an electronic, interoperable system to track prescription drugs throughout the U.S. 

According to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act enacted in 2013, by 2023, pharmacists in the U.S. will be required to verify prescription drugs before they are dispensed. This is problematic, however, because verifying drugs has never been a requirement for U.S. pharmacies. 

LedgerDomain CEO and Founder Ben Taylor told Cointelegraph during an interview at the Hyperledger Global Forum that 17% of prescription drugs in the U.S. are counterfeit. He explained that drug verification must be achieved in real-time to comply with DSCSA’s new standards, adding:

“In today’s drug supply chain, DSCSA-compliant verification is rare; in three years, it will be required. Without a real-time system that allows for single scans and near-instant verification, pharmacies will bear a massive regulatory burden.”

Blockchain as a solution for tracking prescription drugs

In order to solve this problem, LedgerDomain has partnered with UCLA Health — a leading U.S. dispensary that consists of five distinct pharmacies and over 200 clinics — to apply DSCSA requirements within one pharmacy located at one of the nation’s busiest hospitals. 

One of the Pilot Project Program’s objectives was to focus on enhanced requirements for package tracking. In turn, UCLA Health leveraged LedgerDomain’s blockchain-based mobile application, “BRUINchain,” to track a prescription drug called Spinraza. Created by biotechnology company Biogen, Spinraza acts as a treatment for children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy and is a critical, life-saving medication.

According to Taylor, BRUINchain is built on Hyperledger Fabric, an enterprise-grade, open-source distributed ledger. He explained how the platform operates:

“By leveraging blockchain technology, BRUINchain is able to track and trace drugs as they move through a pharmacy while verifying the legitimacy of the drug with the manufacturer before being administered.”

Taylor further noted that the application is designed as a shared, permissioned blockchain-based system where membership and participation in the network are controlled, rather than open to the public. This makes it possible for multiple parties to track and verify drugs using BRUINchain while preserving data integrity and security.

During the trial, UCLA Health officials used cell phones to scan FDA-stipulated two-dimensional barcodes placed on the bottom of Spinraza boxes. This allowed them to check for possible duplicates and to update the drug’s custody, allowing real-time reporting of inventory counts and locations within the UCLA pharmacy system. According to a report submitted to a peer-reviewed journal:

“The BRUINchain system requirements include scanning the drug package for a correctly formatted 2D barcode, flagging expired product, verifying the product with the manufacturer, and quarantining suspect and illegitimate products at the last mile: pharmacist to patient, the most complex area of the drug supply chain.”

Taylor also noted that BRUINchain can turn over data in real-time, in about 50 milliseconds. This is important, as drugs should be verified instantly, otherwise, dispensers would need to scan the packaging twice. 

Leveraging blockchain technology means that only a single scan is required, saving the U.S. pharmaceutical industry $180 million each year in labor costs alone. Blockchain technology would also reduce the need for pharmacies to hoard safety stock, resulting in $3.5 billion per year in savings.

While this may be the case, Taylor mentioned that the cost to implement a solution such as BRUINchain would result in a multi-billion dollar challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. “We learned that this current work process would cost UCLA about $5 million a year to comply with this system,” he explained. 

Blockchain for supply chain management

Although a blockchain-based solution such as BRUINchain could be costly to implement, it was nevertheless impressive during the trial, as Biogen, Spinraza’s manufacturer, never once had to scan a single product for verification. LedgerDomain made it easy to access Biogen’s relational database by loading it directly onto the BRUINchain blockchain.

The senior manager of clinical supply capabilities of Biogen, Imran Shakur, told Cointelegraph that blockchain technology has great potential to bring clarity to pharmaceutical supply chains, adding:

“Managing a global network of rare and specialty treatment requires a tremendous level of collaboration across different systems, people and processes. Each component is focused on ensuring that treatment is brought to a patient with care and assuredness. But, we have to ask ourselves: How do we manage the responsibility that our patients receive the right medication across all these various networks?” 

Shakur explained that while existing systems can help ensure patients receive correct, authentic medications, operational teams often work in silos. He noted that blockchain technology can seamlessly bring teams together to help deliver proper care to patients.

Moreover, the results of the study suggest how the BRUINchain can be effective. During the trial, a 100% success rate was observed across scanning, expiration detection and counterfeit detection. The paperwork was also reduced from approximately 1 hour to less than a minute.

Can this be applied to coronavirus test kits?

Given that the BRUINchain leverages blockchain technology to detect counterfeit prescription drugs, it may be possible to apply the same technology to ensure that coronavirus testing kits are authentic. A recent article from ABC News reported that fake home-testing kits for the coronavirus were seized at the Los Angeles International Airport. When asked if BRUINchain could be used to determine authentic coronavirus test kits in the future, Taylor responded:

“If you believe that the coronavirus pandemic is the new normal, supply chain assurance is more important than ever. Blockchain can provide an overlay that helps all stakeholders. Our goal is to apply blockchain in real-time to provide a single version of truth for everyone.”


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A new FDA study shows that blockchain technology can save the pharmaceutical industry $180 million in labor costs by tracking and tracing prescription drugs

Bitcoin, Not Governments Will Save the World After Crisis, Tim Draper Says

Bitcoin, Not Governments Will Save the World After Crisis, Tim Draper Says

Tim Draper now says Bitcoin, not governments, will save the world when it comes back

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Amid some notable recovery of Bitcoin (BTC) after a number of subsequent market crashes last week, billionaire investor Tim Draper delivered another optimistic forecast about Bitcoin.

In a March 16 interview with 415 Stories podcast, Draper outlined decentralization powered by Bitcoin and other new technologies as a major tool that has the “ability to transform the biggest industries in the world.”

“It will be Bitcoin, not banks and governments that save the day”

According to Draper, Bitcoin will be one of the most crucial tools in the times of the recovery of the ongoing global financial crisis, opposing the major cryptocurrency to centralized structures like banks and governments. Referring to the interview, Draper tweeted:

“Entertainment for while you are holed up. When the world comes back, it will be Bitcoin, not banks and governments that save the day.”

In the interview, Draper expressed confidence that new technologies like Bitcoin and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to completely transform all the industries from banking to healthcare and real estate, tapping trillions of dollars of their value. As an example, Draper cited a use case in the insurance industry, arguing that the combination of AI, blockchain-powered smart contracts and Bitcoin is a perfect start for an insurance company.

Draper said:

„For example, I could start an insurance company with an actuary AI to determine fraud and a smart contract with Bitcoin and put it all on the blockchain.“ 

Draper is known for his $250,000 Bitcoin prediction

A pioneer of business ventures in the U.S. and a co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Venture Company, Tim Draper has emerged as one of the major advocates for the crypto industry. Alongside prominent Bitcoin bulls like Morgan Creek’s founder Anthony Pompliano and former antivirus software magnate John McAfee, Draper is known for making some big predictions for Bitcoin. After predicting that the price of Bitcoin will hit $250,000 by the end of 2022, Draper upped the ante, saying his own prediction may be understating the power of Bitcoin. In February 2020, Draper revealed that he quit stocks for crypto in late August 2019.

Apart from being bullish on crypto, Draper is also investing in technology developments. As reported by Cointelegraph, the investor is now seeing major potential in technologies like decentralized finance. As such, on March 16, Draper invested in DeFi Money Markets DAO, purchasing a stake in the form of the upcoming governance token DMG.


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Tim Draper now says Bitcoin, not governments, will save the world when it comes back

Coinbase Launches BTC Transaction Batching, Saving Users 50% on Fees

Coinbase Launches BTC Transaction Batching, Saving Users 50% on Fees

Batching BTC transactions will save users 50% on fees, according to a blog post released by Coinbase on March 13

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Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently unveiled a new feature on its platform designed to save users money on transactions fees.

According to a blog post released by the exchange on March 13, Coinbase would immediately begin offering Bitcoin (BTC) transaction batching for its customers.

The move taken by Coinbase, which “requires no action from customers”, will allow single on-chain transactions of cryptocurrencies to be bundled into one. The exchange predicts this will reduce the load on the BTC network and the resulting fees customers pay for sending money.

Saving users 50% on transaction fees

Eli Haims, Coinbase Product Manager, described the move as one for which users could save on transaction fees. By reducing the load on the network by more than 50%, the transaction fees would lower by an equivalent amount.

“Supporting transaction batching is one way that Coinbase can help make Bitcoin more usable by lowering network fees overall and freeing up space on the blockchain. This enables the network to increase transaction throughput, and helps to increase scalability.”

According to CoinMetrics, the average fee for transactions on the BTC network is currently about $0.30.

Transaction batching long planned by Coinbase

This new feature has been in the works for Coinbase for some time. CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted in June 2019 that it was “embarrassing how long it has taken“ to release transaction batching.

Though batching will now be available for both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro platforms, others were quicker on the uptake. U.S. based crypto exchange Kraken and Switzerland-based ShapeShift already offer transaction batching.


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Batching BTC transactions will save users 50% on fees, according to a blog post released by Coinbase on March 13

Air Cargo Industry Could Save $400M Per Year With Innovative Blockchain Tech

Air Cargo Industry Could Save $400M Per Year With Innovative Blockchain Tech

Air Cargo businesses are expecting blockchain to save $400M per year for their industry

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Sita, an air transport communications and information tech company, and ULD Care, a trade association, are exploring the possibility of using blockchain technology to save $400M a year in the air cargo industry, according to the March 12 announcement.

Blockchain platform brings down cost and improves efficiency

Blockchain technology allows air cargo companies to digitally track and record the change of custody for airline cargo containers, or Unit Load Devices (ULDs), as they journey between destinations. These companies aim to bring down industry costs, improve efficiency, drive fewer losses, and prevent damage to cargo.

The proposed blockchain platform will also embed authentication and trust-based functions to reduce the risk of tampering, cybercrime, trade-based money laundering, fraud, and illicit trade. Bob Rogers, vice president and treasurer of ULD Care, added that:

“A container travelling from Shanghai to Long Beach could take up to 30 days to finish its journey, but the true travel time on sea or road is only around 15 days, with the remaining time spent on back-office and paperwork. The use of blockchain could revolutionize that process.”

Blockchain provides a solution for common challenges

Currently, there are up to 12 custodian companies monitoring and tracking the cargo for any given shipments, according to the announcement. Most of these companies depend on paper documents. This makes the process complicated and causes frequent trust and transparency issues.

Blockchains, however, save time and cost, and can address many of the air cargo industry’s pain points. Matthys Serfontein, president of Air Travel Solutions for Sita, said that:

“We are looking at blockchain very closely and we’re excited to test the potential of the technology to transform the air cargo industry.”

Mathys also pointed out that blockchain’s potential goes way beyond cargo, and could solve common airline challenges in general.

Different industries are exploring blockchain technology in logistics

Cointelegraph reported previously that IBM Indonesia has joined TradeLens’s blockchain-based shipping platform. A recent report also shows there are 25 leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, logistic partners, and other representatives of the pharma supply chain who are in favor of adopting blockchain technology to track and trace prescription drugs after completing a pilot program with the US Food and Drug Administration.


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Air Cargo businesses are expecting blockchain to save $400M per year for their industry

UAE Can Save Over $3B by Deploying Blockchain, New Research Reveals

UAE Can Save Over $3B by Deploying Blockchain, New Research Reveals

A new report reveals that the United Arab Emirates could save over $3 billion by implementing blockchain tech through streamlining and digitizing administrative processes

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The deployment of blockchain technology can save the United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than $3 billion, according to new findings.

The findings were revealed in a white paper entitled “Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain: Case Studies and Learning from the United Arab Emirates,” Emirates News Agency reported on Jan. 15.

The paper was prepared by the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution UAE — a multi-stakeholder operation focused on science and technology — the Dubai Future Foundation and the World Economic Forum.

Sectors identify priorities for deploying blockchain

The white paper aimed to understand the current level of blockchain application, key challenges and success factors associated with the technology. More than 100 organizations from over 60 governmental and non-governmental entities that already use blockchain participated in the study.

The vast majority — 80% — of the surveyed government entities named early-stage identification of applicable blockchain solutions as the most important factor in deploying the technology.

For large organizations, the success of blockchain deployment relied on a clearly defined scope, roles and responsibilities within projects.

As for the public sector, education and alignment with stakeholders appeared to be the most critical challenge when it comes to blockchain implementation, with the private sector noting regulatory uncertainty as a key concern.

By integrating blockchain into their operations, the UAE government can also drastically reduce paperwork, eliminating 398 million printed documents and 77 million work hours per year, the analysis stated.

The UAE’s focus on blockchain

With reported 80% of public and private sector entities already using blockchain, the UAE has apparently dove headlong into the sector. The UAE, along with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is leading the charge when it comes to positive crypto and blockchain legislation. As blockchain author Sukhi Jutla previously told Cointelegraph:

“The UAE has been smart enough to understand that this innovation will grow in years to come and they don’t want to miss it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the UAE becomes the leading nation in this space just as they did with the oil and property space.“

Over the past several months, the UAE has launched a number of blockchain-related initiatives, including the Digital Silk Road which aims to digitize the trade process, the development of the country’s first financial document exchange platform based on the tech, and the Silsal blockchain project with the objective to provide greater security, transparency and efficiency in shipping and logistics.


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A new report reveals that the United Arab Emirates could save over $3 billion by implementing blockchain tech through streamlining and digitizing administrative processes

Ripple-Based Remittance Firm SendFriend Claims to Save Up to 80% in Fees

Ripple-Based Remittance Firm SendFriend Claims to Save Up to 80% in Fees

SendFriend has managed to save up to 80% in remittance fees using XRP

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Blockchain-based money transfer startup SendFriend utilizes Ripple’s technology to save up to 80% in remittance fees, according to a blog post published on Dec. 12.

SendFriend uses Ripple’s xRapid product for cross-border payments, converting between the United States dollar, XRP and Philippine pesos and circumventing the longer process of traditional banking systems.

Philippines-focused remittance platform

SendFriend’s money transfer app aimed at reducing annual remittance fees for cross-border Filipino workers claims to lower such transaction costs by up to 75%. What makes it possible, according to the startup’s CEO, David Lighton, is RippleNet’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) technology.

With ODL, RippleNet’s users can utilize digital token XRP to bridge two currencies in three seconds. “We can now source liquidity, on-demand and depress those transaction costs by up to 75%,” said Lighton, and further added that the firm managed to reduce charge up to 2%.

Blockchain payment network enhancement

SendFriend joined the RippleNet payment network in January, along with other financial industry players such as JNFX, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank. In February, SendFriend received $1.7 million in investments from Ripple, the Mastercard Foundation, MIT Media Lab and Barclays among others in a funding round. 

In late July, Chile-based peer-to-peer remittance company CurrencyBird also joined RippleNet. The partnership ostensibly allows CurrencyBird to add new routes to its more than 50 already existing destinations, new currencies, better prices and faster transfer speeds.

That same month, in a bid to drive greater financial inclusion, Philippines-based UnionBank launched a payments-focused stablecoin pegged to the Philippine peso.


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SendFriend has managed to save up to 80% in remittance fees using XRP

Study: Blockchain to Save $450B in Supply Chain Costs in Western Europe

Study: Blockchain to Save $450B in Supply Chain Costs in Western Europe

A new study from Cointelegraph Consulting and Insolar highlights potential massive savings to be had through enterprise blockchain adoption

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The implementation of blockchain technology in supply chains could save businesses in Western Europe $450 billion in logistics-related costs.

According to a new study from Cointelegraph Consulting and Swiss enterprise blockchain firm Insolar, blockchain technology can reduce supply chain-related costs for businesses between 0.4% and 0.8%.

While that may sound like a small figure, the sheer volume of the sector means that this percentage translates into a potential hundreds of billions in savings. Furthermore, the report claims that the technology will pay for itself:

“94% of supply chain leaders say digital transformation will fundamentally alter supply chain management. In the transition to industry 4.0, industrial business can expect a 25% gross increase in [Return on Capital Employed] by 2035.”

In the joint study, Cointelegraph Consulting and Insolar survey the problems that enterprise firms experience in managing their supply chains, stating that 60% of companies overpay their supply chain vendors. And 70% of firms have „visibility gaps“ between the initial supplier and internal clients’ systems, making tracking of supply chain sources difficult or impossible. 

Current tech cannot solve supply chain issues

Current technological solutions like enterprise resource planning and traditional databases are ill-equipped to address contemporary supply chain issues, according to the study. One reason: Nearly 80% of enterprise data is siloed and prone to reduced integrity. The study states:

“The database approach fails to provide an inherent share of data related to the supply chain, which is crucial for counterparties that do not trust each other to obtain information about a certain product, its price, delivery conditions, etc. The information is not always up to date from some parties, and some data may be hidden.”

Insolar’s founder, Peter Fedchenkov, notes that blockchain adoption will not necessarily uproot current IT systems, stating that it can be applied in tandem with existing infrastructure. He told Cointelegraph:

“When people think about blockchain there is a misconception that it’s a new paradigm requiring a change in business entirely. We believe this is wrong though, and offer an approach to complement organizations existing IT infrastructures using our blockchain platform.”

Cointelegraph Consulting launched on Dec. 3 and aims to aid blockchain adoption among small and medium-sized businesses by matching them with enterprise blockchain solutions that are applicable to their operations. 

Blockchain a boon for supply chains

Blockchain technology has seen widespread adoption across supply chains of various goods including diamonds, rare metals, fashion items and food. According to major American retail firm Walmart, distributed ledger technologies like blockchain make it easier for the firm to recall problematic medicine or food items should the need arise.

Last week, Big Four audit firm KPMG launched a blockchain-based track and trace platform in Australia, China and Japan.

Recently, retail giant Carrefour and Swiss food and drink conglomerate Nestlé joined IBM’s Food Trust platform to track the supply chain of milk-based formula for infants with blockchain tech. 

In August, Cointelegraph reported that the second-largest Indian state of Maharashtra was preparing a regulatory sandbox to test blockchain in various applications including supply chains, agricultural marketing, vehicle registration and document management.


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A new study from Cointelegraph Consulting and Insolar highlights potential massive savings to be had through enterprise blockchain adoption

Bitmain CEO Ousts Co-Founder, Biggest Shareholder to ‘Save the Ship’

Bitmain CEO Ousts Co-Founder, Biggest Shareholder to ‘Save the Ship’

Jihan Wu to Bitmain staff: Shun Micree Ketuan Zhan or face the axe

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Altcoin Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has surged 10% in the past 24 hours after it emerged mining giant and major supporter Bitmain had fired a senior executive.

Wu to staff: do not talk to Micree Ketuan Zhan

In a translation of an email from Oct. 29 quoted by crypto news outlet CoinDesk, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu said that fellow co-founder Micree Ketuan Zhan had left the company.

“Bitmain’s co-founder, chairman, legal representative and executive director Jihan Wu has decided to dismiss all roles of Ketuan Zhan, effective immediately,” it reportedly read.

Wu further offered a warning to those who continued to interact with Zhan: 

“Any Bitmain staff shall no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan. Bitmain may, based on the situation, consider terminating employment contracts of those who violate this note.”

Zhan is Bitmain’s biggest shareholder, with a reported 60% stake.

“I have come to save this ship”

Zhan’s sudden departure marks the latest chapter in a series of unexpected occurrences at Bitmain. As Cointelegraph reported, Wu himself suddenly abandoned his post as CEO of the company in November 2018, instead taking on a non-executive role on its board.

Reacting to the email, private investor Dovey Wan described Wu’s tone as “intense” in the original Chinese version. 

“WOW THIS IS MORE DRAMATIC THAN I THOUGHT,” she summarized on Twitter. According to Wan, Wu told employees that he intended to take control in order to improve Bitmain’s waning share of the Bitcoin mining pie.

“Jihan, literally said to his employees ‘I have to come back to save this ship (from sinking),’” she added.

Bitcoin’s continued strength in 2019 has nonetheless been a boon for Bitmain and other miners. Last week, executives announced they intended to create the world’s largest mining facility in Texas. 

Bitcoin Cash, on the other hand, has failed to produce similar successes. Bitmain is an open supporter of Bitcoin Cash, with Wu notoriously vocal about his own belief in the coin.


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Jihan Wu to Bitmain staff: Shun Micree Ketuan Zhan or face the axe

Fake Royal Letter Asks $2.5M in BTC to Save UK’s Economy After Brexit

Fake Royal Letter Asks $2.5M in BTC to Save UK’s Economy After Brexit

Fraudsters pose as a royal secretary asking for $2.5 million in BTC from the British to save economy after Brexit

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Scammers asked British citizens for nearly $2.5 million in Bitcoin (BTC), claiming that the funds will be spent to maintain the local economy after Brexit.

Physical letters vs emails

Fraudsters apparently sent out physical letters to the British, posing as a private secretary of Queen Elizabeth II, according to one of the alleged copies revealed by an exec of a local tech firm.

Paul Ridden, CEO at United Kingdom-based IT firm Smarttask, posted a picture of the letter on Sept. 24 on LinkedIn, chuckling about the apparently failed phishing scam and asking if anyone else have received something similar to that.

Dated Sept. 16, the letter claims that this is the second time so far when the Queen appeals to a “certain number of people to save Great Britain’s economy.” The letter says that the Queen’s part has already accumulated 82% of the 19 billion British pounds that must be paid to the European Union to save the economy.

High rewards promises

The letter claims that the “Royal House” is looking to borrow between 450,000 to 2,000,000 British pounds (from $550,000 to $2.5 million) from British citizens, asking the recipients of the letter to send money via Bitcoin.

In exchange for participation, the letter claims to offer the potential Bitcoin donors a 30% interest rate for a period of three months as well as the opportunity to become a Member of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

The letter sent to Paul Ridden

The letter sent to Paul Ridden

Following the news, British tech-focused publication IT Pro contacted Buckingham Palace, which did not reply to their comment request at press time. Ridden expressed confidence that nobody will send any Bitcoin to the fraudsters, calling the scam attempt poor due to the letter’s poor English, while also noting a reasonable level of financial awareness in Britain.


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Fraudsters pose as a royal secretary asking for $2.5 million in BTC from the British to save economy after Brexit

Foundation Uses Blockchain and Crypto to Help Save the Brazilian Amazon

Foundation Uses Blockchain and Crypto to Help Save the Brazilian Amazon

New York-based Rainforest Foundation US now accepts crypto donations to fight deforestation in the Amazon

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Rainforest Foundation US is a New York-based, non-profit NGO working in Central and South America, which is now hoping to support anti-deforestation efforts with crypto and blockchain tech.

Deforestation and fires in the Brazilian Amazon

On Sept. 4, the Rainforest Foundation reached out to the crypto and blockchain community to ask for their support to fight against deforestation and forest fires in Brazil. The post on the foundation’s website states:

“Since Bolsonaro took office in January, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is up 75% and forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon have doubled compared to the past year. As guardians of our rainforests, its animals and its people, we are working with The Giving Block to form a coalition of crypto sponsors, donors and media partners who will help stop this devastation.”

The Rainforest Foundation says that it is accepting cryptocurrency donations in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and other cryptocurrencies.

Using blockchain to assure transparency

The Rainforest Foundation, which has musician Sting as one of their founders, is currently working on a blockchain pilot to assure continued transparency, which will allow donors to track the work done by the foundation in the Amazon rainforest and reward local communities who are protecting their forests with crypto. 

The foundation is also researching the use of smart contracts to stop illegal logging, land trafficking and safeguard forests from gold mining.

Suzanne Pelletier, executive director at the Rainforest Foundation, said that the dire situation in the Brazilian rainforest has pushed them to come up with innovative solutions. She added:

“Business as usual has gotten us to this point. Philanthropy as usual won’t get us out. We need innovative solutions, and no one is more innovative than cryptocurrency users.” 

Crypto and charity go hand in hand

Cointelegraph has previously reported that crypto and blockchain technology are increasingly being applied to support a wide variety of charitable organizations. In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, a blockchain company headquartered in the Bahamas is asking the crypto and blockchain communities to help them bring relief to the hurricane victims.


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New York-based Rainforest Foundation US now accepts crypto donations to fight deforestation in the Amazon

Oil Markets Could Save 30% With Blockchain, Data Gumbo CEO Says

Oil Markets Could Save 30% With Blockchain, Data Gumbo CEO Says

Global oil operators can save at least 30% by using blockchain, CEO of blockchain startup Data Gumbo said

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Global oil operators can save at least 30% by using blockchain in their infrastructure, according to data by blockchain startup Data Gumbo.

Andrew Bruce, CEO of American blockchain startup Data Gumbo, discussed blockchain-powered automated contract execution in the oil industry on Bloomberg Commodities Edge on July 19.

When asked how much oil industry players can save by implementing blockchain applications such as blockchain-based contract execution instead of traditional paper contracts, Bruce argued that such solutions could save at least 30%, referring to internal studies by the company. According to Data Gumbo’s data, oil and gas market accounted for $2.6 trillion by 2017.

In May 2019, Data Gumbo raised $6 million from major global energy companies, including Equinor’s venture subsidiary Equinor Technology Venture and Saudi Aramco’s venture arm Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. With a total funding of up to $9.3 million, investors expect the company to improve oil and gas supply chains by eliminating disputes and delivering automated transactions, as well as reducing reconciliation times in the supply chain.

On July 18, co-founder of American tech giant Apple Steve Wozniak was reported to invest in Efforce, a new blockchain-enabled energy saving firm in Malta.

Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Philip Morris estimated its potential blockchain-powered savings to account for $20 million. Philip Morris’ global head of tech innovation said that manual work and the associated counterfeit risks end up costing the industry and governments $100 million a year.


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Global oil operators can save at least 30% by using blockchain, CEO of blockchain startup Data Gumbo said

Tobacco Giant Philip Morris Estimates It Could Save Up to $20 Million by Using Blockchain

Tobacco Giant Philip Morris Estimates It Could Save Up to $20 Million by Using Blockchain

International tobacco company Philip Morris is considering applying blockchain to reduce tax stamps paperwork and fraud

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International tobacco company Philip Morris is considering blockchain use in tracking tax stamps on cigarette boxes, the firm’s spokesperson confirmed to Cointelegraph on April 26.

Philip Morris International is looking to implement emerging technologies such as blockchain in order to improve the efficiency, transparency and cost effectiveness of its business, the company’s representative said in an email to Cointelegraph.

Specifically, Nitin Manoharan, Philip Morris’ global head of architecture and tech innovation, has recently estimated that Philip Morris alone could save up to $20 million by reducing tax stamp paperwork and fraud with blockchain, according to crypto industry news outlet CoinDesk. Manoharan reportedly claimed that manual work and the associated counterfeit risks end up costing the industry and governments $100 million a year.

While Manoharan reportedly said that tax stamp tracking is only one of six blockchain applications that Philip Morris is looking to go live with next year, the company’s spokesperson clarified to Cointelegraph that Philip Morris will follow the government’s guidance on the matter.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that a number of tobacco shops in Paris started selling bitcoin (BTC) for fiat money despite the regulatory uncertainty.

Recently, Iota and Internet of Things (IoT) firm Evrythng announced a partnership to apply blockchain and IoT tech to leverage better transparency for consumer goods supply chains.


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International tobacco company Philip Morris is considering applying blockchain to reduce tax stamps paperwork and fraud

How Сrypto Payments Help to Avoid Commissions and Save Money, Explained

How Сrypto Payments Help to Avoid Commissions and Save Money, Explained

As cryptocurrencies become more and more mainstream, using them instead of fiat or banking transfers is sometimes more profitable

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5.

Despite all the benefits, you have to make some effort to start trading and to fully understand cryptocurrencies.

Purchasing coins for the first time might not be as easy as it seems. First of all, you have to make relevant research to fully understand how crypto works. You have to be aware of blockchain, public and private keys, credible crypto exchanges and, clearly, different coins as well. As you decide on the asset you want to invest in, you also have to choose an exchange or a wallet, comparing policies and transaction fees.

This preliminary work can be a bit hard for those who are not familiar with IT and fintech, especially for elder people for whom crypto is evidently not the best way to make micro payments. Still, our previous instruction on buying crypto could help those who want to make a first investment.

Once buying coins, the crypto investors have to understand the risks related to high volatility. Cointelegraph previously explained that predicting crypto price trends is a lot easier than it seems at first glance. Nonetheless, in case you want to transfer a significant amount of money or purchase services, you have to closely monitor the rates.

Finally, you have to understand that cryptocurrencies, despite all the industry’s efforts, are still exposed to massive hacks. Sometimes, the losses are caused by human mistakes, as it happened to QuadrigaCX — a major Canadian exchange whose customers lost the vast majority of their funds following the sudden death of company’s founder.

In summary, investors can benefit from more and more crypto-related offers that arise on the market as the industry evolves. However, it is absolutely necessary to invest wisely and not to treat crypto investments as “quick money.”

Learn more about DENT

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.


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As cryptocurrencies become more and more mainstream, using them instead of fiat or banking transfers is sometimes more profitable

Spanish Energy Firm Repsol Claims Blockchain Can Help It Save 400,000 Euro per Year

Spanish Energy Firm Repsol Claims Blockchain Can Help It Save 400,000 Euro per Year

Major Spanish energy firm Repsol reports a successful test of a blockchain system that will allow it to save 400,000 euro per year

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Madrid-based energy company Repsol reported a successful test of a blockchain pilot to improve the quality of safety certification of its products. Cointelegraph in Spanish reported the news on Jan. 15.

Established in 1987, Repsol is a leading energy company that operates in the oil and gas industry, including exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. In the first nine months of 2018, the company’s net income reached 2,7 billion euros, rising by 37 percent since the beginning of the year, according to Financial Times.

The Repsol Technology Lab Research Center (Tech Lab) and blockchain startup Finboot, which is a part of the Repsol Foundation Entrepreneurs Fund, jointly deployed a blockchain solution to improve the certification process of petrochemical products. It is expected to enable the company to identify and track samples and products throughout the entire process of production.

Additionally, the use of blockchain will purportedly allow Repsol to save up to 400,000 euros each year by reducing the frequency of errors. The manager of experimentation at the Tech Lab, Tomas M. Malango, has highlighted that there is a lot of room for improvement in the industry:

„This type of procedures, in which we handle a large number of samples, are subject to many rework incidents due to mislabelling, loss or incorrect connection of information.“

According to Malango, the successful  results of Repsol’s blockchain pilot „could be transferred to other departments of the company with similar practices and dysfunctions.“

Blockchain technology has been gaining increasing presence in the energy sector in Spain. Yesterday, Spain’s major energy company Iberdrola began using blockchain to track renewable energy. During the pilot — which was reportedly successful successful — Iberdrola monitored the renewable energy delivered from two wind farms and one power station to banks’ offices located in Basque Country and the southern city of Cordoba.

In December, another energy company ACCIONA Energía announced it is going to deploy blockchain to trace electricity generation. With this move, ACCIONA plans to allow its clients to track the provenance of electricity distribution.


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Major Spanish energy firm Repsol reports a successful test of a blockchain system that will allow it to save 400,000 euro per year