Blockchain Bites: WEF, IBM and a Chinese City Show Support for Blockchain

Fibo Quantum

A Chinese city is encouraging bitcoin mining, a payments processor joins Libra and the World Economic Forum is looking to blockchain to solve supply chain distortions.

Situated amid the plateaus of the Szechuan province, Ya’an city is encouraging the blockchain industry to take advantage of excess hydroelectric power produced during the region’s summer rainy season. Without stating it outright, this public alert is a tacit approval of the energy-intensive bitcoin mining industry. Here’s the story:

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Top Shelf

Excess Electricity
A Chinese city in the world’s bitcoin mining hub is encouraging the blockchain industry to help consume excessive hydroelectricity ahead of the summer rainy season. “On principle, blockchain companies should construct factories near power plants that have excessive power and are integrated with the State Grid,” reads guidance published by the city of Ya’an.

Latest Member
Checkout.com, an online payment processor, is the newest member of the Libra Association. The company revealed Tuesday it would join the Libra Association in developing its series of stablecoins. 

Bitcoin Development
CardCoins, a startup that helps users convert gift cards to bitcoin, has partnered with fintech company Payvant to provide a one-year grant for Bitcoin Core developer Hennadii Stepanov, who goes by Hebasto, joining the small ranks of firms that sponsor the open source development of Bitcoin’s software.

Solving Supply Chains
The World Economic Forum is pitching blockchain to fix global supply chains disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. “The case for blockchain is stronger as the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for more resilient global supply chains, trusted data and an economic recovery enabled through trade digitization,” according to the 200-page report “Redesigning Trust: Blockchain Deployment Toolkit.”

Medical Market Maker
IBM has also turned to blockchain during the current pandemic situation. The firm’s Rapid Supplier Connect blockchain network will connect buyers and suppliers of essential medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Decrypt)

Credit: Shutterstock

Pre-Fed Protections
A former senior policy advisor to the International Monetary Fund found emergency protections in the revised Libra whitepaper are insufficient to present bank runs. In fact, Libra’s proposed protections are similar to the private clearinghouse certificates used in the U.S. prior to the establishment of the Federal Reserve. This private clearinghouse system “created a situation where not every dollar was as good as every other dollar.”

Made Whole
DForce has returned all stolen assets to users affected by the $25 million exploit that nearly crippled the decentralized lending platform. 

Bank Monitoring
Crypto investigations firm CipherTrace has developed a bank transaction monitoring tool, CipherTrace Armada, that flags payments to high-risk virtual asset service providers (VASPs). 

experimental
After signs of success on its first iteration, the team behind CryptoWars is changing things up. (Credit: Experimental)

Gaming Wars
Experimental Games’ CryptoWars will no longer run on the Plasma sidechain operated by Loom, while Loom appears to be pivoting away from gaming entirely. “No decent game can run nowadays fully on-chain, even though that was our gaming utopia,” Experimental CEO Matias Nisenson said.

  • Congress has introduced 32 crypto and blockchain bills for consideration in the past two calendar years. These include bills aimed at regulating the industry as well as employing blockchain technology for government work. (Forbes)
  • Malta, sometimes called “Blockchain Island” due to its favorable cryptocurrency regulations, said 57 crypto companies have failed to complete its licensing process. (Decrypt)

Satoshi’s Millions
Could $77 make you a Bitcoin millionaire? BeInCrypto dives into the Crypto Twitter controversy. 

CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition

CoinDesk Live Lockdown Edition Carlos Acevedo Brave

CoinDesk Live: Lockdown Edition continues its popular twice-weekly chats with Consensus speakers via Zoom and Twitter, giving you a preview of what’s to come at Consensus: Distributed, our first fully virtual – and fully free – big-tent conference May 11-15. 

Zoom participants can ask questions directly to our guests. Register to join our fourth session Tuesday, April 28, with speaker Carlos Acevedo of Brave to discuss financial inclusion in the cryptocurrency movement, hosted by Consensus organizer Stephanie Izquieta.

Market Intel

Seven Days of Gains
Bitcoin has posted seven consecutive daily gains, something that hasn’t happened since the price shot up to last year’s high around $13,000 in July. At $7,750, the cryptocurrency’s price is up 8 percent so far in 2020, and some analysts are predicting a rise to $10,000 ahead of the network’s programmatic halving event. According to Delphi Digital, any price rise could gather steam if bitcoin crosses above its 100-day and 200-day moving averages, now around $8,000. This insight is from First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily markets newsletter. You can subscribe here.

Exhausted Bulls?
Still, some anticipate that bitcoin could pullback before breaking above $8,000. “Feels like we have gone quite far over the last week and now there’s every chance of a small pullback (perhaps as far as to $7,000) over the course of the next few days,” Chris Thomas, head of digital assets at Swissquote Bank, said.

Cambridge Survey
CoinDesk is working with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), an independent academic research institute at the University of Cambridge, on their 3rd Global Crypto Asset Benchmarking Study. To gather up-to-date information, the CCAF invites crypto companies to participate by completing one of the following surveys by May 1:

The resulting report will help us all get a better idea of where growth is happening, what it looks like, what barriers are in the way and what the short-term outlook holds. If you have any questions or feedback, you can contact the CCAF directly at  a.blandin@jbs.cam.ac.uk.

CoinDesk Podcast Network

Magdalena Gronowska, a member of the Official Committee of Affected Users and the Bankruptcy Board of Inspectors, goes on the record to discuss the efforts to refund $190 million user’s funds from the bankrupted QuadrigaCX exchange. 

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