Shinhan to put credit cards on the blockchain

Shinhan Card develops blockchain-based payment system — The Korea Times — “With the patent-winning technology, the card firm has established a blockchain-powered credit transaction process that enables various functions, such as setting a maximum spending limit, paying in monthly installments and completing payments between merchants and consumers… The company is the first in the world to have established a credit transaction service using the new record-keeping technology, it said.”



Samsung partners with Korean banks and carriers to launch blockchain mobile ID platform

Consortium launches blockchain-based digital ID in S Korea — Yonhap News — “A group of major tech companies and financial institutions have joined hands to launch a blockchain-based digital identity platform available on smartphones… Samsung Electronics Co, three mobile carriers — SK Telecom Co, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp — KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank and Koscom, an IT subsidiary of the main stock exchange, signed an agreement to jointly develop a mobile application for the digital ID platform.”


Walmart combines blockchain and QR codes to let Chinese consumers verify source of fresh produce in stores

Label on food

Walmart customers in China will soon be able to scan QR codes on stickers attached to fresh meat, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil and other produce to acquire detailed product information including “the source of the scanned products and geographic location received by Walmart, logistics process, product inspection report, and many more data points”... More


Saudi banks pilot blockchain-based cardless ATM withdrawals

Saudi banks trial blockchain-based identity technology at ATMs — Computer Weekly — “The Saudi Arabian trial will enable local consumers to use their faces and blockchain-based apps to withdraw money from cashpoint machines instead of PINs. The ID authentication prototype, currently under test, can communicate across banks and uses blockchain to confirm an individual’s identity without accessing the bank’s database.”


Visa, Mastercard and PayPal back Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency launch

The Libra Association — Libra — “Libra is a global, digitally native, reserve-backed cryptocurrency built on the foundation of blockchain technology. People will be able to send, receive, spend, and secure their money, enabling a more inclusive global financial system… The Libra Association is made up of a group of diverse organizations from around the world… This initial group of organizations will work together to finalize the Libra Association’s charter and will become the association’s Founding Members upon its completion.”


Facebook unveils its blockchain digital wallet plan

Coming in 2020: Calibra — Facebook — “Today we’re sharing plans for Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020.”



ABN Amro unveils blockchain-based NFC platform for trade inventory tracking

ABN Amro to launch Forcefield — ABN Amro — “The platform can communicate with physical trade inventories through the Internet of Things, sensors and near field communication chips. As a result, the inventories, which are often collateral for loans, can be monitored very effectively, which will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.”


Nike registers ‘cryptokicks’ trademark

Nike’s ‘cryptokicks’ trademark application hints at its new blockchain ambitions — The Next Web — “The application, filed on April 19, outlines how the company‘s proposed digital currency could be used by an online community. The document also describes an online footwear and clothing marketplace, as well as ‘a website featuring technology that enables users to mine, earn, purchase, receive by any other means, store, and transfer blockchain-based tokens, coins, cryptocurrencies, and other crypto assets’.”




HBO commissions Game of Thrones sneakers with NFC tags

HBO Asia x SBTG Collab brings 4 ‘Game of Thrones’ sneakers to celebrate final season — Click The City — “Each pair of Game of Thrones x SBTG customized sneakers are embedded with near field communication (NFC) chips powered by VeChain, a public blockchain platform that allows any potential collector the ability to verify the authenticity of each pair through VeChainThor blockchain. The NFC chips also contain exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of each sneaker design which can be played and viewed by anyone using the VeChain mobile app.”



SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to build blockchain-based digital ID platform

SKT teams up with Deutsche Telekom for blockchain biz — Korea Times — “SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs will work together to develop and commercialize blockchain-based mobile identification that can be utilized in various areas including access control, dealings and contracts… The firm said blockchain-based digital identification could also replace identification cards issued by the government such as passports.”


MUFG teams up with Akamai to launch blockchain payments network

MUFG and Akamai to launch Global Open Network Inc joint venture — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group — “The new company will utilize MUFG’s presence in the payment business and Akamai’s intelligent edge platform, which offers world-class speed and security, with the aim of providing an open payment network in Japan based on new blockchain technology by the first half of 2020.”


JP Morgan to launch its own cryptocurrency

JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business — CNBC — “Each JPM Coin is redeemable for a single US dollar, so its value shouldn’t fluctuate, similar in concept to so-called stablecoins. Clients will be issued the coins after depositing dollars at the bank; after using the tokens for a payment or security purchase on the blockchain, the bank destroys the coins and gives clients back a commensurate number of dollars.”


Saudi Arabia and UAE to develop joint digital currency

UAE and Saudi Arabia announce launch of common digital currency ‘Aber’ — Emirates 24/7 — “The United Arab Emirates Central Bank (UAECB) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) today announced in a joint statement the launch of the common digital currency project ‘Aber’, which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through blockchains and distributed ledgers technologies.”


Marshall Islands to issue digital currency ‘banknotes’

Tangem to produce physical blockchain banknotes for the Marshall Islands’ digital currency legal tender — Tangem — “Each Tangem card will take the form of a unique physical banknote with secure blockchain-enabled microprocessor inside and combine the familiar advantages of paper banknotes with the security of blockchain technology. These protected notes will be fully transparent, 100% secure, decentralized, and represent a controllable mechanism of currency issuance and circulation for the state.”


Luxochain to use NFC and the blockchain to guarantee the authenticity of luxury goods

Luxochain combats counterfeiting with launch of authentication and tracking service of luxury goods on the blockchain — Luxochain — “At the stage of manufacture, all authentic luxury products will be fitted with an invisible and encrypted serial number (a Block ID). The ID is associated with a token that is uniquely identifiable, to which luxury brands will register on the blockchain. Once inputted, the information can never be altered from the outside. Certifying authenticity at the point of sale using blockchain technology, customers can scan the code and ascertain the authenticity of the product.”


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