French football club to launch its own cryptocurrency

Paris Saint-Germain becomes first football club in the world to announce long term cryptocurrency strategy — Paris Saint-Germain — “Socios.com will work alongside the club to develop the world’s first Fan Token Offering (FTO) for the Paris Saint-Germain fanbase. The Paris Saint-Germain fan token will be listed on the Socios.com platform and will allow fans to engage with the club through mobile voting and polling platforms. Token owners will also be granted access to exclusive fan rewards, content and experiences.”



Barclays files blockchain funds transfer and KYC patents

Barclays seeks twin blockchain patents for banking services — Coindesk — “The US Patent and Trademark Office published two applications by the UK’s second-largest bank Thursday, both of which revolve around account security. Perhaps most notably, however, was an application for a patent which outlined a blockchain platform which could facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The bank also proposed streamlining know-your-customer processes by storing identifying information on a private blockchain.”


Mastercard patent proposes combining blockchain with existing payments systems

Method and system for linkage of blockchain-based assets to fiat currency accounts — USPTO — “The use of traditional payment networks and payment systems technologies in combination with blockchain currencies may provide consumers and merchants the benefits of the decentralized blockchain while still maintaining security of account information and provide a strong defense against fraud and theft.”


BIS: Digital currencies don’t yet offer a solution to any specific economic problems

Cryptocurrencies: looking beyond the hype — Bank for International Settlements — “Cryptocurrencies promise to replace trusted institutions with distributed ledger technology. Yet, looking beyond the hype, it is hard to identify a specific economic problem which they currently solve. Transactions are slow and costly, prone to congestion, and cannot scale with demand. The decentralised consensus behind the technology is also fragile and consumes vast amounts of energy. Still, distributed ledger technology could have promise in other applications.”




Marshall Islands to issue official digital currency

Marshall Islands to issue own sovereign cryptocurrency — Reuters — “The Marshall Islands will issue its own cryptocurrency that will be circulated as legal tender along with the US dollar… SOV is based on what the Marshall Islands government calls the ‘Yakwe framework’, which requires users to identify themselves on the blockchain, solving the anonymity problem that has plagued bitcoin and precluded its mainstream adoption.”



Bitcoin owners turn to NFC implants to keep their cryptocurrency safe

Bitcoin under the skin – Why people are using subdermal microchip wallets — CCN — “Dutchman Martijn Wismeijer is very cautious when it comes to storing Bitcoin so much so that in 2014, he had two NFC (near field communication) chips surgically implanted into each hand to store his encrypted Bitcoin keys. Wismeijer stated a number of reasons for the drastic method of storing crypto, saying he had lost the majority of his Bitcoin over the years to exchange failure, hacking, and theft… Wismeijer says he uses his chips every day to make purchases — the process involves scanning the chips with his smartphone to receive and then decrypt the keys in order to make a transaction.”


Korea’s capital city plans its own payments cryptocurrency

Mayor Park Won-soon unveils Seoul cryptocurrency ‘S-Coin’ — Coindesk Korea (translation) — “Park Won-soon, mayor of Seoul, said he will create a coin currency called S-coin that can be used in Seoul… He thinks that ‘blockchains can be applied to all administrations in Seoul such as the public transport system operated by Seoul City and the provision of youth allowance.'”


Rakuten to use blockchain for global loyalty and payments program

Rakuten will roll its $9bn loyalty program into a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin — Techcrunch — “The company is planning a new cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin — built on blockchain technology and the company’s existing loyalty program, Rakuten Super Points — which it plans to use to encourage loyalty services globally and to help customers to buy goods across different Rakuten services and markets… The news was announced by Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where he described Rakuten Coin as a ‘borderless’ currency.”


PayPal patents faster cryptocurrency payments system

Expedited virtual currency transaction system — USPTO — “The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”


China’s central bank sets out digital currency plans

PBOC official pushes for centralized state digital currency — Coindesk — “Unlike most cryptocurrencies, the CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency] might not operate via a peer-to-peer mechanism, which brings the key features of anonymity and untraceability… Transactions using CBDC will be visible to the central bank, which would function as a third party to bring oversight on potential money laundering and illegal financing.”


Japanese bank to issue digital currency that cuts transaction costs

Japan’s biggest bank is releasing its own cryptocurrency in March — Investopedia — “The MUFG coin will have parity with the Japanese yen and will be rolled out to employees of the financial services group first. It will enable standard transactions, such as shopping or transfer of money between individuals (for example, splitting of a bill after a meal or drinks), at much lower costs as compared to credit cards.”


Messaging service Line looks to cryptocurrencies for payments

Line explores cryptocurrencies for payment services, sources say — Bloomberg — “The messaging provider is in discussions with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services including Line Pay, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The broader goal is to create products that keep users within Line’s ecosystem and keep them coming back to the app, increasing ‘stickiness,’ they said.”


Bank of England puts a hold on research into issuing its own digital currency

Bank halts crypto-currency plans over stability fears — FT Adviser — “The Bank of England (BoE) has been researching the possibility of launching its own digital currency to rival bitcoin, but fears about the impact on the wider financial system means it has no ‘current plans’ to do so… If the central bank launched a digital currency of its own, it worried consumers would stop using commercial bank accounts and, instead, have a bank account with the Bank of England, and choose to use digital technology to purchase goods and services over paper money.”


Bank Hapoalim to investigate potential of blockchain for user authentication

Bank Hapoalim, IAI team on blockchain for cybersecurity — Globes — “The joint research undertaken by the two companies will examine how blockchain, the technology at the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, could be used for developing innovative cybersecurity solutions, such as secure transmission of information between services and supply chains, user authentication, critical devices and elements that run with no human intervention and additional solutions for the cyber challenges in a hyper-connected world.”



Venezuela to create a new virtual currency

Venezuela unveils virtual currency amid economic crisis — BBC News — “Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has announced the creation of a new virtual currency in a bid to ease the country’s economic crisis. He said the Petro would be backed by Venezuela’s oil, gas, gold and diamond wealth… Mr Maduro said the new cryptocurrency would allow Venezuela ‘to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.'”


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