Ripple Boosts Blockchain Advocacy Efforts With New Washington DC Office

Ripple has opened a new office in Washington, D.C., in a bid to strengthen its advocacy efforts for blockchain and cryptocurrency. Announced on Tuesday, the blockchain payments technology provider said the new premises near the heart of U.S. government comes alongside an expansion of its global regulatory team as it ramps up efforts to educate policymakers on the benefits of the tech. Amid that expansion, Craig Phillips, a former top aide to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, has joined Ripple’s board of directors. Phillips, the firm says, will bring “depth” to its…

Japan’s Third Largest Bank Completes Blockchain Trade Finance Test

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), the third largest bank by assets in Japan, is set to begin utilizing R3’s Marco Polo trade finance blockchain on a commercial basis by the end of the year. The bank said on Friday last week that a cross-border proof-of-concept test was successfully completed involving Mitsui & Co, a Japanese general trading company, Indorama Ventures, a Thai company in the intermediate petrochemicals business, and Bangkok Bank, Thailand’s third-largest bank. In the course of the exercise, Bangkok Bank issued a payment guarantee for Indorama Ventures to…

China’s Cyberspace Watchdog Approves 309 More Blockchain Services

The Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s central Internet regulator, censor, oversight and control agency, has published its second list of registered blockchain service providers. The new batch comprises 309 companies that are representatives of various industries, including cultural tourism, education, e-commerce, law, healthcare and supply chains, Chinese news outlet 8BTC reported on Oct. 21. Traditional sectors embrace blockchain Among the registered entities, for example, are services such as HiCloud and AliCloud — blockchain arms of tech corporations Huawei and Alibaba, respectively. In addition, the list includes giants from the…

Binance Joins Council of Internet Giant Kakao’s Blockchain Project

Klaytn, a blockchain project led by internet giant Kakao, announced that cryptocurrency exchange Binance is joining its governance council. In a joint press release shared with Cointelegraph on Oct. 22, Binance announced that it is joining the governance council of the service-centric blockchain project, Klaytn, to further push for the mass adoption of blockchain technologies. Binance joins 24 other member companies such as LG Electronics, Unionbank of the Philippines and Celltrion, to make key decisions for Klaytn’s business and technical developments.  According to the press release, Binance is the first…

University of Malta Introduces Blockchain and DLT Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is now attainable at the University of Malta. Fintech-focused news outlet CrowdfundInsider reported on the creation of the new master’s degree on Oct. 21, also noting that about 35 students are enrolled for the course.  Joshua Ellul, director of the master’s program and chairman of Malta Digital Innovation Authority, said during Malta’s DELTA Summit on Oct. 3 that 15 companies have already contacted the students of the course. He also explained the reasoning that brought the program to existence: “We…

Major Korean Banks Join Government-Backed Blockchain ID Initiative

Four more major institutions including the Shinhan and NH Nonghyup banks have joined a South Korean decentralized identity initiative that’s aimed to secure and share personal information using blockchain. According to a report from CoinDesk Korea on Sunday, the program, which was first released in July, is now officially named as the Initial DID Association. Besides Shinhan and NH banks, two major payment processors – BC Card and Hyundai Card – have also joined the program as of late, bringing the total number of participants to 11. The consortium now…

Crypto and Blockchain News From Japan: Oct. 14–20 in Review

The cryptocurrency- and blockchain-friendly country of Japan has seen a number of significant developments for the industries this past week. A self-regulatory organization has introduced guidance for cryptocurrency custodians, while a subsidiary of major financial services firm SBI Holdings will conduct compliance policies using blockchain technology.  Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph Japan. Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association releases guidelines on custody The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) — a self-regulatory organization for the cryptocurrency industry in Japan — has…

Remittances Partnership to Use Cambodia Central Bank’s Blockchain System

Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on cross-border payments and remittances. On Oct. 16, Malaysian business news outlet The Edge Markets reported that the largest bank in Malaysia, Maybank, will work together with the National Bank of Cambodia to promote cross-border payments and remittances. With the MoU, Maybank Malaysia, Maybank Cambodia and NBC will explore the possibility of transferring funds between Cambodia and Malaysia through NBC’s blockchain-based Bakong payment system and Maybank’s Maybank2u digital platform.  Chea Serey, the…

Vertical and Horizontal Blockchain Scaling, Explained

3. Vertical scaling is done by improving the efficiency of each individual transaction, whereas horizontal scaling is achieved through increasing the platform’s overall throughput capacity. In simple terms, general scalability improvements are made through the use of a concept called “layering” — wherein each individual component of a particular system is made to interact with its digital counterparts in some sort of sequential and hierarchical way.  Also, when it comes to blockchains, developers strive to maintain the immutability of their base chain, which in turn allows the scalability layer to…

You Can Now Get a Master’s in Blockchain From a School in (Where Else?) Malta

Malta, the “Blockchain Island” in the Mediterranean, has a government authority to certify distributed ledger platforms, regulations to manage smart contracts and a framework for launching ICOs. Now it has a blockchain master’s program, too. The University of Malta’s Masters Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology began its inaugural semester this October, with around 35 students enrolled in the island nation’s only DLT-specific masters program – one of the few such programs around the world. It is the latest charge in Malta’s islandwide embrace of just about everything blockchain, an effort…