Microsoft Predicts a Bleak COVID-19 Future With ‘All Digital’ Move

Microsoft will only hold digital events until July 2021. This move is in response to COVID-19. It aims to slow down the spread of the disease and keep employees safe. While necessary, the announcement paints a bleak picture of the future. It’s official. Microsoft announced that they’re making all events digital. To curb the spread of COVID-19, all internal and external events will be digital-only until July 2021. This is a smart and necessary move by Microsoft. If we’re going to stop this virus from killing millions, we need to…

Finding Digital Answers to Global Sustainability Threats

According to NASA, the World Meteorological Organization and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce, the last 10 years leading up to the end of 2019, as well as the last winter, has been confirmed as the warmest decade on record. Yet, nature produced another warning for humanity in Australia with the severe 2019–2020 bushfire season that led to the burning of 21% of the country’s forested area. With the devastating coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe and disrupting the way…

Investigating Digital Assets in Japan Stymied by Nature of Crypto

According to top government officials in Japan, the current national tax system is not yet capable of accepting declarations of digital assets, potentially leading to outflows overseas. In a Q&A session at the Financial Statements Committee on April 6, Representative Shun Otokita of the Japan Innovation Party pointed out the importance of market research for the introduction of separate taxes for crypto currencies. Otokita was concerned with the current high-tax system in Japan. He acknowledged that it would be difficult to quickly change the tax code to apply to digital…

South Korea’s Central Bank Launches Digital Currency Pilot Program

The Bank of Korea announced on April 6 that it has launched a pilot program to assess the logistics of issuing a central bank digital currency —  or CBDC. While the South Korean central bank has no immediate plans to introduce such a currency, the pilot scheme will ensure that it is prepared to do so in the face of changing market conditions. 22-month pilot scheme Following theoretical research conducted in February 2020, the pilot will comprise a technological and legal review of CBDC issuance. It began in March and…

BIS Calls for Central Bank Digital Currencies Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has issued a report arguing in favor of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and digital payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulletin published by the BIS, a 600-member international financial institution representing the central banks of 60 countries, urges central banks to consider developing CBDCs in light of concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus through existing payment methods. BIS warns of COVID-19 transmission via credit card terminals The report notes a significant negative change in consumer attitudes regarding the use of cash in response to…

Talking Digital Future: Smart Cities

My journey into smart cities and their future development was a really big surprise, as the way I arrived there was not something that I had planned. I was working as the chief information officer for a company in Northern California called O’Reilly Media when I got a call from a headhunter who asked if I would consider being the chief information office for the City of Palo Alto. I can vividly remember — it was only about eight years ago — my feeling when she asked the question. The…

BRI Remittance Brings Digital Identity to Banking With Blockchain Partnership

Digital identity solutions are on the rise as consumers seek security and accessibility in a digitized world. A new report from 360iResearch shows that the global digital identity market is expected to have reached about $37 Million by the end of 2025. As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, this number could grow even larger.  Unsurprisingly, the trillion-dollar banking industry has already expressed interest in digital identity solutions. For example, Everest, a blockchain-based digital payments provider, has recently formed a partnership with BRI Remittance, a subsidiary of one of Indonesia’s largest…

CryptoKitties Devs Secure Patent for NBA Digital Tokens

Dapper Labs, the company behind the blockchain-based game CryptoKitties, has obtained a patent in Brazil enabling them to create collectible digital tokens in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA).  According to the March 24 edition of the Intellectual Property Magazine of Rio de Janeiro, Dapper Labs now has the rights to use NBA branding — including photos of players and games — for its collectibles in Brazil. The program, called “NBA Top Shot”, will allow basketball fans to have more interactions with their favorites by using these engagement tokens…

CMT Digital Head Says BTC Trading Still Strong Despite Global Conditions

Amid global coronavirus fears and plunging mainstream markets, Bitcoin (BTC) trading has remained largely unchanged, according to CMT Digital head of trading and business development, Brad Koeppen. “Bitcoin trading has not been that different,” Koeppen told Cointelegraph in a March 31 email. “Volatility and volumes saw an uptick as BTC sold off with the traditional markets but high volatility is nothing new in Bitcoin.” Koeppen also referenced the problems seen on exchanges around the time of Bitcoin’s massive drop between March 11 and 13, noting that this is “nothing new”…

Bank of France Launches Experiment Program on Central Bank Digital Currency

As a number of global jurisdictions like the Bahamas and Sweden are already testing their central bank digital currencies (CBDC), French central bank is getting more straightforward regarding its own CBDC plans. The Bank of France is now officially launching a program of experiments to test the integration of a CBDC for interbank settlements, inviting potential participants to submit their applications. Bank of France doesn’t insist on blockchain implementation for CBDC According to a March 30 document, France’s central bank is calling for applications to experiment with the use of…