ConsenSys Health Launches Coronavirus-related Virtual Hackathon

ConsenSys Health announced on April 7 the launch of the “STOP COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon,” which will take place from April 13 to May 11, 2020. The initiative is sponsored by Gitcoin, Hyperledger, ConsenSys, One Million Developers and OpenMined. It aims to leverage blockchain and other technologies to facilitate data access for researchers and healthcare professionals seeking to curb the outbreak coronavirus and prevent future pandemics. The virtual hackathon also hopes to advance cohesion between life sciences and next-generation experts to develop solutions that strengthen public health without sacrificing user privacy.…

Paxful Launches Peer-to-Peer Trading Between Gold and Bitcoin

Peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace Paxful announced the introduction of support for trade between gold and Bitcoin (BTC) on the platform on April 7. With the announcement, Paxful now facilitates physical trading in 16 different countries. Cointelegraph spoke to Paxful CEO and Founder Ray Youssef, who attributed the decision to support gold to “surprisingly high” customer demand. When a trade is entered, the Bitcoin will remain in Paxful’s escrow until the physical delivery of the gold is confirmed. Transactions must be completed within 21 days of trade being opened on the…

Vonage Co-Founder Launches Decentralized Videochat App to Battle Zoom

Jeff Pulver, a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) pioneer and the co-founder of Vonage, has launched a decentralized application (dApp) that claims to provide the “most secure end-to-end business communications network” available. The move follows reports last week that rival videochat app Zoom exposed personally identifiable information and private conversations on the open web. Centralized data storage provides a centralized point of failure According to Pulver, the problem with existing communication solutions is that they route all business and personal data through one central point. This creates a huge security…

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…

Binance Academy Launches Blockchain Accelerator in China

Binance Academy, the educational arm of leading crypto exchange Binance, announced the establishment of a blockchain research institute in Shanghai on March 30. The Lingang Blockchain Technology and Industry Research Institute is intended to operate as a think-tank and talent hub for distributed ledger technology (DLT) innovation in China. Binance to integrate blockchain with other innovative technologies To accelerate the application of DLT in China, Binance’s blockchain institute plans to integrate blockchain with other emerging technologies with an established foothold in the country — including artificial intelligence, big data, and…

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…

Tron Launches Djed, a Platform That Looks Suspiciously Like MakerDAO

On March 28, Tron (TRX) founder Justin Sun tweeted to announce the release of Djed, a system for collateralized loans he described as “something new.” The platform was immediately criticized as many see it as a plagiarized version of MakerDAO (MKR). Sun teased the launch on Jan. 16 when Sun let his fans choose the name of a planned decentralized stablecoin that was initially to be backed by TRX and BitTorrent Token (BTT). Self-described TRX whale and Tron fan Mike McCarthy was the one who proposed the name Djed, just…

Algorand Launches Blockchain-Based Global Coronavirus Survey

Proof-of-stake cryptocurrency platform Algorand has created a global survey intended to compile an open database on the spread, status, and symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 27, the company tweeted that its ‘IReportCovid’ survey app will contribute to a global data repository that updates in real-time to inform about pandemic relief efforts. Algorand launches survey to build global coronavirus database In a blog post, Algorand states the initiative seeks to address the lack of real-time data about the pandemic coming from individuals in the community. Survey responses are publicly…

World Health Organization Launches Blockchain Platform to Fight COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has partnered on March 28 with major blockchain and tech companies to launch a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based platform for sharing data concerning the coronavirus pandemic.  The platform, MiPasa, is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric and seeks to enable “early detection of COVID-19 carriers and infection hotspots. MiPasa has been launched in partnership with technology company IBM, computer firm Oracle, enterprise blockchain platform Hacera and IT corporation Microsoft. WHO launches blockchain-based platform to fight COVID-19  The platform purports to facilitate “fully private information sharing…

Pioneering Crypto Bank Launches CHF-Backed Stablecoin

Pioneering Swiss crypto bank Sygnum unveiled a stablecoin pegged to the Swiss franc on March 20. Sygnum’s ‘DCHF’ “settlement token” is backed 1:1 by funds held with the Swiss National Bank. According to local media outlet Swissinfo, DCHF is under consideration for support from the forthcoming SDX digital assets trading platform from SIX Group — of which Sygnum is a member. Swiss crypto bank announces CHF-pegged “settlement token” The crypto bank aims to target institutional clients with its stablecoin, emphasizing that the coin enables fast and frictionless settlements alongside novel…