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Crypto Tracking Site CoinMarketCap Gets an Update

One of the most popular websites for cryptocurrency price data announced a series of changes on Wednesday.

CoinMarketCap said that it has beefed up its coin watchlist feature as well as updated its mobile-focused search function “to make it easier to access.”

Having launched their first mobile app for iOS users only last month, users are already requesting developments for a second app compatible with android, as comments under CoinMarketCap’s tweet today show.

Popularity for the site has increased in recent years. It is currently in the top 300 of the world’s most visited sites, according to data made available from Alexa.

At the same time, CoinMarketCap faces competition from other cryptocurrency data providers such as Thomson Reuters who recently also announced new updates to their tracking capabilities.

Nor has the site been free from controversy amid is growing popularity. Earlier this year, CoinMarketCap faced criticism over a decision to remove three Korean exchanges from their calculated averages – a move that caused prices for bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies to appear as if they had suddenly plunged.

In response to the outrage by some users, Brandon Chez, the computer programmer and owner behind CoinMarketCap, told the Wall Street Journal in an email that the company’s goal “was and still is to remain a neutral and accurate source for the cryptocurrency community.”

Charts image via Shutterstock.

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Blockchains Are Forever? Diamond Giant De Beers Unveils DLT Strategy

One of the world’s most well-known diamond companies is getting into blockchain by investing in an asset tracking platform.

De Beers, its chief executive announced today, is planning to use the tech in a bid to boost transparency across the diamond supply chain. The firm, the world’s largest miner of diamonds, says it wants to use the tracking platform in order to rebuild trust in the diamond distribution process – as well as alleviate concerns over money laundering and the broader trafficking of conflict diamonds.

CEO Bruce Cleaver unveiled the initiative in a blog post published earlier today, writing:

“This diamond traceability platform is underpinned by blockchain technology, which allows for a highly secure digital register that creates a tamper-proof and permanent record of interactions – in this instance, a diamond’s path through the value chain.”

Cleaver outlined a number of characteristics that the platform will possess, including privacy controls for participants and wide access to potential users.

As it stands, the system doesn’t have a firm launch date, though Cleaver indicated that the development process would play out over the coming months and involve input from stakeholders.

“In the months ahead, we will continue to work with leaders from across the industry and share our progress with you,” Cleaver wrote. “In the process we will no doubt make some mistakes, but we will continue to collaborate, learn and persevere.”

That De Beers is moving in this direction is perhaps unsurprising, given work in this area by industry startups as well as international bodies like the United Nations. In September 2016, the group behind the Kimberly Process, an initiative which seeks to keep conflict diamonds out of global markets, said that it was looking to apply blockchain as part of a way to track diamond trade statistics.

Diamond image via Shutterstock

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The US Treasury Is Testing Distributed Ledger Asset Tracking

A major agency within the US Department of the Treasury is planning to track the movement of smart phones, computers and other office assets in a new blockchain pilot project.

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT) said yesterday that it has hired an as-yet-unnamed contractor to build a prototype system in order to “track and manage physical assets (for example, computers, cell phones, and the like).” Formed in 2012 through the merger of two separate agencies, the bureau is chiefly responsible for borrowing money to fund the government as well as handling interagency payments and accounting.

The bureau will test whether its physical assets can be monitored and reconciled in real-time as they are transferred from person to person throughout the pilot, using blockchain to create a digital record of those exchanges.

Beyond that application, FIT will explore other use cases in order to see how the tech may be used “to improve the way it manages the government’s finances,” according to the agency.

According to today’s announcement, the blockchain test is one of two being launched by FIT. The other will see the bureau develop automated programs for streamlining its financial management processes.

“There are many exciting innovations coming out of the commercial sector that can be applied to federal financial management. I hope that these two pilot projects identify the opportunities where the innovations will have the most impact on efficiency, accountability and customer service,” John Hill, assistant commissioner for FIT, said in a statement.

With the pilot, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service becomes the latest agency within the US government to actively assess how it might use blockchain to enhance or streamline its operations. For example, the General Services Administration wants to test the tech for reviewing IT-related contract bids from vendors, and the State Department is looking at diplomatic applications as well.

Image via Shutterstock

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