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Bitwise to Launch Another Crypto Exchange-Traded Product

Crypto asset manager Bitwise licensed its crypto index to Amun AG to launch a new crypto ETP on the Swiss SIX Exchange.

Crypto asset manager Bitwise has partnered with Swiss fintech startup Amun AG to launch another multi-crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP), according to a press release on June 26.

Bitwise’s index calculation subsidiary, Bitwise Index Services, has licensed “The Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index” to Amun AG to bring a diversified crypto ETP, the announcement says.

The index will act as the benchmark index for an ETP product called “Amun Bitwise Select 10 Large Cap Crypto Index ETP” operating under the ticker symbol KEYS, according to a report by crypto media outlet The Block.

The new ETP product will reportedly trade on Switzerland’s principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange, and will be only accessible by investors residing outside the United States, the press release notes.

The Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index allows to track the performance of up to 10 of top global crypto assets by “free-float and inflation-adjusted market capitalization,” Bitwise wrote in the press release, adding that the index is rebalanced and reconstituted on a monthly basis.

As such, as of the May 31 rebalance, the index included eight cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), XRP, bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), EOS, stellar (XLM), and cardano (ADA). At the time, bitcoin was evaluated at the “weight” of 67.8%, while ether was weighted at 11.5%.

The Bitwise 10 Select Large Cap Crypto Index as of May 31 rebalance. Source: PR Newswire 

Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research at Bitwise, said that the new initiative is an attempt to assist non-U.S. investors in obtaining “diversified exposure to the crypto markets.” He added that the  index is designed for Swiss investors who “want to be sure they gain and maintain exposure to the most important crypto projects in the world.”

To date, SIX exchange has listed four crypto ETPs by Amun AG, including bitcoin ETP (ABTC), ethereum ETP (AETH), XRP ETP (AXRP), as well as its multi-crypto-based ETP Crypto Basket Index ETP (HODL), according to SIX’s official website.

Launched in April 2019, AXRP is the second biggest ETP by daily trading volume of about 440,000 Swiss francs ($450,000), following Invesco Physical Gold ETC, according to data provided by SIX.

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IOTA to Enter a New Partnership to Track Potentially Fatal Food Allergens With DLT

IOTA has partnered with digital food safety firm Primority to develop a tool to minimize the threat of potentially fatal food allergens.

Non-profit blockchain organization IOTA Foundation has teamed up with digital food safety management firm Primority to track food allergens via blockchain, IOTA tweeted on June 20.

The new partnership aims to reduce risks associated with potentially fatal food allergens, targeting 220 million people with food allergy worldwide, as IOTA noted in the tweet.

The collaboration includes the development of a prototype of an application that would enable consumers to check food products for allergens, particularly those that go under usual radars for a number of reasons, including cases when products share production lines with allergen-containing products, according to a blog post by IOTA.

Specifically, the application will be based on IOTA’s immutable distributed ledger protocol Tangle, and integrated with Primority’s 3iVerify platform, which will enable the information collected from manufacturers to be automatically shared on IOTA’s Tangle.

As such, the application will reportedly allow consumers to access a number of details about food products by scanning a barcode on the app. The shared information would include tracking of raw materials used and their suppliers, as well as a review of food production processes. As IOTA stressed in the announcement, consumers will be able to access the data “without sharing any personal, sensitive information, and without owning any cryptocurrency.”

Recently, Cointelegraph reported on collaboration between American seafood trade association National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and IBM’s blockchain-based supply chain solution Food Trust to trace seafood species.

In April, research firm Gartner predicted that as much as 20% of the top 10 global grocery suppliers will run using blockchain technology by 2025.

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Breaking: Ripple Partners With Moneygram for XRP Utilization

Ripple Enters Massive Partnership; XRP Spikes

According to a post published to the blog of Ripple Labs, the San Francisco-headquartered fintech company has joined in a partnership with MoneyGram, one of the world’s most prominent money transfer firms. As a result, the value of the XRP crypto asset has spiked, rallying by 7% in the past 24 hours while Bitcoin has posted a relatively skimpy 1.5% performance.

This partnership, which is currently contracted to last for two years (which can be extended), Ripple will be MoneyGram’s primary partner for cross-border payment and forex settlement through the medium of digital assets. In other words, MoneyGram will be utilizing XRP in its primary business line — money transfer. For those that are fans of Ripple and its go-to cryptocurrency, this news is monumental.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, this partnership was triggered by Ripple investing $50 million in MoneyGram, which has an $80 million market capitalization according to Google Finance. The firm has purchased 10% of the firm for $30 million (implying a private valuation of $300 million, down from $1.2 billion) and gives MoneyGram the right to ask for $20 million from its financier any time in the next two years.

Due to this news, shares in the money transfer firm have jumped by 114%, rallying from around $1.5 to $3.10 in the after hours trading session.

This partnership will take a big focus on xRapid, Ripple’s solution for liquidity that utilizes XRP directly as a “real-time bridge between the sending and receiving currencies.” Alex Holmes, the chief executive of MoneyGram, claims that this partnership will allow for his firm to ” instantly settle funds from US dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations and dramatically streamline our global liquidity management.”

This arguably marks the biggest case of real-world XRP adoption to date, making it no surprise that the cryptocurrency continues to rally as Ethereum World News writes this.

Photo by Armando Arauz on Unsplash

The post Breaking: Ripple Partners With Moneygram for XRP Utilization appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Microsoft to Collaborate With Icertis in Enhancing Blockchain-Based Contractual Offering

Major enterprise contract management service Icertis will expand its contractual offering with Microsoft.

Major enterprise contract management service Icertis will collaborate with Microsoft to expand its blockchain-based contract solution, the company announced on June 11.

By entering the collaboration, Microsoft will help Icertis to extend its Icertis Blockchain Framework, which is designed to enhance the transparency and efficiency of contractual frameworks using smart contracts technology.

The Icertis Blockchain Framework offers a blockchain-powered solution to track contractual requirements and commitments, improving the quality of collaboration and accountability. The tool aims to solve various problems associated with contractual arrangements on the supply chain, including combating the use of child labor, conflict materials and tainted food distribution, as well as tracing pharmaceuticals.

Specifically, the new partnership expands blockchain applications to contract management by implementing the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Workbench for Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform for clients worldwide. The collaboration will also connect Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services components and the Icertis Blockchain Framework with the ICM platform, the press release notes.

In February 2019, Icertis deployed its blockchain framework within a joint initiative with German vehicle brand Mercedes-Benz Car to assist in ensuring that its global sourcing and contracting practices comply with Mercedes-Benz Cars’ strict requirements for working conditions, human rights and environmental protection, among others.

Recently, Cointelegraph reported on the United States seafood trade association National Fisheries Institute working with IBM’s blockchain supply chain solution Food Trust to trace seafood with distributed ledger technology.

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OKEx Subsidiary OKLink to Launch USD-Pegged Stablecoin USDK

Global settlement firm OKLink, a subsidiary of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, launches its USDK stablecoin.

Global settlement firm OKLink, a subsidiary of major cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, will launch its stablecoin today, June 3, an OKEx representative told Cointelegraph.

In an email sent to Cointelegraph, the OKEx rep specified that the stablecoin — dubbed USDK — will be launched today in partnership with United States-based custodian Prime Trust.

On June 2, OKLink posted scans of the agreement between OKLink and Prime Trust on Twitter.

At the end of last month, Star Xu — founder of exchange services provider OKCoin and OKEx — announced OK Group’s partnership with the trust company and plans to launch a stablecoin.

Prime Trust is also one the trust companies that manages the escrow accounts holding collateral for competitor stablecoin, TrueUSD.

The firm is also reportedly the partner that enables fiat trading on the U.S.-based version of top cryptocurrency exchange Huobi.

OKEx is currently the world’s second largest crypto exchange by adjusted daily trade volumes, seeing $1.8 billion in trades over the past 24 hours to press time.

As Cointelegraph reported in March, OKEx is developing its own decentralized exchange (DEX) and blockchain, called OKChain. The chain is reportedly already in the final development stage and the company expects to launch the testnet this month.

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that the so-dubbed decentralized exchange developed by major cryptocurrency exchange Binance will block access to users based in 29 countries. The DEX informs potential users of the restriction via a message that appears when accessing the platform from one of the blocked regions.

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Company Behind Fortnite Epic Games Partners With Blockchain Gaming Platform The Abyss

Epic Games, the company that developed successful video game Fortnite, partnered with blockchain gaming platform The Abyss.

Epic Games, the company that developed successful videogame Fortnite, announced that it has partnered with blockchain game distribution platform The Abyss in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 23.

The press release notes that the partnership will allow developers on the platform access to the Unreal Developers Network. Epic’s Unreal Engine requires developers to make quarterly payments equivalent to 5% of their returns, once they earned over $3,000.

The engine is often employed by so-called triple-A or blockbuster games, and is known for being one of the engines capable of providing the most advanced graphics. An Epic Games spokesperson commented on the partnership in an email sent to Cointelegraph:

“The program is aimed at attracting more gaming studios and titles to The Abyss platform, as well as supporting Unreal Engine developers in cryptocurrency adoption. More specifically, they will be able to accept ABYSS tokens both for game and in-game purchases in legal and easy-to-use way.”

While the details of the partnership are unclear, an Epic Games spokesperson reportedly said in an email to cryptocurrency news outlet Coindesk that developers using Epic’s game engine won’t need to sign a separate agreement.

As Cointelegraph reported in April, blockchain-powered gaming platform Unitopia has received $5 million in funding from a group of investment and financial services companies.

In March, blockchain startup Animoca Brands announced it had signed a global licensing agreement with Formula 1® to publish a blockchain game based on the world-renowned racing series.

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Bitfury Partners With Kazakhstan-Based Financial Hub to Cooperate on Blockchain Projects

Bitfury teamed up with the Astana International Financial Centre to collaborate on blockchain development in the region.

Blockchain tech giant Bitfury partnered with major Kazakhstan-based financial hub to apply the technology across multiple industries, local government-backed newspaper The Astana Times reports on May 21.

Headquartered in Nur-Sultan, the newly renamed capital of Kazakhstan, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) will apply Bitfury’s blockchain expertise in creating projects and promoting new startups on a global scale.

In turn, Bitfury plans to launch data centers in Kazakhstan to gain exposure and cooperate with the Nur-Sultan city administration, as well as support the development and promotion of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the region. The blockchain firm is also planning to open education and training courses on the platform of the AIFC Bureau for Continuing Professional Development, the report notes.

Timur Bairov, Head of Kazakhstan for the Bitfury Group, said that Bitfury has already “shown its strong commitment to education and equal access to technology” via blockchain in Georgia and Ukraine.

Founded in 2015, the AIFC is reportedly positioned as a financial hub for the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eurasian Economic Union, Middle East, Western China, Mongolia and Europe.

In April, Bitfury partnered with a Swiss investment firm to set up a bitcoin mining fund for institutional investors, receiving regulatory approval for the fund.

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IBM to Apply Blockchain Tech to Lenovo’s Data Centers

American global tech giant IBM signed a new agreement with Chinese PC maker Lenovo to apply blockchain in Lenovo’s customer service departments.

American global tech giant IBM signed a new agreement with Chinese PC maker Lenovo to apply blockchain in Lenovo’s customer service, according to a press release on April 25.

IBM, а top global developer of blockchain patents after Alibaba, will apply blockchain technology in the customer service processes at Lenovo’s Data Center Group. Specifically, Lenovo will use blockchain tech to monitor supply chains of hardware and software used in its data centers.

Blockchain tech will be one of a number of components that IBM will integrate into Lenovo’s customer systems, including Virtual Assistant for Technical Support, enhanced personalization tool Client Insight Portal, as well as augmented reality technology.

As IBM reported in 2017, global businesses spend $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls each year, while 50% of those calls reportedly go unresolved.

According to the press release, the new agreement between IBM and Lenovo is another milestone in the relationship of two companies that started back in 2005. In 2014, Lenovo acquired IBM’s server business in a $2.3 billion deal.

In February 2018, Lenovo filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a system verify integrity of physical documents, using a “security blockchain.”

Recently, Lenovo published an article to explain how the company is working with major American software firm Intel to create solutions based on the Intel Select Solutions for Blockchain: Hyperledger Fabric. Lenovo wrote that its blockchain solution will be based on its industry-leading ThinkSystem data center infrastructure portfolio of server, storage, networking and software products.

Recently, tech giant IBM was awarded a patent for a mobile data sharing method that uses distributed ledger technology.

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R/GA Ventures Partners With Local Blockchain Firms to Create Blockchain Venture

R/GA Ventures, the investment arm of international marketing company R/GA, is opening a blockchain investment studio in Oregon.

R/GA Ventures, the investment arm of international marketing company R/GA, is opening a blockchain investment studio in Oregon, the company announced in a press release published on April 24.

The studio, dubbed Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio (OEBVS), will be launched in partnership with several local companies participating in the blockchain industry. Namely, the release cites Moda, Umpqua Bank, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Business Oregon, ConsenSys and blockchain research firm Smith + Crown.

Per the release, OEBVS aims to build a blockchain-based ecosystem and help the local businesses and institutions compete globally. The studio will reportedly focus on leveraging emerging startup products, services and tools to solve targeted business objectives for its partners and provide market opportunities, guidance and partnerships.

The announcement promises that the startups participating in the program will also receive mentorship from industry executives and obtain access to the company’s partners. OEBVS’ areas of interest include retail, insurance, health, finance, sports, manufacturing, logistics, energy and sustainability, transportation, Internet of Things, smart cities, food, advertising and marketing.

Startups can apply to the program through the OEBVS website after April 24. This program will take place out of R/GA’s Portland Pearl District office, starting on July 29, and will conclude in October with a demo event. During the event, each startup will present what they are working on to industry leaders, partners, investors and customers from the tech community.

According to Crunchbase, R/GA is an international advertising agency headquartered in New York with an estimated annual revenue of $377.9 million.

As Cointelegraph reported last week, world famous tennis player Serena Jameka Williams revealed that she launched her investment business Serena Ventures and silently invested in over 30 companies, including major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Also last week, Reuters reported that venture capital investment in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups will likely set a new all-time high in 2019.

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Tron CEO Justin Sun Hints at Partnership With Liverpool FC

Tron, the firm behind the 11th biggest cryptocurrency Tron, will reportedly partner with British professional football club Liverpool.

The Tron Foundation, the firm behind the 11th biggest cryptocurrency Tron (TRON), will reportedly partner with British professional football club Liverpool, Tron CEO Justin Sun revealed in a tweet on April 24.

While Sun did not include any specific details about the nature of the upcoming partnership, the tweet features a short video invitation from Liverpool Football Club (LFC), with the Tron logo appearing in the video.

The Tron CEO claimed that he is looking forward to explore this new partnership, adding that it is an official partnership and that more details will be released soon.

Misha Lederman, co-founder of Tron-related blockchain startup IAmDecentralized, said that the new partnership between Tron and LFC “would be beyond massive for crypto to say the least.” He also added that he “can already see the TRON logo on that red @LFC shirt at Anfield.”

Samuel Austin, co-founder and developer at blockchain payment firm HummingPay, agreed that LFC’s acceptance of Tron would help to bring exposure to Tron’s mission. He suggested that Liverpool could develop their own live streaming platform, which could probably be assisted through Tron’s peer-to-peer (P2P) platform BitTorrent, which was acquired by Tron in July 2018.

Recently, decentralized applications (DApps)-focused analytics website DApp.com released a report claiming that the Tron blockchain has the fastest growing DApp user base.

In late 2018, Brazilian premier league soccer club Atletico Mineiro launched a fan token dubbed “GaloCoin,” a cryptocurrency that is tied to the national fiat currency exchange rate and is equal to one Brazilian real. The club’s fan token had been preceded by two others, with French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain and Major league Italian soccer club Juventus both launching their own in September 2018.

Previously, former Liverpool soccer star Michael Owen partnered with the Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange to issue his name-backed cryptocurrency, own coin.