Electroneum to Launch Electricity Top-Ups Across Africa

The blockchain-based digital payment project, Electroneum, will be launching an in-app electricity top-up feature across four African countries — Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and The Gambia. The electricity top-up feature will allow ETN app users to top-up their electricity meters directly from the app by paying in ETN tokens.  The ETN mobile application previously added support for airtime and data top-ups across 140 countries worldwide. While Electroneum is trying to expand its territory with its various projects and in-app features, many of its users don’t find the growth as exciting —…

Russia’s Central Bank to Launch Blockchain-Powered Digital Mortgage Platform

The Central Bank of Russia is reportedly developing a digital mortgage platform powered by a domestically developed blockchain called Masterchain, local state-owned news agency Ria reported on May 28. According to Olga Skorobogatova, first deputy governor at the central bank, Masterchain has recently started to support digital mortgages, which forms a foundation for the upcoming platform.  The financial institution has already submitted the proposal for its digital mortgage project to the government and the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr). Masterchain is reportedly the first blockchain platform…

Bitwage and Gemini Partner to Launch Bitcoin-Based Retirement Plan for Employees

Cryptocurrency payroll service Bitwage has announced the launch of a Bitcoin 401 (k) plan, allowing companies to give their employees a BTC-based retirement plan. In a press statement, Bitwage, which claims to have tested the product on its own employees for 10 months, said workers now have the ability to invest their pre-tax and post-tax dollars in BTC, through their employer. A 401(k) is a retirement plan that allows employees of a company to save and invest for retirement on a tax deferred basis. Under the plan, companies can match…

China is preparing to launch digital yuan next year to replace physical cash

The People’s Bank of China has revealed plans to have its sovereign digital currency ready in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The announcement comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift away from paper money.   Limited trials are already underway in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiongan New Area in the northern province of Hebei, said the central bank’s governor Yi Gang. He told reporters that China’s government plans to run pilot tests at Olympic venues, though there remains no official timetable for a release.   An…

Digital Yuan Has No Launch Date, Bank of China Stresses Amid Rumors of Looming Rollout

People’s Bank of China (PBoC) clarified that there is still “no timetable” on a formal digital yuan launch. In an interview published earlier today on the central bank’s website, PBoC Governor Yi Gang was asked about the CBDC’s official launch date, to which he replied: “These tests are just routine work for the research and development (R&D) of the digital currency. No schedule for an official launch has been revealed.”  The pilot test referenced by Gang has been carried out in the cities of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan new area, Chengdu,…

Ahead of Ethereum 2.0 Launch, 3 Key Metrics Point to ETH Price Surge

The Ethereum developer community is nearing the launch of Ethereum 2.0, a major multiyear milestone for the blockchain network. Ethereum 2.0 will mark the start of a shift from the miner-reliant proof-of-work consensus algorithm to a proof-of-stake algorithm. In a PoS system, miners are not needed to mine blocks and verify transactions. Instead, users — or stakers — verify data on the blockchain. For now, there is no specific date at hand for the release of Ethereum 2.0, according to its testnet coordinator, Afri Schoedon. “The final spec is not…

CZ Believes Steem Users Should Launch (Another) Counter-Fork

Changpeng Zhao, or CZ, the chief executive of top crypto exchange Binance, has issued a statement regarding the recent Steem hard fork that sought to freeze 23.6 million STEEM tokens associated with 64 wallet addresses. Binance will support the fork, however, indicating that they will support future forks executed by those affected within the Steem community. Steem fork attracts controversy The latest fork was ostensibly intended to protect against malicious actors in the Steem network, however, critics have accused the project of seeking to punish proponents of the Hive hard…

Critical Mining Hardware Manufacturer To Launch Second US Factory

The world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer and third-largest chip manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or TSMC, has announced plans to build a $12 factory in Arizona. The move comes after TSMC suffered significant disruptions across its supply chain amid the coronavirus outbreak in China. With Bitmain relying on TSMC for its next-generation chips and wafers, disruptions to TSMC specifically have been cited among the reasons for delays in shipping for its new Antminer S19 ASICs. TSMC to open Arizona factory The factory’s construction is slated to commence next year, with TSMC…

Mexican Companies Launch Crypto Donation Platform For People Impacted by COVID-19

Mexican cryptocurrency exchange, Bitso, joined forces with the crowdfunding platform, Donadora, to launch a crypto-based donation system. The platform will help gather funds to buy food for the most vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. According to a report published by El Heraldo de México on May 15, each pantry delivered will be worth 150 Mexican pesos. They will have enough food to feed families of between four and six members for a week. Donation options include both fiat currencies and various cryptos, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH),…

Polymath Eyes June Testnet Launch for New Blockchain Designed for Security Tokens

Polymath is closing in on the launch of the first test network for its new blockchain – one designed to bring new safeguards for financial institutions working with security tokens. With the Aldebaran testnet, the security token issuer is implementing a relatively new type of protocol scheme known as nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS), which the firm says brings “absolute transaction finality,” a factor “crucial” for the trading of blockchain-based securities. With a launch date now slated for June 23, according to an announcement on Thursday, Aldebaran will allow testing of the…