Dutch Banking Giant ABN AMRO Testing Its Own Crypto Wallet

Dutch financial services giant ABN AMRO is experimenting with the idea of launching its own cryptocurrency wallet. Messages posted on the bank’s official Twitter handle have confirmed rumors that it is currently testing its crypto wallet – codenamed Willie – with 500 customers, ahead of further development and possible eventual deployment.
While the identity of the test users remains a closely guarded secret, and further details are not yet forthcoming about Wallie, the bank has been open about its desire to dabble into crypto custody when questioned about the matter on Twitter.
In response to a question from a Twitter user asking whether Wallie is a genuine ABN project, the bank replied:
Hi! Yes! Did you receive this message? We are currently doing an experiment with 500 customers. :)^ Roeland
Included in the reply was a screenshot that appeared to show what the user interface of Wallie looks like, including basic functions like send, receive view balance and view addresses.
Wallie | Source: LekkersCryptisch
ABN’s Foray Into Crypto
ABN has recently been very vocal about its interest in cryptocurrencies on its social media accounts, which flies in the face of the somewhat cautious approach to crypto adopted by authorities in the Netherlands.
Previously, ABN stated that it has an interest in cryptocurrency custody because its research shows that “more and more” of its customers are investing in crypto, and have security as one of their top concerns. According to the bank, it intends to become “a trusted partner” in customer crypto custody.
Earlier today, in response to a tweet speculating about ABN’s intended role in the crypto economy, the bank tweeted:
“Hi Sagar, at the moment, we are mainly investigating and scanning what role we can play in the crypto economy. In doing so, we have a lot of consultations with the AFM and DNB to establish together what is important for consumers.”
The AFM and DNB referred to in the tweet are the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch central bank), which are the two regulators in charge of the Dutch cryptocurrency space.
According to currently unverified Dutch sources, the beta version of Wallie currently being tested apparently incorporates support for ABN’s mobile banking app, which potentially raises a series of interesting questions about whether ABN intends to enable crypto-fiat exchange, or whether it is in line with the AFN’s stated policy to end anonymous bitcoin transactions.
At the moment, not much else is known about Wallie and ABN’s future plans for expanding into the cryptocurrency space. Questions about the wallet’s technical specifications and its level of development seem likely to remain unanswered for the time being. All that is known is that one of the world’s biggest banks is getting its nose into crypto custody, and it is exciting.
Coingape will bring more updates as the story develops.
The post Dutch Banking Giant ABN AMRO Testing Its Own Crypto Wallet appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

5 Sectors Disrupted by Blockchain that Are Not Cryptocurrency

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5 Sectors Disrupted by Blockchain that Are Not Cryptocurrency

Discover what cryptocurrency is, how the blockchain affects industries and learn a few things about cryptocurrency trading in this guest post by Chris Brett, crypto enthusiast and experienced web developer.

5 Sectors Disrupted by Blockchain that Are Not Cryptocurrency

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ING Bank Settles a 5-Year Deal with R3 Corda Enterprise in a Bid to Transit Its Clients to Distributed Economy

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ING Bank Settles a 5-Year Deal with R3 Corda Enterprise in a Bid to Transit Its Clients to Distributed Economy

Dutch international bank ING has signed a deal with enterprise blockchain consortium R3 for access to R3’s commercial blockchain platform.

ING Bank Settles a 5-Year Deal with R3 Corda Enterprise in a Bid to Transit Its Clients to Distributed Economy

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Ripple Further Spreads Its Reach Joining Chinese University for Blockchain Scholarship Program

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Ripple Further Spreads Its Reach Joining Chinese University for Blockchain Scholarship Program

Ripple recently partnered with the Institute for Fintech Research, Tsinghua University to offer scholarships. They aim to sensitize the Chinese young leaders about blockchain’s international regulations.

Ripple Further Spreads Its Reach Joining Chinese University for Blockchain Scholarship Program

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Source: CoinSpeaker

First Bitcoin Marketing Agency BPRB Announces New Year Sale with $200+ Discounts

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First Bitcoin Marketing Agency BPRB Announces New Year Sale with $200+ Discounts

Blockchain PR agency Bitcoin PR Buzz announces a maximum of $1000 discount on its PR packages for the month of January 2019.

First Bitcoin Marketing Agency BPRB Announces New Year Sale with $200+ Discounts

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitmain Outlines Its Plans For 2019 After A Forgetful 2018

While 2018 was a year to forget for crypto mining companies, Bitmain has taken to its blog and announced its plan for 2019. Calling 2018 a busy year, Bitmain expects 2019 to be stabilizing and maturing.
Bitmain’s Positives from 2018
In the latest blog post, Bitmain, the crypto mining giant has given a complete roundup of 2018 which wasn’t the best for the company. With failed IPO attempt to closing offices and laying off people, Bitmain had seen it all. Although there were some negatives, 2018 also had some positives for the company.
Bitmain highlights various achieves which included the launch of new exciting products by the company and its funding of promising open-source developers and projects. The company also pointed out its investment in Circle via a US $110 million Series E round.
The tough year’s struggle did help Bitmain get a little stronger as it continued to stay committed to transparency. During the year the company also developed a transparency policy which started governing the way the company mine’s cryptocurrencies and how it communicates with the communities that it operates and functions in.
2018 also saw Bitmain taking a giant leap with its investments in the United States as it opened a  new blockchain datacenter in Rockdale, Texas and a new facility in Washington. With these investments in place, Bitmain also tried to stay connected with Americans and went on to sponsor an American Basketball team, the Houston Rockets.
With 2018 already gone and expecting 2019 to be a better year, Bitmain announced in its post that it is preparing itself to take on new challenges in the new year. To move ahead in greater speed, Bitmain mentioned that it had to rationalize its business and had to choose businesses that would optimize and streamline its flows and bring back focus to core mission and activities that the company wants to achieve.
Bitmain outlines 2019 as the year of development
In 2019, the company expects the crypto industry to stabilize and mature and expects big institutional investors to enter the crypto markets. The company also sees ASICs playing a fundamental role in securing and transforming the complexity of cryptocurrency into useful and trusted assets for everyone.
Bitmain also anticipates greater adoption of crypto finance, starting with regulators recognizing the major role cryptocurrencies can play in the current financial system and moving away from the sentiment that these coins and tokens are a threat to stability.
Bitmain ends the post saying
“Our mission is to produce hardware and software, as part of our commitment to contribute towards the security and stability of a multitude of cryptocurrencies. We look forward to continuing this effort this year, and contributing to a distributed, decentralized world that empowers everyone”
With 2019 expected to better than 2018 for cryptos, Bitmain with this consolidated focus and renewed energy could scale back to its glory days. It only a matter of time for the sentiment to change and Bitmain would be scaling newer heights again
Will Bitmain win back its lost ground in 2019? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Bitmain Outlines Its Plans For 2019 After A Forgetful 2018 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Giant Bitfury Enters Music Industry with Its New Blockchain-Based Platform

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Bitcoin Giant Bitfury Enters Music Industry with Its New Blockchain-Based Platform

Named SurroundTM, Bitfury’s music entertainment division will provide a digital system for both monetizing and sharing intellectual property.

Bitcoin Giant Bitfury Enters Music Industry with Its New Blockchain-Based Platform

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Durov Likely to Present His TON Blockchain and GRAM Token at World Economic Forum in Davos

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Durov Likely to Present His TON Blockchain and GRAM Token at World Economic Forum in Davos

Some sources report that Telegram creator is likely to present his TON project at World Economic Forum in Davos. Meanwhile, platform’s test version is reportedly available for some investors, with the official launch planned for the second half of this year.

Durov Likely to Present His TON Blockchain and GRAM Token at World Economic Forum in Davos

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Source: CoinSpeaker

8 Surprising Everyday Uses for Blockchain Technology

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8 Surprising Everyday Uses for Blockchain Technology

Kirsten Pike, a professional writer specializing in mobile and computing technology, takes a look at the promising uses for blockchain technology in our everyday life.

8 Surprising Everyday Uses for Blockchain Technology

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Case for Universal Basic Income Gains Strength as Recession Fears Deepen

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Case for Universal Basic Income Gains Strength as Recession Fears Deepen

As the markets remain volatile and financial uncertainty looms, projects like GoodDollar, that is experimenting how decentralised cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech may enable UBI-based models, could revolutionise how money is distributed at scale.

Case for Universal Basic Income Gains Strength as Recession Fears Deepen

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Expert Opinion: Bakkt Moves Ahead Despite US Government Shutdown, World Gets Ready For The Ethereum Fork

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights:

Bakkt to move ahead despite US Government Shutdown
Vontobel has announced their own crypto custodial service and digital asset vault
Ethereum to undergo hard fork tomorrow night

Bakkt moves ahead as scheduled while Vontobel announces crypto custodial services
So the delay of Bakkt because of the US Government Shutdown seems to have disappeared as for now. The Wall Street-backed service, which plans to allow clients to store and spend crypto in a user-friendly and secure way, has clearly demonstrated that they are going ahead despite delays caused by the partial US government shutdown. While all stand still due to shut down, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler announced their first strategic acquisition. To advance its effort, towards building a secure, scalable platform for transacting with digital assets, the upcoming Bakkt has entered into an agreement to acquire certain assets of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), an independent futures commission merchant with nearly 100 years of earning clients’ trust.
In December, RCG had announced the sale of all its customer accounts to Marex Spectron, one of the world’s largest commodity brokers. As part of that transaction, Bakkt’s aim was to purchase certain valuable assets related to its platform so the development work can happen quicker. The company expects to close the transaction in February, and are excited to welcome members of the RCG team to Bakkt.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic, in Europe, another financial giant has announced its entry into the crypto- industry. In Switzerland, a country that is way ahead of the curve on crypto adoption, Vontobel has announced their own crypto custodial service and digital asset vault, which is available for their clients now. By this launch, financial intermediaries such as wealth managers in Switzerland, banks and asset managers can – without any significant investment in their own infrastructure – offer their clients an integrated solution for digital assets.
Ethereum to get Constantinople upgrade
Somewhere tomorrow night, At block #7080000, the Ethereum network will undergo a hard fork. Hard forks might seem difficult to understand because of our concentration on to centralized computing, but in a decentralized world, the only way to make a major upgrade is to fork it. To explain by way of an example, when Microsoft wants to upgrade from Windows 9 to Windows 10, they have their dev team write the code, and then users upgrade one by one in their own time. In decentralized computing, the entire network needs to upgrade together.
A hardfork is like a copy-paste action, where a new blockchain is born and if all goes well, the old one dies. Sometimes, when there is a disagreement among the community about the upgrade, some members will choose to keep the old version of the blockchain alive and we see a split. The most famous cases of this were when Bitcoin Cash split off of Bitcoin on August 1st, 2017 and when Ethereum split with Ethereum Classic back in 2016.
However, the Constantinople upgrade has already received widespread backing from the entire community and so one can hope everything to move smoothly. It’s important to note that there is no action required by the end users. If any investors are holding ETH on any wallet or exchange, the upgrade would be implemented automatically.
Fingers crossed for the upcoming few weeks. 
The post Expert Opinion: Bakkt Moves Ahead Despite US Government Shutdown, World Gets Ready For The Ethereum Fork appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Newly Announced Crypto Exchange Uses Satellites to Grant Blockchain Access for the Unconnected Users

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Newly Announced Crypto Exchange Uses Satellites to Grant Blockchain Access for the Unconnected Users

A new cryptocurrency exchange partnered with a satellite manager to bring blockchain access to people without internet access. New users are given 100 Satoshi for free after registration.

Newly Announced Crypto Exchange Uses Satellites to Grant Blockchain Access for the Unconnected Users

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Source: CoinSpeaker

New Blockchain Center Backed by Microsoft and IBM Opens in New York City

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New Blockchain Center Backed by Microsoft and IBM Opens in New York City

A long-lasting bearish trend that holds its grip over the crypto-market does not seem to scare away the technology major fans. Thus the NYC Economic Development Corp. backed by IBM and Microsoft is opening a new business centre devoted to the blockchain.

New Blockchain Center Backed by Microsoft and IBM Opens in New York City

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Not All Blockchains are Born Equal: Finding the Right Consensus Algorithm

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Not All Blockchains are Born Equal: Finding the Right Consensus Algorithm

Dmytro Spilka, CEO at Solvid and founder of Pridicto, AI and Machine Learning expert shares his professional insights into the key backbone of blockchain technology – Consensus Algorithm.

Not All Blockchains are Born Equal: Finding the Right Consensus Algorithm

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Source: CoinSpeaker

VeriBlock ‘Spams’ Bitcoin Network to Secure Blockchains of Other Cryptos

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VeriBlock ‘Spams’ Bitcoin Network to Secure Blockchains of Other Cryptos

On October 22, 2013, Bitcoin Core developers merged pull request to accept OP_RETURN as a valid transaction type, providing users with 80 bytes of space for embedding arbitrary data. OP_RETURN enables users to mark transaction outputs as unspendable.

VeriBlock ‘Spams’ Bitcoin Network to Secure Blockchains of Other Cryptos

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Source: CoinSpeaker