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Western Union Integration of Cryptocurrencies will Foster Mass Crypto Adoption in 2019  

Western Union has been quoted to had laid emphasis on the fact that “there is need for cryptocurrencies to be used in mainstream sectors before it can adopt them fully. Once mainstream brands acknowledge and accept cryptocurrencies, 2019 could turn out to be the year of mass adoption.”

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Obviously, cross border funds transfer is bound to improve with the emergence, growth and potential maturity of cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency market could get a boost once Western Union, the largest money transfer service in the world, integrates cryptocurrencies and blockchain in its system. And it can be unarguably said that a considerable period of time now, Western Union has been exploring the value that the cryptocurrency industry could add to its service.

Western Union has been quoted to had laid emphasis on the fact that “there is need for cryptocurrencies to be used in mainstream sectors before it can adopt them fully. Once mainstream brands acknowledge and accept cryptocurrencies, 2019 could turn out to be the year of mass adoption.”

According to a news outlet, “in a video released by the company, the Western Union said it is ready to increase its customers’ payment options by adopting cryptocurrencies at any time. In what Western Union described as ‘easy’, the company stated that it would not hesitate to adopt cryptocurrencies when it feels the time is right and will add cryptocurrencies to the 130 currencies it already accepts.”

The report claimed  that  the president of Western Union said that “Western Union is well-equipped and allocates significant resources to solving the challenges that cryptocurrencies face before they are broadly accepted namely compliance, governance and volatility.”

In one of its exploration at integrating cryptocurrencies and Blockchain into its system, Western Union has been reported to had started” blockchain-based money transfer trials in partnership with Ripple in a bid to increase speed and cost efficiency of its services. Although initial results were not encouraging, the company still has blockchain trials ongoing.”

And if Western Union succeeds in adding cryptocurrencies to its international money transfer service, it will ultimately  become the first financial service brand to move in that direction. The wire transfers are significantly faster compared to traditional banking methods and are available in most geographical locations around the world, making it possible for customers to send money in hundreds of currencies.

“Integrating old and new systems is a good way of exposing the public to this new currency. Perhaps it may be cheaper to send a cryptocurrency rather than money orders. It seems that blockchain has resolved much of the need for services like Western Union.” said Joseph Oreste, the CEO of Qupon.

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Italian Football Club Juventus Now Has Its own Crypto Token $JUV. 

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Italian football Club Juventus has partnered with sports focused blockchain firm Socios.com to launch a cryptocurrency token $JUV.

Socios.com is the world’s first blockchain-based fan voting and rewards platform. A tokenized voting platform that gives fans the power to crowd-manage their favorite sports teams.

The token which football fans can purchase via the Social’ App grants holders the right to vote on certain club decisions and earn rewards.

In sport focused token offering ‘Fan Token Offering FTO™, a significant number of the 20,000,000 total supply the JUV token is already available for sale to interested fans.

Giorgio Ricci, Chief Revenue Officer of Juventus speaking on the development said;

“We are proud to be the first Club to be activated by Socios.com on its platform, inaugurating a new way to interact with our fans around the world”.

The price of $JUV will fluctuate according to supply and demand once the marketplace feature is launched, and Fan Tokens can be traded by fans on exchanges.

Alexandre Dreyfus, the founder and CEO of Socios.com who also commented on the partnership between both organizations said;

99.9% of sports fans are not in the city/country of the team they are supporting. We created these fungible fans tokens to allow fans to have an influence over some fan-based initiatives”.

$JUV is currently priced at around €2 (~$2.2) apiece. A limited number of these tokens are also available for free via Socios app’s Augmented Reality feature, Token Hunt.

According to Socios.com, it also has other clubs that are ready to join its platform and six are already lined up for tokenization by Q1 2020.

These include Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Atlético de Madrid (tokens for which will be launched in late January); West Ham United, Galatasaray and A.S. Roma (in February) and esports provider OG (in March), per the announcement.

The Socios app is available to download for Android and iOS users can apply for a beta version of the app.

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Royal Bank of Canada is Exploring the Launch of a Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

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Royal Bank of Canada is exploring the Launch of a cryptocurrency trading platform for investments, in-store and online purchases according to a report.

The platform would facilitate the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and also facilitate the transfer of funds in different types of cryptocurrencies.

It was learned the Bank would also allow customers to open bank accounts containing cryptocurrency.

This move will position the Royal Bank of Canada as the first Canadian bank to launch a cryptocurrency exchange or offer its customers crypto accounts.

The Bank had previously applied for four patents in Canada and The US showing how it will integrate cryptocurrencies into its operations.

The patent read “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge. In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices,”

The spokesperson for the Bank, Jean Francois Thibaultwas quoted saying;

“As part of the innovation and discovery process, RBC, like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,”

The bank has been partly using blockchain for payments between Canada and the US since 2017. The CEO of the Bank, Dave McKay had earlier talked about asset tokenization. According to him, “We’re experimenting with taking an asset and breaking it into smaller pieces and registering that in a decentralized register called blockchain. You can take an asset or even a company and create a unit on a decentralized blockchain and then sell that into the marketplace.”

The Royal Bank of Canada isn’t the only Financial Institution that has applied for crypto-related patent. Goldman Sachs had earlier in July received a crypto settlement system. The Bank of America over the years has published several patents relating to crypto. Payment giants such as Visa and MasterCard also have been in the crypto-patent league

According to the report, the Bank didn’t answer the question on whether it would launch a cryptocurrency trading platform and when, if it plans to.

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Singapore Shipping Association Warms up to Embrace Blockchain-based Ship Registration System

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A news report has it that there is a collaboration between the Singapore Shipping Association, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore startup called Perlin to develop what has been dubbed the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS) which they believed has the ability to minimize time, costs as well as the occurrence of errors in the process of ship registration.

 

Since Singapore is undoubtedly is the fifth-largest registry in the world with a fleet of around 4,500 ships, there would be a to restructure the process of registration, which would enhance performance and improve procedures. In this regard, the three organizations have opined that the new arrangements could improve the productivity of the ship-registration process for the Singapore flag, which is currently done via the Marinet web portal. The organizations are also of the opinion that embracing the blockchain-based method could benefit other ship registries that are using manual and paper-based processes.

 

According to the report, Perlin’s wavelet will be used to power the IERS and which if the implementation is successful, the ICC after urging for global adoption among its international network of members and affiliated Chambers, will also give a useful hand in submitting the IERS in all the government tenders.

John Denton, the secretary-general of ICC has been reported to say that their goal for working with Perlin is for the IERS which are  built-in Singapore (making Singapore the world’s first blockchain shipping registry solution) to be shown and adopted globally to help power the next 100 years of shipping-based trade across all industries,

 

In all, this development is going to be supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. They will back this remarkable initiative by sharing the IERS ship-registration process and exploring an open Application Programming Interface in the registration process.

 

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UNICEF Gets into the Cryptocurrency Industry as it creates a Crypto Fund

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The United Nations Children Fund UNICEF has made move into the cryptocurrency industry. The body through the creation of a crypto fund successfully achieved the move into the industry.

According to a press release dated 8th of October, 2019, UNICEF announced it will now be able to receive, hold and send cryptocurrencies through its newly established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund.

“Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,” – Aya Miyaguchi, Ethereum Foundation

The fund according to UNICEF will be used to fund open source technology benefitting children and young people all over the world.

Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore was quoted saying “this is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That is why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Funds is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”

Funds contributed to the fund will be held in the cryptocurrency of contribution and given out to beneficiaries in same currencies.

At current, UNICEF only supports the two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, Bitcoin and Ethereum and the first contributions to the fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation. The contribution will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF innovation fund and a project of coordinated by the GIGA initiatives, UNICEF revealed.

Expressing excitement at the development, Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation said “The Ethereum Foundation is excited to demonstrate the power of what Ethereum and blockchain technology can do for communities around the world. Together with UNICEF, we’re taking action with the Cryptofund to improve access to basic needs, rights, and resources,”

Continuing, she said “We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come. We’d like to thank UNICEF and the UNICEF family of national committees for their leadership as we create real progress together.”

The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee, and the UNICEF Innovation Fund grantees that will receive their first donations are PrescryptoAtix Labs and Utopixar,  UNICEF reported.

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