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Rhode Island Looks to Adopt Blockchain For Government Use

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Rhode Island issued a request for proposals aimed at exploring the viability of blockchain technology to improve state operations. This comes on the heels the state relaxing certain security laws for blockchain businesses.

Is the second-most dense state by population looking to become a hub for the crypto industry?

Director of the Department of Business Regulation Liz Tanner said in a statement she believes blockchain represents the modernization of government and would enable bureaucratic efficiency in the state. She also said Rhode Island’s initiatives were inspired by the adoption of blockchain by overseas governments.

The request for proposals is not looking for specific answers to specific problems, but is keeping an open mind to the possibilities of the emerging technology. A memo following the RFP states, “Suggested areas of application… include antifraud, contracts, medical marijuana, records, notarization, registration and licensing, investigative evidence control and more.”

Brenna McCabe, director of public affairs for the Department of Administration in Rhode Island, told Government Technology that this long list of possible applications is meant to entice more bidders, all of whom are required to submit two proofs of concept for blockchain application.

McCabe said state officials did not want to stifle the ingenuity of the industry by limiting the scope of the RFP.

It’s only after the state receives proposals that they can conceive of what the technology offers. “With proofs of concept, [Rhode Island] can gain a better understanding of the maturity of blockchain technologies and platforms, as well as potential sustainability in state government operations,” the memo stated.

The proposals will be reviewed by a technical evaluation committee composed of staff from various state agencies. “The initial contract period is estimated to begin Aug. 13 for a time period determined by the winning bid(s),” according to the RFP.

Anticipated problems will stem from laws, regulations and licensing structures that would require changes to allow for blockchain use, said McCabe. Though state leaders will have a better idea of what needs to be tweaked once proposals are reviewed.

source:coindesk.

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Italian Banking Association Uses Blockchain to Test Data Reconciliation Successfully

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The banks from the Italian Banking Association (ABI) have processed a reconciliation of data from an entire activity of the year using the blockchain technology. According to the group’s press release, the tests were successful and proved that the technology could be very useful to local banks.

During this first test, the group processed around 200 million data entries using the blockchain system, which is called Spunta Project. The success is proof that the platform can be used to verify the data quickly.

At the moment, the project has eighteen Italian banks participating and 35 nodes that process the transactions and operations. This means that 78% of the banks present in the country are a part of this project.

According to the reports, the system will be officially implemented on March 1, 2020. Most of the necessary tests were already made, so the technology is ready to be more widely used by the banks which are a part of the national association.

The Spunta Project is officially led by ABI Lab, a research team created by the ABI. It also has the participation of NTT Data, Sia network and the R3 network with its Corda technology.

This is far from the only case in which banks are using the blockchain to achieve better results when processing data. In fact, blockchain technology is impacting the banking sector more than almost any other sector and specialists believe that it will be responsible for huge changes in the upcoming years.

Source: bitcoinexchangeguide

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Swedish central bank now looking into plausibility of issuing ‘e-krona’ CBDC

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According to the Head of the Swedish central bank, Facebook‘s Libra project has given incentive to central banks across the world to review and investigate the development of new financial technologies. Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, told CNBC,

“It has been an incredibly important catalytic event to sort of shake the tree when Libra showed up out of the blue, and that forced us to think hard about what we do. Part of my job is to produce a good/service called the Swedish krona which is convenient to use for Swedish citizens, and if I’m good at that in a technical sense then I don’t have a problem. But if I were to start issuing 20-kilo copper coins the way we did in 1668, then we soon would be out of business.”

As the use of cash continues to fall in Sweden, the Swedish central bank has been looking into the possibility of issuing its own digital currency. Several local business in the country no longer accept physical currency, with some even putting up signs to warn customers before they enter the store. As of now, Sveriges Riksbank is looking to investigate the plausibility of an ‘e-krona’ digital currency, which it says could be introduced if it decides to do so. However, it isn’t the only central bank looking into this.

China has already announced that it is close to launching its own digital currency while just last week, the Swiss National Bank declared that it was looking into the use of digital currencies in trading.

With Libra having lost backing from more than a few companies recently, Ingves warned that Facebook would be faced with challenges as it moves forward with the project. He said,

“In this day and age we have to twist things in our heads and do things based on the assumption that nothing is on paper, and then when we talk about money everything is going to be digital in one form or the other. But the old issues — private sector money or public sector money — they are basically identical, and if history gives us any guidance at all then almost all private sector initiatives have collapsed sooner or later.”

Just yesterday, The Libra Association announced the appointment of members to the Board of Directors, with the Board including David Marcus, former PayPal executive and Head of Facebook’s blockchain strategy. Currently, the group has 21 members, 7 fewer than its original 28 after Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and four more members backed out.

Source.cryptonewsz.

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CipherTrace’s Blockchain Forensics Service Now Covers 700 Crypto Assets

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The transactions of over 700 cryptocurrencies are now searchable via the blockchain analytics offering from CipherTrace.

That means more than 87 percent of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by volume can now be traced through the API service, the company said Tuesday.

Backed by notable firms like Galaxy Digital, CipherTrace has most recently been involved in the push towards addressing regulatory guidance issued by the Financial Action Task Force in June.

With some 522 million data attribution points, CipherTrace says its platform is uniquely situated to tackle real-world applications like terrorist financing.

“Until now, large swaths of the cryptocurrency ecosystem have remained opaque to AML and CTF monitoring,” CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans said in a statement.

Providing a view into this data is vital for the future of the industry, Jevans argued, saying:

“Only by helping virtual asset service providers rid their networks of criminals and terrorists will the industry achieve the level of trust required for widespread adoption and government acceptance.”

With the update, the complete financial transaction histories of top cryptocurrencies by market cap such as ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin cash have become available. Support for ERC-20 tokens and smart contracts has also been added, including transaction and counterparty information, CipherTrace said.

Through features such as transaction alerts for flagged accounts, CipherTrace is marketing its product to government and law enforcement agencies, as well as crypto and blockchain firms that seek to align with increasingly tough international rules.

sourde:coindesk

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