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Mastercard Teams Up With R3 To Develop Cross-Border Payment Solution Using Corda Blockchain Platform

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Popular payments services provider Mastercard is teaming up with blockchain company R3 to create an international payments solutions, CoinDesk reports.

In a press statement, the two companies will develop and pilot a fresh blockchain-based cross-border platform. The payments solution will aim at linking world’s faster payments platforms, schemes as well as financial institutions majorly banks.

As per the press statement, the partnership is part of Mastercard’s plans to enhance its international payments network adding on its latest acquisition of an international payments firm Transfast at the beginning of this year.

The teaming up with R3 is a ploy by Mastercard to provide a wide range of payment solutions for its clients in efforts to allow them to decide how their money should be moved across the world.

Mastercard’s executive vice president in charge of new payment platforms, Peter Klein, stated that development of a high-quality cross-border payments platform will help the company enhance its connectivity around the world which is a key ambition for Mastercard. Klein went ahead to explain that Mastercard’s goal is to provide

worldwide payment infrastructure and the partnership with R3 will help the company to achieve its vision.

According to R3, the new payment platform will be developed on top of Corda Enterprise, which is the commercial version of the Corda blockchain, and not on the open-source Corda platform.

The new cooperation is set to take advantage of R3’s blockchain development expertise and Mastercard’s global network and payment platforms. The two companies are hopeful that the partnership will allow them to eliminate various industry challenges such as high processing fees, management of liquidity and problems associated with domestic clearing systems.

This is not the first time the two companies are teaming up for a project. At the start of this month Mastercard officially became a member of Marco Polo trade finance blockchain platform that was started by R3 in collaboration with TradeIX.

Cointegraph reports that in the recent past, Mastercard has been angling to enter the crypto industry and in August the payments giant advertised for new job for blockchain as well as crypto -related products.

Source. bitcoinexchangeguide.

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This Virginia Lawmaker Argues Blockchain Can Boost Local Elections, Economy

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A Virginia lawmaker is pushing her commonwealth’s government to study how blockchain could shape the future of local elections and commerce. 

On Jan. 8, Delegate Hala Ayala (D-51) offered two bills to the House of Delegates: the first calling for Virginia’s Department of Elections to investigate blockchain as a means to secure elections, and the second requesting the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) research blockchain’s current and coming role in the Old Dominion’s economy. 

Together, they comprise Ayala’s political drive to embrace – or at least consider – integrating distributed ledger technology in Virginia life. 

They’re also a product of Ayala’s subject matter expertise. She was an information security specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard for nearly 20 years before transitioning to a cybersecurity role at the Transportation Security Administration in 2017, where she continues to work.

“Right now blockchain is a thriving technology,” said Ayala, who was appointed chair of the newly formed Technology and Innovation Subcommittee last week.

The bills outline Ayala’s proposed roadmap to studying blockchain technologies. This is most clear in her election bill. It’s a response to the ongoing threat of election interference by “bad actors,” she said.

But it’s also a detailed prescription to get ahead of future attacks. With text imploring the Virginia Department of Elections to study current blockchain voting mechanisms, perform a

cost-benefit analysis and then determine “whether and how to implement blockchain” in elections, the bill offers a path to possible implementation. 

“We have to take blockchain very seriously and understand it has the mechanics and mechanisms that could potentially provide us with more secure election protection,” Ayala said.

The economy bill, too, would nudge blockchain toward more widespread implementation in Virginia, with two years of mandated studies on the tech’s prevalence and role in intrastate commerce. 

If passed, VEDP would produce multiple reports outlining what the government should do to foster sector growth. Ayala said it would also tamp down on corporate overreach, keeping companies honest.  

While Ayala hopes the reports will shed light on how the commonwealth can take advantage of this relatively new technology, she has not yet committed to implementing blockchain tools.

“We need to do our homework first to see how we can apply these technologies to their businesses as well as our elections,” she said.

Ultimately, her economics bill seeks to create “a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy relating to blockchain technology,” the text reads. 

“Technology is always ever evolving, and we want to make sure that we are on the forefront and leading the way here in the commonwealth,” Ayala said.

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This Startup Thinks Blockchain Is The Only Thing That Can Save Social Media

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For any business on the Internet, using Amazon, Microsoft or another cloud computing giant is a fact of life. DFINITY founder Dominic Williams wants to change that. His blockchain nonprofit created an internet protocol called “The Internet Computer” that aims to decentralize the internet by putting cloud services (and all of their data) on independent systems.

Now, DFINITY is showing off its new blockchain technology at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland with a demonstration of an “open” social network called LinkedUp, a decentralized alternative to LinkedIn, that is not owned or operated by a corporate entity. 

LinkedUp was built only as a demonstration for now, but the code is open source, meaning that any third-party developer that wishes can begin tinkering with the code and ultimately bring the idea to market if they so choose. Because the software is built on DFINITY’s Internet Computer platform, a public record of any changes will be available for anyone to review.

“We have no idea how Facebook creates its News Feed, and we have no idea how Facebook processes our data, and we have no way of knowing if it ships that data to Cambridge Analytica, and that is one key difference with an open Internet,” Williams said in a phone interview. “[On LinkedUp] you can see the updates to the software going through the governance system, so you know exactly what changes have been made and how the system works.”

In essence, social networks would no longer be a black box. All users would have a much deeper understanding of how the proprietary algorithms work and why they see certain pieces of content. They would have direct access to the code that governs these networks. And thus, Williams argues, people would be more empowered to fight against monopolistic trends in the existing internet infrastructure.

Investors are paying close attention to William’s idea. The Zug, Switzerland-based firm has raised $190 million from Andreessen Horowitz and crypto investors Polychain Capital and Multicoin Capital.

Williams hopes that his LinkedUp application will inspire others to create open versions of other popular software like WhatsApp, Facebook, eBay, and more. He wants to challenge the largest tech companies that control software, and thus the fate of any companies that choose to build on top of their platforms.

DFINITY released a software development kit two months ago to enable developers to build new web applications on its platform. The company plans to launch the Internet Computer later this year.

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Roger Ver, Da Hongfei, Alex Mashinsky to speak at Istanbul Blockchain Week

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Istanbul Blockchain Week has just announced the speaker line up for its Istanblock 2020 event. The conference, which will take place in April, will feature several prominent figures in the crypto industry, including Roger Ver, Da Hongfei, and Alex Mashinsky.

Turkey’s premier blockchain event announces high-profile speaker line up

While few would put Turkey on the list of places with a burgeoning blockchain scene, the country has been ramping up its efforts to get recognized as a leader in the new technology.

The country’s premier blockchain event, Istanbul Blockchain Week, will be taking place from 6-10 April and will see dozens of events taking place across Turkey’s largest city. One of the most highly-anticipated events will be the Istanblock 2020.

The organizers of the event have now announced the speaker lineup for the crypto-focused event, saying attendees can look forward to some big hitters from the world of blockchain and crypto taking to the stage.

Roger Ver, a Bitcoin Cash evangelist and executive chairman of Bitcoin.com will be spearheading the event, the organizers said, adding that he will be joined by other “thought leaders and luminaries” from the industry.

Da Hongfei, the founder

of blockchain project NEO, will be one of the speakers, as will Alex Mashinsky, the founder of the Celsius Network.

Raising awareness of Turkish blockchain projects

Cryptocurrency exchanges will also be one of the topics discussed at the event, as Ben Zhou, the CEO and founder of Bybit has been announced as one of the speakers.

However, the event will also feature some big names that don’t come from crypto. According to the announcement, DP Suresh, the vice president of engineering at Yahoo, will be among the event’s speakers.

Erhan Korhaliller, Founder and CEO of crypto PR agency EAK Digital which organized the event, said that the goal of Istanbul Blockchain Week was to promote Turkish blockchain projects globally. He said in the announcement:

“Already, so many people in Turkey are familiar with crypto. What this event will do is catapult that enthusiasm and energy onto the world stage. It’s going to be exciting.”

The Istanbul Blockchain Week will take place from April 6-10, while its crowning event, Istanblock 2020, will be held on April 9-10.

You can buy tickets on the event’s official website and follow the event on Twitter for more updates.

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