Nov. 22nd: EIF Invests €100 Million In Blockchain Fund

This Week in Crypto

This is your daily roundup for Friday, November 22, 2019. The European Investment Fund invests €100 million in a blockchain fund, Coinbase Custody expands Tezos staking internationally, and China cracks down on crypto related activities in Shenzhen.

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EU Invests €100 Million In Blockchain Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has partnered with the European Commission, to launch a dedicated investment scheme that will provide €100 million to venture capital funds or other investors that support AI and blockchain-based products and services. The EIF also expects a total of €300 million to be invested for AI and blockchain from other private investors.

According to the International Data Corporation, Western Europe is expected to remain the second-largest region in the world for blockchain spending in 2019 at $674m. Currently, the United States is the largest spender in blockchain at $1.1 billion. The EIF fears that Eurpean developers and entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses ultimately end up recipients of US financing or working for US companies, bringing talent elsewhere.

South Korea Invests In Blockchain R&D

South Korea’s ministry of science and technology also has plans to invest 450 billion won in blockchain research and development over the next six years. The goal of the initiative is to create a data economy foundation powered by blockchain. South Korea has announced several blockchain initiatives in the past. Most recently, the Korea Internet Security Agency said it will support blockchain-related projects in 2020 with 10.5 billion won in funding.

China Further Monitors Crypto Related Activities

China’s central bank has released an announcement outlining its plans to monitor crypto-related activities continuously and shut down early-stage operations to protect investors. The notice encourages investors to report any individual or organization that uses domestic or foreign services related to virtual currencies.

According to The Block, the government in Shenzhen is also investigating cryptocurrency exchanges and has already identified 39 undisclosed exchanges for inspection. Last week, regulators in Shanghai were required to search and inspect crypto exchange related services before Nov. 22. The notice further clarifies that promotional and brokerage services inside China for ICO projects that are registered outside of the country also fall under the inspection scope of the local financial regulators.

Algorand Releases 2.0 Update

The Algorand Foundation has released the Algorand 2.0 update, adding DeFi and smart contract features to the protocol. Algorand’s in-house programming language TEAL is non-Turing-complete, limiting some functionality for ASC smart contracts. Algorand says that being non-Turing-complete is a feature that makes smart contracts safer to write and execute.

According to Hackernoon writter Kirill Shilov, simpler functionality could mean better security – or, at least, a more straightforward path to ensuring ASC contract coders do not inadvertently lose assets. Turing completeness is a measure of a programming language’s ability to simulate another programming language and possibly manipulate its own programming instructions, a popular attribute among most modern programming languages such as Solidity.

JPMorgan Patens Floorplan Lending DLT

JPMorgan has filed a patent for tracking auto dealer inventory on the blockchain. The bank believes that VIN numbers can be anchored to a blockchain for auditing dealership inventory in real time. The patent describes a DLT version of floorplan lending, a revolving line of credit that allows car dealers to borrow against inventory.

The DLT system is also designed to prevent a practice known as double flooring, which occurs when a dealership pledges one vehicle as collateral for one floorplan contract to one bank, but also pledge the same collateral for another floorplan contract with another bank.

According to Kevin Point, head of research and development at Chase Auto, “The floorplan lending process involves periodically doing a physical audit of all the inventory on the dealership’s lot” and reconciling any discrepancies. Point believes tracking floorplan lines of credit on a distributed ledger will achieve cost savings over time.

Coinbase Opens Staking To International Users

Coinbase has announced the expansion of its staking service for international users. The service was initially only available to institutional clients and recently extended to all U.S. customers. Coinbase users can currently stake Tezos (XTZ) and earn a reward of of roughly 5%.

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