article-aa

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Alibaba-affiliated Ant Financial, Baidu, Huawei, JD.com and Tencent will participate in the new National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee. It has not released details of the group’s mandate. (CNBC)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: China’s blockchain sector has experienced a period of regulatory volatility in recent months. In October 2019, President Xi Jinping said the country should accelerate the technology’s development, adopting it as “the core of innovation.” But that evidently didn’t include cryptocurrencies, which the central bank targeted for regulatory action the following month. The new committee could signal China wants clearer domestic guidelines, and the inclusion of some of its most globally successful firms suggests it may be keen to export them. Blockchain is a relatively new lane in the China-U.S. race to set standards for key technologies, which could give their own firms an advantage abroad. The two countries are also competing in areas like the patenting of artificial intelligence and quantum computing innovations.

article-aa

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Toronto businessman Boaz Manor along with New Jersey-based partner Edith Pardo with fraud, alleging the pair bilked over US$30 million from more than 700 U.S. and foreign investors in a fraudulent initial coin offering. (The Logic)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: In 2007, the RCMP arrested Manor and his business on fraud charges after his Toronto-based $730-million hedge fund imploded. A subsequent year in jail allegedly failed to strip him of his chutzpah. According to SEC officials, Boaz dyed his hair, grew a beard and passed himself off as Shaun MacDonald, an employee of Pardo’s seeking investors for Pardo’s company, which had purportedly developed blockchain-powered technology for hedge funds.

article-aa

China should prioritize blockchain as the core of its innovation and accelerate the development of related technology, President Xi Jinping said in a release by the state-owned Xinhua News Agency. Bitcoin topped US$10,000 on the weekend following Xi’s comments, levelling out to US$9,393 on Monday. An index that tracks 53 blockchain-linked stocks in mainland China rose almost nine per cent on Monday. (Reuters, Wall Street Journal)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: This is the Chinese government’s strongest and highest-level endorsement to date of blockchain and related technologies, and it underlines Beijing’s effort to assert the authority of the state over digital currency. Beijing banned cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) for alternative cryptocurrencies in 2017, citing the inherent riskiness of such investments. In 2018, authorities clamped down further, shutting down WeChat accounts that discussed ICOs, while financial officials in Beijing warned businesses not to host cryptocurrency-related events. The People’s Bank of China has said it’s in the final stages of developing its own centralized digital fiat currency—a token that would be under state control, and a far cry from decentralized technologies like Bitcoin and other alternative cryptocurrencies currently banned in the mainland.

article-aa

The company will use software from Los Angeles-based TruTrace, to track medical cannabis the way it does other legal drugs, in advance of a rollout to direct cannabis sales at over 1,300 stores across the country. The project will launch next month and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. (Globe and Mail)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: This move puts Shoppers even further ahead of other pharmacies when it comes to medical cannabis. It is currently the only pharmacy authorized to sell, although London Drugs and Rexall are training staff on the product. TruTrace is hoping a successful pilot will allow it to build similar partnerships with Walgreens and CVS in the U.S., as a growing number of states legalize medical cannabis. Standardization and origin tracking could also reassure doctors, some of whom have been reluctant to prescribe cannabis, despite its legalization in 2018, over concerns about what precisely is in the product.

article-aa

The Bank of Canada (BoC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) successfully linked their respective experimental domestic payment networks—named Project Jasper and Project Ubin—which are built on two different distributed ledger technology platforms. (Bloomberg)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: Cross-border payments account for 40 percent of global payments transactional revenues, and international cross-border payments revenues exceeded US$200 billion globally in 2018, according to McKinsey. More than 40 central banks worldwide are currently exploring the use of blockchain technology for faster, low-cost transactions, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). While blockchain’s scalability and large transaction capacity makes it well-suited for high-value transactions, it’s unclear whether banks will adopt the technology. Blockchain technology increases vulnerability to cybersecurity risks and power outages, the WEF said. But the transaction between the BoC and the MAS—the first of its kind between two central banks—suggests financial institutions may be open to adopting blockchain, despite its shortcomings.

article-aa

Verified.Me is available to customers of TD, CIBC, Desjardins, RBC and Scotiabank, with BMO and National Bank joining later this year. Account holders can use the app to verify their online identities at other service providers like Sun Life and Equifax. (Financial Post)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: SecureKey has received investment from all of the banks participating in the Verified.Me launch, as well as telecoms like Rogers and Telus, so Verified.Me has a good chance of becoming an interconnected digital identity solution for a lot of things consumers regularly need to do. Greg Wolfond, CEO of SecureKey, expects Verified.Me to let customers access health records and open bank accounts by the end of this year. Neil Parmenter, CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association, has said in the past that the country must move away from paper-based processes and explore digital authentication as the government considers open banking, which would allow consumers to share financial data with third parties.

article-aa

The bank plans to roll out “JPM Coin” in the next few months, the first cryptocurrency backed by a U.S. bank. Customers will be able to use the coin to transfer money to another JPMorgan customer over the blockchain. (Reuters)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The initiative is surprising in that it comes from a bank whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, called Bitcoin “fraud” in 2017. He later backpedaled slightly, but maintained that he wasn’t interested in crypto. The bank has made clear, however, that JPM Coin isn’t your typical cryptocoin, noting that it supports “cryptocurrencies as long as they are properly controlled and regulated.” This particular coin will be redeemable for a single U.S. dollar, which means its value should be fairly stable. The bank is launching a trial period for the coin, starting with select clients, like large corporations that traditionally make international payments via wire transfers.

article-aa

The 4,000-square-foot centre will provide coding classes, lectures for software developers and office spaces for companies like Quovo. It’s backed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the Global Blockchain Business Council, a trade association. Corporate partners include IBM and Microsoft. (Bloomberg)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: Toronto has seen similar efforts from its local blockchain community with the launch of the Blockchain Research Institute last year. Its focus on connecting global researchers, however, differs from New York’s centre, which emphasizes public participation in its development. A strong blockchain developer community has emerged in the Toronto-Waterloo region since Ethereum technology was first proposed in 2013. Canadians could benefit from this new centre, given their close proximity to New York City.

article-aa

The Ontario Securities Commission investigation determined Gerald Cotten, who ran what was Canada’s largest exchange for trading digital currencies like Bitcoin, created puppet accounts and credited them with cash he hadn’t deposited, then used $115 million in client funds to cover his losses. He also lost $28 million trading on rival platforms, and spent more customer cash on his lifestyle. (The Globe & Mail, Financial Post)

Read this article for free

By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Already a subscriber?

Talking point: The regulator isn’t bringing an enforcement action, citing Cotten’s December 2018 death and Quadriga’s bankruptcy. But its work tracking down the missing funds—trustee EY has found only $46 million of the $215 million in client funds owed—suggests users won’t be getting their money back.