Dubai Payment Services Now Implementing Blockchain Technology
The Prince of Dubai has decided that he would like to implement blockchain technology into the nation's retail app, DubaiPay. This will allow customers to pay for goods, by using cryptocurrencies and it will allow for transactions to occur in real-time. The project will be developed by Dubai's Department of Finance (DoF) and the Smart Dubai Office (SDO). Currently, the DoF is manually recording transactions, before they are settled. This process is not only long, but there is also a fee deduction for each transaction. It takes 45 days for the process to be complete. The DubaiPay app has more than 40 entities which also includes non-govt. and govt. agencies. The portal has collected a whopping $35 million from over 9.4 million transactions. Numerous government agencies in Dubai will be a part of the blockchain platform in the future. These agencies include Dubai Airports, Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, and Roads and Transport Authority.
Brazil’s Government is Supporting the Countries’ Biggest Brokerage to Process BTC Trades
The biggest brokerage in Brazil, Grupo XP, is planning to release a Ethereum and Bitcoin crypto trading platform by the end of this year. The CEO, Guilherme Benchimol, said that the business will also use BTC and ETH integration into the infrastructure of the brokerage. They have an investor base of 3,000,000 and they will all be able to invest in the new crypto-assets. Although Benchimol is not a fan of digital assets as a form of currency, he believes that this change to the brokerage will better accommodate the demands of their investors.  The decision of Grupo XP is monumental for Brazil and the South American market. The Brazilian government is enforcing regulations and diving into legitimizing cryptocurrencies for banks and financial services. Grupo XP has support from the government , so we are predicting that the market of Brazil will see a spike in digital currency exchanges. For quite some time, South American markets have taken things slower than Asian and European markets. This is because there was regulatory concerns, however this approach by the Brazilian government, will definitely help the growth in the crypto market for neighboring countries such as Venezuela and Argentina. 
Fidelity Investments to Launch Crypto Products by 2019
The CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson, has announced that the firm is working on digital asset and blockchain products and they are looking to release them by early next year. Johnson did not answer any further questions, but we will be hearing updates from them soon. Investors are keen to keep a close watch on this project, as the investment company is one of the most popular crypto-friendly financial service institutions on the globe. The rumors began in June of 2018, and started as the company was working on a crypto exchange. In the same month, Fidelity said they were interested in bringing on a fund manager to run a new crypto fund. Neither of the rumors are confirmed to be true, as of yet. Fidelity has also received almost $6 million in crypto donations within the first 6 months of 2017. Johnson explained that the goal of the institution, is to focus on placing the needs of the market first, before the technology.
One of the Top Ten Banks in U.S. Joins Ripple Blockchain
PNC is ranked as number 9 when it comes to the top top ten largest banks in the U.S. They have now joined Ripple's blockchain, known as RippleNet. This is a great accomplishment for the California based fintech company. PNC has a whopping $380 billion in assets, and is the latest member to join forces with RippleNet. The new network has more than 100 companies that are able to do instant transers with on-demand liquidity and transparency on a blockchain. PNC is also the fourth largest with having the highest number of ATMS in the U.S. The bank has a customer base of 8 million and operates in 19 states. PNC's partnership with RippleNET will give commercial PNC customers access to international payments in real time.
Chinese Company Considers U.S. Defense Department Facility for Crypto Mining
Chinese holding company Wuhan General Group is currently working on plans to re-purpose a US Defense Department data center for its crypto mining operations. The facility, which is situated in Nevada, will apparently be able to meet the necessary security and power conditions to help the company set new market standards. Negative market sentiment, stratospheric mining hashrates, and tumbling cryptocurrency prices are pushing out less efficient miners who struggle to break even. As such, the facility will provide substantial scalability capabilities by enabling the operation to benefit from low power costs, high-speed internet, and a cool environment, subsequently maximizing profits.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Set to Join Blockchain Startup Equi
he announcement that Steve Wozniak is breaking into blockchain is so new the Equi website still says “coming soon.” But as the co-founder of Apple, arguably the most innovative company of our time, is it strange that Wozniak is showing up late on the blockchain scene? Actually, he’s been fascinated with Bitcoin from the early days, calling it “digital gold.” But the slew of useless cryptocurrencies and phony ICOs caused him to hold back on getting on board with a blockchain startup.
Canada has Released a BTC Mutual Fund
FBC Bitcoin Trust has finally made its way to mutual fund status in Canada. A Canadian blockchain investment and digital asset company, First Block Capital Inc., has released their FBC Bitcoin Trust to the market. This will permit investors to keep their assets in accounts that are categorized as Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA). The fund will be accessible via NEO Connect, which is a platform that distributes funds and will be using the ticker FBCBT. Settlements are recorded daily by NEO Connect, unlike the previous 30-day redemption clause. This trust will allow investors to have more exposure to Bitcoin, without them managing and obtaining the cryptocurrency. The Tax Act has made it legal to have trust units, as they are a qualified investment. First Block is confident that FBC BTC Trust investors will start pushing more units within the first month. The strong bond with NEO Connect's platform services sure as hell may make their prediction come true.
Top Three Ways Blockchain Is Killing It in Agribusiness
Blockchain in Agribusiness The generic nature of blockchain technology is one of the main reasons every industry is getting excited, or nervous, depending on their point of view. For the first time ever, we can benefit from a transparent and immutable ledger that will enforce accountability and eradicate human error (or tampering).  So, beyond sending Bitcoin from one person to another, the implications are really rather huge. This giant and universal spreadsheet that can’t be censored or changed means that any industry that requires record-keeping of any kind can transform using this technology.  And when it comes to blockchain in agribusiness, there are plenty of ways in which it can, and is already, being applied. Check out the top three. 1. Tracking Produce Around the Globe According to the CEO of Smart Containers, Richard Ettl, sending a package around the globe requires several hundred communications between parties in the supply chain. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how inefficient that is. The more people involved in any action, the more opportunities for human error, which means delays, misunderstandings, and increased expenses.  Now add extra layers of complexity, such as different legislation, language, currencies, and culture. “You have a lot of room for information to be lost in translation,” Ettl says. With blockchain technology, everyone has one place to go for information that’s verified, accurate, and constantly available.  You may be wondering if the transparency part of blockchain in agribusiness could present a problem. And you’d be right. It could. Certain information should only be available to certain parties. This is where companies like Smart Containers use permissioned blockchains to ensure that only the correct people can access the information they need.
Crypto Custody Now Offered by Citigroup Bank, Will it Affect the Market?
Sources have revealed that Citigroup is the latest bank that will be offering crypto custody solutions to investors. The $175 billion bank has launched a Digital Asset Receipt, or DAR that will allow investors to invest in digital assets which are regulated and fully insured. DARs are comparable to ETFs in that investors do not actually have ownership of the asset/stock that DARs represent. I.e. Citigroup is offering DARs that are established via foreign stocks which does not allow U.S. investors to buy. Through ownership of Citibank DARs, U.S. investors have value of assets and stocks that are purchased by Citibank on behalf of its community. Via Bitcoin, Citibank consumers are able to obtain DARs that are fully protected, insured, monitored, and regulated. With investments in DARs, financial institutions will have instruments that are of value through Bitcoin. Citibank is still in the early phases of issuing DARs by BTC. Other institutions are also emerging with offerings of custodies such as Goldman Sachs Custody and Coinbase Custody. Analysts are stating that this will definitely boost the framework and liquidity of the global digital currency market. The earliest that these custody solutions will launch in the market, can be some time around 2019.
Trump’s New Addition to the SEC Increases Chances of Bitcoin ETF
The new member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elad Roisman, who has been appointed by Trump is a big plus for the votes to approve a BTC ETF. Commissioner Roisman is the third person that has been selected by Trump for the SEC. Roisman is a big supporter of regulating digital assets and he recently shared his approval at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, a few months ago. Roisman is among another commissioner who is all for the Bitcoin ETF, Commissioner Hester Peirce. Peirce was also appointed by Trump, and proclaimed through a formal dissent her disagreement with the rejection of the Winklevoss ETF in July of 2018. The SEC has already denied 9 applications, this includes Winklevoss, Cameron, GraniteShares, Direxion, and ProShares proposals.The anticipated Bitcoin ETF was submitted by VanEck/SolidX and decisions will be made by March 2019. The opinions of both commissioners will be great factor for the ETF.

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