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Stellar Lumens [XLM] to provide public blockchain for IBM’s first crypto-token

Aman Swami

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Stellar [XLM] to provide public blockchain for IBM's first crypto-token
Source: Pixabay

In a world where blockchain is getting highly accepted with time, many MNC’s consider using the blockchain technology for the betterment of their company. Cryptocurrencies which were born out of an aim to decentralize the economy in its pursuit to become mainstream is becoming more and more centralized as companies, banks, and governments have started the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

The existing cryptocurrencies which claim to its communities that the idea is to have a decentralized currency partnering with the centralized elements of the world further pushes away the aim of cryptocurrencies from what it was at its genesis.

One such giant MNC, The International Business Machines Corporation is issuing its first token using a public blockchain

Developed in partnership with carbon credits startup Veridium Labs Ltd., the ‘Verde’ tokens will be issued on the Stellar blockchain, and are designed to give enterprises that ‘pollute’ the environment a way to offset that damage by supporting a patch of Indonesian rainforest.

While carbon credits in their own right are not new, the process of tracking the full extent of one’s pollution, then providing assurance that the money was actually used to replenish the environment is both time-consuming and opaque.

By moving this process to an easily auditable blockchain, and tokenizing the credits in a similar way that a Bitcoin tokenizes monetary value, IBM’s newly appointed blockchain offering manager, Jared Klee, believes a vibrant market could eventually be opened up to a much larger audience.

Klee, who was put in charge of IBM’s token initiatives earlier this year says,

“We’re creating a fungible digital asset, a token which part of the goal is to create a market where people can buy, sell, trade and then redeem it for the underlying credits. By having a liquid market you open up a world of possibilities.”

The Verde carbon credit tokens are built on top of the public Stellar blockchain and via a series of smart contracts follow the entire process of accounting for a company’s carbon emission and offsetting that pollution.

Klee said,

“Our engagement with Veridium will mark the first public IBM involvement in a token issuance on a public network.”

But in a twist that is finding increasing favor among blockchain developers, there is also a permission component via IBM’s own blockchain technology.

Klee says,

“This ‘public permission’ model is what allows IBM and Veridium to create a market for the buying and selling of the tokenized carbon credits that will also be restricted to participants in accordance with regulatory requirements. To facilitate that permissioning while still capitalizing on Stellar’s public blockchain, IBM manages nine nodes on the Stellar blockchain.”

Klee added,

“Not only does that help create stability for the Stellar network. But that allows us to work with Veridium as the issuer and create a point of review in the transaction flow before it gets committed to the ledger.”

But going forward that could be further opened up, with Klee adding that he too would like to someday be able to personally offset his own carbon footprint using the exchange.

More than just a proof-of-concept, the Veridium tokens will be backed by Triple Gold REDD+ credits from Veridium’s sister company InfiniteEarth, founded in 2008 to help companies offset their environmental impact in a number of ways. While Veridium hasn’t revealed the names of its own potential customers, InfiniteEarth counts Big Four accounting firm PwC and software giants, SAP and Microsoft among its customers, all of which has their own ongoing blockchain projects, making them possibly suitable adopters.

The decision to partner with IBM and use the Stellar blockchain marks a shift in plans the company had earlier made to partner with Ethereum incubator ConsenSys and use the Ethereum blockchain. While an earlier announcement included details for that project’s token, called TGR, the project is no longer active, according to Veidium founder, Todd Lemons, and updates on the Verde token creation will be forthcoming.

While Lemons didn’t detail the reason for the change, a number of companies have explored the shift from Stellar’s native lumen cryptocurrency, which has a smaller market cap at $6.8 billion compared to Ethereum’s $72.7 billion but also has lower transaction costs with faster transaction times.

What the two blockchains have in common, though, is one of the reasons why the switch early on in development was so easy. Namely, while Stellar and Ethereum each have its own cryptocurrency, any number of features can be built into entirely new tokens minted on the blockchain.

To give an idea of the possible size of a tokenized carbon credits market, a recent survey of just 139 companies by the Ecosystem Marketplace found that 63.4 million tons of carbon dioxide resulted in a total market value of $191.3 million in carbon credits.

Jared Klee said,

“We expect there will be market makers and companies that buy and sell this and it will be a free-floating, an exchange-traded asset on the Stellar distributed exchange. So that the price will be market determined.”

Though Veridium was only founded in October 2017, the firm has been able to grow rapidly thanks to a number of business relationships that seem to have positioned it in front of a number of other blockchain competitors in the space.

Both Veridium and InfiniteEarth are projects within the portfolio of the Envision Corporation, a Hong Kong-based incubator for sustainable technologies. So far, the ecosystem of Veridium contributors includes Brian Kelly Capital Management, which is consulting on how to build a liquid market, and research firm EcoSmart Labs, which helped develop the protocols that are being coded into the token.

What all this technology comes down to in the end though are InfiniteEarth’s own REDD+ carbon credits that help financially support the conservation of the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.

T he reserve is a 250-square-mile rainforest and tropical peat forest that supports a range of human and animal communities. Over the course of a 30-year commitment, the credits are expected to be redeemed to protect the rainforest and help the surrounding community create ways to support themselves that don’t deplete the natural resources.

Collectively, these credits are expected to offset an average of 4.4 million tons of pollution per year by ensuring the forest’s survival. But InfiniteEarth has actually been granted a 60-year concession license to help protect the land and assuming this new kind of asset catches on, Lemons hopes to sell additional Verde tokens at a future date to cover the remaining 30 years of the concession.

Lemons said,

“We’ve taken not only this environmental asset, the credit, which is difficult to quantify and classify on the balance sheet. But then we’ve also fully automated the process of measuring, selecting and then offsetting just by virtue of integrating the token into the transaction.”

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‘The U.S SEC must regulate the cryptocurrency market to eliminate the bad actors’ – says Ran Neu Ner

Laira Rebecca

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‘The U.S SEC must regulate the cryptocurrency market to eliminate the bad actors’ - says Ran Neu Ner, the CNBC host
Source: Max Pixel

CNBC Fast Money, hosted by Melissa Lee, had Ran Neu Ner as the guest this time. Ran Neu Ner is a famous host of CNBC Africa’s Crypto Trader show and is the Founder of OnChain Capital.

The main topic of discussion was about “Is cryptocurrency market being manipulated?”

According to Ran, in the past, it was easier to manipulate the cryptocurrency market because there were a very few exchanges, a few on-ramps, and off-ramps. However, today with an overall market cap of $330 billion, it is a bit more difficult, because there are many exchanges and the volume of the digital currencies are much higher.

He also mentioned about the recent tweets that exposed a group, who is manipulating small penny tokens and how they got exposed for manipulating small e-liquid tokens.

Melissa further raised a doubt about how the market manipulation is occurring in deepest markets like London Interbank Offered Rate [LIBOR] and compared it with the U.S cryptocurrency market.

Ran mentioned that he is not sure about it, because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] has not regulated Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Therefore, there are no regulated acts, under which the illegal terms can be questioned.

He says:

“what is the problem of driving the prices up? It is illegal in terms of what act? We are not a currency, not a commodity, we don’t know what we are.”

Further, they discussed, due to the uncertain market values of BTC and other coins, should the traders be cautious about what the SEC, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] or the U.S Department of Justice [DOJ] is going to look at.

Ran says, when the SEC and other organizations come up with regulations, it is going to open the floodgates for new money to come in. He thinks that regulations are eminent and he expects SEC to quote new regulations for cryptocurrency and hopes that everyone will follow it.

Also, he mentioned that he would encourage crackdowns because they can catch the bad actors who create a lack of trust. To obtain a real asset class with real people, eliminating bad actors is very important.

Ran believes that people across the U.S are waiting for the guidance of SEC and they have a huge part to play in regulating cryptocurrencies, while other countries are already looking into various aspects of cryptocurrency and have started accepting them.

A cryptocurrency enthusiast says:

Always an interesting conversation when it comes to manipulation. The #Silver market has had a conspiracy theory about being manipulated for more than 10 years.”

Anthony Matthew, a business analyst says:

“BTCUSD barely broke lower than 7500 all day, despite well-known news of cryptotrade manipulation and DOJ + CFTC investigation.  I feel like I am trading in the stock market again, so I am buying Bitcoin at 7500.”

A cryptocurrency miner named Chad commented:

“Maybe the DOJ and @CFTC will crack down on manipulative paid Roger Ver shilling appearances too”

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TRON [TRX] partners with vSport to launch world’s first Soccer Blockchain

Prerana Sarkar

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TRON partners with vSport to launch world's first Soccer Blockchain
Source: Pixabay

On May 25, Justin Sun announced that TRON and vSport have come up with a partnership where the two companies can support each other in the development of the soccer industry’s blockchain technology by sharing content and creating communities that shall increase its reach.

vSport aims to build a sports ecosystem with cross-partnerships with leading networks’ like TRON along with authorized distributors of the World Cup and make payments easier and more scalable. This project is dedicated to creating a public chain for the Global Sports Industry. It is expected to be the world’s first non-profitable blockchain platform, involving tokens.

Qiang Bai, an artificial intelligence entrepreneur who is the mastermind behind the creation of vSport has paired with the famous Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder. This collaboration also involves the world’s largest sports social media powerhouse 433, and China’s Sport8 which is a successful sports educational platform.

After the launch in Singapore, vSport co-founder, Wesley was quoted as saying:

“I believe Blockchain can help to bring balance to the economics of sports. That is why we launched our sports-chain project. I’m excited to see an open and decentralised sports community that focuses on fans first.”

Both the parties have come to an agreement on sharing its collaborative techniques, resources, and energy to create a decentralized web platform to make the blockchain technology more mainstream. The TRON community believes in rewards for all the people contributing to its progress. A special community is going to conduct an assessment of the participant’s contribution based on which TRX tokens, TRON merchandises like t-shirts and gifts will be offered.

Justin Sun, the Founder of TRON, has put out his views stating:

“Soccer is the biggest sport in the world. It has the largest fan base, and the community has always had a keen sense and great enthusiasm for new things. Combining soccer and sports in general, with blockchain technology will effectively expand community support for blockchain. This will provide people with an enhanced experience of blockchain and even change their lifestyles.”

He mentioned Wesley Sneijder, the former Netherlands national team footballer who Justin claimed to have helped in heading soccer-related projects off the field. He then spoke of him as:

“Wesley Sneijder, who not only helped the Netherlands dominate the field, but also has spearheaded soccer-related projects off the field. As a fast learner that embraces blockchain technology, it’s likely that Wesley will completely change the structure of the soccer ecosystem through this initiative. TRON very much looks forward to this partnership.”

Today he posted on Twitter saying:

 

The TRON protocol provides one of the most scalable operating systems in the world with its blockchain technology. It enables users with large-scale data transmission with a promise of more than 10,000 transactions per second. They also have the feature of smart contracts for crowdfunding and issuing more digital assets.

One Twitter user supports the partnership by replying:

vSport now holds a large traffic with more than 30 million sports enthusiasts and 15 million supporters from China. The 2018 Russia World Cup is scheduled to open on the 14th of June, gaining more importance in what was announced today. TRON and vSport will work towards creating a blockchain based ‘soccer results forecasting platform’ for better quality entertainment for its fans.

According to Qiang Bai:

“With sports models of the past, it is hard for fans to get rewards in exchange for their enthusiasm and contributions, which causes serious imbalance in the value structure. Collaborating with TRON allows us to join forces with another strong company, leveraging our soccer and sports resources to solve difficult soccer and sports industry-related issues. We will work together to build and nurture a healthy soccer and sports ecosystem. I believe this will be a great way to give back to soccer fans around the world.”

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