The anonymous creator of the all-Bitcoin charity Pineapple Fund has announced that the fund’s work is complete and all bitcoins have been donated.
Pineapple Fund, a Bitcoin-only charity, has reportedly accomplished its ultimate mission and donated 5104 bitcoins (BTC) or $55 mln to various nonprofit organizations, the fund’s creator wrote in a farewell post on Reddit May 10.
In December, when the BTC price approached its record high of $20,000, an anonymous donor who goes by the nickname Pine set a goal to give away 5057 bitcoins worth around $86 mln at the time. The amount turned out to be worth $31 mln less than they had initially anticipated due to the dramatic drop of the crypto market in early 2018. The donor later described the market downturn in terms of a cryptocurrency “bubble”.
“Timed with the 2017 crypto bubble, 5104 BTC was turned into $55 million for charities. I'm happy and proud of the impact that will come, mostly thanks to the amazing charities and the dedicated people behind them.”
As the donor reported on Pineapple Fund’s website, the fund donated $55,750,000 to 60 charities around the world, supporting a variety of projects from clean water supply in sub-Saharan Africa to digital rights protection.
In January, Pineapple Fund announced the donation of $4 mln to the non-profit organization Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to apply MDMA as a psychotherapy treatment for PTSD patients. In April, MAPS director Brad Burge reported the drug was showing “promising results for treating PTSD, claiming that the new treatment “involves only 3 administrations of a drug that’s been around for over 100 years."
In February, UNICEF launched a charity drive that asked PC gamers to mine Ethereum (ETH) with the unused capacity of their high level graphics cards. Gamers could turn on the UNICEF ETH mining program when they were away from their computers, and the mined proceeds would go to support humanitarian aid for Syrian children.
Huawei smartphone users will be able to access BTC.com’s Bitcoin wallet on the pre-installed AppGallery, potentially easing access to crypto for Chinese users.
Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese multinational communications technology company, has announced that mobile phone users will be able to download Bitcoin (BTC) wallets on new Huawei devices starting Friday, Bloomberg reported May 10.
Huawei is releasing BTC.com’s Bitcoin wallet in its AppGallery app store, which will be pre-installed on all new Huawei smartphones, according to Alejandro de la Torre, vice president of business operations at BTC.com. It will reportedly be the first digital currency app offered on Huawei devices.
Access to apps like BTC.com’s is limited in China as the government blocks Android’s Google Play Store and some parts of Apple’s App Store. While Chinese authorities shut down cryptocurrency exchanges and banned initial coin offerings, people can still own cryptocurrencies. De la Torre told Bloomberg:
“It’s a good opportunity to tap into the Chinese market. The use of cashless payments with apps is very big and the traditional banking system is lacking, so there’s a good use case for crypto payments to grow there.”
In March, it was reported that Huawei is planning to develop a smartphone that will support decentralized applications (DApp) running on blockchain technology. Last year, Huawei shipped 90.9 mln units in the Chinese market, where it enjoys a dominant market share of 20.4 percent. Huawei’s global market share was 11.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Jaime Gonzalo, vice president of Huawei’s mobile services said in a statement:
“From our leadership position in China, the tip of the spear of mobile payments, we expect to see massive growth in global cryptocurrency adoption habits in the near future.”
Last month, Huawei announced the launch of a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform focused on smart contract development, “a high-performance, high-availability, and high-security blockchain technology platform service for enterprises and developers.”
Meanwhile, China is planning to release nationwide blockchain standards by the end of 2019. A dedicated working group has reportedly already begun work on the project.
Wenn Digital, the developer of blockchain-based KODAKOne platform, seeks to raise up to $50 mln in its token offering.
Wenn Digital, the developer of a blockchain-based image rights platform licensed by Kodak, announced Thursday that it plans to attract up to $50 mln in a combined public and private token offering, Reuters reported May 10.
Wenn Digital has developed an image protection, monetization, and distribution platform secured via blockchain called KODAKOne, which is designed to protect the copyright of images or photographs registered on the platform. Kodak reportedly owns a minority stake in Wenn Digital.
The public offering of Wenn’s token KODAKCoin will begin May 21. Initially the offering was scheduled for January, but was delayed in order to evaluate the status of potential investors. When Kodak announced the partnership with Wenn Digital, its shares surged to a high of $13.25, but fell after the token offering was postponed. The stock closed at $5.15 on Thursday. Cam Chell, chairman and co-founder of KODAKOne, told Reuters:
“We really took a step back and decided that we would ensure that all T’s were crossed and I’s dotted before we embark on a public sale. We wanted to make sure that we got it right.”
Chell stated that KODAKOne’s coin offering will be registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, using an instrument called the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT). Under a SAFT offering, the token is issued when the blockchain platform is launched which, according to Chell, is expected to be later this year. SAFT offerings are limited to accredited investors.
Wenn Digital has already run a pre-sale of its SAFT to accredited investors and reportedly raised nearly $10 mln. Chell told Reuters that demand is greater than the developer’s capital requirement of $20 mln, “I think $50 million is our sweet spot.”
Financial institutions who participated in a pilot of Ripple xRapid platform reported 40-70 percent savings and faster payments
Financial institutions who participated in a recent pilot of Ripple (XRP)’s xRapid platform have reported transaction savings of 40-70 percent, Business Wire reports Thursday, May 10. In addition to cost savings, the participants have noted an improvement in transaction speed – from the average 2-3 days to “just over two minutes.”
XRapid is a liquidity solution for Ripple’s blockchain-powered real-time gross settlement system, which is designed as a tool for facilitating cross-border fiat transfers between financial institutions. Ripple is currently the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, according to data from Coinmarketcap.
According to the pilot results, participating institutions reported 40-70 percent in savings by not having to use foreign exchange providers, as well as due to faster payments.
The pilot tested payments between the U.S. and Mexico. BusinessWire notes that the current system requires banks to either tie up their capital in pre-funded bank accounts in Mexico, or to go via a costly correspondent banking network.
Payments with the use of Ripple took around two minutes, as opposed to the average 2-3 days that conventional cross-border payments take, according to a report by Finance Magnates.
Paul Dwyer, CEO of money-transmitting firm Viamericas, said that the pilot had shown that digital assets will play a key role in the future in helping banks to “safely address some of the structural inefficiencies of legacy settlement infrastructure,” emphasizing that the system facilitated “rigorous compliance controls.”
In April, Santander became the first bank globally to implement a customer-ready blockchain-powered international payments network, using Ripple’s settlement infrastructure technology. This week, JPMorgan filed its own in-house patent for a peer-to-peer payments network, which would use blockchain technology for intra- and inter-bank settlements.
De Beers announced that they have successfully tracked diamonds ‘from mine to retail’ using blockchain technology.
Global diamond giant De Beers announced Thursday that it tracked 100 high-value diamonds from the mine to the retailer using blockchain technology. According to a May 10 press release, this is the “first time a diamond’s journey has been digitally tracked from mine to retail.”
De Beers says that its new platform, Tracr, is expected to launch later this year and will be open to the entire diamond industry. The effort was reportedly undertaken to enhance consumer confidence and public trust that De Beers diamonds were non-conflict, in addition to increasing efficiency in the supply chain. Conflict diamonds are uncut diamonds mined in a war-zone and traded to illicitly fund the fighting.
Tracr was developed by De Beers together with five leading diamond manufacturers: Diacore, Diarough, KGK Group, Rosy Blue NV, and Venus Jewel. CEO of De Beers Group Bruce Cleaver siad:
“The Tracr project team has demonstrated that it can successfully track a diamond through the value chain, providing asset-traceability assurance in a way that was not possible before. This is a significant breakthrough made achievable by the close engagement of the pilot participants who share our commitment to industry progress and innovation…”
Tracr assigns a unique “Global Diamond ID” which records individual diamond characteristics such as carat, clarity, and color. The data is then consolidated onto an immutable digital ledger. Tracr then verifies said data at each milestone of the diamond’s movement from the mine to the retailer. The pilot program was initially announced in January.
Previous efforts have been made at the international level to curb the trade of ‘blood diamonds.’ The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was formed by a UN General Assembly resolution in 2000, binding participants to a number of legally enforceable standards and certifications in the diamond industry. While the Kimberley Process website purports that it blocked 99.8 percent of conflict diamonds from entering the world market, Canadian NGO Impact left the agreement in January, stating that the process was insufficient.
De Beers, which was founded in 1888, operates in 35 countries worldwide, with mines in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Canada. De Beers held a monopoly on the world diamond trade until the early 21st century, when pressure from countries with large stockpiles and increased public awareness of conflict diamonds pressured them to change their business model. In 2014 the global diamond trade was worth $81.4 bln.
In April, leaders in the diamond and precious metals industries partnered with IBM to develop the Trust Chain initiative, a blockchain platform which will purportedly provide more transparency in the industry. Like Tracr, the initiative is designed to track precious metals and gems from their place of origin to the retailer.
In February, Canadian diamond company Lucara Diamond appointed a new CEO, in a move to modernize the company. Eira Thomas will lead the company after purchasing Clara Diamond Solutions, a digital platform that uses blockchain technology to ensure the provenance of diamonds.