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23/03/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Blockchain Standardisation System Becomes a Priority For China’s IT Ministry

We previously reported on the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (IT) calling for a blockchain standard system for the country to follow. The initiative has now become a priority on the “2018 agenda”. Four of the seven areas which will compose the agenda are related to potential standardisation plans for blockchain technology. First on the list is the creation of a committee, with the goal of establishing a standardised blockchain structure. Other initiatives include promoting cooperation with global standardization organizations as well as looking into smart contracts and distributed ledger frameworks.

2. Google Is Working on Blockchain Projects While Banning Blockchain Ads

It has been reported that Google is currently preparing to use blockchain technology to increase its competitiveness and support its cloud business. The decision was led in part by the increasing number of startups using the emerging technology for their businesses, for example when recording transactions or processing data. Google’s Alphabet Inc. unit is working on its own distributed digital ledger, which will then be offered as a service to other companies. A white-label version will also be available for companies to use. The tech giant has also previously filed a patent for a “tamper-proof” auditing system. However, earlier this month, Google decided to ban all crypto-related advertisements, and blockchain would fall under the ban. The company has not commented yet on the peculiar situation.

3. Nine Malaysian Banks To Co-Create Trade Finance Blockchain Applications

Jessica Chew Cheng Lian, the Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country’s central bank, has announced that nine Malaysian banks are collaborating on the creation of blockchain applications for trade finance. The governor released the information during the 2018 Asian Banker Digital Finance Convention. She was discussing how the banking industry needs to adapt to the changes caused by emerging technologies. One initiative discussed during the event was the promotion of collaborations between banks. Furthermore, the central bank has launched an API implementation group, composed of members from the financial and FinTech spheres. This was due to the rising popularity of Open Application Programme Interfaces (APIs). The goal is for the industry to become more innovative and competitive.

4. Bitcoin Classified As “Transferable Value” In Dutch Court

According to a document published on March 20, Bitcoin has been declared a “transferable value” by a Dutch court. A non-public company was ordered by the judge to pay the accuser 0.591 Bitcoins, which were owed. The choice was to either pay the debt or declare insolvency. Due to the fact that the cryptocurrency fits the description of a “property right”, the plaintiff had a legal basis to pursue the disagreement in court. Furthermore, the court expected the company to pay back the amount of Bitcoin owed in the same currency, rather than using fiat currency. This can be considered as a step forward for the cryptocurrency in the country, even if the country does not consider Bitcoin a currency yet.

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