Weekly Update #25: Blockchain Social Credits

Dominik Olech
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It’s been another busy week in the crypto world. What interesting happened in the blockchain industry?

Previous Weekly Update was exciting: we learned about planned cryptocurrency city and the new updates in Craig Wright’s case. 

Bank of England and cryptocurrencies

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the Bank of France considering the implementation of decentralized, digital assets. Apparently, a similar discussion is ongoing in the United Kingdom. The Bank of England is considering potential benefits coming from the adoption of cryptocurrency. The institution is discussing the idea of central bank digital currency, alongside with European Central Bank and corresponding national banks from Japan, Switzerland, and Canada.

This is likely a reaction to the growing importance of private companies in the financial sector. Projects like Libra make governments more conscious about digital assets. However, apparently, this idea isn’t seen only as a threat, but also as a possibility.

Vodafone leaves Libra Association 

Speaking of Facebook’s stablecoin, we have another update about the institution responsible for yet unannounced launch of the already infamous cryptocurrency. As for now, most of the big players involved in the case at first (like MasterCard, Visa, or PayPal) have left Libra Association. It caused some part of Facebook’s partners to abandon the project too. This time, Libra has lost the last significant company which was previously supporting it.

According to CoinDesk, Vodafone, a British telecom giant, has decided to leave Libra Association. It is the first company to abandon the project after the formal forming of the group at the end of the last year. The reason for it is Vodafone’s own financial service M-Pesa, which is aimed to bring affordable solutions for developing countries.

Petro at half the price on LocalBitcoins

Around Christmas, the government of Venezuela surprised citizens with an unusual gift in the form of a Petro currency. Retirees and public workers received digital assets worth $30 for each, according to the previously established fixed value of the coin. However, the possibilities of usage of government cryptocurrency are rather limited in the crisis-ridden country, and people soon found the only reliable way of spending gifted coins.

According to a threat on CryptoCurrency subreddit, the price of Petro on LocalBitcoins (a website allowing for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange) i achieving half of the government fixed value. Apparently, it is the only way for Venezuelan citizens actually to make use of this cryptocurrency.

Blockchain for Chinese social credit system?

The announced blockchain revolution proceeds in China. New concepts for implementing this technology appear every week. At the end of 2019, we wrote about the usage of blockchain in courts. This time, the idea of adoption went even further. At the seminar in Beijing, experts discussed the possible benefits of using the blockchain in Chinese social credit system.

For those who are not common with this idea: a social credit system is a form of supervision held on Chinese citizens. The program assumes invigilation of the population via the network of cameras installed in all mainland China. People’s behavior is getting scored with both positive and negative points. Not adjusting to the system rules may result in proper restrictions (like a ban for air travels).

It sounds like an episode of Black Mirror or a page from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, but the system is actually already online in China – and an application technology may significantly increase its effectiveness. Will the technology of freedom contribute to the citizens’ invigilation? The future will show.

Peter Schiff regrets buying bitcoins

If you are up to date with our articles, you are already familiar with the latest story of Peter Schiff. The well-known broker and cryptocurrency opposer has recently shared on his Twitter his regrets about buying bitcoins because he lost access to his wallet. As people quickly noticed, Schiff simply forgot a password to it, and because of the lack of basic knowledge, he blamed Bitcoin for it. After all, forgetful broker admitted to his mistake – yet he still maintained his negative approach to cryptocurrencies.

Vinnik extradited to France

As the last news, we have some new information about Alexander Vinnik – a famous crypto launderer connected with the case of Mt. Gox. Until now, he was held in prison in Greece. But as Cointelegraph has reported, he got extradited to France, and he is now staying in Hotel Dieu Hospital in Paris. If you want to know more about Vinnik, you may read about him in one of the episodes of our Throwback Stories series. And remember to check our website for the incoming Weekly Updates!

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