The cryptocurrency business is thriving, but many things are happening, including, Samsung spearheading South Korea’s CBDC for seamless offline payments, Venom Foundation partnering with the Kenyan government, Tether generating $1.5B in profits in Q1, 2023, and much more!
In this issue:
- Samsung spearheads South Korea’s CBDC for seamless offline payments.
- Tether generated $1.5B in profits in Q1, 2023, and holds 2% Bitcoin in total reserves.
- Venom Foundation partners with the Kenyan government to launch a blockchain hub.
- Texas introduces Bill to ban CBDC over cyber risk and Govt surveillance.
- LG Electronics files patent for NFT-trading TV.
- Optimism and Worldcoin partnership enhance Layer 2 scaling solution.
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Samsung spearheads South Korea’s CBDC for seamless offline payments.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics is reportedly partnering with the South Korean central bank to research central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline payments.
This partnership is aimed at testing the South Korean CBDC’s potential to conduct remittance and payments using near-field communication (NFC) on Samsung mobile devices instead of the Internet.
On May 15, South Korea’s central bank Bank of Korea (BOK), and Samsung signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for research on offline CBDCs. According to local media KBS World, the collaboration will have both parties researching the offline capabilities of CBDC issued by South Korea’s central bank. This is an important development for Samsung as it is now able to apply Samsung’s high-level security technology to the digital currency field.
Samsung also participated in the second phase of BOK’s 10-month CBDC simulation experiment research work, which dealt with retail CBDCs. The first stage of BOK’s CBDC research tested basic functions such as CBDC’s issuance, distribution, and redemption. By participating in this research and now partnering with the Bank of Korea, Samsung is showing its commitment to playing a role in the development of global offline CBDC technology.
As part of the collaboration, Samsung reportedly obtained hardware certification for the Security International Common Criteria CC (Common Criteria) ‘EAL (Evaluation Assurance Level) 6+ grade’. This means that the company’s digital currency security measures meet the highest security standards. This is a crucial aspect of any digital currency’s success as it ensures that the currency is safe and secure from cyber-attacks.
Despite keen interest in CBDCs, Samsung recently banned its employees from using generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT on all
Samsung-owned devices and internal networks. This was done after a staff member uploaded a “sensitive code” to the platform. An internal memo addressing the matter read: “HQ is reviewing security measures to create a secure environment for safely using generative AI to enhance employees’ productivity and efficiency.” Other large financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup have also restricted the use of generative AI tools.
Samsung’s partnership with the Bank of Korea is an important development in the world of digital currencies. By researching and testing offline CBDCs, Samsung is playing a key role in the development of global offline CBDC technology. This partnership will also allow Samsung to apply its high-level security technology to the digital currency field, which is crucial for ensuring the safety and success of any digital currency.
Tether generated $1.5B in profits in Q1, 2023, and holds 2% Bitcoin in total reserves.
Amid the banking turmoil in the United States, Tether (USDT) emerged as the preferred stablecoin. The resurgence was evident in its latest attestation report, which revealed that the stablecoin issuer recorded a net profit of nearly $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
According to the official statement, Tether’s excess reserves reached an all-time high of $2.44 billion in Q1, as compared to $960 million at the end of Q4 2022. The stablecoin ended the first quarter of the year with $81.8 billion in consolidated total assets, while its consolidated total liabilities stood near $79.4 billion. Tether’s reserves included additional categories such as bitcoin, physical gold, overnight repo, and corporate bond allocations. Its Bitcoin holdings were recorded to be $1.5 billion, while that of precious metals accounted for $3.3 billion. 85% of the stablecoin issuer’s investments are being held in cash, cash equivalents, and other short-term deposits. Gold and Bitcoin represent
Tether said it is doubling down its focus on limiting its reliance on pure bank deposits as a source of liquidity and “instead leverages the Repo market as an additional measure to ensure higher standards of protection for its users by maintaining the required liquidity.”
Commenting on the quarterly profit, Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, stated, “We are thrilled with the tremendous success Tether has achieved in Q1 2023. Looking ahead to Q2, we have an extremely positive outlook and remain committed to transparency, which is why we have introduced new categories in the reserves’ breakdown in our quarterly report to provide even greater transparency to our users.”
Venom Foundation partners with the Kenyan government to launch a blockchain hub.
Venom Foundation has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the Government of Kenya.
In a press release shared with Cryptowisser, the Venom Foundation said the partnership is geared towards establishing a blockchain hub in Africa, focusing on the development of Web3 and blockchain technology applications. The partnership seeks to drive innovation in key sectors such as financial infrastructure, supply chain, agriculture, SMEs, and cross-border trade, benefiting Kenya and the entire African continent.
At the moment, over 84% of the Kenyan population has access to financial services through banks and fintech. However, the integration of blockchain infrastructure as a long-term strategy in the country will further increase the value for the population, create more opportunities for the Kenyan domestic economy, create new international trade routes and add efficiency to intra-African trade lines.
The Venom Foundation said its expansion into Africa indicates the continent’s forward-thinking approach to adopting web3 and blockchain technologies, showcasing its commitment to embracing innovation and leading through implementation. The foundation is focused on empowering the African community, creating a bridge between traditional finance and trade with the web3 world, and stimulating regional economic growth by enabling seamless cross-border trade and transactions.
Some of the benefits of blockchain technology in Africa include minimized transaction costs, enhanced security and transparency, increased access to financial services, expedited settlement times for cross-border transactions, and the creation of new investment opportunities through asset tokenization.
The Venom Foundation added that the blockchain hub will act as a central platform for forging partnerships with innovative companies, fostering knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration among key stakeholders in the blockchain space, such as projects, entrepreneurs, and government officials based in Africa. The company is set to supply crucial tools and resources to support African countries in establishing a solid foundation for digital transformation.
Texas introduces Bill to ban CBDC over cyber risk and Govt surveillance.
Texas state legislators have introduced a bill to ban the use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the state. This comes as several global leaders have expressed concern about the threat of cyber risk to financial stability, and CBDC vulnerabilities could be exploited to compromise a nation’s financial system.
The bill cites that retail CBDCs are issued to the general public, establishing a direct relationship between the Federal Reserve and consumers. This could lead to unprecedented government surveillance and control over private cash holdings and transactions.
Introducing a government-controlled digital currency has been a hot topic among government officials, with many against the idea. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has already officially banned CBDCs within the state. At the same time, Senator Ted Cruz has also distrusted CBDCs, stating that implementing central bank-issued digital assets would be profoundly dangerous to society.
Those in favor of CBDCs argue that they could help reduce corruption, make transactions more transparent, and improve financial inclusion by providing access to banking services to those currently unbanked. However, the risks associated with CBDCs cannot be ignored, particularly regarding privacy and security risks.
The bill highlights that many CBDC proposals involve the centralized collection of transaction data, which poses major privacy and security risks, such as making it easier for intruders to access more users’ data. However, proposals that include strategies to minimize those risks often reduce transparency for regulators seeking to detect money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illicit activities.
LG Electronics files patent for NFT-trading TV.
South Korean tech company LG Electronics has filed a patent application for its blockchain-based Smart TV that allows users to trade nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
The information was published on WIPO’s global database for intellectual property on May 11. According to WIPO’s documentation, a patent application is published 18 months after the filing date or the priority filing. Based on this timeline, LG’s application was submitted in November 2021. The next steps include substantive examination, followed by granting or refusing legal protection to the invention.
According to LG’s application, its technology allows devices to connect with a crypto wallet and an NFT market server to enable transactions. When connected to an NFT market server, the device incorporates onscreen QR codes that let users complete transactions via a cryptocurrency wallet.
The application follows the release of LG’s own NFT platform last September — the LG Art Lab Marketplace is based on the Hedera network. It allows TVs running webOS 5.0 or later versions to trade digital artworks. It’s unclear if the TV will integrate with different wallets or be restricted to LG’s Wallypto, the company’s smartphone crypto wallet, which is also available on its Art Lab Marketplace.
LG is onboarding a range of Web3 solutions on its devices. In January, the company disclosed a partnership with cloud-based technology platforms Oorbit and Pixelynx to bring the metaverse directly into viewers’ living rooms. At the time, Cointelegraph reported that the collaboration was designed to allow customers to explore interconnected virtual worlds, concerts, and artificial intelligence multiplayer games through their LG TVs.
LG is not the only big tech company working to integrate Web3 into its products. Last year, its competitor Samsung announced a new smart TV lineup integrated with an NFT platform. The company is also actively investing in NFT and metaverse projects through its venture capital arm, Samsung Next.
Optimism and Worldcoin partnership enhance Layer 2 scaling solution.
Optimism, a Layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum network, has recently announced its integration of World ID and World App, the flagship products of Worldcoin, on its Mainnet. This partnership, which has been in the making for over a year, aims to strengthen the decentralized identification ecosystem while offering faster transaction confirmations and lower costs for users.
Through this collaboration, World ID and World App will be able to leverage the Layer 2 infrastructure provided by Optimism. This integration holds the potential for significant improvements in transaction speed and cost efficiency for users of these applications. By processing transactions off-chain and publishing batch transactions to the Ethereum Mainnet periodically, Optimism reduces the load on the Mainnet, resulting in faster and cheaper transactions.
The Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) ecosystem has been rapidly expanding in response to the high gas fees and congestion issues experienced on the Ethereum network. Several Layer 2 scaling solutions have gained prominence, including Optimism, Polygon, Arbitrum, and zkSync. These solutions offer various advantages, such as faster transaction confirmations, lower gas rates, and increased scalability for Ethereum-based applications.
Optimism is at the forefront of scaling solutions for the Ethereum network. It aims to increase transaction throughput and reduce fees by processing transactions off-chain and then batching them for publication on the Ethereum Mainnet. By doing so, Optimism alleviates the strain on the Mainnet and enables faster.
Worldcoin, on the other hand, is an open-source initiative supported by a global community of developers, individuals, economists, and technicians. The World App, a flagship product of Worldcoin, enables users to save and transfer crypto tokens using Polygon, which is another popular scaling solution for Ethereum. The collaboration between Optimism and Worldcoin brings together their respective expertise and technologies, further enhancing the capabilities of the Layer 2 ecosystem.
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