Feb 07, 2018 - Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s leading airline operators, is set to launch a blockchain-based loyalty wallet to enhance and further frequent flyers’ spending of accumulated air miles.
Singapore Airlines (SIA), has announced its plan to launch a loyalty digital wallet based on blockchain technology for its KrisFlyer frequent-flyer program, enabling travelers to easily spend their air miles at retail partners. The application will help with ‘everyday spending’ of passengers’ digital KrisFlyer miles in ‘point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants,’ the announcement added.
Feb 06, 2018 - With over 83 million passengers traveling through Dubai International Airport, it was the world’s third busiest airport in 2016. The city itself is booming, with an annual population growth of just over 10%.
While it’s the undisputed business hub of the Middle East, Dubai has set an ambitious goal: To be the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020.
It’s a bold transition for the city but one that might not be as far-fetched as you think. Blockchain-powered smart cities are more attainable than people imagine. The uses for blockchain within cities are nearly endless, but there are some major areas where blockchain will represent a dramatic improvement.
Let’s look at a few of those areas to see how blockchain can impact city life in the coming years. After all, if Dubai’s experiment with blockchain-powered government works out, there’s no telling who might follow suit.
Cities around the world are already working to become what we call “smart cities.” They’re using IoT connected devices to do everything — from detecting gunshots to monitoring traffic and air quality.
And guess what? All of those IoT devices can be registered on the blockchain.
There are plenty of opportunities to add blockchain to city systems that are already connected. These systems gather plenty of data that could be placed on the blockchain. Upgrading to blockchain would make it easier for city governments to access and manage that data.
Say, when the light in an IoT connected lamp post goes out, it could trigger an automatic message to officials in charge of replacing it.
Right now, there are silos of data. Not every security camera or electronic lock is made by the same company. Not every parking garage uses the same parking sensors to determine capacity. If we could securely organize all of that data onto an interoperable backbone, then law enforcement (or government officials or whoever is allowed access to the data) would be able to get that access without going through multiple separate parties.
Blockchain could help solve many city inefficiencies almost immediately.
Communication and data sharing can have a positive effect on public safety as well. Recently, I had a conversation with a company in Boston who is trying to use the blockchain space for public safety data in police departments. Their data is very loosely organized. Silos of data are inaccessible to police stations in different neighborhoods within the same city. The current system is very rudimentary, partly because there’s no better way to share sensitive data between departments.
Blockchain can provide a secure system for sharing sensitive data. Wires won’t be crossed, and opportunities won’t be missed due to a lack of communication. This still has to be weighed against a citizen’s right to privacy and the government’s limit to tracking individuals. But it’s good to see people are talking about sharing data and working on preventative measures, such as analyzing crime statistics and planning police patrols around that information.
Most major cities rely heavily on public transportation. Some of them can’t operate without it. There are opportunities to put blockchain to work here.
New York City recently awarded a $573 million-dollar contract to transition from their refillable MetroCard to electronic readers. Right now, New York commuters have to manually swipe the cards and refill with money as needed. In cities like San Francisco and London, you don’t even need a card. You can scan your phone and deduct payment from connected accounts such as Apple Pay or PayPal.
The next step would be to use a blockchain-based system for pay. If commuters have a blockchain wallet on their smartphone, they could pay for any transit pass, loyalty programs, or purchase without a card.
And that may give extra incentive to take public transport.
Another interesting aspect of blockchain-powered cities is how they can incentivize citizens to make positive decisions.
Here’s a hypothetical:
Say you decide to take public transportation to work every day this coming week instead of driving. When the wallet registers you’ve used public transportation all week, you get a discount on your energy bill for that month. Or maybe you’re credited for one free bus ride.
Whatever it is, the incentive has to gently push people towards ethical, sustainable, and transparent ways of consuming and producing goods and services.
This could lead to more sustainable, habitable cities with fewer issues and inefficiencies. At the end of the day, that’s what blockchain can help us accomplish — smarter, healthier cities. And if Dubai makes good on their goal in 2020, we may have an example to follow in just a few years.
Source: By Samantha Radocchia, Co-Founder at Chronicled (2015-present). Originally published on Quora. || February 6, 2018 |||
Feb 2, 2018 - Passengers arriving at or departing from Brisbane Airport will soon be able to spend cryptocurrency in a number of stores and F&B outlets at the airport. Brisbane Airport and a number of retailers have partnered with TravelbyBit to bring decentralised blockchain-enabled payments to the two terminals.
Jan 25, 2018 - 19-year-old Erik Finman made headlines last year when the value of his bitcoin holdings hit the $US1 million mark – meaning he won a bet with his parents and didn’t have to go to college.
Jan 11, 2018 - Nelson-based power retailer NextGen Energy announces it is now accepting Bitcoin for payment of electricity bills. The social enterprise company operates as a not-for-profit, uniquely donating all net profits to local schools and charities. “NextGen Energy is creating disruptive opportunities within the NZ electricity sector, and actively pursues the adoption of new technologies.” says Tom Wheatley, CEO, “NextGen is already supplying power to a number of crypto-currency mining operations, and the ability to pay for the power in Bitcoin simply makes sense. We are now extending this option to all our customers.”
Jan 11, 2018 - “The 90s had dotcom mania. Here comes crypto mania!” While Bitcoin is conquering new highs in the 20,000 range, and global public attention is glued to the charts of altcoins of all types, opinions have split: from baby boomer’s claiming cryptocurrency a gigantic bubble, to millennials hoping to hedge against political and economic fluctuations.
Jan 11, 2018 - Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg remains a popular figure on the social media platform. He posts regularly about a variety of activities, including his work with the philanthropic Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative and his ongoing work on the Facebook platform. A recent post drew unusual levels of attention, though, and it has to do with the company's potential involvement in the hottest trend: cryptocurrencies.
Zuckerberg previously explained via a Facebook post that he aims to learn something new each year, and a post for the new year explained that his challenge for 2018 would focus on exploring how technology can "give people the power," according to Futurism. (See also: Zuckerberg Studying Cryptocurrency to 'Fix' Facebook.) Some are interpreting his post as a suggestion that Facebook may add a cryptocurrency service.
Centralization vs. Decentralization
"One of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs. decentralization," he wrote. "A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people's hands."
Zuckerberg explained his view that the potential for technology to help empower individuals has been subverted by a number of big tech companies as well as governments.
He explained that the use of technology as a monitoring system is contrary to this empowering process. One way to continue the push toward decentralization, though, is cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
"I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services," Zuckerberg explained, according to Futurism.
The major question following Zuckerberg's post has to do with the practical impact of these musings. Will Facebook add a cryptocurrency in 2018 A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
Companies of all kinds have added digital currency components (See also: Kodak to Launch Cryptocurrency: Stock Soars on ICO News.) A cryptocurrency linked with a social media platform as powerful and widespread as Facebook would have enormous potential.
Yonatan Ben Shimon, the CEO and founder of cryptocurrency/social activity company Matchpool, indicated that this plan has potential. "In order to do it right, they [Facebook] have to be with a partner from the crypto space that understands how to build it in a decentralized way," Shimon said.
If Facebook did enter the cryptocurrency space, it could be a major force in the widespread mass adoption of the industry around the world. Given that Facebook has roughly 2 billion active monthly users, the reach of a Facebook digital currency would be game-changing.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin. It is unclear whether he owns other bitcoin forks.
Jan 11, 2018 - New Zealand tech stars are leading a global team in launching the world’s first ever blockchain platform for the multi-billion-dollar global online ratings and review industry. Kiwi tech business experts including 2017 New Zealand chief executive of the year award winner Leigh Flounders and NZTech and FintechNZ chair Mitchell Pham are at the forefront of the launch of Lina.review which is ground-breaking and disrupting the online review world.
Jan 11, 2018 - The idea of a decentralized music platform is certainly not a new one. It was all the rage once the capabilities of blockchain were fully realized by developers and the public itself. As the blockchain-based music industry expanded, the debate started on how to develop a perfect music sharing platform that will incentivize other people for maintenance of distributed servers and invest in the development in the first phase.
There were some who favored a true blockchain-based solution. For example, every node gives a part of its storage to the network as part of the deal and thus they all benefit from it. It is good in theory, but not in practicality for just a music-based blockchain.
So Voise, a blockchain-based music platform decided to deploy a system of masternodes on the Ethereum blockchain as an alternative. They have also announced other incentives for early backers by burning over 50 million tokens to hopefully increase the worth of already existing token holders.
Voise is a music platform that works on a self-executing smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. The music industry right now is a super consolidated business with new entrants facing a lot of issues in being recognized and published in the business.
The audience, on the other hand, is crazy for new music and new records and they are even willing to pay to download or listen to them. A study recently showed that over 110 million people are willing to pay good money to listen to music with many other silent approvers. Voise gives a level playing field for all artists and provides them with several useful features.Voise features
They include both fiat and cryptocurrency payments, a thematic search engine, a feature-rich profile section, and an eager, music-loving audience that wants to discover new favorites. So, it is a win-win situation for all players involved.
The masternodes are maintained by token holders and can be used by them to generate idle revenue from their contributions. All token holders have to be masternode operators to earn the money. What they need to do is have 600,000 VOISE tokens in their wallet and then set up a masternode. The dapp will lock these tokens, and after a minimum of one month, token holders will be given a percentage of the earnings, depending on the amount they have locked in. More than 80% of the profits will be shared with token holders according to the creators of the platform.
An alpha launch of the new platform took place in October 2017. Voise has also partnered with Grammy-nominated Carolyn Malachi and DJ sensation Jinco for the new platform.VOISE token
As part of the token burn, the circulating supply of VOISE token has dropped 8% from 643,012,000 VOISE to 593,012,000 VOISE coins. The overall hard cap will also go down from 825,578,000 to 775,578,000.