The Australian government has allocated over half a million USD towards blockchain research, specifically to explore blockchain applications within the government services. This comes as no surprise as we are seeing government agencies around the world dip their toes into blockchain technologies (Coindesk).
The parent of the New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange, is reportedly developing a Bitcoin trading platform. Great news for mainstream adoption as we have already seen Goldman and sash open the idea of trading Bitcoin futures within wall street (NYTimes).
Kik, the company behind the global messaging app Kik messaging, is moving to create its own blockchain off a fork of Steller. The Kik token (KIN) currency exists on the Ethereum network but they have been looking to setup a dual chain system to combat the high transaction fees on the Ethereum network. Kik and KIN aims to be able to handle and deliver fast, costless or (very small cost) microtransactions on their platform and have deemed that none of the current blockchain solutions out there can meet their needs so they have decided to fork Steller so they are able to set up their own dual chain solution with 0 fees. A Kik developer stated “A digital sharing economy of equal opportunity. It would be a world where millions of people are compensated for the talent they provide through their phones, and a world where developers get compensated for creating amazing places for consumers to provide value to each other. It would be a world where people win together by working together. It would be a digital world built on KIN” (Coindesk).
The stock exchange of Thailand has officially announced the launch of their new platform LiVE. Live is the first blockchain based crowdfunding platform for small to medium enterprises and startups. The president of the Stock Exchange stated “SET is determined to offer growth opportunities through the creation of a complete startup ecosystem, inclusively from the business management education for startup and SME entrepreneurs, to assistance in connecting with institutional and accredited investors. ‘LiVE’ platform will be a key mechanism to help drive forward Thailand’s growth especially enabling startups and SMEs to have more financial accesses through crowdfunding” (CoinGeek).
California based software giant Oracle is reportedly ready to launch its blockchain as a service platform this month. The platform was first unveiled by Oracle back in October 2017, saying that it was looking at the blockchain to extend and streamline its cloud services. Oracle stated “This blockchain platform will give [customers] a platform to extend their services beyond their enterprise bundle, which means they can extend them outside to their business partners, advantage customers and so on” (CoinDesk).
A company called IoT Group, have their eye on a decommissioned coal plant with the intention of refurbishing it into a cryptocurrency mining operation. The deal, which is reported to be worth around $142 million USD, will see Royalty, who are a reseller of Bitfury Mining equipment, install the mining equipment into the facility. IoT has partnered with Hunter Energy to be able to provide 20Megawats of power for a minimum of 5 years, a wholesale rate that is approximately 0.30USD less than retail cost. However it is not a done deal, it still hinges on the acquisition of the old powerstation (CoinGeek).