Bitcoin Association launches Introduction to Bitcoin Development online course at Bitcoin SV Academy 7376

Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organisation that works to advance business with the Bitcoin SV blockchain, today announces the official launch of the Introduction to Bitcoin Development course at Bitcoin SV Academy. The course is available free of charge and can be accessed from today at http://bitcoinsv.academy.

Introduction to Bitcoin Development is part of the Bitcoin Development stream of Bitcoin SV Academy and has been designed to equip application developers with the skills, tools and techniques required to build applications on the Bitcoin SV network. The course covers Bitcoin as a data protocol – including reading, writing and advanced functionalities with the Bitcoin ledger, payment protocols, token protocols and smart contracts. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be tested on their knowledge through an online examination, with a course certificate available upon successful completion for those who have demonstrated proficiency and understanding of the subject matter.

Bitcoin SV Academy is an online education platform for Bitcoin which offers academia-quality, university-style courses and learning materials in three distinct streams, Bitcoin Theory, Bitcoin Development and Bitcoin Infrastructure. Developed and run by Bitcoin Association, Bitcoin SV Academy has been created to make learning about Bitcoin – the way creator Satoshi Nakamoto designed it – accessible, accurate and understandable.

The launch of Introduction to Bitcoin Development today follows the successful rollout of Introduction to Bitcoin Theory – the first course to be launched on Bitcoin SV Academy – in December 2020. Later this year, the first module in the Bitcoin Infrastructure stream Introduction to Bitcoin Infrastructure is due to launch, followed by intermediate and advanced level courses across the three streams.

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ZIM & Marius Nacht complete additional investment in WAVE BL, a leading provider of a paperless Bill of Lading solution 8418

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM) and Marius Nacht, one of Israel’s leading serial entrepreneurs and investors, announced today that they have jointly invested in a Series B Financing round of WAVE BL, a developer of groundbreaking blockchain network supporting paperless trade in the shipping industry. The two investors co-lead a round of approximately $8 million that will accelerate global implementation of WAVE BL’s proven technology.

ZIM pioneered the first paperless electronic bill of lading pilot in the shipping industry in 2017 using WAVE BL’s platform and has since widely expanded its use to become the industry leader. Electronic bill of lading is currently offered to ZIM customers worldwide, requiring only a simple onboarding process which is supported by ZIM.

Digitization of bills of lading is revolutionizing shipping documentation, sharply reducing time, complexity, errors and costs for all parties involved, while maintaining a high level of security and, importantly, being far more sustainable than the traditional paper bill of lading.

Aligning with international rules, standards and insurance coverage such as IG P&I Clubs and eUCP 600, WAVE BL’s one of a kind decentralized, digital documentation solution is changing the shipping industry as it becomes the new industry benchmark enabling secure and efficient remote business continuity.

Proceeds will be used to support development of WAVE BL’s business and further implementation of its pioneering technology supporting paperless trade in the shipping industry, as well as in other sectors.

ZIM President and CEO Eli Glickman: “Our early adoption of WAVE BL’s blockchain based platform to promote paperless trade highlights our leadership in utilizing digital strategies to best serve customers and has proven extremely successful for ZIM and for changing the industry. Today, ZIM is an industry leader in paperless shipping processes, and we are seeing growing interest from others in our sector to adopt the platform reflecting the significant benefits it provides to both customers and carriers. This new investment in WAVE BL is a step forward in the path to a more digitized and sustainable future, in accordance with our vision and values.”

ZIM CIO Eyal Ben-Amram: “Since completing the integration of WAVE BL’s platform with our system, we can offer every customer the ability to enjoy the vast benefits of paperless shipping, which is especially crucial during COVID-19. We are pleased and proud to continue our support of this exciting and leading company.”

WAVE BL CEO Gadi Ruschin“Our partnership with ZIM has enabled us to introduce our pioneering technology to a vast audience as we endeavor to become the shipping industry standard in paperless trade. We are extremely pleased with the continued faith and commitment of ZIM and Marius Nacht in our company and look forward to leading the wave of the future in shipping.”

Ophir Shoham, who leads Marius Nacht’s investments in high-tech: “We are proud to continue supporting WAVE BL’s remarkable technology and believe in its disruptive potential, leading to a fundamental change in the way business is conducted across countless sectors and industries. We are very impressed with the great progress the team has made and excited to invest in WAVE BL’s trail-blazing platform.”

River Financial raises $12M Series A to continue explosive growth of its Bitcoin financial services for traditional investors 8834

San Francisco-based Bitcoin financial services provider River Financial closed a $12 million Series A equity financing round to continue growing its financial service offerings for traditional investors. The investment round was led by Goldcrest Capital with participation from Craft Ventures, Polychain Capital, M13, Castle Island, Slow Ventures, and The Kraft Group.

River Financial previously announced a $5.7 million seed round in June 2020. In the nine months since the company’s seed round announcement, River’s client base has grown by almost 600%, and order volumes have increased by 3,500%. River’s recent iOS app has accelerated the company’s growth, already accounting for over 30% of all River’s order volume within five weeks of launch. River Financial continues to experience exponential growth in new customers and order volume month-over-month as global interest in Bitcoin continues to grow rapidly. Social unrest, inflation fears, and recent elections are driving droves of traditional investors to Bitcoin and River.

River is investing heavily in team growth and product development. According to Co-Founder and CEO Alex Leishman, “Bitcoin is on a trajectory to becoming a global reserve asset, and we are building the financial services that our clients will need for that future.” River’s focus on premium client services and traditional financial tooling, including tax lot tracking and account statements, is attracting increasing numbers of high-end clients who find incumbent solutions intimidating and confusing.

The majority of volume on River is driven by clients over the age of 50, but Co-Founder and COO Andrew Benson believes there is still a large underserved segment of the population, “River’s mission is to bring Bitcoin to investors around the world. Even as global interest in Bitcoin grows rapidly, most Americans over the age of 45 who want Bitcoin still don’t own any. River is helping to fix that by creating familiar, high-end financial solutions for investors who are new to Bitcoin.”

Ideanomics Invests in Italian Electric Motorcycle Company, Energica Motor Company 10039

Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX) (“Ideanomics” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has acquired 20% of Italian Energica Motor Company S.p.A. (Energica) for the consideration of $13.2 million. It develops high performance 100% battery-powered motorbikes. With this investment in Energica, Ideanomics expands its global footprint in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, and complements Treeletrik’s business in the ASEAN market. This investment marks continued investment in European-based OEM.

“Energica has combined zero emissions EV technology with high-performance engineering synonymous with Italy’s Motor Valley to create a range of exceptional products for the motorcycle market. It also has proprietary EV battery and DC fast-charging systems that have applications and synergies with Ideanomics Mobility. We are very impressed with Livia and her team, and we look forward to supporting them through their next phases of growth,” said Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics.

The rapid increase of EV sales that began in 2019 has continued to gain momentum over the past year. The global high performance electric motorcycle market is growing at a CAGR of over 35% from 2019-2024. With its state-of-the-art battery technology development, Energica was chosen by Dorna as a single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup. With this partnership, Energica has been able to test new battery solutions and innovations in extreme conditions with the best riders in the world to advance its high-performance battery technology.

“We are proud to be part of this unified global platform”, says Livia Cevolini, CEO of Energica Motor Company S.p.A. “Ideanomics’ network of innovative companies will help accelerate the growth and adoption of new EV technologies such Energica.. We look forward to leveraging Ideanomics to capture market share in the rapidly growing global electric motorcycle market”.

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 9528

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.

Pastel Network Announces the Listing of PSL on the Bitcoin.com Exchange 9046

Pastel Network, the first truly decentralized and scalable blockchain project designed specifically for rare digital art, has officially announced its pending listing on Bitcoin.com, scheduled for March 5, 2021. Pastel Network is a blockchain for rare digital art (also known as “NFTs”) that is built on the secure, battle-tested codebases of the Bitcoin, Dash, and ZCash cryptocurrency projects. Pastel introduces several important innovations to the world of blockchain art, such as the decentralized storage of art image files natively in the network, as well as a decentralized validation process for registering new artworks that prevents near-duplicate images from being added to the system. Pastel’s novel near-duplicate detection algorithm is based on robust image fingerprints that are generated using state-of-the-art deep learning image models and introduces a new form of digital scarcity which makes pixel patterns themselves “rare.”

Pastel takes a different technological approach than competing digital art blockchain projects, which are primarily built on top of the Ethereum platform. Because Pastel is an integrated platform specifically designed for the application of rare digital art, it has its own native Bitcoin-like currency (called the PSL coin). Having a native currency token makes the Pastel Network’s fees for registering, storing, and trading rare artwork very low, which makes it affordable to artists and collectors all over the world. Furthermore, the system includes a native mechanism based on changes in the mining difficulty of Pastel’s proof-of-work algorithm for maintaining these fees at affordable levels long into the future — even if PSL appreciates significantly in value. This is in stark contrast to Ethereum-based art projects, where the cost to create new artworks is currently hundreds of dollars, creating unnecessary financial risks for artists and making these other platforms out of reach for all but the wealthiest artists and the most expensive digital artworks. Even if an artist can afford to pay these egregious fees, the cost of simply transferring the artworks to users is prohibitively high. Pastel offers digital artists a secure and robust environment for registering their rare digital artworks with very low transactional costs, making digital art accessible to artists from anywhere in the world, and allowing a different business model for artists where they can sell larger numbers of their limited-edition digital art “prints” at a price point of under $5, while still making a healthy profit margin.

At the same time, Pastel allows art collectors and fans to purchase rare digital artworks directly from their favorite artists — with most of the value going to the artist instead of being wasted on unproductive network fees and overhead. This allows fans to participate in the long-term success of their favorite artists, creating a reciprocal relationship that transforms an artist’s fans into partners that have a financial stake in promoting the artist’s work. Furthermore, buyers of rare artworks on Pastel are able to trade their owned artworks with other Pastel users in a decentralized exchange that is native to the platform, all while paying modest trading commissions and transaction fees that are closer to the ~2% charged by payment processors such as Paypal and Stripe than the 15% or more charged by art dealers and auction houses, and other NFT platforms. Pastel Network’s low trading fees will lead to a much more dynamic and liquid marketplace for rare digital artwork that has the potential to radically transform the way art is created and collected. Best of all, the trading fees are sent by buyers and sellers to an unspendable PSL address, thus, “burning” them and removing them permanently from circulation. Over time, this natural deflation will offset the new PSL created through the mining process, making PSL scarcer and more valuable.

As Pastel Network’s founder Jeff Emanuel explains, “Today marks an exciting milestone for our project, which has been under continuous development since 2018 with the singular mission of serving the world’s artistic community. We have created an open platform that frees artists from the restrictions of the traditional art market, with its outrageous commissions and dealer fees, as well as its elitist ‘gatekeeping’ mentality that excludes the vast majority of talented artists around the world from earning a living as an artist. With the listing of Pastel on the Bitcoin.com exchange, as well as the public launch of our wallet software for artists and collectors in the next months, Pastel is now poised to disrupt the NFT space with a radically better network design that solves the high transactional fees and scalability issues that plague existing Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces and platforms.”

Pastel Network originated as a fork of the Animecoin blockchain project originally introduced in 2014. Animecoin was based on a modified version of the Bitcoin code and was fairly distributed with zero “pre-mine” to thousands of users around the world. After the fork, the Pastel team raised over $3 million from Innovating Capital and other blockchain investors to fund the development of the Pastel software and to further the goals of the project through community engagement and exchange listings, culminating in Pastel’s pending listing on Bitcoin.com.

Majid Al Futtaim Taps IBM Food Trust to Deliver Food Traceability Across Carrefour Stores Using Blockchain Technology 10812

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia – owner and operator of the Carrefour franchise in these regions – and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Majid Al Futtaim has joined IBM Food Trust, a blockchain-enabled global ecosystem for the food industry run on IBM Cloud. Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels of insight and transparency to its customers about the provenance of their food via end-to-end visibility on products throughout its supply chain, promoting increased quality, credibility and safety for its shoppers.

The initiative will start with two initial product categories, Carrefour’s own fresh chicken brand and microgreens harvested from select in-store hydroponic farms, before expanding into more product lines. All participants in this initiative across the supply chain will benefit from a smarter, and more sustainable food ecosystem. The digitisation of transactions and data provides a more efficient way of working across the supply chain for growers, processors, shippers, retailers, regulators, and consumers.

By simply using their smartphone to scan a QR code on participating products such as Carrefour’s fresh chicken, customers will be able to get immediate access to actionable food supply chain data, from farm to store shelf. The history of the product, including production process, halal and hygiene certifications, date of birth, nutrition information and temperature data, will be readily available once uploaded onto the blockchain.

The growing demand for food traceability is evidenced by research conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), showing that 73 per cent of those responding to a survey said traceability of products is important to them. Of those who said it was very important, 71 per cent of respondents indicated they are willing to pay a premium for brands that provide it.

“Trust in the food supply is becoming increasingly important worldwide, a trend accelerated by changing consumer demands and the subsequent health and wellbeing concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “It is therefore imperative for us to invest in ensuring quality throughout the value chain while simultaneously working to build robust customer trust and loyalty. In meeting the new market expectations, we are now offering enhanced food traceability for our valued Carrefour customers and improved operational efficiency for our business.”

Majid Al Futtaim is engaging with its supplier partners to enable broader participation in this initiative, giving Carrefour customers access to traceability details across diverse products throughout the UAE, before introducing it to other Carrefour markets operated by the company in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“Thanks to the availability of advanced cloud-based, blockchain technology and the commitment of Majid Al Futtaim to deliver the highest quality to its customers, we are proud to be using this supply chain solution to provide the very best in quality, safety and trust to our customers in the markets we operate in,” Nalla Karunanithy, Chief Digital Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail said.

IBM Food Trust uses decentralised ledgers to record transactions in a verifiable way. Through a collaborative blockchain network, critical information such as product origin, transportation, and ingredients, can be logged effectively and accessed quickly by permissioned participants across the value chain and ultimately customers.