Western Union Partners With Stellar Collaborator Thunes for Mobile Wallet Transfers

Payments giant Western Union (WU) is partnering with Stellar (XLM) collaborator Thunes to enable WU clients to transfer funds directly to mobile wallets globally. The development was announced in an official press release published on March 21. Thunes is the latterly rebranded trading name of TransferTo — a cross-border payments network focused on emerging markets….

Japan: SBI Group Sets Up Spin-Off to Manufacture Crypto Mining Chips

Japanese financial giant SBI Group has created a dedicated subsidiary that will manufacture cryptocurrency mining chips, the company confirmed in a notice on March 22. SBI, which has launched spin-offs covering various aspects of the cryptocurrency industry, now says it wishes to expand its influence in the mining sector through the creation of SBI Mining…

Bakkt Gets $740 Million Valuation But Investors Have Questions, Sources Reveal

Intercontinental Exchange’s to-be-launched institutional trading platform Bakkt has earned a $740 million valuation after it raised over $180 million in funding last year, anonymous sources told cryptocurrency industry news outlet The Block on March 21. Bakkt, which has yet to launch any investment products and continues to liaise with regulators, could increase its valuation even…

Blockchain in Biometrics Could be Used in Travel Security, US Customs Rep Says

Using blockchain for biometric tracking would be the technology’s killer app in the travel security sector, according to a representative from the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. The news was reported by travel industry media outlet Skift on March 21. Sikina Hasham, program manager at the CBP, made her remarks during a…

Prediction Startup Numerai Raises $11 Million in ICO

American prediction market startup and hedge fund Numerai (NMR) has raised $11 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) to launch its project Erasure, Numerai tweeted on March 21. Introduced in late 2016, Numeraire network provides a blockchain and cryptographic token-based ecosystem for incentivizing anonymous data scientists to create predictive models. Based on the Ethereum…

Alleged Bitcoin Fraudster Alexander Vinnik Appeals for Extradition to Russia

Former operator of now-shuttered crypto exchange BTC-e, Russian national Alexander Vinnik, has appealed with a Greek court for his release or extradition to Russia, local media outlet Kathimerini reported on March 21. Vinnik — who is accused of fraud and laundering as much as $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) over the course of six years…

Crypto Markets Descend While Tech Stocks Surge

Thursday, March 21 — Most of the top 20 coins by market capitalization are in the red, showing slight losses on the day, down from one to four percent. Market visualization from Coin360 The leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $4,027 at press time, down about one percent over the 24-hour period. BTC has…

UPS Integrates Blockchain Platform to Improve Merchant Supply Chains

Major American postal carrier UPS and e-commerce technology company Inxeption have jointly rolled out a blockchain-powered platform to improve merchant supply chains. The development was announced in a press release published on March 21. The new blockchain platform dubbed Inxeption Zippy is designed to help companies list, market and distribute their products to customers. The…

Vitalik Buterin: High Ethereum Price Good for Security, Ecosystem Development

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin says that high ether prices are important both for network security and the wider ecosystem’s development. Buterin made his remarks during an interview for Laura Shin’s crypto-focused “Unchained,” hosted at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and live-streamed on March 20. In response to Shin’s question as to whether protocol…

Report: Bitmain Plans to Set Up 200,000 Crypto Mining Machines in China

Cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain is reportedly planning to set up 200,000 units of mining equipment in China to benefit from low-cost hydroelectric power in the country, crypto media outlet CoinDesk reported on March 21. A source from China familiar with the matter reportedly told CoinDesk that Bitmain will install 200,000 units of their own mining…