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South Korea’s tourist hotspot launches DLT-based app tracing COVID-19

Jeju Island and blockchain company Iconloop are proceeding with a full rollout of their COVID-19 contact tracing app following successful pilots.

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 Jeju Island, a major tourist destination in South Korea, is introducing a government-backed, system for tracking COVID-19 contacts based on blockchain technology.

On Jan. 14, the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and blockchain technology firm Iconloop announced that the blockchain-based contact tracing system is now fully operational.

Called “Jeju Safety Code,” the project was initiated in August 2020 to enable COVID-19 contact tracing for Jeju Island’s 15 million annual visitors. The project has been developed jointly by Iconloop and Jeju Island through a public-private partnership agreement. Since August, the local government and Iconloop have been implementing the system at public institutions on the island as well as a number of businesses like restaurants in the Jeju Provincial Office area.

Following successful pilots, Jeju Safety Code was featured as part of wider social programs like the “Safety Net Strengthening” and the “Jeju-type New Deal Comprehensive Plan” in October. At least 5,000 businesses on Jeju Island have applied to register for the system.

The Jeju Safety Code allows visitors and tourists to securely check in at public places without risking the loss of personal data. To use the Jeju Safety Code app, visitors scan a QR code at a business or tourist destination. Business owners can place QR codes across their facilities, allowing people to check in without forming a line.

According to the app’s creators, users do not need to sign up for an account to check in. When a visitor checks in, their location is authenticated, without the business needing to store any of their personal information.

Visitor’s personal identifying information and visit records are stored in a private blockchain network. The app uses Iconloop’s decentralized identity, or DID, technology system to ensure that all data is kept private unless a COVID-19 case is discovered. According to Iconloop, the information is only used for the purpose of epidemiological investigation of confirmed cases.

Iconloop has been actively collaborating with the South Korean government in blockchain development. In early January 2021, Iconloop secured approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT to test its DID tech to manage driver’s license data in the country.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/south-korea-s-tourist-hotspot-launches-dlt-based-app-tracing-covid-19

Blockchain

OpenSea Crashes Following BossLogic NFT Drop via Ethernity

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The hype around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continues to escalate as demand for primary sales is only growing higher.

The last manifestation of this was earlier during the BossLogic NFT drop that took place on the OpenSea marketplace, causing it to essentially crash under the high traffic.

OpenSea Crashes as Traffic Surges

OpenSea, touted as the largest NFT marketplace crashed last night under a serious surge in traffic caused by an NFT drop.

The platform took it to Twitter to explain what happened:

Outage notice: the Bosslogic drop caused a 2X surge in traffic at 19:30 UTC, ultimately causing two spikes of failed requests, at 19:50 and 20:40.

The issue was our servers’ ability to reclaim memory. We will have a fix out shortly, but sincerely apologize to all affected!

Naturally, this caused some users to be upset because they’d lost gas fees as a result of the outage. The team responded that they “will not have to pay gas the next time you bid, for the next auction – that cost is only for the first time you ever bid on anything (converting ETH to wrapped ETH).”

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BossLogic’s NFT Drop

BossLogic is a well-known artist with almost half a million followers on Twitter and a lot more across different social media platforms.

His latest NFT drop was through a partnership with Ethernity chain to offer 2501 pieces of art to the very first lucky community members.

The tokens were sold for 0.299 ETH and each one of them represented digital artwork that’s featured in the collection.

This latest NFT drop is the latest to create massive hype around it. As CryptoPotato reported yesterday, the interest surrounding non-fungible tokens have surpassed that of ICOs from back during their peak in early 2018. This has caused many people to believe that they are in a state of a bubble.

Featured image courtesy of Inverse

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/opensea-crashes-following-bosslogic-nft-drop-via-ethernity/

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Norwegian Oil Mogul Sets Up $58 Million Entity to Buy Bitcoin

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The institutional bitcoin frenzy continues to spread like an epidemic. After several United States mega corporations added the digital currency to their balance sheet, the floodgates have been opened to major institutions across the world. Norwegian holding company Aker ASA said today that it will establish a new unit dedicated to bitcoin investment and the digital asset’s underlying technology.

Miss Out? “No Way”!

Asian smartphone giants, Meitu yesterday joined the league of institutional bitcoin adopters, as reported by CryptoPotato. With the future of modern-day finance hanging in the balance, companies investing reserve cash in bitcoin is widely becoming a norm rather than an exception. The latest to embrace bitcoin is Norwegian holdings, Aker ASA. It made the announcement in a press release this morning.

Aker ASA is going a step beyond investing in the leading digital currency. It will set up a company devoted to investing in bitcoin and blockchain technology. The new company called “Setee AS” will actively participate in the cryptocurrency space by collaborating with other industry players. It will also invest in other companies with healthy prospects in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

The company which majors in offshore fishing, construction, and engineering said it would convert all its liquid assets to bitcoin. The new dedicated bitcoin unit will have a capital of around 500 million Norwegian crowns (approximately $58.6 million).

.. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

According to Aker, the operation of the new entity will span beyond bitcoin investment. The unit is expected to leverage the capabilities of its parent organization to pursue innovations in cybersecurity, financial transactions, and emissions-free verification operations. As part of the latter, the company will research and work on alternative ways to verify bitcoin transactions in a more environmentally friendly manner.

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To set the ball rolling, Setee is collaborating with a Canadian global leader in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies, Blockstream. President and CEO of Aker ASA, Øyvind Eriksen, spoke on the launch of Setee and its first partnership.

“With the launch of Seetee, the Aker Group makes another move into software and fintech. We are very excited about the industrial opportunities that will be unlocked by Bitcoin and blockchain technology, and want to contribute forcefully to that effort. These technologies have the potential to reduce frictions in our day to day lives, enhance the security of our digitally driven economies, and unlock new business models for innovation. We look forward to addressing these and other applications together with Blockstream and other partners”

Aker AS is owned by Norwegian billionaire businessman Kjell Inge Rokke. Rokke shared a letter concerning the latest development to the company’s stakeholders. In the letter, he wrote:

First, we will use bit­coin as our trea­sury as­set and join the com­mu­ni­ty. In Bit­coin speak, we will be hodlers. We will be dif­fer­ent, but ad­di­tive.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/norwegian-oil-mogul-sets-up-58-million-entity-to-buy-bitcoin/

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ETC Group adds Ethereum ETP on Deutsche Borse

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Exchange-Traded Products [ETPs] are gaining prominence and crypto investment firm ETC Group announced the launch of an Ethereum ETP on Deutsche Borse’s Xetra on 9 March. This ETP will go live with the ZET ticker and will be its second crypto investment product after Bitcoin ETP, as per reports.

The firm launched Bitcoin ETP in June 2020 and its assets under management have surged to $1 billion since. Since ETP’s value depended on the underlying security, this growth was a given for Bitcoin. Now that Ethereum has also joined the bandwagon, the results of its growth will also reflect positively for the investment firm.

Xetra, operated by the Frankfurt stock exchange, noted that more than 90% of trading in German shares goes through the marketplace, along with 30% of trading in exchange-traded funds [ETFs]. As per its website, more than 30 new ETFs and 4 ETCs are tradeable on Xetra since January.

However, ETC Group was not the only one listing ETPs on Deutsche Borse. 21Shares AG also announced the launch of the world’s first centrally cleared Ethereum [ETH] and Bitcoin Cash [BCH] ETPs a few days back.

According to reports, this was done to further push the institutionalization of crypto assets. Subject to approval by the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the 21Shares Ethereum ETP [21XE] and 21Shares Bitcoin Cash ETP [21XC] will list on Deutsche Boerse on 9 March, with annual management fees of 1.49% and 2.50%, respectively.

The institutional interest has been increasing for Ethereum ever since the market has been rallying. The second-largest crypto and the most popular altcoin, Ethereum has managed to carve a niche for itself with the addition of decentralized finance [DeFi] and dApps.

Source: CoinStats

At the time of writing, ETH was going strong at $1,713, despite the high volatility in the market. It is returning 142% year-to-date to its investors as more people flock into the Ethereum ecosystem.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/etc-group-adds-ethereum-etp-on-deutsche-borse

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