Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: “Social” Coins, Crypto Vending, Blockchain Mileage
Reports suggest that Facebook may develop its own crypto. The plan is worth a mention, especially on the backdrop of the crypto ban imposed by the social media network. In Saturday’s Bitcoin in Brief, we also cover Telegram’s advance towards implementing its payment system using the Gram token. Some blockchain stories with beers and beamers complete today’s round-up.
Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: China Mulls Blockchain Standard, Zcash Fights Chinese ASICs
Facebook Mulls Own Token, Reports Say
Facebook is reportedly considering creating its own cryptocurrency. Sources familiar with the matter told the financial news outlet Cheddar that the social media giant is serious about the project to introduce global crypto payments on its platform. A digital token would allow its two billion users around the world to take advantage of crypto transactions and skip state-issued fiat currencies.
Facebook announced recently that it had formed a team whose main task will be to explore the uses for blockchain technologies that the company can utilize to improve its business. The group is headed by David Marcus, former head of Facebook Messenger and ex-president of Paypal, who currently sits on the board of Coinbase.
The development of the payments system, however, is likely to take some time, possibly years. Marcus, who is a crypto enthusiast and an early investor, has been quoted as saying that crypto payments are still very slow and expensive. Facebook is not planning to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the project. In January, the social network banned crypto-related ads, including advertisements of token sales.
Telegram Moving Forward with Crypto Payments
Telegram, on the other hand, has already raised enough money to fund its own blockchain project and payment system. The messaging service, which is popular with the crypto community, has already attracted $1.7 billion dollars to finance its Telegram Open Network (TON). The company, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has decided to call off a planned public ICO.
According to Russian media reports, Telegram is now conducting closed tests of a new service designed to store users’ information and documents for verification purposes. Telegram Passport will be used to keep personal details and copies of IDs, banking statements, and utility bills which will be used to identify users on Telegram’s blockchain TON.
The identity verification feature is needed to facilitate payments using Telegram’s own crypto token called Gram. Once uploaded, the personal information can be potentially shared with partners within the platform, but also on their systems. Telegram Passport, which should be launched by the summer, is expected to prevent anonymous crypto payments.
Crypto Beer Vending Machine to Check Age
Civic, a San-Francisco-based startup, has recently announced plans to introduce a “crypto beer vending machine.” The project, which will be realized in partnership with a leading US beer producer, aims to also prove that blockchain can be used to verify if a thirsty guy or girl have 21 years of age to legally consume the alcoholic beverage. To get a cold can, one has to install Civic’s app on their smartphone, verify their ID, and then walk up to the machine, Futurism reports. The project’s success depends on the readiness of government authorities to accept identity verification performed on a blockchain. Civic’s beer vending machine is still a prototype.
BMW Tracking Mileage on a Blockchain
Another blockchain partnership aims to track the mileage of cars. A team at BMW, the German automobile manufacturer, has been tasked with finding a way to better preserve the resale value of vehicles leased by the company. Collecting reliable data for the mileage, amortization and maintenance of these cars is crucial for achieving the best price on the second-hand market.
The blockchain startup DOVU has been invited by BMW to establish a partnership with Alphabet, the auto giant’s leasing and fleet vehicle branch, and BMW’s Innovation Lab in order to develop a system to collect and keep record of the important information. The companies behind the project hope to also evaluate how effective tokenization can be in encouraging customers’ cooperation.
In a pilot program implemented by the partners, BMW drivers are prompted by a custom wallet app to take a picture of their dashboards once a week. All submissions are added to DOVU’s blockchain which is used by Alphabet to compile consistent and unalterable data reflecting the exploitation of the vehicles. The information is then used to assess the mileage and the depreciation of the used cars and ultimately determine their resale value.
What do you think of today’s Bitcoin in Brief stories? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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