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71+ Million User Volunteer Platform to Launch Blockchain-Based DApp

Reportedly the world’s largest volunteer service platform, Zhiyuan Hui, has announced its partnership with crypto startup EveriToken.

Chinese non-profit Zhiyuan Hui — reportedly the world’s largest volunteer service platform — has announced its partnership with token economy infrastructure firm EveriToken. The news was announced Jan. 12 in an official EveriToken blog post.

As of December 2018, Zhiyuan Hui reportedly serves over 430,000 non-profits, and its 71 million users are reported to have worked over 100 million service hours via its platform. According to the blog post, the United Nations-issued China Volunteer Service Economic Value Measurement Report has valued the platform at over $500 million.

In order to manage this astonishing volume of users and service hours, Zhiyuan Hui has reportedly decided to build a transparent volunteer tracking platform on the EveriToken public blockchain.

Via the new system, governments, enterprises and non-profits will be able to award an estimated almost one million volunteers per day with “Yi Coin” points in exchange for their volunteer activity and service hours.

Volunteer data will be recorded on-chain onto what EveriToken terms an “open public welfare ledger.” The blog post continues to outline that:

“[T]he everiToken-based system provides audit trails for various stakeholders with access rights, including governments and funders, eliminating the possibility of fraud for the various poverty alleviation projects and government foundation subsidy programs managed by Zhiyuan Hui.”

Yi Coins can reportedly already be used to buy basic goods — such as food, electronics and hygiene products — from almost 100 unmanned retail locations, using EveriToken’s micropayments solution.

At press time, Zhiyuan Hui has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment on the partnership.

As previously reported, the benefits of distributed, transparent ledgers are being increasingly recognized in the public welfare and charitable sectors globally. Last month, the Irish Red Cross partnered to use blockchain in a new app that improves transparency for charitable donations. Also last month, Binance’s philanthropic arm launched its own blockchain-powered donation platform.

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Washington State County Doubles Down on Cryptocurrency After Mining Bust

After the boom, backlash, and (partial) bust of Bitcoin in central Washington, one might expect an aversion to the technology. But instead, one authority wants to capitalize on the resources left in the aftermath, to promote new growth in blockchain.


A Story Sad To Tell

Central Washington’s story is not uncommon in the cryptocurrency world. A cool climate and a shed-full of cheap hydro-electric power attracted speculators from as far away as China. The new cryptocurrency gold-rush promised a rebirth for this sleepy rural part of the United States.

But when cryptocurrency prices dropped, so did the area’s fortunes. Companies over-leveraged through ambitious expansion plans, found themselves facing bankruptcy. While at the same time, the public backlash caused some authorities to take measures such as increasing electricity costs for miners.

But Douglas county has taken an alternative tack.

Speculate To Accumulate

Authorities there see huge potential in all the high-speed computing power and blockchain expertise leftover from the boom. By repositioning itself as a center of blockchain excellence, Douglas county hopes to benefit as the technology revolutionizes other industries.

Hydroelectric dam

Lisa Parks, executive director of the Port of Douglas county explains:

There is more to the cryptocurrency story than the boom and the bust. We have some unique assets that make our region appealing… Let’s figure out a way to capitalize on it.

But the proposed ‘Blockchain Innovation Campus’ is only part of the picture. In order to entice new development in the blockchain industry, Douglas county continues to encourage its existing cryptocurrency miners.

Bucking The Trend

Unlike neighboring Chelan and Grant counties, which essentially priced miners out of the market with energy-cost hikes, Douglas’s rate increase was far more modest.

The result of this has been continued investment from new mining operations. In November, Bitmain opened a $20 million mine in the region, near the town of East Wenatchee. And the county is trying to revive the mining operations of GigaWatt, which had become an unfortunate poster-boy for the area’s Bitcoin bust.

While some might expect a once-bitten twice shy attitude, having previously been burned, local authorities have a different outlook. As the next iteration of blockchain continues to develop, such an outlook should see them well placed for the next phase.

There is, after all, trusted wisdom in not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Will Douglas Country’s economy benefit from supporting the blockchain industry? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Russia: Cryptoruble Coming ‘Within 2-3 Years,’ Gov’t Official Says

Russia could introduce the Blockchain-based alternative to its fiat currency, the ‘Cryptoruble’, within “two to three years,” a senior politician has said.


Aksakov: Cryptoruble ‘Will Not Differ’ From Fiat Ruble

Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the financial markets committee at Russia’s state parliament the Duma, made the forecast speaking to local news outlet RIA Novosti.

Long under discussion, Russia wants to leverage the benefits of blockchain to provide a digital version of the ruble, Aksakov confirming its characteristics would “not differ” in practice from the fiat ruble.

“The opinion is that this ruble will not differ in any way from the fiat ruble, except that it will exist on the Blockchain,” he told the publication.

As Bitcoinist reported, Aksakov planned to act on legally defining cryptocurrencies when he took over as committee chair in 2017. Lawmakers have also attempted to address legal aspects of token phenomena such as ICOs.

For the state to interact with a Blockchain token officially, however, multiple use cases should be available, he said, which in turn will dictate when a token such as the Cryptoruble could surface on the market.

“The more widely Blockchain is used in our financial operations – and not just financial but economic ones as well – the more likely it is the Cryptoruble will appear,” he added.

Regulation Or ‘Putin Pump’?

Russia continues to find itself in limbo regarding cryptocurrency regulation. A package of laws which the Duma initially accepted last year has since met with skepticism from the country’s central bank, which has apparently delayed its full implementation.

More recently, rumors have begun appearing that despite the unofficial status of tokens such as Bitcoin, Russia plans to actively invest in the market as a method to skirt US sanctions.

A corresponding surge in the quantity of Bitcoin purchased by Russian citizens has also become apparent, one source claimed this week.

Some Russian figures had previously mentioned the idea of using Bitcoin for such political purposes.

What do you think about the Cryptoruble? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Major Spanish Energy Company to Use Blockchain in Renewable Energy Tracking

Major Spanish energy company Iberdrola has conducted a blockchain trial with two local banks to track the origins and use of renewable energy.

Spain’s major energy company, Iberdrola, has started using blockchain to track renewable energy, Spanish independent news agency Europa Press reports on Monday, Jan. 14.

The first trial was conducted in cooperation with Kutxabank, a local bank based in the Basque Autonomous Community that owns a substantial part of Iberdrola’s equity, and its subsidiary Cajasur.

During the pilot, Iberdrola monitored the renewable energy delivered from two wind farms and one power station to banks’ offices located in Basque Country and the southern city of Cordoba.

The company used Energy Web Foundation — an open source blockchain platform designed to fit the regulatory, operational and market needs of the energy sector—  in their pilot. They found that blockchain enabled the company to establish a hierarchy of the producers and to automate the process of energy distribution.

According to Europa Press, the test was a success, and Iberdrola believes that blockchain will contribute to the process of issuing guarantee of origin — a certificate that informs a customer about the source of the energy consumed. Moreover, decentralized solutions can help the industry to increase transparency and cut operational costs by eliminating middlemen, the article notes.

In December, another Spanish renewable energy operator that reportedly produces emission-free energy for over 6 million homes, ACCIONA Energia, announced it will deploy blockchain in order to trace electricity generation.

Blockchain is actively used in energy sector worldwide. For instance, German tech giant Siemens has also partnered with Energy Web Foundation to promote the use of decentralized technologies in the sector. As well, the Department of Energy in the United States has recently granted $4.8 million for university research into technologies including blockchain.

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Mongolia Partners With Stablecoin to Use Blockchain for Lending Services, Money Transfers

Mongolia’s capital city administration is set to replace utility bills and government subsidies with blockchain-based payment methods.

Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar has partnered with a stablecoin company to release instant money transfer and lending services, Asia’s largest tech media platform e27 reported on Jan. 11.

Ulaanbaatar City’s administration has agreed to partner with a South Korean blockchain company, dubbed Terra, in order to eventually replace the current payment methods for utility bill and government subsidies with the Terra stablecoin, according to the publication.

The pilot program is scheduled to be launched within the next six months, and will start in the city of Ulaanbaatar’s Nalaikh District, with plans to expand throughout the whole city. The article also states that the program within the Mongolian capital will contain both peer-to-peer payments and mobile payments.

Terra is a stablecoin project co-founded by Daniel Shin, the creator of South Korean e-commerce marketplace Ticket Monster. The stablecoin project closed a $32 million funding round in August 2018, with participation from Binance Labs, OKEx and Huobi Capital, as well as Polychain Capital.

Back last fall, the Bank of Mongolia, the country’s central bank, had given permission to Mongolia’s largest mobile telecoms operator to issue its own digital currency, as Cointelegraph reported on Sep. 28.

Terra, the stablecoin project, had already partnered with South Korean messaging app giant KakaoTalk back in last November as well. The partnership is aimed at developing a blockchain-based payment system and creating a blockchain ecosystem that would allow a large number of people to use its services, Cointelegraph wrote on Nov. 14.