Stress Free Global Travel Thanks to Blockchain and Biometrics 83

Flying was once a pleasure but those days are long gone. Being searched prodded and poked through long, slow lines at the airport has become the norm in the post 9/11 travel world. However, a combination of blockchain and biometrics may soon relieve some of the stress of jetting around the world.

No Need for Identification

A pilot project developed by the consulting firm Accenture along with the World Economic Forum’s Security in Travel Project and the Canadian government is about to begin testing a new system that’s designed to speed up processing while increasing security in international travel.

The Known Traveller Digital Identity System will use fingerprints, facial imagining, and passport numbers among other information that can be shared ahead of time to allow those in the system to pass through security quickly.

Launched at the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, Lisolette Del Maar, managing director in Accenture travel industry practice, explained that the difficulty in implementing the system wasn’t the technology but proving to governments that the system is secure enough to share citizens personal information.

“That’s where blockchain came in because the technology allows you to not store all the data in one place, or place the burden on one partner to be responsible for keeping the data secure and for its reliability.”

Said Del Maar when speaking about decentralizing personal information.

Paperless Flying

The idea is that those who participate in the system by sharing information on the KTDIS will be able to move through the passport control, immigration, and customs lines expressly because they are a trusted traveler. This pre-cleared status could extend to hotel check inns, car rentals and assist in visa applications since the traveler’s history is all stored on a decentralized blockchain network.

The Known Traveller System has already built an impressive list of partners in its two years of development including Marriott International, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, AccorHotels, Amadeus IT Group, AirAsia, Airports Council International, the governments of Canada and The Netherlands, Google, Hilton Worldwide, various international aviation and law enforcement organizations and Visa, among others.

With estimated numbers of international travelers to increase by 50% over the next decade, some see expediting already overcrowded airports as a must. The system won’t work flawlessly everywhere. As anyone who currently travels internationally knows there is a great disparity at airports and border crossings in technical achievement and security level.

Naysayers may be quick to reject the idea as too much-shared information with foreign governments and private companies. For frequent international travelers though avoiding long security lines by breezing through a facial scanner may be worth any compromise to privacy.

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NFT Mania: For the 1st time, a GRAMMY – Winner sells an NFT music album as a solo artist 3813

NFT marketplace Rarible has announced that the awaited Al Walser NFT album drop will be launched on their auction site on March 18th at 12 EST. Auction participants will get a rare chance to own a true and scarce NFT by one of the music business’ biggest unicorns.

Scarcity and story is what drives NFT prices. The artist from the world’s smallest double landlocked microstate Liechtenstein embodies those elements unlike any other artist. Even President Obama follows him on Twitter. Al Walser is in its truest form a unicorn, and NFT collectors know they’ll be buying into a rare opportunity of scarcity and historical fascination with a promising secondary market.

Even within the tiny state, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria with a population of less than 40,000, Walser also stands out as being its very first biracial citizen son.

Star producer Diplo, when asked by the AP, says: “I love everything about him!” On Instagram, posing next to Walser, Diplo writes: “With the legend al walser”

In 2012, Al Walser was responsible for what many call the ‘independent Big Bang’ of what later made him the GRAMMY®’s biggest underdog. It caused ripples throughout the entire music industry. Deadmau5 about Al Walser: “Everybody cares apparently. It’s like all the big news man. I hope he wins.” Star producer Calvin Harris tweeted: “Good luck Al you deserve it mate.”

Today, Walser is more active than ever. His production work won him a Grammy in 2020. His 2 hour Christmas TV Special, a 2021 EMMY® contender, was one of the most seen Holiday Specials released in 2020.

The album artwork is beautifully unusual, depicting Walser stepping out of a coffin. Al Walser: “This album means a lot to me, it’s a direct result of what happened after that pivotal cultural moment years ago. It’s no surprise it has a very raw and modern Rock’N’Roll edge all throughout.” The album will also include one unreleased song.

Walser’s appearance at the GRAMMY®s in an Apollo space suite became legendary. EDM DJ Kaskade shared it with his fans on social media, responding to media: “The Space Suite was a good touch!” It became one of the most publicized pictures taken at the red carpet. That original flag will also go to the highest bidder, along with the album.

Masha Vyazemsky, Head of Communications at Rarible: We’re excited to be exploring the use cases for NFTs in music, and to support fantastic artists such as Al Walser among the pioneers in the space.

Auction bidding for the Al Walser NFT drop will start, March 17th on Rarible and OpenSea. with Rarible as the primary marketplace. The auction will run for 1 week.

Free TON Open Network Evolves as the Next Generation of Blockchain 4197

According to Radiance Team (independent blockchain developers) the future of blockchain is already here, with the launch of a brand new platform and native currency that aims to address some of the biggest challenges in applying digital cryptocurrency to real world scenarios. Prioritizing user-friendliness, TON – the next generation of blockchain – will offer high speed transactions thanks to dynamic sharding.

Transactions using the TON Crystal eradicate many of the problems of using cryptocurrency for everyday payments, such as extended transaction times and hefty fees. Currently, Bitcoin and Ethereum can process around 7 and 15 transactions per second (TPS) respectively, while TON is capable of processing millions of TPS, making it faster than VISA and MasterCard. TON users will be able to make transactions for less than $0.01 in fees, and pay less than $0.05 per coin exchange transaction (swaps).

Initially created by the Durov Brothers – Nickolay and Pavel – back in 2017, the original Telegram Open Network (TON) faced challenges last year when the US Securities and Exchange Commission made it impossible for the brothers to continue the development of the platform; a move that affected more than 400 million users. However, in May 2020, an online community of developers from across the digital currency industry came together to create a new, decentralized version – Free TON – to bring the innovative TON blockchain to life.

Now supported and powered exclusively by Free TON community, all TON Crystal cryptocurrencies on the TON blockchain are owned by the community itself, without an ICO or token pre-sales. TON Crystals are distributed via contests as rewards for the useful actions of community members, and perhaps most importantly, Free TON platform will continue to be supported by fully decentralized autonomous organizations.

Many experts believe that decentralization is key to creating a strong blockchain future, shifting control away from a single decision maker and towards a distributed network; in this case, Free TON community. Decentralization stands to bring numerous advantages to the blockchain, including improved reliability of the entire network and reduced risks of centralized control over the blockchain. For users, it means that cryptocurrency coins can be transferred directly from person to person, without the need for a ‘middleman’. It becomes as easy as sending an email.

Free TON was launched in May 2020, and the community has big plans for ongoing growth and development this year. It has been announced that Decentralized Finances (DeFi) products will be introduced to Free TON during this month. One of the developers, Radiance Team, in collaboration with Extraton Wallet is preparing the Decentralized Exchange (DEX) to beta launch in Quarter 2, 2021.

Prescryptive Health Announces Free COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Solution to Support Independent Pharmacies Nationwide 4647

Prescryptive Health, a healthcare technology company, announced a free vaccine scheduling solution for pharmacies across the country. This service builds on their successful COVID-19 testing partnership with the State of New York, and will be available nationwide beginning today. The initiative is part of a larger commitment by Prescryptive Health to empower pharmacists and consumers through its digital platform to improve the way healthcare is delivered, making it more affordable and accessible to all.

“Local pharmacies play a critical role providing vaccines, yet they don’t have a solution that can meet their needs and address their specific challenges with COVID-19 vaccines,” said Chris Blackley, CEO of Prescryptive Health. “Our solution closes that gap, is easy to use and is now available at no cost to pharmacies nationwide.”

Prescryptive’s scheduling solution is designed for pharmacists by pharmacists to provide the security, flexibility, and ease-of-use required to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in today’s fluid environment. Pharmacists can configure when and where they provide vaccines, customize patient screening criteria to comply with state and local guidelines, and manage patient demand with a new “waitlist” function that allows them to invite patients directly for appointments to prevent over-booking. Equally important, Prescryptive’s solution is architected on blockchain, fully encrypted, and HIPAA-compliant.

Patient success has also been engineered into Prescryptive’s solution. The mobile-first design allows patients to minimize time spent onsite at the pharmacy and to receive real-time notifications from pharmacists when appointments become available. Patients receive a digital proof of their vaccination with links to additional health and safety information—including the CDC v-safe program. Beginning in April, patients will also have the ability to book appointments directly with a local pharmacy at MyRx.io.

Huobi Tech’s Subsidiary Huobi Asset Management Got the Approval to Launch 100% Virtual Asset Funds and Plans to Launch 3 Virtual Asset Funds 4568

Huobi Technology Holdings Limited (“Huobi Tech” or the “Company”, stock code: 1611), is pleased to announce that Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Huobi Asset Management”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has obtained the Securities and Futures Commission’s (the “SFC”) approval to manage and distribute 100% virtual asset funds with effect from 3 March 2021. Huobi Asset is the second licensed virtual asset manager in Hong Kong to fall under the SFC’s “Proforma Terms and Conditions for Licensed Corporations which Manage Portfolios that Invest in Virtual Assets” (“T&C”) since October 2019.

As the first licensed virtual asset fund manager approved by the SFC to issue virtual asset funds with an active investment strategy, it is the first virtual asset fund manager in the Hong Kong market to accept fiat currency or virtual asset subscription channels. Huobi Asset Management plans to launch three virtual asset funds: BTC tracker fund, ETH tracker fund, and multi-strategy virtual asset fund. Besides, Huobi Asset Management is launching its multi-asset fund with 10% allocation to virtual assets whilst 90% into traditional assets such as equities and fixed income.

A senior investment team will manage Huobi Asset Management’s virtual asset funds. The main business partners include Sidley Austin, Mourant, DBS, Fidelity Digital, and other world-renowned institutions. Ms. Gillian Wu, CEO of Huobi Asset Management, said, “We aim to provide various choices to investors with different risk appetites. We have covered comprehensive perspectives through in-depth dialogues with SFC and made full preparations on corresponding solutions. We are confident that our funds could offer one of the most secure and reliable channels for Professional Investors to access this novel asset class conveniently.”

The management of Huobi Tech said, “We are delighted that Huobi Asset Management team has secured such a breakthrough. The approval’s timing is perfect, coinciding with the mainstream institutional adoption of virtual assets starting from this year. We will continue to explore the possibility of diversifying our businesses in relevant areas to enhance our growth prospects and bring long-term sustainable returns to our shareholders.”

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 5012

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.

The9 Appointed Cai ZhiFang as the CEO of NBTC Limited to Lead the Development of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Business 4915

The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) (“The9”), an established Internet company, today announced the appointment of Cai Zhifang as the Chief Executive Officer of NBTC Limited (hereinafter referred to as “NBTC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The9, to lead the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency business in NBTC. Mr. Cai has been on board.

Mr. Cai is an early pioneer in the blockchain industry. In 2013, Mr. Cai co-founded YiBit Digital Technology Company Limited, one of the earliest integrated platforms in blockchain industry in China. In 2015, Mr. Cai served as the general manager of WeiTui Technology Limited Company, which self-operated Bitcoin mining by the purchase of AvalonMiners from Canaan. The peak hash rate managed by Mr. Cai at that time accounted for nearly 4% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin. Afterwards Mr. Cai established a strategic partnership with Canaan, responsible for assisting its customers in establishing, operating and maintaining AvalonMiners. At that time Mr. Cai managed and operated more than 300,000 AvalonMiners, with an accumulative hash rate exceeding 5,000 PH/S, accounted for nearly 5% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin at that time.

After joining the NBTC team, Mr. Cai will be responsible for leading the expansion of NBTC blockchain and cryptocurrency business, making full use of his industry experience and resources to formulate and execute NBTC’s business strategy, and to implement the cooperation between NBTC and worldwide cryptocurrency ecosystem partners with the goal to accelerate the establishment of The9’s global leadership in the cryptocurrency industry.

In January this year, The9 announced the establishment of the wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC to engage in blockchain and cryptocurrency related businesses. Immediately within two months, Bitcoin and Filecoin mining machines had been acquired as the first step to build The9’s cryptocurrencies mining business.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited (The9) is an Internet company based in China listed on Nasdaq in 2004. The9 aims to become a diversified high-tech Internet company.