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Judge Orders Trial in France for Suspected BTC Launderer Alexander Vinnik

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By&nbspRitwik

Alexander Vinnik, the Russian national suspect of laundering 300K Bitcoin through crypto exchange BTC-e, may now face trial in France. Judge Orders Trial in France for Suspected BTC Launderer Alexander VinnikNEWS Similarly awaiting charges in the United States and Russia, alleged Bitcoin money launderer Alexander Vinnik could be facing a trial in France first. Rendering to the broadcast agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), a judge in Paris has ordered the accused to stand trial for extortion, criminal association, money laundering, & fraudulently accessing & modifying data in data processing systems. The AFP stated French authorities had accused Vinnik of deceiving more than 100 people out of $160 million between 2016 & 2018. Vinnik, also known as “Mr Bitcoin,” is suspected of laundering 300,000 Bitcoin (BTC) roughly $3.4 billion at press time over six years through crypto exchange BTC-e. He was detained midst a holiday to Greece in 2017 on an indictment from the United States & afterwards extradited to France in January.

The Triple Struggle War:

A Russian national, Vinnik previously demanded that he is extradited to his native country, where he would reportedly face lesser charges including deceiving victims out of $11,000. Subsequently, after his trial in France completes, Vinnik may perhaps be returned to Greece for extradition to the US, where the authorities as reported want to question him concerning his connection to the disreputable hack of Mt. Gox. Few of the Bitcoin from BTC-e may have originated from the now-defunct Japanese crypto exchange.

Securities Platform for Stock Exchange in Israel

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Tel Aviv keeps developing and prospering in many directions. This city is famous for its progressive approaches and methods that local research groups and scientists employ to achieve greater results in various spheres.
This includes IT technologies, software products, and platforms. From now on, the country will have the opportunity to obtain its very first central securities platform that will be launched in another three or four months.
As many mass media outlets suggest, the local stock exchange located in Tel Aviv is going to start its securities lending pool based on blockchain technology. Many participants are looking forward to seeing it in their lives – as a rule, this sort innovations enter the society’s life step by step and the developers might need to tell the nation more about all the advantages of the newly created platform as well as explain how people can benefit from its special features.
TASE’s official representatives informed that the platform might perform an essential function in the city’s capital markets. As many politicians admit, at the moment, the country lacks a central system that it could utilize for securities lending. The latest set-up is different in many aspects and, unfortunately, it cannot fully meet the requirements and expectations of thousands of investors.
In the executive’s opinion, the newly offered system will be based on blockchain technology and it will mainly focus on the majority of the activities linked to securities lending. It will keep them all under one wing and permit direct borrowing among numerous investors. They will be capable of trying them out across a whole spectrum of most essential financial instruments.
Testing and Trial for Better Understanding
Just about four months ago the mentioned exchange decided to launch a testing environment to see how the new platform would function and operate. According to the creators, they wish to see how participants would perform loan transactions and whether their system is efficient enough for these purposes.
They will analyze the results and will adjust the exchange and its systems in a few months when the run-up approaches. At the same time, the exchange’s officials point out that they understand the value that blockchain boasts. For example, one of their main interests is the feature allowing support for P2P transactions.
Many participants pay attention to smart contract functionality. No doubt, transaction security has been increased thanks to the immutable quality of blockchain. TASE reports that all the above-mentioned points allow the company’s clients to function and work at more affordable costs. More than they, members will receive a much stronger level of security.
Crypto market analysts emphasize that blockchain technology will allow securities lending trading and, which is of great importance, the system will boost up the number of transactions. The stock exchange started the project over two years ago. Back then, the group announced the development of the new system.
Many industry leaders say that it’s quite a positive change that the organization has been collaborating on the recent project with brands that fully rely on Accenture. They are also in tight contact with Intel. There is another participant that needs to be mentioned and that is the local fintech called The Floor.

Algorand’s Collaboration Story: The Fuel of Its Ascend

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Algorand entered the blockchain space in the year 2017 when Ethereum entirely dominated the arena. Though it was not just another name like the others, by 2020, Algorand’s acquired over 18 collaborations and 34 use cases – a great achievement within the timeline in a crowded market. Also, the increased pace of attracting partnerships clearly demonstrates Algorand has indeed delivered what they promised. This supports the immense potential it has to retain the growth curve upward.

The success attributes to the man leading the team and the unique features it promised in their white paper. Understanding their importance is the key behind all these lined-up partnerships. So, let’s start with those first. 

Silvio Micali – The Pied Piper of Algorand

Behind success stories of various blockchain projects lies brilliant developers. But rarely does someone brilliant as well as highly celebrated decides to develop a blockchain – that’s Silvio Micali for you.

Admired for his extraordinary works in cryptography, he won both the RSA prize and the prestigious Turing Award in 2012. For his important contribution to computer science, he was awarded the Gödel Prize in 1993 and ACM fellowship in 2017. 

His research focuses on pseudorandom functions, public-key cryptosystems, digital signatures, oblivious transfer, and secure multi-party computation to name a few. Micali works as a professor and a computer scientist at the electrical engineering and computer science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT.

Algorand’s Unique Features

The consensus mechanism Algorand uses is called Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS). Through a lucky draw process, it randomly selects block producers to keep their identities hidden. 

Algorand offers an unprecedented balance between the following features – 

  • Speed and Throughput – The draw is near-instant, and block production takes just about 4 seconds to complete. This enables the mainnet to deliver a throughput of over 1000 TPS.
  • Scalability – Since the lucky draw process is entirely independent of each other, it simultaneously carries out numerous draws on the network. This results in a linearly scalable network.
  • Security – The complete random selection ensures all data are tamperproof. Also, the stake size-independent selection process adds a security layer against draw manipulation.
  • Decentralization –  The algorithm selects nodes and block contributors randomly, therefore guaranteeing a high degree of decentralization.

Major Partnerships of Algorand

Algorand’s vision of a decentralized, borderless economy can only be realized if fintech firms around the world adopt the platform. Therefore it offers an enterprise-level solution through its permissionless, open-source protocol. 

Let’s discuss some partnerships to check whether it has managed to do so.

IDEX –  Decentralized Exchange Collaboration

Announced: 

September 2019

About Partner:  

Built on the Ethereum blockchain, IDEX is the leading Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) for crypto trading. Its trustless, secure platform is capable of multiple simultaneous trading in real-time and offers zero-fee cancellation. 

About the Project: 

As part of Algorand’s portfolio expansion program, using its $200 million Algo VC fund IDEX was selected for investment.

Being an exchange, IDEX must list all major in-demand crypto coins and explore leading networks where a bulk of trade occurs. Given Algorand’s rapid and steady rise, IDEX is attuned to partner with the blockchain specialized for fintech. 

Algorand’s Role: 

Algorand’s speed, scalability, and decentralization will attract various global companies, therefore increasing its token trading. Partnering with such a network means more trade opportunities for IDEX, leading to a true borderless economy. Algorand helps the following ways –

  • Base-level integrated features – Algorand offers features such as asset tokenization, full finality, programmatic transfers all at layer-1. 
  • Offloading IDEX’s smart contract complexities – With Algorand’s upcoming feature addition, IDEX can delegate many of its smart contract complexities onto the blockchain’s in-built facilities.
  • Support for the decentralized economy – This means developing the required financial tools and services to support that.

Both Algorand and IDEX seek to utilize and enhance each other’s capabilities.

IBMR – Southeast Asian Macroeconomic Development

Announced: 

December 2019

About Partner:  

The International Blockchain Monetary Reserve or IBMR.io is a social impact economic development reserve and advisory seeking to improve the social condition for the urban working-class in Southeast Asia.  

About the Project: 

IBMR.io aims to develop new decentralized macroeconomic development structures using the power of blockchain infrastructure. Partnering with Algorand, they have adopted the following method to solve the issues – 

  • People can earn crypto-tokens by reporting various social issues like corruption, restrictions to commerce, utility bills, traffic jams, etc.
  • Provides access to accounts, credit, investment, and insurance facilities using the token they earn solving the lack of banking service tailored for them.

Algorand’s Role: 

The collaboration has given birth to ARCC.one, the Southeast Asia Microfinance Ecosystem Platform on the Algorand blockchain, and the ARCC (Asia Reserve Currency Coin) token. 

  • ARCC token utilizes the Algorand Standard Asset (ASA) functionality to tokenize and represent itself on-chain.
  • Algorand infrastructure empowers IBMR.io to increase and preserve the ARCC liquidity via a licensed hedge fund.
  • The token can also be used to fund different community infrastructure projects.

Sinjin David Jung, Founder and Managing Director of IBMR.io, said, 

“After months of discussion, it was clear that Algorand’s strong interdisciplinary approach to monetary economics, technology, and ecosystem focus was beneficially aligned with our own social impact mission for empowerment through the creation of the world’s first micro asset, ARCC.” He added, “We’re excited to be leveraging what we see as the best blockchain tech and applying it to a new structural solution for the inclusive economic development of emerging markets.”

Marshall Islands’ CBDC Project

Announced: 

March 2020

About Partner: 

The New York-based SFB Technologies specializes in developing the necessary blockchain infrastructure to combine digital currencies with mainstream regulatory compliance. 

About the Project:

The Marshall Islands is all set to develop its first national digital currency, Marshallese sovereign (SOV), as per its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) plan. The country hired SFB Technologies to build the infrastructure needed once the country identified the need and benefits of having its own CBDC besides its regular currency USD. 

Algorand’s Role: 

The SOV operation needs to be based on an underlying blockchain. After extensive market research, SFB Technologies finally selected Algorand as the underlying tech platform from a pool of leading blockchain options.

A CBDC, transacting on high volume daily, requires speed, scalability, and security – all of which is the forte of Algorand. Also, the platform offers two features that are crucial for the CBDC’s operation –  

  • Transaction finality –  Thanks to its PPoS algorithm, Algorand guarantees no forking. This means every block produced remains on the chain forever. 
  • Critical compliance controls – Algorand is built with enterprise-grade infrastructure capability that allows various customization and control over compliances.

Explaining their decision to select Algorand, the co-founder and CTO of SFB Technologies Jim Wagner stated that Algorand has the functionality required to issue, manage, and distribute the SOV on a global scale. The fact that it has already powered several mainstream use cases and offers unique features warrants that the SOV will be developed on a secure scalable platform.”

Tether – First Stablecoin on Algorand

Announced: 

February 2020

About Partner: 

Tether is the first stablecoin launched in 2014 to challenge the legacy financial system and is currently the most extensively used stablecoin by market cap. Also known as USDT, it is a fiat-pegged stablecoin.

About the Project: 

Tether trading has so far been available in Ethereum, EOS, Liquid Network, Omni, and Tron. To increase its coin usage and customer outreach, the firm is looking for expansion. Now, Tether coin will be available on Algorand.

Algorand’s Role: 

Large volume stablecoin trading asks for speed, scalability, security, and infrastructure. Tether has recognized Algorand’s feature set in tune with theirs and, therefore, how much volume of trade it can contribute.

Algorand brings the following benefit to the table for Tether – 

  • Faster settlement – Due to instant payment confirmation and around 4 seconds of block confirmation time 
  • Reduced counterparty risk – PPoS’s random selection process confirms it
  • Tokenization and customization – Algorand Standard Asset (ASA) technology grants the ability to tokenize and issue customizable assets
  • Micropayment facility – Since Algorand offers zero base-level transaction fees 
  • Solid infrastructure – Algorand offers enterprise-level infrastructure specifically designed to handle fintech needs. 

 

Describing Algorand ecosystem as a wonderful opportunity for Tether to further contribute to blockchain interoperability, Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino said, 

“We are very excited about the potential this enables for other projects in the decentralized ecosystem and we eagerly await working closely with many of them in the future.” 

Praising the Algorand team’s capability, he stated that both companies share a dream of developing next-generation financial products, which should be much appreciated by their growing customer base.

USDC – Second Stablecoin on Algorand

Announced: 

June 2020

About Partner:  

Circle, the crypto fintech firm offers USDC – the number two stablecoin after Tether by usage – to promote payments, commerce, and financial applications using blockchain. USDC is the fastest-growing stablecoin experiencing about a 100% increase in circulating supply in the last 6-7 months.

About the Project: 

Circle is looking for suitable platforms to expand USDC’s outreach and after observing the successful integration of Tether, Algorand is a proven platform to lean on.

Algorand’s Role: 

Being a stablecoin, USDC will rip all the benefits mentioned in the Tether section. But partnering with Algorand grants Circle to implement some additional features as well – 

  • Linear scalability – As USDC is growing rapidly, this is very important
  • Easy fund transfer – Having full autonomy over their funds, Circle API and business account holders can transfer funds from Circle’s card network and accounts to USDC on the Algorand platform.
  • Seamless money transfer – To facilitate exchange payments between USDC on Ethereum and USDC on Algorand, Circle will launch an API in Q3 of 2020. This effective money transfer between digital wallets and exchanges will increase its business outreach.
  • Automatic wallet support – Algorand platform offers an in-built wallet.

According to Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire, growth in mainstream financial use cases is creating increasing demand for high-throughput payments and finance-optimized blockchain infrastructure. He further stated that the addition of Algorand blockchain to USDC-Circle Platform Services will form a foundation for developing a wide array of secure, scalable, and highly compliant financial applications. 

A Few Other Notable Partnerships

Apart from attracting significant fintech partnerships, Algorand has also formed other essential partnerships. Some names worth mentioning are as follows –

World Chess/FIDE

Algorand has partnered with London-based media company World Chess – the commercial partner of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).  It will store records of the official world tournaments on FIDE online and the players’ ranking on its blockchain.  

PlanetWatch

PlanetWatch is the first “CERN Spin-off ” labeled organization focused on monitoring the environment. It has partnered with Algorand to build the world’s first immutable air quality ledger using crowd-sourced data gathered via IoT technologies on the blockchain.

Conclusion

Initially, a celebrated name and unique offering gave Algorand the boost it needed. But partnering with the top DEX, being approached for a CBDC project and a socio-economic development project, enlisting the top two stablecoins in its blockchain indicates Algorand’s authority in the DeFi space is globally recognized. 

Witnessing its successful track record, not only DeFi but firms from other spaces and government bodies also seem eager to adopt the platform. Therefore, Algorand has established itself as a respected blockchain name and a frontline contender for major blockchain partnership, especially in decentralized finance.

This post was created by a member of the CoinScribble Community, where anyone can post crypto news, updates, and more! Learn more or post your own articles!

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Cloud Gaming Hits Xbox Game Pass Ultimate On September 15th

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Project xCloud makes Xbox console games playable on Android smartphones and tablets, streamed in over WiFi or cellular data. It’s been live in beta since October 2019, and it’s proven to be one of the most consistent, steadily-growing streaming services out there.

Game Pass Ultimate costs $15 a month, and it gives members access to a massive game library on Xbox consoles, PC and Android devices, plus Gold multiplayer services. There’s also a basic version of Game Pass for consoles, which costs $10 a month, and a separate version for PC, which is on sale right now for $5 a month. Game Pass went live in 2017, and today there are more than 10 million members on the books, outstripping Sony’s PlayStation Now subscriber count five times over.

Streaming is a critical aspect of Microsoft’s strategy for the future of console gaming. The company is banking on cross-platform subscription services like Game Pass to generate recurring revenue and create an all-encompassing gaming ecosystem for the largest number of players possible. Combined, Game Pass and xCloud streaming will theoretically give players a massive, constantly updated game library that’s accessible on practically any piece of hardware they have, negating the need for a shiny new console. Microsoft has been dismantling the idea of strict console generations for years, and it’s now targeting players on any device.

This inclusive approach comes with its drawbacks. Even though the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have comparable CPU, GPU, RAM and SSD stats, it’s likely that games are going to look better on Sony’s console for the first few years. Microsoft has promised that all first-party Xbox Series X games will also run on the Xbox One family of consoles for “the foreseeable future,” limiting developers to seven-year-old hardware. That’s one reason Halo Infinite received such a tepid reception after its reveal in July.

Meanwhile, Sony is maintaining rigid divisions between console generations. Games built for the PS5 are free to take advantage of its significant improvements in processing power, graphics capabilities and hardware-driven AI systems. PlayStation Now is lightyears behind xCloud, but Sony is actually partnering with Microsoft to leverage Azure and xCloud technology for its own use.

With xCloud in Game Pass Ultimate, players will be able to seamlessly transition among platforms, starting a game on the console and continuing it on a tablet, or vice versa. Friends list, achievements, controller settings and saved games exist across devices.

XCloud will be available via Game Pass Ultimate in 22 countries at launch, and those are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

And here’s the list of confirmed xCloud-Game-Pass titles:

• Ark: Survival Evolved

• Bleeding Edge

• Costume Quest 2

• Crackdown 3 (campaign)

• Destiny 2

• F1 2019

• Forza Horizon 4

• Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

• Gears of War 4

• Gears 5 Ultimate Edition

• Grounded

• Halo 5: Guardians

• Halo Wars: Definitive Edition

• Halo Wars 2

• Halo: The Master Chief Collection

• Halo: Spartan Assault

• Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

• Killer Instinct Definitive Edition

• Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

• Minecraft Dungeons

• The Outer Worlds

• Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

• Ori and the Will of the Wisps

• Quantum Break

• ReCore: Definitive Edition

• Ryse: Son of Rome

• Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition

• State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition

• Sunset Overdrive

• Super Lucky’s Tale

• Tell Me Why

• The Bard’s Tale Trilogy

• Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut

• Wasteland 3

• Wasteland Remastered

• Yakuza Kiwami 2

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