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Stellar Becomes Eighth Largest Cryptocurrency by Market Cap
Stellar’s market capitalization has increased more than 65 percent since December 29, 2017, which now makes it the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. According to CNBC, Stellar now has a market cap of USD 10 billion. IBM and Deloitte are partnering with Stellar’s network, which uses coins called lumens (XLM).
Russia Developing “Cryptoroubles” in an Effort to Alleviate Pressures from International Sanctions
As reported by The Hill and the Financial Times, the Russian government is developing a cryptocurrency in an effort to circumvent international financial sanctions. It is currently unknown when the “cryptoroubles” will be released. The U.S. began increasing economic pressure on Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and again after interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
North Korean Hacking Groups Increasingly Targeting Cryptocurrencies
South Korean officials have accused North Korea of turning to cryptocurrencies as a alternative source of funding. According to Bloomberg, a North Korean hacking unit, called “Andariel,” seized a server at a South Korean company in the summer of 2017 and used it to mine USD 25,000 worth of Monero coins as of December 29, 2017. North Korea has been under significant financial pressure from international sanctions.
Chanticleer Holdings Announces Intention to Move Customer Rewards Program onto Mobivity’s Blockchain Platform
On January 2, 2018, Chanticleer Holdings (BURG), an owner of burger restaurants, announced plans to use blockchain technology for its customer rewards program. According to CNBC, Michael Pruitt, the president and CEO of Chanticleer Holdings, suggested the company is planning on using Mobivity’s blockchain platform to power its customer rewards program. It remains unknown when the blockchain-based rewards program will be available.
IOHK Launching Blockchain-Based Pilot Program to Verify University Degrees
A blockchain research and development company, called IOHK, is working with the National Research and Education Network of Greece (GRNET) on an open source blockchain solution that stores electronic proofs of graduation. According to the Coin Journal, the solution will reduce the possibilities of fake documents being used to “prove” graduation from a university. The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which is the biggest university in Greece, the Democritus University of Thrace, and the Athens University of Economics and Business are the three universities involved in the pilot program.
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