In today’s Crypto Minute: Mastercard files for a blockchain based patent for payments, Alibaba takes the supply chain to the blockchain, and regulators take a hard look at Ethereum
Mastercard Files for Blockchain Patent
In a patent application published by The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, payments network titan Mastercard is apparently entering the blockchain space. According to Coindesk.com, Mastercard filed the patent back in October of 2016. “A blockchain may store thousands, millions, or even billions of transaction records over time in a vast number of different blocks,” the patent reads. In it, the company outlines a method by which nodes can connect with and verify the contents of a particular blockchain for means of payment processing.
Alibaba Launches Trial Program for Blockchain Based Global Supply Chain
In a move to increase supplier and consumer trust, Alibaba has launched a blockchain based logistics platform to improve product authenticity in the food space. According to thedrum.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant has partnered with a number of food companies, including Australian vitamin brand Blackmores and New Zealand dairy brand Fonterra. This initiative, called The Food Trust Framework, is an effort to create transparency for trades across borders.
Ethereum Finds Itself Under Regulatory Scrutiny
According to The Wall Street Journal, regulators are now examining Ethereum, the company behind the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Ether’s recent price slide may be a side effect of both U.S. securities and commodities watchdogs questioning if cryptocurrencies should be under tighter regulation. The WSJ article mentioned that the crypto market as a whole is under watch, but specifically mentioned Ethereum by name.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has labeled cryptocurrencies as commodities while the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) has labeled them as securities; two contradictory positions. However, new analysis by both regulatory bodies brings into the question the ability of virtual currency founders to control the value of their coins much like how company managers influence stock prices.