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This week in FinTech, Akon continues to champion blockchain, Indian farmers modernize, and finally, the question we are all asking ourselves: Will Brock Pierce soon be President of the United States?

Over the weekend…

Crypto entrepreneur, philanthropist, and childhood actor Brock Pierce announced his last-minute entry into the United States presidential race. His platform is centered around the use of technology to “enhance institutions and improve lives.”

The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund announced a 125 ETH investment into 8 blockchain humanitarian projects. The transfer took less than 20 minutes and cost less than $20 — showing the capacity and utility of digital assets.

On Monday…

The Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the largest in the world, lost $164.7 billion in Q1 of 2020. This is equivalent to the entire BTC market cap.

Several Chinese courts have been using blockchain electronic seals to secure and monitor properties. The technology enables cameras to start recording if the property is damaged, while warning the perpetrator and capturing his image.

Akon, Senegalese-American musician, will set up a blockchain hub in Kenya, launching Q4 of 2020. He hopes to create jobs while enabling blockchain and artificial intelligence education and research.

Afghanistan partnered with Fantom to begin developing a blockchain platform to combat counterfeit medicine. They will be using Opera, Fantom’s smart contract platform, to create shipping labels with data that can be hashed to track authenticity.

On Tuesday…

South Korean city Gyeongbuk announces a blockchain-based free trade zone for industrial hemp. The city hopes to foment a specialized industry using smart farming and other high-tech solutions.

Singapore-based company Torus announced that users can now send tokens to Twitter and GitHub accounts. Subsequently, the company sent a 0.01 ETH transfer to Vitalik Buterin and Elon Musk, among others.

Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company, one of India’s largest farmer’s companies, began tracing produce with blockchain technology. This allows buyers increased choice between produce, as they can now trace information like quality, harvesting, and distribution methods. Farmers will benefit as well — by incorporating technology that increases cost-effectiveness, farmers receive a higher share of final prices.

On Wednesday…

The Shariah Advisory Council of Malaysia announced they now allow digital assets trading. Regulations demand approval from the Securities Commission and entities must meet anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing protocol.

Venezuela’s military seized 315 bitcoin mining machines from local miner due to lack of paperwork. The ASICs were in a truck attempting to pass the Guayana Toll, a military checkpoint in the city outskirts.

On Thursday…

Shanghai courts are now using blockchain technology to create and manage legal records. 260 courts have begun switching to this reform pilot since March.

Australia’s government officially reached out to the blockchain community to explore blockchain opportunities. They are specifically investigating technology applications within agriculture, education, and supply chain, hoping to present findings by 2021.

On Friday…

Tether blacklisted 39 Ethereum addresses holding $5.51 million worth of USDT. They have been trying to ban these addresses since November 2017.

Russia’s blockchain-based voting platform leaked their users’ private data. The information was available for download on July 1st through a government website. Although it has since been taken down, the file was distributed through Telegram.

For more information on these stories, visit:

Brock Pierce 2020: https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2020/07/06/crypto-investor-brock-pierce-reveals-2020-presidential-run-promises-stimulus-check-overhaul/#21ed4e6618ce

UNICEF crypto fund: https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/unicef-cryptocurrency-fund-announces-its-largest-investment-startups-developing-and

Japan’s government pension fund: https://coincodex.com/article/8823/worlds-largest-pension-fund-lost-165-billion-the-equivalent-of-bitcoins-entire-market-cap-in-q1-2020/

Chinese court property seals: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinese-courts-blockchain-based-electronic-072523251.html

Akon blockchain hub: https://www.financebrokerage.com/blockchain-hub-in-kenya-set-up-by-dlt-startup-of-akon/

Afghan medicine tracking: https://www.ibtimes.com/afghanistan-government-will-use-blockchain-combat-fake-medicine-healthcare-products-3006453

South Korean free trade zone: https://cointelegraph.com/news/south-korea-considers-blockchain-run-free-trade-zone

Torus and Twitter: https://zephyrnet.com/twitter-users-can-now-send-crypto-to-each-other-with-torus/

Indian farmers: https://coingeek.com/indian-farmers-company-integrates-blockchain/#:~:text=One%20of%20India's%20largest%20farmers,introduce%20traceability%20and%20boost%20income.&text=However%2C%20by%20integrating%20blockchain%20technology,share%20of%20the%20final%20price.

Malaysian crypto protocol: https://blockchain.news/news/malaysias-securities-commission-legalizes-digital-asset-and-crypto-trading

Venezuelan miner seize: https://decrypt.co/35018/venezuela-military-seizes-bitcoin-miners

Chinese courts: https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/shanghai-courts-turn-to-blockchain/

Australia’s blockchain roadmap: https://cointelegraph.com/news/community-asked-for-input-to-guide-australias-blockchain-roadmap

Tether’s blacklist: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/70981/tether-blacklist-addresses-ethereum-usdt

Russian e-voting: https://cointelegraph.com/news/russias-blockchain-e-vote-participants-may-have-had-their-private-data-leaked

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