Blockchain for Beef Supplies and Bitcoin for Smokers

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Weekly Crypto Digest from United Traders authored by Matvey Danilov.

South Korea has always been on the edge of new technology implementations in the national economy. And therefore, the news that the country is launching a blockchain system to track its beef supply chain looks quite natural. The idea behind the system is obvious: beef data will be impossible to fake or amend retrospectively, which would make operations of bad and unfair meat suppliers extremely difficult.

I’m no expert in beef supply chain in South Korea but I feel that the initiative coupled with concerns voiced by domestic experts as to the increase of meat prices after the system’s launch may indicate only one thing: someone over there in Korea sells undocumented beef belonging to some of out of the blue cows, and does so on a massive scale. And why do I immediately start thinking of China?

The recent call by Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, to heads of central banks for creating proprietary cryptocurrencies has not gone unnoticed. The first country to publicly respond was Saudi Arabia that promised to launch one as early as next year. The currency will not be totally conventional, with the key intended use of making interbank settlements.

If Saudis get everything right, money transfers between financial institutions would become totally transparent and temper-proof as classic interbank transaction systems are replaced by blockchain. I wonder what the reasoning of the country’s policymakers is as to creation of something like that at all.

The launch of Bakkt, the cryptocurrency platform for large investors, has been postponed until next year. The exact reason remains unknown; when asked, company’s CEO speaks in generalities that come down to “everything’s fine” and “things happen”. As of now, the preliminary date for launching bitcoin futures trading is January 24, 2019.

As part of its efforts to fight encashment of money, Russian Federal Tax Service decided to turn its eye on the Russian cryptocurrency market.

Mikhail Mishustin, authority head, believes that old illegal encashment schemes have ceased to work owing to the efforts by the Central Bank, Rosfinmonitoring, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

“We are now studying quasi-money, special payment systems using which businesses and people try to avoid taxes”, he said. “Schemes that were in use in late 2000s are now gone”.

Let us recall that Mikhail Mishustin asserted last year that that cryptocurrency transactions should be taxed equally as token mining operations.

Russian Blockchain Industrial Alliance (BIA) owned by Alexander Doronin and Fanil Yusupov works on a blockchain system to manage the national register of drugs in Uzbekistan. If the experiment will be considered successful, the entire healthcare system of the country will operate on blockchain in a couple of years.

Bitcoin price continues its slide dropping below the $3,700 mark in momentum. A price action like this inevitably triggers a rise in the number of internet experts in cryptocurrency market development dynamics, and therefore, the average bitcoin price forecast looks something like this: “I’m almost certain the BTC will be between $1,500 and $15,000 by the new year. Though, it may rather be $1,500 to $25,000”. After reading a dozen of expert opinions like this, one might get a feeling of getting a little dumber.

And the French have certainly been the greatest newsmakers of the last week. It’s hard to say what the combination of ideas and thoughts was in the heads of the initiators, but it appears that early next year bitcoin and ether will be available for purchase in tobacco shops in France of which there are four thousand.

Authorities believe that this measure will help avoid strikes by the tobacco industry that can be triggered by tobacco price increase. And to ultimately confuse anyone who tries to understand why tobacco shops should start selling cryptos instead of, say, live ducks, only three price tags will be available, and namely, 50, 100, and 250 Euros. Don’t ask me why, it’s a great mystery.

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