Cointelegraph By Greg Thomson
A new bill introduced to the Rhode Island state legislature aims to boost the state’s economy by opening up the “Ocean State” to blockchain innovators.
Dubbed the Rhode Island Economic Growth Blockchain Act, the bill was introduced on Feb. 8 by Republican House representatives David Place and Blake Filippi. The bill states that the proposed creation of a regulatory sandbox in Rhode Island was spurred by the need to compete in the twenty-first-century economy:
“The state of Rhode Island understands that to compete in the twenty-first century economy, Rhode Island must offer one of the best business environments in the United States for blockchain and technology innovators, and should offer a comprehensive regulatory technology sandbox for these innovators to develop the next generation of digital products and services in Rhode Island.”
As well as creating a more welcoming environment for budding blockchain companies, the bill also seeks to establish regulations for the sale of hemp and aims to reform the banking infrastructure which has until now refused to associate with crypto or cannabis products.
Per its summary, the bill would “set regulations for the sale of hemp, regulate virtual and digital assets and establish depository banks for these purposes.”
Referring to blockchain technology specifically, the bill notes the utility of a possible state-wide blockchain records filing system:
“The state understands a public-private partnership developing an immutable interagency-industry-operability blockchain filing system is vital and redevelopment investment in opportunity zones that shall install, maintain, and organize within the system of blockchain records throughout the state is advantageous.”
The document states that laws must be updated to keep pace with technological innovations, noting that existing laws were drafted long before the advent of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
The sudden emergence of state-legal cannabis at the same as cryptocurrency has seen banks keep their doors closed to both industries, largely due to concerns over illegality at a federal level, and a general lack of regulatory guidance. The bill also aims to create a banking system more conducive to cannabis and cryptocurrency.
“The rapid innovation of blockchain technology including the growing use of virtual currency and other digital assets has resulted in many blockchain innovators being unable to access secure and reliable banking services thereby hampering development of blockchain services and products in the marketplace,” it states.
$97B retail firm uses IBM blockchain to track food supply
Cointelegraph By Greg Thomson
IBM’s food-tracking blockchain technology will be used by the Carrefour multinational retail firm to track food supply lines from the farm to the store. An agreement between Majid Al Futtaim — the firm that operates Carrefour in the Middle East — and IBM will see the retail giant use the IBM Food Trust initially to track two food categories: chicken and microgreens.
The IBM Food Trust is a blockchain-specific platform designed for the food industry, hosted on the IBM Cloud. Carrefour, which recorded $97 billion in revenue in 2019, will enable customers to scan QR codes on the products in question, and receive extensive information about their entire production process, according to a report by Gulf Business.
Relevant information will include product origin, date of production, transportation data, ingredients, health and halal certifications, nutrition stats, and temperature data.
Gulf Business references a recent IBM Institute for Business survey which revealed 73% of respondents sought better traceability methods for their products. Notably, 71% of respondents said they’d be willing to pay extra for services that provide it.
The CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, Hani Weiss, said trust in global food supply chains was becoming an important issue — one spurred on by the outbreak of COVID-19:
“Trust in the food supply is becoming increasingly important worldwide, a trend accelerated by changing consumer demands and the subsequent health and wellbeing concerns arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Weiss said the use of blockchain technology would improve operational efficiency, and build stronger customer trust and loyalty.
“It is therefore imperative for us to invest in ensuring quality throughout the value chain while simultaneously working to build robust customer trust and loyalty. In meeting the new market expectations, we are now offering enhanced food traceability for our valued Carrefour customers and improved operational efficiency for our business,” said Weiss.
IBM’s Food Trust was first used by Carrefour in November 2019, when it leveraged the blockchain technology to track the supply chain for infants’ milk formulas.
A 2020 report by Cointelegraph Consulting and VeChain suggested $300 billion worth of food would be tracked and traced on the blockchain by 2027. In an industry surprisingly rife with fraud, the use of blockchain tech would reportedly save $100 billion per year by ensuring the products that land in stores are legitimate.
Exchange listings and NFT boom back Enjin’s (ENJ) 52% rally to a new high
Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth
Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are rapidly becoming a focal point of the cryptocurrency market as evidenced by stories of millions of dollars being raised in minutes for one-of-a-kind tokenized art pieces and rare collectibles that traders rush to get their hands on.
One project that has been benefiting greatly from the resurgence of NFTs is Enjin Coin (ENJ), which broke out to a new all-time high of $0.67 on Feb. 25 following its listing on the Crypto.com exchange as well as the launch of spot and perpetual futures trading on FTX.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that ENJ rose 52% from a low of $0.438 on Feb. 24 to a new high of $0.67 before experiencing a pullback to its current price of $0.611.
A scroll through the project’s Twitter feed details numerous recent partnerships and integrations that have helped fuel Enjin’s price rise.
Minecraft is one of the most notable integrations for the Enjin ecosystem and users are able to earn special NFTs that unlock secret games inside the video game series.
The platform has also benefited from joining forces with the growing ecosystem of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which has launched an NFT educational campaign that Enjin will be part of.
VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for ENJ on Feb. 24, several hours before today’s price rise.
The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of the historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.
As seen on the chart above, the VORTECS™ score for ENJ reached a high of 70 on Feb. 24, shortly before the price began to spike to a new all-time high on Feb. 25.
The growing popularity of the NFT space, along with numerous big-name partnerships has Enjin well-positioned as the current bull market cycle progresses into 2021.
Its recent integration with the BSC provides a way to escape high fees on the Ethereum (ETH) network and could bring a new wave of activity to the Enjin ecosystem.
Former MLB star sells $1M worth of NFTs in one minute
Cointelegraph By Brian Quarmby
Micah Johnson, a former MLB player-turned artist, sold a whopping $1 million worth of tokenized art in just one minute on the Winklevoss-owned NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
The auction, which launched on Feb. 21 and lasted for 28 hours, generated $2 million worth of sales in total. The auction sold NFTs representing a painted sculpture made from hand-casted resin dubbed AKU: The Moon God.
The physical AKU sculpture was also sold during the auction, fetching $305,000. The sculpture will be deposited into a vault and is subject to a two-year lockup.
The purchaser also receives exclusive access to view the sculpture — which is stored in a physical vault at the Art Angels gallery in Miami, and can resell the sculpture at any time by transferring their token.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Johnson expressed his intention to demonstrate how non-fungible tokens can create unique experiences and utilities that go beyond the virtual world.
AKU depicts a young black child wearing an oversized space helmet and looking up to the sky. Johnson recounts finding inspiration for AKU from a heartbreaking question his sister was asked of her son, “Mom, can astronauts be black?”
In response, Johnson began painting his nephew as an astronaut, which eventually lead to the creation of AKU — a character that Johnson describes as having limitless potential:
“I wanted to give him life, bring that to light, and let the other kids or other people, adults, whoever felt like there was of their dreams to have a symbol to the whole world could relate to.”
Johnson described AKU as a great personal achievement, noting the tokenized artwork’s success as offering inspiration to people from all walks of life:
“To bring together such a diverse group of people. And let them see or be inspired by AKU, you never know how many people who collected that AKU, or sell that AKU, finally found the courage to go do something that they’ve thought about doing, dreamed about doing, and they’re going to go do it and maybe just change the world.”
The auction received widespread support from across the crypto community, including Erikan Obotetukudo, the founder of PaperTrail media:
— Erikan (@heyerikan) February 21, 2021
Within 36 hours of the auction’s completion, the tokens had generated nearly $500,000 worth of trade on secondary markets.
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