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Blockchain

New Partnership Adds Crypto Payment Routes on Shopify

Shopify sellers can now accept crypto via digital asset payment processor, CoinPayments.

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A partnership with crypto payment processor CoinPayments means bolstered digital asset payment compatibility for Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify. 

“Shopify is a natural fit for us,” CoinPayments CEO Jason Butcher told Cointelegraph via email, adding:

As they look to bring new features to their merchant base and CoinPayments works to drive cryptocurrency adoption globally, it makes sense to create an integration that enables easy, secure, and cost-effective transactions.”

Shopify sellers can accepts thousands of assets

Shopify sellers can now harness CoinPayments’ digital asset payment processing platform, paving the way for sellers to accept 1,800 different cryptocurrencies as payment, a May 20 statement detailed. 

Shopify touted cryptocurrency payment compatibility prior to the CoinPayments partnership, via Coinbase Commerce, BitPay and GoCoin, although CoinPayments adds to the offering. “CoinPayments is the largest cryptocurrency payments processor on the Shopify platform with the most extensive global reach,” Butcher claimed.

The two companies recently completed a trial period

The official partnership comes after a completed testing phase between the two entities. Beginning in 2019, beta operations tested the waters on a few fronts.  

Butcher explained:

The beta trial process involved a full functionality and security test with live merchant interactions before becoming publicly available to the entire Shopify platform.”

Aeternity, one of the industry’s blockchain outfits, also recently opened a digital asset tipping option for social media influencers, adding further in-roads to the mainstream world. 

Blockchain

RMIT launches cybersecurity and blockchain courses to fill skill gaps

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Such is the growing industry of cybersecurity that forecasts predict that Australia will require an additional 18,000 cyber security professionals by 2026.

To help remedy this shortfall, RMIT Online has announced two landmark postgraduate programs.

The Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security and Graduate Certificate in Blockchain-Enabled Business will equip students with the necessary skills in emerging specialisations. The qualifications will be delivered in partnership with industry leaders IBM, Palo Alto Networks and Stone & Chalk, with classes beginning in October 2020.

RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness said that the newest additions to the portfolio will equip Australian businesses for the fast-moving and uncertain future of work.

“Over the past few months, we have observed a significant shift in traditional ways of working and conducting business. The unpredictable nature of our current environment requires us to strengthen and accelerate our understanding of the digital landscape. Cybersecurity and blockchain technologies are emerging as business-critical skills and we are delivering the training that provides those skills in our workforce.” – RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness

Existing trends in cybercrime and the need for businesses to adopt emerging technologies to drive transformation have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it vital to fill skills shortages with industry-partnered digital education delivery.

According to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime study, the total cumulative value at risk from 2019-2023 from cybercrime is forecasted to be up to US$5.2 trillion, with each Australian organisation losing an average of US$6.79 million annually.

While Australia’s cyber security industry has the potential to almost triple in size to at least A$6 billion by 2026, our 18,000 jobs are tiny compared to the predicted worldwide skills gap of 2.93 million.

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/rmit-launches-cybersecurity-and-blockchain-courses-to-fill-skill-gaps/

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Blockchain

WeChat Invests $70 Billion in Fintech, Including Blockchain and AI

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Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings will allocate nearly $70 billion (500B yuan) over the next five years in fintech development, including blockchain, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Reuters reported on May 26 that the company, which is behind the WeChat messaging app, hopes to strengthen the development of fintech across the country, following the recent embrace of blockchain by the Chinese government. 

Tencent wants to expand to business services and will invest in 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT) operating systems and large data centers, among others, 

Pandemic boosts blockchain interest in China

The tech giant said that the COVID-19 crisis had been a critical factor motivating companies to develop their cloud-based technology infrastructure.

According to Dowson Tong, senior executive vice president of Tencent, expediting this new infrastructure strategy “will help further cement virus containment success.”

Tencent’s financial support for blockchain technology builds on its recent announcement of strategic moves to cement its presence in blockchain development across China.

Chinese government adopts blockchain

Cointelegraph reported on April 30 that Tencent had opened applications for its new “Tencent Industrial Accelerator,” with a total of 30 places.

The National People’s Congress, China’s Parliament, and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference proposed a government-backed blockchain development fund on May 24 to build “a better governance system.”

Some provinces in China are also beginning to show interest in blockchain technology, such as Anhui, which has officially launched a blockchain platform for providing government services.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/wechat-invests-70-billion-in-fintech-including-blockchain-and-ai

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After Spiking to February 2018 Levels, Bitcoin Fees Have Dropped 54%

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After spiking a week ago to levels last seen in February 2018, the average Bitcoin (BTC) transaction fee has fallen by more than half.

BitInfoCharts data shows that Bitcoin’s average fee decreased by nearly 54% from $6.65 on May 20 to $3.07 on May 25. The median — or most common —  fee peaked at $3.91, but has now fallen to $1.65.

Bitcoin Cash proponent Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph that if network congestion continues, it will push users to altcoins. He believes this happened in 2017:

“When BTC is operating at capacity with a huge black log of transactions, it will slowly [lose users to altcoins] again. […] I’m sure most people trying to move funds around would convert to another coin before withdrawing from exchanges.”

Bitcoin median and average transaction fee May 20-May 25 chart. Source: BitInfoCharts

Altcoins capitalize on Bitcoin’s congestion

Otto is founder of BitcoinBCH.com, and he argues that there is a direct correlation between Bitcoin congestion resulting in the higher fees we’ve seen recently, and users moving to competing cryptocurrencies. According to him, “this results in BTC’s market dominance declining while that of competing cryptos explodes.”

As Cointelegraph reported in early May, there was a considerable amount of speculation that Bitcoin’s block reward halving might destabilize its blockchain. Otto argues that the halving did indeed have this destabilizing effect on Bitcoin’s functional dynamics, although this was beginning to smooth out.

He said the number of unconfirmed transactions held in Bitcoin’s mempool recently stabilized at just over 20,000, after having reached this year’s highest level of more than 80,000. Otto suggests this is a sign that the Bitcoin network is regaining stability after its economy changed in the wake of the latest recent halvings.

On May 20, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty dropped by about 6 percent. Otto says that this difficulty adjustment is helping decrease the network’s congestion, but one adjustment may not be enough:

“We have already had one difficulty adjustment since the halving but it will take another one or two adjustments until it settles. Due to a decline in hash rate, blocks are being produced slower. BTC’s hash rate has dropped nearly 30% since the halving and the difficulty only lowered by 6%, thus difficulty will need to decrease further before blocks are mined at 10 minute average intervals.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/after-spiking-to-february-2018-levels-bitcoin-fees-have-dropped-54

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