US State of Wyoming Passes Two Blockchain-Related Bills

Two blockchain-related bills — on tokenization and issues with compliance — have been passed in the United States state of Wyoming on Feb. 19, according to the official website of the state legislature.

As Cointelegraph reported, the bill on tokenization, House Bill 185, was introduced on Jan. 16. The bill lays the groundwork for storing so-called certificate tokens representing stocks on a blockchain “or other secure, auditable database,” and permits the digital transfer of them. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Olsen, Brown, Hunt, Lindholm, Western and Zwonitzer and Senators Driskill and Rothfuss and is set to become effective on July 1 of this year.

The blockchain compliance-related bill, House Bill 74, was introduced on Jan. 8. The president of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, Caitlin Long, explained in a post on her website that the legislation will “create special purpose depository institutions to serve businesses.” The bill contains findings that blockchain businesses are often unable to secure FDIC-insured banking services because of their actual or suspected dealings with cryptocurrency.

Moreover, according to Long’s post, the bill also “provides that a special purpose depository institution would be prohibited from making loans, would be required to maintain 100% of its deposits in reserve, would provide services only to businesses, and must comply with all applicable federal laws.” This act is scheduled to become effective on Oct. 1, 2019.

As Cointelegraph reported, America’s least populous state has seen a slew of blockchain and crypto-related legislation in the past few months.

At the end of January, Wyoming Senate also passed a bill — which was then passed by the House on Feb. 14 — that will allow for cryptocurrencies to be recognized as money. The bill is set to go into effect on March 1 and will place crypto assets into three categories: digital consumer assets, digital securities and virtual currencies.



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Dow, Bitcoin Wobble While Trump Gives Ridiculous Stock Market Analysis

Neither the Dow nor the bitcoin price made a strong move ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell, though US President Donald Trump’s bombastic stock market commentary provided more than enough entertainment for investors on Wall Street and Main Street alike.

Dow Quiet as Stock Market Enters Mid-week Session

Shortly before the market open, Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures had declined by 24 points or 0.09 percent, implying a fair value loss of 25.32 points. S&P 500 futures declined 0.04 percent, while Nasdaq futures rose 0.11 percent in pre-bell trading.

Futures tracking the Dow Jones Industrial Average (blue), S&P 500 (red), and Nasdaq (orange) traded sideways ahead of the opening bell.

On Tuesday, all three US stock market indices crept to minor gains, so minor that you’d have to squint to see them.

The Dow added 8.07 points or 0.03 percent, just one trading session after pounding 443 points higher. The Dow might have even traded lower had it not been for Walmart’s blockbuster earnings report.

The Nasdaq rose 14.36 points or 0.19 percent, closing at 7,486.77.

Donald Trump Takes Sole Credit for Saving the Stock Market from Collapse

The S&P 500, meanwhile, closed at 2,779.76 following a 4.16 point or 0.15 percent climb. The consumer index faces strong resistance at 2,800, and bearish analysts have warned that failure to break through that mark could portend a moderate-to-severe stock market sell-off.

s&P 500 rally donald trump

Some stock market analysts believe the S&P 500 will retrace significantly if it fails to break through 2,800 in the near-term. | Source: Twitter via MarketWatch

That tweet, drafted by financial analyst Logan Mohtashami, came in response to US President Donald Trump’s characteristically bombshell claim that his election was the only thing that saved the stock market from complete collapse in 2016

Writing on Twitter, Trump said that stock market would have crashed by “at least 10,000 points by now” if the Democrats had won the 2016 election.

While Trump was almost certainly speaking hyperbolically, let’s dig into the specifics of his claim. The Dow closed at 18,332.74 on Nov. 8, 2016 – the day of the election – and climbed by more than 41 percent in the two years that followed to close at 25,891.32 on Tuesday. According to Trump, the Dow should have at the very least crashed to 8,332.74, which would represent a decline of 55 percent from its election-day mark and a 67 percent implosion from its present level.

donald trump stock market dow jones

Donald Trump’s claim that he alone saved the stock market from collapse is a bit much, even for him.

It’s true that Trump and his advisers possess the power to exert extraordinary influence over the stock market’s day-to-day movements, as demonstrated by the government shutdown saga and the ongoing US-China trade war.

However, taking sole credit for a 17,558.58 point Dow swing seems a tad hubristic, even for Trump.

And given Hillary Clinton’s cozy relationship with New York financiers, it’s unlikely that her administration would have adopted the sort of anti-capital policies progressives favor, anyway.

On the other hand, a potential Bernie Sanders presidency isn’t likely to inspire confidence in the hearts of Wall Street bulls – but that discussion can wait until election year.

Bitcoin Price Continues to Test $4,000

The cryptocurrency market is similarly quiet ahead of the US trading session, but few chart watchers expect it to remain that way for long now that the bitcoin price has begun to test the $4,000 mark.

bitcoin price

The bitcoin price is testing $4,000, and it may have ethereum to thank for its most recent rally.

Analysts have grappled to find an explanation for the rally that pushed bitcoin to a 40-day high, and mainstream media outlets have resorted to grasping at straws. Bloomberg, for instance, credited JP Morgan’s so-called “cryptocurrency” project with boosting the market, even though it’s not really a cryptocurrency, others have predicted it will be a “bitcoin killer,” and the bank announced JPM Coin several days before the market began grinding higher.

Ethereum’s Hard Fork Fiasco May Have Launched Market Higher

For his part, eToro Senior Market Analyst Mati Greenspan pointed to the delay of Ethereum hard fork Constantinople as a potential trigger.

Along with delaying the activation of a number of software upgrades, pushing back the fork allowed Ethereum’s “difficulty bomb” to activate. Implemented to ensure that Ethereum would be forced to activate a hard fork by a certain date, the difficulty bomb steadily increases mining difficulty, which in turn slows the creation of new currency units.

Ethereum’s issuance rate has now arrived at a record low, and Greenspan says that this, coupled with stable demand, caused the ethereum price – and by extension, the overall crypto market – to rally.

Expanding on this point in daily market commentary, Greenspan wrote:

“This supply shortage while demand remained consistent caused Ethereum’s price to rise dramatically and the rest of the cryptos followed. By today, we’re going on sheer momentum. After months of depressed prices, it’s about time we had a real rally in this market.”

Crypto Market Cap Adds $15 Billion in a Week

Whatever the root cause, the crypto market does seem to be holding onto its early-week gains, at least for now.

crypto market cap

A surge in trading volume has helped power the crypto market’s recovery. | Source: CoinMarketCap

As of the time of writing, the bitcoin price stood near $3,945 on Bitstamp, up from a 24-hour low of $3,873 and just $55 below psychological resistance at $4,000. The overall cryptocurrency market cap now trades at $136 billion, an increase of more than $15 billion over the past seven days. Trading volume, meanwhile, has jumped above $30 billion.

Featured Image from REUTERS / Jim Young. Price Charts from TradingView.



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Investing in Ethereum Could Be More Profitable than Bitcoin

Investing in Ethereum at its bottom could yield more returns than investing in Bitcoin, said Don Alt.

The famous cryptocurrency analyst, who has 82.7k following on Twitter, claimed that his investment paid off when he bought Ether at $121. While he didn’t specify the nature of his trade, he said his investment could return ten times more profit than bitcoin while still costing 1/3rd of the leading digital currency.

“I’ve heard Etherum will one day be the global computer that [executes] smart [contracts], tweeted Don Alt. “So I rebought me a few at 121. Seems like a good idea if you compare it to BTC it can go x10 easily and still only be worth 1/3rd of a coin. That’s a steal right there.”

Best Bottom Recovery

Ether was a superstar cryptocurrency in 2017 thanks to the great ICO mania. It performed even better than bitcoin in the same year. However, 2018 had a different story to tell. Ether closed the year at $131, down 82.% from the open. On the other hand, Bitcoin posted a yearly drop of 74.7%, calculated between the highs of January 1, 2018, and lows of December 31, 2o18.

At the end of 2018, both Ether and Bitcoin established their so-called bottom levels. For ETH/USD, the new low was 83, according to BitFinex data. At the same time, the low for BTC/USD was 3,220. The cryptocurrency market, as a whole, is undergoing a weak upside correction ever since. At the press time, the ETH/USD rate has surged 55.42%, while BTC/USD has jumped 14.62%.

That explains how Ethereum is recovering faster than Bitcoin – and why Don Alt is more bullish on the former.

“I knew this was the company to bet on,” said Don Alt. “Their CEO Vitalik 100% knows what he’s doing.”

What’s Next for Bitcoin and Ethereum

Bitcoin and Ethereum are walking in their separate directions this year. While the world’s leading digital currency is venturing into futures and ETF markets, Ethereum is attempting to find adoption among upcoming digital ledger-enabled projects.

Steven Nerayoff, the co-creator of Ethereum, said that the growth of Ethereum as technology would be as high as the rise of FinTech across mainstream industries.

“You’re seeing a tremendous amount of growth across a wide variety of industries. Fintech is the natural area, but now you’re seeing it becoming increasingly more creative — you find projects in the oil and gas industry, you’re finding government using it in their applications, you see it in gaming, all kinds of different areas,” Nerayoff explained.

As for Bitcoin, analysts believe the digital currency’s recovery would be slower than the rest of the cryptocurrency market. The only reason that explains the prediction is the bitcoin’s growing dependence on the mainstream financial players.

Seeking Alpha’s Sandeep Singh Ahluwalia wrote that the global financial slowdown had a possible correlation with the price action of bitcoin. The financial expert said that investors were not ready to inject hard cash into the old and new market, which also include cryptocurrencies.

“Most investors will now want to invest their funds in more dependent and recession proof assets such as Gold. Hence, I expect fewer funds to flow into Bitcoin due to the tense political climate.”



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Ex-Goldman Sachs Engineers Raise $3 Million to Combat Crypto Market Manipulation

Solidus Labs has raised $3 million to combat crypto market manipulation, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 20.

Solidus Labs is a trade surveillance firm whose team includes former Goldman Sachs fintech engineers. The company reports to helps both traditional and crypto-focused service providers foster compliance while trading digital assets.

Through the recent funding round, led by Israeli venture capital firm Hanaco Ventures, the team plans to further develop its crypto-oriented market surveillance tools designed for financial institutions and exchanges interacting with crypto assets.

By implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, Solidus analyzes trading patterns and detects anomalies in real time, enabling compliance officers to react immediately.

According to the press release, the Solidus Labs SaaS has managed to reduce trading manipulation false positives by 30 percent to date, which reportedly contributed to improving manipulation detection techniques.

In December 2018, the Social Science Research Network revealed that there are thousands of pump-and-dump trading groups on popular messaging apps. A study reportedly identified 4,818 pump-and-dump attempts between January and July of 2018, based on data scraped from messaging platforms Telegram and Discord.

Recently, a Commissioner at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission argued against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to reject a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange traded fund, claiming that potential crypto market manipulation should not be a barrier to the decision.

The Commissioner elaborated that any product with sufficient resources can be manipulated, adding that basing a product on an index, rather than a commodity, can in fact be used to make potential manipulation significantly less likely.



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Stablecoins to Play Key Role in Crypto Adoption, Says New Report

Stablecoins will play a key role in mainstream adoption of crypto technologies, according to a report published by California-based stablecoin startup Reserve on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The report, entitled “The State of Stablecoins 2019: Hype vs. Reality in the Race for Stable, Global, Digital Money” is based on information collected from 40 crypto and stablecoin firms. The report’s lead author is George Samman, a blockchain and cryptocurrency advisor. According to the document, Samman “was commissioned to research the stablecoin landscape and then independently report his findings for the broader industry to learn from.”

The analysis is presented by a number of major industry players, including Reserve, Arrington XRP Capital and Blocktower.

The study analyzes the key features of stablecoins which, the authors believe, can contribute to the mass adoption of crypto technologies:

“The development of stablecoins, price-stable cryptocurrencies, asset-backed cryptocurrencies etc. is likely to play a critical role in how this new economy achieves mainstream adoption.”

Furthermore, the authors believe that developing countries with hyperinflation, such as Venezuela and Angola, will be the first to adopt stablecoins, while others will follow. Additionally, stablecoins potentially promise to be a multi-trillion dollar marketplace, the report states.

The report further notes the potential role of major companies such as Facebook in facilitating the adoption of stablecoins. Late last year, reports surfaced that the social media giant is considering launching a stablecoin for WhatsApp users.

As for the near future of stablecoins, the authors believe that the United States dollar will be “the most tokenized liquid asset in the cryptocurrency space in the next 12 to 24 months.”

However, in another one of its conclusions, the report ventures that if a massively adopted stablecoin is pegged to dollars, it could increase the total supply of fiat money and thus contribute to inflation and further instability. According to the report, price-stable coins will rather be based on various assets, rather than on national currencies. The authors conclude by describing the an ideal model for future stablecoins:

“The ideal stablecoin should be able to withstand market volatility, be affordable to maintain within a value range, have easily comprehensible stability parameters and be easy to observe for traders and other market participants.”

Major crypto enthusiasts bet on stablecoins as a less volatile and more predictable cryptocurrency that could possibly draw the attention of institutional investors. The Winklevoss twins, who earlier launched their own dollar-backed stablecoin, the Gemini dollar (GUSD), believe that stablecoins and tokenized securities are the future of crypto innovation.

Bitcoin Association Switzerland board member Luzius Meisser said earlier this month that “stablecoins are a precondition for average companies to bring their equity onto the blockchain.”

Last week, U.S.-based financial giant JPMorgan Chase announced that it is developing its own USD-pegged stablecoin, JPM Coin, to increase the efficiency of international settlements.



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Bitcoin Price Looks North As Trading Volumes Hit 9-Month Highs

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  • Bitcoin witnessed an inverse head-and-shoulders breakout on Monday and rose to $4,000 yesterday, confirming a bullish reversal on the daily chart.
  • The trend change is backed by a jump in trading volumes to levels last seen in May 2018. The rally, therefore, looks to have legs and December highs above $4,200 could come into play, albeit after a minor bout of consolidation or pullback, as the indicators on the 4-hour chart and daily charts are reporting overbought conditions.
  • A break below Monday’s low of $3,614 would invalidate the bullish setup, although that looks unlikely, as longer duration charts are beginning to align in favor of the bulls.

Bitcoin (BTC) could revisit December highs above $4,200 in the near-term as the recent rally is backed by a surge in trading volumes.

The leading cryptocurrency by market value is currently trading at $3,930 on Bitstamp, having clocked a 5.5-week high of $4,000 yesterday.

The 20 percent appreciation witnessed over the last 12 days is accompanied by a 28.4 percent rise in daily trading volumes, according to CoinMarketCap.

Notably, total trading volumes across all exchanges jumped 40 percent to $9.91 billion on Monday, validating BTC’s bullish breakout above $3,800. Further, investor interest in the cryptocurrency has increased post-breakout, with volumes rising further to $9.93 billion yesterday – the highest level since May 3, 2018.

So, the recent rally appears to have substance and prices could rise towards $4,236 (Dec. 24 high) in the near-term.

Daily chart

Both the inverse head-and-shoulders breakout and the triangle breakout seen in the above chart indicate a bearish-to-bullish trend change.

The 5- and 10-day moving averages (MAs) are trending north, indicating a short-term bullish setup. The 50-day MA has bottomed out (shed bearish bias) and the 100-day MA hurdle has been scaled.

While the path of least resistance is to the higher side, a rise toward the Dec. 24 high of $4,236 may not happen immediately. The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) has moved into overbought territory above 70.00, while the long upper shadow attached to the previous day’s candle is sending a similar message.

4-hour chart

On the 4-hour chart, the RSI is reporting overbought conditions and has diverged in favor of the bears (does not mirror the higher price highs) However, the stacking order of the 50-candle MA, above the 100-candle MA, above the 200-candle MA is a classic bullish indicator.

So, pullbacks, if any, could be short-lived – especially as the longer duration charts are looking increasingly bullish.

3-day chart

BTC’s current 3-day candle looks set to close well above $3,711. That would add credence to the bullish outside reversal candle created in three-days to Feb. 8 and bring potential for a move towards $4,429 (38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement of the sell-off from November highs to December lows).

Supporting that scenario are a bullish crossover between the 5- and 10-day MAs, confirmed earlier this month, and an RSI of 51.00.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View

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Japan’s Second-Largest Securities Brokerage Daiwa Completes Blockchain Pilot

Daiwa Securities Group, Japan’s second largest securities brokerage, has announced the completion of a blockchain proof-of-concept (PoC) in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 19. The PoC implemented blockchain in the trade matching of post-trade processing.

The blockchain pilot project, dubbed “JPX Proof-of-Concept Testing for Utilization of Blockchain / DLT in Capital Market Infrastructure,” involved 26 companies, including financial institutions, system providers and institutional investors. The reported goal of the pilot — which just completed the second of two phases — was to increase the efficiency of blockchain tech in the post-trade process.

According to the results of the pilot, the implementation of standardized specifications and workflow processes for the blockchain system is expected to reduce operational costs and allow for easier development of new products and services. According to the press release, the firm “believe[s] that the standardization will also generate considerable benefits to the investors who are the ultimate beneficiaries.”

The press release also notes that to implement a standardized system via blockchain to a wide range of companies will require more practical considerations. As the release states:  

“We may need to develop a new organization or a consortium which holds responsibility of the system development and administration, budget management and fund development. We are going to discuss more about the framework of collaboration with the market participants and to conduct feasibility study in order to put this concept […] into action.”

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Japan’s second-largest bank by assets, conducted a PoC using blockchain consortium R3’s Marco Polo trade finance platform. The project aimed to enhance efficiency in trade processes.

Also yesterday, the central bank of Japan published the results of its research into the possible ways to implement central bank digital currencies within the existing monetary system.



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Bitcoin Price to Explode at $4,200, Chart Shows Bottom Reached

In the past 48 hours, the valuation of the crypto market increased by $13 billion as Bitcoin moved rapidly from $3,600 to $3,900 by 10 percent.

Traders are expecting a near-term pullback following a strong movement in the cryptocurrency market.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap is continuing to make robust gains. Source: Coinmarketcap.com

But, economist and analyst Alex Krüger foresees the Bitcoin price surging fast beyond key resistance levels if the dominant cryptocurrency is able to break out of the crucial $4,200 mark in the weeks to come.

The time frame during which Bitcoin can initiate a speedy rally from $3,900 to $4,200 remains unclear as the daily volume of the cryptocurrency market has noticeably declined since its initial spike on February 18.

Bitcoin to $4,200 is Key, What Are Some Factors That Could Fuel It?

As Su Zhu, the CEO of Three Arrows Capital, recently said, there currently is more than $2 billion in fiat sitting at exchanges, stablecoins, and crypto funds.

No additional capital from a new group of investors such as institutions is necessary for BTC to initiate a proper trend reversal in the foreseeable future.

Existing capital in the cryptocurrency market is sufficient to trigger a major rally that could allow BTC to revisit crucial levels in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.

Hence, Krüger explained that given the chart of Bitcoin has all signs of a bottom, technical factors may be enough to push BTC above the $4,200 resistance level in the near-term.

The analyst said:

“The BTC chart has all the components of a bottom. Capitulation (Nov to Dec), bounced off long term trend measure, twice, on Dec & Feb (200 WMA), broke out from higher low in high volume (Now). A flush down on the last push lower would have increased bottom odds.

Strong move up to fill in the gap above is a matter of when not if. Such move up can happen entirely on technicals i.e. it does not need a fundamentals catalyst nor a change in market structure.”

If technical factors of Bitcoin successfully fuel a short-term rally, BTC could break $4,200, which Krüger sees as one of the most important resistance levels that may allow the asset to initiate a rapid movement to the upside.

Bitcoin, bitcoin price

Breaking beyond $4,200 could lead a sizable surge for bitcoin prices. Chart via TradingView

Many fundamental factors that may potentially contribute to the short-term rally of BTC also exist. By the end of the first quarter of 2019:

  1. ICE’s Bakkt is scheduled to launch its Bitcoin futures market
  2. Fidelity is set to operate a regulated cryptocurrency custodial service
  3. Nasdaq will have launched Bitcoin and Ethereum indices that could open doors to a wide range of investment vehicles.

How the Short-Term Prospect of Crypto Looks

Through Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), accredited investors are purchasing Bitcoin in the U.S. market with a substantial premium.

Every share of GBTC represents one-thousandth of a BTC and as of February 20, the price of GBTC is $4.68, which is equivalent to $4,680 per BTC.

“Rise in premium is a sign of institutional net buying (easier to buy this ETN from ⁦Grayscale⁩ than buy via a crypto exchange). Another sign 2019 way better than 2018 for crypto,” Tom Lee at Fundstrat said.

The sentiment in the cryptocurrency market has recovered in the past week due to the spike in the valuation of the crypto market, primarily because many analysts expected the market to demonstrate a downside movement following weeks of stability shown by BTC.

In the upcoming days, depending on the performance of BTC, traders generally expect a short-term pullback but a strong price movement thereafter.

Several cryptocurrencies including Binance Coin have recorded large gains in the 5 to 20 percent range amidst highly anticipated product launches.



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SEC Set to Begin Fresh Consultation Period on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will shortly commence the countdown period to approval or disapproval of the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The news was announced in an unpublished notice that was filed on Feb. 19.

The move is the latest in a series of back-and-forth exchanges between the SEC and ETF sponsors.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) — the exchange applying with the SEC to list the Bitcoin ETF — had withdrawn its application for a rule change on the ETF in January, ostensibly due in part to the U.S. government shutdown. CBOE then resubmitted the application for consideration at the end of the month.

In line with the law, the SEC must now make a decision about whether to allow the ETF to launch within 90 days from the date the notice is published — set for today, Feb. 20.

As is standard practice, the notice states:

“Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will:

A. by order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or

B. institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.”

Last week, the SEC began the same type of review period for a Bitcoin ETF from the NYSE Arca exchange. The exchange had filed a rule change proposal to list and trade shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust. The SEC notice of the start of the review period was published on Feb. 15.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the same approval process has in fact led to several lengthy delays on SEC decisions. CBOE and NYSE Arca are some of the firms that have persisted, despite the raft of rejections experienced by other operators beginning in March 2017.

Nonetheless, cryptocurrency industry commentators increasingly agree that an approval is ultimately inevitable once market conditions meet the SEC’s requirements.



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Apple Taps Blockchain to Ethically Manufacture Your iPhone, Macbook

When you think of Apple, you think iPhone, iPad, or even privacy concerns.

You probably don’t think conflict minerals used in the manufacturing of its devices or how blockchain could prove the cure for an ethical supply chain.

Well, you should. The tech giant has filed a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicating it is studying ways to implement Blockchain in some form or fashion.

Reading Between The Lines

Apple submitted a filing called the “Conflict Minerals Report; Summary of Apple’s Commitment to Responsible Sourcing.”

In the report, Apple did not say in any straightforward way that it was implementing Blockchain for any of its operations. The tech behemoth alluded to the technology.

For example, Apple’s filing noted that last year it supported the development of certain industry-wide standards for the Blockchain Guidelines of the Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI).

Here’s an excerpt:

In 2018, Apple chaired the board of the Responsible Business Alliance, served on the Steering Committee of the RMI, continued its participation in the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals, and served on the Governance Committee of the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade. Apple also contributed to several RMI working groups, including, but not limited to, the working groups for tin, gold, and other minerals; the smelter engagement team; the Blockchain team; and the minerals reporting template team.

This news comes as the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, said recently that “in 2019, [Blockchain] will start to become mundane.”

Human Rights At The Forefront

Apple boasts that it is “deeply committed” to upholding human rights. It works with its global network of suppliers that support the manufacturing of its mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and related accessories.

In Apple’s wheelhouse are inventions they aren’t specific to gadgets. They are for humanitarian causes. This includes its Risk Readiness Assessment tool it developed in 2016. It assesses risks in its supply chain beyond those associated with conflict. This includes risks like:

  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Human rights

Its efforts include safeguarding the well-being of those involved in its supply chain. Apple seeks to protect the places where materials are sourced. According to the filing, Apple’s supplier standards entail it using minerals in its products that do not “directly or indirectly finance armed conflict or benefit armed groups.”

The filing states:

In 2017, Apple took steps to share the RRA more broadly with stakeholders, including an international human rights non-governmental organization (“NGO”).

Apple recommends companies use the RRA to stay up-to-speed about supply chain risks.

Apple began transitioning the RRA to RMI in 2018 to make the tool broadly available. As of Dec. 31, results showed that 265 outfits were using the RRA. That compares to 211 users in 2017.

Not Too Much Of A Surprise

Apple has been outspoken about using renewable resources or recycled material.

It’s said:

There are a lot of valuable materials inside old devices that are perfect for making new products. The challenge is that recovering them is extraordinarily complex and hard to do efficiently. And we want to return an equivalent amount of material to the market, to be used by us or others. Our ambition is that one day we’ll extract nothing from the earth.



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