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December 2017

Aston Plaza | First Major Crypto-bought Real Estate on Hold

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Aston Plaza

Aston Plaza

A cryptocurrency venture under construction in Dubai has reportedly been put on hold. British Baroness and multi-million dollar crypto entrepreneur, Michelle Mone, had begun a real estate project called Aston Plaza, which broke ground in 2017.

However, citing government inspectors to the site, the project has stopped at only 25% completion.

Aston Plaza

The $325 million project consisted of two complexes making up 1,300 luxury apartments. At least 150 of those were planned to be sold in Bitcoin. This was the first major development of this size to be available for cryptocurrency purchase. Studio apartments were on sale for 15 BTC and two-bedroom apartments for 45 Bitcoins. That equates to roughly $130,000 and $380,000 respectively, as of February 2018 when the venture had already sold 50 apartments in this manner.

The Aston Plaza Website

There have been no details as to why the venture has stopped in its tracks.

According to the website:

“The Aston Plaza & Residences development at Dubai Science Park offers affordable studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments that can be purchased in bitcoin or a combination of bitcoin and fiat currencies on this website.”

However, at the time of writing, the website states:

“There are no more units available to purchase at this time. Further information to follow soon.”

It also continues to state how apartments of all sizes now start at 9 BTC, with the exchange rate now pegged to the US dollar rate for Bitcoin as of January 2018. This equates to roughly $147,000.

As stated, construction on Aston Plaza has stopped at only 25% completion. This equals, approximately, 400 apartments that have already been sold.

>> Crypto Adoption: Russia Testing and Finland Regulating

Equi Capital

This is not Mone’s first crypto venture. The founder of lingerie brand Ultimo also started a crypto-related initiative called Equi Capital that reportedly involved Apple’s Steve Wozniak. Equi Capital launched an ICO looking for $80 million to start what was dubbed the “Bitcoin of Britain.” After only raising $7 million, and failing to reach targets, the project lost interest, and those who invested were reimbursed.

Would you pay for an apartment at Aston Plaza in crypto?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © PromesaStudio

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LiteLink Signs Trial And Customer Agreement with Large Canadian Nursery Leader, Strengthening Its Position in the Live Product Logistics Industry

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LiteLink Technologies Inc. (“LiteLink”) (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF) (FRA:C0B:FF), a key player in logistics platforms and payment solutions, is pleased to announce that it has signed a customer trial and a definitive user agreement with one of Canada’s largest nurseries, Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd. (“Brookdale”) to provide Brookdale with the enterprise version of the 1SHIFT Logistics platform. This agreement marks a milestone and a major step forward towards 1SHIFT operating in the tree and nursery industry across North America. Over 3000 nurseries operate in Canada alone. According to IBIS World, the nursery industry yields over $50 billion dollars in revenue, spans across 24,642 businesses and employs over 140,000 employees across the U.S.

1SHIFT powered by LiteLink is an end-to-end logistics management solution that enables shippers and carriers to engage in freight matching, automate daily functions, and achieve real-time visibility into their transportation network. The addition of Brookdale will further LiteLink’s goal to be the dominant logistics platforms used by nurseries across Canada.

As per the agreement, Brookdale will receive full commercial access to the 1SHIFT logistics platform to achieve advanced real-time visibility into tracking and tracing, and route optimization to drive the cost of labor and fuel down, all of which will be integrated into their existing TMS ecosystem. The commercial agreement is perpetual use based and fees are based on the number of transactions occurring in the system. There are no start-up fees or cancellation fees in place.

The agreement states that Brookdale will receive 30 days of free commercial use and trial of the platform starting with advanced visibility, while 1SHIFT completes the customizations required for route optimization and load building features. Brookdale has already begun live trials at this stage.

“The challenges our customers are facing today require greater visibility into their transportation network,” said Ashik Karim, LiteLink’s CEO. “The nursery and tree industries across Canada are ripe for technology that drives shipping efficiencies, automated truck loading plans, route optimizations, and temperature sensors. We have full intention of working through the entire list of over 3000 nurseries, targeting the specific common challenges that this industry is facing today. Starting off with an amazing company like Brookdale is the right major step into this industry.”

“The 1SHIFT Platform first runs look very good and the roadmap looks very promising to driving value for our logistics needs. We look forward to continuing to expand the use of the 1SHIFT features,”

stated Marc Bonnici, Brookdale’s National Distribution Manager overseeing logistics.

About 1SHIFT Logistics

LiteLink’s highly regarded 1SHIFT platform is used by shippers and carriers to engage in freight matching, to gain better visibility into their businesses, and to automate daily functions that were performed manually. The 1SHIFT mobile app is used by truckers to view real-time shipment details and flag any issues, automatically provide the truck’s geolocation using the phone’s GPS capabilities and empower every employee from the shipper, carrier, drivers to deliver more connected, intelligent customer service. The end result is that stakeholders who are monitoring shipments can view an interactive map within 1SHIFT showing the current location and progress of each shipment. 1SHIFT also has a robust audit trail capability employing blockchain technology that provides an immutable historical record of the events surrounding each shipment.

About Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd.

Brookdale is one of the largest and most-respected growers of garden plants in Canada, servicing garden retailers, landscape contractors, municipalities, and golf courses throughout Canada and the northern United States. It has been seeking an advanced freight & shipping visibility platform that can be seamlessly worked in without any start-up costs.

Brookdale is one of the largest and most respected growers of garden plants in Canada and is proud to service garden retailers, landscape contractors, municipalities, and golf courses throughout Canada and the northern United States. Brookdale services customers from three locations in Ontario, one in BC and one in New Brunswick with a total land base of over 700 acres. Through its network of over 300 other growers, Brookdale brings products from around the world to its retail and wholesale clients, some of which are Fortune 500 corporations.

About LiteLink Technologies Inc.

LiteLink Technologies Inc. (“LiteLink”) (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF) (FRA:C0B:FF) is a major player in developing world-class enterprise platforms that utilize artificial intelligence, blockchain, and predictive analytics to solve fragmented and outdated technology problems in the logistics and digital payment industries. LiteLink’s flagship 1SHIFT logistics platform offers real-time transparency and tracking which allows brokers, shippers, and carriers to track shipments and settle payments in real-time. uBUCK Pay is a multi-currency digital wallet that supports traditional fiat and digital currencies. Consumers are able to make online and offline purchases using the uBUCK debit card and send funds worldwide for free.

Forward-looking Statement

This news release may contain certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “target”, “plan”, “forecast”, “may”, “schedule” and other similar words or expressions identify forward-looking statements or information.  These forward-looking statements or information may relate to the nature of the business of LiteLink, and other factors or information. Such statements represent LiteLink’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimate that, while considered reasonable by LiteLink, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social risks, contingencies and uncertainties.  Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  LiteLink does not intend and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affections such statements and information other than as required by applicable laws, rules, and regulations. 

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BlockFi Raises Over $18 Million USD in Funding Round

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BlockFi

BlockFi

US cryptocurrency lending startup BlockFi has raised $18.3 million USD in a funding round led by Valar Ventures, the company announced on Tuesday.

BlockFi is the first company of its kind to receive institutional funding for crypto-based loans in US dollars, in the form of a $50 million lending facility from Galaxy Digital. The new capital will reportedly be used to expand the array of products on BlockFi’s existing platform that includes interest-earning accounts for Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto-backed USD loans. BlockFi also plans on using the investment to double its number of employees to 60 this year. Earlier this year, BlockFi announced it had over $53 million in customer crypto assets under management.

Valar, which was founded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, makes its first venture into crypto investment with this Series A funding round, which also saw participation from numerous other crypto-focused investors such as Winklevoss Capital and Galaxy Digital. Valar is one of three venture funds co-founded by Mr. Thiel, who has previously invested in prominent Fintech companies like Transferwise and N26.

“What’s very interesting about BlockFi is how they are bringing traditional financial services to this world,” said Andrew McCormack, Valar’s co-founder. “As the cryptocurrency markets evolve, you will start to see more and more companies that provide a lot of block-and-tackling that traditional bank or other market makers have provided in the fiat world for centuries.”

>> Bitcoin Dominance at 70%: BTC Surges Amid Economic Uncertainty

In March, BlockFi unveiled a savings account that promises as much as 6.2% in annual returns and has since gathered about $250 million in assets. The two-year-old company also offers crypto-backed loans, allowing clients to deposit a minimum of $20,000 in digital currency in exchange for fiat loans.

BlockFi has come under some controversy in recent months, mostly due to the advertised interest rate on its deposit accounts. The company claims to offer 6.2% annual interest on deposits; however, due to the product’s terms of service, the company can modify this at its discretion.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © stevanovicigor

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Ethereum Dev Indicted By Grand Jury Over North Korea Appearance

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Ethereum

Ethereum

Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith has been indicted by a grand jury for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) after speaking at a cryptocurrency conference hosted by the North Korean government last April.

Griffith was initially arrested on Thanksgiving at Los Angeles Internation Airport after FBI Special Agent Brandon M. Cavanaugh alleged that the Ethereum dev had breached the IEEPA in traveling to North Korea without authorization and providing knowledge on how the country can utilize blockchain technology to launder money and evade sanctions. The case was then brought before a court in the Southern District of New York, which heard that Griffith had sought and been denied approval to travel to North Korea.

“Despite receiving warnings not to go, Griffith allegedly traveled to one of the United States’ foremost adversaries, North Korea, where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions,” John Demers, an assistant attorney general for national security, said during a court hearing in November. The court also heard that Griffith attempted to evade US legal requirements during the course of his actions.

Griffith has been employed by The Ethereum Foundation since 2016 as a research scientist, with his work particularly focusing on whether Etherteum is compliant with Sharia Law. His decision to travel to North Korea has been defended by Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who said it was an “admirable” move and that he didn’t believe Griffith had provided the authoritarian regime with “any kind of real help in doing anything bad.”

>> BlockFi Includes Litecoin and USDC in Lending Portfolio

After initially being denied, Griffith was subsequently granted bail on a bond of $1 million USD, which, as of yet, has not been posted. Griffith’s lawyer also stated that he has been suspended by The Ethereum Foundation, despite Buterin’s support. If found guilty, Griffith faces up to 20 years in jail, with the US Attorney’s Office also demanding that he hand over any property or money obtained as payment for his appearance in North Korea.

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