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Barclays Ends Partnership with Coinbase



Once hailed as the most prestigious banking relationship in crypto, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) has today decided that it is no longer working with Coinbase.

The relationship between the London-based banking giant and the crypto exchange began in March last year as Coinbase sought to expand into Europe. The aim of the deal was to make it easier for businesses in the UK that handle cryptocurrency to gain access to banking services. Currently, three-quarters of UK businesses that deal with cryptocurrency are forced to look overseas for banking options as the majority of major banks in the UK tend to stay clear of anything crypto-related.

Earlier this week, news emerged that Coinbase had dropped support for Zcash (ZEC).

Why has Barclays Walked Away?

While last year’s news that Coinbase had obtained a bank account with Barclays was greeted with some degree of fanfare, the bank’s appetite for risk has been sated of late. “It is my understanding that Barclays’ risk appetite has contracted a little – I’m not sure exactly why or what’s been driving that, maybe there has been some activity they are not happy with. But it’s about Barclays’ comfort level with crypto as a whole,” said one UK-based crypto CEO.

What Next for Coinbase?

It’s not all bad news for Coinbase, however, as the exchange was immediately picked up by ClearBank, one of the many “challenger banks” that has launched recently to compete with the market leaders. This partnership will allow Coinbase to restore its Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), which allows users to instantly withdraw and deposit pound sterling at the exchange. This will ensure minimal disruption for UK customers who used Coinbase via Barclays.

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What Does This Mean for the Crypto Market?

This news comes during a week that has seen faith in the security of cryptocurrencies vastly diminished. Following news that crypto criminals had defrauded over $4 billion in 2019, and another fraud scandal emerging from Veritaseum, Barclays decision to end its partnership with Coinbase is another blow of confidence in the security of cryptocurrencies.

Big banks are clearly keeping cryptocurrency at an arm’s length, but that hasn’t stopped large companies and venture capital funds from pouring money in, with company’s such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) recently announcing their own cryptocurrencies.

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Walmart Deploys Blockchain Technology | Things You Need to Know



Over the past few years, blockchain technology has become synonymous with cryptocurrencies, but it is important to note that the technology in itself has a wide variety of uses. Plenty of companies that have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies are now exploring ways in which to incorporate blockchain technology into operations. Walmart is one of those companies.

Important Update

In a new development, it has emerged that retail behemoth Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is now deploying blockchain technology in order to improve the system for food traceability. The whole system is based on proof of concept, and the company has tested the whole system twice.

The testing has been on done on two separate projects. The whole point of the use of such a system is to trace the origin of the food products that are being sold at Walmart. Considering the sheer size of Walmart’s operations, the use of such a system could prove to be a huge boost for the company. The first project was engaged in tracing the origins of all the variants of mangoes that were being sold in Walmart stores in the United States. The other one was to trace the source of pork that the company brings in from a range of Chinese outlets. Since the whole project is about food, traceability is a hugely important factor for the safety of the consumers.

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However, the company has now expanded the whole project significantly and the system, known as Walmart’s Hyperledger Fabric, run on blockchain, can now trace as many as 25 different products. Moreover, the system can trace it from as many as five different suppliers. Walmart had been trying to install a traceability system for years, but it had not been able to do so, and now it seems that blockchain technology has come to the company’s rescue. The company is now going to incorporate all of its vegetable suppliers into the new system.

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Walmart Submits Patent for Drone System Based On Blockchain



Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) has felt the convenience of blockchain and is not looking to back down soon judging from its latest patent application submission for a drone communication system anchored on blockchain technology. The patent application submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) early this month, dubbed “Cloning Drones Using Blockchain,” shows the retail giant’s commitment in adopting blockchain technology for most of its operations.

According to the details of the filing, the drone-based communication system codes and stores the drone’s crucial operational parameters in decentralized ledgers. The data can be accessed by other drones under the same network that will then decipher and configure the encryptions. Aside from relying on crucial information, the system allows the unmanned drones to know each other’s exact location at every particular moment of flight.

Unmanned Aerial Delivery

Note that the latest patent filing is not the company’s first attempt in blockchain technology, particularly in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Walmart’s venture into blockchain technology began back in 2017 when it filed a patent for an “Unmanned Aerial Delivery to Secure Location.” The package delivery system will enable drones to share information relating to flight routes, Identification numbers, Speed, battery information, flight heights, and loading capacity, among other details. According to the filing, the system will be popular for safeguarding data integrity, considering that information stored on blockchain decentralized ledgers are incorruptible.

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Walmart-IBM Partnership

Additionally, Walmart partnered with American tech titan IBM (NYSE:IBM) for a blockchain-based deliveries tracking system. The futuristic system has since been adopted by the US Food and Drug Administration in the tracking of prescription drugs. Merck and KPMG are also interested in the system. The system that was initially designed to identify and flag recalled foods is already being used to track meat deliveries in China and in the US.

Like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Walmart is also interested in having its own cryptocurrency and has already submitted another patent for this.

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