GE Transportation, a global supplier of railroad, mining, marine, drilling, and energy generation equipment, announced that it joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) in a press release published March 1. The trade association consists of more than 230 participants including UPS, FedEx, Penske Logistics, and Warren Buffet’s BNSF Railway, with a collective revenue exceeding $1 trillion, according to the GE Transportation blog post. According to their website, BiTA formed in 2017 to implement and develop Blockchain technology in the transport and logistics industries. Craig Fuller, Managing Director of BiTA noted that GE Transportation has always been “on the forefront of technology,” adding that the association is glad GE will be an active participant “helping to lead the blockchain framework for the industry.” Chicago-based GE Transportation is a division of the US multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE). According to Monica Caldas, Chief Information Officer for GE Transportation, a “[d]igital Industrial leader” should first apply advanced technologies internally to boost productivity and then “apply those learnings for our customers’ benefit as well.”
Germany-headquartered car manufacturing giant Daimler AG, famous for its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, presented its own Blockchain-based digital currency MobiCoin at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported on March 5. The project, which started in February 2018, was created to reward drivers for environmentally-friendly driving habits, i.e. smooth and safe driving at low speeds. The project will be in its testing phase for the next three months, during which 500 drivers who follow eco-friendly driving practices will be rewarded with MobiCoins. According to Cointelegraph auf Deutsch, data from the vehicles will be transmitted to Daimler and converted into MobiCoins, which will be stored in a mobile app. Participants with the most MobiCoins will reportedly receive VIP tickets for events such as the DTM Races, the MercedesCup Final, or Fashion Week in Berlin. However, it is not known whether drivers will be able to convert the MobiCoins to fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple — a US-based payment network and protocol company — spoke with Cointelegraph at the Blockchain Connect conference in San Francisco earlier this year about what problems Ripple can solve in the global marketplace, and the company’s approach to government regulation and traditional finance. Garlinghouse, a Harvard Business School graduate, previously worked at various positions at Yahoo!, including Senior Vice President, and AOL, where he was President of Consumer Applications. Garlinghouse has also served on the board of Ancestry.com, Tonic Health, and Animoto. Ripple, whose native currency is XRP, has partnered with over 100 companies and financial institutions to send money worldwide using Ripple’s Blockchain-based technology.
Following last month’s launch of the Venezuelan government-backed Petro coin, Cambodia is considering launching its own crypto project named Entapay, a press release for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Blockchain Summit reported March 2. The Blockchain Summit, which will be held in Phnom Penh on March 7, describes Entapay as a project based on the “quantum entanglement” of security and encryption, writing that it will use Blockchain technologies to create a fast and secure user experience. The press release compares the Entapay project directly with Venezuela’s Petro, which they classify as a digital currency that “assist[s] the country in avoiding the Western world’s economic sanctions – while providing a new channel of economic development for a country suffering from severe inflation.” A similar currency in Cambodia, the press release notes, could help the country take advantage of the Blockchain revolution.
Bitcoin’s sideways price action has led to the lowest number of confirmed transactions per day since March 2016, according to Blockchain.info. Data shows BTC transactions falling in line with downward trends in price since the all-time highs of December 2017. The number of transactions reached a two-year low on Feb. 26 with only 180,000 confirmed transactions, while Sunday, March 4 saw just 195,500. The slump comes at a time when Bitcoin struggles to regain the sky-high USD value it achieved late last year, when it reached $20,000 on some major exchanges. Despite the release of support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) technology by Bitcoin Core and exchanges Coinbase and Bitfinex in February, faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions appear to interest investors less than overall trading potential.