Sanya, in Hainan Province, could be transformed through a new partnership, between Chinese corporate monolith Ping An and the local municipal government, that says it aims to develop a new "Smart City". Photo: iStock

China gets first blockchain-based ‘smart city’: Cities, they used to say in California in the 1980s, were built on rock ‘n’ roll. Now, in China, they are built on the blockchain. According to local media reports, a new partnership between Chinese corporate monolith Ping An and the Sanya municipal government, will see the development of a Smart City in Hainan. With blockchain, biometrics and other advanced tech on the agenda, it furthers China’s perhaps dystopian ideas of urban social control which can be helped by blockchain. Hainan Island is being touted as China’s next free economic zone, to rival the likes of Hong Kong.

Hello? Hello? Blockchain calling: While blockchain has been eagerly applied to many different industries, a collaboration between IBM and Spanish telecoms operator Telefónica is a new and unique move. The project tracks, in real time, the certainty and traceability of each international call and its origin, destination and duration on a decentralized platform to which all the operators in the chain have authorized access. It will aim to build a trustworthy network of operators, service providers and vendors, looking at ways of improving data consumption and storage, authentication processes, and cloud computing. Asian telecoms groups are said to be looking at the space as well.

New Korean blockchain payment system launched: A new partnership between messaging giant Kakao, the nation’s largest mobile messenger app operator, and stable coin Terra, which runs on an e-commerce platform and says it is building “borderless money exchange networks”, will see the development of a blockchain payment system, according to a report in The Korea Times. Terra seeks to address cryptocurrency price volatility to enable everyday payments while Kakao offers messenger services to an estimated 96% of Korean smartphone users and runs a blockchain subsidiary, Ground X.

World’s first blockchain election held in Thailand: In what is being reported by local media as a world’s first, the Thai Democrat Party used Zcoin to power a blockchain-based e-voting system. The Thai Democrat Party, the country’s oldest political party, used the blockchain system to take 127,479 votes in a primary election to elect its new party leader. The electronic voting took place via voting stations nationwide using a Raspberry Pi based system and a mobile voting app called “D-Elect” requiring voters to submit their photo ID. However experts are warning that blockchain is not the solution to fixing broken electoral systems.

Bitcoin at one year low as Asian crypto-linked stocks fall: When it rains, it pours. More bad news for investors as Asian crypto-linked stocks tanked along with Bitcoin. Bloomberg reported that Monex Group Inc, owner of Japanese exchange Coincheck, and SBI Holdings Inc, dropped 2 percent in Tokyo. In Seoul, Vidente Co. and Omnitel Inc. dropped 4 percent. But spare a thought for holders of Bitcoin, who saw a 15 percent drop during US trading hours. The drop is thought to be related to a split in Bitcoin Cash that will see a new version of the coin, in a fight dubbed “Satoshi vs. Bitcoin Jesus”.

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