SendFriend, a remittance service that leverages Ripple's xRapid product, has announced a $1.7 million raise from institutional investors including Ripple, the Mastercard Foundation, MIT Media Lab and Barclays. SendFriend is focused on allowing users to send money to the Philippines with lower fees than traditional cross-border options, converting USD to XRP and then to Philippine pesos (PHP) quickly.
Ahead of announcing an official strategy for leveraging blockchain technology more widely, the German government has opened a process for receiving recommendations around the technology from local companies and industry groups. Germany is Europe's largest economy and Berlin is home to numerous blockchain startups. The solicited recommendations could lead to official legislative action in the near future.
ICOs emerged quickly as a popular model for crypto startups to raise funds, exposure and customer interest. But the world of ICOs took a nasty turn in 2018, with many projects that used the model unable to deliver on their promises to investors or turning out to be downright phony.
The group of technologists behind the NBA's Sacramento Kings mines ether at the Golden 1 Center arena where the basketball team plays. The team said that it uses profits from the mining operation to provide funding for the local community and it invites local students to see the rigs. The team also claims that the arena is the first sporting venue to accept bitcoin.