4.25.19 Your morning briefing

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Blockchain trade
China has taken an adversarial posture toward cryptocurrency, but is aggressively moving ahead with a blockchain-based cross-border trade finance platform.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange will test the blockchain, which is designed to replace the mostly paper-based system that manages import and export payments, reports a Google translation of a report in CNStock, a local news site in China.

Other parties in the project include the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, which is an affiliate of the People's Bank of China. China's government also recently began supporting blockchain-based charitable payments, and a limited blockchain-based payment system has existed between Hong Kong, Macau and the Chinese mainland for about a year.
Token of appreciation
Brave's web browser has added a rewards program that gives users who opt in to ads a 70% cut of the ad's revenue through crypto tokens.

The service is primarily geared toward content creators and donations, but will soon extend to gift cards and restaurant vouchers, reports Engadget, adding Vice and Home Chef are among the early adopters.

Brave's model is to block tracking and replace individually targeted web ads with ads based on Brave's own analysis of its user base in aggregate.

Tap in
Companies are trying a variety of strategies, such as stable coins and currency outside the point of sale, to lure consumers and merchants to cryptocurrency payments, which have lagged other uses of crypto such as investing.

U.K fintech Tap n Go has launched a crypto wallet, which uses a Tap Card powered by Global Processing Services, enabling users to convert cryptocurrency to traditional money.

The service also includes security measures common in payment cards, such a locking the card when not in use, turning off certain transactions and pairing it with location-based technology.

Bitcoin laundering
New York has won its first cryptocurrency laundering conviction, involving the sale of controlled substances over the internet.

Callaway Crain and Mark Sanchez, both 35, sold steroids and other drugs and accepted about $2.8 million in cryptocurrency and traditional money, reports Coindesk.

The defendants, which face up to 7.5 years in prison, laundered the funds through "intermediary" wallets to hide the source, then converted the bitcoin to U.S. dollars using a cryptocurrency exchange.

From the Web

BMO Partners with Mastercard to Accelerate Global Payments
Yahoo Finance | Wed April 24, 2019 - Mastercard and BMO Bank of Montreal today announced that BMO will implement Mastercard Send to deliver faster, more cost-effective and transparent international payment services to its Canadian-based business and commercial banking clients.

Samsung Invests $2.9 Million in Crypto Hardware Startup Ledger
CoinDesk | Wed April 24, 2019 - South Korean technology giant Samsung has invested 2.6 million euros ($2.9 million) into crypto hardware startup Ledger. A spokesperson for Ledger confirmed that Samsung backed the startup but could not confirm further details.

KeyBank Launches "Tap and Go" Credit and Debit Cards
Yahoo Finance | Wed April 24, 2019 - KeyBank announced the launch of KeyBank Mastercard contactless credit and debit cards, in partnership with Mastercard and FIS. The new cards—now in issuance—allow clients to make in-store purchases at the speed of a single tap, while providing secure dynamic encryption during the buying process.

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