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Alipay in three seconds
A three-second blockchain powered remittance has been completed between Hong Kong and the Philippines, according to a social media post from Jack Ma, the billionaire who controls Ant Financial and Alipay.

The parties were AlipayHK and GCash, a Filipino payment app. Ma intends to export the model globally, noting there are about 1.7 billion unbanked people in the world. Cross-border remittance via blockchain has been one of his most important projects over the past six months, Ma said.

Ant has been acquiring payment companies in the region over the past few years to support a broader transaction network.

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma
Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma Bloomberg News

Former GoDaddy VPs go to blockchain
Marek Olszewski and Rene Reinsberg have launched Celo, a blockchain platform to support text-based mobile payments.

Celo will use a distributed ledger to allow mobile phone numbers to connect to encryption keys, reports Nulltx, which adds Celo will develop a stablecoin to combat volatility for payment terms.

Olszewski and Reinsberg were vice presidents at GoDaddy, where they worked with small businesses and restaurants on web strategies.

More gloom for Europe
Not only are payment systems suffering glitches in Europe, but merchants are recording a high payment crime rate.

One in four European merchants in the retail, travel and hospitality and digital goods markets say they have been victimized by data theft, and 61% say they are at greater risk today than last year at this time, reports Ovum and ACI.

But fraud's not the only problem. Three in five merchants said lost sales in digital channels are a bigger concern than fraud.

Utility for miners
Bitcoin mining's impact on the electrical grid is a widespread concern, prompting myriad solutions.

Hydro-Quebec, a public utility, has submitted plans to the government for a framework to mitigate the impact of bitcoin mining, reports Coindesk.

If approved, the utility would set aside 500 megawatts to crypto miners. Miners would apply to the utility for selection, based on the project's positive impact on Quebec.

From the Web

Citi joins chatbot arms race, unveils Facebook messenger tie-up that will launch later this year
South China Morning Post | Mon June 25, 2018 - Hongkongers will soon be able to check their bank account balance and recent transactions via Facebook Messenger, as the US banking giant Citi plans to launch its smart chatbot in the city by the end of 2018, according to its head of digital banking Priscilla Ng.

Fears grow over security of private data
The Times | Mon June 25, 2018 - People are increasingly concerned about the safety of their data that is held by private companies, a study has found. A survey for Three’s Connected Ireland Report for the second quarter of 2018, conducted by Amárach Research among 1,000 smartphone users throughout Ireland, found that 72 percent of people were worried about the safety of their personal information which is held by private firms.

The reason thousands of Swedish people are inserting microchips into themselves
Yahoo Finance | Mon June 25, 2018 - Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards, and even rail cards, into their bodies. Once the chip is underneath your skin, there is no longer any need to worry about misplacing a card or carrying a heavy wallet.

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