PwC Luxembourg to Start Accepting Bitcoin from October 2019

PwC Luxembourg, a subsidiary of the world’s second-largest professional services firm, will start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments from Oct. 1.

The Luxembourg branch of the “Big Four” auditing firm announced the initiative in a news release on Sept. 2, claiming the move shows its commitment to comply with the needs of clients as well as support the growing national crypto ecosystem.

In the announcement, PwC Luxembourg expressed confidence in Bitcoin, calling it the “first peer-to-peer payment mechanism that cannot be compromised and is based on a decentralised trust model.”

The company said it is aware of the existing shortcomings of cryptocurrencies and the challenges associated with its adoption. PwC Luxembourg added that it has partnered with an unnamed, regulated local exchange in order to provide the best experience. It wrote:

“The Firm acknowledges the challenges of this move and has carefully reviewed its internal policies and procedures to meet the standards required by the crypto industry and closely collaborated with a local regulated exchange to provide the best payment experience.”

PwC Luxembourg’s move to accept crypto payments stems from the positive stance to the industry by its parent company, PwC. In June, PwC announced the release of Halo, a crypto auditing software solution enabling the firm to provide independent evidence of private-public key pairing and collect data about transactions and balances from blockchains.

Earlier this year, Cointelegraph reported that PwC is the biggest recruiter for blockchain-related jobs on recruitment platform Indeed. In a recent news release, PwC said that it has more than 400 staff working on blockchain and crypto initiatives supported by more than 100 technical team members. (Positive)

Huobi Launches Low-Cost Blockchain Phone With Built-in Crypto Wallet

On September 3, Huobi Global announced the launch of the “Acute Angle” blockchain phone for $515. The Acute Angle is made by Whole Network, a startup that Huobi invested in. Also announced today, Whole Network’s NODE token will be listed on Huobi Prime. Running against competitors like Sirin Labs’ $1,000 “Finney” phone, the Whole Network device can be purchased with Huobi’s native token, HT, for roughly half the price.

Based on Android’s operating system, Acute Angle is currently available in China with a Q4 2019 launch planned for Southeast Asia. Dates for the U.S. and European rollout have not yet been given.

In a statement, Huobi Global CEO Livio Weng said blockchain-based phones have a bright future:

“We think blockchain phones are a promising area for future blockchain industry development. As the industry develops and as innovations like 5G become increasingly integrated into our telecommunications systems, we believe more and more crypto communities will want to trade and transact from mobile devices.”

Acute Angle includes built-in crypto-ready features like push trade notifications, a dapp wallet, an optional cold-wallet plugin and the NODE native token.

Acute Angle is the first in a future lineup of blockchain-based phones from Whole Network, Huobi said, with plans for 5G capability for future phones promised. (Positive)

Franklin Templeton Proposes Tokenized Government Money Market Fund on Blockchain

Franklin Templeton Investments, a global investment fund with nearly $700B in assets under management, has filed a preliminary prospectus with the SEC for a government money market fund whose shares will be tokenized on the Stellar network.

The fund invests at least 99.5% of its assets under management in government securities, cash, and repurchase agreements that are fully collateralized by government securities or cash. Additionally, it will also make investments in “blockchain-based shares” but not cryptocurrencies.

Franklin Templeton states that it “believes that blockchain technologies have the possibility to knit traditional asset management products and services closer to transactional payments” and that “a registered money market fund that is backed by hard assets and registered with the SEC under the Investment Company Act of 1940, with its shares existing as native digital assets on a blockchain and held in a digital wallet, can be an ideal stable digital asset to be used in the new economy. “

Moreover, Franklin Templeton will also develop a mobile app which will be available in the Apple App Store and Google Play enabling investors to purchase and redeem the tokenized shares on the government money market fund directly from the firm and also monitor the balance of the shares on the public Stellar blockchain. (Positive)