Could Uber be the first big company to accept Ethereum?

After a laborious nine-week search Uber’s management board has voted to appoint crypto-friendly Dara Khosrowshahi as their new chief executive – a potential win for Bitcoin Ethereum.

Under Dara’s 12 year run, Expedia was one of the first major organisations to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment (back in 2014) and subsequently legitimising it. So much so that both Microsoft and Dell followed suit shortly after. Dara is also a personal investor in Bitcoin startup 21 inc and has been an influential promoter of blockchain technology and its uses in real world projects.

With Bitcoin dominating the early days it made sense for Expedia to start accepting the cryptocurrency, however three years down the line it would seem Ethereum would be a better all round solution.

Bitcoin has also encountered a number of issues of late, many of which have stemmed from its slow confirmation times and increased transaction fee’s. With neither of these issues being appropriately addressed it is impossible to use this currency in any time critical use cases. Ethereum however with its lightening fast conformations (which are soon to get even faster) and low transaction fees would be a well equipped contender. It only takes around 15 seconds for a transaction to be confirmed on the Ethereum network making it easy to pay as you pop out of the cab, as opposed to Bitcoin which would require you to… well we’re not quite sure how that would work.

Rumours around Uber accepting cryptocurrencies have long circulated but until now they been nothing more than internet chatter, with Dara’s appointment however it may well become a reality. These are exciting times for the cryptosphere.

Will you be paying for your next uber with Ether?

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Storj partners with FileZilla

Atlanta-based Storj Labs announced today it has partnered with popular open source FTP client FileZilla to bring drag and drop file uploading to the masses.

FileZilla is one of the most popular FTP clients rocking around 100 million downloads per year, lightyears away from its high school project foundations.

Over the last couple of months Storj’s future looked far from bright with a prominent member of the team leaving the company, but in a recent blog post the firm made changes to the executive team which settled investors. Amidst the internal storm, the firm have quietly been developing a highly requested feature to bring drag and drop uploads to users, the partnership with FileZilla opens the distributed cloud storage that to an additional 15 million monthly users.

The feature is currently still in BETA testing but interested users can join the Storj community chat https://community.storj.io/ for access to the group.

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Handmade cosmetic brand Lush is now accepting Bitcoin

Fancy a long invigorating soak?

Handmade ethical cosmetics retailer Lush has recently started accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for online shoppers.

The retailer operates around 1,000 physical stores across 49 countries worldwide and has suggested its online adoption will likely influence its in store Bitcoin rollout.

Lush said in a statement that Bitcoin was introduced as part of their “wider strategy to delve into the Blockchain community and provide an ethical viewpoint on its possibilities”.

The firm claims that it would allow them to create more ways of working with a wider range of suppliers, some of whom are from developing countries. Providing an alternative method in these regions will open up new new markets and make transactions more transparent with little to no exchange rates or fees.

The Bitpay ecommerce solution has been utilised and will allow the platform to handle customers who wish to pay with Bitcoin.

Lush is headquartered in Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom. The company was founded by Mark Constantine, a trichologist and Liz Weir.

Lush is expected to make $1 billion in global sales by 2017.

So whether you would like to treat yourself to a long relaxing soak or just smell like a million bucks with Bitcoin, grab yourself one of the many awesome sounding bath bombs from: https://uk.lush.com/products/bath

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German bank adopts blockchain technology for Africa project

German state-owned development bank KfW has for the first time confirmed its use of Blockchain technology to improve transparency across its budgetary funds.

The bank is a running a pilot project in the African region on behalf of the The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) who will utilise Blockchain technology for greater transparency and auditing purposes.

The use of blockchain technology will allow the provider to create a fully auditable paper trail showing detailed plans of the work carried out, procurement, contracts, tenders and releasing funds for the project.

At this stage it does not appear that the bank is utilizing any of the more prominent open-source Blockchain technologies such as Ethereum and according to the press release have instead partnered with TruBudget, an independent software house who have developed their own blockchain implementation.

At this stage we have been unable to verify TruBudget’s internally developed blockchain (which somewhat defeats the purpose of transparency and openness).

The project hopes that the new technology will benefit the common good with schools, hospitals and other organisations receiving allocated funds in a transparent auditable manner as opposed to current systems that can lead to misuse, misallocation and terrorist funding.

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