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Shinhan Bank Unveils

The oldest and second biggest banking institution, Shinhan Bank, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, has adopted blockchain authentication technology for non-face-to-face loans in order to accelerate the loan approval process. The institution, owned by Shinhan Financial Group, announced that it has launched an effective system which validates the documents needed for non-facing loan business in the country by applying blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

The system aims at increasing cost and time efficiencies taking place during the lending exercise, so as to enable the customers to apply for any amount of loan they want via online and achieve their financial credits minus face-to-face (physical) interaction. And this is the first ever blockchain-powered project in Korea, used to manage financial loans.

The country recently revisited its digital currency and initial coin offerings (ICOs) policies, after getting alerts from the financial watchdogs that companies are circumventing ICO ban by taking their business outside Korea.

Tezos Blockchain Activates

The Tezos blockchain has officially been upgraded.

In a first for Tezos, two separate backwards-incompatible changes have been activated on the network after three months of on-chain voting by stakeholders. The Tezos self-amendment process which began for this first time back in February came to a close late Wednesday with the successful activation of an upgrade proposal, dubbed Athens A, just after 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Proposed by a Tezos developer group called Nomadic Labs, Athens A reduces the minimum amount of tokens called rolls required for a user to become a baker on the network from 10,000 XTZ to 8,000 XTZ. Bakers are the equivalent to miners on a proof-of-work blockchain and are tasked with responsibilities such as verifying transactions and creating new blocks.

“The reduction will result in a bigger amount of XTZ staked,” emphasized CMO of Everstake – a staking-as-a-service provider on Tezos – Alexandr Kerya to CoinDesk. “Now if a baker has 16k, only 10k is staking while after the upgrade the baker will have 2 rolls engaged in staking. There will be fewer ‘leftovers’ so to speak which is particularly important for small bakers.”

Athens A additionally increases computation limits on Tezos blocks to allow for larger transaction throughput.

AT&T Helps South Carolina

AT&T Business Provides Fiber-based Services to Enable Connectivity and Networking for Public Schools

The State of South Carolina Department of Administration (Admin), through a competitive procurement selection process, awarded AT&T* a contract to provide data transport services for 82 public school districts in the state, covering more than 730,000 students.
AT&T and Segra collaborated to provide Ethernet Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connectivity to approximately 1,200 schools and libraries statewide to increase network capacity and offer faster speeds.
“The organizations that make up the K-12 School Technology Initiative all strive to ensure that public school students in South Carolina – regardless of location or background – are afforded the technology, infrastructure and educational content necessary to be successful in today’s highly competitive, data-driven marketplace,” said South Carolina CIO Keith Osman. “AT&T and Segra have proven their commitment to the K-12 data network by providing a highly-secure and reliable Ethernet network, cost effective rates, and tremendous support for the end users in our schools and libraries.”

AT&T has worked with the State of South Carolina on its technology initiatives in education for more than 20 years with the shared goal of advancing student learning. Maintaining a high-functioning network requires robust and aggressive application of network and data standards. With this new contract, Admin can rely on AT&T to not only provide the Ethernet network, but also the option of installing and managing routers at each site. This lets schools and libraries focus on their core educational roles while offloading the technical work to AT&T.
“As education institutions deliver content online and drive smart, connected campuses, networks need to keep up — in scale and accessibility. Keeping pace requires innovation and flexibility,” said Jane Sosebee, President, AT&T South Carolina. “South Carolina’s leaders understand the commitment needed to ensure crucial resources are available for students and educators. And, we’re happy to help them achieve their educational and technology goals today and into the future.”