Italy's Economic Development Ministry Releases List of 30 Blockchain Experts

  • Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development recently published a list of 30 crypto experts.
  • The experts will reportedly help the European nation in formulating a comprehensive blockchain for business strategy.

Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development recently published a list of 30 crypto experts that will reportedly help the European nation in formulating a comprehensive blockchain for business strategy.

The Italian government’s list includes qualified computer science and legal experts, academic research specialists, and business professionals with expertise in developing blockchain-based solutions. Notable individuals mentioned in the extensive list include Monaco Marco, the leader of blockchain development efforts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s branch in Italy, and Vitale Marco, the president of blockchain startup, Quadrans Foundation.

Focusing On Blockchain Development

Pimpinella Martino Maurizio, the president of the Italian Association of Paying Services Providers, and Angiolini Giorgio, a member of the United Nation INFO’s blockchain consortium and head of marketing at Italtel (an Italian telecom firm), were also included in the Italian ministry’s list of blockchain experts.

In September, Italy’s Economic Development ministry had requested members of the nation’s blockchain and crypto community to give high priority to spreading more awareness about the potential benefits of “distributed ledger technologies (DLT) ... as well as [encouraging further] public and private investments in this direction.”

In order to increase blockchain adoption in Italy, the group of experts identified by the nation’s ministry will reportedly be exploring potential use cases for DLT for the nation’s private and public industries. The group of blockchain professionals will also be developing appropriate regulatory and technical tools, which may be required by the country’s organizations when adopting blockchain-based solutions.

Artificial Intelligence And Blockchain Technology

Commenting on Italy’s blockchain strategy, in September, Luigi Di Maio, the country’s deputy prime minister, said:

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain are destined to radically change our lives, the society in which we live and the economic and productive fabric of the country. We have to decide which way to go.

Notably, the Italian government’s latest blockchain-related announcement has come just a few weeks after the nation’s senior ministers signed a joint declaration statement along with six other Southern EU member states. As covered, the joint agreement on cooperation regarding DLT-related developments was signed by Malta, Cyprus, France, Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Italy, and Spain in Brussels on December 4.

In a released joint-statement, the ministers from the countries formally agreed that the “digital sphere is an ideal policy area to embark on further cooperation … [and that they aim to make] Southern Europe a leader on emerging technologies, such as Distributed Ledger Technologies.”

Binance CEO Sues VC Firm Sequoia for Reputational Damages

Francisco Memoria

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange binance, has reportedly sued well-reputed venture capital firm Sequoia over reputational damages allegedly caused by a lawsuit the VC firm filed against Binance that was dismissed.

According to a filing submitted to the High Court in Hong Kong that was obtained by CoinDesk, Changpeng Zhao, referred to as CZ, claims Sequoia Capital China, a unit of Sequoia, significantly damaged his reputation and is looking for compensation.

This, according to the CEO, prevented him from raising money at a proper valuation for Binance. Sequoia reportedly damaged his reputation through a lawsuit filed in April of last year over a funding deal that went awry.

A hearing for the case is set to take place on June 25 between CZ and SCC Venture VI, a special purpose vehicle of Sequoia Capital China. An inquiry to determine whether Zhao “sustained any and what damages” is being demanded, over an injunction order Sequoia obtained in late 2017 that reportedly prevented CZ from raising funds in March of 2018.

Sequoia’s initial lawsuit was dismissed by the Hong Kong High Court, with the VC firm having to repay Binance the legal fees required for its legal representative.

In the filing, the CEO of Binance stated:

The injunction order has caused loss to me for which I am entitled to reasonable compensation by Sequoia. In particular, I have suffered i) a loss of chance to raise capital through successive rounds of financing at increasing high valuations; and ii) damage to my reputation.

Sequoia is notably seen as one of the most well-reputed venture capital firms focusing on tech startups, and available data shows it operates 22 funds across the globe and raised $15.3 billion so far.

Meanwhile, Binance has been going through a rough few weeks. The exchange was hacked for 7,000 BTC earlier this month, and considered rolling back the Bitcoin blockchain to recover the stolen funds, a move that saw him be heavily criticized on social media.

Binance recently published an extensive blog post recapping the incident that detailed hackers managed to control a number of Binance user accounts and structured large withdrawals from these. More recently, various users complained they lost funds after experiencing lag on the trading platform.