Ripple is rolling out an initiative dubbed Xpring to help expand the use of its XRP digital currency, TechCrunch reported. Through a combination of grants, investment and incubation, Ripple hopes to encourage startups to build an ecosystem around XRP.
“The goal is to support businesses that we believe would see benefit from building upon the XRP ledger,” Ripple SVP of Business Operations Eric van Miltenburg told TechCrunch. “We’re focused on proven entrepreneurs who can use the ledger and XRP to really address their customers’ problems.”
And taxpayers in a Florida county can now pay for their taxes in bitcoin and bitcoin cash, Coindesk reported. The cryptocurrencies will be accepted for payments involving titles, property tax, automobile tags, drivers licenses and ID cards. Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg said he made the decision to accept the digital currencies to streamline tax collection.
“The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century — and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options,” Greenberg said in a statement.
In other news, SAP is looking to use blockchain technology for agricultural supply chains through a Farm to Consumer initiative, Coindesk reported. Naturipe Farms, Johnsonville and Maple Leaf are also working as collaborators on the project.
“The Farm to Consumer project perfectly showcases a common pattern we see in many of our blockchain projects,” Torsten Zube, SAP's blockchain lead, wrote in a blog post on Monday (May 14). “Cross-company collaboration along complex value chains for which the technology can remove abundant process steps and friction, and establish automated trust.”
In other news, JPMorgan is bullish on AMD as New York heads into “Blockchain Week,” CNBC reported. JPMorgan Equity Derivatives Strategist Shawn Quigg said that AMD’s shares have risen approximately 15 percent on average in the month following the conference over the past three years.
“We like the reward-risk of owning upside in AMD given its historical returns following the summit, cheap implied volatility and high short interest, which could add a short-squeeze component to the trade,” Quigg said.
And HSBC said it has made a landmark transaction using the blockchain, CNBC reported. The bank provided a letter of credit for Cargill for a transaction involving a shipment of soybeans from South America to Asia.