South Africa’s first legal online rhino horn auction totally failed


Private rhino horn owner John Hume, held South Africa’s first online rhino horn auction during 2017, a major event in the ongoing fight by private rhino owners to be able to sell legal horn stocks. However, in a statement released on Hume’s behalf it was admitted that there were very few bidders for the 264 horns. The auctions result is a setback to achieve a legal, commercial trade in horn to replace poached horn in supplying demand in the main markets. Hume’s official statement tried to put a brave face on it, saying he had triumphed and that a legal and sustainable supply has been established. He…

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Police bust potential Bitcoin money laundering scheme in Brazil


Brazilian police have arrested a man on suspicion that he was running a drug trafficking ring and laundering funds using Bitcoin. According to a local report, law enforcement officials found a clandestine drug laboratory containing Bitcoin mining equipment in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, and arrested the unnamed man yesterday. In the flat, located in the city’s southern quarter, police found equipment valued at approximately $63,000 (R$ 250,000). All 25 devices were switched on, according to police, and seemingly functioned 24 hours a day. The equipment was found in a small room with little ventilation. Local reports say the man claimed…

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First quarter 2019 crypto roundup: How did Litecoin perform?


Litecoin (LTC) was created back in 2011 as one of the earliest forks of the cryptocurrency OG, Bitcoin. Like many other blockchain and cryptocurrency projects promise, Litecoin was developed with the intention of improving on Bitcoin by offering a cryptocurrency better suited to high volume, low value, everyday transactions. This supposed “lite” cryptocurrency has a block time that’s about 25-percent less than Bitcoin’s. In theory, it should process and validate transactions quicker than Bitcoin. Despite sounding like it solves many of the issues that plague Bitcoin, Litecoin has not reached the same market cap as its parent coin. That said,…

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Hands-on: OPPO’s Reno pizza-slice selfie camera is slow, but delicious


OPPO – the Chinese smartphone manufacturer – has a history of trying to straight-up murder the notch. Its Find X device introduced a slide system, but, with the brand new Reno, it has something different in mind: the pizza-slice selfie camera. We attended the phone’s launch in Zurich and were able to get our hands on the Reno for a day or so. Before we dive in though, it’s important to note this is an engineering version, not the final bit of hardware. So, this piece is more of an overview of the Reno, not an in-depth review. That, friends, will…

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Q2 Digital Statshot 2019: TikTok peaks, Snapchat grows, and we can’t stop talking


It’s only been three months since I published our first round of Digital 2019 reports here on TNW, but our new Q2 Global Digital Statshot – produced in partnership with We Are Social and Hootsuite – shows that the connected world has already changed considerably during that time. You’ll find all the latest charts in the SlideShare embed below, but read on for my analysis of all the key trends. Highlights this quarter include some surprise numbers for Instagram and Snapchat, a new entry in our ranking of the world’s top social media platforms, and a closer look at what’s really…

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This ad agency is creating fake worlds to sell real products


I’m sitting at my laptop. The year is 2019, but the website I’m visiting feels oddly out of this time. It could’ve been built in the early days of the internet – or in a dystopian future where humans are desperately trying to resuscitate our once-thriving digital culture. The design is minimalistic – mostly black and white, with every shade of grey in between. Whenever I move my cursor, the site responds with a menacing synthetic sound, resembling the tonality of a broken theremin from the early 1900s. “Who built this thing?,” I ask myself, as I seek clues about…

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JD.com says putting chickens on the blockchain was great for business


China’s popular online retailer JD.com says sales of free-range chickens have doubled in the past two years, and blockchain technology has played a key role. Its initiative for putting chickens on the blockchain, called “Running Chicken,” sees professional breeders hired by JD.com to tend to chickens. Local farmers are also offered part-time jobs growing vegetables, fruit, and grain, as well as interest-free loans to spur growth. JD.com has tracked free-range chickens using distributed ledger technology (DLT) since early 2018. This allowed customers to scan labels with smartphones to access detailed supply chain information, including diet, rearing process, and origin. The system is designed…

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