Late last week, a major multinational telecommunications conglomerate announced it is the first major mobile carrier to accept online bill payments from customers in cryptocurrency through its deal with BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment processor. Also at the end of last week, a global consulting firm struck a deal to build a blockchain-based platform with Blockchain Wine Pte. Ltd. that will leverage the firm's OpsChain Solution for tracking the authenticity, quality and provenance of vintage wines. On the high seas, a recent report announced that the world's second- and fourth-largest container shipping companies are joining TradeLens to digitize maritime shipping. According to reports, paperwork accounts for 20% of the cost of shipping a container from one place to another, and by adding these two players to its platform, TradeLens will now track nearly half of all cargo being shipped by sea.

According to media outlets, three of the largest banks in Ireland are collaborating on a pilot with a major consulting firm to provide bank employees with digital wallets that hold their educational and regulatory credentials, which can be verified and tracked using blockchain technology to facilitate compliance. In other news, a leading cloud-based software provider recently released a blockchain product that enhances its CRM services. The tech giant reportedly has three clients already testing the product in different verticals. Another development of note this week emerged from the University of Surrey, which is using computer vision and a proof-of-authority blockchain to develop a solution for securing national digital video archives worldwide.

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