A press release issued this week announced the successful completion of an automated invoice payment using the Ethereum blockchain. The transaction involved an Icelandic retailer that purchased goods from a major global retailer using an electronic invoice, which was represented as an ERC20 token on Ethereum. Upon receipt of the "e-invoice," a preauthorized payment was then executed using a smart contract that triggered an Ethereum-based payment of a digital version of the Icelandic Krona that qualifies as "e-money" under Icelandic law.

Another announcement this week provided details on a strategic partnership between a global athletic brand and a blockchain engineering firm to combat counterfeiting by tracking and authenticating sneakers using the Cardano blockchain. According to another report published this week, one of the largest pharmaceutical and life sciences companies in the world has entered into a letter of intent with an affiliate of a major global e-commerce firm to explore the use of blockchain for agricultural product monitoring.

In a final notable development, this week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release announcing a contract award to an Austrian firm to develop "blockchain security technology." The award is part of an initiative to explore the use of blockchain "to issue credentials digitally to enhance security, ensure interoperability, and prevent forgery and counterfeiting."

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