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Estonian central bank to conduct digital currency research

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The Estonian central bank, Eesti Pank, announced the launch of a research program to study how to build a digital currency infrastructure.

According to a statement, Eesti Pank partnered with technology companies SW7 Group and Guardtime for the research project. It aims to see if a keyless signature infrastructure (KSI) blockchain solution can run its virtual currency program. Estonia already uses KSI blockchain technology for its e-government services. The bank’s project will also look into new payment solutions “that can be made possible by using electronic IDs and other Estonian e-government solutions.”

The project, however, will not specify which technologies should be used.

The project will consist of several phases and will last about two years. The first phase will study how to build a scalable, practical, and secure platform that meets the requirements of digital funds. At the same time, the platform also needs to tick the boxes of speed, security, privacy, and resilience.

Rainer Olt, head of the bank’s Payment Systems Department, said:

“As a small central bank, Eesti Pank carefully chooses which development projects of euro area central banks we can make a meaningful contribution to. Over the years, Estonia has developed unique know-how on how to maintain a secure, private and efficient e-government. Estonia’s unique wealth of experience provides a good impetus to launch a project with technology companies SW7 and Guardtime to explore technological opportunities. The latter is Estonia’s long-term cooperation partner in the field of the blockchain and a complete top in the world in its field.”

The bank stressed that they are continually striving to develop the financial environment and their payment system to keep pace with the times and meet the needs of citizens.

Estonia has been leaning towards blockchain technology though its e-residency program recently came under fire when e-residents were linked to scams.

Last month, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde explained that adopting the digital euro does not mean dispensing with the fiat.



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Tiger King star and convicted animal abuser to launch NFT from prison

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The nonfungible token industry isn’t over yet as “The Tiger King” star Joe Exotic is set to launch his own NFT drop from prison with some external assistance.

New York-founded cryptocurrency club More announced Tuesday its foray into the celebrity NFT space with an auction on behalf of former zoo operator and TV star Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, known professionally as Joe Exotic.

With support of Rozenfeld Meyer & Susman’ entertainment attorney Brad Small, the convicted animal abuser plans to sell some of his belongings alongside digital items and tokens from a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. The physical items include Maldonado-Passage’s favorite pistol and holster, jackets commonly worn on the “Tiger King” series, and authentic audio recordings from prison.

Starting this Friday, the public can bid on “The Tiger King” NFT auction hosted on major NFT marketplace Mintable. The auction winners will acquire physical items with authentication papers as well as 3D digital models of each tangible collectible.

The Tiger King was convicted on multiple felony counts, among them murder-for-hire and violating laws protecting endangered species. Maldonado-Passage killed five tigers to make room for other cats at his petting zoo in Oklahoma. He was also convicted for soliciting two hitmen to kill his sworn enemy and animal sanctuary owner Carole Baskin. 

According to National Geographic, Maldonado-Passage even attempted to broker the illegal sale of lion cubs on the telephone as he was awaiting trial in Grady County Jail. 

Maldonado-Passage views the NFT drop as a chance to give back to his loyal fan base. “It’s great to have a voice via blockchain technology and I’m honored to be the first to kickoff MORE’s celebrity NFTs,” he said, adding, “Whether you love me or hate me for what you think I’ve done, there’s no doubt that everyone wants a piece of The Tiger King!”

More CEO and founder Peter Klamka said that the initiative will help the firm to drive the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology, noting that the NFT industry provides people with access to authentic unique goods that they would otherwise not be able to access. “There’s no better way to engage the mainstream in blockchain technology than to tie in familiar faces and names,” Klamka noted.

 More did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.