Chinese city launches cryptocurrency lottery, gives away digital coins to promote adoption

The Chinese city of Shenzhen will become a testing ground for a new sovereign cryptocurrency with residents issued millions in the digital coin for free. 

As reported by the South China Morning Post, citizens have been able to enter a lottery to receive the digital funds, of which coins worth 10 million yuan ($1.47 million) will be awarded to promote their use in roughly 3,400 designated stores in the Luohu district. 

The 50,000 “red packets” will each contain roughly $30 in cryptocurrency. Chinese citizens living in Shenzhen have been able to apply via iShenzhen, a blockchain-based and government-operated network that backs the new sovereign asset. 

See also: IRS offers grants for software to trace privacy-focused cryptocurrency trades

Digital Renminbi, an official state app, can be used to create an e-wallet to store and exchange the cryptocurrency. The gift amounts can only be used until October 18 and cannot be transferred to traditional bank accounts. If the coins are not used, they will be taken back. 

The scheme is considered a pilot for the digital yuan, also known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). 

CNET: Huawei ban timeline: UK says there’s ‘clear evidence of collusion’ between Huawei and China

By airdropping this vast amount and encouraging residents to spend their funds in a short time, China will be able to test the transactional capacity and reliability of the DCEP system, while also isolating the trial from traditional payment methods and accounts. 

Many cryptocurrencies currently in circulation are decentralized, which means that there is no central backing — loosening control in comparison to traditional fiat currency, but also increasing the likelihood of market fluctuations. 

However, China’s sovereign virtual coin is backed by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which means the coin should be considered less of a standard cryptocurrency, and more

Fact check: Website uses false recommendations from TV personality Deborah Meaden to promote bitcoin scheme

A website has used fabricated recommendations from businesswoman and television personality Deborah Meaden to promote a bitcoin investment.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

An article on the website claims that Meaden announced on ITV This Morning that she made £11.5 million using a bitcoin scheme (tinyurl.com/y4qku2rr) .

The piece claims that during the live interview, co-host Holly Willoughby was given £190 to invest in the system. The website features a photograph of her jaw dropping “as she began making a real profit” on live television.

However, the image actually shows Willoughby reacting as a viewer explained how he took “revenge on a cheating boyfriend.” (A Hilariously Naughty Tale Of Revenge Shocks Holly And Phillip | This Morning) .

The image that purportedly shows Meaden during the interview with This Morning has been taken from an episode of Dragons’ Den (here) .

On her website, Meaden confirmed that the claims made by the website are false: “There are several websites and internet/social media articles claiming that investments have been made in one or more bitcoin trading platforms (including Bitcoin Trader). These claims are entirely false and I have made no such investment(s) and have no such association(s)” (here) .

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud run by the City of London Police, has warned the public not to assume such websites are authentic as criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate (here) .

It said that people shouldn’t be rushed into making decisions, and that anyone thinking about making an investment should seek impartial advice from an independent financial adviser.

VERDICT

False. The quotes used on the website are fabricated and are used to promote a bitcoin scheme.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more

Twitter will add transcriptions for voice tweets to promote accessibility

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Twitter is working on adding transcriptions to voice tweets.


Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter said it’s working on adding transcriptions to voice tweets in order to make the feature, which it began testing in the summer, more accessible. This comes after many criticized the social media platform for not taking all users’ needs into consideration before the release.

“We’re rolling out voice Tweets to more of you on iOS so we can keep learning about how people use audio,” the company said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Since introducing the feature in June, we’ve taken your feedback seriously and are working to have transcription available to make voice Tweets more accessible.”

When Twitter first rolled out voice tweets, many took to the platform to voice their concerns about the company not making the feature accessible to people with disabilities.

“We’re sorry about testing voice Tweets without support for people who are visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing,” the company tweeted in June. “It was a miss to introduce this experiment without this support. Accessibility should not be an afterthought.” 

At the time, Twitter added it had “fixed several issues related to vision accessibility, including making voice Tweets identifiable on the timeline and making accessibility improvements to the voice Tweet experience.” The company also mentioned then that it was looking into ways to support manual and auto transcriptions.

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