The deal, which began in talks a few months ago and closed recently for an undisclosed sum, will see O3 Labs’ eight-person developer team integrate into Bitcoin.com’s 30-person engineering team, CEO Stefan Rust told CoinDesk.

Bitcoin.com has acquired Japanese blockchain developers O3 Labs and will absorb the team, the company announced Monday.

They will begin working on applications to support the bitcoin cash network. Bitcoin.com’s Executive Chairman Roger Ver, whose early bet on bitcoin and subsequent crypto evangelism earned him the nickname “bitcoin jesus”, is a major promoter of Bitcoin cash.

Rust told CoinDesk that the partnership will play into Bitcoin.com’s goal of opening up global finance and wallet functionality.

In a statement, he also said the partnership “will give users the ability to manage, grow, and spend while doing business with whomever they want, whenever they want, without the need for traditional banks or financial intermediaries.”

When asked for the specific projects O3’s members would now work on, Rust declined, saying only that projects including a wallet “privacy mode” and integration of simple ledger protocol tokens that pay holders dividends, were in the works.

“I think you can see some interesting innovations in our wallet within the next 2-3 months.”

The O3 team has previously built NEO and Ontology blockchain applications, the statement said.

Ant Financial Partners with Monsanto Owner on Agricultural Blockchain

Alipay operator Ant Financial has partnered with pharmaceutical giant Bayer Crop Science, Monsanto’s owner, to develop a blockchain solution for the food and crop industry.

Letter of intent

Enterprise blockchain news outlet Ledger Insights reported on the partnership on Sept. 26, also noting that the two firms signed a letter of intent to develop their solution to increase traceability and transparency. Per the report, the initiative was announced at this week’s Apsara Conference in Hangzhou, China.

Ant Financial also reportedly informed the public that it intends to extend its partnership with Hyperledger to work on interoperability, standards and blockchain applications. According to the report’s author, the firm’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering supports both its own platform and Hyperledger’s Fabric.

Monsanto to use blockchain?

Bayer, while being best known as a pharmaceutical giant, also acquired United States-based agrochemical company Monsanto for $63 million last year. An Ant Financial representative better illustrated the scope of the initiative:

“The aim of the partnership is to create comprehensive, blockchain-based solutions designed to bring greater transparency to improve food safety and the efficiency of agricultural supply chains.”

According to the report, agriculture “is now one of over 40 applications of Ant’s blockchain technology” and the firm also has initiatives in supply chain finance and rice traceability among others.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Ant Financial is also launching a blockchain-enabled backend-as-a-service platform.

Animoca to Develop MotoGP Blockchain Game With Crypto Collectibles

ASX-listed games maker Animoca Brands is to develop a MotoGP-branded race management game.

In a press release on Thursday, Animoca said the freshly inked deal gives it a three-year global licensing agreement with MotoGP rights holder Dorna Sports to develop and publish the game and related digital collectibles.

The firm also revealed that it’s raised 1 million Australian dollars (over US$676,000) to fund the game’s development and other “business opportunities.” Investors included Moses Tang, founder of AP Capital and founding chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific, as well as Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu, subject to shareholders’ approval.

The motorbike race manager-themed game will harness blockchain tech and custom smart contracts to allow players to buy, collect and exchange collectibles that will be included in the game’s storyline.

Pau Serracanta, managing mirector at Dorna Sports, said:

“The digital world is one of opportunity and I’m proud to see MotoGP further cemented as a forward-thinking and innovative brand, at the same time as giving fans another way to engage with our sport and get the most from their passion for Grand Prix motorcycle racing.”

A launch is expected for the start of the 2020 MotoGP racing season, which is slated for March.

MotoGP – or the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix – was inaugurated in 1949 and sees sports bike races held at venues worldwide. The events are viewed by over 400 million people globally, according to Animoca.

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