Blockchain technology. Picture: ISTOCK
Blockchain technology. Picture: ISTOCK

1. Online auction for mine

Now that the liquidator of a diamond mine in Botswana failed to find a buyer, it will place the mine on sale through an online auction. Bloomberg reports that online bids for the Lerala diamond mine will open on May 24 and end on May 30. The mine is owned by Australia’s Kimberley Diamonds, and was placed under judicial management last year as a result of weak sales and high operating costs. The company had run the mine for only a year and a few months and the operation itself has been shut down thrice since 2009. Even with probable reserves of 5Mt, that record speaks for itself.

2. Blockchain feeds loans

Owners of food kiosks in Kenya can now obtain microloans that are facilitated using blockchain. IBM Research and Twiga Foods have already run a pilot lending project where 220 kiosks were afforded loans as small as US$30. The loans were for four or eight days with an interest rate of between 1% and 2%. The benefits: the loans are cashless and are directed to providing capital for the micro-businesses which would otherwise struggle to access finance because they have no credit record. IBM has applied machine learning and mobile data towards developing credit scores of its own.

3. Not fake news

An art museum in France has discovered that more than half of its collection is made up of fakes. An art historian brought in to reorganise the Étienne Terrus Museum — dedicated to the works of the artist — made the discovery following the recent acquisition of around 80 paintings. "On one painting, the ink signature was wiped away when I passed my white glove over it," historian Eric Forcada said. Authorities have committed to catching the culprits.