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Amazon Using E-Cargo Bikes to Deliver Packages 📦 in The UK 🇬🇧
Amazon has introduced its first fleet of electric cargo and has also deputed a team of on-foot delivery staff that will replace its large fleet of traditional van journeys in the UK to achieve its climate goals.
Initially launched in the London borough of Hackney, the e-commerce giant said its “micromobility hub” service, along with 1,000 electric vans, will make one million deliveries a year across 10% of London’s ultra-low emissions zone.
The company says it will also reduce travel distances as deliveries depart from Amazon hubs located closer to customers.
The move is part of the company’s promise to deliver 50 percent of its shipments with net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and 100 percent of them by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement’s target for carbon neutrality.
To ramp up its efforts toward zero-emission deliveries, Amazon plans to open more hubs in the coming months.
The company already operates 1,000 electric delivery vans in the UK and has plans to launch a new Rivian-made lineup of vans in the US later this year.
Amazon Extends Watch Party Feature 🥳 to Smart TVs 📺 And Streaming Devices
Amazon Prime Video’s Watch Party feature that lets users watch a TV show or movie together with friends remotely has received a much-needed expansion from the limited use cases it worked in before.
The feature is now available on smart TVs, streaming devices like Roku, and gaming consoles like Xbox or PlayStation.
Before the expansion, this feature was available on Fire TV devices, desktop web browsers, and the Prime Video app on iOS and Android.
Watch Party feature brings people together from the comfort of their own living room by allowing up to 100 users with a Prime subscription to view content at the same time.
The host can play, skip, pause, and fast-forward or rewind the content for the group, and everyone can chat about what they’re watching.
Currently, the feature is only available in the United States, and the company has not revealed if it will expand the feature to other regions.
The feature is also not compatible with Amazon Prime Video Channels, live events (like Thursday Night Football), or Freevee (formerly known as IMDBtv).
Cross-chain Platform Multichain Adds Rootstock to Its Blockchain ⛓
Multichain, a provider of enterprise-grade blockchain software, has integrated Bitcoin-based smart contract protocol Rootstock (RSK) blockchain into its ecosystem.
The integration will facilitate the transfer of assets between different blockchains, including ETH, USDC, BUSD, and other assets between RSK, Ethereum, and BNB Chain.
The integration is a significant landmark for Multichain as it opens up access to decentralized finance (DeFi) on Bitcoin. The addition will also help users to take advantage of RSK’s security and functionality.
“I’m excited to see Multichain choose to integrate RSK as its first Bitcoin layer 2,” said Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar, co-founder of RSK, about the integration.
“This is a huge step forward in interoperability for RSK that means thousands of new users can access these DeFi services,” he added.
The integration will allow RSK to bring Bitcoin to Multichain’s ecosystem and also provide access to new markets and use cases.
Multichain won’t have to spend resources building bridges to capital and addressable markets. The company will also have a faster time marketing new platforms based on RSK.
Oxford Quantum Circuits Raises $47 Million in Series A Funding 💰
UK-based quantum computing company Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) has raised $47 million in its Series A funding round.
The funding was co-led by Lansdowne Partners and The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), Japan’s largest deeptech VC fund.
New investors British Patient Capital and existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE) and
Oxford Investment Consultants (OIC) also participated in the round.
Founded in 2017, Oxford Quantum Circuits develops technology using the power of quantum to make breakthrough discoveries that include enabling life-changing drug discoveries to develop new battery technologies, among others.
The company’s customers include financial services companies, molecular dynamics researchers, government organizations, and large multinationals with in-house R&D teams working on systems that can run on quantum machines.
OQC will use the latest proceeds to further scale its quantum systems and its private quantum computing as-a-service offering.
The company also intends to use the fund to accelerate international expansion in Asia-Pacific, specifically Japan, to tap customers in financial services and beyond.
Around the Web 🌐
Celsius Pays 143 Million in DAI Loans: Crypto lending platform Celsius has repaid a considerable amount of its outstanding debt to Maker (MKR) protocol since July 1, signaling that the struggling platform was attempting to avert an entire collapse amid rumors of insolvency. Since the start of the month, Celsius has repaid a $142.8 million value of DAI stablecoins in four separate transactions, according to data from DeFi Explorer.
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