Indian Internet ‘Blockchain Committee’ Attracts Reps From Zebpay, MasterCard, Microsoft

India is getting a dedicated group for exploring blockchain expansion courtesy of the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is forming a dedicated focus group for blockchain exploration made up of both big business and cryptocurrency players, Indian daily newspaper Economic Times reported Monday, Oct. 15.

Confirmed in a tweet Tuesday, the IAMAI, whose remit is to “expand and enhance” the online and mobile sector, will use its “Blockchain Committee” to “identify opportunities and challenges and work with government, industry and startups” to develop a blockchain “ecosystem.”

The move comes amid testing times for cryptocurrency in India, with the country’s supreme court still deliberating on the legality of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) cryptocurrency banking ban it instigated in July.

Commenting on the plans, Tina Singh, chair of the newly-founded Blockchain Committee, said the technology was nonetheless “undoubtedly the technology of the future,” noting:

“The IAMAI Blockchain Committee will focus on creating dialogue between all stakeholders; curate and create content to aid skill development and move towards creating a participative economy with the usage of blockchain.”

Participants in the committee include major Indian cryptocurrency exchange ZebPay, itself a conspicuous victim of the central bank’s ban, having halted its exchange offering altogether late last month.

Other parties include representatives from MasterCard, Microsoft and IBM.

The RBI itself is also “researching” blockchain, sources reported in August, as part of an assessment process in which it would “check what can be adopted and what cannot.”

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Hodler’s Digest, October 8-14: Ran Neuner Thinks BTC’s Price Will ‘Explode,’ While Research Predicts Market Will ‘Implode’

Roger Ver wants Bitcoin.com to have its own crypto exchange, while CNBC’s Ran Neuner thinks Bitcoin’s price could soon “explode.”

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

CNBC’s Ran Neuner Claims Bitcoin’s Price Is Set To “Explode”

Ran Neuner, crypto analyst and host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader, said this week that the price of Bitcoin is “about to explode.” In a series of tweets, the trader predicted that a notable Bitcoin rally could be tied to the SEC’s upcoming decision on several BTC ETF applications. Neuner hypothesized that Bitcoin’s climb to $20,000 in December 2017 was “on the back of  the expectation and launch of a cash settlement BTC futures contract.”

Venezuelans Must Now Pay Passport Fees In Cryptocurrency

According to an announcement from Venezuela’s vice president, Venezuelans can only use the state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, to pay for passport fees starting Oct. 8. The newly raised passport fees will cost either 2 petros for a new passport or 1 petro for an extension. According to Bloomberg, the average monthly minimum wage in Venezuela is four times less than the cost of the new fee.

Roger Ver Plans To Open Crypto Exchange Through Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin.com, a Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash services firm with Roger Ver as CEO, is planning to either buy or set up its own cryptocurrency exchange. According to Ver, the crypto trading platform will be set up on the Bitcoin.com website, thus generating “thousands or tens of thousands of new users every single day.” Earlier this week, Ver underlined that digital currencies will lead the world to economic freedom, stating that he will “never give up” until cryptocurrencies accomplish this goal.

Study Shows Cryptocurrency Market Could “Implode” Soon

A recent study conducted by Juniper Research has found that the cryptocurrency market could soon “implode” and that transaction volumes are decreasing. In their report, Juniper looks at the technical, social, and regulatory concerns of digital currencies, also examining regulatory developments globally, exchange failures, hacks, and blockchain forking and how it all impacts crypto volatility. The report also found that daily BTC transactions have fallen from $3.7 billion to around $670 million from the end of 2017 to September 2018.

TRON CEO Hints At Partnership With “Industry Giant” Valued At “$10s Of Billions”

CEO of TRON Justin Sun posted a tweet Friday, Oct. 12, saying: “Finally, First time to partner with tens of billions USD valuation industry giant. Guess the name.” With Sun’s tweet revealing little information of the forthcoming partnership, Twitter followers have suggested a number of possible candidates, including Baidu, Clover, and even Disney. In a later tweet, real-time crypto market news service Coinness claimed that TRON’s new partner is indeed Baidu, citing former team members as its source.

Most Memorable Quotations

“TRON will be 200x faster vs. ETH, 100x cheaper vs. EOS. dApp developers & users, this one is for you!” — Justin Sun, CEO of Tron

“The inequality coefficient of BTC is worse than North Korea that has the worst inequality on earth. Crypto beats Kim Jong-un in regards to centralization and inequality,” — Nouriel Roubini, New York University economics professor, known as “Dr. Doom” for predicting the 2008 financial crisis

Laws And Taxes

European Union Markets Watchdog To Examine ICOs, Considers Regulation

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said this week that it will be looking into ICOs in order to determine how they should be regulated. The organization, established in 2011 with the aim of creating a common set of guidelines for E.U. financial markets and their supervision, plans to assess ICOs on a case-by-case basis to see how they comply with existing securities regulations.

Ukrainian Finance Ministry Creates Working Group For Crypto Taxation

Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance has announced the creation of a working group with the aim of discussing and developing a legal framework for cryptocurrency taxation. The group will begin work in mid-October, identifying crypto-related tax options within the current legal framework, and then presenting their findings by the end of 2018. Previously, a proposed bill for crypto taxation suggested a five percent tax for individuals and legal entities that possessed coins and tokens.

Legal Expert: Implementation Of Crypto Regulations In The U.K. Would Take About Two Years

Legal Director of a prominent U.K. law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) Jeff Kaufmann has said that implementing cryptocurrency market regulations could take the country two years. According to Kaufmann, the new regulations would imply the involvement of the U.K.’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which in turn raises concerns about the agency’s readiness for its upcoming role as a cryptocurrency industry regulator.

Adoption

IBM Announces Launch Of Blockchain Food Tracking Network Food Trust

U.S. tech firm IBM has launched its blockchain-based food tracking network, Food Trust, along with major food retailer Carrefour. The France-based company, which operates more than 12,000 stores in 33 countries, will begin by testing blockchain in their own stores, with the goal of bringing the tech to all its brands by 2022. Food Trust, which was announced back in 2016, has been tested by IBM for 18 months.

Dubai’s State-Backed Digital Currency Gets Its Own Payment System

Dubai’s government-backed digital currency, emcash, will get its own payment system through a deal with blockchain payment provider Pundi X and its partner Ebooc Fintech & Loyalty Labs LLC. The subsidiary of the Dubai Department of Economic Development will work with the two firms to facilitate point of sale payments in emcredit’s emcash currency. The digital currency is pegged to the United Arab Emirates fiat currency, the dirham.

Mastercard Secures Patent For Partitioned, Multi-Currency Blockchain

Financial services heavyweight Mastercard has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a method to partition a blockchain. The proposed technology would allow a single distributed ledger to support multiple types and formats of transactions. In the patent, Mastercard noted that using multiple blockchains simultaneously leads to “significant” resource consumption – a problem their new solution is purported to solve.

Mergers, Acquisitions, And Partnerships

Oasis Labs Partners With Crypto Venture Capital Firms To Launch Blockchain Tech Hub

Blockchain cloud computing platform Oasis Labs announced a partnership this week with names including Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto venture fund a16zCrypto, Accel, Binance Labs, Pantera Capital, and Polychain Capital, who will assist developers in building “privacy-first” DApps in a new tech hub. The Oasis Startup Hub, which will focus on the creation of a space for collaboration between blockchain developers, investors, technologists, and industry key-players, will also get support from Oasis Labs engineers.

PwC To Bring Tech Expertise To Cred’s USD-Backed Stablecoin Launch

Auditing giant PwC has partnered with decentralized lending platform Cred to act as a tech advisor in the release of their USD-backed stablecoin. According to the press release, the partnership aims to bring more trust to investors, and solve the problems of transparency and “substantiation” that keep investors out of the crypto space. The firm also will give a perspective on enhancing standards in order to provide a “more transparent set of reserve functions.”

Forbes Partners With Civil To Publish Content On Blockchain

International business media outlet Forbes has partnered with blockchain-based journalism platform Civil to publish its content on a decentralized network. Initially, Forbes will only publish crypto-related news through Civil’s software — which will be integrated with Forbes’ own content management system (CMC) — but will move over more content if the testing is successful. Forbes will also use smart contracts to allow their contributors to upload articles to Forbes’ CMS and then share them on other platforms, such as LinkedIn and Medium.

Unconfirmed: IBM, Central Bank Of Azerbaijan Partner For Blockchain Implementation

IBM and the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) will reportedly collaborate on implementing blockchain technology for a digital transformation of the country’s economy. According to a local Central Asian news outlet, the director of the Information Technology Department at the CBA  revealed news of the five-year digital economic program this week, noting that IBM will work with the bank on blockchain development. The director also noted that a digital identification system is in the works.

Korean Plastic Surgeon Buys $352 Million Stake In Crypto Exchange Bithumb

A group led by startup investor and one of South Korea’s most famous plastic surgeons Dr. Kim Byung Gun, has made a major investment in Bithumb’s holding company. According to Bloomberg, 50 percent plus one share has been purchased, making the surgeon’s BK Global Consortium the majority shareholder of the Korean exchange. As of press time, Bithumb is the largest crypto exchange in the world by reported daily trade volume, which amounts to almost $1.04 billion.

Funding Rounds

ETC Labs Announces A Startup Accelerator Pilot, Applicants Number Over 100

Ethereum Classic’s investment branch ETC Labs has announced the launch of its business incubator, slated for Q1 2019. In an interview accompanying the announcement, Elizabeth Kukko, the director of the program, has revealed that the incubator plans to work with as many as 24 startups each year. According to Kukko, ETC Labs has so far received 120 applications from various companies in the industry.

Winners And Losers

Crypto markets experienced a sharp drop Thursday, Oct. 11, bringing BTC down to trade at $6,305, ETH at $200. The total market cap is at $202.4 billion.

Top three altcoin gainers of the week are Blazercoin, MedicCoin, and Motocoin.

Top three altcoin losers of the week are EagleX, RabbitCoin, and Minex.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

FUD Of The Week

“Dr. Doom” Nouriel Roubini “Debunks” Crypto Before U.S. Congress

American economist Nouriel Roubini has testified at a U.S. Congress hearing with a speech “debunking” cryptocurrencies and blockchain. In his scathing review, Roubini mentioned such factors as Bitcoin’s scalability problems, high energy consumption and low decentralization, among others. Roubini’s attack on the crypto space was not limited to the congressional hearing, as he made multiple anti-crypto tweets this week — after comparing crypto to North Korea he went as far as to claim that the idea of crypto is “fascist at core.”

Oldest British Crypto Exchange To Reportedly Lay Off Majority Of Employees

Coinfloor, the oldest British digital currency exchange, is laying off the majority of its employees, unnamed sources stated this week. The exchange, which was founded in 2013 and has traded $1 billion in Bitcoin over the past 12 months, is apparently going to let go most of its around 40 employees. When asked about the rumors, the exchange’s CEO Obi Nsowu said that they are “making some staff changes and redundancies” as part of a business restructure.

Report Shows Coinbase Hits One-Year Low For USD Volumes In Q3 2018

A Diar report this week showed that crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase has seen a 1-year low in U.S. dollar volumes in the the third quarter of 2018. According to the analysis, Coinbase’s USD volumes have dropped to the lowest level during the past year, although the trading volume of BTC is almost $1 billion higher than last year. Crypto exchange Bitstamp has seen a better performance in this regard, Diar notes, with the trading volume of BTC $0.2 billion less this year than last year.

China: Man Gets 3.5 Years Of Jail Time For Stealing Train Station Power To Mine BTC

A man in China has received three and a half years of jail time for stealing power from a train station to support his Bitcoin mining. According to court documents released this week, the individual was also fined around $14,500 for stealing electricity from a factory at the Kouquan Railway from November to December 2017 to power his 50 BTC miners and 3 electric fans.

SpankChain Suffers Smart Contract Breach Leading To $38,000 Loss

SpankChain, an Ethereum-based adult entertainment platform, lost around $38,000 when it suffered a smart contract breach this week. The anonymous hackers stoles around 165 ETH, as well as caused the immobilization of another $4,000 of SpankChain’s internal token, BOOTY. The platform has later said that it got in contact with the hacker and persuaded them to return the stolen assets for a “reward” of $5,000 in ETH.

Prediction Of The Week

Blythe Masters: “Tens If Not Hundreds” Of Blockchain Projects Coming To Commodities

Blythe Masters, a former JPMorgan executive who is now CEO of her own software digital firm Digital Asset Holdings, said this week that commodity supply chains would soon get an influx of “tens if not hundreds” of blockchain projects to improve efficiency. Speaking at the London Metal Exchange annual dinner, Masters noted the complexity of supply chains, adding that Digital Assets Holdings is designing software to aid the trading sector in blockchain implementation.

Best Features

Artist Puts A Giant, Inflatable Bitcoin Rat On Wall Street

A hedge fund manager-turned-artist Nelson Saiers has put up an inflatable white rat covered in crypto code on Wall Street, facing the Federal Reserve Bank. According to the artist, he was in part inspired by billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s comments about Bitcoin, who called it “rat poison squared.” “If the Fed’s a rat, then maybe rat poison is a good thing,” Saiers said.

According To Google, Bitcoin Has Several CEO Candidates Who All Hate Bitcoin

Several Reddit users have noticed that entering a search query “CEO of Bitcoin” or “Bitcoin CEO” in Google brings up an information carousel with several possible candidates, including the CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon, Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver, and CEO of Mastercard Ajay Banga. Curiously, all three are known for their negative stance on Bitcoin, with Dimon calling it a “scam,” Banga saying that all non-government-backed cryptos are “junk,” and Ver being hit with allegations of using his platform to mislead people into buying Bitcoin Cash, instead of Bitcoin.

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Unconfirmed: IBM, Azeri Central Bank Cooperate on Blockchain Development, Local Media Report

IBM and Azerbaijan’s central bank will reportedly cooperate on implementing blockchain as part of a five-year program for the digital transformation of the economy.

IBM and the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) will reportedly collaborate on implementing blockchain technology in the country’s economy, Central Asian-focused Trend News Agency reports October 9.

Trend News Agency is an established news service provider spanning the Caucasus, Caspian region and Central Asia, with dedicated news platforms in Azerbaijani, Russian, Turkish and Persian, alongside an English-language platform

The agency states that the director of the Information Technology Department at the CBA, Farid Osmanov, revealed news of the five-year program for the digital transformation of the economy at the Azerbaijan-Germany Business Forum on Energy and ICT in Baku earlier today.

Osmanov reportedly said the central bank will be cooperating with IBM specifically on blockchain, adding that the transformation program would be “fairly large,” and fork in two directions:

“The first direction corresponds to plans for digital transformation. This initiative will be implemented within a five-year plan, which aims to meet the requirements and needs of the country’s economy and banking sector.”

The second direction for the partnership is the development of a digital identification system, Trend News Agency reports. Osmanov reportedly said the initiative involved the cooperation of “around” 10 commercial banks and 15 government agencies.

IBM has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment as of press time, and Trend notes that the “story is still developing.”

IBM has previously cooperated on an institutional blockchain development initiative of a similar large scale. This July, the tech giant signed a five-year AU$1 billion ($740 million) deal with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation across federal departments, including defense and home affairs.

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Bank of America: Blockchain Market Could Hit $7 Bln, Will Give Boost to Amazon, Microsoft

The Bank of America has estimated that blockchain could be a $7 billion market and provide a major boost to corporate giants such as Microsoft and Amazon.

The Bank of America (BoA) has estimated that blockchain could be a $7 billion market and provide a major boost to corporate giants such as Microsoft and Amazon, CNBC reports Oct. 2.

While BoA’s analysts refrained from putting “a time stamp” on the industry becoming a major, multi-billion dollar addressable market, they reportedly based their estimates on a ballpark figure that two percent of corporate servers would be used to run blockchain at a cost of $5,500 annually.

BoA research analyst Kash Rangan told CNBC that the technology is well-suited to some of the world’s largest corporations, noting for example that:

“Amazon will benefit from incremental cloud services demand from Blockchain implementation, while improved supply chain tracking should make Amazon’s retail operations more efficient.”

Rangan emphasized, however, that while many potential use cases for blockchain have been widely recognized, “full products/services have not yet been built out and are not used in production,” leaving the technology’s capacity to generate real-world capital still unproven.

Rangan added that the innovation of distributed ledger systems could take so-called “software as a service” (SaaS) models to the next level by implementing “blockchain as a service” (BaaS). Rangan chose Microsoft’s popular blockchain-based Azure platform as a salient example, stating:

“BaaS on Azure offers services such as smart contracts and other third party apps, and should benefit as use of blockchain on Azure increases.”

Among other high-profile beneficiaries poised to benefit from blockchain, BoA included Oracle, IBM, Salesforce.com, and VMware, as well as major players from the real estate and mortgage industries such such as Redfin, Zillow, and Lendingtree.  

Notably, many of the firms recognized by BoA have already made major forays into the blockchain space.

Fresh data published late August revealed that IBM is vying with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba for the top spot on a new list ranking global entities by the number of blockchain-related patents they have filed to date. This summer, tech giant IBM closed a seminal five-year $740 million deal with the Australian government to use blockchain to improve data security and automation across federal departments.

Microsoft, for its part, first announced the launch of its Ethereum-based Azure cloud computing platform as early as 2015, and continues to improve on the product. Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud platform this spring introduced a framework for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric that allows users to build and manage their own blockchain-powered decentralized applications (DApps).

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Deloitte Outlines Five Major Obstacles to Blockchain’s Mainstream Adoption

Deloitte has outlined five major areas where blockchain needs to develop to achieve widespread adoption.

“Big Four” audit and consulting firm Deloitte has outlined five basic areas of development for blockchain technology in order achieve widespread adoption, according to a study published September 28.

According to Deloitte, in order to be adopted by enterprises on a mass scale, blockchain technology should overcome five major obstacles – the possibility of time-consuming operations, lack of standardization, high costs and complexity blockchain applications, regulatory uncertainty, as well as the absence of collaboration between blockchain-related firms.

Identifying the area that needs the most development, Deloitte singled out the problem of possible operational delays on a distributed ledger network. The company emphasized that slow transaction speed is one of the main reasons for many players to avoid considering blockchain as a technology that can be applied in “large-scale applications.”

Another major obstacle for blockchain on the path to widespread adoption is lack of standardization. Deloitte pointed out that the lack of standardization prevents technology disruptors from interact with each other. The consulting giant cites the fact that there are over 6,500 active blockchain projects on GitHub, with most of them based on different protocols, consensuses, privacy measures, as well as written in different coding languages.

Among the remaining areas for development, Deloitte listed the necessity to reduce both costs and complexity of network operations, the importance of innovation-supporting regulation, as well as the crucial role of collaboration between blockchain-related firms.

In terms of costs and complexity of the emerging technology, Deloitte referred to major technology giants such as Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft that have reportedly delivered less complicated implementations of blockchain by using cloud technology, as well as contributed to improving the costs of operations on blockchain.

Among the most complex issues around blockchain regulation, the company highlighted the difficulty of regulating smart contracts, which do not necessarily fit into existing frameworks.

The report’s final point stresses the importance of cooperation between blockchain-related firms in order to push forward the new deployments of the technology, as well as to provide better education in the sphere. The company says the increasing number of blockchain consortia, such as R3, is a “bullish sign,” because the “value of a blockchain network increases with the number of users.”

Last month, Cointelegraph published an interview with Jeremy Gardner, founder of Blockchain Education Network and co-founder of blockchain prediction platform Augur. In the interview, the industry expert claimed that in order to achieve mass adoption, those developing in the industry must “include the people who have the most benefit” from blockchain technology – namely the world’s disenfranchised – commenting that “we haven’t done a great job doing that, yet.”

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Walmart Requires Certain Produce Suppliers to Deploy Blockchain Technology

Walmart will require its suppliers of leafy-greens to implement blockchain technology by September 2019.

U.S. retail giant Walmart and its division Sam’s Club, a membership-only retail warehouse club, will require suppliers of leafy greens to implement a farm-to-store tracking system based on blockchain tech, Reuters reported September 24.

The end-to-end traceability system is based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) developed by computing giant IBM. According to the report, Walmart will require suppliers to implement blockchain tech by September 2019.

The company’s Vice President of Food Safety, Frank Yiannas, stated that Walmart will require a similar traceability system “for other fresh fruit and vegetable providers within the next year.” Walmart told Bloomberg that over 100 companies will be required to implement IBM’s blockchain service.

Walmart claims that blockchain tech implementation will “dramatically [improve] efficiency.” Frank Yiannas conducted a traceability experiment with sliced mangoes, asking his team to track that product back to a farm:

“It took them nearly seven days, as the methods of tracking today are antiquated — sometimes done with pencil and paper.”

The company claims that with blockchain technology, that process will take just 2.2 seconds.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consulted with Walmart to improve product traceability in order to help health officials track and manage the outbreaks of foodborne illnesses.

Earlier this year, five people died and dozens more were hospitalized in an outbreak of the E. Coli virus in the U.S. The CDC estimated that over 200 people were infected in total.

Recently, Walmart filed tech-related patents for several different blockchain applications, including the improvement of secure deliveries, methods for managing smart appliances, and a healthcare information system, among others. In June, Walmart and nine other companies partnered with IBM to release a blockchain-based system for tracking food through its supply chain globally.

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IBM Awarded Patent for Autonomous Self-Servicing Devices Within Blockchain-Based IoT System

IBM has been awarded a new patent for the autonomous self-servicing of networked devices that use a blockchain protocol.

IBM has won a patent for the autonomous self-servicing of networked devices that form part of its Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry (ADEPT) environment. The patent, first filed in late June 2016, was awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) September 18.

IBM first unveiled a proof-of-concept (PoC) for ADEPT in partnership with Samsung back in March 2016. The system uses a blockchain protocol as a basis for a distributed network of devices — what Samsung has called “a sort of decentralized Internet of Things (IoT).”

As IBM explains as a background to its new patent filing, “IoT controllers are often centralized […] [with] different IoT solution vendors [providing] proprietary solutions that follow similar centralized architectures,” suggesting that a decentralized architecture can offer improved cost and operational efficiency.

According to IBM, self-servicing devices can further boost the improved efficiency of a decentralized system, as they can diagnose and automate the solution for a range of situations such as “self-diagnosis, predict[ing] equipment failure and anticipat[ing] service needs.”

According to the patent filing, the autonomous self-servicing loop would work by enabling a first ADEPT peer to connect to one or more further peers “based on peer consensus,” with the first peer then “determin[ing] service needs based on receiving diagnostic inputs.”

The patent continues to outline further functionalities as part of the decentralized IoT system, in which the devices would engage in controlled self-servicing “based on foundational IoT trusted transactions in a peer-to-peer and decentralized manner.”

These functionalities could include peer-to-peer messaging, distributed file sharing, and autonomous inter-device coordination to “negotiate service contracts between trading partners”  — these being ADEPT networked devices and related service providers.

IBM has been steadily diversifying its involvement in blockchain across multiple fields. Just last week, Cointelegraph reported on a new blockchain-related patent filed by IBM that would harness the technology to tackle privacy and security concerns for drones.

A new report published late August indicated that IBM closely vied with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba for the top spot on a new list that ranked entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date. Having filed 89 blockchain patents, IBM was only just outflanked by its rival — which filed 90.

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Dubai is Building a Blockchain-Powered Government

Dubai

Smart Dubai is a government and city-led initiative to make Dubai the “smartest and happiest” city in the world. This week saw Dubai’s the government’s payment portal become blockchain-based. First Blockchain-Powered Government The online payment portal DubaiPay will now use blockchain technology for real-time reconciliation and settlement of transactions. This is another step towards Dubai’s goal of becoming the world’s first blockchain-powered government by 2020. Dubai’s government is currently working on a total of 20 use

The post Dubai is Building a Blockchain-Powered Government appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

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‘Not High-Performance’: Tradeshift CEO Prudent on Blockchain Supply Chain Potential

Blockchain is not ready for at-scale supply chain deployment, Tradeshift’s Christian Lanng believes.

Digital invoicing startup Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng countered “hype” over blockchain’s role in supply chains Wednesday, September 19, telling CNBC the technology “wasn’t ready yet.”

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, Lanng highlighted the use cases for blockchain in areas such as identity and certifications, but argued supply chains were too much of a challenge for the technology in its current state.

“If you want to have authenticity, if you want to know where it is sourced, that it is done in a responsible way […] [blockchain] is a great technology to manage that kind of flow and be sure of the integrity,” he told the network, adding:

“The problem is just it’s not a high-performance technology.”

Talk of the promise of enhancing supply chain performance using distributed ledger technology has become commonplace across the global economy this year. As Cointelegraph continues to report, multiple global heavyweights are considering and working on implementing blockchain-based solutions to legacy infrastructure.

For Lanng, however, the optimism is premature. “Whenever people say blockchain, I think what they’re really saying is they would like to connect things digitally,” he continued, noting:

“I don’t think blockchain is a mature enough technology yet to carry that … I also want to be a little bit cautious for some of the hype.”

Lanng also highlighted cost hurdles and the difficulty of creating an “at scale” blockchain deployment.

The innovation has nonetheless already seen some success, as a joint shipping supply chain product from IBM and Maersk received heavy praise from logistics partner CEVA as a “big step forward” in August.

More recently, UK’s leading port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), signed an agreement with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International to develop blockchain use for port logistics.

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Blockchain’s Popularity Among Large Enterprises Soared 11% This Year, Survey Finds

New research from fintech analysts Juniper House has found that blockchain’s traction with large enterprises has risen by 11 percent this year.

New research from fintech analysts Juniper House has found that blockchain’s traction with large enterprises has risen by 11 percent this year, according to a press release published September 11.

Juniper’s Blockchain Enterprise Survey: Deployments, Benefits & Attitudes (Second Edition) found that 65 percent of responding large enterprises – defined as those who employ a minimum of 10,000 staff – are “considering or actively engaged” in blockchain deployment, up 11 percent from the corresponding 54 percent figure last year.

Further data analysis shows that nearly a quarter of firms have moved beyond blockchain proofs-of-concept onto trials and commercial rollouts. The potential scope of the technology’s application has also expanded, with only 15 percent of firms’ proposed blockchain applications relating to payments – as compared with 34 percent last year.

The press release notes there has been “significant” interest in fields across logistics, authentication and smart contracts.

Even as Ethereum (ETH) has taken a battering on the spot markets recently, Juniper’s findings also reveal that nearly half of responding firms are planning to harness the platform’s token standardization potential to launch their proprietary dApps (Distributed Applications) on the Ethereum blockchain.

Among firms that had already invested over $100,000 in blockchain indicated they planned to spend “at least” the same sum in the coming year. Juniper noted that this demonstrates “largely positive” initial feedback on investment in the technology, sufficient for firms to bolster their existing commitments to pursuing its development.

Juniper research co-author James Moar is however quoted as pointing towards potential challenges posed by integrating blockchain into legacy systems:

“The findings illustrate the need for companies to engage in a prolonged period of parallel running new systems alongside the old, to iron out any issues that might arise.”

Interestingly, among the incumbent tech giants, IBM was found to be the most popular company for blockchain solutions – 65 percent of respondents named it as their “go-to” choice – outstripping rival firm Microsoft by almost 10 times, which scored 7 percent and was ranked second.

A major recent survey by “Big Four” auditor Deloitte found that among businesses faced with implementing legacy-constrained blockchain solutions, 74 percent of all the respondents to the survey said their executive team believes there is a “compelling business case” for their deployment.

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