News and Views from the World of Blockchain / Distributed Ledger Technology

News & Views

Despite the initial calming down of the ICO frenzy since the announcement by the Chinese regulators outlawing them, the pace seems to have picked up again.  There are now at least 10+ ICO’s launched or announced per day!  Therefore, to stop this newsletter from turning into an ICO weekly newsletter (of which there may be a spate opportunity) I’m going to try and reduce the number of ICO/TGE’s being mentioned here unless they seem to offer something of particular interest (e.g. moving into a new industry/market).
According to data from Coinmarketcap, the total cryptocurrency market reached $148 billion. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, continued to rally on Monday. Bitcoin now has a market cap of $73 billion, accounting for nearly half of the cryptocurrency market.
Does your organisation have a Blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technology strategy?  Does the board and senior managers even know what the technology is and how it could affect your business, your customers, competitors and the market?  I provide bespoke training, consultancy and insight to organisations across multiple industries and have access to a global talent pool of expertise.  Please let me know if you would like more details by emailing me at .

Training Courses

For details of Blockchain / Distributed Ledger Technology online training, take a look at the published courses provided by B9Lab:


Artificial Intelligence (AI)
14 Sept 2017 - Talla, a leading producer of B2B A.I. software, has launched one of the first platforms to combine artificial intelligence with blockchain technology to bring trust and security in using A.I.-driven autonomous agents in the workplace.  This platform, called the Botchain, will help foster mass-adoption of A.I. products in business with intelligent agent auditing, compliance regulations, and communication standards on a blockchain.
Asset Management
15 Sept 2017 - SETL and four asset management firms announced the launch of IZNES, the pan-European fund record-keeping platform based on blockchain technology.  The platform provides investors, asset management firms, distributors and wealth management advisers with easy and rapid access to fund units. The platform enables firms to enter into new relationships with investors, manage KYC processes, handle subscription / redemption instructions, and settle transactions and record positions.
1 Oct 2017 – Deloitte’s  blockchain lab for Europe, the Middle East and Africa recently partnered with DNV GL, one of the world's largest classification societies.  Such companies certify that their processes meet acceptable standards for safety and environmental impact. But, the certificates they issue can be forged, potentially undermining trust in the system. Further, checking that a certificate is real is a slow, cumbersome process.  Deloitte and Norway-based DNV GL see blockchain technology as the answer to both problems.  Their solution creates a digital ID of each certificate that is stored and accessed on a private blockchain. The decentralized approach is seen as a way to discourage fraud or otherwise tampering with the documents.
12 Sept 2017 – In Germany, ZF, UBS and IBM will soon be jointly developing an open automotive transaction platform for mobility services based on blockchain technology. Car eWallet has the potential to radically change the way manufacturers, suppliers and service providers process digital transactions and considerably simplify the use of vehicle services.
15 Sept 2017 - Fujitsu, Japan's largest IT equipment and services provider, is partnering with the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) in a bid to test the viability of running financial services on a blockchain platform.  The JBA assesses the effectiveness of payment systems and provides guidance to banks on various issues, including how to utilize new technologies to improve services. Its membership comprises banks, bank holding institutions and smaller banking associations.  With the new deal, Fujitsu will provide a blockchain platform, built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric code base, that individual banks within the JBA's ranks can then use to test various business use cases.
20 Sept 2017 - China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited and IBM announced the development of the first blockchain-enabled bancassurance project in Hong Kong. Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, the solution is designed to streamline CCB (Asia)’s bancassurance process and greatly enhance customer experience and the quality of services delivered through faster transaction processing time and increased transparency.
25 Sept 2017 - To defeat counterfeiting and build digital trust, DNV GL in alliance with Deloitte Block Chain Lab, has transferred all its 90,000 certificates to a private blockchain, being the first in the certification industry to leverage on this technology.  Every DNV GL certificate is now digitally tagged, traceable and stored in the blockchain.
5 Oct 2017 - Matchpool, the Israel-based blockchain collaboration startup, continues to advance post-ICO. The company has recently partnered with Snip to provide Guppy tokens as reward for writers within the Snip platform. Further, they have been invited by QTum to be the first social network DApp within the QTum ecosystem. Finally, the startup has recently added new token payments for participating in pools within the platform.
15 Sept 2017 - Ethfinex and Tether Partner Up -  they are best known for their USDT venture so far. Bringing a digitized US Dollar to the Ethereum blockchain is a pretty interesting development. Together with Ethfinex, this project will come to fruition in the next few months. All of these tokens are regular ERC20 tokens, which means they can be exchanged on the Ethereum network without too many issues.
28 Sept 2017 – GATCOIN will allow retailers to issue their own cryptocurrencies to consumers to replace traditional discount coupons, loyalty points and gift vouchers. Cryptocurrencies will then be used to buy products or can be traded by holders for other retail currencies or cash on GATCOIN's crypto-currency exchange.
28 Sept 2017 - Seven Stars Cloud Group, Inc.has provided several updates on its Asset-Backed Securitization, Tokenization and Exchange Platform ("ABST") and announced the platform's launch in Q4 2017.  For the time being, the platform will launch in China excluding the tokenization module but will launch globally (ex-China) with the tokenization module.
2 Oct 2017 - National Settlement Depository (NSD) has operated emission and initial placement of the first blockchain-based commercial bonds on the Russian market. NSD has joined forces with two majors to bring to life a decentralized ledger solution that will allow trading, placement and record keeping for bonds to be simple and transparent. Raiffeisenbank Russia became a blockchain bond issue pioneer, starting the initial placement and subsequently purchasing $10M worth of papers of MegaFon, one of the largest mobile network operators in CIS.
Cyber Security
27 Sept 2017 - Us firm BlackRidge Technology International, Inc. a leading provider of next generation cyber defense solutions, has formed a new business subsidiary called BlackRidge Secure Blockchain to pursue new market opportunities for securing blockchain applications.  The BlackRidge Secure Blockchain subsidiary intends to develop and market a next generation security solution for blockchains to address vulnerabilities that are being exploited.
Digital Workplace
2 Oct 2017 - Invotra, Denver and UK based providers of secure digital communications platforms for enterprises, have announced that they have launched the first ever digital workplace that utilizes blockchain. It will make it impossible to "re-build history" as the new platform will revolutionize our ability to discover the provenance of past agreements (and the online discussions that led up to those agreement) and will make it possible to lock down exactly what was agreed.
30 Sept 2017 – Lithuanian firm BitDegree is the world's first Ethereum blockchain and smart-incentives-based online platform for decentralized education and tech talent acquirement. BitDegree claims to be is Coursera and HackerRank merged together, based on Ethereum blockchain.
27 Sept 2017 - Swedish financial services group SEB and Nasdaq are working on a joint project to test a developed prototype for a mutual fund trading platform based on Chain’s blockchain ledger.  The aim is to increase efficiency in the processing of purchases and sales of fund units and to create a unit ledger.
22 Sept 2017 - Global blockchain specialist firm ConsenSys has announced the launch of CarbonX, the world's  first peer-to-peer personal carbon trading company. The CarbonX venture is a balanced joint venture between ConsenSys and a co-founding group that includes Don and Alex Tapscott, the co-authors of the best-selling book, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World
3 Oct 2017 – Mauritius registered impactChoice, a leading provider of environmental sustainability solutions, will launch a token pre-sale of its ERC20 Standard cryptocurrency, Earth Token (EARTH) on October 23, 2017. The main token sale will commence one week later, October 30.  The goal of the project is to combine the strengths of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency with years of experience creating Environmental Sustainability Solutions to establish a global Natural Asset Marketplace that removes current barriers to participation in activities that preserve our Environment, while providing all stakeholders with tangible assets that appreciate in value as the market matures and grows.
6 Oct 2017 - Oil and gas are extracted from the Earth through a process called hydraulic fracturing. The extraction process relies on high-pressure water mixed with additives to fracture the oil-bearing rocks beneath the Earth's surface. Genesis Research and Technology Group has perfected and patented a system that is transportable and chemical-free for the water used in the fracking process. Genesis Research and Technology Group will release ITO (Initial Token Offering) on the blockchain and cryptocurrency exchange.
9 Oct 2017 – In Vizag , JA Chowdary, Special Chief Secretary & IT Advisor to the Chief Minister, Govt. of AP also mentioned that 20 companies have signed MoUs for 120 use cases, that include cybersecurity, road transport and land acquisition.
“Our aim is to deliberate how to have an India stack for Blockchain,” he said. Chowdhary also mentioned setting up a school for Blockchain, headquartered at Tirupati. “Manpower is a real issue, and we need to have trained personnel in this technology,” he added. To solve this, he said the government was roping in startups in the space. A global fintech summit planned next year will also award $1 million to startups for solving certain challenges in this space.
15 Sept 2017 - The city government of Boise, Idaho has signed a partnership with local Blockchain startup company ULedger. This alliance is intended to develop various use cases for Blockchain within the city’s technological infrastructure.
7 Sept 2017 - Accenture announced it has formed a partnership With Duck Creek Technologies to launch a blockchain proof-of-concept for medical bill auditing.
21 Sept 2017 - Connecticut-based company SimplyVital Health (SVH) is to create a totally new kind of data-sharing solution. Health Nexus is an autonomous, blockchain ecosystem that integrates with existing healthcare systems for lower on-boarding costs. Because it employs a permissioned ledger – rather than an open protocol, like the bitcoin network – it is possible to ensure that all miners maintaining the network are validated entities. The platform is consequently secure enough to deal with data as private and sensitive as healthcare records.
25 Sept 2017 – US based Florence, the company advancing clinical research through software, and Verady, the Blockchain asset assurance company, announced a partnership to develop applications harnessing Blockchain for advancing healthcare and clinical research.
27 Sept 2017 – Canadian-based Alternate Health Corp. an international medical cannabis company  announced the rebranding of its CanaCard software to the CanaPass Patient Management System with the goal of integrating mobile technology and provide blockchain ledger for the purposes of transparency and accountability.
Identity Management
15 Sept 2017 – US-based Verif-y is expanding the development of the blockchain-based, digital identity solution layer of its commercially available credential and employment verification platform. Verif-y's services improve the protection of Personally Identifiable Information ("PII"), which in today's world define our identity.
27 Sept 2017 – US-Based Secure Identity Ledger Corporation, the first digital identity platform for every person, business or machine, today announced in advance of its Token Sale the preview of its blockchain platform and web portal. The SILC blockchain will be the entry point for individuals, government and companies to learn how digital ID data can be recorded, managed and distributed in a more equitable way.
10 Sept 2017 - B3i, the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, announces launch of market beta-testing of its reinsurance blockchain prototype.  The group of fifteen global insurers and reinsurers participating in the B3i initiative has been working on a joint distributed ledger for reinsurance transactions driven by blockchain technology.  In a much anticipated move, the group for the first time publically showcased a fully functional beta-version of its integrated blockchain solution for the re/insurance industry at the 61st Monte Carlo RVS conference. Details of its vision, an industry business case and planned next steps were also shared.
2 Oct 2017 - The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i announced it has expanded with 23 new brokers and re/insurers entrants, which will help with B3i’s upcoming market testing program.
B3i’s new entrants are: AIA, AIG, Aon, Chubb, Covéa, Everest Re, Gen Re, Guy Carpenter & Marsh, JLT Re, Leadway Assurance, LocalTapiola, Mapfre Re, Navigators, PartnerRe, QBE Re, SAHAM Assurance, Sava Re, Takaful Emarat, TigerRisk, Trust Re, UnipolSai and Willis Re.
Internet of Things (IoT)
18 Sept 2017 - DataBroker DAO leverages the blockchain technology to create a market for data collected by a variety of sensors that are integral to the IoT devices and systems. By doing so, the platform offers an opportunity for individuals, companies, researchers, and governments to not only monetize the data generated by the devices they own but also purchase the relevant data from the community for research, analytics and other purposes.
Logistics/Supply Chain
18 Sept 2017 - SyncFab Co., a leading US regional supply-chain management and business-to-business procurement platform for precision parts production, announced its Utility Token Sale (Token Sale) campaign to launch its ERC20 Ethereum MFG token and to introduce blockchain technology to achieve better operational efficiency on its fast-growing network. Using the forthcoming utility token on SyncFab's eco-system, supply-chain purchase managers, CNC machine shops and third-party design firms will be able to more conveniently source domestic manufacturing and conduct secure transactions using smart contracts on the blockchain.
21 Sept 2017 - Ambrosus, the blockchain-based ecosystem for the supply chain, has announced the launch of its Token Generation Event (TGE) which concludes October 22, 2017. Combining high-tech sensors, blockchain technology and smart contracts, Ambrosus was founded to overcome the current deficiencies and challenges of current global supply chains and markets. Ambrosus will issue AMB tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
Mobile Phones
30 Sept 2017 - Gurugram-based VVDN, in partnership with Ireland’s Embedded Downloads, unveiled blockchain technology-based smartphone BitVault for ₹ 75,000 a unit.  “This is the world’s first blockchain technology-based smartphone,” VVDN Technologies co-founder and VP for engineering, Vivek Bansal said at the event. “We are using the Android user interface in it but the core operating system has been developed by us in India in the last 1.5 years. It will be priced around $1,200 or ₹75,000 at the time of launch,” he added.
5 Oct 2017 – Canada based STACK has partnered with STK Global Payments to add cryptocurrency payments to its digital wallet app through the implementation of the STK token. STACK, the first financial technology company to announce contactless cryptocurrency transactions, has a working prototype and a roadmap to deliver its cryptocurrency solution globally by the end of 2018.
21 Sept 2017 – US based Chronicled, Inc. and The LinkLab LLC announced The MediLedger Project, a joint venture that will explore and develop blockchain solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.  The project is primarily aimed at demonstrating compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), utilizing innovative capabilities found with blockchain technology to track and trace prescription medicines.   The project seeks to demonstrate the ability to prevent counterfeit medicines from entering the supply chain.  The DSCSA requires the industry to adopt an "interoperable system" to manage records of ownership and transfer of prescription drugs in the United States, and they feel strongly that blockchain technology could be best suited to do this.
16 Sept 2017 - Nextech, an Australian Company, has created a project called ClearPoll. It is a system that allows users from all over the globe to browse for opinion polls on topics they care about most, vote on the polls and then view detailed results. Blockchain technology is used to securely store the votes and results, so no individual or corporation can tamper with or censor them.
Real Estate
18 Sept 2017 – Malaysian firm HomeToken, the Asian blockchain powered investment fund focused on the real estate market has launched its crowdsale.  The start-up will start offering its WAVES protocol based HOME tokens to crowdsale participants.
2 Oct 2017 - London-based – a crypto-currency platform enabling customers to buy, sell, store, remit, lend and borrow crypto-currency funds – is launching a pre-ICO campaign to fund its ambitious plans.  Developed over the last three years, the company currently operates as a crypto-currency wallet, allowing consumers to buy, remit, loan, borrow and exchange.
25 Sept 2017 – Russia based Tickets Cloud, an online platform for open ticket distribution, is launching the ICO of its latest blockchain-based project called
It’s an open architecture, completely secure platform, built with blockchain technology, will help to solve the main issues of the industry such as increasing fraud impact with fake or doubled tickets, speculator bots and zero secondary market profit to artists and organizers and enable organizers to control the ticket sales process from end to end.
Trade Finance
4 Oct 2017 - Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Erste Group have joined an initiative launched by UBS and IBM in 2016 to build a new global trade platform based on blockchain technology. This new platform, called Batavia, will be built to be openly accessed by organisations of all sizes anywhere in the world, and built to support trade finance for transactions across all modes of trade, whether goods are being transported by air, land or sea.
6 Oct 2017 - American International Group (AIG) and TradeIX have partnered in the successful completion of the first blockchain-enabled trade finance transaction for a global logistics company. Financing was provided by Standard Chartered.  AIG and TradeIX have partnered to enable companies to perform trade finance transactions using the blockchain-enabled TIX platform. Trade finance programs give companies access to capital, which allows them to improve payment terms with suppliers and clients.
Workflow Automation
20 Sept 2017 – US-based ThinkSmart, a leading provider of Business Process and Workflow Automation software and solutions, announced the launch of BlockAudit, built on blockchain technology, a first in the Digital Transaction Management industry.   ThinkSmart has developed BlockAudit to provide an additional level of auditability and compliance on top of our industry leading compliant infrastructure.
Platform News
4 Oct 2017 - Smart contracts creation platform Etherparty will soon go live with three smart contracts enabling users to create their own ERC20-compliant Ethereum tokens, crowdfunding contracts, and multi-party escrow agreements.  The beta will be a free access demonstration with smart contracts launching on the Ethereum Ropsten Testnet. The full version to be released in 2018 will require the use of the platform's in-app currency, FUEL.
16 Sept 2017 - Global financial services consulting and technology services provider Synechron announced it will join the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Council to drive digital transformation in applications that use blockchain technology on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
2 Oct 2017 - Oracle NetSuite, one of the world's leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, announced the availability of the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service for its customers and partners, enabled by API exposure through NetSuite's SuiteCloud Platform and supported through the SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN).
New protocols/designs
21 Sept 2017 - Achain is a simple, efficient, and secure blockchain platform. Users can use Achain to quickly deploy digital assets, smart contracts and other enterprise-class decentralized applications. The official website is  Under development for two years, Achain has gained market recognition in terms of digital asset issuance. It's unique RDPOS (Result Delegated Proof of Stake) distributed consensus mechanism has implemented a complete Turing smart contract VM with proprietary intellectual property rights. While the transaction performance on the chain is up to 1000TPS (transactions per second).
Special Interest Groups/Consortia
15 Sept 2017 - (X9) announced the launch of a new project to create a much-needed standardized glossary of common terms and definitions used with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), the highest-profile example of which is bitcoin. The X9A Retail Payments Subcommittee is seeking participants for this important new activity, which will kick off in October. The project's deliverables will be made available as an ANSI X9 Technical Report (TR).
25 Sept 2017 – Rotterdam Port in partnership with government bodies has kicked off a new laboratory that aims to apply blockchain solutions in energy and logistics sectors.  Rotterdam port’s development project, an applied research lab called Blocklab.  It will be starting with a core team of five, who work from the Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam.
26 Sept 2017 – SAP announced the initial companies participating in its blockchain co-innovation initiative and plans to make the digital ledger system an integrated part of Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing and digital supply chain solutions using the SAP® Cloud Platform Blockchain service. Companies including Capgemini, Deloitte, GrainCorp, HCL Technologies, HERE Technologies, Moog Inc., Natura Cosméticos S.A., NetApp and PeerNova are collaborating with SAP to validate use cases and business models for blockchain usage for product and asset lifecycle management solutions from SAP.
Useful resources
There are a number of forums, chats, groups etc. that you may find of interest:
Team Crypto - To discuss cryptocurrencies, exchanges, wallets, prices, etc:
Team Mining – Interested in mining rigs, pools, techniques?
Team ICO - All about Initial Coin Offerings:
ICO Meetup London – We’re planning to host physical events and webinars
For details of Blockchain / Distributed Ledger Technology online training, take a look at the published courses provided by B9Lab:
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