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

News & Views

Initial coin offerings have raised $1.2 billion and now surpass early stage VC funding.  Great headline from CNBC.  In the past quarter the amount raised for startups, at least in the blockchain domain, was greater through ICO’s than VC’s.  You’ll see in this newsletter evidence of just how many are now using ICO’s or Token Generated Events (TGE’s) as a way of raising funding.
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:

Industry Projects & Initiatives
17 Aug 2017 - Students at Arizona State University will soon have a chance to get hands-on experience with blockchain, one of the world's hottest technologies that is used extensively for digital currencies such as bitcoin and Dash.  Dash announced that it is partnering with ASU's engineering school, among the nation's largest, to create a "Blockchain Research Lab" to work on blockchain technology and teach about its possibilities.
15 Aug 2017 - $GRWI is the world's first fully decentralized Seed-to-Sale and Strain Chain platform for legal cannabis growers and related businesses. Aimed at revolutionizing the cryptocurrency markets, $GRWI adds smart contracts with blockchain technology for growers, investors and businesses to democratize their access. Through a more transparent system, $GRWI launches new strain chain registration system that will allow the industry to verify new strains and an e-commerce platform for growers to purchase supplies at wholesale cost.
Asset Management
16 Aug 2017 – Seven Stars Cloud Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSC) announced an agreement to establish a Joint Venture with Red Coin Chain, Ltd. SSC will be a 60% owner of the JV.  Red Coin will operate and focus on SSC's 2nd Engine, the Digital Asset Tokenization & Exchange Platform, specifically Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and asset-backed financial derivatives.  What will set Red Coin's business apart is that it will be FINRA and SEC-regulated, it will be enhanced through AI + blockchain capabilities and finally, all asset-backed financial derivatives will be backed by real assets.
21 Aug 2017 - After months of work, a team of developers at the inter-bank payments platform SWIFT have completed a proof-of-concept built with the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Designed to test whether moving member bank accounts to a distributed ledger could help Swift reconcile in real time, the design is now ready for its next phase.
Card Payments
15 Aug 2017 - Mastercard is looking to incorporate blockchain technology into its operations and would like a clear regulatory framework in India that lays down what blockchain can be used for. “We are working with blockchain,” Amitabh Tewary, vice president at Mastercard told The Hindu in an interview. “There are quite a few pilots on in MasterCard on the various aspects of our business where blockchain will be useful.”
Commodities Exchanges
14 Aug 2017 - GoldMint has established cryptotoken “GOLD”. The value of each GOLD token is equal to that of an ounce of gold, which the company maintains in its reserve. The gold reserve managed by GoldMint is either in the form of actual gold or gold backed exchange traded funds.
15 Aug 2017 - ImpactPPA has been established to disrupt the traditional methods of bringing power and related energy services to the developing nations of the world by utilizing the blockchain and smart contracts. Built on the Ethereum platform, ImpactPPA expects to create a new energy based, cryptocurrency that will become the de facto method of purchasing power and related energy services in emerging markets.
11 Aug 2017 - RFintech and ATMChain will collaborate in the development of the next generation DLT, starting with ATMChain's "blockchain+media" platform.  ATMChain is a safe and highly reliable transaction system that combines blockchain network with digital media distribution. It created the new strategy of "blockchain+media" to explore the economic value of people's attention in a profound manner and turn media assets into the digital form.
15 Aug 2017 - SingularDTV announces a new collaboration with Centrality, a venture production studio based in Auckland, New Zealand.  Centrality has a blockchain applications platform and provides programming and development solutions as well as go-to-market strategies for blockchain startups.  They employ 40 fulltime programmers and currently have 12 decentralized applications in development, 3 of which are SingularDTV/Centrality co-productions.  The union between SingularDTV and Centrality has doubled the number of SingularDTV applications in fulltime development.
15 Aug 2017 - Sydney based start-up Veredictum has launched the token sale for its ground breaking decentralized anti-piracy and distribution platform for the film and video industry. The Ventana token sale aims to achieve widespread acceptance, within the film and video industry using blockchain-based technologies to register video and film ownership rights, and add detectable fingerprints to content so digital ownership can be tracked.
18 Aug 2017 - Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger has revealed plans to fund a new prize aimed to incentivize the creation of a blockchain-powered blogging platform.  Modeled after the storied XPRIZE award, Wenger's offer requires that the blog be built using emerging blockchain technologies in which Union Square Ventures is an investor, in particular, the Blockstack developer kit and decentralized storage system IPFS, built by Protocol Labs.
15 Aug 2017 - Pelecoin now provides an easy-to-use, downloadable software that allows for optimal mining by enabling users to mine Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR) simultaneously. This fast yet scalable system optimizes mining output and revenue by mining a "bucket" of four different cryptocurrencies. By spreading risk over a portfolio of digital currencies, Pelecoin's proprietary mining algorithm reduces price volatility and generates more coin than single cryptocurrency mining. Additionally users can safely withdraw and send Pelecoin to any external wallet that accepts transfers of ETH, ETC, ZEC and XMR, by using the platform's automated withdrawal form.
15 Aug 2017 - Blockstream Satellite is the world's first public satellite service that allows anyone to operate and maintain Bitcoin nodes, without the constraints of traditional network connectivity. Blockstream Satellite sends blocks in real-time, as well as recirculates older blocks, providing free access to the Bitcoin blockchain for both long-time and new users of the cryptocurrency. In addition, Blockstream Satellite provides an additional layer of reliability for blockchain data in the event of a network partition.
15 Aug 2017 - The founders of OPSkins, the world's #1 centralized marketplace for trading video game virtual items (or assets), formally unveiled Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX), a new decentralized platform for virtual exchanges, ahead of its upcoming token sale in mid-October 2017, with a detailed announcement coming in September.   WAX is a decentralized platform to power all virtual item market participants - listing and selling agents, item escrow fiduciaries, appraisers, affiliates, buyers and sellers - to exchange merchandise, apportion fees and settle transactions quickly and securely.
20 Aug 2017 – Pentagon looking at Blockchain?  The purchases, communication and the technology that are done by the military can be left safe on the lookout by Blockchain Technology. It is designed to help increase the security of the entire US military, across all departments and units while preventing cyber attackers and terrorists from attacking military networks, including connected vehicles, aircraft and satellites.
Document Management
18 Aug 2017 - Xerox wants to patent a way to securely revise electronic documents using blockchain and filed a pair of applications in February 2016, according to new records released by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The concept laid out in the applications envisions a network of nodes – all of which can share data via a blockchain – are creating and updating documentary records.
15 Aug 2017 -  BeOne, the Russian blockchain start-up is revolutionizing online education and course delivery by creating a distributed ledger backed platform. The BeOne platform is designed to offer a range of courses to users with different educational backgrounds in various domains. The platform, currently undergoing closed alpha testing has announced the launch of its ICO campaign to raise the necessary funds to build a comprehensive finished product.
17 Aug 2017 - The blockchain developed by Calastone, the global funds transaction network, is the latest example of the technology moving beyond proof of concept into real-use cases.  Calastone wants to reduce costs in the mutual fund industry by placing the entire market – from fund manufacturer to end investor – on a blockchain. Last month the firm announced the successful completion of the first phase of its proof of concept distributed market infrastructure for trading and settling mutual funds.
17 Aug 2017 - CULedger, blockchain technology used to provide credit unions and members with innovative, cutting-edge products and services, announced the formation of CULedger, LLC, a new credit union service organization.
18 Aug 2017 - Canada-based fintech vendor D+H Corporation has filed three patent applications relating to the creation and use of private distributed ledgers.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published the trio of applications yesterday, public records show, all of which share the same title: "Peer-to-Peer Financial Transactions Using A Private Distributed Ledger."
15 Aug 2017 - Сappasity is the first platform that leverages Blockchain infrastructure to create, rent and sell 3D content. This approach ensures decentralized and trustless copyrights’ storage and exchange of creative content.  Based on smart contract protocols and the novel Blockchain architecture EOS which scales to millions of transactions per second, the new decentralized platform is designed to empower users to protect and transfer their copyrights.
18 Aug 2017 - A virtual reality project built on top of blockchain technology has raised over $26 million in ether via an initial coin offering (ICO).  Decentraland is looking to create a virtual world, in which blockchain acts as a registry for digital plots of land.
20 Aug 2017 - The Next Level Token (NLT) is a blockchain-based solution that rewards players with digital currency tokens when they win multiplayer matches, so as to promote a strong competitive community and guarantee an interest in cryptocurrencies. These tokens can then be used to purchase in-game upgrades, or be cashed out for real world value.
20 Aug 2017 - Blockchain startup ArabianChain has raised AED3 million of funding in its latest funding round, led by Saudi-based Eng. Ahmed Abdullah Bugshan, Board member at the Arabian Bugshan Group and Vice President at House of Invention Intl. The startup develops a public and decentralized platform for smart contracts on blockchain in the region, enabling government entities, businesses and individuals to utilize ArabianChain’s tools and languages to build transactions and contracts on the platform.
14 Aug 2017 -  BurstIQ, a Colorado, USA company is using blockchain to grant individuals the power to own their personal health data. It claims to have figured out how to use and improve on blockchain technology to aggregate and exchange large amounts of medical data while complying with strict U.S. health-data protection laws.
15 Aug 2017 - Insilico Medicine, Inc, a Baltimore-based next-generation artificial intelligence company announced a research collaboration with The Bitfury Group, the world's leading full-service blockchain technology conglomerate, to develop novel solutions for healthcare applications. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in the academic and commercial settings to develop AI on Blockchain solutions for the healthcare industry.
16 Aug 2017 – US-based startup MediBond is launched with the aim to improve the way medical records are handled — including patient data. The MediBond system puts blockchain in the nucleus of three major players in the medical industry: insurance companies, healthcare organizations, and pharmacies. It allows a transparent and cryptographically secure flow and storage of data between these organizations, where data manipulations can never happen.
18 Aug 2017 - Alibaba is partnering with Chinese authorities to launch the country’s first application of Blockchain technology in the medical sector.  Taking place in the city of Changzhou, Ali Health will work with local government to use Blockchain to secure data in a pioneering approach.
As a general note, the Insurance market seems to be attracting an increasing number of blockchain/DLT platform startups who’re claiming to be including insurance propositions in their solution stack.  Some of that seems to be based on the naïve assumption that as they’re developing marketplace apps, and insurance is a financial product that they believe can be traded on an open market, then their solution “does insurance”.  Others seem to be pitching that they’re offering something ground breaking, unique, etc. and it’ll be great to see which succeed.
08 Aug 2017 - Dom Re IC, the insurance-linked securities (ILS) reinsurance transformer and incorporated cell of Solidum Re ICC, has issued what it believes to be the first notes to be digitised on a private blockchain.  The ILSBlockchain has replaced the role of a traditional settlement system such as Euroclear or the Depository Trust Company for this note issue, according to Dom Re IC.
14 Aug 2017 – Chinese startup Galileo Platforms is developing a blockchain platform for the insurance industry which increases efficiency and lower costs. It takes functionality from insurers’ 30 year old legacy systems and puts it on the blockchain. This makes it accessible to all the industry participants including distributors, insurers and reinsurers.
16 Aug 2017 – Singapore-based Bandboo is an insurance technology platform that enables users to form digital communities and obtain insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost.  The platform was established by Ashley Kee, along with Ng Zhong Qin (CTO) and Ou Zhiqi Co (COO). Kee shares that being very dissatisfied insurance customers, they saw the slow pace of change in the insurance industry, as compared to the financial and banking industries. With this pain point in mind, they developed Bandboo.
17 Aug 2017 -  One of the “we’re a marketplace platform, so we’re doing insurance”.  Coinlinx is utilizing the Blockchain, and “creating Distributed Autonomous Solutions in financial, travel, legal and insurance industries”.
17 Aug 2017 - Jincor is a venture-backed enterprise communication tool aimed at helping employees within an organisation to connect with each other and existing external partners as well as to establish new business relations with companies across the globe and streamline blockchain transactions involving digital assets, contractual and legal procedures via smart contracts.  Tucked away within the proposition is the ability to cover Insurance of crypto-deposits; Insurance of the deals; Hedging from price fluctuations.
21 Aug 2017 - Umbrella Coin is a “next generation insurance platform” powered by blockchain technology. The platform created by a team of experienced professionals democratizes the insurance industry by ensuring community involvement in the major decisions including claims and insurance payouts.
Internet of Things (IoT)
15 Aug 2017 – Tel Aviv based and GMO GlobalSign (, a global Certificate Authority and leading provider of identity and security solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) are teaming up to provide a new Identity and Access product for the IoT.
16 Aug 2017 - The EU-funded GHOST project is to lock down our home appliances through an electronic gateway that shuts out attacks.   To make sure that the gateways themselves remain uncorrupted, the consortium is drawing on advances in blockchain technology.
Land Registry
22 June 2017 – Old news now but worth mentioning The Japanese land ministry has expressed the will to launch a trial version of a blockchain-based system in the summer of 2018.  With a successful trial, the Japanese government is looking into rolling out this system nationwide within the upcoming 5 years.
17 Aug 2017 – The Indian State governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are planning to record their land deals digitally by switching to blockchain technology. This, say experts, will bring phenomenally bring down cases of benami transactions.
Logistics/Supply Chain
17 Aug 2017 -  International Multimodal Logistics Application (IMMLA) mission is to ensure safe and convenient interaction between the cargo owner and the transporter on all stages of the transportation process based on Ethereum blockchain and smart-contracts. The new technology will allow to drastically minimize the problem of trust, information barriers, and legal issues.  As a part of the development of the pre-alpha version, IMMLA is preparing an extended version of the code of the business process service, which is based on smart-contracts and centralized subsystems as well as interfaces related to them.
17 Aug 2017 - IBM has announced a partnership with Singaporean port operator PSA International and Pacific International Lines (PIL), the largest shipping firm in Asia, to study blockchain applications in trade finance.  The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will jointly work on proof-of-concept blockchain solutions that are expected to enhance the efficiency of the supply chain network in Asia
21 Aug 2017 – South Korean-based Hyundai Merchant Marine is trialing the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to its refrigerating containers to better monitor freshness of temperature-sensitive products during delivery.  As the company has already been participating in a local consortium comprised of IT service companies and government organizations to discuss applying blockchain technology to shipping and logistics, the application of IoT could help offer a more effective and digitized service to customers.
11 Aug 2017 – Slovenia-based decentralized music database startup Viberate introduces the live music industry to cryptocurrencies. Artists can now accept digital currency payment from event organizers.
20 Aug 2017 - is focusing on the highly regulated pharmaceutical logistics market, which currently relies on old and expensive methods in order to meet new regulations. tackles the market need for new, cost effective alternatives for compliance with sensor devices and a Blockchain back-end.
Real Estate
14 Aug 2017 - The power of the Ethereum Blockchain continues to permeate traditional models of business and investment with Real Estate the latest target. Through crowdfunding and smart contracts, REAL believes that the inefficacy and illiquidity of this traditional institution of investment potential can be opened up.
15 Aug 2017 – New legislation is being passed on January 1, 2018 that will allow foreign investors to purchase land in Ukraine. Ukraine recently partnered with the Bitfury Group, a global technology company, to put a sweeping range of government data on a blockchain platform. Propy, a global property store and decentralized title registry, is partnering with the government of Ukraine to allow foreign investors to make online real estate purchases for the first time. From the capital Kiev to the Black Sea beach cities, Propy will enable Ukrainian properties to be sold entirely online.
18 Aug 2017 - The Australian Parliament has posted on its website a draft of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017. The bill would provide a definition for digital currency and begin the regulation of exchanges, requiring that service providers register through AUSTRAC.
16 Aug 2017 - Russia is increasingly seeking to fit blockchain into some framework and while the authorities are still mulling how to adapt the laws to this new technology, the Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology (also known as Rosstandart) has made some steps towards establishing standards for distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain.
17 Aug 2017 - Delaware has laid the foundation for companies doing business in the state to use blockchain technology for company record keeping. Gov. John Carney signed into law amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law July 21, marking a key milestone in the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, launched last May, to encourage the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts in business.
Platform News
11 Jul 2017 – R3 is expanding work with computer giant Intel to bring a new layer of hardware security to its distributed ledger platform.  This was announced at an unveiling event for Intel's Xeon Scalable Processors in New York.  The partnership will seek to incorporate the hardware protections into R3's open-source Corda distributed ledger platform.
20 Aug 2017 - The vision behind the IOTA Foundation’s distributed ledger protocol, the Tangle, has always been twofold: unlimited scaling and zero fees. Using a unique, non-block based system, the Tangle promises to deliver just that. Since the listing on Bitfinex, the IOTA Foundation has seen incredible growth, both in the form of increases in value as well as striking up several significant research projects to put their tech to the test.
18 Aug 2017 - Microsoft recently announced the Coco Framework, a first-of-its-kind Ethereum-based protocol that will advance enterprise adoption of blockchain technology as well as help large-scale enterprises process information on the Ethereum Blockchain with increased privacy. Microsoft plans to launch the framework on GitHub in 2018 as an open source project and will work with customers and partners, as well as the blockchain technical and business communities.
New protocols/designs
20 Aug 2017 - Multinational software provider Oracle is working on a way to introduce "fair" governance to permissioned blockchains, according to a newly published patent application.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released the application for "Accountability and Trust in Distributed Ledger Systems" on August 17, after it was initially submitted in late May 2016. Specifically, it focuses on so-called permissioned blockchains – those in which participants are limited to approved parties.
Special Interest Groups/Consortia
09 Aug 2017 - Dayli Financial Group, a house of Korean fintech startups, is working on creating an ecosystem called ICON that will allow government departments, universities, hospitals, securities, banks and any private company to interact without third-party networks that charge transaction fees or delay the process. The applications could range from trading not only digital currencies but also stocks, games, security information and even hospital databases. Eliminating the middleman using a blockchain network developed by Dayli's startup theloop, the makers are framing it as a decentralized public good that is not controlled by a single entity and operates for the benefit of society.
17 Aug 2017 - NTT Data, Japan’s largest IT services firm, has announced a new blockchain consortium with members representing a number of varying industries.  NTT Data unveiled details of the working group which will see 13 founding members unite to explore use cases for blockchain technology. The companies represent industries such as insurance, logistics and import & export trade
ICO Top score
16 Aug 2017 - ICOBox's 8-day-long presale attracted about $8.3 million (about 2,100 BTC), and the entire amount is earmarked to launch ICOs of the projects blockchain community deems worthy.  The purpose of ICObox's ICOS token sale is to attract funds to help promising but underfunded new projects bring their innovations to life by conducting their ICOs with ICOBox's tools.
Opinions & Thought Leadership
20 Jul 2017 – Richard Gendal Brown offers an explanation of how the security models of CORDA and Hyperledger differ.
15 Aug 2017 - Using the Blockchain to Clean Up the Niger Delta
17 Aug 2017 - The blockchain revolution is gunning for the gold market  
17 Aug 2017 – Good list of Healthcare blockchain startups
18 Aug 2017 - Blockchain Security in Cloud Computing: Use Cases, Challenges, and Solutions
18 Aug 2017 - Blockchain Technology Expected to Strongly Impact the IP Industry
19 Aug 2017 - What your company needs to know about the blockchain movement
19 Aug 2017 - A Lawyer’s Use of Blockchain Technology
19 Aug 2017 - Making Sense of Cryptoeconomics
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:
NEW – Team Crypto Gigs – To share roles, opportunities and candidates in the blockchain space
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
The first meeting is being held on Monday 18th Sept.  For details take a look at
For details of Blockchain / Distributed Ledger Technology online training, take a look at the published courses provided by B9Lab:

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 .

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