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

News & Views

Whilst the decision by China’s regulators to clamp down on ICO’s has dampened things a bit, it’s still worth noting that Q2 2017 has raised over $797.  This is THREE TIMES funding raised through VC’s.

Coindesk’s latest “State of Blockchain” report makes compelling reading:
Combined with the total market cap of cryptocurrencies passing $180Bn in September, it’s clear that blockchain, cryptocurrencies are continuing to gain traction.
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:



6 Sept 2017 – In Australia, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has established the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, touted by the university as being the world's first research centre focused on the social science of blockchain.  According to RMIT, blockchain technology, the underlying system that facilitates bitcoin trading, is becoming a core infrastructure for the global economy.
7 Sept 2017 - Israel's largest bank is working with Microsoft to develop a blockchain-based platform for creating digital bank guarantees.  Bank Hapoalim – the country's largest by assets – will look to digitize the largely paper-based process.
Central Banks
4 Sept 2017 - Established by the central bank, the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) is the Indian central bank’s research arm and the foremost banking research institute in the country.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) institute is developing a blockchain platform to enable a range of applications in the banking industry. According to the Hindu Business Line, the central bank, the IDRBT and multiple FinTech players will all work together to develop the platform toward commercial applications of blockchain technology in India’s banking sector.
5 Sept 2017 - Brazil's central bank has released a new research paper that details possible use cases for blockchains and distributed ledgers while outlining how various available platforms could be used to test the technology.  The result of a study group initiated by Banco Central do Brasil and published August 28, the report looks at use cases for DLT including identity, local currency and settlement – though, just the latter was ultimately recommended for prototyping.
Cloud Computing & Networking
6 Sept 2017 – In UK, BT announced that Cobalt, the FX post-trade processing network based on distributed ledger technology, has joined the BT Radianz Cloud — the world’s largest financial community.  Organisations can now access Cobalt’s private peer-to-peer and blockchain services via their highly secure and resilient Radianz Cloud connections, helping firms reduce cost and operational risk.
6 Sept 2017 - HBO-backed cloud rendering expert Otoy recently unveiled an ambitious plan to use Blockchain technology for distributed cloud rendering of VR and other video content. Now, the company is looking to raise as much as $134 million with a token sale to kick-start those efforts, which the company calls Rndr.
7 Sept 2017 - US VPN provider Privatix wants to make the biggest bandwidth marketplace, using peer-to-peer VPN networks, on Blockchain. It aims to do this by using people’s bandwidth when it’s not being used. So that, when Internet connections are not being used, either by regular people who happen to be at school, at work or anywhere, or indeed by companies and Internet hosting services, this unused bandwidth could be rented out to those companies who want more bandwidth.
6 Sept 2017 – Seeking to decentralise livestream payments, Stream will incentivize creators by automatically distributing newly minted tokens (minted in Ethereum and implemented through anonymous blockchain ZCash then paid through Bolt) to creators based on their contributions to the ecosystem. So unlike the YouTube tokens that are difficult to trade for cash, Ethereum can be cashed out at any time. Stream will also allow creators to easily and anonymously accept payments from their global audience members with extremely low transaction fees and no platform lock-in.
4 Sept 2017 - Fintech firm Stargroup has signed a joint-venture agreement with fellow Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company Digital X to provide a "two-way" ATM solution for buying and selling bitcoin.  According to Stargroup, there are currently only 20 ATMs in the country that can facilitate bitcoin transactions; however, conversion fees are in the range of 4 to 8 percent of the transaction value. Additionally, the vast majority are "one-way" ATMs, which means users can only purchase bitcoin and add it to their bitcoin wallet.
7 Sept 2017 - Cleantech Solutions International has entered into exclusive discussions with ECoin Development Limited, a private company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, regarding the development and operation of a cryptocurrency system to support the development of a sharing economy ecosystem based on blockchain solutions.
7 Sept 2017 - WRIT Media Group has announced the development of their new Pelecoin mobile app in partnership with Skylab Apps. The Skylab Apps Platform comes with key features that allow users to interact and engage with each other in a manner that enhances product learning and brand recognition. The Pelecoin mobile app for Android and iOS powered smartphones will offer users a versatile platform that allows them to access basic information about Pelecoin and other cryptocurrencies at their fingertips.
6 Sept 2017 – US based Rivetz Corp has announced a partnership with Touch Titans to integrate their products for its CoinPouch wallet. Rivetz will employ advanced multifactor authentication and hardware wallet protection for CoinPouch, making it one of the first wallets to use Rivetz security.
7 Sept 2017 - Blockchain, the provider of the world's most popular bitcoin wallet, has entered a strategic partnership with Indian cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin.  The news means that Unocoin's exchange services are now directly available within the Blockchain wallet, allowing users to more easily buy and sell bitcoin.
6 Sept 2017 - Andhra Pradesh, India's seventh largest state, has announced a new partnership with cybersecurity company WISeKey to secure citizen data with blockchain tech.  Citing the huge volumes of individuals' data being held on databases, and the wave of recent cybercrime attacked worldwide, the state said it plans to protect government-recorded data using WISeKey's blockchain technology. The partnership will see the development of various pilot projects across different departments of the state government, as well as potentially an expansion into other fields such as smart cities.
6 Sept 2017 - The Bank of Japan (BOJ) and European Central Bank (ECB) have released their analysis for Project Stella, a cooperative research undertaking that launched in December 2016. The banks sought to “assess the applicability of DLT solutions in the area of financial market infrastructures.” The BOJ and ECB presented three main findings:
  • DLT-based solutions could meet the performance needs of a Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system;
  • DLT performance is affected by network size and distance between nodes; and
  • DLT solutions have the potential to strengthen resilience and reliability.
7 Sept 2017 - Ukraine's justice ministry has begun testing the use of a blockchain to digitally auction seized assets, according to a report by Reuters.
The use of the platform will expand as the year progresses, with an eye to implementing state property and land registries onto the blockchain by the end of the year.
7 Sept 2017 - The US Federal Reserve has said that it is open to using distributed ledger technology (DLT) and cryptocurrencies for financial transactions in place of the decades-old wire transfers and other tools currently used.
7 Sept 2017 - PokitDok recently announced a partnership with Intel to provide a healthcare blockchain solution called DokChain . It uses the digital ledger concept for tracking transactions and applies it to the healthcare system.  Intel's open source Hyperledger Sawtooth will serve as DokChain's underlying ledger, processing blockchain transaction requests through the use of Intel chips. It is reported that a consortium of more than 40 companies is involved in this effort, including Amazon, Capital One, Guardian and Ascension.
Identity Management
7 Sept 2017 - The Sovrin Foundation and Finland’s TrustNet consortium has announced the trial of a new decentralized identity network.  TrustNet will evaluate and base its pilot’s sandbox on Sovrin, a public distributed ledger purpose-built for self-sovereign identity. This will entail creation of a live Sovrin laboratory for Finnish companies and institutions to examine and test how self-sovereign identity will benefit the citizens of Finland and the members of the consortium.
7 Sept 2017 - Global financial consultancy EY's insurance advisory division has announced that a blockchain technology platform for marine insurance, which it has been developing with blockchain fintech Guardtime since 2016, is now ready for commercial use.  The platform was built on Microsoft's Azure cloud, and has been launched in collaboration with global shipping company Maersk, international insurance industry standards body ACORD, Microsoft, and specialty insurers MS Amlin and XL Catlin, following a 20-week proof-of-concept (POC) phase. EY says the platform's rollout is due to begin sometime in 2018.
6 Sept 2017 - Using a method which identifies more than 90 data points on a wine bottle, along with high-resolution photographs and ownership and storage records, Everledger creates a permanent, digital representation of a bottle on the blockchain. This permanent record acts as a verification point as the bottle changes hands. The blockchain is updated along the way so anyone who buys or sells the bottle can rely on trustworthy provenance.  SAP Ariba is partnering with Everledger on this initiative.
Real Estate
5 Sept 2017 - Prime-Ex Perpetual, a Panama-based real estate company, has announced that it will build a revolutionary real estate ecosystem using blockchain.  The platform proposes to achieve efficiencies in the methods by which residential real estate is developed, sold, and financed. Prime-Ex Perpetual has created a novel solution to ownership that packages the individual home and the underlying mortgage inside of the home’s individual private corporation.
6 Sept 2017 - ATLANT employs the Blockchain to entirely reshape the title insurance industry. By registering real estate on a distributed ledger, blockchain could streamline the manually intensive practice of examining public records when validating titles in real estate transactions.
6 Sept 2017 - Aventus has announced their Blockchain as Persistence (BaP) product, which showcases one of its first clients, Townsend Music. Townsend Music runs worldwide physical, digital and retail distribution campaigns alongside the biggest major and independent record labels, artists and management companies. BaP is is intended to show integration with ticketing systems that are primarily off-chain, and slowly bringing them on-chain. With BaP, a traditional ticketing system’s activity (creation of event and tickets, transfer of ownership, and sale of tickets) is mirrored on the blockchain in real time.
5 Sept 2017 - Canada's financial intelligence agency, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), has concerns over the role of cryptocurrency in crime and policing problems caused by the tech's anonymity, according to a new report.
The Globe and Mail reports that, citing FINTRAC documents and presentations (obtained through a public records request), officials have been saying for some time that the agency needs to develop new technologies to better analyze the financial data produced by the growing adoption of blockchain technologies, which operate under a cryptographic "veil of anonymity."
Special Interest Groups/Consortia
5 Sept 2017 - Microsoft has just become a member of IC3, The Initiative for CryptoCurrencies & Contracts. Their work is aligned to five areas, which they call Grand Challenges, that form the basis of blockchain enterprise readiness: Scaling & Performance, Correctness by Design, Confidentiality, Authenticated Data Feeds, and Safety & Compliance.
7 Sept 2017 – In Japan, NYK participated in the “Consortium to develop trade data sharing platform using blockchain technology,” formed by NTT DATA Corporation. The consortium is comprised of 14 companies from various sectors involved in trade-related business including banking, insurance, integrated logistics, import and export, and others.
7 Sept 2017 – In USA, The Blockchain Academy Inc. has announced that it will be working together with the Government Blockchain Association to deliver blockchain education to individuals and organizations. The educational partnership by both entities will enhance the understanding of blockchain education for both individuals as well as organizations and will help them in finding solutions regarding matters related to the blockchain industry.
ICO Top score
Blockchain data storage network Filecoin ICO ended with approximately $205.8 million raised, a figure that adds to the $52 million collected in a presale that included Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, among others.  In total, hitting just over  $257m this surpasses the previous record of $232m raised by Tezos.
Opinions & Thought Leadership
4 Sept 2017 - FEMA relief is the perfect use case for blockchain
4 Sept 2017 - What is an ICO, and why is China’s central bank banning it?
4 Sept 2017 - Ideation to Realization: How Dutch Banks Are Harnessing Blockchain
5 Sept 2017 - How Blockchain Is Kickstarting the Financial Lives of Refugees
5 Sept 2017 - InsurTech’s big ticket items: machine learning on the blockchain
5 Sept 2017 - Oil-Rich Gulf Countries Move to Adopt Blockchain
6 Sept 2017 - REM: Resource-efficient mining for blockchains
7 Sept 2017 - A New Blockchain App Is Poised to Radically Change How People Vote
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:
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 .
Copyright © 2017 Distlytics Ltd, All rights reserved.

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