16 December 2017
Nischala Murthy Kaushik

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Nischala Murthy Kaushik - Wipro Ltd.

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Blockchain in Action : Round-up of blockchain stories from Oct 2017

03 November 2017  |  8159 views  |  0

As we move towards the end of 2017 , the blockchain buzz is only heating up with unique and interesting applications and use cases across all industries, all geographies and all sizes of organizations. In this post I am sharing a round-up of some of the interesting stories of blockchain in action for Oct 2017.

 

BP experiments with blockchain for oil and gas trading

British Petroleum is experimenting with blockchain to make oil and gas trading more efficient in the latest sign of big companies bringing the database technology into mainstream use. The UK group said it was investing in pilot programmes to explore the “practical and ethical” implications of using blockchain in the energy sector. “There are uses for blockchain that could give us a competitive advantage,” said David Eyton, head of technology for BP. “Blockchain can be much more efficient in terms of speed and verification of transactions.”

Big name insurers join blockchain push

The push towards the use of blockchain in the insurance industry is continuing with the announcement of the expansion of the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, B3i. The group has revealed that 23 new entrants have signed up for its market testing program on the back of a working prototype being released at the Monte Carlo RVS Conference in September.

BNP, EY Complete Blockchain Trial for Internal Treasury Operations

BNP Paribas and "Big Four" accounting firm EY are taking aim at back-office costs with their latest blockchain work. Announced today, the two companies completed a trial aimed at investigating whether private blockchain technology could improve the bank's global internal treasury operations. The successful trial proved the potential of the private blockchain to drive operational efficiency by providing a more "integrated cash management approach" and allowing "greater flexibility and a 24/7 capability."

J.P. Morgan Is Launching a Payments Network Using Blockchain

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co said on Monday it launched a new payment processing network that uses blockchain technology, in partnership with Royal Bank of Canada and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. The Interbank Information Network will allow payments to reach beneficiaries faster with fewer steps and better security, J.P. Morgan said on Monday.

Mastercard Expands Access to B2B Blockchain Payment Tools

Credit card giant Mastercard is pushing ahead with a set of blockchain payment tools first unveiled last year, opening them up to banks and merchants for wider use. In a press release, the company announced that it would first be working on business-to-business (B2B) transactions with the tech, as part of a bid to "address challenges of speed, transparency and costs in cross-border payments."

Australian University Issues Academic Credentials to Students on a Blockchain

The University of Melbourne, a public Australian university, has become the first academic institution in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to issue recipient-owned academic credentials on a blockchain. Following an early pilot first revealed in May, the University of Melbourne is now storing and issuing student records on a blockchain where recipients will be able to access their academic credentials on a mobile application.

BitDegree Challenges Coursera and HackerRank's Phenomenon by Gearing Up With Blockchain

BitDegree is the world's first Ethereum blockchain and smart-incentives-based online platform for decentralized education and tech talent acquirement. Designed to address the higher education needs of the present-day labor market, BitDegree is a must-have tool for businesses to recruit tech talent and shape global education to their needs through smart-incentives-powered token scholarships. Ideally summed up, BitDegree is Coursera and HackerRank merged together, based on Ethereum blockchain.

Blockchain is spreading beyond finance: Now it's killing off fake QA certificates

Norwegian company DNV GL has begun digitizing its quality-assurance services, by transferring all the 90,000 certificates it has issued into a private blockchain. DNV GL, the company that came out of Det norske Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd, is a big player in the world of certifications. According to DNV GL, the move to blockchain will stop counterfeit certificates, as well as allowing companies to communicate their certifications in a transparent and secure way.

5miles Launches CyberMiles Blockchain Project To Decentralize The Online Marketplace

5miles is a web and app based virtual yard sale marketplace, kind of like Craigslist but designed like an actual app and not a page from the middle of the phone book. CyberMiles is being developed for use within the 5miles application, to wrap blockchain technology around selling your grandmother's old rocking chair. It is being designed to "empower the decentralization of online marketplaces". It will focus on various real-world marketplace and commercial applications utilizing smart contracts, including local buy and sell marketplaces, e-commerce and online auctions.

Japanese Use Blockchain to Track Game Meat

Mijin, a private Blockchain from Tech Bureau, Japan, has been selected to track game meat from hunting grounds to the restaurant plate as a use case by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Mijin, which is a NEM protocol Blockchain, will be used to build and store the transaction records of the Japan Gibier Promotion Association. The final aim being to ensure that the food being eaten by consumers is safe for consumption, and is trackable.

Singapore Tests Blockchain Payments for 19,000 Unbanked Migrants

A Singapore bank has signed an agreement which will see Blockchain payments help up to 19,000 migrants transact without banking access. As local news outlet Business Times reports Wednesday, Maybank Singapore will leverage native startup InfoCorp Technologies’ CrossPay network to allow migrants in a giant dormitory to pay for purchases digitally. CrossPay uses Blockchain for storing consumer identities and includes a private platform for making payments. At the other end, Maybank will settle the final amount with dormitory operator TS Group.

US Commerce Department Backs Blockchain Trade Mission to UAE

Representatives from the blockchain industry are in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week on a trade mission backed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Organised by the Washington, D.C.-based trade group, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the trip includes executives from a number of firms – including Bloq, Cisco, CMT Digital, Cognizant, Gem, Hogan Lovells and Netki – the organization said today. The effort will include meetings with public- and private-sector officials, taking place from October 1–5.

Ukraine Turns to Blockchain to Boost Land Ownership Transparency

Ukraine will use blockchain technology to manage its registry of farmland, saying its current system is vulnerable to fraud that leads to conflicts over ownership. The move will increase transparency and boost trust in the registry, First Deputy Agriculture Minister Maksym Martynyuk said at a news conference in Kiev on Tuesday.

Air France Tests Blockchain for Supply Chain Tracking

Air France, according to Aviation Today, recently discussed the possibility in a webinar alongside Microsoft and Ramco Aviation, a company that develops software for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) systems that airlines use to service their aircraft. During the session, James Kornberg, innovation director for Air France KLM's business unit, said that supply chain applications in particular are especially attractive to the airliner.

Malta's Government Is Putting Academic Certificates on a Blockchain

Malta's government is set to trial blockchain for keeping track of academic certifications. The Ministry of Education and Employment has struck an agreement with blockchain startup Learning Machine Technologies to build a prototype platform that will allow users to securely store and share their academic documents – as well as prove that the credentials belong to them. The system will be built using the Blockcerts open standard, which was developed by Learning Machine Technologies and the MIT Media Lab in 2016.

Singapore Central Bank Reveals 3 New Blockchain Payments Prototypes

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), along with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) trade group, today unveiled a new set of distributed ledger prototypes that form the second phase of "Project Ubin," an initiative that began last year with the goal of testing how a tokenized version of the Singaporean dollar could be created.

Singapore Media Regulator Partners with Asian Banks to Pilot Blockchain-based Customer Identification System

Singaporean regulator Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has partnered with three Asian banks for the trial of a new Blockchain technology-based customer identification system proof-of-concept to streamline the know-your-customer (KYC) process. The banks are OCBC Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), and HSBC Singapore. According to IMDA chief executive officer (CEO), Tan Kiat How, the trial forms part of their strategy to create a dynamic digital economy.

DECENT Launches GO Marketplace and Joins Blockchain Content Arena

Blockchain content distribution platform DECENT has launched a beta marketplace, following its successful debut at the end of June. In a press release issued Thursday, the Swiss-based startup said DECENT GO “promises to offer a better deal for content producers and purchasers than the current industry giants.”

Swiss Crypto Valley Pens Legal Framework for ‘Blockchain Crypto Property’

Switzerland’s Crypto Valley Association continues its legal advocacy with the launch of a legal framework for tokenized assets. In a press release issued Tuesday, the CVA, which consists of a number of Bitcoin and Blockchain’s best-known companies, said it was distributing the paper on behalf of Blockchain legal firm MME and “tokenized ecosystem” provider Blockhaus.

Avaya to Unveil Happiness Index on Blockchain at GITEX Technology Week

Avaya is unveiling the Happiness Index on Blockchain during GITEX Technology Week: a solution that shows for the first time ever how disruptive technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, can be harnessed to transform customer experience. Happiness Blockchain, developed in partnership with Avanza Solutions, enables organizations to dynamically manage the customer journey to achieve greater satisfaction.

WePower Enables Green Energy Industry Financing Through Blockchain

WePower network offers an innovative solution to the problem of green energy financing by connecting green energy consumers, producers and investors through a blockchain platform. When a green energy producer wants to finance a new set-up, they can sell part of their to be produced energy as energy tokens. This allows them to receive the necessary equity capital for the projects and to increase the return of equity ratio by 25%. By buying the energy tokens, users are buying future energy at below market price. This will benefit users when the price of electricity increases in the future. The return of such investments varies from 15 to 20%.

Russia’s National Settlement Depository Pilots Blockchain-based Commercial Bond Trading Platform

The National Settlement Depository (NSD) is piloting its new commercial bond trading platform that is built on top of the Hyperledger Fabric. The NSD is the central depository for the biggest securities exchange group in Russia. According to NSD Executive Board chairperson, Eddie Astanin, their ultimate objective is to establish a Blockchain infrastructure for novel financial products to operate on.

Zilliqa Unveils A New, High Transaction Rate, Scalable Blockchain

After two years of development led by researchers at the National University of Singapore, Zilliqa has successfully trialled their ‘sharding’ blockchain platform on a testnet of AWS nodes and achieved an incredible transaction rate of almost 1,400 TX/s. They plan to release their source code and public testnet for developers by the end of the year.

Seven global banks bring blockchain to syndicated lending

Seven banks, including BNP Paribas, HSBC, ING, BNY Mellon and State Street, have joined forces with R3 and Finastra to develop a blockchain-powered marketplace for syndicated loans. The first pilots have already been successfully completed. With the early support of seven global banks (two of which do not yet wish to be named), the platform will cover 10% of the syndicated loan market when live next year.

UK Central Bank Unveils Blockchain Data Privacy Pilot

The Bank of England, the UK's central bank, is working with blockchain startup Chain on a data privacy pilot, according to a new announcement. The project is one of four unveiled today, all of which focus on financial information processing. Bank of England officials have been working with a number of startups and companies on blockchain applications through its accelerator since it launched late last year. Among those were a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) trial involving technology developed by Ripple, as well as an asset exchange pilot involving PwC.

Foodtech Startup Origintrail with A Blockchain-based Protocol For Data Sharing In Supply Chains

Slovenian foodtech startup, OriginTrail, is adding a significant layer of trust to all product supply chains by innovating on a Blockchain. It is developing a decentralized solution which will close information gaps, save money, and increase trust between organizations. A highly efficient solution will have seamless interoperability between different IT-systems. OriginTrail is planning a Token Generating Event (crowdsale) in November to make the decentralized network open for anyone.

Blockchain technology fuels peer-to-peer solar energy trading in Perth start-up

Peer-to-peer trading overhauls the system by opening up the market to allow households to buy and sell solar energy without a power company, trading their energy for more than the feed-in tariff while still undercutting power providers for buyers. It's a concept environment scientist Paul Donovan believes is the future. he's invested in Perth start-up, Power Ledger, which has created software to allow consumers in groups of apartments or commercial properties to sell excess energy from their solar systems to their neighbours. There are plans to roll it out across the network.

An Indian state wants to use blockchain to fight land ownership fraud

The government of India's Andhra Pradesh state has partnered with Swedish start-up ChromaWay to build its blockchain-based solution. It is estimated that $700 million is being paid in bribes at land registrars across India. ChromaWay has already piloted a blockchain project in Sweden focused on the process of buying and selling real-estate.

No More Nuclear: Japan's Biggest Utility Turns to Blockchain in Power Pivot

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is no stranger to the risks of over-centralized energy sources. Perhaps best known for the nuclear meltdown of its Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011, the largest energy utility in Japan is now looking to blockchain in an effort to prevent another catastrophe.

Australian University Tests Blockchain in Bid to Back Up Academic Credentials

A public university in Australia is testing a mobile-based system for issuing and maintaining recipient-owned academic credentials on a blockchain. The tools being built for the University of Melbourne are based on the Blockcerts open standard, developed last year by Learning Machine Technologies and the MIT Media Lab. The government of Malta, as previously reported, is also looking to track changes in academic records by using the tech.

Lufthansa Partners Blockchain Startup for Travel Apps; Participates in ICO

The Lufthansa Group, one of the world’s biggest airlines operators, has entered a partnership with Swiss startup Winding Tree – the developer of a decentralized, public, B2B blockchain marketplace for the air travel space. Announced today, the partnership will see Lufthansa integrate its API’s into Winding Tree’s public Ethereum-based blockchain. The marketplace allows for blockchain-based booking transactions and participation from startups and companies without the need for intermediaries like Expedia or Booking.com to result in cheaper and more efficient travel for the end user.

IT Giant Fujitsu Joins Major Banks for Blockchain Money Transfer Pilot

Japanese IT giant Fujitsu and three major banks have announced plans to pilot a peer-to-peer money transfer system built with blockchain technology. In partnership with Mizuho Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Fujitsu will field trial a cloud-based blockchain platform for sending funds between individuals, as well as a smartphone app to increase the usability of the system.

Blockchain Technology Could Be A Game Changer In Esports

Esports platform Eloplay, which has been in existence for more than eighteen months and provides a service that allows players to organize and participate in esports tournaments, is testing out a new form of currency for its users. It is an example of an esports-related entity involving itself in the blockchain and leveraging smart contracts technology to allow players and brands to organize esports tournaments of any scale, using Eloplay Tokens as the prize pool.

It's Unanimous: Swift Blockchain Success Sets Stage for Sibos

Once considered perhaps the largest middleman at risk of being disrupted by blockchain, Swift took a notable step today toward becoming a disruptor. Revealed on the eve of its largest annual event, Sibos, the inter-bank platform, along with six banks including BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon and Wells Fargo, has deemed its flagship blockchain trial a success from both a technical and business perspective. First announced in January, the proof-of-concept tested whether moving funds stored in nostro-vostro accounts for international transactions to a blockchain could free up those funds to further investment.

AIG takes first step towards blockchain-powered invoice finance

Global insurer AIG and fintech firm TradeIX are building a blockchain-powered platform for invoice finance. Having completed their first pilot transaction with Standard Chartered and a global logistics company, the parties are now ready to scale up to more corporates and banks.

Blockchain in Construction: BitRent Opens New Horizons for Investors

Blockchain platform BitRent announced a revolutionary solution in the area of new-built property: commercial and residential property shared investing at an early stage of construction and total control over construction process in real time by means of modules and structures chipping. The company operates on blockchain technology and smart-contracts protocol. BitRent platform’s mission is to make real estate investing easy, transparent and profitable all over the world.

STATE BANK OF MAURITIUS LAUNCHES LENDING PILOT WITH BLOCKCHAIN STARTUP

A business financial institution in Mauritius has inked a take care of blockchain lending startup SALT to check the use of digital property as collateral for loans. The “exploratory” deal between the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) and SALT, which presents a platform permitting customers to borrow towards their cryptocurrency holdings, will see the financial institution testing that particular software.

Standard Chartered Joins EquiChain's Capital Markets Blockchain Pilot

Multinational banking firm Standard Chartered has inked a year-long partnership deal with fintech startup EquiChain to join its blockchain pilot focused on bringing efficiencies to the capital markets. In a statement, U.K.-based Standard Chartered said it will be the first custodian to join EquiChain's user group for the prototype platform. Using blockchain technology to enable the direct exchange of value between financial incumbents, the effort aims to do away with "the current need for multiple touchpoints and the inefficient interaction of different systems."

Baidu Explores Blockchain Technology

On Tuesday, Baidu, China’s leading Internet search engine, confirmed its interest in blockchain technology by becoming a premier member of Hyperledger. According to Amazon’s Alexa, baidu.com is the most popular website in China and ranks fourth globally. The Beijing-based conglomerate has a market cap of $93.95 billion at time of press. China’s prohibitions of cryptocurrency exchanges and token offerings clearly have not dissuaded domestic blockchain development.

Broadridge Pilots Blockchain for Repo Trades With French Banks

Broadridge Financial Solutions has completed a blockchain pilot with two French banks aimed at recording the details of bilteral repurchase, or repo, agreements. The U.S.-based investor services firm worked with Natixis and Societe Generale on the pilot, which Broadridge said had demonstrated a distributed ledger's benefits for this kind of transaction. Specifically, those benefits include less manual intervention, reduced risk, greater transparency and faster processing, Broadridge said.

Saudi Arabia's IDB plans blockchain-based financial inclusion product

The research arm of the Islamic Development Bank [ISDBA.UL] plans to use blockchain technology to develop sharia-compliant products, aiming to support financial inclusion efforts across its member countries. The Jeddah-based Islamic Research and Training Institute said it had signed an agreement with local firm Ateon and Belgium-based SettleMint, with the first stage to focus on a technical feasibility study.

SolarCoin Founders Introduce New Blockchain-Based Network for Global, Decentralized Energy Trading

Greeneum today announced the upcoming launch of its Blockchain-based platform, “Greeneum Network.” Greeneum leverages Blockchain, smart contracts, targeted artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to redefine renewable energy systems globally by enabling decentralized peer-to-peer trading, providing analytics and predictive insights on the energy lifecycle, and incentivizing the production and consumption of green energy.

Russia's Government to Test Blockchain Land Registry System

The Russian government is to begin testing a blockchain-based land registry system early next year. According to a draft resolution published by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreetr), the Federal Tax Service and the Government of Moscow will assess the trial through July 1, 2018. The ministry will submit and release a final report on the trial by Sept. 1, 2018.

MIT Issues Diplomas Using the Bitcoin Blockchain

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has begun a pilot program to test the benefits and challenges of using the bitcoin blockchain to issue diplomas. The pilot program began this summer and provided 111 MIT graduates with the option to receive their diplomas through a blockchain-reliant smartphone app called Blockcerts Wallet, in addition to the traditional hard-copy format.

A Decentralized Dispute Resolution Platform Emerges on the Blockchain

Jury.Online is creating a protocol for interaction between judges and the parties to deal, as well as a transparent, secure and convenient platform for making deals using Blockchain and modern cryptographic systems.  It is providing a platform for deals reinvention where disputes can be resolved very quickly with minimal hassles.

Kochava Introduces First Blockchain-Based Digital Advertising Platform

Kochava , the leading mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform, today announced XCHNG, an open and unified blockchain framework for the digital advertising ecosystem. The XCHNG blockchain-based system of record enables the tokenization of an insertion order (IO, or a contract to buy advertisements) with the supporting immutable infrastructure to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers of ads. The XCHNG framework will be powered by the XCHNG Token, which will be released in a Token Generation Event (TGE) in early 2018.

WISeKey IoT Blockchain Technology to be Deployed in Selected SmartCities in China

WISeKey International Holding Ltd ("WISeKey"- SIX: WIHN), a leading cybersecurity company today announced its progress on the WISeKey China Blockchain Centre of Excellence which aims to deploy a Trusted Blockchain as a Service platform in the country with special focus to IoT, Smart Cars and Smart Cities projects.

Australian scientists have built the fastest blockchain technology in the world

The latest test of the University of Sydney’s Red Belly Blockchain shows it can process financial transactions 50% faster than first anticipated, outperforming market leaders – including VISA – for worldwide payments. Dr Vincent Gramoli, who heads the Concurrent Systems Research Group developing the blockchain, says trials over the past three months showed the technology’s performance gets better as it scales up.

K&L Gates to implement private blockchain

K&L Gates is making an investment in blockchain technology and training for its attorneys. “We are hearing from our lawyers globally who are excited about getting hands-on experience working with blockchain applications,” said K&L Gates Global Managing Partner James Segerdahl in a press release.

 

Are there any other stories of blockchain in action that you have read or seen last month? Leave a comment / link below.

NOTE: Content in this post has been curated from the links referenced in the article

 

 

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End-to-end marketing strategy including a mix of offline and online initiatives Her focus is on gaining global mind-share with clients, partners, analysts and industry community by crafting an integra...

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