Category Archives: Edinburgh

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Financial Companies Need IT Infrastructural Overhaul to Match Blockchain Tech

With the rising tide of cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications in FinTech industry, financial firms may have to replace their IT infrastructural systems to keep up with the technology. This was a shared sentiment by experts at the ScotChain18 event in Edinburgh, Scotland, reports Scotsman.

The event hosted by MBN Solutions and blockchain specialist Spiritus, rallied experts from finance and blockchain sectors to discuss the impact of the rise of blockchain on commerce. Subjects touched included regulatory challenges the blockchain poses to governments globally, cryptocurrency and blockchain standards, and new business strategy outlook for organizations exploring cryptocurrency’s underlying technology.

A prominent misconception that was addressed, was the notion that current IT infrastructures could handle the data structures of the blockchain. Jeremy Drane of crypto-systems firm Libra debunked this assumption saying:

“The data is just so different that their systems can’t work with it”. While further sharing his experience when educating his customers who are rather complacent with their old systems, he emphasized that there are “minute differences between data structures” which would not allow the system to work. His recommendation often was to “buy new than repurpose” old software.

During the conference, Casey Kuhlman, CEO of smart contract provider Monax, emphasized the need for standards within the industry. His concern was about the “immature” nature of the blockchain and the fact that each cryptocurrency employed “different tech” made it hard for a clear value proposition. However, he was a strong proponent of the blockchain project happening in Cambridge stating that:

“Projects like the one happening in Cambridge will give much-needed clarity and let us talk about cryptocurrency in a more distinguished way”.

Apparently, the greater impact will be felt in business operations, as organizations will have to adjust their strategies to accommodate the changes brought about by the distributed ledger technology. The CEO of MBN Solutions, Michael Young viewed the blockchain as a “new order” and that organizations may have to “adapt to new business strategies” which will impact traditional IT infrastructures to be able to support this new order.

On a general note, blockchain data array systems are tailored to different financial services being provided. And for any traditional IT infrastructure to evolve, they may have to adapt their systems to accommodate these variables.

 

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Edinburgh Hosts World’s First Blockchain ID Lab

Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh has launched the world’s first recognized blockchain identification laboratory as part of the country’s new blockchain research facility that boasts to be the only one of its kind in Europe.

Blockpass Identity Lab is a GBP 600,000 collaborative effort between Hong Kong-based blockchain-based identity application firm, Blockpass IDN, and the Edinburgh Napier University. It is located on the university’s Merchiston Campus and will focus its efforts on researching and testing the ways in which blockchain can be used to protect personal data online.

Predominantly, researchers will be focused on building new data infrastructures that consider privacy, rights and the consent of Scottish citizens in an attempt to stifle identity fraud cases that affect approximately one in ten UK residents at one time in their lives. The future value of the digital identity market is forecast to hit USD 9.7 billion by 2021.

Kate Forbes, the Scottish Minister for the Digital Economy, described the future practices of the lab as ”exciting work” necessary in order to combat the illegal actions of online scammers and hackers. She also praised it for the positive benefits it will have on keeping the Scottish cybersecurity both ”innovative and world-class”.

The lab is set to run for three years during the Hong Kong-Scotland partnership, in which funding will be provided for five PhD students, their research support staff and the required technology.

Dr Sally Smith, dean of the university’s School of Computing, said that she sees the collaboration as a ”positive foundation for the future” that support developing the advanced skills necessary for blockchain research.

Those who wish to get involved with the new facility can participate in a number of activities organized to promote the launch. They have organized an advanced cryptography, blockchain, and digital identity conference, as well as an open hackathon.

 

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