Category Archives: IT

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Indian Prime Minister Gives “Life Changing” DLT Full Backing

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken out in favor of giving support to distributed ledger technology (DLT), outlining its potential to change lives.

Modi sees emerging technologies such as blockchain boosting the Indian economy and creating a more buoyant employment landscape which could change the lives of “the last person waiting in the queue”.

These are encouraging words for an industry which is seen to be struggling this year, not helped by a controversial crypto ban which is under enforcement, and a sluggish performance to date by the government in passing helpful blockchain legislation.

Research conducted by Incrypt earlier this year found that 80% of developers could be forced to move abroad due to the distinct lack of regulatory frameworks in India. According to hiring solutions provider Belong Technologies, only 5,000 (0.25%) of the 2 million blockchain developers in India have the right blockchain skills.

The survey indicated that “the delay in putting together a framework for blockchain is causing India to lose out on jobs, drag in capital infusion, lack of innovation for local problems, talent flight, and setback in global positioning”.

These new comments could mark a positive change for the development and legislation of blockchain technology and help in retaining the skill needed to push into mainstream adoption across the sectors. A recent move in Hyderabad to create a blockchain district show some state governments’ willingness to take the next step. The Hyderabad project would see multinational IT services provider Tech Mahindra join forces with Telangana state government for the construction of the hub in the state capital.

Although the prime minister has waxed lyrical regarding blockchain on more than one occasion, the government will need to lead from the front and implement such plans as those in Telangana to show that it is serious.

The potential for blockchain in the Indian farming sector is huge as the second biggest global producer of wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, silk, groundnuts and dozens more produce. It is also the second biggest harvester of vegetables and fruit, representing 8.6% and 10.9% of overall production, respectively. Agricultural supply chains, often victims of mismanagements and corruption in India, will benefit enormously from a DLT adaptation, a fact not lost on Modi in a speech made earlier this year:

“The responsibility of helping our farmers rests on the shoulders of the new generation. Agricultural students will add value addition to the farmers in our country. There is one important technology in agriculture-artificial intelligence. In the coming days, blockchain technology will also play a huge role.”

 

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Malta Double Dips with World’s First “Convertible” ICO and New Blockchain Degree

Malta-based company Palladium is to launch the world’s first “initial convertible coin offering” (ICCO) with two partners including Bittrex, writes Cointelegraph.

An ICCO is a different concept to an ICO as in this case investors will have the option to convert their assets into company shares in the future. Palladium has stipulated a three-year wait until conversion.

Palladium has confirmed that it wishes to build an exchange in crypto-friendly Malta and will also seek acquisition of a controlling interest in a European bank using 85% of the funds raised from the ICCO along with “strategic investments in financial services and blockchain companies complementing Palladium’s business”. The rest will be used to build the new Maltese exchange.

The company has indicated that the ICCO will see a distribution of USD 150 million in tokens scheduled to begin on 25 July. Founder and co-chairman Paolo Catalfamo commented:

“We expect this project, which will create more than 100 job opportunities, to be a historic landmark and to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and cryptocurrencies.”

In other news from the country, the University of Malta has just announced that it will now offer a blockchain degree as part of civil servant training later this year.

The initiative which was announced last year and will have taken a year to implementation was partly due to criticism that the government hadn’t done enough to offer the young the necessary skills to join the burgeoning block train industry in the country.

This move reflects global trends in IT education around the world which are generally taking on board cryptocurrency and blockchain courses, the latest being the London School of Economics, one of the leading academic institutions for higher learning in the world.

This latest of courses by another well-established institution will cost GBP 1,800, (about USD 2,400) and offers 60 hours of study, after which graduates will become certified crypto academics.

 

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