Category Archives: smart contracts

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CFTC Discusses Possible Crackdown On Blockchain Powered Prediction Markets

Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Brian Quintez made a speech that was largely about blockchain smart contracts on 16 October 2018. Quintez concludes that prediction markets powered by blockchain smart contracts, such as Augur which is the #52 cryptocurrency with a market cap of USD 139 million, are under CFTC jurisdiction and can be classified as binary options.

Specifically, Quintez says “Let’s apply the general analytical framework I’ve described above to our earlier example of the “prediction market.”  In this hypothetical, after performing a facts and circumstances analysis, the CFTC has determined that the smart contracts executed on the blockchain are binary options, which are within its jurisdiction. Binary options are a type of option whose payoff is either a fixed amount or zero. For example, there could be a binary option that pays $100 if the price of gold is above $1,200 per ounce on a specified date or zero otherwise.

Moreover, the contracts in our scenario likely qualify as event contracts that are based upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event (as opposed to a price of a commodity).  Event contracts have a unique spot in CFTC jurisprudence because of the public policy concerns they raise. For example, event contracts based upon war, terrorism, assassination, or other similar incidents may be contrary to the public interest – in which case, the CFTC can prohibit an exchange from offering the contract”.

Indeed, the Augur prediction market has already been in the spotlight due to assassination bets being created. This opens up the possibility that any sort of bet can be created on Augur, no matter how immoral it is, especially since Augur burned the kill switch for the platform, making it decentralized and unstoppable. Clearly, the CFTC would consider immoral bets on Augur contrary to the public interest, and therefore illegal.

Quintez further explains who is responsible when smart contract powered prediction markets violate the law. “I think the appropriate question is whether these code developers could reasonably foresee, at the time they created the code, that it would likely be used by U.S. persons in a manner violative of CFTC regulations. In this particular hypothetical, the code was specifically designed to enable the precise type of activity regulated by the CFTC, and no effort was made to preclude its availability to U.S. persons. Under these facts, I think a strong case could be made that the code developers aided and abetted violations of CFTC regulations. As such, the CFTC could prosecute those individuals for wrongdoing”. This brings up the possibility that programmers who create blockchain prediction markets, such as the Augur developers, could end up in a legal battle with the United States government.

Quintez compares blockchain prediction market developers to someone who lends their keys to a bank robber. As a secondary layer of enforcement, Quintez speculates that the CFTC could sue individuals who use prediction markets, but he admits this would probably be ineffective due to the decentralized, anonymous, and global nature of blockchain prediction markets.

Apparently, LabCFTC has been created to engage with blockchain developers, to prevent blockchain platforms that violate the law from being created in the first place. However, Quintez says if engagement does not occur, then enforcement is the only option.

A final important note in Quintez’s speech is he does not consider code to be law, contrary to the thinking of many blockchain and crypto users who consider code to be a form of law. Quintez says “I have heard some say that “the code is law,” meaning that if the software code permits it, an action is allowed. I disagree with this fundamental premise. Case law, statutes, and regulations are the law. They apply to the code, just as they apply to other activities, contracts, or agreements”.

Essentially, just because something is coded into a blockchain or crypto platform, that does not make it law, and the laws of the land are definitely superior, at least in the CFTC’s opinion.

Quintez ends the speech on a somewhat positive note, saying “Smart contract applications on blockchain networks hold great promise. They have the potential to open up new markets and create efficiencies in existing ones. At the same time, they also raise novel issues of accountability that users and policymakers alike must consider”.

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Australia Tests Blockchain ‘Smart Money’ for Disability Insurance

A federal research branch of the Australian government has partnered with a major national bank to conduct blockchain testings for disability insurance claims via a smart contract-backed token.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) announced details of the ”Making Money Smart” project Tuesday, saying they are currently testing the proof-of-concept.

Together, they will investigate the usability of blockchain in creating what they describe as “smart money”, using Australia‘s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as an initial case study.

Through binding smart contracts encoded into tokens, the project is attempting to solve the issue of NDIS funds being spent outside of the scheme’s preconditions, such as on banned items, outside of the restricted time frame, and by the wrong people. These ”highly personalized payment conditions” were the reason it was chosen for the first proof of concept, to ensure that blockchain technology could meet all of the necessary requirements.

So far, a prototype app has been developed for participants in the NDIS scheme, which aims to give users improved management over their plans by giving them a direct, paperless method for finding, booking, and paying for NDIS service. The proof of concept has received input from government officials and industry leaders, right now being tested by NDIS participants and carers.

Several external participants helping collaborate on the project are cited as the Digital Transformation Agency, the Department of Human Services, FinTech Australia and the Australian Digital Commerce Association.

Sophie Gilder, Head of Experimentation and Blockchain at the Innovation Lab, CBA said that due to the complexity of the project, she recognized a substantial amount of feedback from different organizations with a variety of expertise would be most beneficial. Gilder said, “We threw open the doors and the response has far exceeded our expectations,” a press release reports.

A further more detailed report on the Making Money Smart trial will be shared with the public in November, including information regarding the design, benefits, limitations, and viability for the token to be used in other cases.

 

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WTO Sees Strong Potential in Blockchain’s Future

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has revealed in a recent report that it is positive that blockchain technology will facilitate the easy trading of goods and cut costs as it begins to be taken up more widely.

The WTO outlines the potential of blockchain in its report, a fact which is already known by most developers, but the views have encouraged the industry nonetheless, simply to see the technology recognized by such a major symbol of world trade. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo was particularly encouraged by the potential of smaller enterprises to profit from the utilization of DLTs, commenting:

“Beyond easing trade in goods, digital technologies can facilitate services trade and enable new services to emerge. The Report predicts that the share of services trade could grow from 21 per cent to 25 per cent by 2030. Other effects could include, for example, blockchain helping smaller businesses to start trading by supporting them in building trust with partners around the world.”

The report, entitled The future of world trade: How digital technologies are transforming global commerce’, includes positive comments regarding Ripple and IOTA which are both mentioned specifically. It all goes on to point out blockchain specific uses focusing on supply chains. The WTO states that it hopes that Ripple will be able to continue reducing the cost of cross-border payments and notes the company’s recent expansion, commenting:

“Ripple has ambitions to circumvent the correspondent banking model through its distributed ledger platform. It gives banks the ability to convert funds directly into different currencies in a matter of seconds and at little to no cost, without relying on correspondent banks.”

The report notes although Ripple has licenses with over 100 banks and financial institutions, many banks have not yet taken up the option of using its token, suggesting that banks are still testing the system.

IOTA also get a mention, the report referring to its Directed Acyclic Graph, enabling machine-to-machine communication. Tangle is seen as enabling speedier service for users as more join the network.

 

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China Claims Proposed Blockchain Standards Will Guide Industry

The China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI) working for the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has announced a blockchain standards project to standardize the industry in the country.

The CESI project involves the release of three blockchain standards, which are not based on a national approach to standardizing the industry, but outline requirements for smart contracts, privacy and deposits which could be used as a foundation for changes within the overall industry in the future.

The Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Forum (CBD Forum) of CESI wants to draft up the three blockchain standards by the end of 2018, with a possible release in 2019. CBD Forum has been largely responsible for drawing up guidelines for blockchain development in China, having so far published “China Blockchain Technology and Application Development White Paper (2016)” and “Reference Architecture of Blockchain” standards under instruction from MIIT.

Li Ming, a director of blockchain research lab of the (CESI) confirmed, “The association-based standards will serve as a foundation on which national and international standards can make reference to or be based on.” However, it is not clear what situation would warrant other nations feeling the need to refer to Chinese standards as many are working on guidelines of their guidelines of their own. At a recent Shanghai blockchain conference, chairman of the International Standardization Technical Committee for Distributed Ledger Technology, Craig Dunn said:

“The blockchain is gradually being accepted, and more and more people are beginning to recognize, invest in or use blockchain. But at the same time, many people are skeptical and international standards are needed… At present, more than 50 countries are participating in the development of blockchain standards, including China.”

Li Ming emphasized that China’s blockchain requirements are simply recommended standards so consequently not mandatory; there as a reference point for the developing blockchain industry.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) has recently published its own blockchain guidebook that observes the technology’s key features. The book, Blockchain – A Guide for Officials, covers many facets of the nascent technology which will offer counsel to government officials.

 

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HM Land Registry Looks to Blockchain With 25 Million Potential Use Cases

The UK’s HM Land Registry, which contains 25 million land titles, is planning to utilize blockchain technology for future businesses.

The HM Land Registry is world renowned and has currently £4 trillions worth of land on its books, representing 85% of the entire landmass of England and Wales. The Registry was first established in 1842 and now handles £1 trillions worth of mortgages in England and Wales. Its motto is “Your land and property rights: guaranteed and protected.”

It appears that the HM Land Registry has decided to embrace the latest emerging technology, taking the historic organization from quill to blockchain after a period of 176 years. It’s now hooking up with the software company Methods, using R3’s Corda blockchain, in order to develop the next phase of its ongoing project, Digital Street.

The project was launched in order to utilize DLT and smart contracts to revolutionize the process of land registration in the company. HM Land Registry chief executive Graham Farrant explained how DLT will affect the process of land recording:

“Our ambition to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, ease of use and an open approach to data requires HM Land Registry to be at the forefront of global innovation in land registration. By working with Methods on Digital Street, we are taking another step toward that goal, as we explore how new technologies like blockchain can help us to develop a faster, simpler and cheaper land registration process.”

Blockchain has already been used in the process of transferring land and property and is seen by many in the real estate industry as a tool which could revolutionize the industry as it offers accurate and immutable verification records for digital files, e.g. documents or transactions. Thus, blockchain creates scenarios in which the element of trust in a secured shared history becomes tantamount, ideal for large transactions such as those found in the sale or registering of real estate.

At the end of last year a $60,000 flat in Kiev, Ukraine, became the world’s first property to be sold using a blockchain, purchased by the founder of tech news site TechCrunch using a real estate startup Propy.

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P2P Exchange Bisq: “It Doesn’t Get More Decentralized Than This”

With a recent surge in so-called decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platforms, peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange platform Bisq appears to be one of the very few to attempt serious decentralization.

Once the favored method of exchange, P2P volume has fallen over the years but with increasing privacy and security challenges on centralized exchanges, some like Bisq see a revival in the concept of direct exchange via P2P.

Felix Moreno is one of just a few individuals who work on the decentralized P2P exchange platform Bisq openly. Most people working on it volunteer their services anonymously and for free. Why? Because, as Moreno told Bitcoin News, it is the ”holy grail” of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bitcoin News caught up with Moreno to discuss the logistics of running a nearly entirely decentralized exchange, why they will have to fight tooth and nail to keep it that way, and why know-your-customer (KYC) regulations are really just a way for the government to get into your pockets.

Moreno’s experience

He has been in the Bitcoin world for a long time, suffered through the Mt Gox fiasco and various hacks and scams before, and now wants to do his part in minimizing these experiences for others.

”What do we need that can make exchanging as decentralized as the Bitcoin network itself? This is the closest we have gotten to that ideal,” he said. This is one of the most interesting projects Moreno says he has worked on, both making him understand what makes Bitcoin special and what potential decentralization can unlock, Moreno explains his belief that Bisq’s founders really try and live up to this standard.

A return to private exchanges between crypto users

Bisq founder Manfred Karrer shared these comments about the platform: ”To enable a privacy protecting exchange between fiat currencies and Bitcoin, it is crucial to keep your Bitcoin untainted. Protection of privacy is here directly related to security. There is a long list of hacks of centralized Bitcoin exchanges. In such events, your personal financial data including your residency address can end up in the hand of hackers and criminals. The only protection is to not store user data.”

The Bisq project is open source, operating entirely with the help of informal collaborators besides the founders. There was no initial coin offering held to raise funds; the few who helped contribute the minimal funds pre-launch did not do so expecting to see their money again. The mission getting these people so excited is an ambition to create a platform like BitTorrent but instead of offering music, offering a cryptocurrency exchange for all coins, between people and users instead of companies and banks.

Right now, you can buy and sell Bitcoin and altcoins using dozens of fiat currencies but with more users, this could potentially become hundreds. The platform uses multi-signature transactions on Bitcoin smart contracts to block in escrow the Bitcoins that people use as a security deposit, so there is a mutually assured destruction for both partners in the trade if they don’t complete it correctly.

The privacy measures do not much change the process of using the platform, Moreno detailed: ”There is a local wallet in your computer under your control so there is no way that runners of the project can access it. You can fund the wallet at the moment you want to make the trade by just scanning the QR code and depositing funds straight away.”

Bisq Founder Manfred Karrer

In terms of decentralization, what makes Bisq so different from other exchanges?

Bisq does not require you to have an account or share your information with a third-party company. Your information is stored locally in the Bisq Client, an application that you need to download onto your computer, and only the minimum of this is shared with the trade counterpart and nobody else. For example, if you are trading with fiat, your bank details will be shared. A Bitcoin-Monero trade, on the other hand, will not even share your name with the trading partner, only your wallet address.

”There is no way we could turn into a KYC financial surveillance company because there is no company, there is no one the SEC can send a subpoena to. There is no one in charge,” Moreno explained.

Privacy is crucial for them. Moreno outlined the main issue with centralized businesses: ”Big companies leak large amounts of user data every week, and the ones who are not leaking are the worst offenders, accumulating social media and search engine data to sell to advertisers in the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is something from (the book) 1984.’

Privacy, he added, is especially important with finances due to the risks of theft, fraud, and rich Bitcoin traders that could become susceptible to phishing scams if their data is shared. He also recognized that there are different degrees of decentralization with Coinbase at one end, Hodl Hodl somewhere in the middle, and then Bisq.

”Ideally, Bisq is so successful that it will be copied by a lot of people and because it is open source code this will be easy. I’m fine with that, that’s the spirit of open source,” he explained.

A dying kind

Moreno pointed out that even companies that have tried to offer decentralized platforms, such as Shapeshift, reach a certain level of success and then have to ”ignore the ‘no account needed’ hashtag”. They may not want to impose KYC, he said in the case of Shapeshift: ”I know Eric (Shapeshift CEO), he’s a great guy, really believes in privacy. But once you run a company with dozens of employees and investors you cannot take the legal risk. Shapeshift is incorporated in Switzerland so technically the SEC doesn’t have anything to say about it in theory, but in practice, the long reach of American regulators extends at least over half the world if not more… I don’t think he has a choice.”

Bisq Co-Founder Chris Beams

It is not perfect

There are risks to this level of decentralization and the platform itself is not perfect. For one, it exposes Bisq to scammers that in some other places can be stopped with an identity check, but it uses a set of incentives and smart contracts to minimize this risk. Moreno says he has used nearly every trading platform there is and has realized it is much more detrimental to scammers to have a security deposit there to lose than to ask for identification. Bisq has a double security deposit, which when trade is completed, both parties recover but if there are any issues they can lose their money.

One aspect that people may also not like is the fact you have to download a program to run on your computer.

”That’s like early 2000s, who does that anymore?” Moreno joked, clearly aware that this is a problem for some people. It is, however, the only way to exchange completely securely and to let people really have control of their own node, he said.

Some people might also not enjoy the fact that because they are completely in control of their own funds as any mistake is on the user: ”It’s like in the early days of Bitcoin when you send funds to the wrong address – you’re screwed. But that’s your responsibility and some people don’t want that.”

And then there is the issue of speed. You can not simply buy with one click when making a market order as you can on some centralized platforms; the multi-signature which is on the Bitcoin blockchain requires at least 10 minutes for confirmation. Then the speed depends on your payment network; some ways such as through a Revolut account will be quick, but international bank transfers can sometimes take five days or more.

Fighting to stay online, and why regulations are really there

While Bisq may avoid most regulations because of its decentralized structure, the path ahead for them is not easy: ”Bisq is going to have a very hard time surviving the way it is doing things… We will have to fight like hell and use every technological advantage to keep it up.”

If there is a company behind it, Moreno says, every exchange will get a call from local regulators who want first: full KYC and the source of funds for counterterrorism measures especially over certain amounts, and secondly: automatic data sharing like banks already have with tax authorities so they can ”go on phishing expeditions to see who isn’t declaring all their Bitcoin income or whatever”.

Moreno continued, ”KYC is not there out of the goodness of their hearts; it’s a slippery slope towards first identifying you, then getting money out of you. If tax authority lobbyists win, they will allow crypto activities to continue but they will be taxed and if financial industry lobbyists win, they will exclude competition so only big financial companies can run exchanges with proper licenses.”

Industry self-regulation

So is industry self-regulation the way forward? Well, Moreno thinks it could work.

He explained that now, more than ever, there is the opportunity to do it well by using smart contracts and setting up things such as automatic penalties for people who break the rules. ”That can get us very very far, much farther than all the preventative KYC regs”, he said, adding that reputation networks too have always worked because people care a lot about return trade.

”If people are completely anonymous, it’s very easy to have a selfish attitude, but if it’s someone you have some sort of relationship with, it’s only the psychopaths that are going to give that up for a short-term gain,” Moreno remarked.

Bisq Co-Founder Christoph Atteneder

Set the date: 20th September

Right now, trading volumes are comparatively very small: ”Bisq is at 183 on Coincap, it’s tiny.”

For euros and dollars, trading is decent but for some other currencies such as the Argentinian peso, there is hardly anyone on the platform offering pairs. ”Argentina really needs it but again, most people will not do the work of finding decentralized exchanges until they suffer a hack or find their account frozen,” Moreno noted.

To try and encourage traders, Moreno has planned a kick start virtual event on 20 September 2018. He is asking everybody who is interested to go on Bisq and place an ad.

”If you don’t want to trade just say ‘I’m here, I’m interested and when the time comes to buy and sell I will be here,’ especially for lesser used currencies. If we can get 4/5 people for these currencies, other people can see there are people trading around them.”

It may not be the fastest platform, the most accessible or provide some of the assurances that KYC compliant exchanges do, but as Moreno believes, ”Right now, Bisq is the best we have got by far.”

To find out more about Bisq, or to contribute to the platform, join the Slack or follow them on Twitter.

 

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Blockchain Eases the Way in World of Islamic Finance

Islamic banking which carries with it higher administrative costs than conventional banking could be benefited with the implementation of blockchain technology.

The two basic principles behind Islamic banking are the sharing of profit and loss and, significantly, the prohibition of the collection and payment of interest.

Blockchain-based banking is considered the next frontier in banking that will usher in a new era of decentralization and disrupt the centralized banking system. Islamic banking is a USD 3 trillion industry worldwide particularly popular in North African, South Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Its principles involve zero interest rates and focus on more control of one’s finances than the conventional banking system.

Financial Institutions such as Hada DBank, a promising new startup, will help increase transparency and bring back control to the average Islamic Bank user. For this purpose, Hada DBank is involved in various corporate partnerships that are cementing the bank’s status as the premier blockchain Islamic bank.

However, fees are an issue in traditional Islamic banking, the main reason being that the system requires higher transactional costs which cover some legal and administrative processes not required in conventional banking.

Blockchain banking in automating some of these processes due to encoding terms and including them in its smart contract system can alleviate some of the associated legal and administrative processes, reducing both cost and the risk of fraud.

In Islamic banking, all financial transactions must comply with Sharia Law, where debt cannot be created unless backed with underlying assets. Mining is acceptable as there is no aspect of either debt or lending involved in the process.  According to Islamic law, items falling under the ribawi category (such as gold or silver) must be exchanged in equal measure and with immediate transfer of possession, otherwise, transactions may involve riba or usury, a major prohibition in Islam.

UAE-based startup Adab Solutions has launched the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange that operates with full Sharia law compliance. The exchange will be overseen by an in-house Sharia Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of independent experts that will ensure the operations unfailingly remain within the jurisdiction of Islamic law.

As the fastest growing religion in the world, with Muslims now representing 23% of the world’s population, Bitcoin has become an important issue for financial authorities. Last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held its first formal discussion about Islamic banking needs in the Muslim community for the first time.

 

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Australia and IBM to Collaborate for National Blockchain

An Australian federal agency is teaming up with American multinational technology company IBM to develop a national blockchain on which smart legal contracts can be carried out.

The research branch of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization known as Data61 have been working alongside both law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM to create a pilot platform for the Australian National Blockchain (ANB) that will be available for use by businesses.

Australia-based companies will be able to use the network in order to utilize digital contracts, exchange data securely and confirm the authenticity and status of legally binding contracts. Upon finalization of the ANB, the developers hope to be able to offer a service that can fully manage the lifecycle of a contract through a permission-based access system from all parties.

The platform will also provide smart legal contracts with smart clauses and the ability to record external sources of data such as that retrieved from the Internet of Things, self-executing once all specified contract conditions are met. Designed for full legal compliance in Australia, ANB boasts to be the first large-scale, public to business blockchain solution.

Paul Hutchison, vice president and partner of Cognitive Process Transformation at IBM, pointed to the groundbreaking nature of blockchain technology, saying: ”Blockchain will be to transactions what the internet was to communication… ANB could likely spur innovation and economic development in the country as it harnesses that forward-thinking technology.”

The pilot is set to be launched by the end of the year for a number of invited regulators, banks, law firms and businesses to trial, with plans to eventually open up the platform to all companies in Australia.

Blockchain in Australia

While Australia may not have the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption, it has made significant progress in terms of blockchain developments.

Earlier this month, the country’s government handed a USD 1.7 million grant to a sustainable sugar blockchain project that tracks the origins and movements of sugar imports. It is part of a larger initiative of the Smart Cane Best Management Practice that is attempting to bring transparency to the sugar industry and promote sustainability.

In July, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia successfully tracked a shipment of 17 tons of almonds from Sunraysia to Hamburg, Germany using blockchain. The blockchain stored documentation, finance information, and operations information, with customs documents uploaded as the shipment passed through countries’ borders.

 

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US Universities Weigh in on Blockchain Applications

Many academics with both a business and technology background based at American universities  have been praising blockchain technology for its broad range of applications and future potential.

Blockchain applications are in growing use by governments, private companies and NGOs, and millions of dollars have been invested in researching the new technology over the past few years. The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, applied a blockchain to currency and the rest is now history, but the challenge for economies now is to utilize it other areas across the widest spectrum of society.

As past posts by Bitcoin News have revealed, record keeping, smart contracts, Identity verification, ownership, supply chains, cloud storage all benefit from the cryptography of blockchains, and solutions are emerging every day offering numerous applications for DLT. Lawrence Trautman, a professor at Western Carolina University, sees this as becoming the go-to technology for these needs in the next few years and cryptocurrency is the tip of the iceberg.

He suggests that “We will see smart contracts that essentially rely on blockchain, (and) we will see great economies of scale in manufacturing processes in a command and control system and process”, adding the blockchain “is a wonderful technological invention for mankind, and virtual currencies are simply one application for the use of blockchain”.

The world is also beginning to see more impact in areas such as finance, insurance and government data management, and speed of service will become a factor as the need for paper gives way to digitalization of information. David Noble, director of the Peter J Werth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at UConn argues:

“The insurance industry can become a lot more efficient at pricing risk if they know who owns it within 20 or 30 minutes instead of three or four days… a robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain are all going to play an important role in that.”

Robert Dahlstrom, a professor of marketing at Miami University sees supply chains as being great beneficiaries of blockchain both commercially and more widely. NGOs are already putting the technology to excellent use in assuring supply chains have clear and transparent details of products quality and whereabouts along the chain, and even registering births.  Dalstrom suggests:

“With Moore’s law and the processing speed of computers increasing constantly, and combined with the decline in the cost of storage, I think that 10 years from now we may see profound applications (of blockchain).”

 

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JD.com Launches Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

JD.com, China’s largest retailer, has launched a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform for use by businesses looking to develop blockchain solutions. The new platform will allow them to adopt DLT without having to build the technology from the ground up.

As detailed in the recent press release, the JD Blockchain Open Platform enables developers to build, host and implement solutions on the JD constructed blockchain platform. Customers will be able to create and adjust smart contracts on either a public or private enterprise cloud, as well as utilize the tracking and tracing of goods function from the production line to the retail destination. Blockchain tracking benefits customers by its ability to provide an authenticity certification of the goods served.

The first partner is China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC), which has used the platform to issue official Chinese business receipts known as ”fapiao.” According to the press release, the system is able to increase security practices for all e-invoices. Yanhong Pan, vice president and CFO of CPIC, said that he is confident that the use of the open platform is streamlining the efficiency of his operations and noted that blockchain technology is forcing all companies to shift their business practices.

The JD Blockchain Open Platform is part of JD.com’s Retail as a Service (RaaS) strategy that seeks to provide sophisticated technological infrastructure to other companies and industries. By empowering businesses that may not have the means or skills necessary to develop their own blockchain, JD’s strategy may well be significant in the adoption of blockchain tech; its blockchain goods tracing platform, launched last year has already served over 400 brands.

Blockchain in China

Blockchain developments in China have been propelling the country as a leading industry figure. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has been particularly proactive in accelerating blockchain adoption by building a strong ecosystem to support a variety of industry sectors and the expansion of the technology across these fields.

On Monday, the MIIT listed a blockchain research laboratory in its list of key labs for the year. The Key Laboratory of Blockchain Technology and Data Security Industry and Information Technology is under supervision from the National Industrial Information Security Development Research Center.

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