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IBM, Microsoft, JP Morgan Lead Ethereum Blockchain Initiative

IBM, Microsoft, JP Morgan Lead Ethereum Blockchain Initiative

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has announced that it will be launching a new “Token Taxonomy Initiative” that will see a collaboration by some of the most influential names in traditional and emerging financial technology (fintech), including Microsoft, IBM, JP Morgan, ConsenSys and many others.

The EEA Token Taxonomy Initiative states that it will work on developing clear definitions for the token concept, as well as an outline of its scope. This will include business use cases, terminology and taxonomy, as well as technical specification.

Microsoft principal architect and EEA board member Marley Gray noted that the acceleration of blockchain tech adoption made it ever more important for industry players to cooperate in developing mutual understanding of the token model, while agreeing on common definitions as well as helping to ensure interoperability through standards and best practices:

“With a standardized global approach, the Token Taxonomy Initiative will form the foundation of critical standards in tokenization that could streamline the way entire industries and ecosystems work on a blockchain.”

Despite the occasional denials of being friendly towards cryptocurrency, traditional banking leaders such as JP Morgan as well as accounting firms like EY, who are part of this new initiative, have been much warmer towards the underlying technology of crypto, known as blockchain.


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Deloitte: 5 Hurdles for Blockchain to Enter Mainstream

Blockchain adoption barriers can be lowered significantly if five “key issues” can be addressed, according to an article published by Deloitte.


Published on 28 September, the article titled “Blockchain and the five vectors of progress” takes a deep dive into the many issues that are stifling mass adoption of the technology. In order for progress to be made, the article recommends three areas that will “enhance technical feasibility” and two others which call for greater regulatory support and an increase of organizations formed by blockchain enterprises.

Other reports and studies from the global auditing and consulting firm have appeared rather bullish on blockchain, suggesting that businesses that do not adopt and implement the technology will be at risk of falling behind.

Furthermore, a survey that was recently conducted by Deloitte highlighted positive sentiments held by industries across the globe; it found that a vast majority of participants believed that mainstream adoption will come to fruition in the not-so-distant future.

The article somewhat counters these findings by referencing a 2018 Gartner CIO survey which found that 1% of respondent CIOs had managed to “indicate any kind of blockchain adoption”, with another 8% working on either a pilot or were in short-term planning phases.


It goes on to argue that blockchain-based systems as a transaction medium are still too slow with the number one network, Bitcoin, only able to manage up to seven transactions per second and the second largest, Ethereum, around 15.

However, massive improvements have been made, with IBM managing to run 3,500 transactions per second on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform. Furthermore, the article highlights the push to evolve consensus mechanisms as a sign of distinct progress.


Next up is standardization; for any business without blockchain coders and developers on staff, adopting the technology is expensive and time-consuming. This is due to the overflowing number of blockchain projects that are utilizing multiple coding languages, mechanisms and protocols.

Should there be a standard in place, the field will somewhat be leveled and an increase in industry-level participants will be further made possible. The report makes note of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), who are currently working to create a standard Ethereum network software for business.

As the number of participants in the blockchain race grows, it is thought that standardization will prove valuable to collaborations, sharing of blockchain solutions, smoother integration with existing blockchains and cross-blockchain transactions among many others.

Low-cost ease of access

Blockchain solutions are complex and costly, not only to create but also to implement.

Naturally, unintuitive new technologies can ward off even the most open-minded of skeptics, though this is also changing rapidly in the face of industrial giants such as Amazon and IBM launching affordable cloud-based technology as-a-service solutions.

These new services enable companies to dramatically reduce the barriers with blockchain templates, which allow for the simple setup of a “basic blockchain infrastructure”. Ease of development is also on the list of issues presently being conquered with new tools being created by companies such as Google.

Legally sound

Regulation has been one of the hottest topics surrounding the nascent technology in 2018. Countries such as Malta, South Korea, and Switzerland are tipped as the jurisdictions that are leading the regulatory race, with Malta miles ahead of the closest competitor.

Deloitte agrees that regulation is absolutely vital to the future success of blockchain, creating appropriate classifications for cryptocurrencies, defining smart contracts as well as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policies being high on the order list.

The formation of “blockchain consortia” is the final vector listed as part of the Deloitte’s five critical issue areas; groups of collaborating companies who band together to promote the advancement of the technology can be a powerful catalyst for its adoption.

Like the EEA, they can establish new standards for the tech, lobby governments, develop infrastructure, educate, advise and do much more to speed up progressions with the aforementioned vectors listed.

Conclusively, the article writes:

“It’’s understandable why, despite promising pilots and experiments, executives might wonder when — and even whether — blockchain will be ready for mass adoption. But progress along these vectors is bringing the technology closer to its breakout moment every day.”


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Canada Ranks With The Best As Blockchain Nation

Canada is fast becoming a world leader in embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology behind the US and the UK.

Due to provincial research and development, low energy costs, high-speed internet and internal regulation, Canada, home of Ethereum, has become an established global leader in blockchain innovation.

Ethereum blockchain technology is now used around the world with a wide variety of applications in major sectors such as government, health, and education. A Cornell University study shows there is a clear difference of nodal distribution between Ether and Bitcoin around the globe. Emin Gun Sirer, Cornell professor, and computer scientist suggests:

“The Ethereum nodes are both in the latency space, and also geographically, more distributed around the world, as opposed to Bitcoin nodes, which tend to be located in data centers”

Toronto based Vitalik Buterin, who is the inventor of the Ethereum Blockchain, a second-generation open source software platform, is largely responsible for Canada’s current popularity as a major Fintech hub. The Ethereum Blockchain extended Nakamoto’s original bitcoin blockchain by adding the concept of smart contracts, which have changed the face of data protection and storage around the world.

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), based in Toronto, has currently invested in over 70 research projects which are looking at ways the blockchain technology can be used in industry. The BRI has joined with the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) of Canada and the Bank of Canada to build a nationwide blockchain system.

This year, Canada’s first Blockchain exchange-traded fund began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Bank of Canada piloted a research program to examine the possibility of a national cryptocurrency.

ConsenSys, an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance member for over 10 years, now offers some of the lowest electricity rates in North America, and Quebec has consequently become a crypto mining hub. This has drawn crypto-miners to the region.  A local Quebecoise ether miner commented:

“Quebec is one of the best places in the world for mining, thanks to low cost electricity, cool temperatures, and high-speed internet. There’s a lot of data centers in Montreal and they’ll rent you a space for your own server or ZTE smartphone…”

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has granted regulatory relief to allow Ontario’s first regulated ICO under existing exemptions in securities laws.

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