Posted on

The Bahamas Plans to Become a Leading Blockchain Hub

An NGO in collaboration with some institutions announced plans to establish blockchain developers in the Bahamas. The group also aims to place the Island at the forefront of distributed ledger technology (DLT) adoption.

A Leading Blockchain Hub in the Caribbean

According to The Nassau Guardian, an NGO known as the Caribbean Blockchain Alliance (CBA) is seeking to establish a group of decentralized technology developers in The Bahamas. In a press release, Stefen Deleveaux, founder of the CBA, talked about the inherent opportunities found in decentralized technology.

The founder further explained thus:

Blockchain technology is seen as the next step in Internet and financial technology, in what many describe as Web 3.0. There is a huge opportunity to use this technology to improve public and private services in this country. In addition, competent blockchain developers are in high demand, in an industry that almost guarantees access to a high-income job or potential project.

Deleveaux also said that part of the objectives was to build several cohorts of DLT developers. The CBA founder also recognized the importance of blockchain technology in software infrastructure as the reason for the groups.

Furthermore, Deleveaux announced a collaboration involving Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), CBA, Blockgeeks, and the University of the Bahamas. These four institutions would host a hackathon. Also, twenty-five Bahamian citizens would partake in a course for decentralized technology developers, from November 30 – December 1, 2018.

The press release further stated that after the course, students would get a certificate recorded on the decentralized technology.

Michael Nelson, who serves as IDB’s Chief of Operations, added that the bank seeks to empower Bahamian citizens. With the collaboration and the incentives in place for DLT developers, Ameer Rosic, the CEO of Blockgeeks, believes that the Island could be “the blockchain hub of the Caribbean.”

Island Governments Adopting Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency adoption are recording high among Island governments. Some of these countries go further to aspire to become “blockchain Islands.”

Towards the end of the second quarter, the Bahamas announced plans to issue its digital currency. According to the Island, a state-owned virtual currency would help to improve its economic development and eliminate barriers.

Malta, another DLT-friendly country, is at the forefront of decentralized technology and cryptocurrency adoption. Popularly known as the “blockchain Island,” it was the first country to have a holistic legislative framework regulating DLT technology.

Furthermore, Malta introduced the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA) and the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS). Both Acts would regulate virtual currency and decentralized technology.

However, Marshall Islands’ plan to adopt cryptocurrency isn’t receiving complete support. President Hilda Heine’s announced moves to create a virtual currency that would act as a legal tender but received a “no confidence motion” from some of the country’s senators. The IMF and the U.S. also disagreed with the president’s plan.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The post The Bahamas Plans to Become a Leading Blockchain Hub appeared first on Ethereum World News.

Posted on

Blockchain Evidence is Legally Binding, says China’s Supreme Court

The Supreme People’s Court of China has issued a set of new rules on the trial of internet court cases, part of which is that blockchain can authenticate electronic data entered in as evidence.

Blockchain Authentication

The court’s ruling issued on Friday sets out new rules to guide the activities of internet courts, and protect the legal rights of disputing parties. A portion of the new regulations relates to the authentication of electronic data presented as evidence:

The electronic data submitted by the parties can prove their authenticity through electronic signature, trusted time stamp, hash value check, blockchain, and other evidence collection, fixed and tamper-proof technical means or through electronic forensic evidence platform certification. [a rough translation]

Data stored or retrieved with distributed technology are now admissible in Court. Also, in instances where electronic data entered in as evidence in a case is questioned by any of the parties involved, the data can be authenticated using blockchain technology.

This new ruling by the Supreme Court agrees with the precedence set by Hangzhou Internet Court earlier in the year.

In a case between a media company and a technology company, Hangzhou Internet Court ruled that decentralized technology can be used as a method to determine the authenticity of the digital information presented as evidence.

Internet Court was instituted due to the rising numbers of online trade disputes and copyright infringements in the country. The Hangzhou Internet Court is the first, and it was instituted in August 2017. The government plans to launch internet courts in two other cities – Beijing and Guangzhou.

China Picks Blockchain Over Cryptocurrencies

Despite the relentless crackdown on cryptocurrencies in the country, the Chinese Government is eagerly embracing blockchain technology.  On the one hand, the government banned ICOs and domestic cryptocurrency trading and exchanges and restricted crypto-related online content. On the other hand, it is also adopting distributed ledger technology in trade and other sectors.

In April, EWN reported that state-owned Sinochem Energy Technology Co Limited completed a shipment of gasoline to Singapore using blockchain technology.

Private Corporations in the country are also adopting the blockchain technology and driving decentralized technology-related innovation globally. Chinese company’s like Tencent and Alibaba are leading the global blockchain patent race.  56% percent of all issued distributed technology-related patents in the world belong to Chinese companies.  Even the country’s Central Bank is also not left out, issuing 68 filings for DLT (Decentralized Ledger Technology) patents.

The post Blockchain Evidence is Legally Binding, says China’s Supreme Court appeared first on Ethereum World News.

Posted on

Senior Government Official Calls for Greater Blockchain Technology Capacity Development in the Country

A Bahraini minister has called on companies and individuals in the country to adopt blockchain technology. According to the minister, this would go a long way in developing the country and combating cyber-crime.

Bahrain Stands to Benefit from Blockchain Technology

According to lcoal media sources, Bahrain’s Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza, has emphasized the importance of blockchain adoption. During the inauguration of the two-day SmartSec Cyber Security and Blockchain Conference 2018, the Minister said that Bahraini companies and citizens must take advantage of the nascent technology.

Speaking on its potentials, Mirza referred to the technology as a “true mark of progress” and hailed it as a significant advancement for the country. The minister believes that blockchain technology was capable of combating cyber threats and insecurity.

The Bahraini minister also believes that the adoption of blockchain technology will go a long way in creating secure transactions. Also, the immutability of the blockchain is a valuable asset that can be useful for companies and industries, to maintain customer privacy.

Abdulhussain Mirza further said:

This is the kind of initiative that we would like Bahraini companies to have so that innovation can arise amongst the great minds of this community. “Cyber-security is an essential part of our lives because most of our daily lives involve the use of technology in one way or another.

Mirza also noted the prevalence of digital attacks which affected over sixty countries, including Bahrain, in 2017. Bahrain’s apex bank recently warned various financial institutions, including banks, of an impending attack aimed at ATMs all over the globe.

According to the minister, the digital age means that security should be taken seriously. He also said that adequate electricity supply should be a priority, as it ensures safety and immunity against cyber-attacks.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Adoption in Bahrain

Bahrain is looking to become a global virtual currency hub, with its firm belief in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. In March, the island enabled a “regulatory sandbox” for virtual currency. At the time, four digital currency exchanges were entered into the Regulatory Sandbox which would be studied and later regulated.

In August, ABC, a Bahrain-based bank, became the first bank in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region to joinS a blockchain-based consortium, by R3.

loading…

Posted on

World’s Largest Bank (ICBC) is “Focusing on Using Blockchain Technologies”

Blockchain technologies have revolutionized the way today’s society conceives business. The world of finance has been one of those that has benefited the most from this technological evolution, encouraging big players to think more and more about the moment in which they adopt the DLTs within their business scheme.

In the world of financial institutions, if there is any firm worth mentioning for having adopted blockchain technologies, it would undoubtedly be the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The ICBC is the largest bank in the world, with 4,009.26 Billion Dollars in total assets. Just to put things in perspective, that amount represents almost twice the total assets of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and 1200 Billion Dollars more than the total assets of MUFG, another major financial corporation using Ripple.

Having the most substantial amount of money in the world as a corporation, the business decisions tthat the ICBC takes have repercusions on a global scale. The number of financial transactions and international operations carried out by this giant easily exceeds those of any other major player in the world economy.

ICBC: Grasping The Application Scenarios for Blockchain Technologies

Do Not Miss Out - Blockchain is the New Revolutionary TechnologyLast weekend, the Chinese news portal Bia News published an article noting that ICBC Chairman Yi Huiman commented that the Bank is currently focused on adopting blockchain technologies to improve its financial services. He also said that they are currently “grasping the application scenarios” in which DLTs could have better results than contemporary techniques.

According to the press release, the ICBC is working hard on the development of an electronic platform known as e-ICBC3.0. They are also investigating different ways of applying blockchain technologies to achieve a better information ecosystem.

Another area in which DLTs are playing an important role is the area of Research and Development:

“In the cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and Internet of Things, the bank has formed enterprise-level technical achievements that can be opened to the outside world.”

Finally, the third point on which they are working hard is the “construction of smart banking application scenarios.”

So far ICBC has not commented on how developed such projects are; however confirmation by a chairman provides enough credibility, given the tradition of secrecy that has characterized the world’s largest bank.

Girl in a jacket

loading…

Posted on

Taiwan Hospital Launches Blockchain-powered Healthcare Platform

Taipei Medical University Hospital has established an online healthcare platform driven by blockchain technology to integrate and improve record-keeping among medical institutions in the country.

Blockchain Healthcare Platform

As reported by Taipei Times, the project tagged “Healthcare Blockchain Platform,” is the result of the collaboration of over 100 community clinics, and is established to address issues currently plaguing the country’s healthcare system, such as patient referrals and transfer of patient personal and health records between health institutions.

Currently, inter-hospital transfers are a long and arduous process, and hospitals have referral counters where nurses have to assist patients with referral requests. But with this platform, patients will be able to access complete medical records and seek physician referrals by merely logging into a mobile app. While various medical institutions can request for and authorize a transfer of patient records, using smart contracts.

Speaking on the project, Chen Ray-Jade, Taipei Medical University Hospital Superintendent, had this to say:

Blockchain technology not only helps to combine electronic medical records with electronic health records from multiple hospitals and clinics, it also incorporates the additional security feature of notification and consent before any transfer takes place.

Chen also said that the decentralized nature of blockchain technology would greatly reduce the risk of data theft.

Also speaking on the development, Wang Yao-Ting, a physician at Zhuang Jing Clinic, said:

With access to all the medical and health data of a referred patient through blockchains, doctors can gain a better understanding of their general health.

Blockchain Adoption in the Health Sector

Apart from trading and logistics, blockchain technology is beginning to find increasing utility in the health industry. From securing patient records to combating fake pharmaceutical products, healthcare is fast becoming a popular real-world adoption arena for the emerging technology.

In Singapore, MetLife’s innovation center, LumenLab has started testing its automated insurance solution called Vitana. The app which is based on blockchain technology will offer automatic insurance payouts to pregnant women who have gestational diabetes. It is the first insurance product designed for gestational diabetes in the country, and one in five pregnant women in Singapore are diagnosed with this condition.

ALLIVE has partnered with Ontology to create an intelligent healthcare system powered by blockchain technology. The system which is geared towards lowering the cost of health care. There is an ID system – Olife which will be used to create and maintain patient profiles, as well as, an AI system – Olivia that will operate as a virtual medical care provider. There is also Oleaf an interface that will enable patients, medical practitioners, insurance companies and other stakeholders to work together using secure and reliable data.

Girl in a jacket

loading…

Posted on

Report: Blockchain Spending to Hit Nearly $12 Billion By 2022

A new report published by the International Data Corporation expects spending on blockchain solutions to increase annually at a growth rate of nearly 75 percent through 2022.

Dubbed the “Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide,” analysts at the firm expect total spending on projects in the blockchain industry to hit $11.7 billion in 2022 alone, compared to the $1.5 billion expected to be spent in 2018. The report further added that “blockchain platform software will be the largest category of spending outside of the services category and one of the fastest growing categories overall, along with security software.”

This spending trajectory is largely expected to be led by the financial sector, with banks being early adopters of the technology. The report explains that data shows a total of $552 million was spent on blockchain by the financial sector alone in 2018. The distribution and services sector is not too far behind, having invested a reported $334 million.

Further, the report covers developments in the blockchain industry for eight different regions across the globe with the potential addition of China as a ninth in forthcoming reports.

As the scope of the analysis currently stands, the United States delivers more than 36 percent of worldwide spending on blockchain technology with cross-border payments and settlements being the most popular use case for the technology. A total of $193 million has reportedly been spent on this field.

Looking ahead, Jessica Goepfert, program vice president for the International Data Corporation, said certain use cases for blockchain technology are not going away anytime soon, saying:

“We continue to see the greatest spending and growth for blockchain around lot lineage and asset and goods management … Manufacturers want to ensure products arrive where they are supposed to arrive. Retailers and wholesalers seek assurance around the validity and quality of the products they are selling. And consumers are demanding greater transparency from providers.”

Dollar bills image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Majority of Businesses Have No Plans for Blockchain, Gartner Finds

A new survey from research and advisory firm Gartner suggests that organizations are largely apathetic toward blockchain integration.

According to the results of the research, which queried chief information officers (CIOs) about their companies’ attitudes towards the technology, only 1 percent of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organizations. Furthermore, just 8 percent said they were in short-term planning of experimentation with blockchain.

However, most notable may be the fact that 77 percent of CIOs surveyed said that they are not interested nor do they have plans to develop and deploy the technology.

According to Gartner VP David Furlonger the survey provides evidence on the “massively hyped state of blockchain adoption and deployment.”

Furlonger added,

“It is critical to understand what blockchain is and what it is capable of today, compared to how it will transform companies, industries and society tomorrow.”

CIOs are more careful in approaching towards implementing blockchain tech. Twenty-three percent of CIO’s, among 293 that are in short-term planning, sees blockchain demanding for new skills to implement, while 18 percent said that blockchain skills are “difficult to find,” a release states. Rest believed that there should be a change in the structure of IT department for better blockchain implementation.

Furlonger further said that organizations could face significant problems of failed innovation, wasted investment, or rejection of a technology, when they rush into blockchain deployments. Blockchain requires understanding of fundamentals of its process, security law, value exchange, decentralized governance, he said.

He mentioned that there is a need for CIO’s to not just recruit qualified engineers, but also to finding enough to see growth in resources as blockchain developments grow. “Qualified engineers may be cautious due to the historically libertarian and maverick nature of the blockchain developer community,” he added.

Furlonger concluded,

“While many industries indicate an initial interest in blockchain initiatives, it remains to be seen whether they will accept decentralized, distributed, tokenized networks, or stall as they try to introduce blockchain into legacy value streams and systems.”

Eraser image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Bitcoin Has Gone Mainstream. That's a Very Big Deal

Michael J. Casey is chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor of blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

Last week, my eighth-grader came home saying that all the boys at school were talking about bitcoin.

Some might describe this vignette, and many others like it from the past few weeks, as a 2017 version of that ominous 1929 moment when shoeshine boys started giving stock tips. But whether or not they signal the bursting of a bubble, these stories also mean something far more important: bitcoin has gone mainstream.

I’m not talking about the long-awaited mass adoption point in which a critical mass of users owns, earns and spends bitcoin. We’re still a long way from that notion of “mainstream.”

Rather, it’s a moment of global awareness and dialogue. Even without user adoption, it opens up an immeasurably large array of possibilities, both positive and negative.

As crypto-asset prices have gone haywire this past month, the whole world has started talking about bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology – around dinner tables, at holiday parties, in boardrooms, at trade conferences, in government meetings.

At this stage, it’s not a sophisticated conversation. Knowledge and understanding are still seriously lacking. But people are gripped with curiosity, and that’s no small matter.

This human conversation can’t be separated, either, from the widening engagement of institutions, big and small. Business news shows and websites are now running the BTC ticker on their home screens alongside the Dow Jones Industrials. Every day, mainstream newspapers and online publications run high-profile articles on bitcoin, ICOs and decentralized approaches to everything from ridesharing and supply chain management to social media and healthcare.

Established companies are forming research consortia with their suppliers, vendors, competitors and new crypto startups to define the future open-source protocols of their industries. The World Bank, the IMF and other multilateral institutions are setting up blockchain labs for development and humanitarian objectives. Central banks are exploring programmable, digital fiat currency prototypes that, despite being government-controlled and centralized, could disintermediate banks and stoke a global competition for new monetary models.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs in dozens of different countries are launching moon-shot ideas to disrupt virtually every market on earth.

There is no turning back. The age of cryptocurrency has arrived.

More than market mania

To battle-hardened cryptographers and Wall Street veterans alike, it all looks a bit disturbing.

They cringe as newbies pile into digital assets while touts of varying integrity woo them with blockchain schemes based on untested, undeveloped or often non-existent technology.

The cynics’ concerns are justified. People will lose money. A lot. Fingers of blame will be pointed. Mostly at the wrong parties.

But there’s much more to this than the hype-stoked crypto markets. The intense attention on this unprecedented economic phenomenon is prompting people to ask some key, probing questions.

Where does this fervor for bitcoin come from? What’s underlying it? Why does blockchain technology matter? Is it an opportunity for me, for my business, for society? Or is it a threat?

In the end, it matters not whether it’s bitcoin, ethereum, or some other decentralizing technology that ends up framing our economic future. The most important thing is that people everywhere are starting to think about how a decentralized system of record-keeping and value exchange can flatten organizational hierarchies, reduce friction, expand access, open new markets and promote shared prosperity.

It’s early days, but this unplanned global conversation could give rise to a “Big Bang” of crowdsourced ideas and entrepreneurship, one that evolves into an unstoppable wave of world-changing innovation.

Welcoming the chaos

What’s exciting about this – and, let’s face it, also scary – is that it’s near impossible to predict where it will all go.

The important thing is to let the conversation and ideas happen while also encouraging as wide public input as possible into how this technology is governed, tested and allowed to evolve.

We know this from the history of the internet. The value of TCP/IP and of the various other open-source protocols of the internet was that, together, they formed an extensible platform. Anything could be built upon it. We just didn’t know what.

Engineers at DARPA, MIT, Stanford and other places who worked on what was then known as Arpanet say that, when first contemplating its possibilities, they imagined sending DOS-based text messages to each other or sharing files without having to carry a floppy disk from one computer to another. But that was about it.

They couldn’t foresee everything else: blogs, Wikipedia, social media, online search, streaming audio and video, the cloud, e-marketplaces or ridesharing, much less how the internet would become the backbone of the entire global economy.  That unforeseeable future required a much richer, collective imagination, one with global input.

What those engineers also couldn’t foresee was that a failure to establish a truly decentralized trust-management system would allow new, centralized institutions to monopolize control of the global digital economy – the Googles, Amazons, Alibabas and Tencents of this world.

Now, at the dawn of the age of cryptocurrency, we have an obligation to get it right, to build a more open economy.

We must let the ideas flow, from every corner of the globe and from every community and interest group. And let those who generate them find the opportunity and the resources to turn them into something they can test, deploy and, hopefully, bring to market. We must promote a decentralized system of open-access that gives everyone a chance to succeed.

If the past few weeks are any indication, we’re in for a chaotic ride. But our world’s problems are too big to entrust to anything less than chaos.

Bitcoin topping image via Miss Bitcoin Mai/Twitter

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk strives to offer an open platform for dialogue and discussion on all things blockchain by encouraging contributed articles. As such, the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of CoinDesk.

For more details on how you can submit an opinion or analysis article, view our Editorial Collaboration Guide or email news@coindesk.com.