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Digital Asset Partners With Amazon AWS Aurora on Smart Contract Language Interoperability

Digital Asset has partnered with Amazon Web Services Aurora to make its open-source smart contract language more interoperable.

Blockchain software firm Digital Asset has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Aurora to make its open-source smart contract language Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) more interoperable. The partnership was revealed in a press release acquired by a Cointelegraph correspondent at the IMN Synchronize Europe Conference in London on June 18.

The partnership will enable multi-platform DAML support for various blockchain networks, notably including Hyperledger Fabric and blockchain consortium R3’s Corda, both specifically cited in the press release.

Introduced in April 2016, DAML is an expressive language designed for financial institutions and enterprises to model and execute agreements through distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Digital Asset’s cooperation with AWS Aurora — Amazon’s cloud storage engine — will enable firms to build applications using DAML and later add them to various blockchain networks. The integration — to be available as of July — is reportedly enabled by Blockchain Technology Partners’ (BTP) management platform Sextant, available on the AWS Marketplace.

This will be possible without a change of code, and ostensibly mean that companies do not have to commit to one specific ledger before building infrastructure, the press release notes.

After open-sourcing DAML this April, Digital Asset soon announced it was integrating the language with Hyperledger Sawtooth, a modular platform for distributed ledgers, likewise enabled via a collaboration with BTP.

The press release notes that integration with Fabric was commercially enabled by HACERA’s Unbounded Network, which connects public and permissioned blockchains across clouds.

That same month, Digital Asset partnered with major cloud computing company VMware to integrate DAML with the latter’s blockchain platform.

As reported, Amazon has for its part released its own managed blockchain service this April via AWS. This blockchain-as-a-service allows users to create and maintain blockchains with more ease on the Ethereum and Hyperledger networks by automating certain aspects of blockchain management.

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Google Partnership with Two Blockchain Startups: Announcement

Just before the Google Cloud Next ’18 conference, the tech giant declared that it has entered the crypto-verse. On 23rd July 2018, it announced that is has teamed up with BlockApps and Digital Asset. The move has the purpose of delivering DLT – Distributed Ledger Technology to its cloud platform.

The real presentation of the plan will be done during the conference, which is why it was declared very briefly. On the event that will take place for three days (24-26 July), the surprising session will be called “Distributed Ledger Technology Partnerships on Google Cloud”.

Both blockchain-partnering firms just did their post release, in case the reader wants more information.

“We’re partnering with Google Cloud to provide developers with a full stack solution so they
can unleash the potential for web-paced innovation in blockchain,” said Blythe Masters, CEO of
Digital Asset. “This will reduce the technical barriers to DLT application development by
delivering our advanced distributed ledger platform and modelling language to Google Cloud.”

Accordingly, the Head of Financial Services Platform at Google Clouds – Leonard Law added:

“We are delighted to innovate with Digital Asset in the distributed ledger space. DLT has great potential to benefit customers not just in the financial services industry, but across many industries, and we’re excited to bring these developer tools to Google Cloud.”

Also, Google has stepped in for the private beta of Digital Asset’s developing program. This way it has been granted access to the SDK [Software Development Kit]. The SDK is required to grasp the smart contract language called DAML or Digital Asset Modeling Language.

It “simplifies the task of writing smart contracts by treating agreements and the parties to them as native constructs and hiding ledger details from the developer, and contains guardrails to protect against delivering contracts that can produce unpredictable results.”

Similarly, BlockApps released their blog-post to let the public know of the partnership. In the post it is highlighted out that the firm is delivering to GCP the so-called BlockApps STRATO:

“BlockApps STRATO is the first Blockchain-as-a-Service platform, enabling the creation of blockchain solutions for all industry verticals. BlockApps launched the category of Blockchain-as-a-Service over two years ago and continues to set the standards for enterprise blockchains… Based on the Ethereum protocol, BlockApps STRATO provides enterprise grade API integration capabilities, configurable consensus algorithms, and the capability to query and report on blockchain data using a traditional SQL database… Application developers will find STRATO familiar, easy to use, and easy to integrate with existing enterprise systems. This enables enterprise teams to quickly begin building blockchain applications.”

This comes right in time when the crypto-verse needs a strong push forward. And of course for Google to take blockchain serious and go toe-to-toe with its competitors in the IT department.

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Cloud Provider Xunlei Launches Blockchain File System

Chinese technology company Xunlei Limited, known to some as the BitTorrent of China, announced Friday that it has launched a new distributed file system aimed at supporting blockchain platforms.

The ThunderChain File System (TCFS), as well as three ThunderChain Request for Comments (TRC) standards, will help support blockchain development, the company said in statements. The new file system, in particular, aims to combine features of existing platforms like IPFS and filecoin, while adding new security and flexibility tools.

The news came out during a ceremony hosted in Shenzhen, China, right before the company unveiled the winners of an international blockchain application competition it also sponsored.

Xunlei first announced it was launching ThunderChain in April, when the company claimed its new blockchain would be able to provide “processing capacity in the millions of transactions per second,” as previously reported by CoinDesk.

The new TCFS, according to Friday’s release, is built specifically for blockchain platforms like ThunderChain. The TRC standards are aimed to help build up the ecosystem by allowing third parties to build upon the company’s blockchain.

Xunlei CEO Lei Chen said in a statement that the company “is committed to amplifying the power of individuals through technological innovation.”

He added:

“That is why we introduced ThunderChain File System and other new initiatives as we continue to help developers unleash the real value of blockchain. We are also delighted to see a large number of practical blockchain projects developed during the challenge and would like to thank everyone for their great contribution.”

Notably, the company entered the blockchain industry last October, as CoinDesk previously reported, but also has since been subject to two ongoing class action lawsuits over an alleged initial coin offering (ICO) from its investors.

Xunlei’s website image via Shutterstock

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Huobi Partners With JD Cloud to Explore Blockchain Tech Applications

JD Cloud, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant JD Group is teaming up with crypto exchange Huobi to conduct new research into blockchain technology and cloud computing.

The two companies signed a partnership contract, which was unveiled during a signing ceremony in Beijing on Thursday. According to a press release, the two companies will be working together in three main fields, including understanding blockchain technology, methods to apply blockchain technology in areas like finance, Internet of Things (IoT), and logistics and developing insight and analysis reports about current projects related to both public and consortium chain.

Gang He, JD Group vice president and the head of product development at JD Cloud, said that the partnership decision was made based on JD Cloud’s experience in the blockchain field along with its “unique” advantages in technology.

JD Cloud intends to continue expanding its capabilities and innovating in order to better server enterprise clients in the blockchain sector, he said.

Similarly, Huobi CTO Xianfeng Cheng said the exchange established multiple partnerships

Xianfeng Cheng, CTO of Huobi, said Huobi, “as a pioneer in the blockchain industry,” has established multiple partnerships with blockchain incubators overall the world including China. Its advantages in technology, resources, and experience will be applied to the upcoming projects with JD Cloud.

Editor’s note: Statements in this article have been translated from Chinese.

JD Group’s logo 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.

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China's Police Ministry Touts Blockchain for Secure Evidence Storage

China’s Ministry of Public Security has developed a blockchain system aimed to more securely store evidence collected during police investigations.

According to data released by China’s Intellectual Property Office on Tuesday, the ministry’s research arm filed a patent application in November 2017 for a blockchain-based system that timestamps and stores data submitted to the cloud in a bid to provide a more transparent and tamper-proof deposition procedure.

With centralized cloud platforms becoming an increasingly popular way to share data, the ministry – which supervises all China’s police forces – said a potential problem with the current deposition process is that evidence sent via cloud providers could easily be altered.

In addition, the lack of an efficient technology to provide clear supervision of the cloud storage process could also make the deposition process less reliable.

As such, the patent sets out a blockchain system that would initially request that cloud providers be sent deposition data, which, after receiving multi-signature confirmations from both parties, would be recorded and timestamped on a blockchain. In this way, the system would provide an immutable copy of the data, as well as who initiated the transaction and the time and date it occurred.

Although the technology described in the application doesn’t appear to be entirely novel, given it largely reflects the basic mechanisms of standard blockchains, it still marks a notable use case exploration by one of the 26 cabinet-level ministries of China’s State Council.

Further, the Ministry of Public Security is not the only Chinese government agency that is interested in taking advantages of blockchain technology.

As reported previously by CoinDesk, China’s National Audit Office, another cabinet-level ministry and also the government’s official auditing authority, is also looking at blockchain solutions for storing audit data it gathers from provincial and local level bureaus.

See the full patent application below:

China police 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.

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AWS Is Making Hyperledger and Ethereum Easier to Use

Amazon Web Services, the e-commerce giant’s cloud computing arm, has launched a new service for launching out-of-the-box blockchain networks for the ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric protocols.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr wrote that the newly launched “templates” allows clients to “launch an ethereum (either public or private) or Hyperledger Fabric (private) network in a matter of minutes and with just a few clicks.”

He went on to explain:

“The templates create and configure all of the AWS resources needed to get you going in a robust and scalable fashion.”

The post provides detailed instructions for setting up an ethereum template, which supports mining, as well as an EthStats page that provides network metrics and an EthExplorer tool that displays the transactions and smart contracts entered into the ledger.

AWS is a fast-growing segment of Amazon’s business, which saw sales increase 55 percent in 2016 and 43 percent in 2017. The division is in fierce competition with other tech giants’ cloud computing arms, including Microsoft Azure, which showed an early interest in providing blockchain as a service when it partnered with the ethereum startup ConsenSys in 2015.

Google, according to a Bloomberg report published in March, is also working on a blockchain solution for its cloud business.

AWS announced back in 2016 that it would start working with blockchain startups, offering dedicated technical support and infrastructure for the firms involved.

“Today in financial services, distributed ledger technology is at the forefront of any discussion related to innovation,” the company said at the time. “AWS is working with financial institutions and blockchain providers to spur innovation and facilitate frictionless experimentation.”

Amazon building signage 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.