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Fidelity, Deloitte, and Amazon Now Support Workshops for DLT Startups

Fidelity, Deloitte and Amazon have joined 20 other firms to support blockchain accelerator program Startup Studio.

Major global firms Fidelity, Deloitte and Amazon, have begun supporting a new blockchain accelerator program called Startup Studio, according to a press release on July 11.

The companies are backing the program along with 20 other firms, including Ethereum Foundation and ETH Global, Stellar Foundation, crypto analytics firm Messari, and Coinbase-backed NEAR Protocol, among the others.

The new blockchain accelerator is an initiative of IDEO CoLab Ventures, the venture capital division of United States-based design consultancy firm IDEO.

Supported by Fidelity, Deloitte and Amazon, as well as major crypto industry players, Startup Studio is set up to provide workshops to blockchain startups to help them enhance a variety of skills, including product design, law and engineering, smart contract development, finance and hiring, among others.

Starting today, blockchain entrepreneurs and startups can apply to participate in specific acceleration programs through Startup Studio’s website, as managing director of IDEO CoLab Ventures Ian Lee wrote in the blog post.

He added that some companies such as crypto lender Dharma, decentralized protocol 0x and crypto derivatives exchange dYdX, have already attended Startup Studio workshops.

In February 2019, IDEO CoLab introduced its “Distributed Web Investing Program,” announcing six investments in blockchain startups, including Messari.

Recently, a diplomatic academy in Brazil announced that it will require new candidates to have knowledge of crypto and blockchain.

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VeChain Is Worth Watching, Deloitte, PwC, Walmart China Are Partners


It is now close to one year since the first VeChain block was mined. The VeChain Thor blockchain went live on June 30, 2018, and the startup hit the ground running. Walmart China, for instance, has recently announced in a press release, that it is teaming up with the blockchain project. Consequently, the Chinese arm of the US retail giant is going to use VeChain’s blockchain to track food products in its supply chain.

This will assist the retail firm to
adequately address food safety concerns prevalent in the East Asian nation.
There have been extensive
food safety scandals
in China, ranging from “gutter oil” sales to
contaminated baby milk. On its plan with the Walmart China partnership is the
synchronization of data between suppliers, and local government traceability

A Blockchain Traceability Champion

The Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform already 23 product lines onboard. Additionally, VeChain says that it has 100 others on the waiting list that should be listed by the year’s end. The product lines come from 10 product categories that include rice, fresh meat, cooking oil to mushrooms, and more.

The blockchain is eyeing the tracking of fresh meat products in 2020, which makes up for 50 percent of the sales in the meat category at Walmart China. At least 40 percent of all vegetable sales and 12.5 percent of all seafood sales in the Chinese retail arm of Walmart will constitute of blockchain tracked items.

Tracked products on its blockchain can
be scanned via a smartphone for detailed origin information. Backing the
supermarket blockchain project is PwC. The strategy and innovation lead at PwC
Elton Yeung said:

“We believe that Walmart’s Blockchain Traceability System will be an excellent example of blockchain technology applied in the retail industry, helping to improve food safety and quality management, and providing a strong guarantee for building consumer trust.”

This, however, is not Walmart’s first foray into the world of blockchain. The retail giant is one of the founding members of the IBM of Food Trust.  The Trust runs on HyperLedger technology and has participated in two FDA approved pharmaceutical tracking pilots.

Faster and More Scalable Than Ethereum

VeChain set out to avail the first “real business” use case for public blockchain on its inception, a year ago. It utilizes a proof-of-authority consensus algorithm whose speeds of transactions has caught the eye of none other than  Deloitte.  After its three year stint with Ethereum, the big four Audit firm is moving to VeChain’s blockchain.

Ethereum’s blockchain has scalability issues. Deloitte’s Cillian Leonowicz has at one time made a boast of VeChain’s transactions speeds saying that using its Proof of Authority concept they were clocking in more smart contract transactions per second.

On May 4, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), acquired some stakes in Vechain as per a press release. The multinational audit and consultancy firm intend to ingrate the Chinese startup’s platform into its infrastructure.

This implies that PwC will utilize the VeChain tokens for transactions and access. The blockchain startup is also one of the first 197 blockchain service providers with authority from the China cyberspace administration.

The post VeChain Is Worth Watching, Deloitte, PwC, Walmart China Are Partners appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Deloitte Tests Data Management on Ethereum Blockchain With Three Irish Banks

The Big Four auditor is midway through a beta test phase of a tool designed to handle staff credentials.

Three Irish banks have begun using a staff data solution running on blockchain technology, a joint press release confirmed on May 30.

Together with the Institute of Banking (IoB), Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank partnered with Big Four accounting giant Deloitte on the project, which verifies staff credentials.

Deloitte developed the Ethereum-based tool using its dedicated EMEA Blockchain Lab.

“This is a great application of blockchain technology to a vital area of banking. We are delighted to support The Institute of Banking and the banks involved in this project and look forward to the results that this initiative will deliver,” David Dalton, EMEA lead and head of financial services at Deloitte, commented in the press release.

The distributed database will facilitate a wide range of staff-related data management processes, and is currently in beta test mode, with a full rollout expected by the end of summer 2020.

“The new platform is a first in the European financial services industry and will support the verification, tracking, direct access to, and management of, regulatory and other professional designations, education qualifications and lifelong learning credentials,” the participants summarized.

Deloitte is increasing its bespoke blockchain product range, in February completing a joint pilot scheme focusing on the technology’s application in the supply chain arena.

In March, Cointelegraph additionally reported on the state of blockchain in Ireland, which is seeing interest increase despite misgivings about the impact of a potential “no-deal” Brexit.

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PwC is Top Recruiter for Blockchain-Related Jobs on Indeed, Big 4 Auditing Firms Follow

Big four auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the top recruiter for blockchain-related jobs on recruitment platform Indeed.

Big four auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the top recruiter for blockchain-related jobs on recruitment platform Indeed, search results showed at press time on March 30.

At press time, PwC is responsible for 40 blockchain-related job offers on the platform. Other big four auditing firms are apparently recruiting professionals in this niche on the platform: more precisely, Ernst & Young posted 17 such announcements, while Deloitte posted 10.

This leaves Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) as the only big four auditing firm not recruiting blockchain professionals on the platform. Tech giants IBM and Oracle posted ten job offers related to blockchain as well, while global management, consulting and professional services firm Accenture posted 11.

This last company, Accenture, is also already a user of distributed technology. In November last year, Accenture deployed a distributed ledger technology platform created to manage and track software licenses.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, a blockchain and financial partner at PwC France declared that central banks should leave issuance of digital currencies to corporations such as Facebook and JPMorgan.

In February, news broke that Accenture is working with major global firms including Mastercard to introduce a blockchain-based circular supply chain.

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Coil—Funded by Ripple, May Save Americans from Ads and Subscriptions


Americans are tired of two things: cobbling together
multiple streaming services to sate their entertainment needs, and ads
according to a 13th edition of Deloitte’s annual Digital Media Trends survey
reports Variety, an
entertainment business news site. And they have reasons to be fatigued from
consumer over choice thanks to an explosion of subscription based entertainment
services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and many more planning to break and
be part of this foray. All of them, despite this finding, are thriving because
of the economic, social and emotional power of devoted fans and magnified by
investment of these firms availing immersive content on demand.


According to the survey,
47 percent of Americans are frustrated by the increasing number of subscription
based entertainment services. However, up-to 57 percent are frustrated when
they “
when content vanishes because rights to their favorite TV
shows or movies have expired” and because of this Kevin Westcott, Vice Chairman
of Deloitte, is convinced that Americans “may be entering a time of
‘subscription fatigue.” He adds that despite the boom “consumers want choice —
but only up to a point.” Furthermore, of the 2,003 responders, 77 percent were
of the opinion that pay TV ads should not exceed 10 seconds.

Here’s what a Redditor had to say:

“The thing is that you don’t even have to have them all at once too. There’s no contract and it’s a monthly subscription. All you have to do is catch up on what you want over the course of a few months and then switch. I’ve decided to only keep 2 TV streaming services at a time and it’s working out just fine for me. It’s not like you’re going to be watching 15 different shows on 7 different services all at the same time.”

Why subscription is preffered by Businesses

But what could be triggering businesses to shift to this
model? At first, it is easy to see why. There is guarantee of repeat business
and businesses can easily scale hence delivering on their objectives. Coupled
with auto-renew where content access is dependent on subscription the model is
simply irresistible.

In auto-pilot mode, customers won’t run out of content
simply because they have failed to pay. This way, “Predictability is not often
a concern in a subscription-based strategy. It’s easier to get the needed data
on the financial aspect of running a business” according to Eva Guerrero, the
proprietor of EGDental.

At the same time, customers draw benefits “since the
understanding that our customers’ spending decision is largely driven by their
budget, we’re able to use a subscription-model offer to ease them into our
services. At the end, this strategy makes bundling our other services in one a
better option for them” says Nicholas Dutko, the CEO of Auto Transport Quotes.

Enter Coil

Luckily, there is a channel where Americans can vent their frustrations. Launched last year, Coil proposition could attract content creators diversifying their revenue streams and searching for the best offers. The fragmentation and “content” vanishing is largely because “micro-payments and subscriptions have always been built as closed systems, which fail to capture the huge variety of content on the web.” After Twitch, Google and Wikipedia experiment last year, it was demonstrated that creators can monetize their content by paying a $5 subscription fee as they receive XRP tips from users who have installed Coil’s browser extension. With Coil, the aim is to fix a “broken ad-supported web” and widespread adoption would surely reduce the number of webs and even reduce the shift to subscription models.

The post Coil—Funded by Ripple, May Save Americans from Ads and Subscriptions appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Blockchain Startup Founded By Deloitte Vets Unveils Supply Chain Platform

A blockchain startup headed by a group of former Deloitte employees is launching a new supply chain platform.

Citizens Reserve announced the SUKU ecosystem on Wednesday, positioning it as “an industry agnostic supply chain solution” that seeks to improve how shipments are coordinated and tracked around the world. As far as technology goes, SUKU will leverage both the ethereum and quorum blockchains.

Separate from the company’s previously reported Zerv network, SUKU aims to provide trading partners with real-time data on the location of goods, along with functionality that lets them use a bid-and-order marketplace and create automated contracts. At the same time, the platform is designed to offer privacy to those users, and will effectively serve as a “supply chain-as-a-service” hub.

CEO Eric Piscini, Deloitte’s former global blockchain lead, said in the announcement that recent events have proven the need for improved supply chain systems, citing this summer’s pharmaceutical scandal in China as one example.

He added:

“The current supply chain environment is complex and difficult to navigate. Almost all enterprises require a supply chain to some extent, but the technology supporting them remains expensive, inefficient and fragmented.”

The SUKU decentralized supply chain platform will be built to work across different industries, Piscini said, “enabling our trading partners to interact in a way that’s been all but impossible up until now.”

As envisioned, SUKU would use the ethereum component to run its smart contracts, with the terms of a transaction stored on the blockchain and payments automatically executed as the requisite criteria are fulfilled. The quorum blockchain would be permissioned, acting as a private marketplace for vendors and bidders.

An accompanying SUKU token will be used to reward the platform’s partners and serve as the basis for an incentive mechanism.

Shipping yard image via Shutterstock

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