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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.

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IBM Makes Another Blockchain Identity Play With Health Data App

IBM’s blockchain division is widening its work in the nascent field of “self-sovereign identity” – technology designed to give individuals greater control over their personal data.

Announced today, the tech giant is working with Hu-manity.co, whose #My31 app just became available on iOS and Android mobile devices. The app’s name alludes to the idea that legal ownership of one’s data should by a “31st human right” in addition to the 30 already ratified by the United Nations.

It’s the latest in a series of similar projects IBM has been involved in. Others include SecureKey, a bank consortium building a digital ID system in Canada, and Sovrin, contributor of the Indy toolkit for Hyperledger-based blockchains.

As such, the partnership with Hu-manity is a strong signal that Big Blue sees long-term business value in this use case for distributed ledgers. Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Blockchain, told CoinDesk:

“Getting people’s permissioned rights on a blockchain will create a marketplace and entirely new economic business models as a result.”

Indeed, while Hu-manity’s app is consumer-facing, an enterprise version will be generally available to corporations starting in the healthcare industry in the first quarter of 2019, Wieck said.

“We tend to agree that data is the next natural resource and like a natural resource has to be mined responsibly in the same way,” she added. “Blockchain combined with the notion of rights to individual data, facilitates the distributed sharing of that information securely and at scale.”

Richie Etwaru, founder and CEO of Hu-manity, has a similarly expansive vision. Starting with the well-established market for health record data, he said he expects location data, search history and e-commerce habits will also be “owned” by users.

Upon claiming their data property rights, Hu-manity users receive a title of ownership, akin to a property deed. Thereafter their personal details, signature and photograph can be added in the form of a hash on the blockchain, along with things like the individual’s data-sharing preferences.

While the Hu-manity.co global consent ledger, which records the granting and revocation of permission to use someone’s data, is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform using Hyperledger Fabric, the two companies will also collaborate with Sovrin.

Data: The new oil?

Comparing the personal data humans produce to crude oil, Etwaru told CoinDesk, “The partnership with IBM enables private blockchain to create a direct relationship between the crude data provider – the human being – and the buyer of the refined data at the end of the supply chain.”

And in its refined form, personal data such as a patient’s health record changes hands for an average of around $400, Ewaru pointed out.

Yet regulations in the U.S. and beyond are very unspecific when it comes to personal data and can be interpreted in different ways, noted Etwaru.

Provided data has been masked, an organization may sell it for specific uses, which might often be for research as opposed to overtly commercial purposes. However, there could equally be an interpretation whereby an individual has the right to notify a corporation requesting them not sell data in the de-authorized format.

But wide adoption of an empowering data-sharing app, he said, would constitute a “call to action, and pool consensus around how laws should actually work,” Etwaru said.

And it’s not only the individual who stands to gain. Rather than walking on eggshells concerning people’s growing awareness of their privacy (or lack thereof), Etwaru said, corporations could have clarity and transparency by virtue of what describes as a “movement.”

“The end buyer could have better compliance posture if they use our data and we can figure out the economics between the individual and the buyer. The pharmaceutical industry has never really been offered an explicit consenting relationship with individuals before,” he said.

IBM’s Wieck added that large anonymous datasets can be noisy and inaccurate, but could be better relied upon to be clean using the blockchain app.   

“In clinical trials, there would be a way of tracking data and ensuring these are all real human beings and doing it at scale. Trust and transparency have been a challenge up until now,” she said.  

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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How to Make Public Blockchains Safe for Enterprise Use

Paul Brody is EY’s global innovation leader for blockchain. The views expressed are his own.


At the beginning of this year, I wrote a column predicting that companies would find the allure of public blockchains irresistible. While a world of private blockchains provides many enterprises, regulators and central banks with the comfort that there are accountable, centralized entities involved, these permissioned networks will never match the innovation or network effects that public, permissionless networks offer.

If the world of enterprise commerce remains committed to private networks, then they will have only substituted one intermediary (financial institutions) for another (software companies and hosting organizations). However, it is possible, and essential, to bring these two worlds together, and to do so on public, permissionless and decentralized networks.

In order for public networks to deliver on their promise, two key things must happen. First, regulators must provide a clear set of rules around how tokens, assets and smart contracts that exist on public blockchains will be assessed. And second, companies must implement these regulatory rules in the decentralized environment of the public networks.

The first of these is off and running. Regulators in the U.S., Europe and around the world are defining what is an asset, a currency or a security. It shouldn’t be expected that all regulators will come to precisely the same conclusions, but it does look like some early convergence is taking place: Utility Settlement Coins are being characterized as securities while cryptocurrencies are being treated more like currencies or assets.

One gap that we regard as particularly important going forward is how tokenized fiat currency will be regulated: If you have a $1 token on a public blockchain, and that is backed by one U.S. dollar in an escrow account, will that be a security or a currency and what rules might apply? So far, no regulator has specifically addressed this emerging category of blockchain tokens.

The second is that whatever the regulatory rules are, they must be implemented in tokens and smart contracts. In particular, it’s important that while the blockchain as a whole may be decentralized, a central bank should be able to issue and cancel its own currency on a blockchain and companies should be able to manage their own assets when they are tokenized.

Know your carton?

To illustrate how important this is, let’s come back to the question of how companies will do business with each other on public blockchain networks: The exchange of product or asset tokens for money tokens. Once a company starts to tokenize its inventories and assets and use those in contracts and financial services, they are disintermediating traditional financial entities. They are also, consequently, taking on some of the regulatory responsibilities of those intermediaries.

Tokens, if they have value, can be moved around as easily as money, for example. While a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company may never have had cause to think about this before, once they tokenize packages of detergent, those tokens have an effective exchange rate with real money and other goods that makes them perfectly suitable for any kind of deal, legal and otherwise. That means even CPG companies will become responsible for know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) compliance.

Is this a deal-breaker for public networks and enterprises? No, it isn’t.

One of the great benefits of smart contracts and blockchain tokens is that they are programmable. Going forward, audit, KYC and AML regulations can and will be written into smart contracts and tokens. Combined with exchange controls and other checks, it will be possible to control how and when tokens are used on public blockchains without resorting to the centralization of the blockchain as a whole. This will even include canceling and issuing new tokens to handle theft and loss.

There are, no doubt, many who will mourn the end of public blockchains as systems wholly outside of regulatory control. For blockchains to deliver on their promise, this is inevitable, but how this happens matters a great deal.

If regulatory compliance is delivered through centralization, then there will be a great loss to innovation and we may see the dream of a re-decentralized internet die. I didn’t call my original paper on blockchain technology “Device democracy” for nothing. It’s my dream, too.

There is another option, however: regulatory compliance within a decentralized framework. An opt-in model based on voluntary agreement to smart contracts means that companies can use blockchains for business without embracing undue risk. But at the same time, individuals and startups can continue to pursue radical experiments without having to ask anyone for permission.

Hardhats 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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Microsoft Is Slowly (But Surely) Connecting Blockchain to Main Products

Three years ago, Microsoft Azure was the first to bring blockchain to the cloud. Now it’s connecting the technology to just about everything else.

The software giant has quietly been building bridges between its blockchain services and other, widely used infrastructure and platforms, such as Office 365 Outlook, SharePoint Online, Salesforce, Dynamics 365 CRM Online, SAP, and even Twitter, according to Matt Kerner, the general manager of Microsoft Azure. The idea is to allow Microsoft customers to port their data from these platforms into the cloud, and from there onto a blockchain.

Why? In addition to the usually touted blockchain efficiencies, one of the less-discussed benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in a cloud environment like Azure, according to Microsoft, is that it amasses data from multiple companies in a standardized format at scale. The potential to mine data for all sorts of insights then becomes limitless, the company reckons.

Hence, the company is integrating tools such as Microsoft Flow and Logic Apps – which offer hundreds of connectors to thousands of applications – into Azure Blockchain Workbench, a service it launched in May to make the creation of blockchain apps easier (Workbench currently has ethereum Proof of Authority configured as the consensus protocol).

It’s all a part of the evolution of Big Data, Kerner explained. Prior to blockchain, he pointed out, cloud computing enabled departments within the same company to break out of their data silos and collaborate on heterogeneous data sets, increasing smarts through machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).  

“Blockchain empowers the next step – enabling a single, authentic data set shared across counterparties. This is already improving the way transactions happen,” Kerner told CoinDesk, adding, “We believe the same will be true with data analytics.”

Stepping back, many would argue that data is now the most valuable naturally occurring resource on the planet. As the race to prove the best data analytics intensifies, firms are springing up whose sole purpose is to structure and format data to run AI algorithms on.  

But with enterprise blockchain, you get the structured and formatted data part thrown in for free, as Kerner said many Azure customers were discovering.

“What blockchain is doing is creating a multi-party business process that is moving out of email, phone calls, spreadsheets and into a single system with a single view on the data that all of the participants can rely upon and trust,” he said.

Looking ahead, Kerner said bringing vast amounts of unstructured and siloed data into a context where it could be leveraged and even shared would drive exponential change. He said:

“Even the fiercest of competitors can onboard and mutually derive benefit from that system and find new revenue streams.”

Taking on IBM

A good example of Azure connecting and balancing components in a large and complex production environment is Insurwave, which simplifies maritime insurance for shipping hauls carried by Maersk.

The platform was built using R3’s Corda platform with help from EY and Guardtime and is now in commercial production with insurers such as Willis Towers Watson, XL Catlin, and MS Amlin.

Insurwave, which tracks cargos and adjusts insurance premiums in real time, collates all sorts of data, everything from internet of things (IoT) sensors monitoring temperature, to whether the ship is going to hit a storm, or enter a war zone or an area heavily populated with pirates. Once this data is shared on the blockchain, Power BI, a Microsoft business analytics tool, can be used to gain insights about shipping hauls, Kerner said.

Further, Ricardo Correia, a managing director and head of partner management at R3, said its relationship with Microsoft is a good deal more than Azure being Corda’s default preferred cloud.

In addition to a one-click Corda capability, Correia pointed to integrating Corda into modules within the Azure marketplace.

“This enables Corda to plug into a number of different capabilities including Azure SQL, active directory for identity access management and key vault for key management,” he said.

Some of this is already in place because of Insurwave, with deeper integration also happening in a number of use cases. Notable ones include the webJet blockchain, which aims to reconcile hotels and other travel arrangements on a single ledger, and was cited by R3’s CTO Richard Brown as an example of Corda extending beyond mainstream finance.

Widening the lens, the ability to track items in real time and share things like IoT data using a blockchain has made global trade and supply chain a leading light in terms of domains to chase. From a strategic point of view, Insurwave challenges IBM’s bid for global trade dominance, which also has Maersk in the position of flagship, so to speak.

IBM has openly stated that this was its No. 1 target. However, Correia said Microsoft is also making its mark in supply chain – perhaps with a little less fanfare. “It’s in their interest given they too have very large supply chains with a number of their product offerings,” he said.

In terms of offering blockchain as a service, IBM has championed Hyperledger Composer for the past couple of years. However, there may be some question marks over the design of Composer, at least from an IBM perspective.  

Azure’s Kerner was tactfully equivocal about Microsoft’s enterprise blockchain rivals, adding that everything is built with an eye towards enabling a consortium that’s not exclusively on Azure.

“It’s got to be open. Any meaningful consortium is going to have members who have different choices that they have made around their cloud provider and who they choose to work with,” he said.

Microsoft 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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Former Ripple CTO's Blockchain Project Coil Enters Closed Beta

“Coil, a new company founded by Ripple’s former chief technology officer Stefan Thomas, has launched a closed beta.

The project – which aims to allow web content creators to better monetize their work – was announced in May, when Thomas departed Ripple. In an interview, Thomas detailed the closed beta, describing the initiative as a way to level the playing field for content creators.

“If you’re big you can have a subscription service like Netflix or Spotify. If you’re big you can collect enough data about people to make a lot of money with ads like Facebook or Google,” he said, going on to add:

“If you’re small it’s actually very hard right now to make money on the web.”

Coil has not announced the beta publicly, Thomas said, though it has begun inviting certain select parties (those interested can sign up here).

Thus far, few websites have joined the platform, he continued, noting that “we did some passive integrations with some sites like Wikipedia, Youtube, Twitch.”

While at Ripple, Thomas co-created Interledger, an interoperability protocol that facilitates payments across different networks. This technology, which is open source, is now being used as the basis of Coil.

Thomas also helped to create Codius, a smart contract platform that Ripple developed- in-house but ultimately shelved in 2015 due to technological challenges and a lack of compelling use cases. In June, however, Thomas revealed that Codius would be incorporated into Coil.

Coil allows readers, watchers and listeners to compensate content creators through micropayments. It’s a model that has been tried multiple times in the industry, including the browser-focused startup Brave, which raised $35 million in an ICO last year. Thomas also cited Patreon and Flattr, but highlighted an important aspect that distinguishes Coil.

With Coil, he said, “you’re getting paid in real time,” allowing content creators to explore new business models.

“You can now make a service where maybe you need to rent a server for every user that comes by,” he explained, adding that other possibilities include downloading or uploading a file, sending an SMS, or streaming music that triggers a licensing fee.

“The website gets the money instantly as you’re on the website, so they can actually react to it and provide extra services,” Thomas said, concluding:

“That’s never been possible before, so we’re excited to see what people build with that.”

Coil image by Guillaume de Germain via Unsplash

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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Hong Kong to Expedite Immigration for Blockchain Job Seekers

Hong Kong is seeking to attract worldwide talents with specialties in innovative technologies including blockchain via a special immigration policy.

The Hong Kong government released a talent list on Tuesday that covers a range of 11 professions that are now eligible to receive bonus marks when experts in these areas apply for the city’s Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS).

One of the areas is dedicated to “innovation and technology experts in, but not limited to, … artificial intelligence, robotics, distributed ledger technologies, biometric technologies and industrial/chemical engineering, etc.”

Launched in 2006, the QMAS allows successful applicants to enter and settle in the Chinese special administrative region without having to first secure a job offer from a local employer.

“The Scheme is a quota-based entrant scheme. It seeks to attract highly skilled or talented persons to settle in Hong Kong in order to enhance Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness,” according to the program’s description.

The scheme’s selection process requires applicants to meet several prerequisites before being awarded points under one of the two points-based tests: General Points Test and Achievement-based Points Test. The points are further used for competing with other applicants each year.

“For applicants who meet the specifications of the respective profession under the Talent List, bonus marks will be given under the General Points Test of the QMAS,” the government said in the announcement.

To be qualified in the innovation and technology area, blockchain professionals need to hold a bachelor or above degree with experience in notable firms in the filed and knowledge of how to apply blockchain in financial services.

The effort comes at a time when the Hong Kong government is taking the lead in adopting blockchain to boost the city’s competitiveness in financial technology.

As CoinDesk previously reported, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, is set to roll out a distributed ledger network among several banks in the region to facilitate transactions in trade finance.

Hong Kong 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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As Central Banks Go Digital, Crypto Competition Looms

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

The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers.


With blockchain platforms being tested for various business processes, prospective enterprise users that are unwilling to accept a volatile cryptocurrency will often complain that a key piece is missing from the platform: a stable, digital medium of exchange.

Hence the race, currently underway, to create a viable “stablecoin.”

Many tech teams, such those at Basecoin, are developing decentralized algorithms intended to peg the value of a crypto-asset to an external reference price such as a fiat currency like the dollar. Others, such as Saga, are building collateralized reserve models, offering guaranteed, fixed-price convertibility into an alternative store of value – also, such as the dollar. Based on the controversy surrounding Tether, the biggest stablecoin, it’s fair to say that a widely trusted system does not yet exist.

Here’s an alternative vision: What if the race is won by a central bank? Digitizing fiat is arguably easier than pegging to fiat. What it needs is buy-in from officialdom.

The Bank of Thailand moved the world a small step closer to that solution last week. It announced that, in partnership with eight financial institutions, it is developing a digital currency based on R3’s Corda distributed ledger protocol.

We’ll see how the Thai project evolves, but the purpose for now appears quite narrowly focused on a specific use case: facilitating interbank transfers among institutions operating within the country’s capital markets. Although limited to Thailand, it would add in the monetary piece that’s been missing from other distributed ledger initiatives to streamline securities settlement, such as that at the U.S. settlement and clearing agency, the DTCC.

However, it’s not hard to imagine that if Thailand’s or another country’s “wholesale” central-bank digital currency experiment shows signs of success there will be pressure to expand these so-called CBDC models to a wider community of users.

Expanding access to CBDC

With blockchain-based solutions for supply chains now moving from proofs of concept to implementation, with a lot of that activity in Thailand’s neighborhood, businesses could start to seek digital fiat solutions to these new models of automated trade. This will, of course, be limited to in-country transactions, but if prospective decentralized, smart contract tools such as atomic swaps , currently being explored for blockchain assets, can also be applied to digital fiat currencies, instantaneous cross-border CBDC exchanges might become a reality.

And despite concerns about financial instability expressed by the Bank of International Settlements, a central bank-owned body that coordinates activity among its members, I think it’s fair to assume a fully retail CBDC will one day exist somewhere.

The BIS’ concerns primarily lie with the potential threat to the banking system from money fleeing short-term deposits into CBDC wallets. But that position presupposes banks should continue to play a central role in our payments systems. Many central bankers, who were blindsided by the problems caused by too-big-to-fail banks during the financial crisis, take a different view: that our dependence on for-profit private institutions to manage our monetary system is the very cause of the systemic risks to which our society has long been subject.

No lesser figure than former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has argued forcefully about the need to reform the bank-centric financial system. And although his successor, Mark Carney, has soured on the idea of a digital pound, it’s noteworthy that BOE researchers, among the first to explore CBDC ideas, initially explored the potential benefits of removing banks from payments by ending their privileged access to central bank reserves.

A world of competing currencies

If this future does come to pass, it will be a long way from that envisaged by crypto developers who want to remove central banks from the equation. It’s even further from the vision of bitcoin enthusiasts, who see the need for a fully censorship-resistant currency with a monetary policy that cannot be altered by policymakers.

But all will not be lost for monetary innovators. The act of digitizing currencies – whether by central banks or by crypto developers – is likely to lead to increased global competition across currencies, as access and the cost of trading them becomes more efficient. That will put central banks themselves under pressure to develop currencies that people want to use.

The competition won’t only be among different countries’ currencies. With the help of Lightning and/or other Layer 2 solutions, cryptocurrencies will become more scalable and can present themselves as one of a number of options.

I see the scenario eventually evolving into something like the vision of Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, a favorite of libertarians, who foresaw a world of competing private currencies emerging. It’s just that this one would entail competition between crypto- and government-run digital currencies.

Hopefully out of that competitive soup something that best serves humanity will arise.

Of course, this isn’t happening tomorrow. It’s premature to place all-out bets on any kind of currency solution becoming the standard.

But to assume that the world of money won’t change at all is also foolhardy. These forces will come to bear in ways that will be difficult for any actors, public or private, to control.

Protecting people’s interests

When that change starts to happen, it’s critical that we, the people, provide input into how these systems evolve. A world of competing digital currencies isn’t necessarily a utopia.

As I argued in a previous column, crypto tokens have in some cases worsened society’s problems with truth in social media, prompting tribes of specific token holders to fiercely defend their coin against valid criticism. Imagine the same thing happening with fiat digital currencies promoted as investments by dictatorships.

We might just be getting a test of that with Venezuela’s move to peg the bolivar to its new digital currency, the Petro. The government of President Nicolas Maduro has long employed an aggressive propaganda campaign in favor its tragically failed policies. Imagine if he gets a team of Petro-holding trolls to amp up that campaign.

Digital fiat currency could also become an alarming surveillance tool. Already, the concept of China’s “social score” system is raising concerns in that country. Add traceable digital payments to that kind of model and something even more invasive emerges.

Still, competitive pressures might also help us here. As I’ve previously argued, privacy is vital to good, functioning, fungible currency systems. So too, naturally, is broad adoption.

If we can create a world of genuine choices across currencies, it’s reasonable to assume that people will gravitate toward those that don’t entail surveillance and aren’t used as propaganda tools.

Will cryptocurrencies do a better job of achieving these standards? Possibly. But it depends on their design. There are plenty of bad altcoins out there.

Still, if a cryptocurrency, whether bitcoin or an alternative with a different monetary policy, attains scalability and includes robust privacy protections, there’s still a very decent chance it could eventually outcompete government currencies.

Either way, let’s bring on the competition. May the best coin win.

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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Russia's Largest Airline Tests Blockchain in Bid to Track Fuel Payments

S7, the largest airline operator in Russia, has tested a blockchain-based application that tracks data and paperwork connected to the process for refueling planes.

The airline said in a release on Monday that it trialed the application with its fuel supplier, Gazpromneft-Aero, and Alfa-Bank, Russia’s largest private bank, on a domestic flight based out of the Tolmachevo International Airport.

According to S7, the application shares data about fuel demand on a shared ledger, a copy of which is managed by each of the three parties. Further, payments for the fuel can be conducted on the network, with digital invoices created via smart contract during each tranasction.

The goal is to speed up the speed of transactions “without requiring advance payments and bank guarantees,” the airline said in the statement. It added that as the technology has eliminated “a number of manual operations,” the whole process took “60 seconds.”

“This is an automated trading operation between three parties: a bank, an airline and a fuel supplier. Upon the fact of fueling the aircraft according to the pre-established rules, reconciliation and write-offs are carried out,” Pavel Voronin, S7’s deputy head for information technology, said in a statement.

The trial represents S7’s latest effort to test blockchain for possible applications to its airline business.

As CoinDesk reported in July 2017, S7 looked at started issuing passenger tickets via the ethereum blockchain as part of its partnership with Alfa-Bank.

Aircraft 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.