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Category Archive: blockchain

Europe Bitcoin report published by the EU Parliament. Read it here.

Below you can read the full Europe Bitcoin research published by the European Parliament a few days ago.

It is related to the blockchain technology and digital currencies, exploring distributed ledger use cases including digital payments, patent protection, smart contracts and online voting.

This research provides an educational point of view for EU’s legislative members, so probably we will experience a new Bitcoin regulation in the next future.

Researchers who works at the EU Parliament have studied several aspects of the distributed ledger in the past.

For example, a working group sponsored by the Parliament studied how the blockchain’s power to secure data could provide transparency during elections.

“Although blockchains are not the solution for every problem, and even if they will not revolutionize every aspect of our lives, they could have a substantial impact in many areas, and it is necessary to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities they present.”

“Europe Bitcoin” paper

The research suggests a few possible approaches for the European lawmakers, who recently approved the creation for a new task force focused on blockchain and digital currencies.

Also, the paper suggests more future explorations by saying that regulators could regulate and yield legal legitimacy to digital currencies transactions. More and more countries are regulating bitcoin and other virtual currencies during the last few monts, as you can read by clicking here.

The document’s authors explained also that this revolutionary techbology could provide many benefits to European citizens, even if it seems to be applicable only in a few cases.

“While the most idealistic and revolutionary visions of blockchain development will probably remain no more than visions, even moderate implementation of blockchain may still promote some degree of redistribution and transparency,” explained the authors in the document.

Click here to read the full Europe Bitcoin document for free.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Blockchain Regulation in Europe: everything you need to know

Today I want to explain you everything you need to know about the Blockchain Regulation in Europe.

Recently, in fact, the executive arm of the European Union government revealed that is working on the blockchain to “support” distributed ledger-based projects.

According to this new official press release published on February 7th, the Commission is looking for growing its efforts on supporting more projects related to the distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The European Commission is “actively monitoring Blockchain and DLT developments” and is working on exploring “DLT benefits and challenges as well as fields for application in financial services”.

Also, the official press release explained that the Commission wants to “pilot projects to foster decentralised innovation ecosystems and help reshape interactions between consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations to the end benefit of society”.

A task force for Blockchain Regulation

Last year, the European Parliament also created a new task force led by the Commission, to study the blockchain.

This task force has not only the goal of studying the blockchain but also to support projects related to the ledger and studying a way for a blockchain regulation.

The European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission, explained:

 

“The Commission is already supporting distributed ledger tech-enabled projects (DECODE, D-Cent, MyHealth MyData). Support activities are going to increase in the coming months (e.g. Decentralised Data Management). A study will be launched to investigate how DLT can help in reshaping public services and preparing for EU specific DLT actions to address relevant EU challenges.”

Ansip also said that the Commission will collaborate with the Parliament to organize blockchain events and workshops.

“The Commission will organise a kick-off conference with the European Parliament on Demystifying Blockchain and a series of workshops to look at Blockchain developments and use case applications”.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
matchpool

Matchpool: a blockchain startup to find love

Of course everybody knows that today we celebrate Valentine’s day, so I want to dedicate this article to the blockchain startup called Matchpool that aims at helping you to find love.

“When I looked at the dating industry, I saw it was expensive to reach a critical mass of users and open a niche dating site. That’s why dominant sites are one-size-fits-all, but that’s not what most of us look for.” explained Yonatan Ben Shimon to Coindesk.

He is the founder and CEO of Matchpool, a new blockchain-based startup for dating with the main goal of bringing people together thanks to a matchmaking system: successful matchmakers earn a cryptocurrency reward for their work.

The unique selling proposition of Matchpool is combining together elements from traditional matchmaking with the transparency of Ethereum smart contracts.

Those potential matchmakers start pools, groups of users linked by a common interests – similar to Facebook groups – where users can private message one another in the hope of finding the right match.

Pool owners can monetize their matchmaking work in a few ways, including setting a membership fee to join or charging an amount for each message sent.

Also, they can try to maintain group diversity by setting smart contract-based options between different user attributes: for example, a 50/50 male-female split or a balanced age range.

Rather than using the everyone-for-themselves, search-and-filter strategy of platforms such as OKCupid, you can define Matchpool as a different approach to dating.

Matchpool tokens for dating rewards

But why is Matchpool wants to create its own cryptocurrency token?

Ben Shimon explained that his company was attracted to the idea of using a blockchain-based database to store data about user interactions so they can be difficult to edit.

He thinks that cryptocurrencies can be an attractive option if the objective is rewarding users with small amounts of money (micropayments) on a regular basis, especially  if compared to traditional gateway of payments.

Also, Matchpool’s token called Guppy will be used to attract users: 20% of the token supply will be used to incentivize new signups with a money prize – which for the time being will only be given to women.

“I believe that if we reward early users with real money – in a way that we couldn’t do with dollars – then we can cheaply overcome the initial barriers that come from the lack of network effect”.

With a token sale (also called “initial coin offering” or “ICO”) scheduled for March, and a launch date set in May, Matchpool won’t wait too long to see its results.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchainproperties

Blockchain Properties: bitcoin tech to verify property transactions

One of the major use cases for the distributed ledger can be identified as “blockchain properties“, or the way to register and verify property transactions on the blockchain.

A few days ago, the first government to do so was Georgia that signed an agreement to use the blockchain to verify property transactions by using the well-known company BitFury services.

This is the first time that an American government uses the distributed ledger to prove and authenticate national operations using this disruptive technology.

Government on Blockchain

The private blockchain ledger that is an alter-proof ledger is also provable using the core bitcoin Blockchain that is in the public domain.

The Georgian National Agency of Public Registry and BitFury wrote a memorandum of understanding trying to find how to extend services to new land titles registration, property demolitions, mortgages, purchases and sales of land titles, rental and notary services.

There are a few other ideas focused on Blockchain land title services also in Sweden, Honduras and Cook County in Chicago which are being developed by ChromaWay, Factcom and Velox too.

Magazines also revealed that Peruvian Economist Hernando de Soto is involved with the Georgian Blockchain properties project too.

De Soto, in his book Mystery of Capital, estimates that there is “dead capital” of $20 trillion globally, consisting of buildings and lands without legal title.

Blockchain Properties on mobile

Tea Tsulukiani, Georgia’s Minister of Justice, commeted that she is very proud and happy that her country will work with the blockchain technology with the goal of having real estate quotations in a completely safe and secure system.

Also, chairman of the Georgian National Agency of Public Registry commented in a press release that he is “very pleased with the technical progress and looks forward to continuing their fruitful collaboration.”

BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov explained that the Georgian government is excited about the whole project and the methods used. Also, he continued by explaining that all the changes were executed for the citizens of Georgia, so they can track if a title is authentic when it is entered into the system.

The software is going to be completely operational during this year, he said.

“The big goal is to move the process to smartphones, so people can use it in any moments and all transactions are secured, transferrable and accountable.”

Applied on properties management, the Blockchain technology maintains agreements in a few ways: in blockchain-based entries, records are time-stamped  and this system would allow members interested in a property to verify and establish the date of previous sales.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
glasgow_digital_currency

Glasgow digital currency: hope or reality?

Soon many cities around the world will issue their own digital currency.

According to Pavel Bains, in fact, within the next 10 years we’ll see the first city that have its own digital money and that is separates from the national fiat currency.

The Blockchain Role

This could be the right time for cities to exploit the blockchain and adop their own currency.

But for a new digital currency to be adopted quickly it needs the following characteristics, according to Bains (and we tent to agree with him):

  1. Cheap: fiat currencies are very expensive to produce, manage and distribute. Conversely, a digital currency deletes all those costs and can easily be distributed;
  2. Secure: as it is digital, cryptographic and based on pure algorithms, the chance of forgery or distrust is removed;
  3. Safe: a digital currency can be backed by other assets like gold, treasury bills, foreign exchange or equities, just like fiat money;
  4. Usable: cities such as Stockholm are going purely digital, so a digital city currency could be massively adopted quickly.

The newest Glasgow digital currency

Bains is pretty sure that the first city to adopt a digital currency will be Glasgow.

This because the Scottish city failed to benefit from the England pound and it came close to a recession back in 2015.

Also, Brexit opened a real issue for Scotland’s future with the potential loss of trades. Demand for Scotland’s products is already declining: in that year there was an 11% drop in exports compared to 2.7% for the UK and with Brexit the situation can only get worse.

But Glasgow has the right tools to adopt its own digital currency. These the major reasons according to Bains:

  1. It has the regional size and population: this could make the difference compared to smaller cities such as Dundee;
  2. It has a high record of academia, government and business working together. This unity could be great to manage a new-born digital currency
  3. Glasgow has a thriving financial base, moving to 74th in the world for financial centers and this demonstrates the city has a good base and an educated population to operationalize the new digital currency system.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain_tourism

Blockchain Tourism: a task force in Hawaii

A new Blockchain Tourism project will be created in the State of Hawaii, where legislators decided to form a new working group focused on the blockchain tech.

If approved, the House Bill 1481 will lead to the creation of a task force with the goal of researching the use and practices related to the  distributed ledger technology.

This project is sponsored by Democratic Representatives Chris Lee and Mark Nakashima.

The official bill explained:

“The legislature finds that highly innovative technologies such as blockchain require an educated and measured approach so that regulations do not stymie innovation and growth in this State.”

The long-term goal, the bill states, is to seek ways for the technology to benefit local industries, residents and the State of Hawaii.

Should the measure be approved, the working group will have to prepare a report about the potential use cases specific to the State of Hawaii.

This research would also provide information on how the state itself could leverage the blockchain.

Among the areas of interest, of course, there would be the topic of tourism payments.

The bill also suggests that Hawaii should look to the technology as a way to encoure tourists from abroad to spend, improving the local economy.

“Digital currencies such as bitcoin have broad benefits for Hawaii. A large portion of Hawaii’s tourism market comes from Asia where the use of bitcoin as a virtual currency is expanding,” the bill reads. “Hawaii has the unique opportunity to explore the use of blockchain technology to make it easier for visitors to consume local goods and services and to drive the tourism economy.”

This Hawaiian bill is only one of the latest legislative efforts to be issued regarding the blockchain technology topic.

For example, in 2016 the State of Vermont proposed to modify a few laws of the country to allow blockchain data to be valid during trials.

This Legislative record also explained that the Vermont Senate introduced another bill to edit the country’s financial regulations to account for businesses that work in the digital currencies industry.

Recently we also talked about another project related to Blockchain Tourism: read more about the newest Webject project by clicking here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
webjet_blockckchain

WebJet Blockchain project for travel bookings

Microsoft is working on the newest Webjet Blockchain project to allow users booking travels through the distributed ledger.

Microsoft, in fact, is testing a blockchain proof-of-concept developed together with the Australian travel agency called Webjet for a pilot that will be ready during this year.

During a speech given at the CoinDesk’s annual conference titled Construct 2017, Cale Teeter and Eric Maino, or Microsoft senior software development engineer and technical architect, commented that they think that the project, which looking for make travel bookings  easier by using a blockchain-based system, will reach its development status during the next few months.

“Webjet wanted to see, instead of everyone running their own proprietary systems, a system that connects companies they own. They’ve been running their real data through it and they’ve been finding interest discrepancies in the business, and they’re hoping to expand it out,” said Maino.

Revealed in November, the Webjet managing director John Guscic explained that the online booking system has become apt to be developed thanks to the several systems used for its business projects including the hotel room wholesaling.

“Between five and 10% of bookings can be impacted or, in other words, up to $10bn-worth of transactions,” Guscic explained in a previous statement.

Microsoft is not new to blockchain-based project. Earlier this year, in fact, the computer well-known company revealed its project called Manifest for tracking products worldwide. Read more by clicking here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
china_blockchain

China Blockchain project for a new digital currency

People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is working on a China Blockchain project for a new digital currency.

According to an article published by Caixin yesterday, the People’s Bank of China completed a project on 15th December during which it tested how transactions could work by using a custom blockchain system.

The test was held together with major Chinese commercial banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China and WeBank.

The official press release reports:

“The bank suggested the digital currency would not only reduce circulation costs but also increase transparency and curb money laundering and tax evasion.”

Also, the official report just released explained that the new China Blockchain digital currency might be connected to the Shanghai Commercial Paper Exchange to create a “national platform for bank bill transactions”.

Together with this new project the PBOC will also open a digital currency research institute for which it is looking for experts in big data, fintech, cryptography and distributed ledger technology.

The official report shared by the PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan in February, also explained that the central bank was considering the distributed ledger as one of a few different technologies that can be allow it to create a new form of digital cash.

Also, this project coincides with the current PBOC’s investigations into the most important bitcoin exchanges of the country, an operation that started in January and that has seen several startups doing a few changes to trading policies.

Read more news about the China Blockchain projects by clicking here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Microsoft Blockchain Project for tracking products

A technology originally created for NASA communication now will be used by the new Microsoft blockchain project that will help tracking products worldwide.

Microsoft Blockchain’s Project called Manifest can also help to ensure the origin of the material used and the labor used to build the products, conforming them to company’s standards.

Thanks to a partnership with Mojix, Project Manifest uses Internet of Things (IoT) platform that is currently integrated with the Ethereum blockchain to help companies to track items using  a radio frequency identification device (RFID).

This kind of implementation is able to inform each member of the supply chain about the history of a shipped product.

During a recent interview with Microsoft’s strategist Yorke Rhodes, he explained why this partnership was chosen:

“Project Manifest is actually designed to look at the challenges of visibility in the supply chain. One of the reasons why we worked with Mojix is because they already have technology and know-how in supply chains for scanning RFIDs.”

A new database to track products

An early version of the Microsoft blockchain solution now integrates Mojix’s platform, called ViZix, with a smart contracts and it was exhibited during an event held last week at the National Retail Federation in NYC.

The ViZix integration has been designed to exploit the rapidly growing rate that goods are being labelled with RFID, Bluetooth and GPS sensors.

 

 

“The consumer would like to be able to see where the goods are to make sure they’re not coming from slave labor and things like that,” said Yorke. “By way of giving consumers the ability to do that we’d like to push certain parts of the data to a public blockchain.”

Microsoft Blockchain creates new partnerships

In addition to the Mojix partnership, Project Manifest also includes work with a standards body and support from the academic sector.

In fact, Project Manifest confirmed that two professors and 10 students from Auburn University’s RFID lab will also participate to the group.

Also, the lab has been engaged with seven brands and three retailers for seeking to create new ways to deal with a recent growth in supply chain data.

This team is studying and testing electronic proof of delivery, vendor scorecarding, anti-counterfeiting, anti-grey market, and data exchange data.

And a report about these researches is expected by the end of 2017.

Read more about Microsoft Blockchain’s project here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
Deutsche_Börse_blockchain

The newest Deutsche Börse Blockchain project

A new Deutsche Börse blockchain project was unveiled today as the market operator revealed a new blockchain proof-of-concept to manage bank cash transfers.

The so-called ‘CollCo’ (or, ‘collateralized coin’), is the new Deutsche Börse  blockchain project created together with Eurex Clearing, or the clearing house used by the Deutsche Börse.

Using the same code of the Hyperledger Fabric project as a basis, the company wants to obtain a patent approval for this revolutionary transfer solution available thanks to the distributed ledger.

According to  the official press release shared by the Deutsche Börse, the next step is to work with customers, regulatory and central banking contacts.

This is the official description for CollCo:

“All peer-to-peer payments based on tokenised commercial bank money are accompanied by movements of collateral between the respective Eurex Clearing members using the [central counter party’s] functionality and rules.”

The press release continues by saying that the idea links together “existing and potential new use cases” as the “handling of margining requirements, credit risk free payments, and delivery-versus-payment asset/value transfer on the blockchain”.

The Deutsche Börse has spent much time during the past year  testing several blockchain use cases, including one thanks to a partnership with Germany’s central bank.

Also, in February 2016, the company partecipated at the New York blockchain startup Digital Asset Holding’s $60m funding round.

During a speech given last week, CEO Carsten Kengeter talked about the so-dubbed “Exchange 4.0” powered by next-generation technologies.

“Exchange 4.0 will use blockchain intelligently. Exchange 4.0 will convert data into investment tools. Finally, Exchange 4.0 will be as varied – and perhaps also as easy to use – as an app store,” he explained.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio