An Ethereum Roadmap, FedEx is Bullish and Malaysia's Blockchain City

Off the Blocks | Vol 65, Apr 30, 2019

This newsletter is our weekly roundup of some of the significant blockchain news, that provides an overview of the rapidly changing blockchain landscape to help you map your blockchain strategy and be aware of regulatory announcements globally. Get your friends to Subscribe Here.


The Ethereum Development Roadmap: A Tale in 6 Tweets

Vitalik Non-giver of Ether@VitalikButerin
@elonmusk @MolochDAO (4) * Cryptoeconomics / micropayment schemes to reward publishers of good content * Testing ground for new market designs, eg. frequent batch auctions, combinatorial auctions, automated market makers (eg.
uniswap.exchange) * Stickers/badges https://t.co/reDBpbQ7uw

Vitalik Non-giver of Ether@VitalikButerin

The current cryptokitty drama is a good time to bring up the old idea of charity stickers. Donate 0.1/1/10/100 ETH to {{charity}}, get a branded sticker. As many ETH chat apps as possible (leeroy, status, etc) can "recognize" these stickers, and show them beside a user's profile.


Now for some other significant news form the world this week:

  1. Insurance | Blue Cross has Formed a Blockchain Consortium: In an effort to put blockchain to the test as a balm to the inefficiencies plaguing healthcare data sharing, NASCO — US insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield's (BCBS') digital solutions arm —built up a blockchain consortium with BCBS plans and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. Dubbed Coalesce Health Alliance, the partnership has already hit the ground running in its blockchain efforts: It's successfully executed an Alpha Pilot project using a blockchain solution to tackle challenges associated with incomplete data that hamper operational efficiency, like the inability to identify members across entities. [… Read More on Business Insider]

  2. Logistics| FedEx CIO: It’s Time To Mandate Blockchain For International Shipping: When railroad tracks were first laid across the western U.S., there were eight different gauges all competing to dominate the industry – making a nationwide, unified rail system impossible; it took an act of Congress in 1863 to force the adoption of an industry standard gauge of 4-ft., 8-1⁄2 inches. FedEx CIO Rob Carter believes the same kind of thing needs to happen for blockchain to achieve widespread enterprise adoption. FedEx has banded together with competitors – DHL Express and UPS -- to hammer out blockchain standards that could be deployed industrywide. All three shipping giants are part of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), an industry organization with more than 500 members. [… Read More on Computer World]

    I think we're in the state where we're duking it out for the dominant design. There's an incredible amount of information moving with an international package. An incredible amount of paperwork [such as] certificates of origin, and certain commodities require specific licenses. That information moves sometimes in digital forms and sometimes paper forms. As we move toward a more digital world, blockchain is where you piece all that together.

    - Rob Carter, CIO, FedEx

  3. Tether | Want to Understand Bitfinex? Understand Mt. Gox: Bitfinex and Tether were investigated by the New York York Attorney General (NYAG). Here’s a synopsis for those unfamiliar with the story. Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange, the owners of which also control Tether, issuer of the most popular stablecoin, known as tether or USDT. The NYAG accuses Bitfinex of losing over $800 million. It alleges the exchange tried to recoup those losses by dipping into the cash reserves of tether, the stablecoin its principals also control. Problem is, taking money held by Tether would render the stablecoin more or less useless. This is because Tether is supposedly backed by cash reserves and there are people who still believe this. Yet if there are no cash reserves, or significantly less cash than believed, then the whole concept of Tether is essentially fraudulent. This is laid out in the filing from late last week. At the end of the document, the NYAG issues an ultimatum. The office “does seek to enjoin Respondents from taking any further action to access, loan, extend credit, encumber, pledge, or make any other similar transfer or claim between Bitfinex and Tether.” [… Read More on Coindesk]

  4. Exchange: Bakkt Acquires Crypto Custodian, Partners With BNY Mellon on Key Storage: Pending bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt has acquired the Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC), secured insurance for assets it will hold in cold storage and revealed a partnership with BNY Mellon. Adam White, COO, Baktt, confirmed that Bakkt was seeking a qualified custodian license through the New York Department of Financial Services. If granted, the exchange would be able to provide a regulated custodian for any crypto assets that it holds, which may ease its launch of physical bitcoin future contract. As previously reported, Bakkt’s original plan to custody bitcoin itself and settle contracts through its parent firm’s warehouse, ICE Clear US, may fall into a regulatory gray area. Its launch has been indefinitely delayed pending approval by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. [… Read More on Coindesk]

  5. Art | Blockchain Art Market MakersPlace: Pinterest  is a great place to find digital art but a terrible place to sell it. The fact that anything online is infinitely copyable makes it tough for artists to establish a sense of scarcity necessary for their work to be perceived as valuable. Yash Nelapati saw this struggle up close as Pinterest’s first employee. Now he has started MakersPlace, where creators can generate a blockchain fingerprint for each of their artworks that proves who made it and lets it be sold as part of a limited edition. Similar to Etsy, MakersPlace allows artists to sell their creations while the startup takes a 15 percent cut. Collectors receive a non-fungible cryptocurrency token connoting ownership of a limited-edition digital print of the artwork that they can store in their own crypto wallet or in one on MakersPlace. [… Read More on TechCrunch]

    At Pinterest, we noticed that there are millions of digital creators that are spending countless hours creating digital artwork, but they struggle with basic things like attribution. Their work is getting printed, copied, shared and ultimately they make very little money from it being put online. If you can’t create a sustainable model for digital creators to create, you’re not going to have art.

    - Danny Chu, co-founder, MakersPlace

The Final Word | Chinese Government Supports Development of ‘Blockchain City’ in Malaysia

Chinese Government Supports Development of ‘Blockchain City’ in Malaysia
Image Source: Coin Telegraph

The Chinese government is purportedly supporting the construction of a "blockchain  city" in the critical shipping lane of the Malaysian Malacca Strait. Construction and engineering company China Wuyi and investment network SWT International Sdn Bhd have jointly launched the Chinese government-backed project aimed at the development of the city of Malacca into a blockchain city called Melaka Straits city. The founders of the project are planning to raise 500  Malaysian Ringgits ($120 million) during the initial stage. The entire infrastructure of the city will be based on blockchain technology, with a so called DMI platform offering its native DMI coin. DMI will be used to pay government-based services within the city and feature an exchange that will enable Melaka Straits City tourists to exchange their fiat currencies for DMI coins. [… Read More on Coin Telegraph]

Our company is using cutting-edge blockchain technologies and integrating those into the traditional industry to make Malaysia a world-class tourist destination. We have the government approval to remediate this land and came up with some great plans for the area.

- Lim Keng Kai, CEO, China Wuyi


About Proteum
Proteum is a global blockchain advisory firm that works with public, private and start-up companies to help them transition into the world of blockchains and decentralized applications. We help companies strategically build their ecosystem and unique capabilities so that they can own and control their future. ProteumX, our accelerator program, invests in and accelerates the time to market for companies building blockchain solutions.

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