Off the Blocks | Vol 71, June 11, 2019
|Jun 11||Public post|| 9|
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.
Dispatches From Spain
I spent the last couple of weeks traveling in Spain and it was a thrilling to first hand experience the energy powering the adoption of decentralized technology in a significant country in the European Union. While Berlin and Zug gather all the headlines, I’d go out on a limb and say that the climate for blockchain app development is pretty mature in Spain and exciting things are lined up for the near future.
The enthusiasm for blockchain technology was visible everywhere and spanned every industry conceivable - tokenized securities, digital banking, exchanges, cannabis, supply chains, credentials, concert tickets, cold wallets, payment gateways, fractional ownership, real estate, parking systems, tracking wine and olives, 3D printing, convergence of AI/IoT with blockchain, and of course establishing new governance models and tokenizing football clubs. Since the region is also a hotbed of political activism, there were plenty of entrepreneurs working on transparency in voting mechanisms and social governance. The country’s proximity to EMEA markets and a history of openness and cosmopolitan setup also makes it an attractive place to do business. Indeed, the conversations were very similar to the ones we are used to in the silicon valley and the appetite for investment seemed to be on an upward swing.
Of particular interest to me was how the industry is banding together with public administration authorities to usher in a change. Alastria is a case in point. The network is a blockchain ecosystem of more than 350 entities, both public and private, tasked with creating blockchain-based tools in line with Spanish and E.U. legal frameworks. Still on a test network, Alastria is an ambitious project to provide an agnostic blockchain platform with a clear focus on inter-operability with other projects such as Parity networks and HyperLedger Fabric. The development opportunities are spread across the stack from infrastructure to application layers.
An important aspect of the Alastria network is an integrated Alastria ID, a standard Digital Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) model to ensure that transactions on the Alastria network are legally valid and that they comply with Spanish and European regulations. Last September, Aragon become the first Spanish autonomous community to provide blockchain-based services at the state level, utilizing the Alastria network and ID. Catalonia has not been far behind and the Generalitat of Catalonia has approved a preliminary bill to establish an e-voting system for residents abroad for major elections and other voting processes in the autonomous community.
In the private sector, SEAT and Telefónica are jointly working on a proof-of-concept for tracking vehicle parts throughout SEAT’s supply chain. As part of its collaboration with Alastria, SEAT is testing the network for applicability to financial record keeping and facilitating trade finance management.
The consortiums that exist today are industry-based and focus on very specific aspects. A multi-industry consortium [such as Alastria] aiming to strengthen its use within a regulatory framework is something that has never been done before. This is why there needs to be a change in the regulatory framework to unlock the potential offered by Blockchain.
- Montse Guàrdia, Alastria
With ProteumX, we are a part of the evolving Spanish blockchain ecosystem and hope to actively shape the conversation as it matures.
Now some significant news form the world this week:
EOS | EOS Blockchain Accounts For Over 60% Of All Blockchain Transactions: EOS blockchain rolled out big announcements on the first day of the month as it marked its first anniversary this year. At a recent event by EOS.IO, the team announced the integration of EOS and Coinbase Earn platform where users can earn EOS just by viewing content on the Coinbase Earn platform. However, the news of Block.one’s [the firm behind EOS] unveiling of ‘Voice’, the crypto-based social media platform, stole the show. Voice is set to run on the updated EOS software.
… just one year I’m proud to say that EOSIO has become one of the fastest, most scalable and most active blockchain software in the world
- Dan Larimer, CTO, Block.one
Larimer claimed that the EOS public blockchain currently constituted more than 60% of the entire blockchain transactions. According to data from Blocktivity’s transaction volume, EOS dominated the ladder by holding the maximum number of transactions. Meanwhile, Ethereum [ETH] and Tron [TRX] stood at fifth and sixth position respectively. [… Read More on AMBCrypto]
Regulations | How Are Different Countries Approaching the Challenge of Regulating Cryptocurrencies? The main issue that impedes blockchain’s development and adoption is, ironically, the same thing that makes it appealing: public, immutable data. Most blockchains on the market are public, permission-less blockchains. This means that anyone can view the data hosted on the network, and anyone can store data on the decentralized network of nodes. Enterprises looking to use blockchain for sensitive data are, therefore, forced to turn to private blockchains with off-chain transactions, at the moment. Here is a look at how China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, EU and US are looking to regulate crypto assets. [… Read More on BrinkNews]
Supply Chains | Carrefour Says Blockchain Tracking Boosting Sales Of Some Products: French retailer Carrefour SA has seen sales boosted by the use of blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farms to stores and will extend it to more products to increase shopper trust. Carrefour has launched blockchain information for 20 items including chicken, eggs, raw milk, oranges, pork and cheese, and will add 100 more this year with a focus on areas where consumers want reassurance, like baby and organic products. Customers can scan a QR barcode on a pomelo grapefruit with their phone and find out the date of harvest, location of cultivation, the owner of the plot, when it was packed, how long it took to transport to Europe and tips on how to prepare it.
The pomelo sold faster than the year before due to blockchain. We had a positive impact on the chicken versus the non-blockchain chicken.
- Emmanuel Delerm, Carrefour’s blockchain project manager
While Carrefour is focusing the project on its own brands, it has also worked with Nestle on giving consumers access to blockchain data for its Mousline potato puree, allowing them to see it is only made from French potatoes. [… Read More on Reuters]
AI | Decentralized & Collaborative AI on Blockchain: Decentralized & Collaborative AI on Blockchain is a framework to host and train publicly available machine learning models while crowdsourcing a dataset. Ideally, using a model’s prediction function is free. An incentive mechanism validates added data as described below.
The IncentiveMechanism validates the transaction, for instance, in some cases a “stake” or deposit is required.
The DataHandler stores data and meta-data on the blockchain. This ensures that it is accessible for all future uses, not limited to this smart contract.
The machine learning model is updated according to predefined training algorithms. In addition to adding data, anyone can query the model for predictions, and the incentive mechanism may be triggered to provide users with payments or virtual “karma” points.
Read more details and get the code: https://github.com/Microsoft/0xDeCA10B
ICO | Telegram’s ICO Token Is at Last Going on Public Sale: Messaging app giant Telegram’s gram token, previously sold to accredited investors in the biggest ICO of all time back in early 2018, is at last to be offered to the public. As reported by TechCrunch, a limited sale of the gram token will take place on the Liquid exchange from July 10. The offering reportedly comes before a full public sale planned for October. The cost of the token and the targeted total for the raise are not being disclosed as yet. The sale is being made via Gram Asia, which TechCrunch says is a Korean entity claiming to be the largest holder of gram token. Liquid’s website describes the firm as a “trusted partner” of Telegram. Grams have previously been sold only to accredited investors in Telegram’s massive two-phase ICO in February and March of 2018 – a sale that brought in around $1.7 billion and was by far the largest fundraise made via a crypto token offering. [… Read More on Coindesk]
The tokens being sold will not be released until after TON goes live (mainnet release), in accordance with the delivery schedule. Purchasers will not be able to transfer, withdraw, or trade the Grams before they are released.
The Final Word | Siberian Region Partners With Universa to Create Blockchain Tourism Destination
Universa Platform, a Russian blockchain platform intended for corporate management and state administration, has partnered with a Russian federal subject, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, to help the bucolic region join the digital economy through blockchain enabled technology. The partnership will create a pilot area for digital technologies and services which aims to make the region, located in Western Siberia, a tourism destination as well as an attractive place for foreign direct investment. According to its white paper, Universa uses a contract execution machine and a distributed state ledger to:
support token representation of everything from passports to boarding passes, bus tickets or taxi fares; they can be gift cards, vouchers, or gym membership cards
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.