Off the Blocks | Vol 70, June 4, 2019
|Jun 7||Public post|| 1|
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.
Some significant news form the world this week:
Tech | JP Morgan Modifies Its Ethereum (ETH)-Powered Quorum Blockchain by Adding Privacy Features JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain team has developed a privacy feature for ethereum-based blockchains, obscuring not only how much money is being sent but who is sending it. JPMorgan has built an extension to the Zether protocol, a fully decentralized, cryptographic protocol for confidential payments, compatible with ethereum and other smart contract platforms and designed to add a further layer of anonymity to transactions. The New York-based financial institution will open-source the extension Tuesday, and is likely to use it with Quorum, the bank’s homegrown, private version of ethereum. Zether, which was built by a group of academics and financial technology researchers including Dan Boneh from Stanford University, uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), a branch of mathematics which allows one party to prove knowledge of some secret value or information without conveying any detail about that secret. [… Read More on Coindesk]
In the basic Zether, the account balances and the transfer accounts are concealed but the participants’ identities are not. So we have solved that. In our implementation, we provide a proof protocol for the anonymous extension in which the sender may hide herself and the transactions recipients in a larger group of parties.
Supply Chains | Honeywell Brings Blockchain to Used Aircraft Parts Market: Honeywell International Inc. is using blockchain to shake up the market for used aircraft components, making it easier to check the certification and origin of a part and speeding up transactions. The company’s Honeywell Aerospace unit earlier this year introduced an online marketplace based on blockchain that lets more than 800 international buyers and sellers trade aerospace parts in real time. Before blockchain, a transaction took, on average, two phone calls and four emails to arrange, and two days to close. The sale of larger parts such as engines could take weeks of sending quotes and exchanging documentation. With blockchain, a buyer can locate a part and purchase it immediately. [… Read More on WSJ]
Tech | Tezos Asserts onchain upgrade will enable easy deployment of complex smart contracts: Tezos blockchain made history last month after activating two separate backward-incompatible changes. The new upgrade of the smart contracts and decentralized applications platform involved three months of on-chain voting by stakeholders, which started in February this year. Dubbed as “Athens A”, the official upgrade was rolled out in a bid to reduce the minimum amount of tokens required [also known as ‘rolls’] from 10,000 XTZ to 8,000 XTZ for a user on the network to become a baker. In addition, ‘Athens A’ would potentially increase computation limits on Tezos blocks to allow larger transaction throughput. [… Read More on AMB Crypto]
Banking Credentials | Three of Ireland’s ‘Big Four’ Banks Using Blockchain to Verify Staff Credentials Three of Ireland’s “Big Four” banks are using blockchain tech to verify employees’ credentials. The Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank are using a blockchain solution from Deloitte for the pilot initiative. The solution, said to be the “first of its kind” in the European financial services industry, has been built using Ethereum by Deloitte’s EMEA Financial Services Blockchain Lab in Dublin to verify and track staff credentials and qualifications data, according to the report. Staff will have their credentials held in a digital wallet, which will be used to help banks comply with Central Bank of Ireland regulations for meeting specific standards for senior staff. [… Read More on Coindesk]
Social Media | Block.one Announces Blockchain-Based Social Media Platform Voice: Eos (EOS) parent company Block.one has announced a blockchain-based social media platform called Voice. The firm claims that the platform will use the Eos blockchain to provide transparency on how it operates, without hidden algorithms or content-pushing mechanisms of which the user is unaware.
The truth is, current social media platforms are designed to use their users. Just look at the business model. Our content. Our data. Our attention. These are all incredibly valuable things. But right now, it’s the platform, not the user, that reaps the reward.
- Brendan Blumer, CEO, Block.one
According to a recent study by Diar, social media giant Facebook’s own payments-focused cryptocurrency, Globalcoin, will face demographic challenges, as the platform’s user base is aging.
Jesse Lund, IBM’s global head of blockchain for financial services and digital currencies, is no longer working for the company.
Yes, I’ve left IBM but am still optimistic about payments innovation using Blockchain.
- Jesse Lund
A former banker, Lund harbored an ambitious plan to bring cryptocurrency into the enterprise world and also to explore stablecoins and central bank digital currency.He spearheaded IBM’s World Wire payment network which used the Stellar blockchain to help banks remove pain points from cross border payments. Lund, previously a senior vice president of innovation at Wells Fargo, had enticed six banks onto the World Wire platform including Philippines-based RCBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, and Bank Busan of South Korea. [… Read More on Coindesk]
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.