SEC Action Against ICOs, EOS Stablecoin And Happy Thanksgiving!

Volume 42

This newsletter is our weekly roundup of some of the significant blockchain news this week. Join thousands of subscribers to get your weekly news to map your blockchain strategies, be aware of regulatory announcements and get an overview of the rapidly changing blockchain landscape. 

The Main Story | SEC Slaps 2 ICOs With Massive Fines

Paragon and AirFox are just two of the ICOs to have fallen foul of US regulators, the SEC claiming they had accepted they had engaged in the sale of unregistered securities. Accordingly, both must repay over $27M in ICO revenues to investors, as well as pay a civil money penalty of $250,000, the first installment of which in the case of Paragon is due within 30 days.

“We wish to emphasize […] that market participants must still adhere to our well-established and well-functioning federal securities law framework when dealing with technological innovations, regardless of whether the securities are issued in certificated form or using new technologies, such as blockchain,” representatives wrote.

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Telecom | Telefonica Streamlining Telco Processes

IBM and Telefónica are working to use blockchain technology as part of the operator’s service delivery platform. This includes handling register data and information from different sources for business and network processes. The collaboration will initially focus on improving reliability and transparency of information collected by different networks when routing international calls. Operators will have permissioned access to a decentralized platform that will provide access to real-time tracing of calls to allow for correct billing processes between operators. 

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Exchanges | Decentralized Exchanges Explained

There are now over 250 decentralized exchanges (DEX) in existence today. With a DEX you deal directly, peer-to-peer with the other party. New models are emerging with DEX technologies like Stellar who actually reimburse you for the network fees and redistribute these funds to active participants on its network. This model is compelling because it incentivizes positive network participation and community growth without the traditional rent-seeking approach of a centralized platform.

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IMF | A New World of Digital Money

“Change is the only constant. A new wind is blowing, that of digitalization. In this new world, we meet anywhere, any time. A world in which millennials are reinventing how our economy works, phone in hand. Already signs in store windows read ‘cash not accepted.’ What role will remain for cash in this digital world?" IMF Director, Christine Lagard, at the Singapore Fintech festival. She also said that Canada, China, Sweden and Uruguay are already testing the notion of a state cryptocurrency.

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Commodities | Oil Firms and Banks Partner for Energy Trading

Major oil companies BP, Shell, and Equinor have united with large banks and trading houses to launch a blockchain-driven platform Vakt for energy commodity trading. Vakt includes banks ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale, along with trading houses Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria. "In 2019 we will look at ARA barges, waterborne markets and US crude pipelines. And by January we expect the first licensees will come on board, in addition to our shareholders."

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Business | Blockchain Momentum Growing Across Europe

Leading European companies are continuing to innovate with blockchain technology, progressing projects from proof of concept to production environments.  According to the IDC, “blockchain spending in Europe is now growing faster than anywhere else”. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan is developing a Digital Identification System, whereas the Central Securities Depository of Poland has implemented their e-Voting solution in production, designed to encourage greater retail shareholder participation in company AGM

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Agriculture | Trading Black Sea Wheat

Swiss-based Transoil International and Solaris Commodities have conducted a blockchain pilot transaction of Black Sea wheat. Transoil and Solaris completed a sale for a 25,000 metric ton shipment of 11.5 percent protein Black Sea wheat on a FOB-loading port basis from the Russian port city of Novorossiysk. This is reportedly the first blockchain-based trade deal of Black Sea wheat, while the exact monetary terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The two firms completed the pilot using the blockchain-based agri-commodities trading and financing platform of Swiss startup Cerealia.

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Stablecoins | Carbon IS Now Swappable Between EOS and Ethereum

The U.S. dollar-pegged crypto token CarbonUSD has just launched as the first stablecoin on the EOS platform. CarbonUSD, which has been live on ethereum for two months, can now be transferred onto the EOS blockchain, giving users “even lower fees and faster settlement than on ethereum.” Institutional investors, hedge funds and exchanges will get early access to the token, the release adds, with fiat currency deposits at Carbon’s partner bank, Nevada-based Prime Trust, being used to create new CarbonUSD tokens.

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The Final Word | Tracking Thanksgiving Turkeys on the Blockchain

One of the nation’s largest turkey producers is experimenting with using cutting-edge blockchain technology to connect shoppers with farmers even before they leave the grocery store. Cargill, which produces about a quarter of all turkeys consumed during the holidays in the U.S., recently expanded a program it piloted last year that allows shoppers to trace their turkey to the family farm where it was raised. 

“We hear that this is what U.S. consumers are wanting,” said Deb Bauler, Cargill’s chief information office for its protein and salt division. “Here is the farmer’s story, let them speak to you.” There are challenges to the system, including ensuring that rural broadband is good enough that farmers can share information to the blockchain, but the technology holds great promise to lower the cost of traceability and improve access. 

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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 capabilities so that they can own and control their future. Let's put blockchains to work for your business. |  | Twitter: @proteumio | Telegram