SEC Launches FinHub, Tracking Tantalum And Ethereum's Hard Fork Delayed

Volume 38

Blockchains have the potential to store over 10% of our global GDP, ~ $8 Trillion in value. At Proteum, we are dedicated to understanding tomorrow's "Internet of Value". This newsletter is our weekly roundup of some of the significant blockchain news this week. News we think is worth sharing for you to map your blockchain strategies, be aware of regulatory announcements and get an overview of the rapidly changing blockchain landscape.

Number of the Week

The number of bitcoin and blockchain related job openings in the USA as of August 2018, up from 693 at the beginning of the year and 446 at this time last year.

The Main Story | SEC Launches FinHub

The US government is slowly integrating cryptocurrency and financial technology into its regulatory ecosystem, adding legitimacy and more support for the space. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that they are launching the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub).

FinHub will connect and update the public on SEC-related issues and initiatives dealing with distributed ledger technology including blockchain and cryptocurrencies, automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing and artificial intelligence. Additionally, it will provide a portal for industry and the public to engage directly with SEC staff on innovative ideas.

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Telegram | Test Version of TON This Fall

Telegram attracted considerable attention earlier this year when it raised almost $1.8 billion in investments for TON and its current messenger app. Now Telegram will release a test version of its blockchain-based TON platform “this autumn.” Watch this space for more. 

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Shipping | Abu Dhabi and Antwerp Adopt Blockchain 

A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports has partnered with Belgium's Port of Antwerp for a blockchain pilot aimed to facilitate international trade. The proof-of-concept (PoC) trial will be conducted by Maqta Gateway using its own blockchain platform, Silsal, which was launched in June to address inefficiencies in the shipping industry and better connect importers and exporters. The effort is expected to be completed by the Q4 2018.

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Supply Chain | Tracking Tantalum

Rwanda has turned to blockchain to track the supply chain of tantalum, a metal used in consumer electronics, in a bid to address concerns over conflict minerals in global markets. To assist with the technical side of the initiative, the government has teamed up with London-based startup Circulor, which offers a supply chain tracking solution, built on Hyperledger Fabric. The product is, in part, aimed to promote ethical sourcing of mining products.

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Retail | Fewer Counterfeits, Faster Recalls

De Beers is putting diamonds on the blockchain. Walmart is putting lettuce on the blockchain. Startups are putting skin care and liquor and fancy watches on the blockchain. By now, it may be safe to say that if someone, somewhere is selling something, someone else is thinking about how a distributed ledger with a buzzy name might help them do it better. But with billions of dollars at stake, it’s less a question of if the industry will figure it out than of how and when.

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M&A | Ticketmaster Acquires Upgraded

Ticketmaster touted the Upgraded acquisition as its latest move in bolstering its portfolio of identity-based technologies to ensure a secure ticketing and venue access experience for fans, artists and venue operators. “Ticketmaster is constantly exploring emerging technologies, and there aren’t many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain.” 

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Next Gen Crypto | Convergence of Utility and Private Equity

As of Q4 2018, we have now the data to know how tokens can create values, what kind of use cases they can provide and, on the contrary, what kinds of mathematically-driven token economies can’t drive the request or the intrinsic values of it and what is a scam. Crypto-fintech convergence would make financial strategy a competitive weapon more than an execution task, helping to bridge the gap between money, ideas & markets by dynamically tailoring specific investment proposals to relevant stakeholders’ groups. 

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Tech | Ethereum's Hard Fork Delayed to 2019

Ethereum's next hard fork, dubbed Constantinople, will be postponed until early 2019. Initially targeted to activate in November this year, developers opted to postpone the hard fork push after several bugs were found in the code that was released on a test network. Constantinople features five backward-incompatible changes to the network, from minor code optimizations to more  controversial changes like one that would reduce the amount of new ETH created with each transaction block.
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The Final Word | Economist Nouriel Roubini Gets an F for Blockchain

NYU economics professor Nouriel Roubini’s latest piece of demagoguery entitled “The Big Blockchain Lie” should get a F grade for confounding blockchain with Bitcoin. Real world blockchain use cases are happening now at the enterprise level and Roubini’s labeling them as “glorified spreadsheets” is impetuous. 

According to Juniper Research, 65 percent of enterprises with 10k employees+ are considering or actively engaged in blockchain deployment. 25% of these POCs are turning into trials or commercial rollouts. One of the main reasons these projects aren’t more quickly turning into production is because of their potential to disrupt either internal or client systems.

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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