Winklevoss Twins, (Inter)Stellar And Alibaba's Blockchain Ambitions

Off The Blocks, Vol 32

Volume 32, September 11, 2018

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.

Quote of the Week

“If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore.”

- Vitalik Buterin, co-founder Ethereum

The Main Story | Alibaba's Meteoric Rise

While China seems to be cracking down on all things cryptocurrencies including exchanges, it still harbors hope to dominate the emerging global blockchain technology sector. Research shows that 56 percent of all 406 blockchain patents issued around the world in 2017 came from China, with the United States a distant second with 22 percent.   

Alibaba is quietly dominating the scene. More than 10% of all blockchain patents filed worldwide in 2017 were attributed to Alibaba. Wuchang municipal government in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang Province entered into a blockchain partnership with Alibaba subsidiaries Ant Financial and Alipay for the purpose of curbing food fraud and ensuring consumer trust.

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Stablecoin | The Gemini Dollar Solution

Another Huge Step Forward. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, creators of cryptocurrency trading platform Gemini, have received permission from New York regulators to launch their own stablecoin. The Ethereum-based token was approved by the NY Department of Financial Services. It will be subject to monthly audits by an external third party, and has all US dollars held in a FDIC-insured account.

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Education | Battle of the Blockchains

The new kids on the block are challenging Ethereum's dominance. Hyperledger, EOS, Cardano and Cosmos all have potential to be adopted in a wide range of applications. Hyperledger has taken an early lead in the enterprise, whereas Cosmos is all about interoperability at scale. There certainly is room for more than one. 

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Tech | The Case Against a Trustless System

IT industry analyst Jason Bloomberg is a consistent naysayer about cryptocurrencies. In a wide ranging interview here, he lays out his case for a permissioned infrastructure, a vision diagonally opposite the decentralized, peer-to-peer interactions enabled by the Bitcoin blockchain. 

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Legal | Aspects of an STO

Tokenization is the process of converting rights of any asset into a digital token on a blockchain and issuing it to the public. Anything that is legally considered as a security (e.g. shares, bonds, debentures, notes, options, warrants) can be tokenized, therefore, the potential of security token offerings (“STOs”) is huge. However, there are legal issues that need to be thought through. 

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Legal | Blockchain Evidence is Legally Binding

The Supreme People’s Court of China has issued a set of new rules on the trial of internet court cases, part of which is that blockchain can authenticate electronic data entered in as evidence. Data stored or retrieved with distributed technology are now admissible in Court. Also, in instances where electronic data entered in as evidence in a case is questioned by any of the parties involved, the data can be authenticated using blockchain technology.

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Healthcare | Self-Sovereign Identity 

IBM is working with Hu-manity.co, whose #My31 app alludes to the idea that legal ownership of one's data should be a "31st human right" in addition to the 30 already ratified by the United Nations. Starting with the well-established market for health record data, Hu-manity expects location data, search history and e-commerce habits will also be "owned" by users.

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Tech | Twitter Thinking About Blockchain

When questioned by Congress about the ability for blockchains to fight misinformation and scams, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated that the technology has a lot of “untapped potential” in that area. Dorsey said, "So blockchain is one that I think has a lot of untapped potential, specifically around distributed trust and distributed enforcement potentially." 

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The Final Word | Chain + Lightyear is now Interstellar

Chain, which raised more than $40 million from financial institutions including Visa and Nasdaq, in the process helping define the narrative for business interest in the technology through its partnerships and stage appearances, has been acquired in an undisclosed deal by Lightyear.io, a startup building on the Stellar protocol.

Both Chain and Lightyear will cede their brands for this project to the newly-formed Interstellar, with Ludwin serving as CEO and Jed McCaleb – co-founder of both the Stellar Development Foundation and Lightyear – serving as Interstellar’s CTO. The move comes as Chain judges it's customer base to be more receptive to permissionless blockchains than it once was. 

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About Proteum
Proteum is 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.
 
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